Texas Deer News

Study hopes to prevent mule deer from eating crops August 21, 2016 Texas, Amarillo.com
... there is little information on the migration patterns of the mule deer population. While the main goal of the study is provide farmers, ranchers and hunters with the knowledge needed to protect their crops ... there is a new concern involved in the migration: Chronic wasting disease... If there were an outbreak among humans, Soto explained, there is little to be done ...

... no new fees or fee increases this year... About 98 percent of Texas is private property. The wildlife belongs to all Texas citizens, but the division of land is not so equitable... The last estimate of Texas deer hunters was roughly 600,000 ...

A very rare Whitetail Buck and Axis Buck fight in the Texas Hill Country. - August, 2016


Why Commercial Venison Sales Are Banned in Texas August 12, 2016 texasstandard.org
... Wildlife is a public trust resource, meaning that wildlife generally speaking in this country and in North America are owned by the public ... Once we go down the path of legalizing the sale of venison, that’s de facto livestock ... Greg Simons, former president of the Texas Wildlife Association ...

Mule deer study to benefit farmers, hunters August 9, 2016 Texas, KXXV News Channel 25
... migration pattern of mule deer and how it affects hunting and farming in the panhandle has never been tracked before...  Texas Parks & Wildlife is teaming up with Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute ... to learn how landowners can best cope with these deer... will track the migration patterns of 73 deer in Ochiltree, Hansford, Roberts and Hutchinson counties...

Commission OKs changes to deer hunting rules for 2016-17 August 8, 2016 Texas, San Angelo Standard-Times
...  includes expanding white-tailed deer hunting into 14 counties across the western Panhandle, and creating additional deer hunting opportunities in East Texas... Elimination of the Antlerless and Spike-buck Control Permit because of demand ... Increase the number of doe days ...

TPWD keeps tabs on statewide deer population August 6, 2016 Texas, Texas All Outdoors official logo
... a growth spurt since the 2011 drought. The upward trend shows the total population at an estimated 4 million animals. The bulk of Texas’ deer are in the Edwards Plateau or Hill Country where TPWD counts put the population at more than 2.2 million. The Cross Timbers region of Northcentral Texas has an estimated 600,000-plus deer followed by the Post Oak region with more than 400,000 and the Pineywoods with over 260,000...

Granite Shoals, Group petitioning against deer-feeding ban in Granite Shoals August 3, 2016 Texas, The River Cities Sunday Tribune
... The council adopted the deer-feeding ban as part of its overall plan to address the white-tailed deer population in the city... What Steenbergen’s group wants instead is an annual fee system in place in which residents can feed deer at $25 or pay $75 to use a larger bin...

TPWD Sets Public Hearings on Deer Movement Rule Proposals in Areas with CWD August 1, 2016 Texas Parks & Wildlife Department - Texas.gov
... The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) is seeking public comment on proposed rules establishing chronic wasting disease (CWD) zones and restricting movement of live deer authorized under TPWD permits to or from properties within those zones... The public is invited to provide comment at upcoming open meetings, comment online or in writing to TPWD, CWD Rules Public Comment, 4200 Smith School Road, Austin, TX 78744, and in person at that address during the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission public hearing Aug. 24 at 9 a.m...

Hunting license fees can be high, but there is a cheaper alternative July 31, 2016 Texas, Dallas Morning News
... A single hunting spot on a high-quality deer lease may cost $15,000 and up. These are well-managed, well-known ranches, mostly in South Texas ... Drawn hunts are like playing the lottery except your chances of winning are much higher... public hunting program ... fees are $3 to $10 ...

Deer family spotted in west El Paso July 29, 2016 Texas, KFOX 14
... a rare sight Friday afternoon.  A family of deer was spotted crossing the busy street... the deer likely made there way down the mountain because of the drought...

