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Deer Management 2019-2020
John Rinehart Award for Jason Brady Chair of the Wildlife Advisory Committee 2015-2020
On October 27, 2020 long time Wildlife Advisory Committee Chairman Jason Brady was named as the 2021 recipient of the John Rinehart Memorial Award for Outstanding Community Service.  

Here is the Proclamation that was presented to Mr. Brady by Mayor Will Skinner.  

Deer Management - Year 4
On January 14, 2020 the Granite Shoals City Council approved Ord. 778 that prohibits automated deer feeders in the city limits.   Hand feeding is discouraged, but it is not prohibited.  Before you decide to feed the deer - please review this pamphlet from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department called Killing Them With Kindness.  

Deer Management for 2019-2020 began in late September 2019.  
At the November 12, 2019 City Council Meeting, Wildlife Advisory Chair Jason Brady presented his October Chairman's report of the Deer Management Season.  These numbers represent the first month.  

The Wildlife Advisory Committee conducted the 2019 Deer Census on the following evenings: July 31, 2019, August 5, 2019, and August 12, 2019.    This year, the number of deer counted was 1,049.   There are 1 deer per 1.81 acre of land in Granite Shoals.  For context, on a managed ranch, the ideal is to have 1 deer per 10 acres.  

There were 1 deer per 1.46 acre of land in 2018.  

The Wildlife Advisory Committee will conduct the annual Bowhunter Testing and Proficiency Trials on September 14th at City Hall.  If you are interested in taking required Bowhunter safety course before the 14th, you can sign up for a Special Training session to be held at the Granite Shoals Fire Department on Saturday, September 7, 2019.  Please enroll at the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department website.  

The Members of the Archer team for this year will hold a Work Day on Saturday, September 21st.  Please contact  Jason Brady for information related to this.   

Town Hall Meeting to Discuss Deer Management Saturday, June 1st 9 AM - 11 AM at Fire Hall.
WAC members Pack Ripple Dorman Hougen and Boswell listen to Chair Brady presentation at Town Hall Meeting 6 1 2019_thumb.jpg
There was a successful Town Hall Meeting on Deer Management held on Saturday, June 1, 2019. With 35-40 attendees, the meeting lasted just under 2 hours. Jason Brady, Chair of the city's Wildlife Advisory Committee gave a presentation about the history of the committee and the program. Two biologists from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department were on hand, along with four members of the Texas game wardens office and the city's animal control officer Rey Salinas and Officer Tim Edwards. If you have questions about the program, please send to and they will be passed to the committee. For more information about the Deer Management program, please visit the city's website The Game Warden requested that everyone get the word out that if you find a fawn leave it alone. The mother hides the fawn and then goes to eat. She will be back soon. Don't touch the fawn or remove him from the hiding place. Thank you.

Deer Census results - Compiled
Results of four years of Deer Census from the WAC August 2018_page_001_thumb_thumb.jpg
The Wildlife Advisory Committee was formed in 2014.  In Summer of 2015, the wildlife biologists at Texas Parks and Wildlife designed a 'route' through the city limits of the City of Granite Shoals that  could be used to count deer and extrapolate the number of deer in the City.  The route is driven by the Wildlife Advisory Group three times in a two week period in late summer.  The results are recorded: the number of bucks counted, the number of does, the number of fawns, the number of those who could not be identified.  Then the total number of deer counted.  The chart shows the 2015-2018 deer census results.  In 2018, the committee members counted 1190 Total Deer.  The 'route' stays the same year to year, for consistency in results.  It is always 1737 acres.  in 2018 there are 2.5 does to every buck.  The fawn crop is 34%, so more than 60% of the pregnancies are failing.  In 2018 we have 1.46 deer per 1 acre of land inside the City limits.  For context, on a managed ranch, there would be 1 deer per 10 acres to assure sufficient food supply.  

