Texas Deer Population:  An estimated 4 million deer in 2016 and 2015, up from about 3.95 million deer in 2014 as result of significant rainfall.  The 1989 estimated deer population was 3.5 million.  First case of chronic wasting in a wild white-tail deer reported in 2017.  Herd analysis at right.  Historical Texas deer hunting data and news archive.

Texas Deer News

East Texas landowner revamps property for deer, ducks and bass February 15, 2017 Lone Star Outdoor News
... “There were fair numbers of deer when I bought the place ... But the quality of bucks was really bad ... quickly learned he had 10 does for every buck, and with help from biologists, permits were obtained, the doe population was reduced, and the quality of animals increased tenfold... “Now, the ratio is 1.5 does for every buck, and the average buck ranges from the high 140s to 160...

USDA plans to use treated corn for ticks on deer February 8, 2017 Texas, Lone Star Outdoor News
... As part of the effort to control cattle fever ticks, the U.S Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is proposing to treat white-tailed deer with ivermectin, a broad spectrum anti-parasitic drug, to control tick vectors ...

Collinsville man saves drowning deer in Lake Texoma February 2, 2017 Texas, KXII-TV
... a white-tail deer, drowning in the middle of the lake...  he was under water at the time and he went under about three times before I could grab him ...

Wildlife officials cracking down on white-tail deer January 27, 2017 Texas, San Antonio Express-News 
... restricting the transport of live and dead white-tail deer and requiring sampling of carcasses after the discovery ... ... 1½-year-old buck harvested in Medina County west of San Antonio, the first wild individual of its species to be found with the disease in Texas. [found previously in mule deer] ...  

Biologists awaiting numbers on 10-year antler study January 26, 2017 Texas, Athens Daily Review
... antler restrictions are now in effect in more than 100 East Texas counties ... plenty of hard evidence now exists to support the theory that antler restrictions have helped improved the age structure of the region's buck herd ... Biologists also believed ... that would ultimately put more fawns on the ground at close to the same time ... less the risk of losing big numbers to predation...

Chronic Wasting Disease Detected in Wild Texas Deer January 26, 2017 NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
... The white-tailed buck that tested positive for the disease was found in Medina County, Texas - just west San Antonio. An executive ordered issued by Texas Parks and Wildlife has portions of Bandera, Medina and Uvalde counties in a chronic wasting disease containment zone...
... Poachers are targeting San Antonio neighborhoods to hunt for bucks... "We love the deer. They come here every night... We have kids. They're going to end up hurting someone," ...

... two white-tailed deer were killed in the past month ... a 12-point buck that was walking around with an arrow in its side... had to put the buck down ...

Port Mansfield Holds First Deer Festival January 10, 2017 Texas, KRGV
...  A few years back the residents of Port Mansfield found themselves surrounded by deer. They recently decided to have a festival to show appreciation for the animals...

Post-hunting season management can help deer herds January 2, 2017 Texas, Phys.Org
... landowners with deer feeders on their properties should keep them running to provide supplemental feeding after deer season closes up to April 1 or until deer use stops. "Corn is a good supplemental energy source for the deer leading up to spring green-up," ... [deer are introduced to corn in the fall before other food sources are depleted]

General whitetail deer season comes to an end Sunday December 28, 2016 Texas, www.etvarsity.com
... East Texas ... goals of the experimental antler-restriction regulation were to improve age structure of the buck herd ... the proportion of bucks less than 3.5 years old in the harvest dropped from 79% (prior to the experimental regulation) to 29% during the 2004-05 ...

Add more time for CWD checks December 27, 2016 Texas, Lone Star Outdoor News
... the mandatory CWD Surveillance Zone ... one group of three hunters called to cancel their hunt once learning of the regulations.  “I talked them out of it, though and they came and had a good time. But, if it continues, the hunters will just go to New Mexico,” ...