... For the second consecutive year, a mild, wet winter and wet spring produced a flush of vegetation... should be an average or above-average year for fawn production. Abundant forage meant does maintained good body condition through pregnancies ... Heavy, flooding rains hit parts of Texas early in fawning season, and biologists suspect some fawns might have been lost to flooding...

Garden Ridge, Dozens of deer euthanized in Garden Ridge July 11, 2016 Texas,  WOAI
... 131 deer were trapped and processed at tax payer's expense ... I saw them trapping the deer," said Dudley. He watched as trappers dropped nets over herds of deer and then hauled away. "I was told by a person who had knowledge of it about shooting the deer in the trailers," ...

... Texas’ main line of defense is inside high fences, and to be even more exact high fences at deer breeding operations.  That is where 24 cases of CWD have been found ... Arkansas does have a small number of commercial high fence hunting operations ,.. banned the importation of deer, elk and other cervids in 2002... Arkansas’ new rules include a ban on feeding wildlife ...

5 Deer swimming on Lake Houston - 3 Bucks and 2 Does. - July 9, 2016


Don't let Texas deer disease live and spread to humans July 6, 2016 Fort Worth Star Telegram
... CWD is a deer variant of rapidly fatal brain diseases in mammals, the most recent highly publicized human iteration being mad cow disease... CWD, should it become endemic in our deer herd, would be an utter disaster for the animals themselves, the hunters who seek them ...

Read more here: http://www.star-telegram.com/opinion/opn-columns-blogs/other-voices/article88063327.html#storylink=cpy

... One of the difficulties for both wildlife officials and deer ranchers is a deer can be infected with CWD for years but show no symptoms. New tests are being developed to diagnose CWD, but the only sure way is to euthanize the animal first and take samples of tissue...

Regulations are hurting Texas deer farmers July 5, 2016 Texas, Monitor
...  the new rules don’t address the biggest concern to hunters: The spread of CWD among free-ranging deer. CWD was first found in Texas free-ranging deer in the Hueco Mountains in 2012, and authorities believe it was brought in by free-ranging deer from New Mexico. In February, CWD was found in a free-ranging deer in the Texas panhandle.

...  found Wednesday at a different Medina County facility, represents the highest rate of chronic wasting disease found at any Texas breeding operation ...  brings the total to 25 cases ...

Lakeway nonprofit taking on deer management program June 30, 2016 Texas, KXAN.com
... the nonprofit Citizen Advocates for Animals (CAFA). They want to see the city implement a sterilization program that utilizes ovariectomy – the removal of a doe’s ovaries... The process takes about 20 minutes, and the deer receive pain management during surgery and post-surgery. Their first goal: raising $12,000 to bring in two wildlife biologists to count how many deer live in Lakeway...
... Led by Claudio Soto, Ph.D., researchers from McGovern Medical School at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) have been awarded $11 million from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to study the pathogenesis, transmission and detection of prion diseases - such as chronic wasting disease in deer - that can potentially spread to humans...

To deer breeders' opposition, Texas increases disease test requirements June 25, 2016 San Antonio Express-News
... Support is widespread for using live tests on rectal or tonsil tissue to detect CWD, though many commercial breeders oppose the new rules that also tightened restrictions on when captive-bred deer may be relocated to hunting sites and, for the first time, prohibit all releases onto low-fenced properties...

Elk brought back after being hunted to extinction in state June 25, 2016 Texas,  San Angelo Standard Times
... Historically, elk could be observed throughout the Trans-Pecos and western Panhandle regions of Texas ... hunted to extinction in this state by the turn of the 20th century... in the late 1920s, Judge J.C. Hunter transported more than 40 Elk from North Dakota and subsequently released them into the Guadalupe Mountains...

Texas Wildlife Association supports CWD regs June 22, 2016 Texas, Texas All Outdoors official logo
... Broad support for the rules came in from dozens of conservation and wildlife champions ... fundamental issue is how best to protect our state’s deer herds from a deadly disease. The overwhelming amount of interest this issue has generated illustrates just how passionate Texans are about deer ...

