Hunters are preparing for what's been predicted as a better than usual deer season. Rifle season kicks off Saturday.
The drought has taken its toll on the deer population, but hunters won't be disappointed. Despite the drought, hunters say the deer are still out there, and they expect them to be easier targets than ever before.
Deer hunting is a family tradition for Aaron Cravy.
"I was raised up doing this, and I mean my whole family's done it for years and years," says Aaron Cravy.
His dad has been taking him deer hunting every season since he was five.
"I've toted him on my shoulders," says David Cravy.
But this year, they've noticed the deer moving around in predictable patterns.
"They're out, down to certain trails, if you're out on the trails. They go eat, and they go right back and bed up by the watering holes," says Aaron Cravy.
Capt. Rod Ousley with the Texas Parks and Wildlife says that movement is all because of the drought.
The dry conditions have forced the deer to move around more, searching for food and water. That makes them easier targets for hunters.
Deer should be more visible to hunters in their stands and be more willing to come to feeders.
The bad news is, the lack of nutrition available in the drought has stunted deer growth.
"If someone's out there hunting for a trophy deer, I don't think the antlers are going to be as good as they probably should be," says Capt. Ousley.
It's next year when Capt. Ousley says the hunters will see the true story of the drought.
"The doe deer probably abandoned their fawns to survive themselves this year. So we have a very low fawn crop," says Capt. Ousley.
That means a low adult deer population next season.
The Texas parks and wildlife says the fawn population is down 10 percent this year because of the dry conditions.
Deer season with rifles starts Saturday morning and ends in Jan.
The maximum number of deer a hunter can shoot in Jefferson County is four this year.
The number varies by county. To check the limits where you live, click here.
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