At one point in the late 19th century, white-tailed deer nearly disappeared from the Texas landscape. Over harvest and alteration of natural plant communities had reduced or eliminated deer numbers across much of Texas. Protective measures were taken, including the first deer seasons, harvest limits, and the establishment of the state game warden service.
This protection from exploitation was accompanied by adaptation of deer to altered landscapes and widespread restocking by the state wildlife department. From their near disappearance over 100-years ago, white-tailed deer have been restored to most areas they previously occupied and have even expanded their range into historically unoccupied areas of the state. The restoration of the whitetail is a wildlife management success story in Texas and many other states that went through similar transitions.
The current status of white-tailed deer populations nationally is also a testament to the resiliency and adaptability of this species. White-tailed deer can thrive side-by-side with human populations through urban and suburban areas throughout the United States. The adaptability of white-tailed deer and the desire of people to live and work in areas that retain green spaces have resulted in deer overabundance in many areas.
Not only do deer represent a success story for the species, but they represent part of the culture in many rural areas. White-tailed deer now account for a significant portion of local economies in Texas and much of small-town America. With significant biological, economic, and social importance, hopefully the white-tailed deer will always have a place to call home.