Texas Deer News

... The risks taken in allowing the concentration, widespread movement, and subsequent liberation of pen-raised breeder deer to commingle with wild deer, have left all Texans to bear the consequences...

Sales banned at facility where disease found in captive deer July 2, 2015 Texas, Fort Worth Star Telegram
... No white-tailed deer can be bought or sold at a facility where the first case of chronic wasting disease in a Texas white-tailed deer was found ...

      A two-year-old white-tailed deer in a Medina County deer breeding facility has been confirmed positive for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). This is the first case of CWD detected in captive white-tailed deer in Texas. CWD was first detected in Texas in 2012 in free-ranging mule deer in the Hueco Mountains in far West Texas....

The State of Healthy Deer Herds June 21, 2015 Texas, Texas Deer Association
... over 4 million deer roaming the Lone Star State ... For decades, the success of intensive deer management has greatly changed the landscape for hunting leases and real estate in Texas, benefiting all landowners...

'Deer Whisperer' Takes in Orphaned Fawns from Flood June 18, 2015 Texas, News Channel 9
... Weeks after the devastating flooding in Wimberley, a couple fawns saved from the waters are now living happily with a new mother... "People would not believe, they'd think oh they're just deer. But their habits are just like human beings," ...

Lakeway, City considers conducting deer count June 10, 2015 Texas, Austin American-Statesman
.. It took the passing of companion House and Senate bills at the state level in 2003 to allow the city of Lakeway to trap deer and transport them alive to a processor, a process which costs the city about $200 per deer.. Though for the first years of the practices, around 200 deer per year were processed in this way. For the past five years, the program has trapped and processed about 100 deer a year... The matter of counting the deer population has not yet come before the Lakeway City Council...

Wildlife seeking high ground June 2, 2015 Texas, North Texas e-News 
...  many whitetail fawns are a couple weeks old now and were able to follow their mothers to the safety of higher ground... Luckily for East Texas, most fawns hit the ground in early to mid May and those that were along the bigger drainages were big enough to escape the rising waters...

Surprising’ Discovery Made About Chronic Wasting Disease June 1, 2015 Texas, Food Safety News 
... grass plants can bind, uptake and transport infectious prions...  the infectious prion proteins in plants that had been exposed to urine and feces from prion-infected hamsters and deer... plants can act as a carrier of CWD ... an infected animal can shed the disease a lot over a year (via urine and feces) ...

Will the smartphone replace tagging deer, turkey? May 18, 2015 Texas, Lone Star Outdoor News
... The day of the mobile tag isn’t near, but it may be in Texas’ hunters’ future.  Eastern turkey hunters are using a mobile app, called My Texas Hunt Harvest, this season to report the harvest to Texas Parks and Wildlife Department within 24 hours of harvest...

... The phone calls come steadily throughout the year ... Many are like the one recently made by a Montgomery County resident after finding a deer carcass dumped like so much garbage in the back of a rural subdivision ... called 800-792-4263 as has happened tens of thousands of times since the Texas Legislature in 1981 created the framework for Operation Game Thief ...

...  researchers at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston ... CWD, first diagnosed in mule deer in Colorado in the late 1960s, has spread across the country into 22 states ... plants can uptake prions from contaminated soil ... the CDC recommends that people avoid eating meat from deer and elk that look sick or test positive for CWD...

Fort Worth man turns antlers into knives May 15, 2015 Texas, Dallas News
... “We lived so far out in the country that they had to pump the sunshine in. We did it out of necessity,” ... He made deer antler knives, using mostly vintage American steel blades.  His knives are like beautiful works of art...

Bright Blooms — Prehistoric Supermarket May 13, 2015 Texas, Desertexposure 
... As the Ice Age drew to a close ... n southern New Mexico and western Texas ... They saw the megafauna dwindle into extinction, to be replaced by new communities of smaller animals – for example, mule deer, pronghorn antelope and bighorn sheep ...

...  Dr. Robert McFarlane, a Palestine cardiologist... was honored as this year’s Texas Leopold Conservation Award winner for his efforts in creating The BigWoods on the Trinity, a 7,500-acre ranch that has been transformed from cattle land to a wildlife sanctuary for both game and non-game species...

