Archive for November 9th, 2007

White-tailed Deer

Friday, November 9th, 2007

Passport to Texas from Texas Parks and Wildlife and the Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration Program

White-tailed deer season is underway, and harvesting deer is vital to proper ecosystem management.

If we didn’t hunt deer in Texas, deer would eat themselves out of house and home. And not just themselves, but all species that thrive on that ecosystem.

Songbirds, for example, suffer when deer numbers are not controlled. Mitch Lockwood, statewide white-tailed deer program leader, says Texas has more than three–million white-tailed deer. And yet, surprisingly few hunters take full advantage of available bag limits.

One example is that in the Texas Hill Country, where we have the highest concentration of deer — where one can harvest as many as five deer a piece, the average hunter in the Hill Country harvests only one point one deer.

Most Hill Country hunters stop at maybe two deer.

So, with a harvest of 1 deer per hunter, we’re not ever going to meet our population management goals.

Lockwood stresses the importance of adequate doe harvest in most areas of Texas, and encourages hunters to take advantage of the bag limits by putting more antlerless deer in the freezer. However, if your freezer is full, there are programs to help you distribute the meat.

Hunters for the hungry program in Texas is growing. And there are other programs that help hunters defer some of those processing costs so that hunters can donate venison to the needy with minimal expense.

That’s our show…made possible today by a grant from the Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration Program…working to increase fishing, hunting, shooting and boating opportunities in Texas.

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