Wall Hangers: Texas

South, Brush Country

Superb genetics and the willingness of hunters to allow bucks to grow (51/2 years or older) is one key to this region's premier status as a trophy deer hotspot. Another is that this 20-million-acre ecological zone stretching from just below San Antonio to the Mexican border is carpeted with high-protein brush and thick cover. But it's mainly the management system that allows bucks to reach full maturity before they are harvested that produces such outstanding results.

Recent proof: Last year Jerry Wascom killed an 81/2-year-old buck that gross-scored 214 points and netted 209. That deer was particularly noteworthy, but literally hundreds of whitetails scoring from 150 to 200 are shot in south Texas every year. Counties such as Dimmit, Webb, LaSalle, and Frio dominate the record books. Webb and Dimmit together have yielded 90 B&C; bucks.

On a typical Brush Country hunt you'll see 10 to 20 mature bucks a day ranging from 120 to 160-plus. Tactics include watching senderos (cleared trails through the brush) from a mobile elevated blind, manning a tripod over a food plot, still-hunting, and rattling during the mid-December rut.

Nonresident license: $250
512-389-4800; www.tpwd.state.tx.us