It’s Buck Fever Season

 Trophy buck taken by Tom Roughton with guide Rene Garza.

This is Passport to Texas

As you round a bend during a hike, you spy a buck with large, flawless antlers. Your heart races; your breathing becomes shallow; your nerves tingle. Hunters call this: buck fever. And it’s caused by the sight of perfect antlers.

Nice smooth lines, tall tines coming off the main beams; very symmetrical one side to the other.

John Stein knows a thing or two about perfect antlers; he’s curator at the Buckhorn Saloon and Museum in San Antonio. Antler and taxidermy covered walls draw visitors to the saloon by the thousands.

Overall, in the collection, there’s over 12-hundred trophies that are on the walls –of all difference species.

Some hunters shell out big money to landowners to bag trophy animals on their property; money the landowner funnels into management and conservation. For 25 years, deer experts at the Kerr WMA have studied the genetic and nutritional aspects of antler growth in bucks, and shared the data with landowners; biologist, Gene Fuchs.

The information that we’ve gained from this study shows that through selection – by never allowing a buck that was a spike to ever breed a doe – we produced no spike antler yearling bucks two years in a row. And, the percentage of good quality antler yearling bucks has steadily increased.

Opening day for deer season in the north and south zones is November 3rd.

The Wildlife Restoration program supports our series and funds whitetail research in Texas.

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

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