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#5594266 - 02/11/15 12:51 PM Hill country vs north texas
ELKMTB Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 07/18/12
Posts: 118
Loc: DFW
What makes the populations so much higher in the hill country vs closer to north texas say around Cleburne or Hico.

Is the weather being just a few degrees warmer allow more to survive?

The browse does not appear to be all that different to me? or is it?

Is it generics (smaller deer more prone to more fawns)?

Minerals?

I cant imaging the hunting pressure is much different.

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#5594280 - 02/11/15 12:57 PM Re: Hill country vs north texas [Re: ELKMTB]
jmh004 Offline
Bird Dog

Registered: 10/01/14
Posts: 386
I think think the native vegetation plays a large role in the population of the Hill country. The vegetation is a lot different in the Hill Country than it is around Cleburne. There are more browsing type plants for the deer in the Hill Country.

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#5594289 - 02/11/15 01:00 PM Re: Hill country vs north texas [Re: ELKMTB]
lonestar1995 Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 08/25/14
Posts: 76
I wonder this myself. I hunt in between hamilton and hico and it looks like a good area for deer

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#5594339 - 02/11/15 01:27 PM Re: Hill country vs north texas [Re: ELKMTB]
stxranchman Offline
Obie Juan Kenobi

Registered: 08/04/10
Posts: 52092
Lot of variety on browse and forb growth there while some may not be the highest in protein they are there. A variety of mast crops are plentiful in most years also. Timely rains also help a lot. For years predator control was very high and that allowed deer numbers to remain high with timely spring rains.
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#5594414 - 02/11/15 02:02 PM Re: Hill country vs north texas [Re: ELKMTB]
KCH Offline
Bird Dog

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 312
Loc: Frisco, TX
I have always wondered why the Hill Country holds so many deer as well, it would seem less groceries around that part of the state as opposed to North Texas or say the Brazos Valley (College St area). I don't have a good explantion but I know Gillepsie and Llano counties hold a TON of whitetail deer...

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#5594653 - 02/11/15 04:56 PM Re: Hill country vs north texas [Re: ELKMTB]
Txduckman Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 08/30/04
Posts: 11716
Loc: Big D
What north Texas makes up for is size though. Don't have to clean three hill country deer to make one north Tex deer. banana

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#5594658 - 02/11/15 04:59 PM Re: Hill country vs north texas [Re: ELKMTB]
Erathkid Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 01/19/11
Posts: 14616
Loc: Dollas,Taxes Bluff Dale Tx
The Edwards plateau is just great deer habitat, at least for numbers. Like stxranchman said, killing coyotes and other predator control measures were widespread for many years and every Angora rancher kept a rifle in his truck. Eradication of the screw worm and overgrazing of the landscape leading to less grass and more brush helped to contribute also. Old German ranchers tended to be VERY conservative in their harvest numbers too. Doe weren't legal to harvest until the early 70's also, I believe.
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#5594781 - 02/11/15 06:25 PM Re: Hill country vs north texas [Re: ELKMTB]
hermano W Online   content
Tracker

Registered: 06/24/12
Posts: 676
Loc: Austin County
I think it is GENETIC. They are also tamer.

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#5595714 - 02/12/15 08:56 AM Re: Hill country vs north texas [Re: hermano W]
KCH Offline
Bird Dog

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 312
Loc: Frisco, TX
Originally Posted By: hermano W
I think it is GENETIC. They are also tamer.


Hill country deer are very tame and non-spooky compared to anywhere else I have hunted...that's very true!

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#5595720 - 02/12/15 08:59 AM Re: Hill country vs north texas [Re: ELKMTB]
redchevy Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 10/25/04
Posts: 23348
Loc: Texas
Only experience I have around "North" texas is around Clifton area... now I know that is not north to many. I would say cover may have something to do with it. Most of the properties around our place up there have very little cover that would hide deer, open fields is the norm with light brush along creeks or a fence etc. Again not saying its the rule just my limited experience.

