SEVEN DEGREES IS COLD.
It is especially cold for someone who lives in Southeast Texas and the chill is taken to a new level when the wind is blowing 15 miles per hour. Despite the cold, wind and snow, nothing was getting in my way of photographing mule deer.
I found myself deep in a valley in Colorado and had two huge bucks in front me. There were four more behind them. Two younger bucks were fighting as the others looked on.
The rut was just now beginning, and I find myself in position to get photos of a lifetime. This was last October and is the inspiration from something knew we are doing here at Texas Fish & Game.
Each month we will (without reducing other material) creating a four-page section called “Hunting North America”. It will be about hunting opportunities outside of Texas with a focus on affordable and unique opportunities.
The largest number of non-resident licenses in Colorado are purchased by Texas hunters. Other mountain states sell thousands of licenses to Texans eager to expand their horizons.
Top this with turkey hunters and waterfowlers looking to score on species not available in Texas, and you have a recipe for an informative and fun section of Texas Fish & Game.
We will list monthly public draw opportunity deadlines for everything from elk to bighorns to moose and bear in the U.S. and Canada. We will shed light on little known hunting opportunities and profile species that inform you how and where to hunt them as well as give unique insight into their life history and conservation.
Blacktail deer are a prime example. This species is one of the most affordable hunts in North America. In fact, you can get a private land hunt for a large blacktail cheaper than you can most average whitetail hunts in Texas. That’s not to mention public land opportunities.
Did you know scientists believe blacktails split off the whitetails eons ago and at some point, mule deer arose out of the blacktail? There are two varieties of blacktail, the Columbia which can be found from California through Washington and the Sitka, which roams British Columbia and Alaska.
This is the kind of information you will read in the new section as well as the monthly e-newsletter we will be sending out with bonus videos and other goodies. It’s part of our commitment to bring you cutting-edge information that will help you better enjoy your outdoor experience and understand how to be good stewards.
Down in that valley, I finally had enough of the cold. The wind kicked up to around 25 miles an hour, and it felt as if a cold razor blade was cutting through me with each gust.
The last buck I photographed really touched my heart. Most hunters’ view of the west is shaped by the elk. Yet, when I think anything from Trans-Pecos Texas to California the mule deer is the first animal that comes to mind.
I have always felt they were stunningly beautiful creatures, and I know the scene I saw was becoming increasingly rare in some states. Colorado for example has had a substantial loss in muleys in some areas.
A hunting dream of mine is to take a nice, representative buck with my bow, and that is on my hunting agenda for 2020. For now though, I was content with getting photos of this particular beauty and having my soul come alive as I locked eyes with the buck.
In 2019 I was able to capture photos of Rocky Mountain bighorns in Colorado and New Mexico, desert bighorns in Texas, mule deer in all three states and bison and elk in Montana..
It’s a personal dream to give you on these pages, what I consider to be unique information on these opportunities for hunters. This is in addition to our normal coverage of everything within the borders of this awesome state.
Be ready for a truly wild year for TF&G and its readers!
Email Chester Moore at [email protected]