Deer Management 2018-2019 and beyond
In April, 2018, the City Council passed Ord. 733 which established the Deer Management Program as a continuing program.  It does not require Council action annually to renew the program.  

In May of 2018, the Hunter Safety Certification Class was held in the Fire Hall in Granite Shoals.  

On July 25, 2018, the Wildlife Advisory Committee held a TOWN HALL MEETING ON THE DEER MANAGEMENT PROGRAM at City Hall, in the Council Chamber on the 2nd floor.  This year, the Town Hall was held on a weekday, and as an evening meeting.  It was hoped that this would provide an opportunity for people who are unavailable on weekends, to attend one of these Town Halls.    

There were about 42 people in attendance at the Town Hall meeting.  Twelve citizens stayed for the second part of the meeting, which was geared to those interested in possibly volunteering and trying out for the Archer Team.   There were many good questions asked at the meeting and there was an extended discussion related to how citizens can assist this effort.  Citizens can assist the effort by not feeding the deer.  They can help by talking to their neighbors and helping get the correct information out there into the community.  This is not an effort to eradicate the deer.  This program seeks to try to reduce the number of urban deer in Granite Shoals due to their overpopulation.  

The Wildlife Advisory Committee members spoke from a Powerpoint Presentation, then fielding questions from the audience.  If you are interested in volunteering to try out to be on the Archer Team, you can find an information packet here.   

With questions about the Town Hall meeting (Possible Quorum Notice here.) or the Volunteer Archer packet, please call City Secretary Elaine Simpson at 830-598-2424 x303.  


Some neighboring communities
The City of Lakeway, Texas and the City of Horseshoe Bay, Texas each are navigating the same territory of how best to keep the urban deer herd to a healthy size.  

Both Lakeway and Horseshoe Bay have established programs that involve netting the deer.  This is an effective, but very expensive method.  Also, when the net drops, the animals underneath are all taken: bucks, does and even small fawns.  

It is worthwhile to read the websites for these cities, respectively, and note the similarities in the manner in which they, like Granite Shoals, depend on the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department to guide city officials through the process.  

The Deer Management website page for the City of Lakeway is here.   
The Deer Management website page for the City of Horseshoe Bay is here

Deer Management Program Year 2 Deer Season 2017-2018
At their meeting of April 24, 2018, the City Council adopted Ord. #733 to authorize the Deer Management Program, without an expiration date.  This is a change from the previous two years when the program was approved by Council only on a year to year basis.  

On Saturday, May 19, 2018 at the Granite Shoals Fire Hall on FM 1431, the Chair of the Wildlife Advisory Committee; Jason Brady and the Council Member for Place #5; Todd Holland taught Bow Hunter Certification.  This is a special, required safety class.  The gentlemen became Texas Parks and Wildlife Department certified course instructors to teach this class about 1.5 years ago.  The class is open to anyone wanting this TPWD certification and the cost is $15.00.  Be sure to complete the online portion of the class before coming to this class.  The website(s) for the online portion, and to register for this Field Day class is on the above flyer.  

The City Council approved Ordinance 710, to authorize the Deer Management Program for a second year, after the success of the Pilot Program during year 2016-2017.    

Wildlife Advisory Committee Chair Jason Brady presented Monthly 'Chairman's Reports' to the City Council related to the Deer Management Program: 
Report One 2017-2018 Program Year - Presented to City Council November 14, 2017 
Report Two 2017-2018 Program Year - Presented to City Council December 12, 2017 
Report Three 2017-2018 Program Year - Presented to City Council January 9, 2018 
Report Four / Final Summary of Year Two 2017-2018 Program Year - Presented to City Council on March 13, 2018  

There were only a few changes made from the Pilot Program last year to the current year program.  One change that affects the citizens of Granite Shoals is a change in the process of distributing venison.   The food pantries and veterans organizations have 'first dibbs' on any meat that is donated.  If there is no hold on an animal from these groups, the animal is available for distribution on Thursday evenings.  Please come to City Hall campus and follow the signs to the deer distribution area.   The deer are field dressed.  By accepting an animal, you are agreeing to have it processed for human consumption.  State Law prohibits 'wasting' the venison or allowing it to become inedible.  This memo contains all the information about Thursday evening Venison Distribution procedures.  

