It’s the final week of deer season here in East Texas, as hunters make their last attempt to ‘bag the limit’. Gauging how successful the season has been is usually connected to processors and taxidermists, and this year has been a good one. From the rush to start deer hunting season in November, to this last week, game wardens say hunters have come out in near record numbers.
“We’ve seen a tremendous amount of hunters. I think a lot of that has to do with the Covid. People not working and a lot of kids not in school,” says Smith county game warden Chris Webb.
A gauge on how busy the season has been, is processors. “I know some processors that have a couple times closed their doors just to catch up. All the processors are up, some of the numbers have doubled,” Webb says, and taxidermy specialists have been busy. “I would say the season is a blessing in disguise. We took in more deer than we’ve ever expected,” says Courtney Long of ‘Daddy D taxidermy’ in Gladewater. Long, who also runs a tannery, feels COVID-19 has been the unexpected catalyst in their booming business. “Seemed like more people were in the woods because of (COVID-19), because they can’t go out and do everything else they want,” she says. With a week left, game wardens say there’s still plenty of deer on the move. “Tremendous amount of deer and hogs moving the last few days. If you didn’t get your big buck you’ve certainly got a chance in the next 6 to 8 days,” says Webb. And Webb thinks there’s a much bigger reason for more hunters. “If you can go out and take this meat, you don’t have to buy it at the store. [full article]