It has been a dry year in south Texas, as in much of the rest of the country. However, Mike notes that the impact on whitetail bucks and their antler growth doesn't have to be as detrimental as one might expect. Deer aren't out foraging as much as usual because food sources aren't as readily available during drought. In turn, that lack of forage means the deer will hit supplemental food sources a lot harder if they are available. Mike says he offers more supplemental feeding in years like this one on the land that he manages. For that reason, he says they often see bigger bucks on drought years because those animals are able to max out their growth potential thanks to the concentrated vitamins, minerals and nutrients all provided in the supplemental feed. It may seem counterintuitive that bucks could thrive in a tough year, but land managers and hunters have the ability to turn that around by making good feed available to the deer.
While the bucks may thrive, Mike notes that the fawn crop is a different story. Some recent surveys suggest that this year's fawn crop is lower than usual and he says that is likely due to a long run of triple digit weather that the south Texas area has been hit with. Young fawns have a hard time thriving during the long runs of extreme heat, Mike says, and there is little you can do.
Before whitetail seasons really heat up, there are plenty of other big game hunting opportunities to be had in the early fall, like elk and moose. Mike talks about the moose hunt he'll be going on in September in the Yukon. Moose are one of his favorite game animals to pursue and he discusses the excitement of calling a bull in, as well as the challenges of packing an animal of that size out of the wilderness. He also highlights a mountain goat hunt he'll be taking on in British Columbia and notes that goat hunts are some of the hardest he has ever taken on as they live in such inhospitable terrain.
Listen to the whole interview by clicking the audio player below. Be sure to watch "Savage Outdoors" on Sportsman Channel, Tuesdays at 9:30 p.m. ET and "The One", Thursdays at 10:30 p.m. ET on Outdoor Channel.