Almost Everything Whitetail
If you spy a flash of white under that buck’s tail when he turns to slip away, you’ve encountered a white-tailed deer, the most sought-after big-game species in Texas.
Whether you’re a hunter filling the family freezer with fresh meat or a wildlife watcher charmed by the sight of a whitetail’s power and regal beauty, you likely know what it means to have “buck fever.” An estimated 5.5 million white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) inhabit all but two of Texas’ 254 counties and can be seen everywhere, from urban green spaces to the most remote wilds.
White-tailed deer hunting generates an estimated $1.2 billion in economic output (think gas, gear, lease fees, hotels, restaurants and small-town retail businesses) in Texas and $15.7 billion nationwide. Even those admittedly impressive numbers can’t convey the depth of Texas’ enduring attraction to the whitetail and the culture that surrounds it, from art to cooking to writing — not to mention the thrill of the hunt itself.
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department handles the weighty responsibility of regulation, conservation and management of deer populations throughout the state, as well as the education and safety of hunters. The agency sold more than 1.24 million hunting licenses in 2019; license sales are up in 2020 as Texans see hunting as an opportunity to enjoy the outdoors while staying COVID-safe.
There’s not enough space to tell you literally everything about white-tailed deer, but we love a challenge!
Average 7 years
up to 30 mph
175lb (m); 110lb (f)
up to 7 ft, +/- 3 ft @ shoulder
forbs, shrubs, acorns
A GUIDE TO WHITE-TAILED DEER
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