Dateline – January 26, 2013

On a recent trip to Austin, Texas I took the opportunity to investigate some of the reports I had been receiving about White-tailed Deer living within the city limits.

It seems that there are a lot of White-tailed Deer making a home in and around Austin proper. The deer originate in the surrounding Hill Country and follow the creeks and greenbelts into the subdivisions around the outskirts of town. In some places deer wander out the woods after dark and small herds of them can be found making their way through residential neighborhoods. No doubt they are looking for delicious ornamentals, green grass, and late season gardens to feed on.

Below are pictures of one such herd browsing in a typical neighborhood near the intersection of Research Boulevard and Mopac Expressway.

White-tailed Deer in Austin, Texas
White-tailed Deer in Austin, Texas

Reports of White-tailed Deer activity at Austin’s Emma Long Metropolitan Park inspired us to make a brief visit there as well. This park is nestled in a bend in Lake Austin at the end of long City Park Road. Its just a few miles west of downtown and the University of Texas.

We arrived as the sun was setting, and as the shadows grew longer, deer began to emerge from the woods and make their way to the water’s edge. In the video below, a small herd of around eight deer are seen splashing and playing in and around the lake.

There are plenty of White-tailed Deer in the Dallas/Fort Worth area as well, but they are warier and often go unseen. These deer are on the move and are expanding their range into the suburbs and even the city proper. I have posted a number of articles about deer observed in the metroplex. White-tailed Deer sightings have been documented in Plano, The Colony, Lewisville, Carrollton, Grapevine, Benbrook, and Dallas.

One of the most compelling sightings I know of is not one of my own. The video below was shot in 2010. The story, as I understand it, is that a pair of rut-mad bucks were sparring in a neighborhood near the White Rock Lake spillway. People gathered around to watch, and the deer tried to flee. One got away safely, but the other became trapped in a fence. Although this deer was successfully freed from the fence, reports are that the buck later died from injuries sustained.

2 Replies to “White-tailed Deer in Austin, Texas”

  1. That video of the deer playing in the water is real special. I have seen fawns doing that but not juveniles or adults!

  2. We’re seeing deer routinely in my neighborhood further north on 183. They used to be on the former Texas Instruments property years ago, when that whole property was fenced. You would drive by on 183 and see them behind the chain link fence. Now the fence is gone and the deer have left the reservation.

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