AUSTIN — Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) biologists predict a fruitful white-tailed deer season in many regions of the state. Although conditions are drying statewide, rains in September helped to create an abundance of quality forbs and shrubs, both of which are critical for providing good deer nutrition.
The general deer season runs from Nov. 7 through Jan. 3, 2021 in the North Zone and Jan. 17, 2021 in the South Zone. A special youth-only gun deer season is set for Oct. 31- Nov. 1 and Jan. 4-17, 2021.
“Hunters in the Edwards Plateau, Cross Timbers and South Texas eco-regions can expect some of the best conditions,” said Alan Cain, the TPWD White-Tailed Deer Program Leader. “If dry conditions persist, hunters could expect to see increased deer activity around feeders or other key food sources.”
The Edwards Plateau in central Texas has the highest deer population in the state with an estimated 2.37 million deer. An anthrax outbreak in 2019 resulted in some mortality events among white-tailed deer, however TPWD biologists suggest such losses provided long-term benefits. By reducing deer densities and bringing populations in line with the natural carrying capacity of the native rangeland, the population reduction should have resulted in healthier deer and more nutrition to help bucks in the area maximize antler production.
The Cross Timbers region in north Texas has the second highest deer population in the state and encompasses five Deer Management Units (DMU) with deer densities ranging from 14 to 88 deer per 1,000 acres. Fawn production in the Cross Timbers has been greater than 50% for the last 8 years and 2020 is expected to be at least average, if not above average, as a result of great range conditions. Hunters should expect to see plentiful numbers of mature bucks this year.