The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is sending out good reports this week from their biologists, you can expect deer hunters all over the state to have plenty of opportunities to fill their freezers thanks to greatly improved habitat conditions.

“Overall, the 2023-24 deer hunting season is expected to be good in terms of harvest numbers and opportunities, so don’t let the chance to spend time afield with family, friends and fellow hunters pass you by,” said TPWD White-tailed Deer Program Leader Blaise Korzekwa. “Texas has one of the longest deer seasons in the nation, so take some time this fall and winter and enjoy one of the best deer herds in the country, right here in your home state.”

Most of the state of Texas was drenched early on in the spring, which brought about excellent habitat growth to kick off the growing season. Spring forb growth, critical to a deer’s diet coming out of winter, was abundant and brought about the essential nutrients to growing bucks, lactating does and new fawns. Plus, the improved habitat conditions early in the year kept fawns healthy enough to survive their first six months.

Since there were reduced harvest numbers last season, that should pay off big time this year, those bucks had a chance to reach older age classes and benefit from the spring bounty.

Deer Season 2023 - 2 - Canva
Deer Season 2023 - 2 - Canva

Keeping Chronic Wasting Disease under control is a shared burden by land owners and hunters alike. Know before you go, hunters are reminded there are several new CWD zones in place for the 2023-24 season. There are new carcass movement restrictions in place this license year as well. Texas hunters harvesting deer, elk, moose and other susceptible species in CWD-positive states must comply with carcass movement restrictions when bringing harvested animals back home.

Effective ways to help slow the spread of CWD:

  • Reporting sick deer
  • Properly disposing of inedible carcass parts
  • Voluntarily testing harvests

More information about zone boundaries and requirements, and check station dates and hours of operations can be found on TPWD’s website.

Pineywoods White-Tailed Deer Season Forecast from TPWD:

The Pineywoods population surveys estimate more than 330,000 deer throughout the region this season, higher than the previous three years. Habitat management is critical to sustaining deer populations in the Pineywoods. Initial estimates show a lower density of deer between Houston and Beaumont, with improved population numbers near Tyler.
Hunters should expect a few more bucks in the five-and-a-half-year-old range compared to the younger age bucks.

Deer Season 2023 - 3 - Canva
Deer Season 2023 - 3 - Canva

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