Whitetail Deer

Whitetail Deer

Texas is home to more white-tailed deer than any other U.S. State or Canadian Province with an estimated population over four million. High populations of white-tailed deer reside in the Texas Hill Country and South Texas areas.

Whitetail deer are a medium sized mammal with a reddish-brown coat in the spring/summer, which turns gray-brown in the fall/winter months. A whitetail deer can easily be identified by the white underside of its tail, which is used as a flag to signify danger.

Male deer (Buck) usually range in weight from 130 to 220 pounds and rare cases in upwards of 300+ pounds. A female deer (doe) usually weigh in around 100 to 130 pounds and in rare cases upwards of 160 to 175 pounds have been recorded.

Whitetail deer live in a variety of areas like forest, swamps, brush country, foothills to open plains to name a few, but mostly where cover is extensive and other requirements are met. A deer may live its entire life and die within one to two or three square miles. Their diet mostly consist of shrubs, grasses, acorns, fungi, berries, forbs and agricultural crops.

A buck fawn has bumps on his skull where antlers will grow when he is older. Yearling bucks may have one to six points on each antler, and, based on over 2,000 deer checked in 1990, average a total of almost six points on both antlers. Studies show that 20 percent of the yearling bucks have four points on each antler; 19 percent have three points on each antler; while about six percent have only spikes instead of fully-developed antlers. Antler development is highly dependant on nutrition.

Large "typical" bucks can have seven or more points on a side. The typical white-tailed buck's antler has a main beam that sweeps forward and each of the points rise from it. Most buck fawns develop "buttons" by the fall of their first year, which are generally not visible above the hairline. Antler growth begins normally in April to early May. The new antlers are tender and velvet covered, with the velvet shed in early September on almost all bucks. An occasional male, possible one-half of one percent, does not shed the velvet at all.
In Texas, there is a wide variety of game to hunt, but everyone in Texas knows that hunting the whitetail deer is king. Visit our Texas Hunting Guide Directory to locate an outfitter and set up your dream whitetail deer hunt. Massive bucks can be found in just about every area in Texas, however if your serious about bringing home a trophy buck, check out the central and south Texas regions. Specifically Regions 7, 8, 9, and 11 in our hunting guide directory.

2011 Whitetail Deer Hunting Season

ARCHERY SEASON   Sept. 27 - Oct. 31, 2014
- Youth Season (all counties with open season)   Oct. 25 - 26, 2014 / Jan. 5 - 18, 2015
- North TX (212 counties)   Nov. 1, 2014 - Jan. 4, 2015
- South TX (30 counties)   Nov. 1, 2014 - Jan. 18, 2015
- North TX (106 counties)   Jan. 5 - 18, 2015
- South TX (30 counties)   Jan. 19 - Feb. 1, 2015
- Muzzleloader (55 counties)   Jan. 5 - 18, 2015

 The following counties have Special Antler Restrictions for White-Tailed Deer.

Anderson, Angelina, Archer, Atascosa, Austin, Bastrop, Bell, Bosque, Bowie, Brazoria, Brazos, Brown, Burleson, Caldwell, Camp, Cass, Chambers, Cherokee, Clay, Colorado, Comal, Comanche, Cooke, Coryell, Delta, Denton, DeWitt, Eastland, Ellis, Erath, Falls, Fannin, Fayette, Fort Bend, Franklin, Freestone, Goliad, Gonzales, Grayson, Gregg, Grimes, Guadalupe, Hamilton, Hardin, Harris, Harrison, Hays, Henderson, Hill, Hood, Hopkins, Houston, Hunt, Jack, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson, Johnson, Karnes, Kaufman, Lamar, Lampasas, Lavaca, Lee, Leon, Liberty, Limestone, Madison, Marion, Matagorda, McLennan, Milam, Mills, Montague, Montgomery, Morris, Nacogdoches, Navarro, Newton, Orange, Palo Pinto, Panola, Parker, Polk, Rains, Red River, Robertson, Rusk, Sabine, San Augustine, San Jacinto, Shelby, Smith, Somervell, Stephens, Tarrant, Titus, Travis, Trinity, Tyler, Upshur, Van Zandt, Victoria, Waller,Walker, Washington, Wharton, Wichita, Williamson, Wilson, Wise, Wood, Young

Special Antler Restrictions do not apply to properties for which Level 2 or Level 3 MLDPs have been issued.
For counties with Special Antler Restrictions, a legal buck deer has:
   -at least one unbranched antler, or
   -an inside spread of 13 inches or greater. The inside spread requirement does not apply to any buck that has an unbranched antler.

Not more than one buck with an inside spread of 13 inches or greater may be taken.