Nature

Texas Hill Country Animals, Critters, Creatures, and Wildlife

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Everything’s bigger in Texas, and that’s certainly the case when it comes to our whitetail deer. To date our state has a larger population of this beauty more than in the entire world. This stunning species of deer can be spotted frolicking in the wide open spaces to watch or photograph.

If you have your mind set on another type of shooting, the white deer season opens the first day of October to the last day of February. Texas whitetail deer-hunting ranches have consistently produced trophy whitetail bucks in a traditional environment and using only existing native genetics. Many Texas outfitters and hunting guides object to breeding, shooting pens, trucked-in deer, introduction of out-of-state deer, and ear tags, which provides a more natural and enjoyable whitetail hunting experience. The Texas state record for whitetail buck horn mass is a whopping 48-1/8 inches! Besides the white tail, the Texas Hill Country has well over one hundred different species of other deer, each more beautiful than the next.

Bighorn Sheep

bighorn sheep
Photo: circleranchtx.com

Just 50 years ago, bighorn sheep had all but disappeared from the Texas Hill Country and other parts of our state where they once flourished.

Now, there are so many, they’re being hunted. A recent helicopter survey in August of 2015 counted at least 850 of these amazing animals, and most likely 1,000 total because they were out of sight during this flight time.

Oddly enough, the sheep’s growing numbers are reflected by the 12 bighorn hunting permits issued statewide this year, the most since efforts to rebuild the population began in 1954. Hunting permits are based on the count of older rams, which are not considered crucial to the herd. As in years past, most of this season’s permits will be for sheep hunts on privately owned land.