Hundreds of Deer Hunters Enjoy Lampasas County Chamber of Commerce BBQ Lunch | Local News

LAMPASAS – White-tailed deer season for rifle hunters kicks off today, and Lampasas County Chamber of Commerce officials marked the occasion on Friday with the 12th Annual Hunters Welcome BBQ Lunch.

Crowds of hunters from near and far lined up early in the HEB parking lot on Key Avenue to celebrate opening day and have a made-to-order lunch for $ 8 each that included a Texas-sized barbecue sandwich with all of them. fasteners and a treat bag.

Robert Green, a deer hunter for 40 years, was all smiles as he ate lunch before heading home to prepare for the first day of a new season.

“I’ve been coming here for four years now – I think it’s great,” said Green, 64, a Burnet County resident for 23 years. “We appreciate it. We chat with the game wardens (and) have a good time.

“We saw about four good (deer) come out here, so we’re hoping. I’ll be there before daylight tomorrow. I think we’re going to do our part, but even if we don’t get anything, just being outside and around the wildlife is worth it. A kill is a plus.

Melissa Unger, executive director of the Lampasas County Chamber of Commerce, was busy helping a large team of volunteers prepare takeout orders as a constant stream of hunters filtered through the lunch queue. The program has grown in popularity every year, she said, and even set a new record in 2020 despite COVID-19 restrictions.

“We have grown about 100 (lunches) a year,” Unger said. “Even last year the hunters didn’t stop (coming). We had 700 lunches last year, about 200 more than the year before. So we re-prepared for about 700, and we’re hoping to get past that. Yesterday we cooked (barbecue) from eight in the morning until ten in the evening, so all this barbecue has a lot of love in it.

Deer hunting is big business across Texas, with annual hunting expenses reportedly running at nearly $ 2 billion, including over $ 800 million for things like food and gear. accommodation, transportation and other travel expenses.

Nationally, whitetail deer hunting generates more than $ 15 billion annually.

According to Texas Parks and Wildlife, this promises to be another above-average season for white tail hunting, with plenty of spring and summer rains helping to create plenty of quality food sources and a “good carry over” of deer. of the 2020 hunting season is expected to produce an increase in the state’s overall population.

In addition to food and hospitality, Lampasas County Game Ranger Shaun Bayless was on hand Friday to greet hunters, share information and answer questions about the deer hunt. Bayless said one of the big issues he discusses is how to avoid facing legal issues and hefty fines by killing an illegal deer.

In Lampasas County, there is a total bag limit of five deer, with a maximum of two dollars, and there are restrictions on the type of dollars that can be caught.

“Antler restrictions are always something,” Bayless said, explaining that hunters this year are only allowed to kill one male with legal antler distribution and one “spiked” male.

We are entering our 15th or 16th year of timber restrictions. You measure a deer by the inside spacing (of the horns). So if the spread inside is equal to the outside of the ears, when their ears are alert, this is how you assess your deer to make sure it is a legal male.

“You can kill a deer that is 13 inches or better (extended antlers) and your other deer (buck) must have at least one unbranched antler (a pointed buck). It doesn’t matter how many points you have – restriction of antlers is what matters. If you don’t want to knock down your 13 inch deer, you can kill two males that have unbranched antlers.

“I say to people, ‘Look, I know you pay money and come here to get your money out, but if you spill one that is illegal it really isn’t worth it. It costs a lot of money (in fines). If you see a deer and you are not sure, you better let it walk. You don’t have to kill this deer. The deer season lasts three months.

“We never want to discourage anyone from hunting, but it’s up to the hunter to make those decisions. I see it this way – if you miss one and don’t kill a deer this weekend, that just means you can come back.

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