North Texas Deer Feeder
North Texas Deer Feeder Cam
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TEXAS DEER FACTS:
Two species of deer are native to Texas’s vast and varied countryside: the white-tailed deer and the mule deer. The Lone Star State claims one of the largest populations of whitetails in the country: close to four million. In addition to the two natives, which can usually be easily distinguished based on physical appearance and ecology, several exotic species of deer have been introduced into the state for hunting purposes.
White-tailed deer, the most widely distributed and evolutionarily ancient deer in North America, get their common name from the snowy underside of their tails, which they prominently flash when alarmed.
Compared to whitetails, mule deer -- named for their outsized ears -- have a much smaller native range in Texas. The state harbors a pair of subspecies. The desert mule deer of the Southwest and northern Mexico roams the Trans-Pecos and Edwards Plateau. The Rocky Mountain mule deer, the biggest and most widespread of all mule deer, inhabits the Texas Panhandle, possibly in a hybrid form with the desert mule deer. According to Texas Parks & Wildlife, the state likely harbors between 150,000 and 250,000 mule deer.
The ears of mule deer are proportionately much larger than those of whitetails. The white-tailed deer’s tail, meanwhile, is bigger and longer-haired than the mule deer’s, which is small and black-tipped. The antlers of mule deer bucks generally fork, while whitetail antler tines grow from a main beam; this characteristic, though, isn't a foolproof measure of identification. Whitetails flee by dashing and plunging, while mule deer typically “stot” -- that is, they bound stiff-legged with all four hooves hitting the ground simultaneously. Ecologically, Texas whitetails favor heavy woods, thickets and dense brush, while mule deer more commonly range in open country. These habitat preferences are starkest where the two deer overlap: On the High Plains of the Texas Panhandle, for example, mule deer forage on the open grasslands, while whitetails stick to the tangled draws and gallery forests. Where shrubs and trees invade former grassland or scrub, whitetails may increase at the expense of mule deer.
Along with many other kinds of hoofed mammals, several species of exotic deer now reside in Texas, initially imported to private ranches for hunting purposes and to varying degrees now established in free-roaming populations. Some 6,000 feral axis deer, a spotted species native to South Asia, inhabit Texas. Other exotics include the fallow deer, a Eurasian species, and the sika deer of East Asia. These non-native species compete with native deer, particularly whitetails, and may otherwise disrupt indigenous ecological systems.
Breeding season varies slightly depending on where in Texas a deer herd is located. Mule deer breeding season starts in mid-November, peaks in mid/late December, and ends mid-February. Peak breeding for white-tailed deer is usually in mid-November through early December. Fawning for both species takes place in the summer, usually June/ July, depending on when the doe was bred. White-tailed deer usually have one fawn their first fawning season and then twins during later years; Mule deer usually have one fawn their second fawning season and twins thereafter.
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Last Edited on 2018-3-10
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