By Julianne Murrah
The hunting season for white-tailed deer started in the beginning of November and is going strong, as are the regulations.
Illegal hunting has decreased in Young County over the course of approximately 10 years, but there are still illegal hunters afoot.
“It’s not as bad as it once was,” said Texas Parks and Wildlife Officer and Young County Game Warden Brent Isom. “We still have people that shoot deer off road and trespass on properties they aren’t supposed to be in. The laws have changed, and killing a whitetail deer on private property is a felony now. If you’re shooting off of the road and on private property, it gets you into a whole lot of trouble.”
Illegal poaching of deer on county roads has dropped, but some hunters still kill at night, which is illegal. Deer may only be hunted from 30 minutes before sunup until 30 minutes after sundown. Additionally, Young County’s hunting guidelines fall into the 13-inch rule area, meaning a hunter may only shoot a whitetail buck if it’s inside spread antler measurement is at least 13 inches.
The rule helps local bucks to mature and breed more deer in the Young County area. The 13-inch rule can be determined by looking at the distance from ear-tip to ear-tip on a buck with its ears in the alert position. If a deer not meeting the 13-inch requirement is killed, it is a violation of the law. According to Isom, this has happened in the Young County area recently.
“That’s usually from hunters that don’t mean to violate the law but misjudge the animal and end up too small,” Isom said. Whitetail deer not meeting the requirement that are killed are seized from the hunter.
Read the entire story in this weekend's edition of The Graham Leader.