AUSTIN, TEXAS—The Texas deer industry is alive and well, as evidenced by the incredible turnout and record-breaking deer sales during the 19th annual Texas Deer Association Convention! After experiencing two of the toughest years ever faced by the industry, this year’s convention proved that the industry is in the midst of a tremendous rebound.
The annual convention is the hallmark event of the year for TDA and its membership. Each convention is carefully planned to include a balance of education, information, fun and fellowship, while offering access to exhibits offering high-quality products and services. Ours is the biggest deer show in the nation, and it is our utmost goal to make it an enjoyable and informative event for all deer enthusiasts.
This year’s event led off with the meeting of the National Cervid Congress on Thursday morning, bringing together representatives of the various associations across the nation to discuss issues affecting the deer industry. After that, a panel discussion on “Wildlife, Biology & Breeding” informed members about the latest trends and topics in the deer management world. After the kickoff lunch and Executive Director’s address, participants could enjoy the exhibits in the hall until the afternoon seminars begin. We were thrilled to have Mike Robinson, highly-regarded UK game chef, presenting deer butchering tips and cooking prep ideas. Also enjoyed by members was the MLDP seminar and the legal update. The first-ever legislative panel was hosted with dinner Thursday evening, featuring a candid discussion with Senator Craig Estes and Representatives Ernest Bailes, John Frullo, Larry Gonzales, Lance Gooden and Lyle Larson. We appreciate their participation and the update on the 85th Legislative Session. The evening closed with the auction benefitting the legal fund, which raised more than $55,000 to aide in our battle for the right to ownership for our deer.
Friday morning opened with the annual state-wide membership meeting, which saw record attendance. We were also pleased to offer a Family Hunter Safety Certification class sponsored by Texas Parks & Wildlife that day to benefit our TDA families! The “Make Deer Breeding Great Again” seminar was a tremendous success, providing a look at innovative industry tools to keep deer operations on the cutting-edge in technology and organization. The featured speaker at the luncheon was Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar, who presented on the growth in the Texas economy and industry predictions for the future. TDA was also proud to host a Continuing Education Veterinarian Seminar this year for all our member vets. Leading the way to assist veterinarians in understanding the complexities of practicing cervid medicine, TDA teamed up with the Texas Veterinary Medical Association (TVMA) Cervid Committee to bring representatives from the Texas State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners, the Drug Enforcement Agency, the Texas Pharmacy Board, TVMA, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. This event was a tremendous success and one that we hope to repeat in the future.
Friday’s highlight was, of course, the Superior Genetics Deer Auction, which brought in a record amount–more than $820,000. Featuring some of the very best genetics in the nation, this event exceeded all expectations in scope and sales. The evening closed with the Hoffpauir Group/TDA Ultimate Sportsman’s Auction and Raffle, where more than $200,000 was raised!
Saturday began with exclusive exhibitor time followed by a solid slate of morning speakers, including Kerry Davis, Founder of Dark Angel Medical, and Texas Agricultural Commissioner Sid Miller. The TDA Select and Platinum Sale was the focal point of the day and did not disappoint. Raising a combined total of more than $1.3 million, this auction blew the top off last year’s earnings.
Before the Grand Auction began, TDA drew for the winner of its very first “cover model” buck contest! STRR Buck-n-Doe Ranch of Greenville took home the prize, and will be featured in the upcoming issue of TRACKS magazine! The other big winners of the evening were Billy Sage who won the Harley Davidson motorcycle and Drake & Ginny Heller who took home the prize in the Can-Am raffle! The Grand Auction brought in more than $120,000
The total raised in auctions over the weekend totaled more than $2.5 million! A very special thank you goes to our top buyers of the convention:
- G2 Ranch (Don Gilchrist)
- Blue Creek Whitetails (Billy Oehmig)
- Cross Canyon Whitetails (Jason Millegan)
- Cypress Ridge Whitetails (Pete Moore & Madison Michener)
- Rancho El Recuerdo (Felizardo Elizondo)
The success of TDA and our annual convention depends on all of you—our guests, our members, our vendors, our sponsors, and our volunteers. You have made this association who we are today. Through difficult times, our TDA family has remained strong and unshaken! We are thousands of members strong, all across the great state of Texas and beyond, and we will continue to grow. It is time to be excited about the future of the deer industry in Texas again!
Thanks to all those who attended our 19th annual Convention, and for your continued support of your Texas Deer Association.
TDA 2017/2018 Title Sponsor
Gist Kinsman Whitetails
Cross Canyon Whitetails
Cypress Ridge Whitetails
Mossy Rock Whitetails
Capital Farm Credit
Blue Creek Whitetails
All Seasons Feeders
Triple G Group
Happy Hour Sponsor:
Auction Keg Sponsor:
Paco Deer Co, Inc
Beer & Wine Sponsor:
TDA Board of Directors
Antler Contest Sponsor:
Pine Mountain Ranch
Texas M3 Ranch
Saturday Night Dinner Sponsors:
Saturday Night Gala Table Sponsors:
Big Rack Ranch
Gist Kinsman Whitetails
Spring Creek Outdoors
Varner Family / Purina