Hunters eye opening day for white tails
By Ken Esten Cooke
The ongoing Texas drought will play a part in hunting when whitetail season opens at sunup on Saturday, Nov. 2.
Thousands of hunters are expected to converge on Fredericksburg and Gillespie County for the annual ritual, and white-tail harvesting prospects look good, local game wardens said.
“Last weekend was youth weekend, and we heard stories about some decent deer that were taken,” said Sam Harris, Texas Parks and Wildlife Game Warden for Gillespie County. “We checked a few camps and saw that some does and spikes were taken. It’s always good to get some of those early in the season.”
Harris said recent rains may help hunter prospects.
“We’re hoping that with this good acorn crop that the rains will help sour them faster and push the deer toward the feeders,” he said, “but it’s hard to say for sure.”
Results were mixed at best during bow season. Harris said not a lot of success with bucks was reported this bow-hunting season. He said with the high acorn count, archery hunters were not seeing deer. Recent rains mean native vegetation keeps deer away from feeders in parts of Gillespie County.
Still, Harris said the deer he has seen look “pretty healthy.”
“For the most part, they look pretty good,” Harris said. “We’re seeing some nice bucks here and there. We have such a high volume of deer in our county, there will be some good opportunities. Hopefully people that are managing their herd will maintain the management goals on their property. That improves the overall quality throughout.”
Scott Krueger, the other TPWD Game Warden assigned to Gillespie County, said more rain could lead to a lessening in quality of acorns, so deer could head to feeders.
“They will still be coming through. They’re habitual — they’ll take a bite of corn and move on,” he said.
Two weeks ago, Krueger said body weight and antlers look solid, though he had “really only seen a handful.”
“Shoot does early and shoot cull bucks early. And shoot all the pigs you can,” he joked.
The Fredericksburg Standard-Radio Post published its annual Hunting Guide last week. Additional copies are available for free at some local retailers and at the newspaper office, 712 W. Main St. Call 830-997-2155 to reserve copies.