ANGELINA COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - The severe drought had many East Texans worried about their hunting game this deer season. But, as business begins to stack up for one local meat market, all the activity can only mean two things: deer are plentiful and the hunting is good.
"Monday morning is typically the day of the ice chests," says Chris Ward, Manager of Massingill's Meat Market.
Deer hunters are dropping off ice chest with bucks to be processed.
"Yes because so many have said that they're going to be poor deer this year, not as big of racks. We killed, like I said we have a thousand acres over there and we killed as big of rack as we've ever killed," says Wayne Price, a deer hunter.
Price is just coming off the first weekend of gun season. Many, like Price, weren't sure how the drought would affect their hunt, but the coolers stacked at Massingill's Meat Market say it all.
"Bow season was the turning point that let us know that everything was going to be fine. The drought wasn't affecting anything. All the deer was coming in, big-bodied, heavy, and healthy," says Ward.
Ward says he expects to have about a hundred coolers by the end of the day and there's not just deer in some of them coolers.
"We get a few hogs. Mainly it's all, of course it's whitetail right now. We do get some exotics from all over the place. Oryx, attix, you name it, axis, buffalo, they bring it all to us," says Ward.
Even with a predicted drought looming into next year, Ward says he still expects coolers to be waiting on him every Monday.
"These animals are survivors. They have adapted to all the environments. They can run faster than we can. The fire is not going to touch them. It does catch some of them. There are going to be some places that are going to be affected more than the others, but as a general whole, we haven't seen any hurt at all," says Ward
One hunter managed to leave the lease with two hogs and a 7-point buck. Larry Nadeau, a deer hunter, says it's just a matter of hunting near a water source.
"Wake up and smell the roses. They're out there. You've got to look for them. That's all you have to do. If you're there they'll come to you sooner or later, that's all you have to do," says Nadeau.
Some hunters tell us they do worry the deer will be in worse shape next hunting season if the drought lingers.