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#5566441 - 01/26/15 09:12 PM 800 acres, low fence hill country......advice
mmlreiner Offline
Bird Dog

Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 344
Loc: Houston, TX
Without getting into too many details, what would you do with 800 acres of low fence property....currently MLD 2.....bordered by a park on one side and a non hunting, corn throwing neighbor on the other side. Almost completely cleared of all cedar, just rolling hills and oaks, native grasses. The park is thick with cedar, neighbor is also cleared of all cedar. Three year round water troughs and four year round corn feeders. Other than above mentioned, the only thing happening on this property is meeting the quota on the tags. Not really any real "management" ever done until now. Only deer seen this past season are a couple of mature 5.5+ bucks, 20-30 does of all ages and lots of young bucks of all ranges but nothing bigger than 110". (theres a healthy herd of bb and axis too)

My question is, would the first thing be to start with protein? That is the route I figured I was taking but after reading so many posts maybe the only thing to do is allow all my young bucks to get older......like nothing gets taken unless its older than 5.5? I was surprised that I felt like I didn't see nearly as many deer on this property as I usually do in Kerr county. Is it completely irrational to put out 4 protein stations starting now and think there will be some signs three years from now that it made a difference?

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#5566460 - 01/26/15 09:20 PM Re: 800 acres, low fence hill country......advice [Re: mmlreiner]
stxranchman Offline
Obie Juan Kenobi

Registered: 08/04/10
Posts: 52092
I would do a survey first to see what the deer density and numbers are like. See what the buck to doe ratio is also. The main issue to resolve first IMO would be the exotics. They would have to go before I would start to feed. One things with putting out protein feeder is you could start drawing in more deer than you can afford to feed. IMO feeding the deer can make a difference in the overall quality of bucks if you can get feed to them. I would maybe look into timered trough protein feeders. That would allow you to feed from after hunting season till late summer. I would feed at night when the bucks are more active during that time. Then once Sept his if you still want to feed then set the times more in the daylight hours. Any feeders you put in need to be fenced to keep the livestock, hogs and blackbucks off the feeders. I would probably only put in one or two feeders in the middle of the ranch to keep the deer off the neighboring ranches from hitting the feeders everyday.
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#5566485 - 01/26/15 09:28 PM Re: 800 acres, low fence hill country......advice [Re: mmlreiner]
mmlreiner Offline
Bird Dog

Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 344
Loc: Houston, TX
Hmm.....no exotics huh? Well I could care less about the stupid bb buck I love having the axis.

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#5566489 - 01/26/15 09:30 PM Re: 800 acres, low fence hill country......advice [Re: mmlreiner]
stxranchman Offline
Obie Juan Kenobi

Registered: 08/04/10
Posts: 52092
The axis will love you if you start feeding them free choice protein.
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#5566490 - 01/26/15 09:30 PM Re: 800 acres, low fence hill country......advice [Re: mmlreiner]
mmlreiner Offline
Bird Dog

Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 344
Loc: Houston, TX
When I am there this weekend I will be having the biologist stop by for some discussion on this very topic. He has all the MLD records of the last 15 years. Hopefully I will have a better plan afterwords..

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#5566493 - 01/26/15 09:31 PM Re: 800 acres, low fence hill country......advice [Re: mmlreiner]
mmlreiner Offline
Bird Dog

Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 344
Loc: Houston, TX
LOL. Yea I bet. The last property I fed protein on I really had to hunt the axis until they found the feeder, then I just went when the trail camera patterned their feeding times. It was like shooting fish in a barrel.

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#5566521 - 01/26/15 09:47 PM Re: 800 acres, low fence hill country......advice [Re: mmlreiner]
txshntr Offline
T-Rex Arms

Registered: 09/24/10
Posts: 33682
Loc: Mansfield, Texas
I wouldn't start feeding until I knew what I was feeding. As STX said, get a survey and the data from the biologist. Would be interesting if they kept a good log of the deer taken. I would get a management plan based on the information that you are provided and do some of the surveys this year. IMO, protein feeding without a management plan is a waste, but there are others that disagree with me.

If you are looking at a full feeding program, I would look hard at the numbers and what your end goals were. This would better insure that the money invested in the supplemental feeding goes farther and to the deer that are more likely to produce what you are looking for. This would more than likely mean taking some of the lower caliber deer in the herd and reducing the overall number of deer.

Also, not sure of your area, but the Hill Country Region had some odd rains this year that changed the patterns and movement of the deer. Many places saw a reduction in the number of deer and the overall size. I wouldn't base all your opinions on the place on this one year. Hopefully, you get more information from the MLD reports and the next few years can fill in the blanks.

