Texas Deer Management Help


New Member
have the privilege of hunting a low fence ranch in northern texas. Seemed to have seen a decline in mature bucks over r the years. This is my 8th year, I've killed a lot of great bucks in the 140s, and got my PB 172" last year. The property is about 1200 acres, on average there are 2-3 bucks taken off it per year, all mature. This level of pressure hadn't changed in like 15 years.

I used to see lots of 110-120" 2 1/2 year old 8s and 10s and not many does. Now there are a lot of 1 1/2 y.o. 3-6 points, lots of does. The owners never shoot does, last year we took 3 off the property. Is this a simple fact of too many does and we need to thin them out or can something else be going on? We usually make it happen on a deer but from what I've been seeing I'm getting concerned foe the future. We are out of staters so we only hunt 1 week a year, while the owners do some hunting because they are local, maybe we have just had bad luck on moon phase and weather the last couple years?
I would think trail cameras would give you an idea of the census and the quality of bucks. Quality of food and rainfall can determine the antlers on young bucks too.
We have 6 trail cams up, they aren't catching anything that we aren't seeing hunting. It's just like there aren't any mature deer on the property right now
Poaching has never been a known problem. It's cattle ranch so it's not land that no one visits for a long period, the owners also predator hunt and just check the property at night fairly regularly
Where in north Texas? Not specifically but like the pan handle or there a bouts? If so we have had the same kind of problem in Oklahoma. I think it has more to do with the drought we last experienced and the blue tongue outbreak that followed. My understanding is a large part of the herd will be affected by the outbreak and you will lose a good portion of your mature deer. This is the first year in S. Oklahoma that we have started to seeing some mature bucks again. I recommend shooting several does a year and donating what you don't personally need to feed your family. Most of Texas and Oklahoma need to shoot more does to reduce the rut stress on the bucks and better balance to the herd. On my place, I would guess we're a 10:1 does/buck ratio or higher.

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I've hunted the Texas panhandle for years and I can tell you they dont shoot many does out there. I never go there to shoot a doe anyway because i have plenty on my lease in Okla. I think, and the land owner agrees, that the drought has really hurt the deer herd there. even the hogs havent rebounded so I would just give it some time, it will be back to normal.

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