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#5570513 - 01/29/15 07:05 AM wildlife management
huntindude Offline
Tracker

Registered: 12/10/06
Posts: 885
Loc: Trinity county
My family owns a small piece of land in east Texas. I've been trying to improve the wildlife on it for the last few years. It was 70% hay fields and open spaces were everywhere. I've slightly changed the percentage to 40 percent hay. Ive been planting trees every year for the last 5-6 years. Trying to provide more cover/food sources for the wildlife. Fruit trees, oaks, maples, pines and American Chestnut Hybrids. Man it is looking good. We also have a good sized pond. Have 3 feeders out at various locations just to keep deer in the area. Shoot pigs when I get the chance. Once a year we do a control burn. Every now and then I throw a food plot out there just to mix things up.

Could you share with us what kind of management you do on your land or lease?

Thanks

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#5570520 - 01/29/15 07:10 AM Re: wildlife management [Re: huntindude]
JRJ6 Offline
Extreme Tracker

Registered: 03/13/14
Posts: 3899
Loc: Dallas, TX
Based on what you have written, you are doing all the right things. Keep up the great work!

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#5570566 - 01/29/15 07:42 AM Re: wildlife management [Re: huntindude]
stxranchman Offline
Obie Juan Kenobi

Registered: 08/04/10
Posts: 52092
I have deferred grazing for 3 yrs due to below average rainfalls for the last 5 yrs. I have a decent mix of browse plants for this habitat and with fall/winter rains this year have a huge variety of forb plants that will make seed for the future years. I started killing/trapping hogs, coons, coyotes, and bobcats at the same time. I have removed 122 coons, 60 hogs, 14 coyotes, 3 bobcats and a handful of skunks/possums. I built 4 feed pens and started supplementing protein in the late fall 3 yrs ago and have fed year round since then. I added 5 small food plots last spring and will expand those this year for spring and fall plots. Planting Soybeans or cowpeas and Lab this spring, then oats and whistler winter peas this fall again. Improved the water by having the windmill well baled out to deepen it and put in a small stock pond. Added a small water trough by the house also last year.
Also have done blind and incidental counts to see what ratios and buck numbers where like from the first year during late summer till the end of each season. I started taking a few does off each year and will continue. There have been 3 bucks killed and the overall quality and herd health continues to improve. Buck to doe ratio has improved 1 buck to 1.3 does this year. Other wildlife has continued to improve with quail, doves and turkey numbers rebounding steadily each. I think there numbers are a result of the predator control.
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#5570612 - 01/29/15 07:58 AM Re: wildlife management [Re: huntindude]
Mr. T. Online   content
Pro Tracker

Registered: 11/05/14
Posts: 1624
Loc: Fort Worth - Hunt in Eastland ...
You are most likely all ready doing this but you did not discuss it. throw out a couple of salt blocks. I like to have them near water and I have been shocked at how much my deer lick the salt. I use the plain old white ones that cost $4.99 for I think a 40lb block. I was going to use the yellow or brown one that has minerals in it, but I have had such great success with the old white one that I did not want to change.
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#5570632 - 01/29/15 08:06 AM Re: wildlife management [Re: huntindude]
stxranchman Offline
Obie Juan Kenobi

Registered: 08/04/10
Posts: 52092
Salt depends on the area you live in. Some areas in South Texas you have to be careful since the pond water can be high in salt in drier times. If it is the only source of water then the animals drinking it will limit their feed intake due to having to much salt. I prefer a yellow (sulfur) salt block since the old time Hill Country ranchers said they used them. They felt like it helped with external parasites, not sure it did but worth the try. Mineral blocks or minerals poured in a hole are used by many places to allow deer to get minerals when they need them. Some areas with great habitat, minerals are all that may be lacking. The deer do not use the mineral licks year round in many areas, some only once or twice a year heavily then nothing. Hogs and porcupines will use salt blocks as much or more than deer along with a lot of wildlife will use the mineral sites. I feed protein year round with a very good mineral package and get very minimal use of other mineral lick sites. I keep them fresh once or twice per year but still see no activity on any of them. The protein pellets will also have salt in them so I am not concerned about adding salt on my place.
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#5570721 - 01/29/15 08:53 AM Re: wildlife management [Re: huntindude]
colt.45 Offline
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 03/16/12
Posts: 9307
Loc: wondering about the woods
cheers great job. dont have the big bucks ta spend, Times is tough. pretty much same as u. controlled burning down by creek for food plot. whin can aford feed & supplements. take advantage of the 24-7-365 hog hunts here in texas the other wild game . flag
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#5570737 - 01/29/15 09:05 AM Re: wildlife management [Re: huntindude]
Hunt Dog Offline
Tracker

