"X" Factor: The drought is still very real across the region. At my house in the Panhandle, we've had exactly .25-inches of rain since September 30. Ponds are dried up and even the creeks and rivers are very low. That puts added stress on the deer in the late season. And if we don't start getting moisture soon, it will have a real effect on next year's crop of fawns and size of buck antlers due to the lack of spring green up.
The mule deer rut is clicking in Texas and New Mexico. In the Texas Panhandle, I've watched virtually every muley buck I've seen, little ones and big, lip curl and bird-dog and chase muley does. A friend in eastern New Mexico reports seeing the same thing.