Local Wildlife in the Texas Hill Country Area
In Central Texas there are White Tailed Deer, Armadillos, Foxes,
Coyotes, Raccoons, Ringtails, Opossums, Rabbits, Squirrels and many other kinds of
Photo courtesy of Bob Smith
|The most popular animal in Texas is probably the white tailed
deer. With over 4,500,000 deer in Texas, tourists are sure to see a few on their
drive through the area. Llano County,
in the Texas Hill Country of central Texas, is the Deer Capital of Texas and the deer roam
freely around the ranches and even in some of the neighborhoods of the small towns.
The bucks usually lose their antlers around March of each year
and then regrow a new larger set of antlers. During summer, as the antlers are
growing, they are covered with velvet. During rutting season in the fall, after the
new antlers are full grown, the antlers lose the velvet. Young yearling bucks
usually start out with spike to 6 point antlers for their first set, and they get more
points each year as the bucks mature into bigger, stronger bucks.
For a slide show of deer photos - click here.
|The tourists always enjoy the armadillos. They can be spotted in the
ditches beside the country roads and highways. They are a very unusual animal and one you
won't forget seeing. Supposedly they date back to the age of the dinosaurs.
|This Kit Fox goes though a yard in a Highland Lakes neighborhood almost every evening.
taken by Carter Stringer.
||Ringtails are another unusual animal. They have a head like a fox, a
tail like a raccoon and a body like a squirrel. They are bigger than squirrels and from a
distance look like a squirrel with a big striped, fluffy tail. They are nocturnal, but can
rarely be seen during the daylight.
|A few years ago we were at the Horseshoe Bay tennis courts one morning,
and the employees were all excited about a wild animal that was loose in one of the large
restrooms. They did not know how to safely get the animal out of the restroom and
didn't even know what kind of animal it was.
Dick Lackie and I went down to see what the
strange animal was that had everyone so excited. It was a ringtail. We didn't
know whether it would bite or not, so Dick got a blanket to throw over it and then he
could pick it up. The ringtail was surprisingly calm and would just slowly walk away
from us as we approached it. Though it was similar to a large squirrel, it was not
excited and running around like a squirrel would do. It was very calm and just
slowly walked away to keep out of our reach.
Finally, Dick Lackie got it cornered and dropped the blanket over it, then he picked up
the blanket with the ringtail in it and took it upstairs and outside. He placed the
ringtail on a boulder about 2 1/2 feet high and removed the blanket. The ringtail
just stood on the boulder and looked at us. Then after a while, the ringtail slowly
climbed down and walked away. It never seemed excited nor scared of us at all.
Photo courtesy of Bob Smith
There are at least three kinds of squirrels in the Texas Hill Country
Area of central Texas. The grey and red squirrels are very common, and the black,
ground squirrel is also abundant. You can find all three types feeding in the same
locations. The squirrels love the pecan trees
in the Texas Hill Country. Many people put up squirrel houses and squirrel feeders
in their back yards to attract the squirrels. Squirrels can be very entertaining.
|Although raccoons are noctural they can occassionally be spotted
in the early evening. The raccoon in the photo would come regularly for its evening
meal in Horseshoe Bay.
Raccoons can be spotted along the country roads at night in the
Texas Hill Country.
|Opossums are also nocturnal creatures that are found in the Texas Hill
This opossum was a regular nightly visitor to a home in
Horseshoe Bay West. It would have to compete with the raccoon above for his nightly
Grey Fox Photo by Karen Cunningham
Karen Cunningham said about the fox in the photo above,
"I live near Pace Bend Park on Lake Travis and this fox visits us regularly. We
call her Limpy because she limps! She's even let us sit on our porch and talk
to her when she's about 25 ft away. When we've put out some pieces of bread,
she's come within 10 feet of our porch, with us sitting there." When it's dry
you can put out some water for wildlife; tap water is OK but it's better if the water is
run through a home filter system first.
Grey Fox Photo By Ken Reid
The two grey foxes in the photo above have been regular visitors to Ken
Reid's back yard near Canyon Lake. Thank you Ken for emailing us this photo.
Three types of foxes were seen in Horseshoe Bay West by a resident
there. Three baby red foxes were playing in one of the streets as he drove over the
hill. They ran down the street in front of his car quite a distance before hiding
behind the trees. Grey foxes were spotted on several occassions. A kit fox was
hunting for bugs along side the road, and went about feeding undisturbed, ignoring the
interested resident watching the fox from as close as only 30 feet away.
|Bobcats are in Texas but are very rarely spotted.
A tame bobcat
lived in the Texas Hill Country and the owner would take it for walks on a leash around
the area. This photo was taken in a feed store in Marble Falls several years ago.
courtesy of Bob Smith
|There are a few interesting types of lizards in the central Texas Hill
Country. The cute little chameleons and geckos are the most popular.
Although Texas Longhorns and Llamas are not really wildlife,
they are interesting animals and do attract a lot of attention.
If you have photos or information on wildlife in the Hill Country of
that you want to share with us,
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