How would that affect density?
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#5596595 - 02/12/15 05:51 PM Re: Hill country vs north texas [Re: ELKMTB]
don k Online   content
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 08/27/08
Posts: 9262
Loc: Bandera, Tx
If all of a sudden the Hill Country became another part of the State the deer population would have a dramatic downward spiral. Just my opinion so don't take it seriously.
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#5596755 - 02/12/15 07:17 PM Re: Hill country vs north texas [Re: ELKMTB]
Erathkid Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 01/19/11
Posts: 14616
Loc: Dollas,Taxes Bluff Dale Tx
As the larger ranches start getting sub-divided we SHOULD start seeing a decline in numbers of deer in the hill country. The problem is a lot of outsiders coming to Texas don't believe in hunting THEIR deer. I've seen this a lot around New Braunfels. I've seen literally hundreds of deer around the town of Gruene. They're safe for the most part. When they head west a couple of miles they're fair game.

The deer population around north Texas is growing exponentially. Areas that used to be void of deer now have them in huntable numbers. Look at Collin, Rockwall and Dallas counties as examples.
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#5596869 - 02/12/15 08:07 PM Re: Hill country vs north texas [Re: ELKMTB]
Herron Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 11/04/04
Posts: 208
Grew up hunting in the Hill Country, around Mason, where deer were numerous and now hunt in the panhandle where deer are far more scarce.

Besides the elimination of the screw worm, which is a constant across the state, I agree with those that have stated that predator control was a major factor. I never saw a coyote around Mason. Ever. As I recall, there was a $200 bounty on them back in the 80's.

In contrast, I see coyotes every time I hunt in the panhandle which has historically been more cattle oriented. I'm sure that groceries also play a part and other factors as well, but I'm convinced that the crackdown on yotes had a major impact in the 50's, 60's and 70's as Hill Country ranchers protected their Mohair goats.

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#5598630 - 02/13/15 09:23 PM Re: Hill country vs north texas [Re: ELKMTB]
Erathkid Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 01/19/11
Posts: 14616
Loc: Dollas,Taxes Bluff Dale Tx
Herron, I believe you're right. Back in the early 90s we hunted near Ft McKavett. No coyotes at all, I mean NONE. The ranchers all raised Angoras. As the mohair trade has softened I would expect coyote numbers to increase.
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Life is too short, as is. Don't chance it.
Don't text and drive.

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#5598839 - 02/13/15 11:20 PM Re: Hill country vs north texas [Re: ELKMTB]
Jimbo Online   content
Extreme Tracker

Registered: 08/30/04
Posts: 4402
Loc: The last LF ranch in S. Texas
I grew up hunting the hill country around Bandera. Lots of sheep and goat ranchers back in the day, and we never heard coyotes, or saw them. One rancher hired trappers when he found some sheep missing and evidence of a kill. Even cats were scarce. And all the ranchers and their ranch hands carried rifles. You could go into town and the pickups outnumbered the cars and every pickup, and I mean every pickup, had a gunrack with two to three guns in the rear window. You could tell when a city slicker showed up they didn't have a gunrack. roflmao
The hillcountry just has a lot more for the deer to eat, not only in acorns, forbs, but various browse and berries, persimmons etc. not to mention the fact that every sheep and goat rancher had several plots to plant oats. Pretty much year around, but like stx mentioned not a lot of high protien to grow big bodied, heavy antlered bucks, consistently being the key word.
Back in the early 60's we used to go into town to see and look into the coolers at the lockers to see what was brought in. Most of the deer were in the 60# to 90# range, with very few every breaking 100# mark dressed weight.
The racks were mostly on the small pencil horned variety with a real monster occasionally brought in that would break 18" width, which was a real trophy.
Times are different with better bucks brought in both weight and antler size these days. All because of better management and hunter awareness of how to improve the herd. The numbers are still high, but that's the hill country, and probably will never change which is good for those hunters who like to see deer and put some meat on the table.


Edited by Jimbo (02/13/15 11:33 PM)

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