Estimates of high fawn production in most regions of the state with upwards of 100 percent fawn survival on some intensively managed ranches, coupled with quality native food supplies, should give hunters a lot to look forward to this season. It also means that like last year, hunting over corn feeders may not be as productive because of the abundant natural forage available.

 “Acorn crops have been pretty good and there is plenty of vegetation in South Texas, so the deer have plenty to eat,” said Alan Cain, TPWD whitetail deer program director. “That’s going to make it difficult for bow hunters to attract deer to supplemental feeding locations.”

 At the onset of the archery season Cain said most deer are still in a summer pattern, especially in South Texas where the rut is still a couple of months away. Bow hunters might consider focusing efforts along heavily traveled game trails or near acorn producing trees.

 He also suggests hunters take advantage of opportunities to harvest antlerless deer this season, too, in order to offset high fawn production. “Folks need to keep deer numbers at a level the habitat can sustain during lean years,” said Cain.

 TPWD field biologists are concerned last year’s drop in overall deer harvest could carry a double-edged sword into the 2010-11 season. Nearly half of all deer taken by Texas hunters come from the Edwards Plateau and last season marked the lowest harvest in 10 years, attributed mainly to reduced deer movement.