The Importance of Precipitation

by Zane Graham


Click on image to see the detailed drought severity map of Texas.

When it comes to hunting whitetails and basically any other game animal, nutrition is vital! Some people choose to supplemental feed and this is how the animals will get most of their nutrition. However, many people do not supplemental feed so the animals rely on mother nature for their food. Precipitation is a huge factor, without rain that means no foliage for the deer and other animals to feed on. Over the past couple years I have personally experienced the importance of precipitation for whitetail deer here in west Texas. In 2011 Texas was in an exceptional drought and hardly saw any rainfall. Everything was dead and the cedar trees even began to die which I had never witnessed in my life. I knew this would impact the deer but I wasn’t sure how bad. After the 2011 deer season was over we had zero deer killed scoring over 120″ and field dress over 120 pounds. Typically on our lease we would have 3-4 bucks harvested scoring over 125″ and field dressing over 120 pounds. Over the spring and summer of 2012 things took a big turn as Texas began to see the rains come again and the drought decrease.  Once the 2012 season arrived west Texas was still in a moderate drought but the land looked tremendously better than the 2011 season. The deer looked completely different than they did the previous year. Their antlers and body condition had improved drastically. There were four bucks harvested that scored over 120″ and one that scored over 130″. Three of them field dressed over 120 pounds. It’s crazy how much change can happen in just one year. That just goes to show you how important precipitation is. Without it the wildlife has nothing to eat and therefore does not get the proper nutrition it needs. It is especially important for the antlers of whitetail deer. During the growing process deer need all the nutrition they can get. That means the more precipitation the better! Take a look at the picture below comparing the 2011 drought to the 2012 drought.

Zane Graham

Zane Graham is a dedicated hunter who loves chasing Texas whitetails. West Texas is his home and he has a hunting lease nearby where he spends most of his free time. He took his first deer at the age of 9 and has taken multiple bucks scoring over 130, with both his rifle and bow since then. He recently started filming his own hunts and loves both the challenge and the satisfaction of reliving the hunt. Zane is working on a criminology degree at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin and hopes to one day become a game warden for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.