Group seeks sterilization program to control Lakeway's deer population December 20, 2016 Texas, Austin American-Statesman
... the Citizen Advocates for Animals ...  ultimate goal is the creation of a nonlethal deer population control program, receiving approval and funding for a sterilization program of female deer as an alternative to the TTP  [Trap, Transport and Process]  program remains a lofty goal...

Nice White-Tailed buck in rut-mode near Three Rivers, Texas. Distance from camera approximately 200 yards. Please visit my "White-Tailed Deer Photography" page on Facebook. - December 20, 2016 Texas


Hunting follows oil industry downturn December 18, 2016 Texas, Houston Chronicle
...  a classic supply-demand problem has hit the hunting industry. Prices for hunts have plummeted this year. Outfitters and ranchers blame the fortunes of the downtrodden oil industry, whose spending accounts in rich years send executives and clients on corporate hunts... 

Feds propose feeding wild deer drugs to prevent disease December 16, 2016 Texas, The Monitor
... As cattle fever ticks march northward, federal officials are proposing to feed wild white-tailed deer a drug to kill both ticks and the protozoan they carry that causes cattle fever.  The proposal will install gravity-fed feeding stations filled with corn laced with the broad spectrum anti-parasite drug ivermectin...

... The doe was gutted and hung on a post. The guts were strewn across the mailbox and the buck deer was just left right next to the doe...

Garden Ridge decides on deer overpopulation solution December 7, 2016 Texas, KSAT San Antonio
... City Council voted 4 to 1 to continue the current trapping program ... a majority of people at the meeting were against the trapping ...
     Garden Ridge deer management program drawing concern December 1, 2016 Texas, FOX 29
... upset because they claim a contractor, hired by the city, is shooting and killing trapped deer in the front yards of their homes... “We are deer friendly out here,” said Dan Fordiani, who has lived in Garden Ridge for more than two decades... for the most part the deer are treated just like family pets...

... The efforts led to multiple arrests including hunting deer without landowner consent, criminal trespass ... regional landowners and citizens are urged to call the Operation Game Thief hotline at (800) 792-4263 (GAME).

Well here are the videos and still pix taken after setting up feeders and game cameras in an area frequented by beautiful Axis Deer! - November 25, 2016 Texas


... Beav was shot nine times and his body was found just feet from the family's fence ... "Beav was probably standing there watching them, thinking they were going to give him a snack or talk to him," ...

Lubbock Area Game Wardens Plan for Mule Deer Saturation Patrol November 17, 2016 Texas, EverythingLubbock.com
... Lubbock district Game Wardens will be dedicating extra patrol hours and manpower to the Mule Deer season which occurs in certain southwestern panhandle counties and runs from November 19th -27th... “We receive numerous reports of illegal poaching ...

Deer hunting season kicks off November 6, 2016 Texas, KXXV News Channel 25
... Most hunters are looking for a trophy for the season and Whitt is no different ... Both say they are animal lovers, and prefer the term harvesters to hunters...

Deer at home in our city November 4, 2016 Texas, lightandchampion.com
... a deer crashed through the window and ended up inside the store...  the deer most likely saw his reflection in the glass and moved toward the image of a deer. It is also possible it could have been a combination of seeing a reflection of a deer and something startling him ...

Good acorn crop could be bad for East Texas hunters November 2, 2016 Texas, AgriLife Today
... the 2011 drought resulted in extremely low fawn crops. Deer typically enter prime antler maturity at age 5, which means hunters will likely see fewer mature bucks of that year class to harvest.  But antler restrictions in effect in East Texas counties have produced positive results for all hunters ...

Deer season: great expectations for Texas hunters November 2, 2016 Houston Chronicle
... Texas consistently leads the nation in size of its deer herd (more than 4 million whitetails) and number of deer hunters (as many as 750,000 could go afield this year) and the number of deer taken (an average of 576,000 over the past 16 seasons) ...  rain fueled a flush of vegetation across Texas, from the Panhandle to South Texas, the Trans-Pecos to the Pineywoods and all regions between ...

