Texas Deer Population:  About 4.3 million deer in 2017, a dry summer for much of the state.  An estimated 4.2 million deer in 2016 and 4 million in 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

... Perry wrote Senate Bill 720, which lawmakers passed during this year's legislative session, to help the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department curb chronic wasting disease ... The state had 4.3 million white-tailed deer last year, and the department estimated there would be the same amount this year..,

Antler restrictions, ET [East Texas] hunters reminded of the 13-inch rule as 2017 deer season busts wide open November 5, 2017 Texas, Lufkin Daily News
...Antler restrictions were first implemented as a experiment in the early 2000s in six southeast Texas counties. Since that time the regulation has been expanded to more than 100 East Texas counties... two bucks per season. One of the bucks must have an inside spread of 13 inches or more, while the second must be a spike or have at least one unbranched antler...
... Under the preliminary proposal, in Briscoe, Hall, Childress, Floyd, Motley, and Cottle counties, a legal mule-deer buck would be defined as one with an outside antler spread of 20 inches or more ,,,The antler-restriction rule is similar to one TPWD has used to great effect to protect young whitetail bucks and improve herd structure and average age of bucks taken by hunters...

Expect another high harvest season in Hill Country, South Texas November 2, 2017 Texas, San Antonio Express-News
... “We had good weather conditions into late winter, which set the stage for a good spring with green weeds and good forage available from February to May,” Cain said. “It dried up a little in July and August in parts of South Texas ..,

... Texas holds an estimated 4.2 million whitetails ... as bucks age, their antlers tend to grow larger, often peaking somewhere between 51/2 and 61/2 years, then going downhill as the bucks, which seldom live to 10 years ..,

Hunters Out in Force as Deer Season Begins October 31, 2017 Texas, The Picayune
... According to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, the state’s estimated 4.3 million white-tailed deer are continuing to do well in most regions. “The vast majority of the state had good habitat conditions going into last winter and early spring ... The summer months brought a mix of dry conditions ..,

The dos and don'ts of deer hunting season in Texas October 29, 2017 Dallas News
...  average to above-average numbers of deer harvested, according to Alan Cain ... habitat conditions, which were good when 2017 began. About May, the weather pattern turned dry in most of the state... Last year's estimate was 4.3 million deer ... Cain said there are similar numbers, if not more, this season..,

Central Texas could see banner year for hunting October 28, 2017 Waco Tribune-Herald
... “Deer populations in Central Texas made it through last year’s mild winter in good condition, and had abundant food resources due to early spring rains,” ... area has enjoyed 3 years of above-average rainfall. 

... corn tainted with Fusarium fungi ... corn tainted with Fusarium fungi ... purchase a quality product ...

Chronic Wasting Disease reported in Texas elk October 19, 2017 Outbreak News Today
... confirmed Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in an elk located within the South-Central Texas CWD Zone. The elk was harvested on a high fenced premises with common management as a property where whitetailed deer were previously confirmed to have CWD...

Exotics provide unlimited opportunities! October 16, 2017 Texas, KENS 5 TV
... Axis deer were brought into Texas, from India in 1932. Most were kept on high fence ranches, but of course eventually some escaped. Since then they have spread throughout 45 counties ...

Suburban Deer Management, Delivered at the 2017 Finding Common Ground Workshop hosted by the Hill Country Chapter of the Texas Master Naturalists in Boerne, TX on October 6, 2017.


Area Deer Rehabilitated & Released at Camp Don Harrington October 9, 2017 Texas, MyHighPlains
... Four white-tailed deer fawns ... either covered in cuts, emaciated, or suffering from a heat stroke... The deer now can thrive and survive without fear of being hunted. That is because Camp Don is protected land...

Majestic felines subsist chiefly on deer, porcupines October 8, 2017 Texas, San Angelo Standard-Times
...  adult Mountain Lions superficially resemble the lions of the Old World, though it is more closely related to the domesticated house cat... numerous studies have shown that the vast majority of their diet (82 percent!) consists of Mule and White-tailed Deer...

Bowhunting Season For Deer And Turkey Starts Sept. 30 September 26, 2017 Texas, Patch.com
... white-tailed deer in Texas have fared well in recent years with a stable population of about 4.3 million, according to Alan Cain, TPWD whitetail deer program leader...  the summer for much the state, 2017 saw dry weather patterns take hold in May and continue into late August..,

State Deer Breeding Rules to Stave Off Deadly Disease Upheld in Court September 25, 2017 Texas, Big Country Homepage
... Attorney General Ken Paxton ... “TPWD’s lawful rules regulating the movement of breeder deer reduce the probability of CWD being spread from deer-breeding facilities, where it may exist, and increase the chances of detecting and containing CWD if it does exist,” ...
     Court sides with state wildlife officials in battle over deer disease September 25, 2017 Texas, MyStatesman.com
... filed a lawsuit, seeking to upend the rule-making authority of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department by challenging a century-old provision in which all deer in Texas are considered public property... ordered Bailey and Peterson to pay a total of nearly $426,000 for the state’s attorney’s fees....