What nature can teach us about motherhood May 9, 2015 May 9, 2015 Texas, Dallas Morning News
... The doe jumped the four-strand barbed-wire fence that separated private property from highway right-of-way. The fawn tried to follow, but its left rear leg came down between the top two strands of wire, which immediately kinked around the deer’s leg.  It’s not uncommon to see the remains of deer hanging in fences...

CWD detected in deer harvest From Hueco Mountain Area May 7, 2015 Texas, Bandera County Courier
... A tissue sample collected from a mule deer harvested in far West Texas tested positive for Chronic Wasting Disease ... The TAHC and TPWD adopted rules to restrict movement of deer, elk, and other susceptible species within or from the CWD Zones as well increase surveillance efforts ... map of zone [PDF] ...
 
Event will teach about wildlife May 3, 2015 Texas, Odessa American
... Sandhills wildlife appreciation day set for May 16 ... when most people think of Texas wildlife, it’s usually of white-tailed deer and bobwhite quail, but in the Sandhills of West Texas, it’s mule deer and blue quail. Both species, along with dove, will be the focus of the field day...

Grazing cattle to boost whitetail deer numbers April 29, 2015 Texas, Bryan College Station Eagle Theeagle
... Mob grazing involves moving cattle at least daily between small paddocks, sized to match the number of grazing cattle, and split by portable electric fence ... The goal is for every plant in the grazing cell to be either eaten or walked on and trampled... I can say that mob grazing of cattle has improved deer habitat," ...

Purposeful wanderings: mate search strategies of male white-tailed deer AM Foley, RW DeYoung, DG Hewitt, MW Hellickson… - Journal of Mammalogy, 2015
... During peak rut, 1 year olds had the lowest movement rates and rates were similar in 2- and ≥ 3-year-old males. However, most 2 year-old males exhibited Levy walks, an efficient search strategy when resources are rare. One-year-old males may not have exerted high effort, whereas most 2 year olds used a different strategy because of competition or lack of experience...

Granite Shoals seeks harmonious solution to deer population in city April 22, 2015 Texas, The River Cities Daily Tribune
... Living in harmony with deer is the reason for a town meeting May 2 hosted by the city of Granite Shoals and its wildlife advisory committee...

DNR may get out of the dead deer business April 21, 2015 Texas, San Antonio Express-News
... Under Walker's proposal, responsibility for carting off the dead deer would fall to whatever other government agency is in charge of the roadway. Or they may be left uncollected...

An objective look at deer hunting in Texas April 20, 2015 Waxahachie Daily Light
... Deer herds across the state were all but eliminated during the first half of the past century by meat hunting and lack of laws that regulated management and harvested. In the fifties and sixties, restocking programs occurred and deer were once again reintroduced to areas where they had once thrived... Deer breeding today is all about improving the overall quality of the herd which in turn, produces bigger bucks with bigger antlers...

Workshop examines urban deer conflicts April 16, 2015 Texas, Bandera County Courier
... Texas State University will host an interactive workshop addressing conflicts with deer in communities on Friday, May 29. Register by May 8 to attend.   The workshop will be held at 109 Student Center Drive in San Marcos...

Bullet-train backers meet resistance in rural Texas April 12, 2015 Texas, Corsicana Daily Sun
... Commissioners in nine counties along the route, who've recently passed resolutions against the plan, fear being railroaded into a project that will wreck land values, ruin the deer hunting and leave taxpayers holding the bag...

Post Oak region can produce quality deer April 11, 2015 Texas, Tyler Morning Telegraph 
... As more hobbyist become landowners the desire to produce wildlife habitat instead of cattle pastures increases... landowners are going to have to overcome their fear of fire as a management tool as well as use of the bulldozer to thin timber and a disk to encourage native grass and weed growth...

Proposed laws should be shot down April 10, 2015 Texas, Denton Record-Chronicle
... Under HB 4064, youth hunters during the special youth-only deer season weekends would be exempt from antler restrictions. There are 117 counties with antler restrictions that define a legal buck as a buck with a minimum inside spread of 13 inches or greater. A spike buck or a buck with a spike on one side also is legal in those 117 counties...

Coping with South Texas summers — How deer deal with the heat April 9, 2015 Lone Star Outdoor News
... They don’t have sweat glands ... They can pant, but that involves a loss of water and South Texas summers are often short on water...  two main ways ... through decreased movement and the other by picking cooler spots on the landscape ...

