AUSTIN (KAMR/KCIT) — Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) biologists predict a moderate season for hunters this fall due to the lack of rainfall over the summer.

According to a TPWD press release, drought over the summer can affect a deer’s habits not only impacting the weight of the deer but also the quality of its antlers, TPWD said to expect average to below average.

“Overall, 2022 year is expected to be good in terms of harvest numbers and opportunities, so don’t let the chance to spend time afield with family, friends and fellow hunters pass you by,” said Alan Cain, White-Tailed Deer Program Leader for TPWD. “Texas has one of the longest deer seasons in the nation, so take some time this fall and winter and enjoy one of the best deer herds in the country right here in your home state.”

Officials said with deer hunting and archery season beginning on Oct. 1 for most states, fewer deer may be at feeders as the recent rain provided food. TPWD said this may cause deer not to travel far so archers may need to alter their hunting strategies to find success.

“Woody plants are critical in times like these because these deep-rooted plants are often the only abundant supply of green groceries for deer, but even these browse plants are showing some signs of stress,” said Cain. “Mesquites appear to be on track to produce an abundance of beans this year and were critical sources of natural forage for deer in late summer in the central, south and western portions of the state.”

TPWD said the general season opens, on Nov. 5. and runs through Jan. 1, 2023, in the North Zone and Jan. 15, 2023, in the South Zone. Officials said the youth gun deer season is set in both zones for Oct. 29-30 and Jan. 2-15, 2023.

The release states that hunters in surveillance and containment zones must meet the requirements of harvested CWD susceptible species and hunters outside of containment zones can voluntarily submit their harvest for testing.

TPWD reminds hunters that biologists and animal health officials are closely monitoring hunter-harvested deer to detect Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) to reduce the risk of the disease further spreading.

Officials state that Archery hunters are required to purchase an Archery Endorsement and hunting license.

For more information on Archery and deer hunting season visit, here.