Texas Deer News

Keep Texas Wildlife Wild December 16, 2014 Texas, Gilmer Mirro
... There are less than 1,300 deer breeders in the state, and for the past decade, they have spent millions on lobbying efforts seeking more liberty with the people’s deer. Despite outcries from Texans and hunters alike, the breeders have gone largely unopposed... Current law allows for captive-raised deer to be “hunted” just 11 days after they are liberated from captivity...

New Documentary EHD Research Documentary Texas Tech Deer Research Facility - December 15, 2014


When hunting isn't very sporting December 13, 2014 Texas, Waco Tribune-Herald
...  The “hunter” flies in on his corporate jet to a Texas ranch, hops in a Jeep and drives up to a genetically engineered trophy buck, released from captivity as little as 10 days prior. The “hunter” shoots the deer, loads up the antlers, gives the meat to whoever will take it ... Hunters and Texans agree, this is not hunting...

Acorns cause deer hunters to struggle early across Texas December 10, 2014 Texas, Tyler Morning Telegraph 
...  in East Texas. “Everyone I am talking to said nothing is eating corn because the acorn crop is so heavy.”  The same is true in the Hill Country...  the entire harvest appears to be down, and that it will be difficult to catch up before the end of the year...

There’s no monopoly on big-antlered deer in Texas December 9, 2014 Texas, Star Telegram 
... The success of intensive deer management has greatly changed the landscape for hunting leases and real estate in Texas... The ability of a manager to select a pairing of a buck and doe has greatly enhanced the ability to improve antler genetics without sacrificing the health or vitality of the deer... Texas land is about 97 percent privately owned. That means conservation of wildlife habitat depends on the motivation of private landowners ...

...  Texans for Saving Our Hunting Heritage today announced the launch of a coalition that seeks to expose unethical practices within the deer breeding industry that threaten animal health and welfare, human health and welfare and our hunting heritage... Legalize the sale of venison, which violates the Public Trust Doctrine and can lead to market hunting; Take authority for oversight of deer breeding away from Texas Parks & Wildlife Department and grant it to the Texas Animal Health Commission; ...

All is as usual when the deer feeder dispenses food. Except there is one deer that seems to be pissed off at me watching and stomps her foot to display her displeasure! - December 7, 2014



...  Shelby County game wardens received a tip of a buck possibly being shot off a roadway. When they went to investigate, they found a truck with fresh blood all over the tailgate. They then found a 10-inch spread 8-point buck. After further investigation, the game wardens issued an arrest warrant and the owner of the truck was placed in jail...

Texas game warden frees two deer entangled in rope December 5, 2014 Texas, Fox San Antonio
... Two deer in Texas dashed away from a clothesline pole after a game warden cut a nylon rope that entangled the animals by their antlers. [video below] ...


Abundant whitetail deer threaten Bastrop State Park's rebirth December 2, 2014 Texas, San Marcos Mercury
... said Jamie Hackett, the park’s superintendent. “Since the fire, it is much more open, and there are lots of things growing. There are new oaks and shrub sprouts. Deer love to eat that, so their population is on the rise, and with that we want to make sure we keep a healthy and balanced ecosystem.” ... adult and youth hunts will be allowed ...

Deer Expert Questions Success of Management December 1, 2014 Texas, Texas Deer Association
...  The 2013 deer hunt once again was a disappointment to many hunters across the nation, as deer numbers and habitat conditions continued to deteriorate. Since the late 1980s, Dr. James C. Kroll (aka “Dr. Deer), one of the world’s top deer authorities, has warned this would happen under what has become known as Traditional Deer Management...  most deer herds indeed are declining, harvest numbers are down, herd losses to diseases are up, hunters are increasingly unhappy, and habitat quality appears to be suffering as collateral damage...

Deer hunting season starts December 1, 2014 Texas, West Texas News
... Some changes have been made in the season's format this year for hunters who hunt within Wildlife Management Units 4A and 4C. Under these sections, only antlered deer can be taken from December 1 to 5...