Good luck up
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#5566541 - 01/26/15 09:56 PM Re: 800 acres, low fence hill country......advice [Re: mmlreiner]
mmlreiner Offline
Bird Dog

Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 344
Loc: Houston, TX
Alright. So I will sit down with Evan this week and come back and let you guys know. It will just be me and one other guy hunting this place and so far this season, I am down right tired of killing deer to meet the number of tags given (12) But the other guy I hunt with is a complete newbie as far as management. So I feel Lonely wink

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#5566565 - 01/26/15 10:10 PM Re: 800 acres, low fence hill country......advice [Re: mmlreiner]
txshntr Offline
T-Rex Arms

Registered: 09/24/10
Posts: 33682
Loc: Mansfield, Texas
Originally Posted By: mmlreiner
Alright. So I will sit down with Evan this week and come back and let you guys know. It will just be me and one other guy hunting this place and so far this season, I am down right tired of killing deer to meet the number of tags given (12) But the other guy I hunt with is a complete newbie as far as management. So I feel Lonely wink


Should be interesting cheers

For the newbie, he can kill plenty of doe if they need to go. As far as bucks, it is good to get some game camera pictures and walk him through which to take and which ones not too. From my experience, newbies are great for reducing deer numbers...as long as they are educated grin
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#5566742 - 01/27/15 06:16 AM Re: 800 acres, low fence hill country......advice [Re: mmlreiner]
stxranchman Offline
Obie Juan Kenobi

Registered: 08/04/10
Posts: 52092
Originally Posted By: mmlreiner
Alright. So I will sit down with Evan this week and come back and let you guys know. It will just be me and one other guy hunting this place and so far this season, I am down right tired of killing deer to meet the number of tags given (12) But the other guy I hunt with is a complete newbie as far as management. So I feel Lonely wink

There will never be an end to the tags and deer needed to be killed. If you are at CC now then you will have to remove the number of adult deer equal to the fawn crop born that year. You will always have a fawn crop and that will require you to have to kill x number of deer each year to maintain your CC. If you are tired of killing deer now then I would not ever start to feed protein. That number of tags/deer you are needing to kill will grow with a good year round supplemental feeding program.
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#5567127 - 01/27/15 10:32 AM Re: 800 acres, low fence hill country......advice [Re: mmlreiner]
redchevy Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 10/25/04
Posts: 23348
Loc: Texas
Wow maybe that part of the hill country is different than the parts I have experience with, but I would be amazed if filling 12 tags on 800 acres LF actually even kept you near what the projected CC is.
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#5567330 - 01/27/15 12:15 PM Re: 800 acres, low fence hill country......advice [Re: stxranchman]
dkershen Online   content


Registered: 05/14/09
Posts: 15138
Loc: Denton/Argyle
Originally Posted By: stxranchman
Originally Posted By: mmlreiner
Alright. So I will sit down with Evan this week and come back and let you guys know. It will just be me and one other guy hunting this place and so far this season, I am down right tired of killing deer to meet the number of tags given (12) But the other guy I hunt with is a complete newbie as far as management. So I feel Lonely wink

There will never be an end to the tags and deer needed to be killed. If you are at CC now then you will have to remove the number of adult deer equal to the fawn crop born that year. You will always have a fawn crop and that will require you to have to kill x number of deer each year to maintain your CC. If you are tired of killing deer now then I would not ever start to feed protein. That number of tags/deer you are needing to kill will grow with a good year round supplemental feeding program.

Sage advise.... 2cents
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www.NewHopeEquine.com

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#5567387 - 01/27/15 12:54 PM Re: 800 acres, low fence hill country......advice [Re: mmlreiner]
mmlreiner Offline
Bird Dog

Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 344
Loc: Houston, TX
Alright. Let me clarify.....I'm tired of killing deer that's why I've enlisted some help. I'm assuming between the two of us we can get it done. I've said this before but I keep reminding folks...I'm a Girl and stringing up 10 deer plus exotics (I've shot 5 axis spikes this year and I still have 2 Doe tags) skinning and quartering them by myself is exhausting.
And no this place isn't like other places in the hill country, its not overrun by tiny whitetails. Pretty sure I stated the "obvious" numbers in my first post.
That being said my original long term goal is ......id like to eventually start seeing larger deer. The question was, will i ever see larger deer without feeding protein if I let them get older. If not then I will do what I have to do to grow bigger deer and enlist help according to the amount of deer I nave to take each year as the herd gets bigger.

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#5567399 - 01/27/15 12:59 PM Re: 800 acres, low fence hill country......advice [Re: mmlreiner]
mmlreiner Offline
Bird Dog

Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 344
Loc: Houston, TX
Some more insight....as I took certain deer this season, I thought id start seeing new deer take their place but I didn't. I still saw the same deer every day. Not much changed. I found that really interesting due to Kerr county's reputation. Almost made me feel like it was hf.

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#5567414 - 01/27/15 01:05 PM Re: 800 acres, low fence hill country......advice [Re: mmlreiner]
mmlreiner Offline
Bird Dog

Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 344
Loc: Houston, TX
And I literally have a herd about 10 strong of spikes that all ran together this whole season. Never saw one without seeing the rest. Tall, lean good looking young spikes. Then I have about 10 slightly older deer I continued seeing throughout the year and about 20 Doe that hang out on the hippys property. The other 10-20 Doe I saw kind of scattered throughout the property, mostly younger looking. These numbers correlated with my summer spotlight census. (I hope that makes sense)

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