The whitetail hunting industry probably didn’t need a shot in the arm. Deer hunting is a thriving enterprise, especially within Texas, and it seems like increasing numbers of hunters enter the fray every year as especially fathers, recognize hunting as a long term activity that they can share with their children in the outdoors over a lifetime. But over the past 15 years the science of breeding deer gradually turned into an industry and has acted as a booster for hunting across the state ever since.
Breeding deer was not a novel concept when it was first attempted. Ever since Gregory Mendel blew the lid off the lock box of genetics, humans have been attempting to use genetic science in an effort to improve and solidify species across the globe. Our understanding of the science of genetics grows every year, and with it grows our particular understanding of the elusive whitetail deer and the biophysical components necessary for deer to survive and even thrive.
The science of breeding deer began as all new scientific endeavors do, slowly and fumblingly. For years deer geneticists labored under the impression that male antler characteristics are carried and transmitted by males only. This false impression limited progress significantly as breeders attempted to affect herds using only one half of a biological quotient. However, within the last decade geneticists have discovered that female deer carry not just an equal share of antler genetics, but actually more than the males themselves. This understanding has allowed deer breeding to evolve into a precise science, one whose effects reverberate throughout the Texas hunting community at large.
Now landowners with operations dedicated to breeding deer are permanent fixtures in the state. Top tier whitetail breeding facilities such as Escondido Ranch have developed elaborate facilities and finely tuned processes for the safe breeding of large, healthy, genetically selected does and bucks. Scientific advancements allow for safe methods of artificial insemination, expanding the industry of breeding deer to also include a market for high caliber deer semen.
Scientific advancements have revolutionized the industry, to the point that breeding deer is now a completely manageable endeavor. These whitetails are housed in spacious, non-intrusive enclosures and eat special protein feed designed to maximize their health and growth potential. Breeder whitetails also receive closely monitored health care from veterinarians and wildlife specialists, ensuring their comfort and vitality.
The process of breeding deer has reached such a streamlined status that it has had significant effects on the hunting industry as well. The ready availability and relative affordability of breeder bucks and does has increased the awareness and popularity of game management across the state. Landowners and property managers are only a phone call away from boosting the overall population and growth potential of existing deer herds. Easily accessible whitetail breeding programs have also made it so that many landowners have been able to convert unused land into sustainable hunting properties, marketable business enterprises themselves that have boosted the state economy.
While the industry of breeding deer has been something of a phenomenon, its effects on the state’s hunting landscape is equally undeniable. Texas has long been known for its diversity in both topography and game, and for years the southern part of the state has been a garden destination for any serious hunter in search of a trophy whitetail. This reputation is growing, and as increasing numbers of game fenced properties are populated with genetically superior breeder deer, the caliber of Texas whitetails continues to rise as well.