White-tailed Deer of Texas and Mexico
What to expect
Hunters that live in or visit Texas and particularly the south Texas brush country are very fortunate to be close to some of the best white-tailed deer hunting in North America. The Texas deer herd is approximately 4 million animals, and the annual harvest is between 370,000 and 450,000 animals. Of that number, 220,000 to 270,000 are bucks. In the South Texas Plains portion of the state, 70 to 80,000 deer are killed each season with 40 to 50,000 being bucks. The hunter success ratio in south Texas is approximately 60%.
Texas is well known for the quantity of deer that exist in the state; however due to the arid and often semi-desert forage conditions and our proximity to the equator as regards Bergmann's Law, Texas deer are physically small when compared to deer from more northern climates and areas where significant crops are grown and are available to the deer. A mature buck, depending on the location that he is found in Texas, will average from 90 to 150 pounds field dressed, with the rare largest south Texas buck approaching 200 pounds field dressed. Although they may be relatively small in body, south Texas deer are well known for large antlers, and they give away nothing to white-tails anywhere in spread or tine length. The Boone & Crockett Records are filled with many fine Texas bucks. Go to my page that lists all Texas B&C bucks and where they were killed.
The population of deer in south Texas will be in the order of 1 deer per 25 or 30 acres. This is a lower density than some other sections of the state; however the buck to doe ratios are generally favorable in the region with 1:2 to 1:4 being common. The best trophy quality bucks come from this region in an almost direct relationship to the amount of rainfall received during a given year and the ensuing improved range conditions. The recent hunting seasons of 1992 and 1997 were seasons where ideal conditions coincided to produce exceptional trophies. In 1997 alone, over 30 bucks were taken that officially exceed the Boone & Crockett minimum scores.
White-tailed deer in Mexico, within 50 miles of the border with Texas, are comparable in physical size and antler growth with those immediately north of the border. The buck to doe ratios are similar also; however the population densities are normally significantly lower than those in Texas as a result of limited game management practices and enforcement. Go to my page that lists all Mexican B&C bucks and where they were killed.
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