Game wardens investigate poaching in Bastrop County April 8, 2015 Texas, Austin American-Statesman
... a hunting ranch owner reported one of his deer was shot and killed from a roadway in south Bastrop County... “Here they just shot it and left.” ...

Every case important to game wardens April 5, 2015 Texas, Tyler Morning Telegraph 
... Smith County is not a hotbed of activity. It is just too urbanized these days.  There is a lot more of that in deep East Texas, South Texas and maybe portions of the Hill Country where the landholdings are bigger and the distance between houses is longer...

Mule Deer Relocated in West Texas to Help Boost Population March 26, 2015 Gilmer Mirror
... TPWD and their partners plan to translocate an additional 100 mule deer to the Black Gap WMA/ECLCC area in 2016, and will continue to monitor their movements, habitat utilization, survival, and causes of mortality through 2017...

In a multi-year effort to boost mule deer populations in parts of Far West Texas, biologists are capturing and relocating female deer, or does, to help replenish herds after the drought of the 1990s. - March 24, 2015 Texas


S.A. development forcing many deer to move March 25, 2015 Texas, KENS 5
... "People think they are trapped, but if you take a Google image and you look, we do have what we call wildlife corridors throughout the city," ...  [see video below]

Support legislation to preserve our hunting heritage March 25, 2015 Texas, Orange Leader
... A disturbing trend in Texas and across the nation is drawing attention from hunters and non-hunters alike – raising deer in captivity, much like livestock, and then releasing them to be hunted as little as 10 days later...  HB 2471, which would require that pen-raised deer only be released from captivity in the spring, when climatological and physiological factors are most conducive to a smooth transition to the wild...

Influence of white‐tailed deer population density on vegetation standing crop in a semiarid environment BL Crider, TE Fulbright, DG Hewitt, CA Deyoung…Texas, - The Journal of Wildlife …, 2015...
Diet selection theory predicts that selective foraging by white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) may reduce palatable and nutritious plants when high-quality food resources are available or deer densities are high... Variable and limited rainfall had a more pronounced effect on variation in vegetation standing crop than white-tailed deer foraging regardless of food resource availability or deer density. Vegetation responses were more complex than can be predicted by traditional theory on diet selection in part because of the pronounced effect of variation in rainfall on vegetation standing crop ...

New trend in hunting leases March 23, 2015 Texas, North Texas e-News
...  in the late fifties and throughout the sixties, the idea of leasing land for hunting was still a relatively new concept ... Here is the way the new deer lease plan works ... “We have found that most families can only hunt two or three times each season," continued Walker. "Most don’t have the leisure time to set up and keep feeders filled, etc... We plant the food plots and keep the feeders going ...

TPWD looks to revamp MLD, LAMPS programs March 22, 2015 Texas, Tyler Morning Telegraph
...  the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s Managed Lands Deer program has been a success would be a huge understatement. Involving 10,000 properties, about a third of the state’s deer habitat is enrolled in the program... “What we are talking about doing is doing away with MLDs and deer harvest assistance program (LAMPS) and going to an automated program...

CWD remains in Hueco Mountains — One positive test this season March 19, 2015 Texas, Lone Star Outdoor News
... Chronic wasting disease was detected in only one of 222 tissue samples that were collected from hunter harvested deer and elk from the Trans-Pecos ...  The disease has been detected in only seven animals, all within the Hueco Mountain area, indicating a disease prevalence of 10–15 percent within that population...

... Residents in The Woods subdivision are worried after at least two deer have turned up dead after being shot near homes... Police continue to investigate the shooting...

Proposed hunting, fishing amendment has plusses, minuses March 15, 2015 Texas, Tyler Morning Telegraph
... Since Texas hunters and fishermen are already protected by laws, a constitutional ammendment might be overkill... Another real concern is that prior to a November statewide vote there will be a conversation about the amendment...

Antlers just the tip of deer debate March 8, 2015 Texas, Houston Chronicle
... There are now more than 1,250 breeders raising an estimated 110,000 deer in Texas, operating with permits issued by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department...
Watching from the sidelines is veterinarian Dan McBride of Burnet, 64, a founding member of the TDA, who said ... "God made the perfect wildlife animal when he made the white-tailed deer," ...

The Impact of Feral Hogs on Deer February 25, 2015 Texas, Hogman-Outdoors
... In addition to restricting food sources, wild hogs have the potential to carry several diseases which can be threatening to deer ...  Perhaps the worst threat feral hogs pose to deer comes in a threat to their young. Hogs are known for preying on fawns...

