Gift a hunting weekend and stuff stockings with a chance to win a lifetime hunting license

Christmas is just around the corner, 18 days away to be exact. So, what do you get your favorite hunter? Gift them an experience they’ll be sure to enjoy: a weekend hunt out here at Rancho Las Norias. We have beautiful south Texas whitetails along with several exotics like axis deer, red deer, fallow deer, wildebeests, and oryx too. We’ll be more than happy to provide you with a beautifully printed gift certificate that you can put under the tree for Christmas morning. Additionally you can add to the fun and excitement by stuffing their stockings with the chance to win a Lifetime Super Combo License from the Texas Park & Wildlife Department (TPWD) valued at $1,800. Entries for the Lifetime License drawing only cost $5 each and may be purchased wherever Texas hunting licenses are sold. There is no limit on the number of entries that may be purchased so go ahead and buy your favorite hunter a few for Christmas morning. Not only will it increase your hunter’s chances of winning this amazing prize, but all the monies benefit Texas hunting too. The only little caveat is that only Texas residents are eligible to win. Winners will be drawn on Dec. 30, 2011 and June 30, 2012. Entries purchased by Dec. 27, 2011, will be eligible for both drawings! To learn more about our weekend hunts go here. For more information about TPWD’s Lifetime Super Combo License Drawing go here.

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This season let your hunting help those less fortunate by donating to Hunters for the Hungry

Ever since whitetail deer season has kicked off experts at the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department have been strongly encouraging hunters to use all of their deer tags this year, and if possible to do it as early as possible. Texas has an estimated whitetail deer population between 3.7 million and 4.2 million animals and if nothing is done to curb the population soon, millions of animals will starve to death this winter as food and water sources continue to rapidly dwindle. And, whitetail deer can drastically impact their habitat. But what do you do with all that meat if you harvest two (2) bucks and (3) does as allowed in most Texas counties? Donate it. You can actually help the less fortunate in Texas by donating the extra meat to Hunters for the Hungry, a wonderful program administered by The Texas Association of Community Action Agencies, Inc. According to the group, just last year alone 97 meat processors donated 167,840 pounds of venison meat to 99 agencies in Texas helping alleviate hunger and malnutrition.

To donate your extra deer to needy Texans, you just have to drop your legally tagged, field dressed deer to a participating meat processor. There’s almost 100 of them scattered about throughout Texas. There’s a small processing fee (typically $35-$40). In exchange you will receive a receipt for your tax-deductible donation of the processing fee. The meat processor will take it from there, grinding up the meat and wrapping it up into one-pound packages that are then delivered to local assistance providers. Click here to find a participating meat processor near you. Learn more about Hunters for the Hungry here, or call 1-800-992-9767, ext. 506 or email

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Ever wonder what exactly whitetail deer eat?

Whitetail deer eat a lot of different things, but did you know that they can actually be pretty picky eaters during good seasons when rain is plentiful and food is abundant? Turns out that whitetail deer forage on leaves, stems, seeds, and fruits from a wide variety of plants but just like humans they have their favorites and tend to stick to them whenever possible. In fact, according to experts at Texas Parks & Wildlife (TPWD) whitetail deer literally “choose vegetation based on palatability, seasonal availability, vegetative abundance, precipitation and overall quality of the habitat.” So what do our south Texas whitetail like to feast on? Their top choices include: beauty berries, cedar elm, manzanita, prickly pears, coma, four-wing saltbush, southwest bernardia, sugar hackberry, granjeno, guayacan, Texas kidneywood, and vines ephedra. Learn how to identify these south Texas favorites here. And, what if these top favorites aren’t available? What do they eat then? Learn what’s #2 on their list here.

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There’s more to deer than just good meat

Every hunter knows that the whitetail deer is a delicious, healthy meat – leaner even than chicken believe it or not! – and makes super tasty summer sausage and yummy jerky too. Hunters also know that a nicely tanned hide makes for a very pretty rug, and a buck’s horns make nice coat racks or even interesting buttons when sliced up and polished with power tools. But, did you know that if you’re really industrious you can actually get even more use out of a deer? In fact, before the convenience of “general stores” and the abundance of “big box” stores many essential items and everyday materials actually came from hunted animals. Believe it or not, if you have the time and energy you can actually make the following items from a deer: Fine sewing thread, good boot rub oil, protective leather oil, soap, and even a fat lamp. Read more about how to make these items in this great excerpt from the book Buckskin: The Ancient Art of Braintanning by Steven Edholm and Tamara Wilder of Paleotechnics.

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Fall is upon once again…

The seasons come and go, and fall is finally back here at Rancho Las Norias in south Texas with its beautiful sunsets. Temperatures are currently registering around 10 degrees above normal for this time of year, but we gladly welcome the highs of 80s and the lows of 50s after the summer of record-breaking heat we just endured. We hear a cold front is possibly heading our way very soon, possibly bringing us day-time highs in the delightful 70s. Did we mention whitetail hunting season is finally back too?? Bow hunters have already been out and about enjoying the cooler temperatures for a while now, but general (gun) whitetail season kicks off this weekend! Have you figured out where you’ll be hunting your whitetail this year? Here in Texas you can harvest a max of five (5) whitetails per season, and no more than 3 of these may be bucks. (Note: Some counties may have other restrictions so make sure you look up and know the rules about where you’ll be hunting!) If you’re still looking for a place to hunt, you’re in luck because we still have a few weekends available for whitetail hunts this fall out here at Rancho Las Norias. Contact us for more information and book your weekend today before they’re all gone.

Posted in bucks, Conservation, deer, doe, hunt, Hunting, weather, whitetail | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment