Archive for the 'White-tailed deer' Category

Monitoring for Chronic Wasting Disease

Tuesday, December 13th, 2016
Deer suffering from Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD).

Deer suffering from Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD).

This is Passport to Texas

The outlook for deer season is outstanding thanks to plentiful rainfall. White-tail program leader, Alan Cain.

The rainfall that’s been very prevalent across the state this year, has also provided great vegetation for the mule deer and the pronghorn out there in West Texas. Hunters that are out there pursuing mule deer and pronghorn will have an excellent year [too].

To maintain healthy herds, biologists want hunters to help monitor deer for Chronic Wasting Disease [CWD]—a neurological disease that kills deer, but has no known effect on humans.

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 2015.

Texas Parks and Wildlife created mandatory containment and surveillance zones for Chronic Wasting Disease testing and rules for transporting harvested deer in parts of west Texas.

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. We do have another CWD zone in portions of Medina, Uvalde and Bandera counties; and that is a voluntary surveillance zone. So, we would appreciate all the help we can get from our hunters out there to bring deer in so we can monitor for CWD.

Find more information on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

The Wildlife restoration program supports our series.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

2016 Deer Season Forecast

Friday, December 2nd, 2016
White-tailed buck

White-tailed buck

This is Passport to Texas

Last year’s deer season was good; and this year’s season promises to be better.

The conditions have been incredible this year. We had a wet spring across the state—from El Paso to Houston and Amarillo to Brownsville.

White-tailed deer program leader, Alan Cain, says Texas Parks and Wildlife estimates the white-tail population…at about four-million animals. Yet, too many deer in one place can cause illness among them, including possible die off in the herd. Hunting helps to maintain a healthy balance.

We encourage hunters to take the 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 different charitable organizations around the state.

With an excellent forecast for deer hunting this season, now is the time to get the next generation into the field.

And it’s a great opportunity to get kids outdoors; expose them to hunting. And recruit our future generation of wildlife managers into the state.

Download the Texas Outdoor Annual APP onto your smart phone. Before going on your hunt. It will help you find hunting season dates and bag limits for your county and a whole lot more. Find it on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

The Wildlife restoration program supports our series.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Will Chronic Wasting Disease Affect Hunting?

Tuesday, September 29th, 2015

This is Passport to Texas

When news of Chronic Wasting Disease—or CWD—in a captive breeding population in Medina County surfaced in June 2015, TPW had a management strategy ready to go.

14—Once we got this positive, we began the implementation of that management strategy that we’ve had in place. We immediately restricted movement of all captive deer in Texas until we could do a risk assessment and determine the prevalence of this disease.

Steve Lightfoot, Texas Parks and Wildlife spokesman, said careful monitoring of Texas white-tailed deer continues. Meantime, in case anyone’s been worried, hunters need not change their plans this fall.

36— We don’t foresee any changes in how hunters across the state of Texas conduct business this fall. We anticipate that it’s going to be excellent hunting conditions; we’ve got recent rainfall that’s pretty much turned the landscape around. Deer are in healthy shape. And so, right now this is an epidemiological investigation into one deer, in one breeder facility, in one country in Texas. So, I would encourage folks to go about the business of enjoying this wonderful heritage that we’ve got in Texas that’s deer hunting. There are 750-thousand deer hunters. Four million animals. It’s a great opportunity to get out there and enjoy it. Don’t let this deter it.

Find CWD and fall hunting information on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

The Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program supports our series, and funds more than 40 million dollars in conservation efforts in Texas annually through your purchases of hunting and fishing equipment, and motorboat fuels.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife, I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Deer Movement Plan

Monday, September 28th, 2015
Deer with Chronic Wasting Disease

Deer with Chronic Wasting Disease

This is Passport to Texas

In June, volunteer monitoring at a captive deer breeding facility revealed an animal with Chronic Wasting Disease—or CWD. This put a halt to movement of captive animals statewide.

19— We permit the ability for folks to hold in captivity deer, for the purpose of breeding, genetic improvement, improving the quality of their deer herd. They can release the animals onto their ranches, or they can sell and trade to other facilities that are approved for releases. And part of that can be for hunting.

Steve Lightfoot, spokesperson for Texas parks and Wildlife, says under a plan finalized in August, Texas deer breeders may resume animal movement.

17— With input from stakeholders around the state, leading epidemiologists, veterinarians, deer breeders and other stakeholders, have come to the table, and expressed their issues and concerns. We factored those into the development of this plan, and I think the movement qualification standards we developed pretty much meets those needs.

The plan balances the need to minimize the risk of unwittingly allowing movement of CWD-positive deer while adopting reasonable movement qualification standards that allow qualified deer breeders to move and liberate captive deer.

15— We’re also looking at developing individual herd plans for those captive breeders to ensure that they can continue business with minimal risk of the disease impacting [additional animals]. And also, we’ll be looking at strategic sampling of hunter harvested deer once the seasons start this fall.

Find more information about Chronic Wasting Disease on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife, I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Parasites and Skinny Deer

Friday, September 18th, 2015
Urban WildlifeMorgans Point, Texas

A healthy deer Morgans Point, Texas

This is Passport to Texas

If spring rains made food plentiful for wildlife—and it did—then what’s up with all the skinny deer?

10—We had a lot of reports this year of thin deer, and some of our initial testing showed that a lot of these deer have a very high load of quote/unquote—stomach worms.

Dr. Bob Dittmar, a veterinarian with Texas Parks and Wildlife, said the wet, warm spring and humid summer created ideal conditions for a parasitic worm-a-palooza that’s affecting white-tails.

15—Most of the ones that have been reported to me have been in more suburban type settings. The habitat may not be really good because there are lots of deer there. And there are lots of eyes on those particular animals and they’re observed much more frequently and closely.

I asked Dr. Dittmar if suburban homeowners should be concerned for their family pets if skinny deer roam their neighborhoods.

18— These parasites are for the most part, pretty host specific. So, there’s not a great danger of passing anything from deer to dogs or other domestic pets. One of the things I always caution people: dogs like to eat deer poop. And there can be other things in deer poop besides parasites that could cause some illness in those pets.

Dr. Bob Dittmar says the agency wants to know about these deer, so if you see skinny deer, contact your regional office of Texas Parks and Wildlife or your local biologist. Find information on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

The Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program supports our series.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife, I’m Cecilia Nasti.