CWD rules adopted to curb threat June 22, 2016 Texas, Corpus Christi Caller-Times
... Comments spoken during Monday's hearing in support of tighter restrictions seemed to carry a majority, though the only vote that mattered came from the governor-appointed panel of commissioners... Monday's commission vote was unanimous...

...“In a show of unprecedented unity, the Texas deer industry walked out of today’s special TPWD commission meeting after explaining to commissioners why rules ... would potentially force “hundreds of family-owned agribusinesses” to shut down ...

Deer Breeders Concerned Over New Regulations June 21, 2016 Texas, TWC News
... “Deer breeding and deer farming and high-fence hunting ranches are one of the last ways to make a profitable living out in rural Texas,” ... Many deer breeders around the state are up in arms about being forced to test their deer, since CWD is only affecting wildlife in Central Texas...

...  new regulations to address how the state is going to deal with chronic wasting disease...  There will be limited movement of breeder deer across the state, increased postmortem testing for chronic wasting disease and more live testing for the disease, too...

Chronic Wasting Disease Threatens Deer Population June 17, 2016 Texas, Texas Agricultural Land Trust
...Texas is the ONLY state to allow liberated deer to be comingled with free-range deer.  Transportation of cervids, whether they be breeder deer, or deer from the pasture increases the risk of spreading the disease to more populations...

Texas eyes new rules over fatal deer disease June 17, 2016 Valley morning Star
... Advocates aligned against deer farming say the spread of CWD threatens the $2.2 billion Texas hunters pump into the economy every year pursuing wild deer.  Most of the 1,300 permitted deer farms in Texas, unlike some other places, have more to do with trophy bucks than they do with processing and selling venison... 

Lakeway, Nonprofit pays for deer census June 16, 2016 Texas, Austin American-Statesman
...  Citizen Advocates for Animals received approval from Lakeway city staff to have a deer survey performed within the city, provided they pay for the process themselves. The biologist may then propose a nonlethal deer population control method alongside the city’s current trap, transport and process system ... our goal is to raise $75,000 to do the sterilization ...

Help fight this fatal disease threat to Texas wild deer herd, chronic wasting disease, June 15, 2016 Texas, Fort Worth Star Telegram 
... the department held a series of professionally mediated stakeholder forums ... The result was to be a report with recommendations for new guidelines to protect Texas deer herds from CWD. Unfortunately, a small group of deer breeders who participated in these forums chose not to honor their commitment to consensus ...

... part of the second episode, when he partnered with Jasper County warden Morgan Inman in a stake-out of a robotic deer decoy for illegal hunting...

Granite Shoals, Town hall meeting to cover planned bowhunting of deer in Granite Shoals June 14, 2016 Texas, The River Cities Sunday Tribune
... June 18 ... Simpson said the program is greatly dependent on volunteer bowhunters, who will use their own equipment and purchase their own supplies...

... According to a Facebook post made by the Leander Fire Department, responders found a pregnant deer killed in a crash and immediately worked to save her baby...

KHOU 11 photographer John Gibson captured two deer swimming through a flooded plain in Fort Bend County near the Brazos River on May 31, 2016.


Texas Parks and Wildlife Commissioners hold off on deer disease vote May 26, 2016 Texas, MyStatesman.com
... table a vote for 30 days — made to give commissioners more time to meet with hunters, property owners and breeders ... new rules meant to prevent the spread of a contagious, neurological disease affecting deer... But a property-owners group endorsed the new rules, concerned their herds might be affected...
... Many times she [doe] will leave the fawn there by themselves but the fawn will get up and mill around a little bit and lay back down ... if there is a concern it is best to call your area game warden ...

100% No Test deer at Stockerbuck.com May 5, 2016 Texas, Lone Star Outdoor News
... Texas ranches will be labeled as TC1, TC2 or TC3, and your ranch’s label is determined the testing category of the seller of the deer. It is designed as a first-time pass through. This is a new CWD Harvest Deer Testing Category...

