Drought to affect wildlife reproduction, hunting season

Monday, August 8, 2011 - 6:59pm

The extreme temperatures lately are disrupting not just our temperatures but nature's cycle.

The heat mixed with the drought has taken a toll on Texas wildlife, and could change what the landscape looks like for hunters.

"It's affected the plant growth which affects the insect production and the seed production," said David Sierra, wildlife biologist for Texas Parks and Wildlife.

Sierra said those animals that depend on seeds, the plant itself or the insects are all being affected.

So if animals are reproducing less, what about hunting season?

"With migratory birds, it's probably not going to affect it that much because those birds from the north are going to come down this direction," Sierra said. "So dove season may end up being just as affective as early dove season has been in the past."

As far as deer goes, biologists say there may be a generation gap of less mature deer in a few years, but this year, hunting deer may actually be better.

"Because the habitat is in such poor condition, the deer have to move more to gather enough nutrition," Sierra said. "So the more they move, the more likely a hunter will find them."

Gun shop owners say they're hoping for a good year, but they'll just have to wait and see.

"I don't think it'll be on the same par as previous seasons because people don't have the money," said Mack Woods, owner of The Shootist Gun and Knife Shop in Tyler. "It's too hot."

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