November 20, 2006 - Admin
Deer Hunting in Texas a Synonym for White Tail Deer
The big state of Texas is synonymous with white tail deer hunting. Because it is so big there are different ways to hunt in completely different landscapes.
Hunting in south Texas is usually done on big privately owned ranches. In fact, most deer hunting in Texas is done on private land. The bigger the horns, the bigger the price tag. Usually when you think of big deer and horns you think of south Texas. Hunting out west towards Abilene usually provides you with good results. Going north towards the red river involves trees and open spaces. Hunting east towards Louisiana puts you in a completely different geographic area where you will find trees and more trees and forests beyond comprehension.
Out east the bag limits are usually smaller than the rest of the state, except in years of overpopulation when extra tags are offered. In the past, a limit of five deer was offered in Brown county. On one hunt in Brown county our hunting party spotted hundreds of deer in an hours worth of scouting on the ranch. On an area in the next county over, intense scouting revealed no tracks at all.
In the eastern part of the state, near Athens, the deer are big but become nocturnal with little hunting pressure. Traveling on to Junction, the deer are easy to see because they readily come to feeders as the land is generally poor and food is scarce.
Out east during times of huge acorn production, deer are hard to find because they will not come to feeders during day light hours. All they have to do is travel a few yards to get their nourishment from fallen acorns. Down south food plots are very advantageous. Baiting with corn down the senderos is a fixed practice, with very good results.
I am beginning to see plan in Texas to gather deer with good genes from all over the state and reintroduce quality deer to specific areas. There are a great many ranches all over the state that offer high fences, quality deer, bunking facilities, airport pick up service, quality guides, carcass preparation, meat and taxidermy services. The culinary services at these places are usually quite good too.
Deer feeders are the norm in Texas. To be within the law you must have these feeders in operation for a certain time period. Hunters on a restricted budget can get a public hunting permit. There are not many things more relaxing than sitting at your favorite deer site and enjoying the moment.
For a more competitive hunt you can try some of the better ranches where management practices are in effect. Some ranches that I have hunted require the harvesting of only bucks that are 8 points or better. If you harvest anything smaller, you will pay for the oversight out of your pocket book.
Please have a safe and enjoyable hunting season – putting your wits up against the master of the woods. The wily whitetail deer has made many of us seem like rank amateurs. Year after year we pursue this crafty veteran of camouflage and escape. For those of us who are hooked, we never tire of the challenge and the time spent outdoors with one of the craftiest animals on earth. Hunt safe and hunt hard, maybe this season you will be rewarded with new knowledge and a far greater respect for the white tailed deer. Adios amigos
About the Guest Author
Stephen Graham is an avid hunter and outdoorsman. He has years of experience hunting in Texas as well as in other states. His other interests include fishing, Indian lore and artifacts.