Texas Deer News

... A 2-year-old buck tested positive for the disease in June after dying in an accident, marking the first CWD case in a captive-raised deer in Texas... The only other CWD ever found in Texas was in seven, free-ranging mule deer in the Waco Mountains in 2012, according to state officials, who have allowed continued hunting of that herd since the area is remote...

Granite Shoals outlines priorities for year, continues studying deer issue July 24, 2015 Texas, The River Cities Daily Tribune 
... The first step is determining the deer population, he said. That number will help the city create a plan.  “Texas Parks and Wildlife will tell you if you’re overpopulated,” the city manager said. “Then we can identify what we can actually do. No decision has been made at this moment.” ...

South Texas Deer Hunters Get A Longer Shot July 23, 2015 Tyler Morning Telegraph
... South Texas’ 105,000 hunters get the benefit of the longer season to take advantage of a rut that doesn’t kick off until about Christmas... According to TPWD’s breeding chronology charts: the rut in South Texas peaks around Dec. 16 in the eastern portion of the region and Dec. 24 in the west. In comparison, the rut in the Pineywoods is about a month earlier and about two weeks earlier in the Edwards Plateau...

... diagnosing it is not simple. In order to get a quick and reliable result on a test looking for the disease, the deer in question needs its brain stem removed. It is not a test that an animal can survive. There is another test that does not require the death of the animal, but due to the fact that it takes many months of retesting to get an accurate result, the test isn’t used often...

Chronic wasting disease containment demands vigilance, common sense July 17, 2015 Texas, AgriLife Today
... Chronic wasting disease was reported in Far West Texas in 2012, which was the first instance in the state in wild mule deer until the Medina County confirmation reported by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the Texas Animal Health Commission on July 1, 2015 ...


     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.  Staff and invited presenters will provide background, information and options to the Commission, including possible measures to further minimize the risk of CWD spreading into Texas’ free-ranging white-tailed deer herd, and to protect the captive deer breeding industry. [Click on the link to see the presentations].  The Commission may direct staff to undertake certain appropriate measures including, but not limited to, emergency rulemaking, if necessary.  MP3 Audio File of the meeting

... he found the dead deer in a pen with numerous others with its head stuck under a trough... it came back positive for CWD... he's sent nearly 900 deer to 147 facilities across the state...

... ·The state's actions in the wake of the discovery of the CWD-positive buck in the heart of Texas' Edwards Plateau, location of the highest concentration of captive-deer breeding operations and home to the state's highest number of free-ranging whitetails, include a temporary statewide prohibition on transferring or releasing captive deer, negatively affecting all captive-deer operations...

...   "The two year old buck that was diagnosed was born on the place  which means it was infected there," Schwarz said... if not contained, CWD could quickly spread to deer across the state...

Medina County case of CWD has TPWD geared up in search of more July 13, 2015 New Mexico, Tyler Morning Telegraph
... The concern is not just the welfare of the animals. Deer breeding is a multi-million dollar industry while deer hunting huntin is a multi-billion dollar operation in Texas... . Breeders who did buy deer from the breeder have already been told not to move deer to other facilities or released from their pens into pastures. In addition all deer breeding operations statewide are currently under lockdown... 

Chronic wasting disease found in captive Texas deer July 10, 2015 Magnolia Reporter 
... Texas officials have taken immediate action to secure all cervids at the Medina County breeder facility with plans to conduct additional investigation for CWD. In addition, those breeder facilities that have received deer from the Medina County facility or shipped deer to that facility during the last two years are under movement restrictions and cannot move or release cervids at this time....

CWD discovered in Medina County raises alarm July 6, 2015 Texas, Southwest Farm Press
... The deer, originating from a breeding ranch southwest of San Antonio in Medina County, marks the first captive deer in Texas and the first white-tailed deer in the state to be confirmed with CWD...  diseases in this group include scrapie in sheep, bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE or mad cow disease) in cattle, and Cruetzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans...

... 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...

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.  The 1989 estimated population:  3.5 million.  About 110,000 deer in captive breeding farms in 2015.
     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. In 2015, a captive deer tested positive in a captive breeding ranch southwest of San Antonio in Medina county.

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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