Question: “Moved to central Texas just a few months ago from the mid-west and looking to do some deer hunting. Been conspiring with one of my co-workers to find a place to go hunter and it looks like a deer lease is going to be our best option in Texas. We spoke with a group that needs some additional hunters on their lease. How has the whitetail deer hunting been in Schleicher County in recent years? He also said there were exotics, specifically axis and aoudad, on the property as well. Does this sound right?”
Deer Hunting: Most of Texas is home to good deer hunting, but it always depends on the property in question as well as the hunters expectations. What will satisfy some folks with disappoint others. The deer hunting in Schleicher County can be fair to very good. I have seen some good deer in that part of Texas, both from the road and hunter-harvested.
Like a lot of Texas, the deer foods are on the rebound. The habitat conditions have been dry in that part of the far west Hill Country, especially during 2011. Rains improved and deer foods increased in 2012, but it looks dry right now as we prepare to head into 2013. Bucks can produce good antlers just about anywhere in the state, but bucks really shine during good rainfall years in Schleicher and surrounding counties. That area will produce high quality forbs in wet years.
My cousin deer hunts in south-central Schleicher County and he said 2012 has been an above average year. But like I said, the rain. He told me that buck antler mass is down, but that’s partly because bucks are still recovering from the drought of 2011. He said the same of the ranch in Llano County where his dad/my uncle hunts. He said fawn production was good this year and the deer density on their place is plenty healthy. They’ve had to increase doe harvest to keep numbers appropriate for their place. Both buck and does have all exhibited good body weights.
Prospects for 2013 look good since he also said that even this late in the year that there is still plenty of browse for deer to eat, although they have turned to feeders more recently. If they get any rain at all in the next few months it should look good for next fall.
The deer hunting in Schleicher County can be slow during the early part of the season, but this is only if the weather is warm. I guess that can be true of any part of the state, but deer movement in that area can really be halted during hot weather. My cousin said this year that hunting during the early season was slow at the feeders, but they did takes bucks using trails and water stations.
In short, if you enjoy deer hunting then Schleicher County should be a hoot for you. It’s WAY different than the Mid-West, that is for sure! Try to get on a lease that is at least a couple thousand acres in size with no more than 1 hunter for every 200 acres. The more acres you can get per hunter the better it will be for you and the deer. If the place you are looking at has been under management, then so much the better. Good luck!
If you love Texas, you will LOVE this video!