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South Texas deer, truth or fiction??? LOW FENCE #7364814 12/02/18 11:40 PM
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I have watched for many yrs with awe the deer South Texas produces. I can not for the life of me figure out how the Golden Triangle is such a gem for trophy caliber deer. I keep watching shows and it seems every deer scored a minimum of 140, and that's the 2 1/2 yr olds.

The last 2 yrs I have hunted javis in South Texas. The ranch I have hunted grow some brutes, all low fence as the title says. I wish I could figure is it just in the genes, feed etc? I have hunted west Texas deer all my life and the norms seem to be 120-140 class. I need to clarify I am talking natural deer, not genetically altered, semen straw 20,000 dollar deer.

North Texas can produce some nice deer. Just seems like South Texas is in a trophy class all of their own. Tell me what you think, I am really curious.


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Re: South Texas deer, truth or fiction??? LOW FENCE [Re: 7mag] #7364832 12/02/18 11:53 PM
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Re: South Texas deer, truth or fiction??? LOW FENCE [Re: 7mag] #7364904 12/03/18 01:06 AM
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IMO it is a combination of several factors. First off, no one is producing 2.5 yr olds that all score over 140...no one. You have to have great genetics, great habitat and enough acreage to let the bucks get old. Today, letting young to middle age bucks walk to gain another year or two of age is the norm. It takes some good management practices to consistently produce great deer. You have to control deer numbers and shoot does/management bucks once you have your ratio/density where you want it. Most of South Texas has great habitat...browse and forb production. Years with great late winter and spring rainfall helps to produce fresh young growth of both. That is they key to great years. What South Texas lacks is rainfall in the key months, so that is where protein supplementation from feeders or food plots fills in the gaps. But with all of that it still takes the right buck, breeding the right doe that then raises that buck fawn in a great rainfall year. That buck fawn then has to survive enough years to a mature age then benefit from another great rainfall year. The fact that there are 100's of 1,000's of acres of really good habitat and management minded ranches/hunters who are allowing people to hunt the "good ole days" right now. There are many huge LF bucks killed each year that are never entered in any contest or spoken about publicly. On the other hand there are some ranches down in South Texas that never produce many if any 140+ class deer. No matter how much management or feed they try they just never seem to produce many of them. 2cents



Re: South Texas deer, truth or fiction??? LOW FENCE [Re: 7mag] #7364909 12/03/18 01:09 AM
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That's exactly what I was going to say roflmao


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Re: South Texas deer, truth or fiction??? LOW FENCE [Re: 7mag] #7364994 12/03/18 02:04 AM
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I've been fortunate enough to hunt a few South Texas ranches. All low fence and all with natural genetics. Ranchman nails it. He knows the area as well as anyone and what he says describes my experiences to a tee. Some places consistently produce big bucks and some don't. What I can tell you is that you'll have to look over a lot of average mature bucks in your quest for that exceptional trophy. Contrary to popular belief, there isn't a 160 class buck hiding behind every bush.


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Re: South Texas deer, truth or fiction??? LOW FENCE [Re: 7mag] #7365249 12/03/18 12:43 PM
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STX definitely knows south Texas deer. The only thing I'll add from personal experience is that in LF areas, and I guess it could apply to very, very large HF areas as well, the genetics have more of a cross breeding effect. What I mean is that most areas will have the more typical or traditional looking antlers, but there are areas in south Texas that consistently produce mature bucks with 28"+ spread, and others which produce a very high number of drop tine bucks. I'm not saying that they will have more antler or score higher than the more traditional looking bucks, but that they have the genetics of those specific characteristics. In most areas those characteristics are very unusual and most places can go years without seeing a drop tine or exceptionally wide buck, but occasionally you get the right mating or a buck with those characteristics ranges to an area and breeds some does. Many managed leases (whether managed by a ranch manager or the leasees) will put these "special" bucks with unusual characteristics off limits to hunters as long as the can to let them breed multiple years in an effort increase those specific genetics in their resident deer. That being said, you can also have areas where the average bucks antlers are just bigger - more inches per year of growth, and in those areas it could be any of the factors STX mentioned.

Lastly, concerning youtube on your other post, you're not going to see a bunch of videos posted with small or below average bucks, just like you won't find many slow as a snail cars when searching drag races.........

Last edited by HWY72; 12/03/18 01:00 PM.
Re: South Texas deer, truth or fiction??? LOW FENCE [Re: 7mag] #7365308 12/03/18 01:57 PM
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Having hunted South Texas several years over a decade, biggest difference I have seen are bucks are allowed to walk. At my lease, they would be dead deer walking. And there are not 140s around each corner or age class. There are plenty of crappy bucks too and without ARs or on MLD, they get shot. I hunt 1,100 acre with 5 of us in north Texas. Neighbors have 400 acres with 5 hunters, other 800 acres with 4 and so on. You do the math. It ain't like that in South Texas. And they get less rainfall so you can view what to shoot as they actually like corn.