Comment on CWD plan May 3, 2016 Texas, Lone Star Outdoor News
... the new chronic wasting disease (CWD) management plan ... The facilitator’s official report is available on TPWD’s website http://tpwd.texas.gov/huntwild/wild/diseases/cwd/ .... Proposed rules are available for review in the April 22, 2016 issue of the Texas Register http://sos.state.tx.us/texreg/pdf/backview/0422/0422is.pdf and public comment may be made online at http://tpwd.texas.gov/business/feedback/public_comment/ ...

It was trapped in a storm drain under a 183 overpass near MoPac in Autsin, Texas. - May 3, 2016


Three charged with white-tailed deer importation April 28, 2016 Texas, Jackson Clarion Ledger
... Durrett owns and operates a 9,000-acre enclosed ranch in Stonewall County, Texas. According to the indictment, deer were moved from Durrett's ranch to Dewayne Slade's enclosure, "...for the purpose of breeding and killing trophy white-tailed buck deer." ...

Game Wardens Investigating Deer Found Dead in SW Lubbock April 12, 2016 Texas, EverythingLubbock.com
...  the deer was discovered dismembered in plastic bags alongside the road off Quaker and County Road 7500...  Calls to "Operation Game Thief" can be made by dialing 800-792-4263....

Brain disease could impact food chain April 5, 2016 Texas, Denton Record-Chronicle
... a total of 10 white-tailed deer infected with CWD have been diagnosed in Texas since 2015. They have all originated from breeding operations that provide man-made feed to the deer...  CWD had never been discovered in the Texas deer population until 2012 when free-ranging mule deer in far West Texas ...

...  chronic wasting disease in Texas captive deer... One of those affected includes a captive raised white-tailed doe that was born and raised on-site and died on-site of natural causes at a deer breeding facility in Medina County, where the disease was not previously detected...

Texas Parks & Wildlife expands whitetail deer hunting April 4, 2016 Amarillo Globe-News
... “The white-tailed deer population expanded westward towards that New Mexico border and we’re starting to have issues ... As those two species overlap, there’s some landowners that are concerned that the whitetails will displace those mule deer in those regions, so this is another opportunity to manage those populations,” ...

... TPWD added four “doe days” in Burleson and Milam counties ... The harvest of antlerless deer in these counties was previously only permitted by a special permit ...  “As the [deer] population grows and the sex ratio gets out of whack, we will open up doe days to help address some of those problems.” ...

...  Two new cases of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in Texas captive deer ... With these new confirmations, 10 white-tailed deer in or originating from deer breeding facilities have been confirmed positive for CWD in the state since the original detection in June 2015...

Commission Approves Changes to Deer Hunting Regulations for 2016-17 March 29, 2016 Texas, Texas Parks & Wildlife Department 
   The Commission adopted the following changes to the 2016-17 Statewide Hunting Proclamation, the details of which will be incorporated into this year’s Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Outdoor Annual:  Elimination of the Antlerless and Spike-buck Control Permit due to lack of demand;  Define “unbranched antlered deer” to clarify what constitutes a legal buck across seasons ... Allow the take of antlerless deer without a permit on certain U.S. Forest Service Lands during youth-only seasons [see more]

Texas Data: About 4 million deer in 2015 and 2016, up from about 3.95 million deer in 2014, as result of significant rainfall. 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. 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.  Screw worms were a problem for deer, but in the mid-1950's they were mostly eradicated by releasing sterile male flies and the white-tailed deer population became abundant where they had rarely been seen.  The 1989 estimated population:  3.5 million.  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.
    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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I came upon this hog trap and there were two does trapped inside. I have heard about this type of thing, but never seen it before. This trap does not have a bottom, so I just lifted up one side and they both ran out. They were fine and not hurt, but this shows you a concern when trying to trap hogs. We are starting to see a lot of fence line damage from hogs. - January 28, 2016 Texas