Living the good life together: Manage rangeland for cattle and deer November 30, 2014 Texas, Bryan College Station Eagle The eagle 
... Cattle and deer compliment each other in native range utilization, primarily because they eat different types of plants. On an annual basis, a white-tailed deer's diet consists of 52 percent browse (woody plants), 36 percent forbs (non-woody broad-leaf plants) and 12 percent grass. The annual diet of cattle is 7 percent browse, 12 percent forbs and 81 percent grass. ...

Texas Axis Deer Hunt - Axis Deer November 30, 2014 blogspot.com
... The axis deer is very prevalent in the Texas hill country ... also referred to as a chital deer from their native country of India, Which means spotted in Hindustani. They have a Tan Colored coat with white spots and they stay spotted all their life. The Spots on the adults will actually get brighter as they get older...

... fire that ripped through 32,000 acres of Central Texas three years ago... “Since the fire, it is much more open, and there are lots of things growing. There are new oaks and shrub sprouts. Deer love to eat that, so their population is on the rise ... 

Injured Deer Seeks Refuge in Flour Bluff Backyard November 27, 2014 Texas, KZTV Action 10 News
... his left front hoof missing ... Her grand niece and nephew have become friends with the deer and now feed it...
... A new group called Texans for Saving our Hunting Heritage is calling for limits on the way Texas whitetail deer are bred for hunting... We're using extreme animal husbandry practices to create massive antlers in a factory farming-type scenario." ..

Mule deer season opens Friday November 26, 2014 Texas, Bigbendnow
... Wildlife officials are reminding mule deer hunters and landowners in Far West Texas about the testing protocols required in the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s (TPWD) Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) Management Plan. ... A map of CWD zones ... 

The Antler Reality November 25, 2014 Texas, Texas Deer Association
... One has only to look at the newsstand to see that antler size has become an integral part of our hunting heritage. Hunting magazines, antler scoring systems, big buck contests…and countless other pieces of evidence prove that antler size matters. The addition of social media to the consciousness of our society has only fueled the passion that modern hunters have for antlers... Pricing per acre on deer leases and real estate is not based on the quality of venison harvested. The monetary value of hunting can be influenced greatly by the antler quality of deer (real or perceived) on a property... The real success of deer breeding is based on two simple principles: selective breeding and increased fawn production ...

Be responsible as crane, mule deer seasons open November 23, 2014 Texas, Lubbock Avalanche-Journal 
... Chronic wasting disease was first found in Texas in Hudspeth and El Paso counties two years ago and the disease appears to be limited to those remote areas thanks in large part to hunter diligence, restricting unnatural movement of deer and ongoing measures to monitor and sample for evidence of the disease ... in that area ... present the unfrozen head of the deer to a designated check station ...

Mule deer season arrives in Lubbock County, hunters ready November 21, 2014 Texas, Lubbock Avalanche-Journal
...  The mule deer bag limit ... is one buck per season — no female deer may be shot. Hunting licenses accompany tags with space for hunters to describe the game and its kill date... “Tagging the deer means it’s a lawfully caught deer.” ...

There's no better time to hunt deer across East Texas November 20, 2014 Texas, Longview News-Journal
... Nov. 22 is the apex of the breeding activity for deer in our neck of the woods... South Texas deer do not get into peak activity levels until around Christmas... fawns are born after an average of 200 days gestation period ...

Port Mansfield, Tourists warned to be careful around South Texas deer November 16, 2014 Texas, Star Telegram 
... Norm Lavelle loves the deer he feeds ... he was gored last January ... Authorities are warning residents and tourists to be careful when they are around deer during the rutting season, when the deer become more aggressive...



County’s first mule deer season opens Saturday November 14, 2014 Texas, My Plainview
... Hale, Castro and Lubbock counties would have their first mule deer season in modern times starting Nov. 22-30 ... Shawn Gray, of the TPWD mule deer and pronghorn program, told the Herald that he believed the mule deer populations were healthy enough and could support a buck-only season ...

