There are 17 of recognized subspecies of whitetail deer in the United States, four of which occur in Texas.
These are the tiny Carmen Mountains whitetail, the Texas whitetail, the Kansas whitetail and the Avery Island Whitetail.
The Carmen Mountains Whitetail is fascinating as it is the second smallest subspecies next to the Key Deer of Florida. These deer are rarely hunted due to the remote nature of their existence and are a deer any true whitetail hunting completist might consider working toward harvesting.
The Avery Island variety ranges along the Louisiana coast and prairies into Southeast and East Texas. However, much of this bloodline has been changed over the years due to release of deer from other parts of the state. It tends to be a smallish deer with basket-shaped racks.
In a paper written by Frederic W. Miller in 1925 entitled “A New White-Tailed Deer from Louisiana” the author describes the at the time newly discovered subspecies and mentions their small stature than deer living north of them and the interesting note that their teeth were actually larger than other whitetail.
Perhaps in an isolated area where there has been little pressure some of these original local deer survive, defying the trends of the last 100 years to continue on and expand in their native region.
The Texas whitetail dominates most of the state coming throughout the Rolling Plains, Pinewoods, Hill Country and South Texas. They are the deer most hunters are likely to take and are the poster child (deer) for the whitetails of Texas.
The Kansas whitetail comes into the northern tier of the state and is a stockier built deer, often with thick antlers. Some of the biggest free-ranging deer of the state come from north Texas and some of that has to do with the Kansas whitetail genetics.