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Bridlegate residents request deer harvest

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At the September 23 Bandera County Commissioners’ Court, Bridlegate Ranch spokesperson Billy Greeson presented a formal request and plan to harvest the deer in their area due to overpopulation, and the matter was tabled until Bridlegate Ranch’s Property Owners Association (POA) vote on the matter.

Greeson said residents estimate approximately 1.9 acres per deer in the subdivision, a number determined by three separate counts of deer that totaled 235, 237 and 234.

According to Greeson, trapping and moving the deer is much too costly, while building fencing would also not be viable, as high fences along many miles of river is another extreme cost.

The recommendation from Texas Parks and Wildlife is to do a controlled deer harvest.

Since the harvest zones in Bridlegate Ranch are between five and six acres, this comes under the 10-acre Managed Lands Deer Program ordinance. Therefore, Bridlegate’s proposal is to allow properties to be temporarily adjoined to equal 10-acre lots for the one-time harvest of deer by bow-hunting only.

The hunters would be designated by the POA and must be licensed and professional hunters.

Each appointed zone would be inspected by the POA, only after agreement by each of the property owners.

Harvested deer would then be donated to the residents that will pay for their own processing, while others would be harvested and donated to food banks and other community needs.

The plan is to harvest does only, at a maximum of 81.

The residents of Bridlegate Ranch have presented their plan, with the support of Texas Parks & Wildlife, to the POA, and it is under review.

Greeson clarified that the Texas Parks and Wildlife would oversee the harvesting operation should it be approved, but they would not execute it.

The commissioners deemed that the residents must have POA approval first.

Once presented, further discussion and vote on the one-time harvest can occur at an upcoming court meeting.