ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) According to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, general deer season kicks off on the first Saturday of November. After patiently waiting all year to hunt White-tailed deer, opening day officially kicks off on November 5.

With drought conditions that shriveled up natural grasslands and dry weather that drained out natural ponds and rivers, you might notice less deer this year out in the range.

Austin Petree, Owner of Western Wing Outfitters, a hunting company that does guided tours, said hunting this season will cost a bit more. There is not much food in the fields, so hunters may need to spend more money on deer feed and processing fees for harvesting to entice deer to stop by.

“This year we haven’t had much rain, so a lot of these deer don’t have much to eat in the fields. So, there’s going to be primarily going to deer feeders across the state of Texas,” said Petree.

Hunting has been a common, longtime family tradition in Abilene. Petree said it is a great way to spend time in the outdoors and teaching young hunters how to hunt. he also stressed the importance of gun safety to keep families safe.

“You want to make sure that your barrel is pointing away from anybody. Especially even whenever it’s empty, I always tell my clients that whenever we are in the blind together. That making sure where your barrel is at all times is number one priority,” said Petree.

Steve Estes, Taylor County Extension Agent for Agriculture and Natural Resources employee, said Abileneans should be aware about hunting restrictions in the area.

“As far as hunters, if you’re thinking about deer hunting coming up this season, be sure you have your license [and] your hunting license. Be sure you properly handle the deer if you take any deer and harvest them for meat safety and those types of things,” said Estes.

For more information about your local hunting zone regulations and stipulations of what you can tag, visit the Texas Parks and Wildlife website at TPWD.texas.gov.