White-tailed Deer Hunters Can Look Forward to a Favorable 2020-21 Season




Well distributed and timely precipitation across much of Texas in the spring, along with positive long-term growth among the state’s white-tailed deer population, has set the stage for a favorable 2020-21 hunting season.

Spring rains allowed many regions of the state, including South Texas, Edwards Plateau and areas west to recover from last year’s very dry fall and winter, leading to an abundance of quality forbs and shrubs, both of which are critical for deer nutrition. These conditions have lent to a good start to antler growth and positive outlook for fawn recruitment numbers.

“With any luck we’ll receive another rain or two in July solidifying the good conditions and setting the stage for another favorable hunting season,” said Alan Cain, White-tailed Deer Program Leader at Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD).

TPWD biologists estimate that the state’s deer population is around 5.5 million deer, or a density of 49.25 deer per 1,000 acres. However, that density is not uniform across the state and those areas with better habitat tend to support higher deer populations.

TPWD data suggests that the hunter success rate in 2019 was estimated to be 60% and similar trends can be expected for the 2020-21 season. The Edward’s Plateau and the Cross Timbers regions of Texas are forecast to have the highest deer populations.

“From a statewide perspective, hunters might expect to see a higher proportion of bucks in the 6.5 to 8.5-year age classes as a result of above average fawn crop in previous corresponding years while other age classes reflect a more even distribution,” Cain said. “While doe harvest has been down slightly in the last couple of years, which is likely contributing to a widening ratio of does to bucks, the good news for hunters is that there should be plenty of carryover from previous years.”

Hunters looking for a place to hunt or a change of scenery this fall are encouraged to apply for one of TPWD’s many drawn public hunt opportunities.

TPWD wants to remind hunters that mandatory harvest reporting is required when taking an antlerless deer during archery, youth-only, muzzleloader or the 4-day doe days during general season in the following counties: Austin, Bastrop, Caldwell, Colorado, Dewitt, Fayette, Gonzales, Guadalupe, Karnes, Lavaca, Lee, Waller, Washington and Wilson. Counties also included are Goliad, Jackson, Victoria and Wharton counties north of U.S. Highway 59 and Comal, Hays and Travis east of IH-35. Harvests must be reported within 24 hours of taking an animal via the free My Hunt Harvest app. Public land hunters can also use the My Hunt Harvest app to complete their on-site registration electronically.

All season dates by animal, along with regulations, harvest means and methods and more, can be found online in the Outdoor Annual. The 2020-21 Outdoor Annual will only be available digitally for the upcoming hunting and fishing season. Hunters will have the ability to print copies of relevant portions of the Outdoor Annual before heading to the field. Hunters can also download the free Outdoor Annual mobile app on iOS and Android.
White-tailed deer and Mule Deer are Chronic Wasting Disease-susceptible animals. As such, prior to hitting the field, TPWD asks that hunters review CWD information to find area testing requirements and carcass movement restrictions in CWD Containment and Surveillance Zones.

New for the 2020-21 season, a CWD zone has been established in Kimble County. Additional information about CWD can be found on the TPWD website.




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Toledo Bend Lake Current Weather Alerts

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Toledo Bend Lake Weather Forecast

Monday

Mostly Cloudy

Hi: 73

Monday Night

Mostly Cloudy

Lo: 66

Tuesday

Mostly Cloudy

Hi: 76

Tuesday Night

Mostly Cloudy

Lo: 65

Wednesday

Mostly Cloudy

Hi: 77

Wednesday Night

Partly Cloudy

Lo: 66

Thursday

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Hi: 77

Thursday Night

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Lo: 59


Toledo Bend Lake Water Level (last 30 days)


Water Level on 12/5: 167.95 (-4.05)



Toledo Bend Lake

Fishing Report from TPWD (Nov. 30)

GOOD. Water stained; 59 degrees; 4.25 feet low. GOOD. The water level is 167.7 with no generators running. Water temperature at the Dam is 59 degrees. The back feeder creeks are stained and muddy with lots of Fall leaves floating on the surface, and the main lake remains clear. We were blessed with some rain this week 2-3 inches. Not much has changed on the pattern this week. Chatter baits are still producing in 3/8 to 3/4 ounce white, chartreuse, watermelon pepper, and red/black skirts. To cover a lot of water, use a square bill crank bait or a flat side crank bait and smaller rattle traps from 0-8 feet in shad and perch imitation colors and the Rayburn red traps are still working. For deeper Bass, cast a Carolina rig with a worm or lizard. Jigging spoons are still producing quality bass on 1/2 to 3/4 ounce (silver with a white or yellow accent tail feather or a deep diving crank bait in citrus shad and Tennessee shad colors). The jig and pig bite has been strong. Cast your jig to long tapering points that drop off into deep water, the best colors are black and blue, PB&J football jigs 3/8 - 3/4 ounce with a 3-inch matching color craw trailer, and a green pumpkin jig with a chunk style trailer. The Crappie bite is still good in 12-20 feet on the edge of the river channels using 1/16- and 3/32-ounce Wager Baits, #46 Bluegrass, #3 Monkey Milk, #09 Electric Chicken, #10 Black and Chartreuse and small minnows depending on the cloud cover and cooling night temperatures. Now that the lake is at a Winter drawdown, it's prime time to go out scouting for new areas for Springtime fishing. Look for areas like feeder creeks, ditches, man-made structures, creek bends and undercuts, etc. Reminder: Keep and extra set of clothes in a dry bag stowed away on your vessel just in case you get caught in the rain, heavy winds, etc. Hypothermia happens quickly. Good luck and keep casting forward! Report from Master Captain Steve “Scooby” Stubbe, Mudfish Adventures LLC, Orv

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