Deer Hunting Question from Texas
Submitted: We currently hunt near the town of Lampasas, Texas, on a 500 acre ranch that we lease for whitetail deer and hog hunting. This is our second year on this place and we not seeing any deer this season. We have a couple of does visiting the feeders but we can’t figure out why we just are not seeing any bucks. We think there may have been too much activity on the ranch during the summer when they were building new perimeter and cross fences. In your opinion, could this impact our deer hunting this fall? It’s just very disturbing that last year it seemed like we were covered up in deer and now we can’t find a buck anywhere, especially one older than 3 1/2 years old.
Deer Hunting Pros
Response: My cousin was hunting on a ranch in Lampasas County just last week! He reported seeing lots of deer on the roadways and while hunting in the field. He said the weather was cold and wet, so that is likely why he saw a good number of deer while he was out. Deer movement, however, is way way down now that the temperatures have warmed up substantially. Also, due to the good rainfall through the year, habitat conditions are great and there is water in every depression. Deer do not have to move much right now.
That part of Central Texas can be tough hunting when it’s warm and green. Either one can make it tough, but when combined it can make watching paint dry seem pretty darn exciting compared to sitting in a deer stand and seeing absolutely nothing.
My cousin said that just days before he got there the weather was in the 80’s and the other hunters reported very low movement of deer. They also had some additional rain during that time. The deer did not even consider the food plots and important piece of real estate. They have no use for them when it’s warm and natural foods are abundant. I bet there are still a ton of acorns on the ground on the ranch that you hunt.
The whitetail deer rut is on right now, but with wide sex ratios in some parts of Lampasas County, there may not be a need for bucks to travel in search of does. Often times, does that are in estrous will try to stay in thick cover to the buck away from them. Lots of does and deer holding tight can make seeing deer tough. Look at deer hunting later in the month of November, such as the week of Thanksgiving. That is a great time to bump into a mature buck in the Lampasas area.
Having a lot of does on a property is not your friend during the rut, but things change after the primary rut. It is important to remember that the second rut kind of artificially tightens up the adult sex ratio and bucks move much more then because their are fewer receptive females. I don’t think that the summer fence building project had anything to do with deer sightings going down. Whitetail deer will not change their home ranges because of some minor disturbance. My recommendation would be to get out to your hunting lease later in the month when things cool down and the second rut kicks in.
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