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-   -   Hill Country Deer vs. South Texas Deer? (https://discussions.texasbowhunter.com/forums/showthread.php?t=793801)

TalonErickson7 12-24-2020 12:19 PM

Hill Country Deer vs. South Texas Deer?
 
As we are all aware South Texas grows large if not the largest bucks in the great state of Texas.
As curiosity has brought me I wonder if anyone on TBH has the real reasoning how the red dirt of the south Texas brush country can produce such monstrous deer when all it has to provide is mesquite beans and browse.
Vs.
Central Texas/Hill country with Acorns, browse and even mesquite beans. Hill country can produce great deer but not like South Texas even the body sizes arenít in comparison.

So what is it that South Texas has that the Hill Country doesnít?


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BayouCat 12-24-2020 12:22 PM

Different subspecies of WT would be my guess

HighwayHunter 12-24-2020 12:24 PM

Subspecies


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Capt Glenn 12-24-2020 12:25 PM

Maybe consider the density of the herds in both areas.

SmTx 12-24-2020 12:30 PM

South Texas has been managed for decades.

Hill country has been over populated and over grazed for decades.

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GarGuy 12-24-2020 12:31 PM

Red dirt

Txhuntr2 12-24-2020 12:33 PM

Its nutrition.

Dr. Evil 12-24-2020 12:34 PM

Haven’t a lot of ranches in South Texas brought in larger breeder bucks from the Midwest in the past?

GARY 12-24-2020 12:34 PM

Cows seem to also do better in South Texas grazing than Hill Country....

JVasquez 12-24-2020 12:35 PM

Everything that grows in South Texas is high in protein.

stx 12-24-2020 12:36 PM

The brush country has wayyy more to provide than just mesquite beans as seen in the link below. Also south Texas has generally larger tracts of land that can be managed.

https://tpwd.texas.gov/publications/...1675_07_11.pdf

Mexico 12-24-2020 12:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JVasquez (Post 15351134)
Native browse in South Texas is high in protein.

Much higher and much more abundant. The soil quality is much better also as the HC has a limestone base to work with. There is little to no nutrition in Limestone.

Bdub25 12-24-2020 12:37 PM

Guajilla and black brush


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Txhuntr2 12-24-2020 12:38 PM

There was a study in Mississippi where they took deer from different regions of the state. Each region had different quality of deer. Similar to our Hill Country vs South Texas Deer. They put the deer in pens and altered their diet. From what I remember, their findings were that after a couple generations the deer all looked about the same. The deer from the small deer producing areas got much bigger, the medium deer got a little bigger and the biggest deer grew the least.

I actually spoke to one of the authors of the study about Texas specifically. He was of the opinion that their results would hold true here too.

Tx.Fisher 12-24-2020 12:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JVasquez (Post 15351134)
Everything that grows in South Texas is high in protein.

Yes, what he said. A lot better groceries that are naturally higher in protein than what you find in the hill country or west Texas.

SwampBuck 12-24-2020 12:48 PM

Natural nutrition
Larger land tracts
Longer management
I think there’s merit to the whole sub-species thing also.

I love the hill county, what it lacks in size it makes up
For in numbers and scenery. The density likely plays a factor in size also

Longue Carabine 12-24-2020 01:07 PM

The hill country is devoid of nutrition in comparison. Not only does South Texas have a huge variety of edible browse species, but almost everything is within reach of the deer.

Johnson 12-24-2020 01:15 PM

AGE! nutrition and AGE. I hunted the hill county for many year. I can honesty say I have seen some really good ten point bucks but never one that was old. If you have a big enough ranch and you can let your deer age you will get some great deer in the hill country.

panhandlehunter 12-24-2020 01:34 PM

Nutrition and management. I hunted the hill country my whole life, now hunt in south Texas. All of our bucks are over 200#s, I think out of 12-14 bucks we only have one that is under 200. I love it.

Chad C 12-24-2020 01:46 PM

Hill Country Deer vs. South Texas Deer?
 
Density has a lot to do with it, but nutrition is much-much better in the brush country.


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SwampBuck 12-24-2020 01:52 PM

That’s something that’s odd to me.
If the nutrition is so much better in the south, why are the numbers not there like they are in the hill country? Surely if the nutrition was that off in the hill country the numbers should naturally be that much lower.

panhandlehunter 12-24-2020 01:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SwampBuck (Post 15351313)
Thatís something thatís odd to me.
If the nutrition is so much better in the south, why are the numbers not there like they are in the hill country? Surely if the nutrition was that off in the hill country the numbers should naturally be that much lower.

