Deer numbers down; quality way up

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As this year’s comes to a close in east Texas it’s looking like it was good year for quality, but not so much in numbers. A considerable amount of deer hunting country has been under water or inaccessible. A lot of the country in the river basins (Trinity, Sulphur and Sabine) were flooded and inaccessible on private land and on public hunting lands

Mitch Lockwood, big game program director for Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) said it looked like hunters had good success in places where they could get into. “Overall quality of deer has been exceptional. The rains fueled a flush of vegetation providing high quality forage and cover. Does produced an above average number of fawn, and the bucks had plenty of high nutrient forbs and browse crucial to antler development,” said Lockwood.

Information coming from TPWD staffers at check stations report seeing fewer hunters and deer than in recent seasons. “Body condition of deer has been phenomenal; they’re just so fat,” said Lockwood.

The south zone season is open to Jan. 17. Spike and antlerless season runs Jan. 18-31. In 58 counties, mostly in the eastern half of the state using muzzle-loaded firearms can continue hunting to Jan. 17.

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