AUSTIN - Texas Parks and Wildlife Department biologists are asking hunters and landowners to bring their harvested mule deer to a voluntary mule deer check station in the Trans-Pecos region Dec. 3-4 and Dec. 10-11. Voluntary check stations will be set up during the two weekends in Culberson, Midland, Pecos, Terrell and Brewster counties.
Data collected at these check stations is used to monitor harvest intensity, herd condition and age structure and to develop revisions in regulations. TPWD biologists annually collect mule deer harvest data by management compartment, which include age by tooth wear and replacement, antler measurements and field-dressed weights.
"In an effort to improve data, increase our knowledge of harvest intensity on a broader scale, and enhance efficiency, we will be operating voluntary check stations for the 2011 hunting season in five counties," said Shawn Gray, TPWD mule deer program coordinator. "These check stations will be located in areas where hunters can conveniently get their harvested mule deer aged, weighed, and measured [for bucks]."
In the Trans-Pecos, more than 14,000 harvested mule deer bucks have been checked since 1980, averaging more than 500 deer annually. In addition, data is also collected from a limited number of harvested does.
"This information is essential in monitoring mule deer populations and making future regulation decisions," Gray explained. "The success of the check stations will be in large part because of the cooperation of hunters and landowners. TPWD encourages all hunters and landowners hunting these dates to bring their harvested mule deer by a check station this hunting season."
All voluntary check stations will be open from 9am - 5pm on Dec. 3-4 and Dec. 10-11. Voluntary check stations will be located at these locations:
• Van Horn, Culberson County, Van Horn Convention Center—1801 West Broadway
• Midland, Midland County, Naturally Fresh (Deer Processor)—1501 Elwyn, Midland, TX 79701
• Bakersfield, Pecos County, Chevron Station—south of I-10 (Exit 294)
• Sanderson, Terrell County, Slim's Auto Repair—intersection of HWY 90 and 285
• Alpine, Brewster County, Hip-O Taxidermy—east side of town on HWY 90, across from Dairy Queen Restaurant