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      Nature Report: Late Summer Deer

      Slowly emerging from the thick brush a handsome eight-point buck moves out into the clearing. It is late afternoon, and as the scorching South Texas heat finally begins to relent the deer are starting to move. But lingering back at the edge of the brush is a much more impressive set of antlers.

      Leisurely chewing his cud, the wide, heavy horned buck surveys the clearing and decides not to move out into the open and disappears back into the thorny chaparral.

      Nearby, a doe with twin fawns moves thru the dry grass. It has been a difficult year for whitetail deer, but many does in deep South Texas have somehow managed to raise young despite extremely dry conditions.

      Twins are not uncommon, and by this time of year most fawns are a couple of months old and those that have survived are quite capable of scampering away from would be predators.

      As dry as it is in southernmost Texas, conditions are not as parched as many other parts of the state, and the bucks are sporting respectable antlers.

      This slender, young ten-point has managed to grow a fine rack despite the lack of abundant natural browse.

      Within a couple of weeks, bucks will begin shedding the velvet like sheath covering their newly developed antlers which have been growing since the early spring.

      Meanwhile, the big buck has finally emerged from the woods. With an impressive rack and good body weight he has made it through the growing season in good shape.

      Now, if we can just get some much needed rain the resilient deer will make it through the rest of the year just fine.