What is Trophy Whitetail Deer Hunting in Texas?
Even if you're a new Texas hunter, you probably already know you don't want to go around shooting at anything and everything. There are rules and regulations to follow regarding hunting, including those that apply to trophy whitetail deer.
Whitetail deer are found throughout the United States, and Texas Parks & Wildlife estimates that there are more than four million in the Lone Star State. The trophy is the animal (or portion of the animal) that a hunter preserves as a souvenir of their hunt. For whitetail deer, the trophy is often the head and antlers. Whitetail hunting is a booming industry, and opportunities are rife in Texas, including at Stone Creek Ranch. That’s why bagging a trophy is something you can put on your hunting bucket list when you visit us this year.
A History of Trophy Hunting
We all want there to be Texas Whitetail deer for many generations to come, which means that various regulations prevent hunters from harvesting mating females or young deer. These efforts have given rise to trophy hunting, which supports conservation of the deer population by encouraging hunters to target mature animals with large antlers or horns.
The practice of trophy hunting as a conservation driver has proven quite successful. The Boone and Crockett Club, which monitors the conservation success through its Big Game Records, reports that the selective harvest of older males has aided in the recovery of many big game species which were on the brink of extinction at the turn of the 20th century. That’s why, as a trophy hunter, you can do your part to preserve wildlife and wild spaces for future generations. In fact, President Theodore Roosevelt—who helped establish countless national forests, federal bird reserves, national game preserves, national parks and national monuments on over 230 million acres of public land—was a huge advocate of trophy hunting.
Trophy Whitetail Deer Hunting in Texas
Many people wonder what qualifies a Whitetail deer as a trophy. In reality, there isn’t a hard and fast rule, but there are several methods you can use when thinking about your trophy.
One definition of a trophy Whitetail, provided by The Texas Wildlife Foundation, is a buck with antlers that measure 150 or more inches. However, the foundation points out that this definition doesn’t take into account the experience of finding, watching, hunting or harvesting the animal. Nor does it account for how the antlers were produced. Many of today's top hunters also consider the antlers’ mass, symmetry and forking when looking for a trophy.
The number of points a buck has on its antlers is another indicator of a good trophy. A 10- or 12-pointer is often considered the best trophies you can get. In many cases, a high number of points indicates good nutrition and superior genetics, both of which signal that a buck is a prime catch. In fact, many wildlife managers use what’s called the eight point rule when looking for trophies. Bucks with eight or more points are able to be harvested, while those with fewer points need to be protected, which allows the continued conservation of the species.
Multiple points are also a good sign that a buck is mature. And maturity is probably the biggest factor to consider when trophy Whitetail hunting. It typically takes 5–7 years for a buck to mature to its optimal antler size a weight, and as stated earlier, hunting mature animals aids in the preservation of the deer population.
Of course, going by physical size perhaps the most traditional method of determining if you’ve got a trophy Whitetail. Still, when using this method, remember that the improved breeding and nutrition for deer on well-managed hunting preserves and ranches has resulted in increased sizing in bucks, along with higher standards and expectations from hunters. Therefore, it may be a good idea to consider other factors in addition to size as a good trophy measurement.
Your Definition of a Trophy
It's important to note that for some people, the thrill of the hunt is their trophy itself. You don't need to follow someone else's definition of trophy whitetail hunting in Texas! Your trophy is your trophy, and each hunter must choose what a trophy is to him or her. Perhaps 50 pounds of good meat in the freezer is a better trophy for you than antlers on the wall. After all, you can’t make venison burgers out of antlers!
Hunt for Whitetail Deer at Stone Creek Ranch
Texas is world-renowned for its impressive Whitetail deer. When you're looking for trophy Whitetail hunting in Texas, the place to go is Stone Creek Ranch. We have a large, healthy population of Whitetail deer for both management and trophy hunting.
Our ranch features numerous box blinds and food plots to give you the best possible opportunity to harvest your trophy. Our friendly staff and seasoned hunting guides will help you find and harvest the buck you've always dreamed of, whether it's a massive male in the rut or a smaller mature deer that will provide you and your family with meat for months to come.