Re: South Texas deer, truth or fiction??? LOW FENCE [Re: Txduckman] #7365318 12/03/18 02:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Txduckman


Anyone read Haiden's article? Same thing said above.

Re: South Texas deer, truth or fiction??? LOW FENCE [Re: Txduckman] #7365322 12/03/18 02:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Txduckman
Having hunted South Texas several years over a decade, biggest difference I have seen are bucks are allowed to walk. At my lease, they would be dead deer walking. And there are not 140s around each corner or age class. There are plenty of crappy bucks too and without ARs or on MLD, they get shot. I hunt 1,100 acre with 5 of us in north Texas. Neighbors have 400 acres with 5 hunters, other 800 acres with 4 and so on. You do the math. It ain't like that in South Texas. And they get less rainfall so you can view what to shoot as they actually like corn.


In areas its like that all over the state with too many hunters per acre. Also on the rainfall and corn, we don't get lucky all the time. We have owned our property in south texas for going on 12 years now and more often then not we don't get the rain when we/the deer need it for antler growth but it come late just in the nick of time to give them a natural smorgasbord and they wont hardly look at corn, we are having one of those kinds of years so far this year.


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Re: South Texas deer, truth or fiction??? LOW FENCE [Re: 7mag] #7365324 12/03/18 02:14 PM
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I think the ranch size in south texas is a big driver for the caliber of deer, combined with the high protein natural forage it's a recipe for putting big deer into the pastures. There is also a mindset across most large ranches in south texas to let the deer grow. age, nutrition, genetics... triangle for success.

I will say the "low fence" narrative is highly exaggerated in south texas. I hunt what is an official "low fence" ranch, and we have about 6 miles of high fence on the perimeter, as well as 6 additional miles the land owner put up to high fence a 1200 acre ranch that he completely surrounds. If I take a deer to a contest, it's a low fence deer though, right?

Other ranches that tout the low fence flag are smaller (still big pastures), inside enormous high fence ranches... espcailly some that sell premium local produced deer feed (wink wink).

the biggest "low fence" ranch in the nation probably has more miles of high fence than any other ranch in texas. That's what happens when you shoot one of the king's deer... they throw up 5-10 miles of high fence like it ain't no thang.

Re: South Texas deer, truth or fiction??? LOW FENCE [Re: 7mag] #7365951 12/03/18 11:43 PM
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For me the biggest factor is the ranch owner and the lease members. You can ruin a South Texas ranch quickly no matter what the genetics, feed, browse, etc. I have been the lease boss on a top end LF ranch for eleven years that produces top end trophies. IF everyone is not "with the program" then it is an uphill battle.

Maybe this goes without saying but the ranch owners must be serious about management and they must find the right lease hunters who are also serious. The lease members must be super patient to hold off on killing bucks before they are mature. They must be willing to cull the does and inferior deer on a regular basis which is a lot of work. They must be willing to control the number of hunters and guest so the wrong deer do not get shot. One thing our ranch/lease has done is be very consistent. Yes we have better years than others but overall we have been able to consistently produce top end bucks.

The other overlooked factor IMO is water. Many South Texas ranches go dry during drought. If all the tanks go dry then deer move to find water. Our ranch owners ran water pilas all over the ranch some years back and it has made a huge difference - just my two cents

Last edited by tlk; 12/03/18 11:49 PM.

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Re: South Texas deer, truth or fiction??? LOW FENCE [Re: Txduckman] #7366025 12/04/18 01:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Txduckman
Originally Posted by Txduckman


Anyone read Haiden's article? Same thing said above.



Yeah I read it as soon as you posted it up. One of the flaws I see with what some are stating is the size of the ranch. All my life I hunted the Trans Pecos. If you know that area those people don't call it a "ranch" unless its 10,000 acres or above. I have witnessed a few of those ranches manage deer for many yrs.

I can say that most those ranches never produced any type of really good deer. If you were to get a 120-130 class that was pretty exceptional in that area. One can look at records books and still never see any record book wt come from that area.

The body size may be there but the racks never seem to mature. It's almost like those deer are just crapped on compared to South Texas bucks. I have heard that the genes from the Golden Triangle are like no other and that is why they grow so big.

North Texas has had some recognition in past yrs for growing big wt. The numbers are not as many as South Texas but they still produce a few good ones. God Blessed South Texas is all I have to say.


