Wood County doe hunting season extended

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Local hunters will have ample opportunity to bag white-tailed deer with the expanded antlerless deer season. The Wood County antlerless season opens Nov. 2 and closes Nov. 17 for hunting license tags. Managed Lands Deer Program (MLDP) season for antlerless white-tailed deer runs from Nov. 2 to Jan. 5, 2020.

For over 100 years, deer populations have been managed, and hunting limits set, at the county level in Texas. Although the limits are yet disseminated to the public by county, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) manages all state wildlife through 10 ecological areas. The areas are determined by likeness in topography and climate among other criteria. Wood County shares the Post Oak Savannah Area.

The Post Oak Savannah originates with the Red River counties of Fannin, Lamar, Red River and Bowie, stretching south by southwest toward the hill country. It was commonly known as the Cross Timbers region due to stands of hardwoods which were often encountered slicing across open ground.

According to TPWD Region 3 Director Stephen Lange, the department applies resource management units, which are quantifiable variables, to manage deer population. Habitat acreage, number of hunting licenses, tags, surveys, hunter harvest data and anecdotal information is used to determine the health of the deer population.

The decision to extend an antlerless season was largely founded on the determination of a very healthy white-tailed population in the county.

“Our decisions are based on the last ten years of data,” stated Lange. “We have had excellent conditions for deer in the past 4-5 years, and most does we have sighted have a fawn.” The extension of the antlerless season will also bring Wood County in line with neighboring counties.

The most important descriptor of a healthy deer population is the weight of culled deer. “A deer’s weight gives indications of adequate foliage to support the population,” Lange continued. “It is always a balance which must be carefully monitored,” he explained.

The MLDP is a voluntary state program whereby property owners may receive customized deer harvesting numbers from the state, or be more closely monitored by state game officials to maximize all aspects of their resident wildlife. State biologists offer the landowners specific recommendations for their ranches.

With over one million registered hunters in the state, the seasons are designed to maintain stable and healthy wild game populations. A new trend in the sport is growth in the 30-35 year old hunter who takes up the sport in mid-life as an outdoor hobby.

The TPWD area office is located at the old Texas State Quail Hatchery near the intersection of FM 248 and FM 848 southeast of Tyler. Wildlife Biologist Larry Lebeau is one of three biologists assigned at Tyler. The office may be reached at 903-566-1626. Hunters are encouraged to review the adjacent graphic detailing the Wood County deer hunting season.

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