Deer season could be active October 30, 2016 Texas, Victoria Advocate
... Central Texas is home to a bounty of wild deer, and it’s also got a growing number of game ranches, where deer are raised similar to cattle – in herds with strict diets that promote maximum body and antler growth. These high-fence ranches provide hunters with opportunities to hunt trophy bucks without having to travel far from home...

Counting down to deer season's opening day October 27, 2016 Texas, Huntsville Item
...  we’ve got more whitetails (about 4 million) than any other state and an army of deer hunters numbering around 700,000 who love to chase them ... much of the state has enjoyed back-to-back years of abundant rainfall to soak the soil and spur premium forage growth. Texas’ vast deer range in excellent shape ...

Deer hunting brings in more than 2 billion dollars to the state’s economy each year and as fall comes to Texas, more than one million hunters are gearing up for another season. But just how is this year’s season shaping up for sportsmen and women now that we’ve seen a little rain? Texas Parks and Wildlife has this report. For more information about Chronic Wasting Disease - October 27, 2016 Texas


Warren Ranch practices good management for whitetail bucks herd October 23, 2016 Texas, ReporterNews.com
...The Warren Ranch is 50 percent high fenced... With game cameras and both ground and aerial surveys, he always knows the inventory of the whitetail deer herd... "To produce high quality whitetail bucks, you need them to mature, (so you) supply all the nutrition they need, plus genetics," ...

What Texas Hunters Need to Know About New CWD Rules October 21, 2016 Valley Town Crier
...An up to date chronology of CWD cases in Texas, maps outlining CWD management zones and check station locations, along with a map depicting locations in other states where the disease has been detected, are available online at www.tpwd.texas.gov/cwd ...

... a young buck tied up to a tree in the backyard of a home ... able to cut the deer loose ...  the buck sauntered to the front of the house before Zieschang left for a scratch behind the ears... 

... Gory photos of screwworms eating wild deer alive [Florida Keys] ... they feast on live animal flesh unlike other blow flies ... [in Texas] the cost to control screwworms in cattle alone could exceed $500 million ...

Texas Deer Forecast for 2016 October 11, 2016 Game & Fish
... Deer population trends have indicated an increasing deer population in the Pineywoods, Cross Timbers, Post Oak Savannah and Rolling Plains regions ... Populations continue to remain stable in South Texas and Edwards Plateau. Statewide population trends also remain stable ...


CWD just one disease on managers' radar nationwide October 8, 2016 Texas, Texas All Outdoors 
... In the 1950s and 60s screwworms caused serious harm to the Texas livestock industry and kept white-tailed deer numbers low... old TPWD records showed the statewide deer herd topped at 500,000 prior to 1955 ... screwworm is back... in the Florida Everglades ...

... The recent discovery of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in captive deer facilities in Texas has increased concern about the potential emergence of CWD in free-ranging deer. The concern is exacerbated because much of the South Texas region is a semi-arid environment with variable rainfall, where precipitation is strongly correlated with fawn recruitment.  ... Deer populations in variable environments rely on high adult survivorship to buffer the low and erratic fawn recruitment rates. The increase in additive mortality rates for adults via CWD negatively impacted simulated population trends to the extent that hunter opportunity would be greatly reduced...

Texas Hill Country
...  the whitetail deer number in Texas has grown to 4 million and continues to increase. The highest whitetail deer population is in the Texas Hill Country Edwards plateau with ‘”2.27 million deer estimated in the area in 2015 and will most likely increase in 2016 due to a higher fawn crop,”  ...

Break in drought could mean record deer season October 5, 2016 Texas, Belton Journal
...  This year in terms of rain 2016 was a record one. It was cool for half of the summer months... less stress on the deer ... Those 2011-12 years were drought years... Three years in a row we have had the rains we needed to provide food for the deer population...