... Texas' Managed Lands Deer Permit program has become a victim of its own success ... One problem is the explosion of program participation and the resulting overwhelming of the modest corps of state wildlife agency staffers charged with its administration and monitoring ...

'Unicorn deer' found on two continents November 13, 2014 Texas, KHOU 
...  a hunter shot an elderly roe deer bearing a single, centered antler in the forests of Slovenia ... both antlers had fused into one ... in Washington state in mid-October ... it turned out to be a doe with a single antler...

...  approved acceptance of a land donation to create the new 14,037-Acre Yoakum Dunes Wildlife Management Area in Cochran, Terry and Yoakum Counties near Lubbock ... The primary impetus for the WMA is conservation of the lesser prairie chicken ... will also provide important habitat for ... mule deer....



Southwest Texas deer crop expected to be great this year November 9, 2014 Texas, Abilene Reporter-News
... “Though it hasn’t been a year with a lot of moisture from the beginning, when we really needed it, the moisture came, from Memorial Day on,” ... “Every hunter that comes to the region spends about $2,000 to hunt an average of 13 days,” ...

Telling a deer's age may take more than just looking at the antlers November 8, 2014 Texas, Tyler Morning Telegraph ·
... use some of the basic antler characteristic like wider inside spread and more points. You can tell more about a deer’s age from that than you can from body size, neck and wrinkles ... Statewide there was a lack of a fawn crop in 2011. This has resulted in the lack of 3ᄑ-year-old bucks and does this year...

Whitetail deer breeding season peaks at different times across Texas November 8, 2014 Texas, Lubbock Avalanche-Journal 
...  In the Rolling Plains, most does were bred from Oct. 8 to Dec. 30, and study areas showed a peak date of Dec. 3 in northern stretches of the region and a peak of Nov. 20 in the south... South Texas had the latest rut with breeding dates ranging from Nov. 9 to Feb. 1 ... 

 ... set out on Halloween to hunt a West Texas buck dubbed Funky D. ... The idea is to kill management bucks early, before they get a chance to breed and pass along poor antler genetics. Funky’s antlers, shaped the same as last year’s, definitely qualify as poor genetics ... 

Hunters urged to help CWD from spreading in Texas November 2, 2014  Lubbock Avalanche-Journal 
... Chronic wasting disease is not prevalent in Texas, having only been discovered in the remote far western reaches of El Paso and Hudspeth counties ...  New Mexico is among the states where the disease has been confirmed ...  The real threat remains the unscrupulous individual attempting to make big bucks by illegally smuggling deer ...

Rains bolster deer herds October 31, 2014 Texas, San Angelo Standard-Times 
... Alan Cain, deer program leader for the TPWD, said weather conditions have been favorable since the early part of 2014.  “... wildlife biologists use rainfall as a barometer for gauging hunting seasons because of the direct correlation between rainfall and impacts to habitat during certain times of the year,” ...

Deer season opens across a changing Texas landscape October 31, 2014 Corpus Christi Caller 
... ranches owned by thousands of Texas Deer Association members are far better managed than habitat left to the ravages of nature, and, therefore, more likely to produce healthier deer with more impressive head gear... obvious modern management tools involves surrounding properties with tall game fences that keep desired whitetail genetics in and poor genetics out. ..

Just about every creature in this North Texas ecosystem takes advantage of a buck after it goes down — and Lone Star Outdoor News was there to capture every minute of it. Watch and see just what sort of impact even a dead deer can have on its environment. - October 30, 2014



Deer hunters must heed several rules October 29, 2014 Texas, San Angelo Standard-Times
... Alan Cain, TPWD’s white-tailed deer program leader, said that from 2007-2013 the fawn survival rate has been above 45 percent each of the years, resulting in an abundance of animals. He is urging hunters to harvest not only bucks, but to thin herds of doe... bucks don’t reach maturity until about 5 years old ... 