Herd management and predators. Lots of the hill country had been or are currently devoid of predators due to goat farming.

Longue Carabine 12-24-2020 02:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SwampBuck (Post 15351313)
Thatís something thatís odd to me.
If the nutrition is so much better in the south, why are the numbers not there like they are in the hill country? Surely if the nutrition was that off in the hill country the numbers should naturally be that much lower.

IF population is in fact lower in South Texas, then my guesses are water is much more of a limiting factor in South Texas compared to the hill country. Predation may be higher in remote South Texas as well

Mule Skinner 12-24-2020 02:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JVasquez (Post 15351134)
Everything that grows in South Texas is high in protein.

This is the correct answer.

tbgascorer 12-24-2020 02:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SwampBuck (Post 15351313)
Thatís something thatís odd to me.
If the nutrition is so much better in the south, why are the numbers not there like they are in the hill country? Surely if the nutrition was that off in the hill country the numbers should naturally be that much lower.

Lack of natural predators plays a major role. For example, in my county of Mills, we have few coyotes. This is because this is the meat goat capital of Texas and they get shot, trapped, poisoned, etc. Some areas of the hill country do have coyotes though. Another factor is the screw worm fly being eradicated in the 1960's and hill country herds have overpopulated since then.

Puncher51 12-24-2020 02:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SwampBuck (Post 15351313)
Thatís something thatís odd to me.
If the nutrition is so much better in the south, why are the numbers not there like they are in the hill country? Surely if the nutrition was that off in the hill country the numbers should naturally be that much lower.

Higher Deer Numbers = Overbrowsing of Quality shrub/tree/forb species
Overbrowsing of Native Forage = less available high quality forage per animal

Deer density is the biggest issue in my opinion. If the hill country could get their numbers in check, then the quality would drastically improve. The biggest issue with that though is smaller parcels of land. If deer density was where it should be, then less deer per parcel, and most people would rather see a lot more deer than to have the opportunity to harvest a mature buck.

Also donít forget the hunter density difference between hill country and south Texas. A lot more bucks shot at younger ages across the board, since there are so many hunters. Everyone has to get their ďtrophyĒ and their ďcullĒ every season.

Lastly, predator numbers are a lot higher down south, so fawn survival suffers compared to the hill country. Predator numbers, along with drought, help keep deer density lower down south.

Quackerbox 12-24-2020 02:11 PM

Like mentioned, it's the nutrition. While it grows them bigger they also dumber

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Code 12-24-2020 02:21 PM

Density leading to over grazing...McCulloch county is insane with density. Add in this year with drought and itís worse. This year Iíve seen way more does with babies still in tote than ever before...leads me to believe not enough bucks around to breed does and run off the babies.
Trying to do my part with doe harvest.

Sika 12-24-2020 02:29 PM

It can’t be nutrition alone. The deer in the golden triangle are just bigger skeletally. Their bones and skulls are larger. Deer in the Edwards plateau and Gulf coast are just smaller, skeletally.

SwampBuck 12-24-2020 02:48 PM

Wouldn’t nutrition lead to skeletal structure?

Natural over grazing seems the most logical, it’s just funny to me that the herd doesn’t naturally keep itself in check if nutrients/forage are so scarce. Not to mention general bag limits are more generous.

Hornfan 12-24-2020 03:08 PM

One area has quality dirt and the other has limestone rock. There’s a reason the deer in Iowa are huge - great dirt.

DEREKG22 12-24-2020 03:22 PM

Interesting thread...opinios all over the place.......following

Longue Carabine 12-24-2020 03:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sika (Post 15351390)
It canít be nutrition alone. The deer in the golden triangle are just bigger skeletally. Their bones and skulls are larger. Deer in the Edwards plateau and Gulf coast are just smaller, skeletally.

Bone structure is a product of nutrition over multiple generations. There was a great "common garden" experiment done in South Dakota that addressed this.

https://openprairie.sdstate.edu/etd/392/

N.DaWoods 12-24-2020 04:06 PM

Plants with 20+% protein, larger safer areas to reach maturity, and better longer established management and feeding practices.

Texas452 12-24-2020 04:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by GARY (Post 15351133)
Cows seem to also do better in South Texas grazing than Hill Country....

