While Texas is renowned for excellent deer hunting opportunities, one place stands out above the rest for prime bucks. Llano County, Texas, produces the best whitetail harvests in the country and is the best place to get you a deer. Located in the Texas hill country on the Llano River, Llano Texas deer hunting has earned it the name ‘Deer capital of Texas.’
Founded in 1855, the city also offers visitors a glimpse into the 17th century with relics from that era. The town is surrounded by lush hills that spring with wildflowers, refreshed by the Llano River’s waters. Aside from an abundance of deer in the fall and winter season, there’s all manner of activities to suit everyone.
This is a picturesque and most unique city of Texas, enamored with historical significance and rugged beauty.
How Did Llano County Become the Dear Capital of Texas?
Centuries before, in what is today the county of Llano, Texas, Spanish explorers and Native Americans had discovered the secrets of the Llano basin. Later European settlers, during the early frontier days, relied on the wildlife bounty of this basin. In the mid-1800s, this area would become Llano County as part of an 1856 state legislative act.
It wasn’t until after the 2nd World War that veterans when returning home found that the deer quality in Llano was like no other place in all of Texas.
Soon after, landowners and farmers started to supplement their income by leasing out their land for deer hunting. Llano Texas deer hunting’s reputation grew as more hunters came back from within and outside the state.
As it now stands, the Llano basin holds the highest whitetail deer density in the USA. Statistics are that there is one and a half deer in every two or three acres of land in Llano County.
Why Do Hunters Return to Llano Texas for Deer Hunting?
In Texas’s deer capital, culture and economy have been created around the county’s spread deer numbers and hunting reputation. You can see how deer hunting in Llano, Texas, has contributed to the state alone’s $14.4 billion industry.
As you walk along the quiet city streets, you’ll notice that stores carry more inventories, and restaurants are asking to hire extra staff before deer season. Ranchers that run the managed deer hunting plots have reinvested most of their profits into better spreads and equipment.
In Llano, deer hunters don’t come for a weekend and leave afterward. Instead, they return every weekend during deer season and come back off-season to put out feeders.
This is in preparation for the next season, which they wait on with bated breath. Hunters come for watersports and summer fishing in Llano, Texas, and during the winter for Christmas festivities.
Impact That Llano Texas Deer Hunting Had on the County
Every deer season, there’s an estimated 25% to 35% sale increase in Llano, Texas, depending on the business. The area’s deer hunting history and the economic impact turns the Llano country town into a city every first few weeks of deer season.s
Ranchers started leasing land in the 1950s for hunting, but full-scale breeding facilities are the norm today. Hunters flock here by the thousands from Alabama, Louisiana, Florida, and California.
Others come from as far off as British Columbia in Canada, returning each season for years.
Some 95% of all deer leases are on long term outfits, ranches that have been running for four and five generations. These ranchers and outfitters know every inch of their spreads and act as useful hunting guides.
I met a couple of these locals during my last visit deer hunting in Llano, Texas, and we talked about deer hunting and habitat management. I could gather that the people of Llano care about their deer population’s health, and they regulate how many animals can be harvested every year.
One rancher told me how the ranch he managed has become better through the control of predators. According to him, over 200 deer are harvested each season on his 2,000-acre ranch.
Deer Hunting in Llano, Texas from a Local’s Viewpoint
In Llano County, Texas, hunters can be certain of available deer shooting options, whether with rifle or bow. Ranches advertise their offerings in sentences that showcase the Llano Texas deer hunting glut.
They will take calls and say that there is a season lease opening for three guns. These offers don’t last past 24 hours, according to my outfitter friend.
Such notices are available on the Facebook page of the Llano Chamber of Commerce. The chamber’s website also carries all the deer hunting outfitters and ranches alongside lease type, availability, and lodgings options.
Alongside the view you can catch in the Hill Country, people come back every season for deer hunting in Llano, Texas. The hunters love it, and apparently, so do the locals, ranchers, outfitters, and hunting guides.
One guide I spoke to said she enjoyed watching hunters take the prime buck of their dreams. She loves it when lady hunters shoot their first deer, sharing their joy and enthralling hunting experience.
She is incredibly proud of the good times and fellowship opportunities that Llano Texas deer hunting can forge.
While your primary goal is to take that trophy doe, Llano County provides a memorable and unique hunting trip. The ranches and outfitter spreads keep a high standard and have a passion for excellent hospitality and service.
Give Deer Hunting in Llano, Texas a Go
Depending on the way you want to take your deer, Llano Texas has an abundance of whitetail, fallow, and axis deer. During the fall and winter deer season, thousands of hunters flock to Llano town, causing an estimated population spike from 3,000 to over 8,000.
Each November to December, hunting licenses and deer leases are what you should concern yourself with when visiting Llano, Texas. These are available at the Llano council city well before the season starts, alongside answering any concerns or questions you may have.
Just before open day, there is a hunter appreciation day, an event organized by the Llano chamber of commerce on the first Friday of November. Aside from information and maps, hunters participate in raffles to win prizes and get free refreshments all day.