The story in Chester Moore’s column about “dwarf deer” in Texas was very interesting. I have personally never seen one, but have always found it interesting that in any species you can have absolutely huge specimens and tiny ones. Moore probably does a better job of creating interest in Texas’s wildlife than anyone else out there, and I always appreciate seeing things in this magazine that show reverence for the natural world we hunt and fish in.
I have never seen any of the dwarf whitetails but have had a chance to see key deer in Florida. I have also seen the 350-pound deer in Minnesota that are such a huge contrast to that. Thanks for an interesting bit on these tiny deer. I’ll be on the lookout.
Editor Question #1
Dear Chester I was wondering what you thought about solutions for bank fishing access for freshwater locations in Texas. I know you have written a lot about bank fishing in the past, and I do appreciate that. What do you think are solutions for bank fishing in fresh water areas?
Editor: Thanks so much for the kind words. Bank fishing is important because not everyone can afford a boat, and many people just choose not to have one. I grew up fishing from the bank because we didn’t get a boat until I was about nine years old.
As far as solutions for bank fishing problems in fresh water, this is a very interesting question. Much of the land around Texas reservoirs is owned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Forest Service or agencies like the Lower Colorado River Authority. There is some access available but it requires way too much work.
Most of the lands along Texas rivers are privately owned or in some cases in East Texas managed by the federal government through the Forest Service. I think what you are asking about is easy access and that would probably require activism at the local level.
The Texas Parks & Wildlife Department has leased various river bed lands for access, and I think it might be to an angler’s advantage to approach local cities and counties about getting some of the same kind of leasing agreements for land along rivers, small lakes and other waterways. Texas’s vast amount of private land is a good thing but it can make things like getting access to prime bank fishing a challenge.
Editor Question #2
Do you think the introduction of exotic animals like axis deer and aoudad into Texas has caused great damage to our game animals?
Editor: At some level there might be a decrease in some areas but Texas has maintained the highest levels of whitetail deer, Rio Grande turkey and javelina in the United States on top of all of the exotics. There could possibly be some issues with bighorn sheep and aoudad but that is highly debatable.
Something to consider is that the exotics some people tend to blame for problems like axis and fallow deer are not more “exotic” than cattle, goats and domestic house cats. All of these certainly compete with native wildlife. Management is certainly the key, and the good thing is that means collecting more axis, nilgai and blackbuck backstrap.
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