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.
If you thought last year’s deer season was good, well get ready for one that’s even better.
Hunters can expect a great season this year. The deer populations we estimate are around 4 million white-tailed deer. And the conditions have been incredible this year. We had a wet spring across the state from El Paso to Houston and Amarillo to Brownsville.
And that’s excellent news for the state’s economy.
Deer hunting in Texas is a thriving industry and brings in about 2-billion dollars to the state’s economy and it really helps the rural towns out there where deer hunting is a big part of their everyday life.
Over population is also common across the state. Too many deer in one area can cause illness and possible die offs in the herd
We encourage hunters to take a full bag limit in those particular counties and by doing so, it helps improve the habitat. If they don’t want to put that meat in the freezer, they can certainly donate it to Hunters for the Hungry or some other charitable organization around the state.
The wet year has also helped boost mule deer and pronghorn populations.
“The rainfall that’s been prevalent across the state this year has also provided great vegetation for the mule deer and the pronghorn in West Texas. So hunters that are out there pursuing mule deer will have an excellent year.”
Biologists are also asking hunters to help monitor deer for Chronic Wasting Disease, a neurological disease that is not known to affect people but is eventually fatal to deer.
Chronic wasting disease has been a concern in Texas since 2012, since the first discovery in the Trans Pecos. We also had a new positive discovered in the Panhandle this past hunting season in 2015.
Now Texas Parks and Wildlife has set up containment zones for CWD testing and rules for transporting your harvest in parts of west Texas.
As a result, hunters in those chronic wasting disease zones that harvest a deer are required to bring those deer to the check stations so our staff can pull a CWD sample to help us with the monitoring effort.
We do have another CWD zone in Medina, Bandera and Uvalde counties and that is a voluntary surveillance zone and so we would appreciate all the help we can get from our hunters.
And with an excellent forecast for deer hunting this season, it’s a good time to get the next generation involved.
It’s a great opportunity to get kids outdoors.
Expose them to hunting, and recruit our future generation of wildlife managers into this state.
For more information about Chronic Wasting Disease, including how to submit deer samples for testing, go to the Texas Parks and Wildlife website at www.tpwd.texas.gov/cwd
Also, a new app is now available that allows hunters to carry the Outdoor Annual with them on their mobile devices. You can download at http://www.txoutdoorannual.com/app