Deer census a key step in permit process, population control September 23, 2017 Texas, MyStatesman.com
...  Our buck-doe ratio has stayed pretty much 1-1,” he says, “and we want to keep it that way. Plus we want to reduce our numbers to try to get our population closer to a deer to 6-7 acres.” ...  MLDPs [Managed Lands Deer Permits] have become a popular way to extend hunting seasons and allow landowners room to take deer when they see them ...

2017 Texas Deer Forecast  September 21, 2017 gameandfishmag.com
...   The overall population trend remains stable in most areas of Texas ... Our deer population estimate statewide was about 4.2 million in 2016 and that figure has been growing slightly every year. The trend is going up and has been going up for a while ..,

Compressed air powers unique deer supplement system September 14, 2017 Texas, San Antonio Express-News
... the feeder holds up to 650 pounds of feed and is designed to fire food out and away from the tube-shoot ... using galvanized steel and a long shoot tube, the feeder is “coon-proof, hog-proof, mud-proof, wind-proof, cattle-proof and fool-proof,”...

Hurricane Harvey displaces countless animals in Texas September 2, 2017 Texas, ABS-CBN News
... Houston also contains the most populated and diverse wild animal ecosystem in Texas. Deer, wild hogs, raccoons, and armadillos are the most populous wild mammals within the Harvey-hit region ...

  Baby deer rescued from Houston floodwaters August 29, 2017 Texas, NBC4 Columbus
... rescued along the San Jacinto River in a northeast Houston community...

Hurricane Harvey and The Great Houston Flood (Part 4) Deer on the Run - August 28, 2017 Texas


7 deer-proof plants perfect for SA to plant now August 24, 2017 Texas, San Antonio Express-News 
... One of the best deer-proof shrubs is Sandankwa Viburnum... primrose jasmine ...  mountain laurel ...  thyrallis ...  one of the best perennials .. bearded iris
     Try to outsmart the deer with these 'deer resistant' plants August 22, 2017 Texas, Austin American-Statesman
... They tend to turn up their noses at herbs and plants with pungent scents like garlic, rosemary and mint. Textures like fuzzy or rubbery leaves often repel them. And they generally pass by plants with thick or poisonous sap. Sometimes they leave thorny or prickly-leafed plants alone ..,

... the deer farming industry generates $3 billion per year for the U.S. economy... Companies that maintain deer registries can provide their customers information about a deer’s lineage and genetic information... NADR hired DNAS to process the genetic information of various deer, perform genetic matching services, and host a database ...

  Woman Seen With Baby Deer On Leash At The Alamo July 28, 2017 Texas, NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
... she told the warden she picked the deer up on the side of the road and wanted to take Fourth of July photos with it... The fawn ended up being taken to a licensed Texas Parks and Wildlife rehabilitator...

Low-cost, high-quality hunting in Texas just a click away July 9, 2017 Houston Chronicle
... The incorporation of the Aransas NWR deer hunts into the TPWD-run public hunting program expands a cooperative effort between the TPWD and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the federal agency overseeing the national wildlife refuge system...

Granite Shoals Wildlife Advisory Committee hosting town hall June 23, 2017 Texas, DailyTrib.com
... Granite Shoals leaders initiated a deer management program last year that included a controlled hunt allowing qualified archers to take female (does) white-tailed deer within city limits... By state law, the deer had to be turned into venison and used for human consumption...

Dietary Supplementation Strategies for the Captive White-tailed (Odocoileus virginianus) Breeding Doe AM Adams - 2017
...  Overall, breeding does receiving the phytogenic nutritional supplement in their diet consumed more feed, gained BW and exhibited increased RFS during the 84-day observation period. Results of these experiments indicate that nutritional supplements may improve performance in captive deer, but further research is needed to determine the most effective supplement type during different seasons and their impact on stress...

Aussies tour Concho Valley ranch June 18, 2017 Texas, ReporterNews.com
... “We have introduced a deer management plan (Managed Lands Deer Permit) to the ranch after the increased whitetail deer population was competing with livestock for grazing,” Franklin told the visitors. “We work with the wildlife organization to harvest a portion of the deer each year.,,

... feeding is defined as “the act of placing or permitting to be placed on the ground, or within six feet of the ground, any grain, fodder, salt licks, fruit, vegetables, nuts, hay or any other edible materials, which may reasonably be expected to result in deer or geese feeding ...

Fully sequenced deer genome made publicly available June 2, 2017 Texas, Baylor College of Medicine News
... Researchers at Baylor College of Medicine have played a leading role in sequencing the whole genome of the common white-tailed deer, which has recently been made public by the National Center for Biotechnology Information... Dr. Brendan Lee, chair of the Department of Molecular and Human Genetics at Baylor...

Lawmakers are hit and miss on outdoors legislation May 31, 2017 Texas, Chron.com
... narrowly failed to gain final passage ... landowners and deer hunters taking advantage of the state's Managed Lands Deer Program (MLDP) would pay an annual fee (expected to range from $30 to $250) that would go to help offset the costs of administering the program...

White-tailed deer fawns landing in favorable conditions May 18, 2017 Texas, Texas Farm Bureau
... the current fawning period is about normal for the state... 

