The Texas Deer Association leads the way in the deer industry as the largest organization in the state dedicated to protecting the rights of both the landowner and the hunter. As the unified voice for deer enthusiasts seeking to share ideas and methods to improve the management and harvest of deer, its efforts to promote the future of Texas’ whitetail heritage are unparalleled.

Last week, TDA hosted its 16th annual convention, breaking all records in attendance and fundraising to impact the group’s efforts in the realm of conservation, research and legislation. The gathering of more than 2,300 enjoyed seminars, exhibitors, and camaraderie amongst some of the biggest names in the business.

But this year’s convention also broke ground in an entirely different way, demonstrating the Texas Deer Association’s recent efforts to forge a stronger relationship with Texas Parks & Wildlife Department.

“The leadership of your Association will continue to take solid steps toward building the networks that will make a tremendous difference for our future,” said TDA President Chase Clark, during his address to the membership. “One of our most important goals has been to foster better communication with Texas Parks and Wildlife. The leadership team of the TDA has met with Parks and Wildlife Executive Director Carter Smith and members of his staff on several occasions this year – and we look forward to continuing these meetings to make certain that the concerns and needs of our industry are heard. TDA leadership has also worked diligently to improve communication with Texas Parks and Wildlife Law Enforcement.”

After Clark spoke, TPWD’s Assistant Commander and Wildlife Law Administrator Kevin Davis was invited to address the members on the issue of improved communication between deer ranchers and game wardens. The receptive crowd listened intently to Davis’ promise of building a relationship with TDA that was mutually beneficial to both parties.

Davis’ talk centered primarily on the results of a survey that was conducted earlier this summer amongst permitted deer breeders and game wardens in the state. The results showed somewhat of a disconnect in both expectation and communication between the two groups. Davis announced that a protocol was under construction that would guide future interactions and ensure that proper notification would be given deer breeders before routine pen inspection visits by game wardens. Many see this move as signaling the beginning of new, more cooperative relationship between the business side and the regulatory side of the industry. Davis invited input from the members during the process, suggesting that the two sides could work more in a partnership role to achieve mutual goals. Also present during the weekend were TPWD’s Big Game Director Mitch Lockwood and other TPWD welcomed guests.

The hunting industry in Texas represents more than $2.8 billion of the state’s economy. Deer ranchers play a pivotal role in the success of that industry, as they manage herds in every region in the state. TDA prides itself on its mission related to the conservation and improvement of the health, quality and welfare of Texas deer.

“Like any successful organization, we must continually work towards gaining ground in three key areas: building relationships, building influence, and building trust,” said Clark. “On each of these fronts, TDA has been the leader for this industry-working to promote our message of sound conservation principles and excellence in deer management to both the hunting community and the public.”

For more information on our efforts, please visit our website: or call 210.767.8300.

Logo courtesy Texas Deer Association

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