Fires should push East Texas deer to feeders

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Wildfires across Deep East Texas have blackened their food source, but it's not the only problem deer face.

"The deer definitely are going to be stressed because their food supply is rather limited because of the lack of rainfall," said Micah Poteet, a Technical Guidance Biologist Texas Parks and Wildlife. "As far as hunting goes, it probably will improve hunting because if you've got a feeder, they're going to really be flocking to the feeders this year."

George Woods with Lufkin Farm Supply agrees.

He looks forward to hunting season every year.

"It's one of those things we just have always done, but it's going to be a little different this year," said George Woods, manager of Lufkin Farm Supply. "They're going to be hunting over feeders a lot more this year. The browse is just not there."

He says some guys have even been putting out water troughs to draw the deer.

"It's kind of crazy, something new," Woods said. "They're not bringing pictures in of the feed troughs and the deer coming in to the feeders, they're getting pictures of them at the water troughs."

Biologists say people may even see deer closer to the road as they look for food.

"Deer will usually hold pretty tight to an area and most of these fires are, they tend to burn in sort of a mosaic," Poteet said. "I mean it's not across the board black. It will be a patch of green here, a patch of black there and those deer will concentrate on those unburned areas."

Despite their concerns, these bow hunters still gear up saying they'll have to wait and see how drought and fire has affected their game.

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