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Re: South Texas deer, truth or fiction??? LOW FENCE [Re: 7mag] #7366088 12/04/18 02:08 AM
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I have access to the Boone and Crockett all time records. I have posted this here before. I am not sure what years Haiden is looking at when he says in his article that Webb and Dimmit have the most B&C deer entries but my research does not show that. Over the past 10 to 30 years Maverick County has the most typical and non typical entries. I stand to be corrected if I missed something but I am pretty sure my info is correct.
Past ten years: Typical: Maverick 30, Webb 27, Dimmitt 17 Non typical: Maverick 10 - first place
Past thirty years: Typical:Maverick 50, Webb 37 Non typical: Maverick 18 - first place

For many, many years South Texas not only dominates the record books for all of Texas but ranks in the top entries in all of the USA.

B&C is without a doubt the best overall gauge available as to where top end bucks are killed over many years. There are several South Texas counties that out produce most every other place on the planet for trophy class deer pure and simple

Last edited by tlk; 12/04/18 02:25 AM.

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Re: South Texas deer, truth or fiction??? LOW FENCE [Re: tlk] #7366124 12/04/18 02:44 AM
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Originally Posted by tlk
I have access to the Boone and Crockett all time records. I have posted this here before. I am not sure what years Haiden is looking at when he says in his article that Webb and Dimmit have the most B&C deer entries but my research does not show that. Over the past 10 to 30 years Maverick County has the most typical and non typical entries. I stand to be corrected if I missed something but I am pretty sure my info is correct.
Past ten years: Typical: Maverick 30, Webb 27, Dimmitt 17 Non typical: Maverick 10 - first place
Past thirty years: Typical:Maverick 50, Webb 37 Non typical: Maverick 18 - first place

For many, many years South Texas not only dominates the record books for all of Texas but ranks in the top entries in all of the USA.

B&C is without a doubt the best overall gauge available as to where top end bucks are killed over many years. There are several South Texas counties that out produce most every other place on the planet for trophy class deer pure and simple


Great point TLK. In addition, I think it's probably a safe bet to say that for every B&C entry from s TX there are many more qualifying bucks taken each season that are not entered.

Re: South Texas deer, truth or fiction??? LOW FENCE [Re: HWY72] #7366213 12/04/18 04:02 AM
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Originally Posted by HWY72
Originally Posted by tlk
I have access to the Boone and Crockett all time records. I have posted this here before. I am not sure what years Haiden is looking at when he says in his article that Webb and Dimmit have the most B&C deer entries but my research does not show that. Over the past 10 to 30 years Maverick County has the most typical and non typical entries. I stand to be corrected if I missed something but I am pretty sure my info is correct.
Past ten years: Typical: Maverick 30, Webb 27, Dimmitt 17 Non typical: Maverick 10 - first place
Past thirty years: Typical:Maverick 50, Webb 37 Non typical: Maverick 18 - first place

For many, many years South Texas not only dominates the record books for all of Texas but ranks in the top entries in all of the USA.

B&C is without a doubt the best overall gauge available as to where top end bucks are killed over many years. There are several South Texas counties that out produce most every other place on the planet for trophy class deer pure and simple


Great point TLK. In addition, I think it's probably a safe bet to say that for every B&C entry from s TX there are many more qualifying bucks taken each season that are not entered.


Bingo. I personally know of a good many deer from all over south Texas that qualify, but are never entered into any big buck contests and certainly not entered in B&C.


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Re: South Texas deer, truth or fiction??? LOW FENCE [Re: kyle1974] #7366257 12/04/18 05:07 AM
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Originally Posted by kyle1974
I think the ranch size in south texas is a big driver for the caliber of deer, combined with the high protein natural forage it's a recipe for putting big deer into the pastures. There is also a mindset across most large ranches in south texas to let the deer grow. age, nutrition, genetics... triangle for success.

I will say the "low fence" narrative is highly exaggerated in south texas. I hunt what is an official "low fence" ranch, and we have about 6 miles of high fence on the perimeter, as well as 6 additional miles the land owner put up to high fence a 1200 acre ranch that he completely surrounds. If I take a deer to a contest, it's a low fence deer though, right?

Other ranches that tout the low fence flag are smaller (still big pastures), inside enormous high fence ranches... espcailly some that sell premium local produced deer feed (wink wink).

the biggest "low fence" ranch in the nation probably has more miles of high fence than any other ranch in texas. That's what happens when you shoot one of the king's deer... they throw up 5-10 miles of high fence like it ain't no thang.


There is a lot of this. I’m not really sure how “fair chase” actually works. I worked on a place that was high fenced on three sides, low fenced along the highway, but directly across the road was a high fence of a neighboring ranch and the deer killed there were book eligible.

