App for Tagging Deer, Game Animals

Mobile Apps for Licenses & Tagging

Use a mobile app to tag and check in harvested deer, turkey and other game animals? Yes! With the continued “rise of the machine,” wildlife officials across the country are evaluating a whole new way to tag hunter-harvested game animals… smart phones with apps. If all works out, paper licenses and tags may go the way of the dodo bird, since hunters will be able to purchase hunting and fishing licenses online (which they already can), as well as “tag” their deer using an app.

It sounds like a good idea to me. Not only will app reporting allow hunters to document their kill as in the past, but it will also give wildlife officials better information regarding total harvest. This would be great for white-tailed deer and turkey. This improved reporting alone would help with better management of natural resources, which is a good thing. Texas already has an app that can be used to voluntarily report harvest, but I suspect it’s not long before their wildlife department fully adopts it. Arkansas already has a deer tagging app for iPhones up and running live. Continue reading App for Tagging Deer, Game Animals

CWD in Pennsylvania Whitetail Deer

Question: “I have been deer hunting in north central Pennsylvania for almost 15 years. I know that whitetail deer are susceptible to many different types of diseases found in Pennsylvania, but I heard that chronic wasting disease was recently found in the state. I know the deer population can drop dramatically if CWD spreads, so what can you tell me about CWD in Pennsylvania whitetail deer? Will the deer hunting take an immediate hit?”

Whitetail Hunting: First, let me say that you are right on with all of your statements. CWD was found in October 2012 in Adams County, Pennsylvania, in a captive deer population. The disease will cause the deer population to decline, but the rate at which is does will depend on many variables. The local deer density and habitat conditions will impact the spread of CWD in Pennsylvania the most. Fewer deer and/or better conditions with more water will slow the spread and the impact on whitetail hunting. Continue reading CWD in Pennsylvania Whitetail Deer

Deer Hunting in Atascosa County, Texas

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

Deer Antler Scoring Classes – Antler Score Sheet

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

Buck Harvest to Improve Whitetail Deer Herd

Question: “We are interested in deer herd improvement. We are interested in selective harvest so that we can make the whitetail deer hunting better. We just got a pic of a whitetail buck that looks like a 6 point, but may be a 5 point. The buck’s antler spread is outside the ears and his horns are very tall. The camera angle makes it look like his right side is just a main beam with a very small brow tine and the left side is a fork with a small brow tine.

The photo of the buck looks like a very young deer and I am wondering if he will put on some more points with age and good nutrition? If he is just a large 5 point buck, will he fill out into an 8 point deer? Or is a good candidate to be culled? Again, this buck looks very young.” Continue reading Buck Harvest to Improve Whitetail Deer Herd

Deer With Broken Leg: Survival is Likely!

Question: “A two year old eight point buck on my ranch showed up limping the other evening. Today I got a better look at the buck and it appears he has broken his ankle on his rear hind leg. The whitetail hunting season starts in a few weeks and we are thinking about harvesting him. What should we do with this deer with a broken leg? Will this deer survive and will he participate in the rut and breeding ?”

Response: White-tailed deer are tough and can bounce back and heal from many types of broken bones. For what it’s worth, we have a 4 1/2 year old buck on a ranch that’s been missing part of a hind leg from just below the hock for over two years. The deer is in good body condition and is quite mobile, but the antler located on the opposite side from the bad leg is deformed. It is common that bucks with injuries to their hind legs have deformed antlers on the opposite sides. Continue reading Deer With Broken Leg: Survival is Likely!

Buck Harvest and Deer Herd Management

Question: “The guys that I deer hunt with on our deer lease always say that we should only shoot whitetail bucks that are 3.5+ years older or those that are 130+ Boone and Crockett inches or bigger. These guys say that if we hold our buck harvest this strategy our deer management plan will benefit and we will have bigger and better bucks for each whitetail hunting season. Do you think this is a good plan for improving our deer herd?”

Answer: From my experience, this is the wrong way to think about buck harvest and it will not help the overall deer management program or the whitetail hunting on your property. At 3.5 years old, whitetail bucks have a lot of unseen potential left in them and are not really what most hunters would consider mature. Some bucks will reach the 130 inch mark at 2.5, 3.5, 4.5 years old, or maybe even older; maybe never. Continue reading Buck Harvest and Deer Herd Management

How Many Fawns?

Question: At this time of the year, late winter, whitetail does will be pregnant. I have been told by other deer hunters that a very high percentage will be carrying twin fawns and that twins will consist of 1 buck and 1 doe. I have enjoyed whitetail hunting for years, but have never thought about it. Is this sex ratio always the case in twin fawns. Can you confirm this fawn phenomenon in whitetail deer?

Answer: Whitetail are very prolific animals so twins are quite common. The number of fawns that a doe brings to term depends on the age of the doe and her body condition of her prior to breeding and during gestation. With regards to twins always being 1 buck and 1 doe, that is not always the case. I have seen twins that are the same sex, either both bucks or both does, as much as split I do split sexes. Continue reading How Many Fawns?