Texas Parks & Wildlife

Ryan E. Poppe

For hunters like Tom Buckley deer hunting is a tradition passed down from one generation to another.  And this week it’s been all about preparing for the hunt.  But as he confidently pitches 50-pound bags of deer corn in the bed of his faded pickup in Cedar Park, Buckley explains why he isn’t concerned about the possibility that Chronic Wasting Disease or CWD has moved from deer breeding farms into the state’s wild white-tail deer population.

Wikimedia Commons

Right now in Texas, deer and all other free-roaming animals are considered common property for all Texans to enjoy and the state manages and regulates that wildlife on behalf of the people.

Ryan E. Poppe

New regulations by the Texas Parks and Wildlife put deer breeders in one of three categories based on whether or not any of their penned deer had been exposed to other deer that had been diagnosed with CWD at the Texas Mountain Ranch near Hondo.  

  Those sets of categories determined if a deer breeder could sell the animal and caused some confusion among buyers at the auction.   Auctioneer Vance Runnels --

Ryan E. Poppe

The Texas Parks and Wildlife commission has approved a set of rules for the state’s deer industry.  The agency says it aims to better track incidents of Chronic Wasting Disease among captive deer herds and release more deer breeders from the state’s ban on the sale of deer.

Ryan E. Poppe

This year, no Texas deer rancher has suffered more than Robert Patterson who owns the Texas Mountain Ranch in Medina County. 

In June, a two-year old buck died from a broken neck at his ranch. Voluntary testing confirmed that it had Chronic Wasting Disease, an illness that prompts deer to stop eating.

Since then Texas Parks and Wildlife officials have euthanized 42 more of Patterson’s deer and found 3 positive for the disease. Patterson says that’s cost him almost a half-million dollars in livestock.