TYLER, TX (KLTV) - It is a date on a calendar East Texas outdoorsmen have been waiting on for months. Deer season is finally here, and experts say those looking to bag the big one may be in luck.
Good weather and plenty of food in recent years mean a bumper crop of white tail await hunters.
It is the three and a half month temporary job no one calls in sick for. Thousands of hunters head to the woods starting Saturday with the official start of bow season.
"We like hunting season just as much as anyone else," said Game Warden Chris Green.
He says this season gives hunters plenty to like when they visit the deer stand: larger deer and more of them.
"Deer are populating because we've had good rainfall, good forage out there for them to eat so we're optimistic that our numbers are going to keep increasing," he explained.
Wildlife biologists attribute the increased deer population to an abundance of acorns - a favorite food of the deer and an unusually high number of twins born. They are conditions giving most hunters a chance for success.
"We hope to attract more hunters, more females, more kids, and we have programs that we're doing all across the state to encourage that," said Green.
Texas Parks and Wildlife specializes in teaching good hunting judgement, leading to better wildlife in future years.
"They can be more selective because we're going to have more deer, and I think archery hunters are patient hunters anyway, but just be a little more selective and go after the trophy," said Green.
So whether you are at the feeder or on foot, get ready for the big one because they are out there.
"[We have had] great weather the past couple years [and] good fawn crops," said Green. "[It] all is a recipe for some better mature deer and some happy hunters."
Bow hunters taking advantage of Saturday's first day may not be the only ones in the woods.
Squirrel season has kicked off and game wardens say both groups of hunters should look twice before pulling a bowstring or trigger.