That the deer-hunting landscape is changing will come as no surprise to many Texans. The bucks are bigger. The tracking technology is state-of-the-art. And the sticker price for a weekend in a deer stand, once an austere pastime, has become, in many instances, staggering. So while the business of deer is thriving, participation is declining. What’s to make of all of this? And what does the future hold for a sport that has long occupied an important place in our state’s heritage?
From the Issue
"We both watch the blood and steam spill out into the winter air. At this point, it is not unusual for at least one of us to cry."
The gear is better, the antlers are grander, and the price of admission has shot way up. Welcome to the new world of Texas hunting.
For decades, a treasured plot of Hill Country land meant one thing to the men in my family: a chance to kill lots of deer. Today, it means something different.
So you’ve downed your first twelve-point buck of the season. But don’t break out the brewskis just yet: You’ve got some dirty work to do. “The minute the animal dies, it’s starting to decay,” says James C. Kroll, a.k.a. Dr. Deer from the Outdoor Channel (and whose formal job is