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Rainfall Brings Influx Of Deer

Jenn Smith

Posted on July 16 2019

The recent past and at least a few years of the future of Texas' white-tailed deer herd can be divined in what is present on the Texas landscape now.

All three — past, present and future — appear as bright as a heart-of-summer Texas day. And so, by extension, looks to be the future — near-term and almost certainly extending a few years down the road — for the state's 700,000 or so deer hunters.

"Things look phenomenal for deer, right now," said wildlife biologist Alan Cain, who, as white-tailed deer program leader for Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and a life-long Texas deer hunter, has perhaps better insight into such things than just about anyone. "For deer hunters, there's a lot of reasons to be smiling."

Some of those reasons are being glimpsed across much of the South Texas' brush country this month. Sequestered in waist-high seas of bluestem and other grasses or camouflaged in the dappled shade beneath thick, fern-like leaves of low-growing guajillo or the lacy, low limbs of ubiquitous mesquites are the curled, russet-with-white-spots forms of white-tailed deer fawns.

South Texas does are the last of the state's whitetail herd to birth fawns during the annual fawning season — a season that begins in late spring in regions of Texas coastal prairie, peaks in most of the state during May and early June, and winds up in South Texas usually by no later than mid-July.

The varying regional peak fawning periods across the state have evolved their timing so that the young deer hit the ground when, on average, the habitat around them provides the best-quality shelter and food, upping their (and their mother's) chances of survival.

Story re-posted from Written by Shannon Tompkins.