Question: “My family has the opportunity to get on a deer lease in Atascosa County. We are not very familiar with this part of Texas, but hear that the whitetail deer hunting can be good down there. We currently live in Austin and are trying to decide if this lease could be a good deal for us, or if we should keep looking in the Hill Country. Would you happen to know how the deer hunting in the Atascosa County fairs compared to other parts of Texas? Thanks for your time.”
Deer Hunting Pros: One of my uncles lives in Atascosa County and has about 65 acres of land. Like any area, the hunting on any particular property depends on the habitat, the land management practices and the local deer population. If the deer lease you are considering is anything like my unlce’s place then the whitetail hunting should be really good. If you have a creek or draw running through your lease then it will be even better. Continue reading Deer Hunting in Atascosa County, Texas
Question: “I’ve grown up deer hunting in Louisiana and we mostly shot deer to eat. After college, I moved to North Texas and ended up getting on a deer lease several years later. The guys out there try to manage the deer, but I’m no pro when it comes to aging deer on the hoof or by their teeth. This is my second year on the lease and although I’m getting better at determining a deer’s age, I want another opinion on the age of the jawbones in the attached photos. Thanks.”
Continue reading Deer Age: Aging Whitetail Deer by Teeth
Question: “Do you know of any programs that a hunter could take on whitetail deer antler scoring classes anywhere in Central Texas? We have a ranch that we are going to start selling buck hunts on next year and I would like to learn how to score a whitetail deer correctly. It will also help to be official since we will be charging by the inch. We want to make sure we know what we are doing.” Continue reading Deer Antler Scoring Classes – Antler Score Sheet
Question: “I am interested in better whitetail hunting on my Texas property and always try to provide supplemental foods for deer. I typically plant food plots in the fall, but this year I tried turnips for food plots in the spring. I planted turnips in a very small area, about 1/2 acre in size. The ground was firm, but after preparing the soil, and some rain, the turnips look good. They look great, but the deer have not touched them. My question is, do whitetail usually eat the turnip bulb or stick to the leafy greens?”
Answer: When it comes to whitetail deer management, food plots are a good tool. They are not the only way to provide supplemental forage for whitetail, but they can work great over much of the whitetail’s range, including Texas. The eastern half of Texas has better soil for food plots, but good soils can be found over much of the state, even further west if they are located along creeks, rivers and other riparian areas. Continue reading Turnips for Food Plots
Question: “I have been whitetail hunting for years, but recently got on a deer lease located in Central Texas, actually in Lampasas County. The ranch is about 7 miles north of the town of Lampasas on 183. I know the center of the state has quite a few deer, but am not familiar with Lampasas County. The property looked good and the other hunters say the hunting is good. They have been feeding protein and selectively harvesting bucks. Any ideas on deer hunting in Lampasas County?”
Response: Deer hunting can vary quite a bit in different parts of a county, but Lampasas County has good numbers of deer over most of it. The west-central part of the county can have some open areas, but even the wooded areas hold deer. Good bucks have come out of every county in Texas. The biggest factor for deer management is food availability and bucks that are allowed to get old. Take care of these two things and your deer lease will be great. Continue reading Whitetail Deer Hunting in Lampasas County Texas
Question: “We are trying to manager the deer on our property to provide better whitetail deer hunting. For those that are feeding cottonseed, do livestock try to eat it? I had enormous problems in a couple of pastures trying to keep the cows out of the protein feeders last year. I was thinking of trying whole cottonseed instead of protein pellets this year in those pastures, but if they are going to try and get at the cottonseed as much as they do the protein pellets, I’m going to stay the course with the pellets. Let me hear about your cottonseed for deer management experiences.”
Response: Cottonseed can be used as a supplemental protein source for whitetail, but my experience with it is it is labor intensive unless your are setup to handle it. Feeding cottonseed is very demanding during high heat and humidity. You will need a covered shed to store it under, tractor with front end loader to move it around or load onto trailer/truck to move around ranch to put in feeders. Continue reading Feeding Deer Cottonseed as Supplemental Protein
Question: “Although we rarely hunt, there is a lot of whitetail hunting around our place. We have a deer bedding area and a nursing ground on our property. Every year the doe gives birth to twin fawns and we sometimes see the yearling doe that survived from the last year following her mom in the spring before the next birth. We typically see this type of whitetail deer movement every year, with the doe fawn from the previous year in tote with the elder doe. We also witness the kicking out of the nest which is inevitable before the next fawns are born. This year we saw something unusual: a buck, maybe last year’s fawn as a tag-along. But it was a buck.
We are now talking September 4, pretty nice size antlers, and the buck is still with the doe and current year’s fawn. They are feeding happily in the morning and afternoon on our property and seem to enjoy the habitat. They all seem to get along fine. Can someone tell us what is going on here? As far as I know the bucks are supposed to be at boot camp gearing up for the big mating game, but not this one.” Continue reading Whitetail Deer Movement: Bucks and Does
Question: “I just got a 430 acre pasture for the upcoming whitetail hunting season in South Texas. The property is actually part of a 3,000 acre ranch that is all being leased out for deer hunting. I have been hunting for several years, but I want to know how I can manage the place properly to get some good bucks next season. I understand that it will not happen in a single year, but want to see a bit of improvement over a series of years, especially with regard to antler quality.
The lease is mostly heavily brushed with mesquite and huisache. There are cleared shooting lanes. I do have a water well and access to tanks to provide the deer with water. In addition, I plan on feeding corn year-round and supplying “all they can eat” protein until the end of September. What else can I do?”
Answer: There are a number of things you can do to improve the quality of deer and the whitetail deer hunting on your South Texas lease. First and foremost, allow the bucks found on your property to mature. This is the single easiest way to produce good quality deer. It’s also the easiest. I would cull some inferior deer, but don’t get carried away unless your place is covered up with animals. Continue reading Better Deer Hunting Through Management