Austin, Council OKs hunt to curb deer population May 16, 2017 Texas, Austin Daily Herald
...  unanimously voted Monday night in favor of approving an application for a special deer hunt scheduled for Nov. 1 to Dec. 20 this year...

Texas tallies 50th CWD case May 15, 2017 San Antonio Express-News
... A white-tail deer bred in Medina County has been diagnosed with chronic wasting disease, state officials announced Monday, marking the 50th case of the neurological disorder identified in Texas since it first surfaced here in 2012...

Captive deer must retain tags April 19, 2017 Texas, mySanAntonio.com
... House Bill 2855 by Rep. Chris Paddie, R-Marshall, requests removal of the visible ear tag on captive deer. ... The deer industry survives on manipulating extra label use of pharmaceuticals to enhance antler growth... Rep. Larry Phillips, R-Sherman, proposed House Bill 3723, which would allow deer breeders to sell the meat of rejected deer that routinely have been jacked up on drugs...

College student wins $50,000 deer farm April 19, 2017 Texas, lsonews.com
... The package consisted of: Materials and labor to construct up to a one half acre size deer pen ...  Two mature white-tailed does and two straws of semen provided ...

...Texas landowners and deer hunters taking advantage of the state's Managed Lands Deer Program would pay a fee that would go to help offset the costs of administering the increasingly popular program ... that involves placing the property under a wildlife management plan approved by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department biologists ...

State finds 49 animals with CWD out of nearly 10,000 tested April 12, 2017 Texas, Corpus Christi Caller-Times
...chronic wasting disease...  Only 18 of the cases involving hunting were free-ranging animals. One was a whitetail, One was an elk. And 16 were mule deer in far West Texas near the New Mexico border...

Professors and Scientists Dr. David Hewitt, Dr. Randy DeYoung and Dr. Aaron Foley have been keeping track of a deadly disease attacking White Tailed Mule Deer, Elk and other species of deer in certain parts of the country. Now they are tracking the spread of the disease in certain parts of Texas and warn hunters to be careful when handling dead deer carcasses to avoid further spreading of the disease. - April 11, 2017 Texas


... The TWA’s statement warns ... impair critical wildlife movement corridors for species such as black bears, mountain lions, white-tailed and mule deer, and desert bighorn sheep, among others.” ...

.. The first confirmed case of CWD in a free-ranging Texas whitetail was detected in a hunter harvested 1 1/2 -year-old buck submitted for sampling within the Surveillance Zone 3 located in portions of Medina, Uvalde, and Bandera counties. [peviously detected in mule deer].  --The first known free-ranging elk in Texas to test positive for CWD, harvested by a hunter in Dallam County... To date, Texas has recorded 49 confirmed cases of CWD, of which 26 were discovered in captive deer breeding pens ...

... During the initial program, which ran Oct. 4, 2016-Jan. 12, 2017, the chosen hunters harvested 75 does with only four arrows and eight deer that went unrecovered... “We were able to eliminate a number of does at a very reasonable cost.” ...

... “Wild pigs are the most prolific large animal that we have out on the landscape today, and they can outbreed any other native deer or exotic deer that we have out there. So they’re actually driving some populations of wildlife in the opposite direction as they continue to climb.” ...

Big Bend Mule Deer Restoration Effort Advancing March 22, 2017 Texas, Texas Trophy Hunters Association
... To boost a struggling mule deer population in parts of the Big Bend region of far West Texas, wildlife personnel relocated 98 does... to the Black Gap Wildlife WMA and adjacent El Carmen Land ...

How to Properly Cull the Herd — Part I March 15, 2017 Texas, North American Whitetail Magazine
... Making bucks with an outside spread of under 14 inches off limits resulted in nearly all yearlings being protected. It also protected many 2 1/2-year-olds. Over time, the rule increased the number of older bucks. In the quarter-century since, modified forms of this strategy have found their way into use across much of North America...

Experts say West Texas wildfires bring some ecological benefits March 7, 2017 LubbockOnline.com
... larger mammals, such as mule deer, white tail deer and cattle, are attracted to areas affected by fires because they prefer to graze on the newer shoots of grasses ...fire clears off all that old, dead grass and increases the availability of sunlight and nutrients for new emerging shoots ...

Deer management plan meeting well-attended March 2, 2017 Minnesota, Monte News
... Deer hunting generates $500 million annually to the state's economy," said Murkowski. About 650,000 licenses were sold and about 173,000 deer were harvested in 2016, which was up from the 2015 harvest of almost 160,000. This year's mild winter should contribute to increased deer reproduction this year...

Texas OKs toxin for war against feral hogs February 25, 2017 Houston Chronicle
...  would allow Kaput Feral Hog Bait, a pesticide containing the anticoagulant warfarin as its active ingredient ... to limit exposure of non-target species such as deer ... it mandate use of a specially designed feeder with a heavy "guillotine" door that must be lifted to access the bait...

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 4.3 million deer in 2017, a dry summer following two years of widespread consistent rain and good habitat conditions.  A total deer population estimated at 4.2 million in 2016, up from about 4 million in 2015 and  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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