Find maggots in your deer’s head or nose?
Yes, it’s gross, but these “worms” are totally normal. No, it’s not some brain eating virus or other deer disease. It’s just a really big maggot. The larvae is laid in the nasal passage by the adult fly in the warmer months of the year, typically the summer. The larvae lives deep within the nasal passage until the following spring then crawls out, goes into the soil and develops into an adult. A deer biologist told me that the worm/maggot/etc. was not harmful to the deer or to people that eat the venison. However, I suspect that these nasal bots freak out many hunters each year. And not the mention the deer that has this thing crawling around in their sinuses.
The maggots do not really cause the deer any harm, but rather just survive of the nutrition of the mucous and other food products that get up in there. After an “infected” deer is shot the deer will begin to cool off. This is when the alleged deer worms start moving around, wondering what went wrong. This is also when most hunters encounter them, as the maggots fall to the ground or are seen exiting the mouth and nose. Read more »
This giant whitetail buck was captured on game cameras in a part of Medina County, but one bowhunter was fortunate enough bag this brute during the early part of the 2013-14 Texas deer hunting season. But as it turns out, it was not all luck. The property had been involved in a deer management program that allowed this deer to definitely reach its genetic potential. This buck had it all: age, genetics and thanks to some rain this year, nutrition.
This free-ranging trophy buck is no doubt the buck of a lifetime for any whitetail hunter. The large frame, long points and four droptines make this buck something special. Congrats to the hunter on a successful management program and an obviously awesome hunt. Now, time to find me a lease in Medina County….
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There is no doubt that Texas produces some great whitetail bucks all across the state. You just never know what part of the state will produce a whooper each year. Unfortunately, there are many great bucks that fall not to arrow, not to bullet, but to automobiles. These stories are especially tough to swallow if they are near your property or deer hunting lease. But more often than not, many of these big bucks now hail from metropolitan areas. Check out this Lake Grapevine area monster!
Source: “Every year about this time we start seeing these stories pop up of monster whitetail bucks found on the side of the road, killed by vehicles. It’s pretty incredible some of the huge racks that turn up, especially in the urban areas where deer seem to be making a comeback, growing lots of bone at the expense of your pansies and roses. Like this one, that seems to have just begun its circuit on the emails. If the info is true (and I think it is, because of the originator), this tag got filled by a vehicle just yesterday, Sept 22, just south of Lake Grapevine, near the Dallas/Ft Worth metroplex.
Dang, what a waste!”
Question: “Interested in deer hunting and management on one of our ranches. We’ve got some whitetail deer on a property that is located near Brady, Texas. What is the carrying capacity for a small 150 acre ranch under high fence if we are supplemental feeding? Oh, and the property is about 50 percent brush and trees (oak, mesquite) with the remainder open grassland. Will probably put in some food plots too on the open areas. How many deer?”
Deer Hunting Pros: Though small acreage places can provide good deer hunting, the high fence situation will really limit what you can do, primarily because you will have little deer movement into and out of the place and the deer herd will be relatively limited. That being said, there is no doubt that you can support some number of deer on the place, and probably even produce some good bucks. Although the ranch is 150 acres, it sounds like the functioning amount of habitat may be more like 90 to 100 acres because of limited cover.
Of course, the grassland areas can grow up and become deer habitat in 5 to 10 years, and that will help, but right now let’s look at it from the standpoint of 100 acres. In that part of Texas, 100 acres of deer habitat can support about 1 deer to every 10 to 15 acres. If you plan on providing year round supplemental feeding then I would think you could get away with a deer to every 8 to 10 acres. This would only be about 10 to 12 deer early on. I would recommend against any more than this early on OR the grassland areas will not grow into deer habitat. The deer will eat preferred browse plants as they grow and prevent establishment. Read more »
Question: “We are going to start deer hunting in Lampasas County this coming season. We have hunted on the western edge of the hill country for two decades, but now we are on the east side and it’s a whole new game. Got on a 700 acre deer lease about 10 miles south of Lampasas that is located just off of Highway 183. One of the guys we met in town said that some decent bucks come out of Lampasas County. Do you have any knowledge of the area.”
Deer Hunting Pros: All of the Texas Hill Country can produce good deer, but Lampasas County really has the potential to grow some big bucks. I’m quite familiar with the Lampasas area because two of my good friends have hunted up there for years. Still do. I think Lampasas County is a sleeper county that not many talk about, but I’ve seen some good bucks in the back of trucks up that way. The deer hunting up that way can be good, but of course the productivity of your lease will depend on many factors.
