Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 10, Number 2, July, 2000 Page: 75
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Colorado County Wildlife Under Siege
rivaling the one demonstrated by the nutria in Eagle Lake. This is a near Texas-wide phe-
nomenon, producing news articles and even a special bulletin suggesting control methods.
What triggered this expansion is obscure, but this variegated and fecund intruder is causing
severe crop damage and substrate disruption in grassland, forest and stream bottom habi-
tats. Hunting and trapping efforts have so far not been effectual in reducing this environ-
White-tailed Deer: The county deer herd was year-around fair game to protein-starved
early-day settlers. At first they took what they needed only for family use. However, by the
last quarter of the nineteenth century, selling deer meat for money to Galveston markets
created a lively occupation for such hunters as W. A. Hughs. Fortunately, preserved records
of this man's remarkable commercial hunting career show that between 1875 and 1893, he
killed more than 11,000 deer, shipping most of them to Galveston butcher establishments by
rail from Eagle Lake, Wallis, Sealy, and Lissie.7 By 1900, the harassed Colorado County
deer herd was fragmentary, with token numbers remaining only on large holdings where
interested landowners provided some protection to the breeding stock. In 1925, State Game
Warden Thomas T. Waddell estimated that only about 125 head remained in the county.
Since then, rigorous enforcement of game laws, chiefly by Warden Waddell in the 1930s, has
been a major factor in nursing this highly-adaptable species back to its present conspicuous
6 See Houston Post, April 9, 1992, June 11, 1995; Martin Mendoza, Jr., and Saidor H. Turman,
Controlling Feral Hog Damage (San Antonio: Texas Animal Control Service, 1989).
7 Eagle Lake Headlight February 10, 1917.
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Nesbitt Memorial Library. Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 10, Number 2, July, 2000, periodical, July 2000; Columbus, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth151409/m1/11/?q=nesbitt%20memorial%20library%20journal: accessed May 24, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Nesbitt Memorial Library.