Deer Population Dwindles During Drought

The hot weather and drought is making wild animals fight to stay alive. Many water sources are dried up and food is hard to come by. Deer are being hit especially hard. That may mean a big hit to the big business of hunting.

Jody Wade raises deer on his ranch in Archer County. He said this year has been especially tough. "The wild life is certainly struggling really hard… Basically, all your does are kicking all your fawns off," he said.

The mother deer do not have enough food to survive, and make the survival decision to stop feeding fawns. It means almost certain death for the baby. "Its letting nature take its course," said Wade.

The lack of a next generation will make the deer population dwindle. Wade said that could have a big impact on the business of hunting. Land owners have seen an increase in recent years in the price they can charge for a hunting lease. "They've just about doubled within the last 6 years. People need to be very careful before they go out and pay a lot of money for a deer lease this year because the hunting is not going to be there," said Wade.

Wade said the full impact of the drought may take several years to be fully evident. "I think this will be a 2-3 year effect and it may be next year before we even see the real disaster, because we won't have all the deer," said Wade.

Paul Harrop, Newschannel 6