Whitetail deer season opens this weekend. The annual South Texas Hunting Season for big bucks brings very big bucks to the region’s economy. Richard Moore has the story.
The most anticipated weekend on the sportsman’s calendar is the first Saturday in November, the traditional start of the general hunting season for Whitetail deer. This year’s opening date is set for November 3, and the season runs thru January 20th in deep South Texas.
Texas boasts the largest deer herd in the nation, and Texas Parks and Wildlife biologists put the state’s Whitetail population at approximately 4.5 million, which is more than twice that of any other state. Texas also leads the nation in hunters, and annually more than 800,000 sportsmen take to the field in pursuit of Whitetail deer.
In the Lone Star State deer hunting generated approximately $2 billion last year as hunters spent money on hunting supplies, food, lodging, deer feeders, corn and lease fees. Deep South Texas is home to some of the finest deer hunting in the state, and those much sought after big bucks bring big dollars to the region’s economy.
Hunting revenues in South Texas now surpass cattle earnings. Ranchers by managing their lands for deer, quail, turkey and other game animals are also protecting vital habitat for non-game species like endangered Ocelots and colorful Green jays.
This promises to be a great year for deer hunters in southernmost Texas, as timely and bountiful rains have provided plenty of browse to generate maximum body weight and exceptional antler growth. Deer season is a time-honored tradition in Texas, and a great way to spend quality time in the outdoors, especially when you come home with some tasty venison.