The temperatures are expected to rise starting Thursday. 

“Well, that will make things easier on the hunters to get out in the field — but it won’t affect the deer,” said Donnie Mathes, a 29-year game warden on Fort Hood. “The deer are moving right now; the rut is still on but it’s getting towards the end of that. Right now is an ideal time to hunt.”

The cold weather the past few weeks were ideal to the hard-core hunter.

“When it’s really, really cold — like it has been the past few weeks — the deer need to eat more to keep their bodies warm,” Mathes said. “The fact that they’re eating more means they’re moving around more to get their food.”

Mathes said hunting this November has been better than November of 2013.

“We had some timely rain this spring and summer, so the deer were able to eat more nutritional foods, which meant better antler growth,” he said. “The net result is that we’ve had more big-antler deer this year than last.

“In fact, we’ve had several bucks around here that scored over 150, and that’s quite large for this area.”

Mathes had some tips for the beginning hunter.

“What I see a lot from people that don’t hunt all that much is a lack of patience,” he said. “When they don’t have success in the first hour, they move around. You can’t have success without patience. You’ll be a lot better off if you’re patient and just stay still. Too many beginners start walking around looking for deer tracks. That won’t lead to success. Just stay still.”

Contact Allan Mandell at or 254-501-7566 and read his column at

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