... “The brand new White-tailed Deer Management Calendar is meant to help landowners, hunters and wildlife managers understand what, when and how to implement practices that benefit deer herds,” ... available on the iTunes store for .99 cents...

A cool start to deer season, but challenges linger October 29, 2014 Texas, Chron.com
...  Texas' 700,000-plus deer hunters ... this past year, when almost 60 percent of Texas' deer hunters took at least one deer... "The eastern part of the Edwards Plateau saw more rain than the western part, so overall body condition and antler development look better the farther east you go," ...  South Texas, which saw good spring and summer rains over much of the region and a much milder-than-normal summer ...

Acorn crop and rainfall impact Highland Lakes deer prospects October 28, 2014 Texas, The River Cities Daily Tribune
... “Some areas are seeing acorns, while in other areas, we didn’t seem to get much acorn crop at all,” ... "In general, conditions look to be pretty good,” ... “Overall, this should be a good year,” ...

Mule deer hunters — CWD testing protocols still in place this season October 27, 2014 Texas, Lone Star Outdoor News
... the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s Chronic Wasting Disease Management Plan.  The plan includes mandatory check stations for susceptible species like elk and mule deer taken inside the CWD Containment Zone, which covers portions of Hudspeth, Culberson, and El Paso counties. A map of CWD zones can be found on the department’s website at http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/cwd.
... the upcoming white-tailed deer season should be about average. ... surveys indicate better than average (above 45 percent) fawn survival in 2007, 2010, 2012 and 2013... In 2011, Texas deer hunting generated about $1.25 billion in retail sales, over $135 million in state and local taxes and more than $171 million in federal taxes while supporting 22,136 jobs. That’s based on a survey by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service ...

Growing bigger trophies October 23, 2014 Texas, Brownwood Bulletin
... Restrictions in East Texas counties are leading to better antler production...  Fragmented property lines and a small deer population that allowed for only a single buck harvest per hunter in most counties . ... Prior to antler restrictions many hunters in the area would shoot any buck just to harvest a deer ...  the department suggested that a buck whose antlers have a spread that grows beyond both ear tips meets the minimum width requirement ...

Texas Crop Report October 21, 2014 The State
...Southwest:  The condition of wildlife and livestock was on the upswing. Quail numbers and deer antler growth looked good. However, deer body condition scores were below normal but improving...

Corpus Christi pair plead guilty to illegal deer breeding October 21, 2014 Texas, Lone Star Outdoor News
... a decade long series of criminal and wildlife disease investigations involving a former South Texas deer breeder ended recently when a Corpus Christi area couple pleaded guilty to 50 charges of Unlawful Possession and/or Sale of Live Game Animals...

TPWD: Prospects good for deer season October 17, 2014 Texas, Your Houston News
... Texas hunters should see deer in good condition and above average numbers of mature bucks when the general season kicks off Nov. 1 statewide... wildlife biologists use rainfall as a barometer for gauging hunting season because of the direct correlation between rainfall and impacts to habitat ... mast crops (acorns, mesquite beans, etc.) ... in good supply this year...

TPWD reminds hunters about proper deer carcass disposal October 17, 2014 Texas, News Center 23 KVEO 
... CWD (chronic wasting disease) was first found in Texas in Hudspeth and El Paso counties two years ago ...  “One possible way that disease can spread is by the transportation and improper disposal of carcass parts.”  Deer can become infected with CWD if they come into contact with other infected deer or an environment contaminated with CWD prions ...

Deer fight outside my office near the Arboretum in Austin, TX. - October 13, 2014



Coyote population in East Texas due to increase of pig population? October 11, 2014 Tyler Morning Telegraph 
... Alan Cain, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s white-tailed deer program leader said, for example, there are individual instances where coyotes may be an issue with a deer herd, but that isn’t the case across the state.  “From a statewide perspective coyotes are not an issue. We have too many deer as it is... states in the Southeast that believe coyotes are impacting their deer populations, but ... the states are just now seeing coyotes for the first time...

