Hunting Season Is Finally Here - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

11/03/07- East Texas

Hunting Season Is Finally Here

East Texans have been gearing up for weeks Saturday, the start of hunting season.  Many are curious about what to expect from the harvest this season and what luck hunters had on the first day.  With plenty of rain in East Texas this year, game wardens say hunters can expect a good harvest.

"There's better antler development and deer are healthier, and they're fatter," said Smith County Game Warden Chris Green.  "The fawn crop, you know the doe, pretty much all of them had twins, some triplets, so we're going to have a good deer population because of this rainfall for years to come."  Yet, the first day of hunting season got off to a slow start, at least with deer.

"The deer hunters have come in and stated that they're just not seeing much moving at all," said Jim Mantooth, a deer processor at Country Meat Market in Tyler.  "It's kind of warm outside, there's a lot of acorns out there, but the deer are just not moving."

"Definitely the ducks are flying right now," said Gander Mountain Assistant Manager Jessica Knight.   "I've heard that people are getting some good shots on deer, but they're missing them."  Until the weather cools down in East Texas, deer are not expected to be on the move and neither are snakes.

"Because of the warm weather a lot of snakes haven't gone underground yet," said Green.  "We still have an influx of water moccasins and copperheads are prevalent."  As hunting season gets underway, game wardens are also stressing everyone to be aware.

"If you see something that doesn't look right let us know," said Green.  "Say someone is trespassing, or kills a deer illegally, you know, it's ten at night and someone's got a deer hanging in a barn somewhere with a light on and you see it, certainly call the sheriff's department to get us locally, or if you want a reward from the state call the Operation Game Thief number 1-800-792-GAME."

Courtney Lane, Reporting.  

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