Hunting Outlook for 2011 | Stowers Ranch Blog

Hunting Outlook for 2011

The drought gripping Texas this year has everyone worried about its impact on hunting this season.  Such worries are justifiable because in our part of the state there have been high winds, extreme heat and almost no rain.  These conditions have inhibited the growth of browse, forbs and grass needed by deer, turkeys and other animals and birds.

At Stowers Ranch we received .4 of an inch this week, bringing our total for the year to 3.6 inches.  In a normal year we would have received 20-25 inches by the end of September.  We moved our calves to leased pasture on May 15th and the cows followed in late July.

In September we started this year's game counts, and it appears that the whitetail fawn crop will be extremely low, maybe 15% - 20%.  This low survival rate will hurt us five years from now when this year's fawns will be old enough to harvest, but will have no impact on this year's hunting.  Daytime observaions show that almost all of the deer have somehow managed to maintain moderately good body condition.  Antlers will be about normal, and some really good bucks have been sighted.  During October we shall get a much better assessment of body and antler condition based on more game counts, daily observation, and photos from trail cameras.

We have almost no turkey poults this year.  However last year's crop was quite large, and we have more young gobblers all over the ranch than I can remember seeing in the past.

In summary - althought the weather has been terrible this year, we anticipate having good hunting this season, and it may be easier to see more deer and get better shots than has been possible in the recent past.

September 23, 2011