... The newly elected board of directors for 2014 include Mark Hubbard of Mark Hubbard Ranch Properties in Boerne, Texas; John Hueske of Triple Threat Ranch in Somerville, Texas; Jeff Jones of Brown Trophy Whiteteail Ranch in Ennis, Texas; Zach Kennedy of JZ Whitetails in Gonzales, Texas; and Craig Wilson of Wilson Whitetail Ranch in Fair Oaks Ranch, Texas ... 

Texas Deer Hunting Forecast October, 2014 Game and Fish
....an “average” or even “below-average” season ... The Lone Star State still has the largest whitetail population in the country ... lingering drought heading into this fall’s season didn’t lay the groundwork for as optimistic an outlook as in years past ... South Texas, the Hill Country, Panhandle and the western region of the state were not so lucky in the annual rainfall lottery...

... This is the first year the USDA has issued a quarantine for cattle fever tick at the Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge. In order to keep the pests from spreading to outside areas, all hunters will have to bring their animal or kill right here a single station to be checked...

... A dispute over a deer lease near the Hillister community in Tyler County turned violent Sunday afternoon, and as a result, 42-year-old woman is dead...

Texas deer season underway — big bucks falling September 29, 2014 Texas, Lone Star Outdoor News
... Reports from hunters in South Texas, where lots of rain fell in some places, including more than three inches in Dimmit County, were not great. It was hot, muggy and bucks were not hitting feeders thanks to plenty of green forbs due to recent moisture...

Welcome Rains Boost the 2014 Hunting Forecast September 24, 2014 Texas, Insurance News Net
... Biologists look at rainfall as a major predictor of the hunting season because there is a direct correlation between rainfall, habitat (the nutrition and cover that deer need) and antler quality and fawn production... Statewide population estimates for 2013 were 3.8 million white-tailed deer. Those statistics work out to about 39 deer per 1,000 acres on average...

Communicating for Positive Change in the Industry September 19, 2014 Texas, Texas Deer Association
... , at the TPWD Commission’s quarterly meeting, Big Game Program Director Mitch Lockwood proposed rules changes governing deer permits in compliance with the provisions of SB 820. The main purpose of the proposed changes were to consolidate TPWD’s processes for refusing issuance or renewal of various deer permits and the review of those decisions...

As fall comes to Texas, more than one million hunters are gearing up for another season, which will bring more than three-billion dollars into the state’s economy. 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. A new app is now available that allows hunters to carry the Outdoor Annual with them on their mobile devices. You can download at http://www.txoutdoorannual.com/app Texas Parks and Wildlife reminds hunters they need game bird conservation stamps to hunt dove, waterfowl, turkey and quail and to check the local regulations where they will be hunting. - September 19, 2014


Texas Data:  Over 4 million deer in 2014. 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.  The population rose or at least remained about stable in 2014 as a result of relatively good weather.  South Texas had good rains and a mild summer.  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.
     The population trended upward from 2004 to 2010 with the white-tail population estimate of 3.46 million. The record setting 2011 drought 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.  In 2013, hunters took 625,567 deer, 330,535 bucks and 295,032 does.
     The Hill Country has the highest deer population, an estimated 2.1 million deer, or 113 deer per 1,000 acres.  The Post Oak Savannah and Cross Timbers regions each have about 400,000, or 35 and 37 deer per 1,000 acres. South Texas has a much lower estimated deer population, about 230,000 deer.  The state average is about 39 deerf per 1,000 acres.  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.
     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.
     Chronic Wasting Disease was first detected in far West Texas during the summer of 2012 in the remote far western reaches of El Paso and Hudspeth counties near the border with New Mexico. 

Useful links:
- Texas Hunting Regulations   - Chonic Wasting Disease Management in Texas
- 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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