Since the early days of settlements in the Brush Country of South Texas (between the towns of San Antonio and Laredo), outdoorsmen from around the State and Nation have made annual treks to South Texas in pursuit of trophy whitetail deer. Old newspapers, books and magazines indicate that groups of hunters from areas such as San Antonio, Dallas, and Houston would travel by train to South Texas each winter, where they would stay for a few days to several weeks in the “outdoors”, enjoying the sport of hunting. That ritual has sustained itself throughout the years and is just as prevalent today as it was back then.
In 1986 an annual “Big Deer Contest” competition for hunters who hunt South Texas and Northern Mexico was started. The competition was named “Los Cazadores”, which in Spanish means “The Hunters”. The contest continues today, making this year the 32nd annual competition. Although most trophies entered in the annual competition are taken from properties in South Texas and Northern Mexico, whitetail deer taken from anywhere within the state of Texas are eligible in the Contest. Participation in the Contest requires hunters to pay a fee to enter the competition. Upon harvest of a deer, the “member” is required to bring his/her trophy to the Contest Headquarters in Pearsall, where measurements of the deer’s antlers and body weight are taken and recorded; then the hunters pose with their trophies for photographs. This continues throughout the hunting season. Once the hunting season is completed the hunters, who have brought in the finest trophy deer during the season, are declared winners of various divisions of the annual competition. An award banquet is held each summer at the store in Pearsall.