RIO GRANDE VALLEY, Texas (ValleyCentral) — The sudden appearance of a handsome White-Tailed buck materializing from a cloaking brush in the golden light of dawn is magical. And then, just as quickly the majestic ghost slips into sheltering mesquite vanishing almost as if he were never there, leaving no trace save for the indelible memory.

Since the dawn of man, hunters have been captivated by antlers and creatures that possess them.  Prehistoric cave paintings depict antlered animals, often with hunters in pursuit, and ancient gods of Greeks and Romans were often adorned with antlers.

Every antler is different, as each is a specially designed work of nature. Their intriguing annual growth cycle and unique attributes create a fascinating aura of antler allure.

The general season for White-Tail Deer hunting ends Sunday, January 15 and by late February and early March bucks will shed their antlers and almost immediately start growing new ones.

The quest for antlers and venison is big business for South Texas. Texas boasts the largest deer herd in the nation, and annually the state’s five million plus deer are pursued by approximately 800,000 hunters who help generate a total economic impact in excess of $1.2 billion.

Hunting is one of our most important conservation tools. Each year, the more than two and a half million hunting and fishing licenses sold in Texas garner some $100 million in revenues.   Money that by law must be spent on wildlife, fish, and water safety.

Hunting pays the bills on many properties, and by managing their lands for deer, quail, turkey, and other game animals; habitat is also protected for non-game species like endangered ocelots and colorful green jays.

Although the shooting season is winding down, the clicking season is open year-round, and some of the wariest bucks are just starting to appear before the camera.