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#5998314 - 10/28/15 08:30 AM MLD 3 Lease with Antler Restrictions?!
HuntinForTail Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 08/24/09
Posts: 208
Loc: Houston
Anyone else on an MLD 3 that imposes antler restrictions?

Here is our situation. We are on a timber company lease that hires a forestry management company to handle the hunting leases. The forestry management company has a biologist who makes sure we have our MLD, helps do surveys, helps age jaw bones, makes sure the camp is kept in good condition, etc. The last couple years he has mandated a 13 inch rule and a rule that bucks have to be 4.5 or older, which goes against the point of MLD.

Anyone else run into this?

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#5998356 - 10/28/15 09:00 AM Re: MLD 3 Lease with Antler Restrictions?! [Re: HuntinForTail]
rifleman Offline
Sparkly Pants

Registered: 11/19/08
Posts: 43774
Loc: Kingwood
How many members and how many permits? Usually when I run into leases that do that, it's bc there's more members than actual permits and it's a way to slow down getting them filled.

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#5998371 - 10/28/15 09:08 AM Re: MLD 3 Lease with Antler Restrictions?! [Re: HuntinForTail]
MoBettaHuntR Offline
Tracker

Registered: 10/29/14
Posts: 664
Loc: West is the best...
This may be bait but here I go.

Sounds like a well managed place to me. Should be a great lease over time ieven if you don't agree with all the rules. If you have a serious point of difference with the biologist and his practices get a different lease. You will not change the timber comapny's mind about a man they hired with a degree.

Not sure what you are implying the point of MLD is. In my opinion it is not to shoot deer that are under 13 inches or under 4.5 years old.

I know the AR thing is a hot debate. I am a big proponent of letting deer grow but certainly have seen deer that need to be shot that don't meet ARs. As far management goes I am personally lazy so I don't really worry about it. I have seen the results of good management and think restrictions especially on heavily managed places have to be adjusted so often.

I just hunt the big deer as I am the only hunter on most of the places I hunt and couldn't manage them myself anyhow. So I just don't worry about the ugly, small ones that don't meet ARs.
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#5998378 - 10/28/15 09:10 AM Re: MLD 3 Lease with Antler Restrictions?! [Re: rifleman]
MoBettaHuntR Offline
Tracker

Registered: 10/29/14
Posts: 664
Loc: West is the best...
Originally Posted By: rifleman
How many members and how many permits? Usually when I run into leases that do that, it's bc there's more members than actual permits and it's a way to slow down them getting filled.


Good point
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#5998383 - 10/28/15 09:13 AM Re: MLD 3 Lease with Antler Restrictions?! [Re: HuntinForTail]
tbgascorer Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 12/18/08
Posts: 111
It's no different than any other club imposed rule, ie. 8pts or better, spread restriction, etc. I'm sure if you identified a less than 13" mature buck that needed taking, it might be a pass after discussing. Your real benefit of having MLD3 is the longer season and being able to use MLD tags.

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#5998393 - 10/28/15 09:19 AM Re: MLD 3 Lease with Antler Restrictions?! [Re: MoBettaHuntR]
rifleman Offline
Sparkly Pants

Registered: 11/19/08
Posts: 43774
Loc: Kingwood
Originally Posted By: MoBettaHuntR
Originally Posted By: rifleman
How many members and how many permits? Usually when I run into leases that do that, it's bc there's more members than actual permits and it's a way to slow down them getting filled.


Good point


One lease I was on had 40 members, but we got 48 buck permits. Members were allotted 2 mgmt bucks (playing the odds people wouldn't see 2) and 1 cull (playing the odds they'd be few & far between). Then there were the 100+ doe permits. We had all the buck pefmits filled before Thanksgiving one year and about 40 doe permits that went unfilled because everyone quit hunting. Because of that a rule was made that one of the bucks had to be 4.5 & 15" wide (that's a really tall task on this place) and since then the season ends with a couple buck permits left and most doe permits filled. It was a lot better hunting and quality before the pressure increase with basically the same amount of bucks being shot most years.

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#5998405 - 10/28/15 09:25 AM Re: MLD 3 Lease with Antler Restrictions?! [Re: tbgascorer]
TxDispatcher Offline
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 11/11/11
Posts: 2416
Loc: Bellville, Tx
Originally Posted By: tbgascorer
I'm sure if you identified a less than 13" mature buck that needed taking, it might be a pass after discussing.

That's my thoughts as well. Get game cam pics of the mature -13" deer, show them to the biologist, and if he's truly mature I would imagine you would get a green light to shoot him
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#5998416 - 10/28/15 09:31 AM Re: MLD 3 Lease with Antler Restrictions?! [Re: HuntinForTail]
HuntinForTail Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 08/24/09
Posts: 208
Loc: Houston
We have 6 hunters on 650 acres. He also manages about 3000 acres of other leases that border us.