Man runs over deer for "free meat" February 17, 2015 Texas, KETK
... A Henderson County game warden received a call from the Chandler Police Department stating a caller witnessed a person run over a white-tailed doe in a neighborhood, and then threw the deer carcass in the bed of his truck and sped off. Another caller informed the warden he had seen a doe in the bed of a truck with only the hindquarters missing...

Don’t neglect deer feeding program February 12, 2015 Texas, Longview News-Journal
... a good basic feeding program will act as the fertilizer to help your deer and deer herd grow. Supplemental feeding coupled with planting is the best strategy ... A mineral feeding station is another good idea. Some areas may benefit from an artificial watering ...

Game warden: Deer shot illegally in Lynn County February 11, 2015 Texas, Lubbock Avalanche-Journal
... a buck early Saturday morning that appeared to have been shot and left to die. The deer was in a pasture near the intersection of FM 400 and County Road 18, just north of Tahoka...  call 1 (800) 792-4263 (GAME)

New Braunfels, 2 charged after deer slain within New Braunfels city limits February 11, 2015 Texas, Valley Morning Star
... Police investigating reports of gunfire near downtown New Braunfels (BRAHN'-felz) have arrested two men who had three dead deer in their truck...

Mule Deer Foundation February 5, 2015 Texas, The Fort Stockton Pioneer
... The species has not adapted well to changes in its environment. As urban areas continue to spread at a fast rate and more people build homes in rural settings, mule deer and their habitat will suffer. With interstates expanding and the Texas drought, the species has not been able to adjust, making it crucial for wildlife support to be able to assist ...   Emmett Burroughs ... realized that the species was taken for granted...

Buck found in pen near Goldthwaite, released by wardens January 30, 2015 Texas, Lone Star Outdoor News
... After the buck succumbed to the anestesia, the group loaded the deer in the warden’s truck for relocation...  It remains to be seen if the buck will be able to make it in the wild...

Wildlife biologist counts antler inches instead of deer on hunt, mule deer January 24, 2015 Texas, Tyler Morning Telegraph
... Found across the Trans Pecos region and portions of the Panhandle, mule deer are Texas’ other deer. They don’t exist in nearly the numbers that white-tailed deer do, and a conservative attitude by landowners concerning the deer has meant limited hunting options....

Captive Deer Hunting Operations Under Scrutiny In Rural America January 22, 2015 Texas, International Business Times 
    Some farmers in rural America have taken to flipping their land from growing crops to breeding whitetail deer for a lucrative hunting business that some wildlife officials are cracking down on... “We feel we are approaching a $1 billion industry,” says Chase Clark, president of the Texas Deer Association ... About half of states already prohibit deer from being sold across borders ...

... About 30 years ago, the practice of construction high (game-proof) fences became popular in Texas.  The reason for building these high fences was to create an environment where the overall quality of the animals could be improved... decide exactly which bucks he wished to harvest each season and assure that he had mature bucks to harvest in upcoming years... 

Comments sought for expanded hunting at wildlife refuge January 19, 2015 Texas, Valley Morning Star
... Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge is accepting comments through Feb. 6, on a proposal to expand hunting ...  a maximum of 20 rifle and 40 archery permits for the 2,400-acre La Selva Verde tract for white-tailed deer, feral hog and nilgai hunting ... Comments should be sent to chris_perez@fws.gov

...  Some people in Georgetown say their neighbors are feeding wildlife ... All council members agreed on Tuesday was to write up a possible ordinance...

...  Land in Texas is about 97 percent privately owned and money from hunting leases help landowners make a living off their farms and ranches.  I’ve seen many ranch owners that used to raise cattle, sheep and goats turn away from livestock and groom their lands for wildlife...

Deer season winds down this weekend January 1, 2015 Texas, Longview News-Journal 
... Texas has 256 counties and all but 18 have some type of deer season. Some are shorter, some are longer ...The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department conducts surveys and counts throughout key time periods to determine any proposals or recommendations for changes...

Texas Data:  Over 4 million deer in 2014 and 2015. 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 and a wet 2015 spring has likely increased the population.  South Texas had good rains and a mild summer in 2014.  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 110,000 deer raised by deer breeders in 2015. 
     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.  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. 

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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