The 2013 Texas deer-hunting season is showing to have very promising prospects for successful hunting.
In September of this year, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Association released an article at the beginning of deer hunting season laying out the outlook for the entire season. Even with the damaging effects of the Texas 2011 drought, deer hunting conditions are looking good for 2013. Hunting conditions are based up the factors of rainfall, availability of native foods, habitat quality and so forth.
Alan Cain, the TPWD’s whitetail deer program leader has predicted the number of whitetail deer in Texas to range around 3.6 million, which is a great number and a little above the long-term average. Hunters this year have plenty of chances to harvest a deer also due to the high deer carryover from the 2012 season.
In Texas, landing a big buck is very prestigious. A large factor indicating how plentiful big bucks will be is based upon the availability of quality nutrition. According to Cain, “As far as antler quality goes, rainfall plays a key role by influencing the native habitat and forage, ultimately affecting the quality of nutrition a buck receives in order to grow antlers”. In the wetter seasons the buck population is much higher, compared to the dryer.
Often times, supplemental feeders will be provided to the bucks to boost their nutrition, but studies have shown that bucks tend to lean towards foods from their natural habitat. For this year, landowners have been proactive in informing the association that they’ve seen bucks to be in good condition with antlers in great shape.
Also in recent years, most deer were not able to reach beyond 3 ½ years of age, which makes harvesting bucks difficult. However, Cain points out that, “In 2012, bucks 3 ½ years old and older comprised 65 percent of bucks checked during TPWD surveys which are a reflection of the deer harvested each season.”
Things are definitely looking up for deer hunting season in Texas. If you haven’t yet made a plan for hunting, now is the time to take charge and take advantage of the much better conditions of this year.