The places I hunted on in the hill country the cows done really well they seemed to get wider than my pickup

HighwayHunter 12-24-2020 05:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by stx (Post 15351137)
The brush country has wayyy more to provide than just mesquite beans as seen in the link below. Also south Texas has generally larger tracts of land that can be managed.

https://tpwd.texas.gov/publications/...1675_07_11.pdf


Crazy to see beauty berry is a first choice browse in STX


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TTUgrad08 12-24-2020 08:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by panhandlehunter (Post 15351324)
Herd management and predators. Lots of the hill country had been or are currently devoid of predators due to goat farming.

This is my opinion as well.

Killer 12-24-2020 08:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by stx (Post 15351137)
The brush country has wayyy more to provide than just mesquite beans as seen in the link below. Also south Texas has generally larger tracts of land that can be managed.

https://tpwd.texas.gov/publications/...1675_07_11.pdf

This

TalonErickson7 12-24-2020 08:48 PM

I generally always just thought it was the soil fertility providing in high nutritional value to all the browse they have down south. Great to hear everyoneís opinions tho


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Grant2 12-24-2020 10:01 PM

If you have a big place in the hill country and you can let the deer mature they get big. All you need is age,water and food and they will be just as good as south Texas bucks. You have to manage the place shoot the right culls and keep the numbers in check with the does as well.

TalonErickson7 12-24-2020 10:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Grant2 (Post 15352168)
If you have a big place in the hill country and you can let the deer mature they get big. All you need is age,water and food and they will be just as good as south Texas bucks. You have to manage the place shoot the right culls and keep the numbers in check with the does as well.


So you think you could have 5,000 acres in South Texas and 5,000 acres in the Hill Country and produce the same quality of deer on each place?


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TXhoghunter94 12-24-2020 10:48 PM

We have a larger track of land in the hill country and we grow some solid bucks but cannot seem to break over 170 class bucks but we simply have way too many deer so we are really trying to get our numbers down.https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/202...27a1ea54a5.jpg

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DirtNap 12-24-2020 10:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Longue Carabine (Post 15351328)
IF population is in fact lower in South Texas, then my guesses are water is much more of a limiting factor in South Texas compared to the hill country. Predation may be higher in remote South Texas as well

What about East Texas? I would argue just as big, if not bigger deer can been found near Toledo Bend and Rayburn than down South. And plenty of water can be found in East Texas for obvious reasons.

txtrophy85 12-24-2020 11:26 PM

It’s all about nutrition and enough groceries to go around. More ranches in south Texas feed protein than hill country ranches.

They hill country is relatively sterile compared to native south Texas brush. This leads to bigger deer. The subspecies argument has been made but unfortunately it doesent hold water because deer north of the Llano Uplift get pretty darn big bodied and antlered as well.

The gulf coast deer is in fact a different deer ( Avery island subspecies ) but a genetically there is no difference between a deer shot in Kerr county and one shot in La Salle.

ttaxidermy 12-25-2020 12:15 AM

...

Longue Carabine 12-25-2020 12:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DirtNap (Post 15352253)
What about East Texas? I would argue just as big, if not bigger deer can been found near Toledo Bend and Rayburn than down South. And plenty of water can be found in East Texas for obvious reasons.

Deer in east Texas are generally thriving to a lesser degree because of tree cover. East Texas has much better soil and rainfall which leads to better potential, but that potential ends up producing tons of tree cover that reduces browse within reach of the deer. And generally areas that are cleared of tree cover are growing hay etc for cattle, which is useless to deer.

88 Bound 12-25-2020 01:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Quackerbox (Post 15351353)
While it grows them bigger they also dumber

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This couldnít be farther from the truth about the deer down south.

txtimetravler 12-25-2020 01:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TalonErickson7 (Post 15352234)
So you think you could have 5,000 acres in South Texas and 5,000 acres in the Hill Country and produce the same quality of deer on each place?


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Absolutely.

panhandlehunter 12-25-2020 04:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TalonErickson7 (Post 15352234)
So you think you could have 5,000 acres in South Texas and 5,000 acres in the Hill Country and produce the same quality of deer on each place?


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No way. Go look at Los Cazadores low fence. All over 200Ē Webb, LaSalle, Dimmit. I bet there wasnít one low fence 200Ē deer taken anywhere in the hill country.

TalonErickson7 12-25-2020 04:50 AM

I agree with you. He thinks otherwise, I believe South Texas not only grows every thing high in protein but I believe genetically the deer down there have much more to offer.


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