Bow Hunter Education Class - Granite Shoals, Texas - July 22, 2017 Fire Hall at 8:30 AM
On Saturday, the 22nd of July, the members of the Wildlife Advisory Committee presented a class for Bow Hunter Safety.  This class was approved by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.  There were approximately 10 students in the class.   

Town Hall Meeting - Saturday, June 24, 2017 9-11 at the Fire Hall for Discussion of Deer Management
Deer Management Meeting
On Saturday morning June 24, 2017, the Wildlife Advisory Committee held a very successful Town Hall meeting at the Fire Hall. Approximately 65 residents attended the meeting to discuss the results of the 'Pilot Program' held 2016-17 for Deer Management. The Committee presented a report as a Powerpoint presentation for about 20 minutes. Questions were then fielded by the Wildlife Committee members for about an hour. Discussions related to most effective methods to support (and hopefully expand) the deer management program, soliciting voluntary donations from the residents who wish to sponsor venison donation to Food Banks or specific ministries, and possibly erecting signs to encourage 'No Feeding' of the Deer, to be placed on major roads in the City. The next step for the Committee is to conduct the annual deer census (this done under guidance of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department), hold hunter safety classes for interested archers, as well as hold the rigorous proficiency trials for those wishing to try out to be a member of the volunteer archer team under the program. Folks interested in a.) volunteering for the program as an Archer, b.) donating to support the program and the venison distribution monetarily, or c.) property owners who have lots which they would volunteer for consideration as a 'harvest location' (property must be undeveloped and secluded from homes, parks and roadways) please call the City Secretary, Elaine Simpson, at City Hall 830-598-2424 x 303, or send her an email at . Thank you to all those who attended, and all those who support the efforts to reduce our urban deer herd to a healthy size.   The application packet for interested archers is here.  

This was the third Town Hall Meeting regarding the Deer Issue in the last three years held by the Wildlife Advisory Committee (WAC). This three-year-old Committee researched the issue of our deer overpopulation, evaluated proposed programs for management, and designed and conducted a Pilot Program for Deer Management Oct. 2016 through Jan. 2017. This program was the first of its kind in Texas, a municipally-sponsored program of Archery-Based Deer Management. The program was successful in reducing the number of deer in the city by 75.  Many pounds of venison were donated to the local food pantry and church/veteran groups.   WAC Chair Jason Brady spoke before City Council on February 14, 2017 to give the final monthly report on the Pilot Program and to present the recommendation from the WAC to the City Council that the program be extended for another year.    

The City Council has approved Ordinance #710, which will extend the program for another year.  

City of Granite Shoals Deer Management Pilot Program
In March of 2016, the City Council adopted Ordinance #685, to establish a 'Pilot Program' to try to conduct an archery-based deer management program.   This was a nice write up from the Picayune newspaper.  

The Wildlife Advisory Committee coordinated the program with the selection, testing and training of 10 volunteer archers, and set up 10 sites to serve as 'harvest locations'.  These sites were chosen because they were safely isolated from neighborhoods, roadways and parks.  If by chance your dwelling is within 100 yards (the length of a football field) from a 'harvest site', you would have been visited by a member of the Wildlife Advisory Committee.  This person would have briefed you on the program.   

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has issued the city 200 MLD 1 tags.  This equals 20 per harvest site.  It was decided to start with 200; since this is a Pilot Program.  The members of the archer team will only cull out does.  This is an antler-less program.  No fawns and no bucks are taken.  This is not a trophy hunt.  This is also not Open Season.  No-one who is not a member (registered with Granite Shoals Police Department) of the Pilot Program is allowed to release an arrow in the city limits.  The poaching laws and the fire arms ordinance for the City of Granite Shoals are still in effect.  

