Texas Hunting Outlook, From a Texas Deer Expert

I find the best information on deer in a specific area comes from the guys that are in the field year-round. One such guy is my friend Ronnie Parsons. Parsons hunts whitetails in west-central Texas. He's been hunting there for decades. That's him in the photo with one of his many Texas bow bucks. So far, he has 34 Pope & Young whitetails from Texas, including two taken during last year's terrible drought.

So I asked Parsons for his outlook on hunting middle Texas this season.

"Adequate rain fell early in the year, but not much rain to speak of this summer. Antlers seem a little better this year compared to last year. I'm seeing some good bucks on trail cameras. The top-end bucks are a couple in the low 150s. We also have lots of mature eight points that we have been waiting to take out. Bucks that score 120 to 135.

"Not seeing a lot of fawns this year, but more than last year. Last year there was almost zero fawn crop. This year is not a good fawn crop like years in the past, but better. The does with fawns appear in poor shape.

"Early in the summer, I saw quite a few baby turkeys. A couple of hens would come in to a feeder with 25-30 poults. That's way more poults than previous years, but I don't think all of those survived to the fall.

"I've seen four bunches of quail with babies. Last year I saw zero baby quail."

September 29 is opening day of Texas' archery-only season. Parsons has tagged more than half of his record-book bucks during the first month of deer season. So while many archers wait for the rut or colder weather, Parsons hunts hard early and it pays off. Despite warm weather early in the bow season, Parsons thinks it's a great time to kill a big one on a pattern.

I'll let you know how he does this season.
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Rut Reporter Brandon Ray is an expert on the region. Ray was born in Dallas and shot his first deer with a bow in Central Texas at the age of 15. The full-time freelance writer manages his family's Texas Panhandle ranch, is a licensed New Mexico guide, and last year took a 184 gross P&Y non-typical trophy. States covered: TX, OK, NM._