Texas Data: About 4 million deer in 2015 and 2016, up from about 3.95 million deer in 2014, as result of significant rainfall.  The 2016 spring and summer was one of the wettest in decades.  Increased hunting recommended for 2016 in the western Panhandle and Post Oak Savannah region. An estimated 3.8 million white-tail deer in 2013 before deer hunting seasons, 39 deer per 1,000 acres on average.  About 3.7 million in 2012.  For 2015 the mule deer population is estimated at 209,732.  South Texas had good rains and a mild summer in 2014 and 2015 with ample food that has increased fawn production.  Eastern Edwards Plateau had more rain than the west.  The mast crop was spotty in East Texas. Little fawn production in 2011 as a result of the severe drought, almost as low in 2008-2009.  About 160,000 deer raised by 1,300 deer breeders in 2016.  2015 Hunting Forecast.  About 700,000 deer hunters.
     The deer population trended upward from 2004 to 2010 with the white-tail population estimate of 3.46 million, a high point in 2005.  An estimate of four million deer in 2004.  The record setting drought that started in 2010 resulted in low fawn recruitment and the population dropped. Drought also into 2012, but a good acorn crop.  Improved weather in spring 2014 improved fawn survival and deer health. Generally good fawn recruitment, over 45 percent, in 2007, 2010, 2012, and 2013. No fawn production in the panhandle in 2011 and 2012.  A few hundred thousand mule deer, population generally on the decline.  About 6,000 Axis deer in the wild who have escaped from hunting ranches. Introduced in 1932 from southern India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka.  
     The Hill Country has the highest deer population in 2016, an estimated 2.2 million deer, or 118 deer per 1,000 acres, 76 per square mile.  The Cross Timbers region had about 600,000 deer or 56 deer per 1,000 acres.  Post Oak Savannah has about 400,000, 35 per 1,000 acres.  PIneywoods has a much lower estimated deer population, about 260,000 deer.  The state average is about 40 deer per 1,000 acres, about 26 per square mile.  Texas maintains good deer demographics, with over 60 percent of bucks killed 3.5 years or older.  Before antler restrictions, this group was only 30-35 percent of the harvest.  Screwworms kept the population in the 1950's and 60's with the peak population in the modern era prior to 1955 estimated at about 500,000.  Screworms were controlled by release of sterile males.  The 1989 estimated population:  3.5 million.  An estimated 232,000 in 1938.  About 110,000 deer in 1300 captive breeding farms in 2015 and 2016.
     An estimated $1.5 billion annually related to Texas deer hunts, $2.2 billion including deer breeding and tourism according to a Texas A&M study.  A hunting success rate of about 70 percent in 2013.  Antler restrictions are in place for 117 counties requiring at least a 13 inch inside spread.  Spike bucks are also legal.
     Chronic Wasting Disease was first detected in far West Texas, the Trans-Pecos,  during the summer of 2012 in the remote far western reaches of El Paso and Hudspeth counties near the border with New Mexico. Many years ago in a effort to increase populations, mule deer were transported into New Mexico from norther Colorado -- ground zero for Chronic Wasting.  In 2015, a captive deer tested positive in a captive breeding ranch southwest of San Antonio in Medina county.   In 2017 the first wild white-tailed deer tested positive.
    Elk, hunted to extinction in the early 1900's, previously found in the Trans-Pecos and western Panhandle.   In the late 1920's, 40 elk were transported from South Dakota and released into the Guadalupe Mountains.  Managed as livestock by the Texas Animal Health Commission.

Useful links:
- Texas Hunting Regulations 
- DeerAustin.Org for information on deer management in Austin, Texas 
- American Deer & Wildlife Alliance is a non-profit organization dedicated to the growth of the deer and wildlife industry, and to help educate the public and youth on conservation and wildlife issues.
- Texas Parks and Wildlife  

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