Get Your Rifle’s Ready, Opening Season is a Few Days Away

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Tony Maples Photography


This upcoming weekend is a much-anticipated one. November 5, 2016 is the opening of deer season (rifle season) this year! Those that do not bow hunt, have been waiting to get out and suit up for this year’s deer season. Time to fill the freezer and set out on the chase!


Photo: Facebook/Texas Buck Registry

This deer season has already been somewhat different because of the weather patterns we have had this past year. There is an abundance of fresh acorns, woody browse, and green forage. The deer are bigger, more plump, and very healthy looking because of the rain we have had and the abundance of food that there is for them to feed on this year. Many of the deer are looking older because of their mass from the plentiful amount of food they have been feasting on, making it harder to age the deer this year. What may look like a 5-year-old deer may be a 3-year-old deer. However, there are many tactics and things to look for when aging deer. For instance, the brisket and lower belly of a deer, the shape of its hind quarters, and the shape of the face. An older mature buck will have a saggy skin look hanging off the breast brisket and its lower belly, the hind quarters will be more rounded, the neck will be heavy and thick, and the face will be shorter and more triangular than that of a younger buck.


Photo: Facebook/Texas Buck Registry

Weather is also a big factor when it comes to hunting. We have had a warmer than normal weather pattern which is not ideal for deer hunting. Take advantage of every cold front this year, the deer will be on the move when a cold front hits. After the first freeze of the year, the food will be scarce and the deer are more likely to come to feeders.

Photo: Ms. Ella Hawk, Duvall County, 11-pt buck. Facebook/Texas Buck Registry

Even with the warmer weather we have had, there have still been many great deer taken thus far. Archery Season has been quite successful in some counties for many hunters. Patience and optimism always pays off in the end. If you are heading out for opening rifle season this weekend, the weather in the Hill Country should be decent despite some rain chances. A cold front is supposed to hit the Hill Country Thursday decreasing temperatures to the upper 50’s. The rain chances vary, mainly evening rain chances, from 50-80% throughout the weekend. It might be raining but the cooler weather the cold front brings will get the deer up and moving this weekend.