It’s the quality of habitat/abundance of highly palatable browse more than anything else in my view. High fence a 50 acres in prime south Texas brush country vs anywhere else in the state, introduce identical twin bucks, and track their antler development over the years and you’ll see it for yourself.

Last edited by JMalin; 12/04/18 05:14 AM.
Re: South Texas deer, truth or fiction??? LOW FENCE [Re: JMalin] #7367209 12/05/18 01:46 AM
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B&C has very strict rules on what percentage of a ranch where a book deer entry is made must be low fence. I will try to find it but seems like I remember it being only 25% range. B&C is very strict on their requirements to be accepted as a book deer. Long read but I like the way they go about their business

https://www.boone-crockett.org/about/positions_Records_Eligibility.asp?ID=6B455080&se=1&te=1


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Re: South Texas deer, truth or fiction??? LOW FENCE [Re: 7mag] #7367565 12/05/18 02:24 PM
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I remember when I was a kid back in the late 50's and early 60's deer hunting wasn't what it is today, not even close as people hunted for meat and horns was just a bonus. There wasn't a lot of management programs back then focused on antlers, but more on deer numbers, as a lot of areas of Texas didn't have many deer to even hunt.
That said, the brush country of south Texas still maintained a reputation for trophy bucks.
I had an uncle who hunted there and remember the brutes he would show up with.
Yes, the area produced naturally what many now claim are the result of supplemental feeding, and not saying it doesn't give the deer a boost in south Texas, but the area always had that something extra, the high protein natural forage that the rest of the state didn't have.

Re: South Texas deer, truth or fiction??? LOW FENCE [Re: tlk] #7367569 12/05/18 02:28 PM
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Originally Posted by tlk
B&C has very strict rules on what percentage of a ranch where a book deer entry is made must be low fence. I will try to find it but seems like I remember it being only 25% range. B&C is very strict on their requirements to be accepted as a book deer. Long read but I like the way they go about their business

https://www.boone-crockett.org/about/positions_Records_Eligibility.asp?ID=6B455080&se=1&te=1


CORRECTION: I meant to say the amount of high fence around the ranch must be no more than 25% - sorry about that


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Re: South Texas deer, truth or fiction??? LOW FENCE [Re: 7mag] #7367676 12/05/18 03:50 PM
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If you ever have a chance to hunt south Texas for any period of time, and then get a chance to hunt the hill country, the full grown mature deer you see in the hill country will look like fawns.
First time that happened to me was a shock!
South Texas at first glance looks barren with not many tall trees, but it is full of life, and just so much fun! up
As mentioned, there isn't a 160" buck behind every bush, but most of those ranches these days that produce those are going to demand a premium price.

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Re: South Texas deer, truth or fiction??? LOW FENCE [Re: 7mag] #7367723 12/05/18 04:53 PM
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Over the years I also think we have become desensitized to the big buck. 30 years ago I shot a buck that scored 172 in south Texas. it was a huge deal. I remember going to some of the big game trade shows and looking at the bucks they displayed and most were smaller than my 172 low fenced buck. Over the years the breeding and high fence has made strides in what we know a deer can be concerning all factors. I have always felt in south Texas the number of deer has always been high so there is a larger pool to start with, and ranchers that we knew were interested in and invested in some type of management even in the 80's. I think if left alone most deer would end up a 130 8pt at maturity. Management has allowed us along with age and nutrition to move that scale. B&C is a great litmus test for deer and while not a perfect system it is tried and true. While I have never entered a deer into P&Y or B&C (I have 7 b&c and 5 P&Y) I am glad they give us a point of reference.


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Re: South Texas deer, truth or fiction??? LOW FENCE [Re: 7mag] #7369370 12/07/18 04:33 AM
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Is it aspiration, compulsive, or enjoyment?

God Bless the cull bucks, does, miniature golf, speckled trout, and two pound bass.




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Re: South Texas deer, truth or fiction??? LOW FENCE [Re: Treinta-Treinta] #7369553 12/07/18 02:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Treinta-Treinta
Is it aspiration, compulsive, or enjoyment?

God Bless the cull bucks, does, miniature golf, speckled trout, and two pound bass.



One hunters cull is another hunters trophy..........

Re: South Texas deer, truth or fiction??? LOW FENCE [Re: 7mag] #7369738 12/07/18 05:20 PM
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Sounds like a “golf” thread where folk get too serious about egos




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Originally Posted by Treinta-Treinta
Sounds like a “golf” thread where folk get too serious about egos


Not sure what you are referring to? How are egos involved in this discussion? Some folks like to grow and hunt big deer - others like to just hunt for whatever steps out - neither one is right or wrong


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