The hope for the deer meat was that some harvesters would donate their venison to the people on the 'Recipient List'.  

This pilot program was designed after 2 years of investigating various methods of deer management and determining that this was the only option available for Granite Shoals in our budget range.   See our city newsletter from April 2016 which had two stories related to the deer management issue.   

Please see Wildlife Advisory Chair Jason Brady's report to City Council from the Council meeting of December 15, 2015.   

No Feeding the Deer Ordinance 2016
On July 12, 2016, the City Council passed Ordinance #680 No Feeding the Deer Ordinance.  You can read all about this Ordinance here.  

Ordinance #680 was suspended in August of 2016 and was sent to the voters in a Referendum Election on November 8, 2016.  The 'Against' votes won by six votes.  Ord. 680 was repealed by the City Council when they approved the election results on 11-16-2016.  

Citizens are encouraged not to feed supplemental food to the deer, as it is unhealthy for them.   For information on this topic, please read this pamphlet Killing Them With Kindness, which is published by the Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife.   

May 2015 Deer Management Town Hall Meeting (Town Hall Meeting #1 for Deer Management)
On May 2nd, a Town Hall Meeting was held regarding the urban deer issue.   To read more about the Town Hall Meeting, click here.   For information about the Deer Issue, and answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) please click here.  Here is an article from the Highlander News from August 11, 2015.  It discusses the current Deer Census that is being conducted.  

The Wildlife Advisory Committee was created in March of 2014.  They have been holding meetings for approximately a year.  To read up on their agendas and the minutes of their meetings click here.  Recently they drafted a helpful page of Frequently Asked Questions regarding the deer management issue.  You can read this FAQ page here.  
On Thursday, August 13th, the Wildlife Committee will begin conducting a 'head count' of the deer, the deer census.  There will be three 'count nights' held and the results will be averaged.  

On Saturday, May 2, 2015, the Committee hosted a Town Hall Meeting regarding the Urban Deer Population issue.  The Wildlife Advisory Committee presented a slide show that you can see here. 

Three experts from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department attended in their Demonstration Mobile.  This meeting was to follow up on the recent city-wide survey of residents opinions regarding the city's deer.   

To see the survey results of the City Wide Deer survey, click here. 

The three experts from the TX Parks and Wildlife presented slide shows related to their respective fields of expertise.  

Kevin Schwausch spoke about White-Tailed Deer Management in Urban/Suburban Environments:  Planning for Success:  His presentation is here.  

Erin Wehland spoke about the biology of the deer.  Her presentation is here.  

Jessica Alderson spoke as the expert in assisting cities and Home Owners Associations establish the most appropriate management program for White-Tail Deer.  Her presentation is here.  Her presentation included an inter-active portion of the meeting, where Ms. Alderson provided keypads to the attendees (about 60 people in total) and conducted an opinion survey of the group both before, and after, she gave her lecture.  

The meeting did not end with any firm solutions, and there is currently no proposal on the table.  City leaders suggested that a 'No Feeding the Deer' Ordinance will be drafted.  This Ordinance will be customized so that there are no penalties for feeding the birds or if the deer eat the dogs food.  This ordinance will focus on attempting to discourage the feeding of our urban deer herd.  

Our Animal Control officer attended the Town Hall meeting and encouraged citizens to call her (830) 598-4818 with questions regarding deer.  There was a short discussion regarding the city's policy if a deer dies in your street or yard.  Please see Administrative Policy Directive #001 by City Manager Ken Nickel here. 

Wildlife Advisory Group
In March of 2014, the City Council established a Wildlife Advisory Committee to research the overpopulation problem of the urban deer in the city limits.   

If you wish to see the 'Essential Guide' to what the Wildlife Advisory Committee is doing, please review this publication from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Managing Overabundant White Tailed Deer.  

You may see the agendas from the Committee meetings and the meeting minutes from the meetings at this link.