5 Facts About Texas Deer That You May or May Not Know

By  | 
Tony Maples Photography


It’s deer season, so hunters all over the state are heading out in the dark hours of the morning, sitting in deer blinds for hours on end and hoping to bag the “big one” that’s been eluding them for years. Texas deer provide ample hunting and wildlife viewing opportunities for residents and non-residents alike but, unless you’ve grown up hunting or watching deer, there are a few things about these beautiful creatures that you might not know.

Here are five Facts about Texas deer that you might not know:

1. South Texas Grows Them Big

South Texas Deer

Photo: Flickr/M&R Glasgow

South Texas produces the biggest white-tailed deer, due to the protein in the brush that the deer eat there. During a spring of average precipitation, the nutritional value of some brush can exceed 21 percent crude protein. Even the ubiquitous prickly pear cactus, which contains about seven percent crude protein, is fortified with carbohydrates, representing an important source of energy for deer. This is particularly important for mature bucks during the post-rut period when they experience substantial weight loss. Prickly pear represents a valuable energy source when deer need it most and is plentiful in South Texas.

2. Mule Deer Are Named For Their Ears

Mule deer

Photo: Flickr/Robert Hensley

Mule Deer, who are found in West Texas, are called so because their ears resemble a mule’s ears.

3. Texas is Home to 3.6 Million White-tailed Deer


Photo: Pexels/Steve

According to Texas Parks and Wildlife Magazine, much of the phenomenal growth of Texas white-tailed deer populations can be attributed to the Donnie E. Harmel White-tailed Deer Research Facility at the Kerr Wildlife Management Area. Situated 10 miles from the town of Hunt at the edge of the Hill Country on the Guadalupe River, this WMA is the birthplace of deer research by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. The lessons learned here have improved the quantity and quality of deer not only in our state but also nationwide.

4. White-tailed Deer Use Their Tails as Flags

white tail flag

Photo: Flickr/Fyn Kynd

When you see that flash of white, you know that the deer has seen you and is warning the rest of the herd to be on the lookout.

5. Antlers Are Used for Fighting Other Males 


Photo: Flickr/Tina Vance

The deer shed their antlers from January to March and grow a new set of antlers in the spring. The new antlers are covered in a velvet-like material which sloughs off eventually.