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Texas Deer Population Bouncing Back Following Drought

AUSTIN — Texas Parks and Wildlife officials are predicting the Texas deer population to rebound from last year when the population was reduced in much of the state due to drought conditions. 

Enough rain fell during the spring to produce nutrient-rich vegetation that deer rely on. The conditions also helped keep newborn fawns healthy enough to survive beyond their first six months, a crucial milestone, TPWD said. 

“Overall, the 2023 [and 2024] deer hunting season is expected to be good in terms of harvest numbers and opportunities, so don’t let the chance to spend time afield with family, friends and fellow hunters pass you by,” TPWD White-tailed Deer Program Leader Blaise Korzekwa said in a release. “Texas has one of the longest deer seasons in the nation, so take some time this fall and winter and enjoy one of the best deer herds in the country, right here in your home state.”

Portions of the state that missed out on wet weather should still see at least an average quantity of deer, exceeding the amount seen in 2022. TPWD said a silver lining for the lower numbers last year means those bucks had a chance to mature and benefit from the spring vegetation.

TPWD wants to remind landowners and hunters that they play a critical role in managing Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). 

“New carcass movement restrictions are also in place this license year, so Texas hunters harvesting deer, elk, moose and other susceptible species in CWD-positive states must comply with carcass movement restrictions when bringing harvested animals back home,” TPWD said in a release. 

Reporting sick deer, properly disposing of inedible carcass parts and voluntarily testing harvests is the most effective way to slow the spread of CWD. More information can be found on TPWD’s website.

Source : Kxan