The white-tailed deer became a major source of food and clothing for the average white settler of the early 1800's. Venison and buckskin sustained many pioneers in their first years before they cleared the land, planted crops and stocked domestic animals. Many used deer hides as a medium of exchange, and many professional hunters killed deer for their hides alone.
This slaughter by the commercial meat and hide hunters, and the destruction or alteration of habitat by settlement, almost caused the extermination of the whitetail by the end of the 1880's.
By the 1920's, the Texas deer herd was at an all-time low. By the 1930's, most of our present game laws were enacted, and restocking and management programs were underway.
Today Texas has over three million white-tail deer - more than any other state or province in North America.
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