Reports as recent as late spring pointed at an average year for animal health among the state's white-tail and mule deer herds. Two years of drought lingered throughout much of the summer to emphasize the forecast. But late summer and September rains are causing many biologists and wildlife specialists to revise their dire predictions as there now appears to be ample acorns on the ground to sustain herd health throughout the season, at least in many places.

In areas that benefited from sporadic summer showers followed by good drenching rainfalls in early September are now reporting an exceptionally healthy deer population, especially in the eastern half of the state and across large areas of the Hill Country.

No one is saying it will be a bumper hunting year, but attitudes are improving in most areas and lease owners are reporting good activity at feeders from animals that looked "improved."