December 5, 2009 by USA Post
Nooner Ranch:I attended the 10th annual Texas Deer Association convention in San Antonio on August 22-24. As chairman of the antler scoring committee, I solicited the help of my students Javier Hernandez, Dan Brock, Andy Beard, and Cameron Crow to score the largest-racked bucks raised in Texas licensed breeding facilities. Assisted further by fellow biologist Justin Bryan, we scored 38 bucks for the popular annual contest with some decorated with so many tines it took over an hour to score them.
At one time a Texas buck gross scoring 160 inches Boone and Crockett was considered phenomenal. As a result of the consistent and long-term application of proven wildlife management techniques complemented by ideal climatic conditions, this benchmark antler score has been elevated. But even though larger racked deer are showing up on intensively managed ranches, antler size of free-ranging deer does not compare to those developing in the deer breeding industry where 180-inch three-year-old bucks are becoming common. Raising deer, particularly genetically superior bucks in pens, is gaining popularity, and to some quite lucrative; so profitable in fact it is now considered one of the most rapidly growing industries in rural America.
The deer breeding business is so new, little is known about the subject.
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