Based on the location you gave, it sounds like you will actually be deer hunting near the town of Watson, which is in Burnet County. This area is similar to Lampasas County in that the habitat can vary quite a bit. Depending on the location of your lease, it can range from wide open prairie lands with a low deer density to wooded creeks and pockets of habitat that are basically overpopulated with deer. Either way can be good hunting. The areas with low deer densities will produce larger bucks without a doubt. Read more »
Question: “Looking for some information on when the deer rut takes places in Texas. Just started deer hunting last year and hear that hunting the rut is the best time to see bucks. I got on a lease this year and plan on hunting in the Hill Country. The other guys on the lease said there were some good bucks on camera last year but several of the older deer did not get shot. Hoping I can get the drop on one of them. Plan on putting out cameras in the upcoming months to see what is out there. So when is the whitetail deer rut in Blanco County?”
Deer Hunting Pros: Well, it can vary somewhat from year to year, but usually not by a whole lot. In Central Texas, the peak of the deer rut runs somewhere from October 30 through November 7 each year. The timing of the rut is most dependent on the length of the days (amount of daylight), but temperature in my opinion does affect the intensity of activity. I think cooler weather means bucks will chase harder and longer, increasing the chances of observation by a hunter. The rut is a great time to be out deer hunting, but the rut also plays an important role in a deer population. Read more »
Question: “We’re getting on a new deer hunting lease and need to build some feeder pens. No feral hogs on this place, but we need to put some barb wire to keep the cows off of the protein feeders. What’s the smallest deer feeder pen size. that will work in this situation? I would think one could make smaller feeder pens with barb wire than hog panel pens because the deer won’t have to jump them. We just want to provide some feed for deer without letting the cows eat it all. We want the deer to feel comfortable too. As far as height, we are thinking just three wires and about 40 inches high.”
Deer Hunting Pros: There is only one rule you need to know when it comes to deer feeder pen size: BIGGER IS ALWAYS BETTER! It does not matter what type of fence you choose to go with, larger feeder pens are preferred by whitetail. This helps in many ways. The closer to the feeder the cattle are the more problems you will have when it does get really dry and they run out of things to eat on your lease. This sounds trivial until you find your feeder emptied out way too earlier. The extra cost of materials that will allow you to build a much bigger feeder pen will be less the cost of losing a feeder full of protein to hungry, disrespecting cows. Read more »
Question: “My wife and I enjoy deer hunting, but really have some questions about around our house. We live in a suburban area with lots ranging from 4 to 10 acres. Good area for deer. First question is: Why would a whitetail buck shed his antlers almost 2 months before the rest of the other bucks? Next question, what type of grass do deer not like to eat, if any? I know whitetail deer prefer forbs and browse plants, but is there a native grass that they would not eat. Thanks for the info.”
Deer Hunting Pros: Whitetail bucks that are in poor body condition tend to shed antlers earlier. My guess is the buck you’re asking about is either in poor condition, may have suffered from injury or from illness in the past. Could of had something like EHD or bluetongue the year prior. There are many things that can cause a deer to be in poor condition. It can even result from poor nutrition, since you may have a deer overpopulation in your suburban area? Read more »
Question: “I have always heard the whitetail deer hunting in Mills County can be good. I’ve hunted near this part of Central Texas before when we had a lease just south of San Saba. Currently one of my friends and my brother and I are looking at 320 acre deer lease just southeast of Goldthwaite. Do you have any experience with the deer hunting in this area? We have heard that there are lots of deer, but that they are not very big? What do you got?”
Deer Hunting: That part of Texas can be really good for whitetail deer and often some incidental exotics, as well, though they are few and far between. As you stated, the deer population can be high in certain locations in that part of Central Texas. The deer hunting in Mills County will be best along the major creeks and the Colorado River. Same for the turkey hunting. There will be more deer in the drainage areas, but the quality of animals will depend upon overall management in those areas. Read more »
Question: “We want to improve the deer hunting at our lease. We are thinking about adding supplemental protein to our deer lease. We are looking at the tube feeders to dispense pellets, but also like the idea of an open trough type feeders. What is the best protein feeder for deer out there? Do you think a tube style or trough style will work best? Also, what are the pros and cons of each feeder type? Will the addition of feed help deer hunting or just up our feed cost?”
Deer Hunting: When it comes to deer feeders there are a million of them on the market. But you are aware of this and that is likely why you have asked your question. To answer your last question first, the answer would be, yes! Supplemental feed can make a big difference from a deer management standpoint and that can lead to healthier, bigger deer, both bucks and does. Food is typically the limiting factor when it comes to body and antler growth in whitetail deer. Read more »