The upside is there should be a greater percentage of older bucks in the population due to the carry-over of bucks that weren’t harvested last year. The downside is there likely are more deer in the population than the habitat in many areas can adequately support without being degraded when range conditions return to normal.

 “I don’t wish for it to be dry, but hopefully conditions will be such during the upcoming season that deer movements will be high (i.e. deer will come to feeders), resulting in high deer observation and harvest success rates for hunters,” said Trey Carpenter, TPWD wildlife biologist.

 One aspect biologists are not concerned about this season is the overall health of Texas’ deer herd. The abundance of acorns during the fall and winter of 2009, combined with the flush of cool-season and warm-season herbaceous plants produced from the rains provided high-quality forages for deer that helped them come through the winter in good condition and were adequately available to the deer throughout the early stages of antler production, throughout pregnancy, and during fawn-rearing.

 steve.lightfoot@tpwd.state.tx.us