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December 2007

Release Date: December 12, 2007

Warm Weather Doing Deer Hunters No Favors

While some hunters are pleased with this fall and winter’s predominantly warm temperatures, many are fondly recalling the “old days” when deer hunting meant spending early mornings shivering in a deer blind.

This year’s mild and wet spring and summer have helped produce a bumper deer crop for harvesting. But, according to Dr. Cody Scott, professor of animal science at Angelo State University, the continued warmth of December has made life decidedly harder on deer hunters.

“Early in the season, particularly bow season, there were some really good white-tailed deer killed,” Scott said. “The problem has been that throughout most of the rest of the hunting season, particularly on weekends, we’ve had hot and windy weather and the deer just didn’t get up and move. That has made it difficult to find that trophy animal.”

The recent cold snap has the deer up and moving again, but with the predicted quick return of milder conditions, hunting will once more become an even greater challenge.

“If you were fortunate enough to go out these last couple of weekends where we had some cooler weather,” Scott said, “there were some exceptional deer killed. There still have been more throughout the season, the warm weather just makes it more difficult.”

For hunters that are lucky enough to be in place while the deer are moving, there is no lack of quality animals available. Scott said this year’s deer crop is much better than last year’s.

“Their body condition is exceptional and we see a large fawn crop,” Scott said. “Antler formation this year is also above average. Last year it was very dry during the spring and summer and antler quality was off because of it.”

So, while Christmas shoppers are enjoying the warmer weather, many deer hunters are avidly checking the extended forecast hoping for days when they can trade in their camouflage T-shirts for fleece jackets, coveralls and gloves and get back to shivering in the deer blind.

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