Registered: 11/25/13
Posts: 709
Are you in an AR county? If so you may want to see if you can sign up for LAMPS. Minimum acerage for LAMPS is 200. Talk to your GW or a TPW biologist to see what programs you may qualify for.
Don't think just deer. Plant some sunflowers along the fenceline of one of the hay fields and knock them down just before dove season. Stock the pond with catfish, perch and bream for when hunting isn't an option.
A good book might be 'Food Plots & Supplemental Feeding' by Ben H. Koerth and Dr James Kroll. For that matter get any/all of Dr Kroll's books.
Lastly, be patient.

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#5571032 - 01/29/15 11:38 AM Re: wildlife management [Re: huntindude]
Curtis Online   happy
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 02/26/05
Posts: 7662
Loc: Gonzales, Texas
If you want to really tell how much habitat your animals are eating, find several areas around trees and browse that your deer eat, fence it off with cattle pannels. Just a small circle around it to keep the deer from eating it. If you have hackberry trees, find some that are not bigger than 2" diameter and cut it off near the base. The tree will sprout up from the base. If its fenced off you will see it come up. Do the same to another hackberry nearby and and watch the difference. It will take some time, but right now is the time of year to do it and you should get a really good picture of how much habitat is being used. Its hard to realize it sometimes when your out on the property on a regular basis. The slow change over time doesn't become apparent until its too late.
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#5571132 - 01/29/15 12:22 PM Re: wildlife management [Re: huntindude]
huntindude Offline
Tracker

Registered: 12/10/06
Posts: 885
Loc: Trinity county
I am in an AR county. Did it one year and they said one doe all season

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#5571186 - 01/29/15 12:49 PM Re: wildlife management [Re: huntindude]
Gone to Texas Online   content
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 07/05/13
Posts: 2358
Loc: Hurst
Sounds like you are on the right track! I did all the ag exemption stuff for the land owner where I hunt this year. Mostly I had to get food and water on the place.

Next step for me was cutting down on predators, there are tons of coyotes. Also, the fire ants are really bad so I have been getting after them. No hogs though, at least I haven't found any yet...
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#5571262 - 01/29/15 01:30 PM Re: wildlife management [Re: Gone to Texas]
colt.45 Offline
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 03/16/12
Posts: 9307
Loc: wondering about the woods
Fire ants. Dig up with shovel. Sift threw old window screen. grill lightly. Chill in melted chocolate. scratch Recomend taking ant-acids flag
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#5571280 - 01/29/15 01:37 PM Re: wildlife management [Re: huntindude]
cabosandinh Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 08/12/13
Posts: 1157
Loc: Dallas, TX
you are doing it right

food, cover, water

the only thing you might need to do is predator control if you have them
(coyotes etc ... )


I didn't have to do much on my land because of abundant post oaks
and farm land nearby. I do have 2 large ponds that always have water.
I am going to drill a well and feed them into the ponds to keep them
full year round. I do have gravity feeder and spin feeder for supplemental feed.
This year I am going to invite friends over to shoot some coyotes that I
see hanging around. I may do some half cutting and plant a row of native fruit trees

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#5571449 - 01/29/15 02:59 PM Re: wildlife management [Re: huntindude]
Hunt Dog Offline
Tracker

Registered: 11/25/13
Posts: 709
Originally Posted By: huntindude
I am in an AR county. Did it one year and they said one doe all season


So which gives you better odds... Having all season to try and get one doe or having the one doe weekend to try and get two?

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#5571471 - 01/29/15 03:10 PM Re: wildlife management [Re: huntindude]
huntindude Offline
Tracker

Registered: 12/10/06
Posts: 885
Loc: Trinity county
I have other places to shoot a doe if I need the meat.

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#5571516 - 01/29/15 03:28 PM Re: wildlife management [Re: huntindude]
Perfect 8 Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 09/03/14
Posts: 67
If you original 40% non-hay acreage is in pines (it is East Texas), you can get HUGE benefits from some selective thinning. Thick pine stands make good bedding cover, but once you get crown closure (no sunlight to the ground) very little edible browse (young hardwood trees, shrubs, and vines) and almost certainly none of the weeds and other herbs will survice. These are especially important summer foods prior to food plots, supplemental feeding, and mast production from your new trees.

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