To me the point of MLD is to manage a better herd. You put in extra work in to get extra benefits. One of the benefits is to be allowed to cull certain deer despite antler restrictions in the county. I'm not looking to shoot 3.5 year old 12 inch deer and neither is anyone else. With the 4.5 year old and 13" we most likely won't fill our tags this year.

Of the 5 or so deer over 4.5 that we've studied on camera so far, 3 are so close to 13" that we'd rather pass and be safe, 1 is a high narrow 4 point, and one is a spike on one side and 4 points on the other.

I'm assuming its easier for him to make that rule for the average hunter so he doesn't have deer that shouldn't be shot killed. My plan is to send him pictures of deer that we think are good candidates but don't fit the restrictions and see if he'll give us the green light.

Either way we love the lease and with the MLD we've seen a huge increase in the number and quality of deer over the last 5 years.


Edited by HuntinForTail (10/28/15 09:32 AM)

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#5998422 - 10/28/15 09:34 AM Re: MLD 3 Lease with Antler Restrictions?! [Re: HuntinForTail]
tShawnB Offline
Tracker

Registered: 09/19/12
Posts: 966
Loc: Rolling Plains
Having an MLD on a piece of property doesn't mean you have guys hunting that property that understand or know how to manage a whitetail herd. Restrictions are one way to accomplish a management program MLD or otherwise. Having ran and been part of MLD leases, I know all too well that it (MLD) is often an excuse to shoot deer you shouldn't especially when you have an extra tag in your pocket. I have also seen the other end of it where the LO has guys so scared to shoot anything and limits there tags if they do that it doesn't work as advertised either, so there is that too. MLD is just a tool for guys who understand how to age and manage whitetail, LO's and hunters, no more.
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#5998484 - 10/28/15 10:26 AM Re: MLD 3 Lease with Antler Restrictions?! [Re: tShawnB]
fouzman Online   content
Pro Tracker

Registered: 08/09/10
Posts: 1003
Loc: Houston, TX
Originally Posted By: tShawnB
Having an MLD on a piece of property doesn't mean you have guys hunting that property that understand or know how to manage a whitetail herd. Restrictions are one way to accomplish a management program MLD or otherwise. Having ran and been part of MLD leases, I know all too well that it (MLD) is often an excuse to shoot deer you shouldn't especially when you have an extra tag in your pocket. I have also seen the other end of it where the LO has guys so scared to shoot anything and limits there tags if they do that it doesn't work as advertised either, so there is that too. MLD is just a tool for guys who understand how to age and manage whitetail, LO's and hunters, no more.


No it's not. The Managed Lands Deer Program's primary focus is to keep deer numbers below carrying capacity for that area. This helps to maintain and improve the native habitat/forage for the benefit of all wildlife, not just deer on the property. The longer season that comes with a Type III MLD provides landowners/managers the time to harvest the right deer in the numbers needed to meet the harvest recommendations of the biologist. One must also make improvements to habitat to remain in the MLD program (i.e., controlled burns, roller chopping, plantings, etc.).

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#5998488 - 10/28/15 10:29 AM Re: MLD 3 Lease with Antler Restrictions?! [Re: MoBettaHuntR]
TXHOGSLAYER Online   content
THF Celebrity

Registered: 01/12/12
Posts: 11888
Loc: Katy, TX
Originally Posted By: MoBettaHuntR
Originally Posted By: rifleman
How many members and how many permits? Usually when I run into leases that do that, it's bc there's more members than actual permits and it's a way to slow down them getting filled.


Good point


Couldn't they also use their personal tags on deer?
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#5998489 - 10/28/15 10:30 AM Re: MLD 3 Lease with Antler Restrictions?! [Re: TXHOGSLAYER]
fouzman Online   content
Pro Tracker

Registered: 08/09/10
Posts: 1003
Loc: Houston, TX
Originally Posted By: TXHOGSLAYER
Originally Posted By: MoBettaHuntR
Originally Posted By: rifleman
How many members and how many permits? Usually when I run into leases that do that, it's bc there's more members than actual permits and it's a way to slow down them getting filled.


Good point


Couldn't they also use their personal tags on deer?


No. Only MLD tags issued by TPWD may be used on MLD properties.

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#5998678 - 10/28/15 12:44 PM Re: MLD 3 Lease with Antler Restrictions?! [Re: fouzman]
tShawnB Offline
Tracker

Registered: 09/19/12
Posts: 966
Loc: Rolling Plains
Originally Posted By: fouzman
Originally Posted By: tShawnB
Having an MLD on a piece of property doesn't mean you have guys hunting that property that understand or know how to manage a whitetail herd. Restrictions are one way to accomplish a management program MLD or otherwise. Having ran and been part of MLD leases, I know all too well that it (MLD) is often an excuse to shoot deer you shouldn't especially when you have an extra tag in your pocket. I have also seen the other end of it where the LO has guys so scared to shoot anything and limits there tags if they do that it doesn't work as advertised either, so there is that too. MLD is just a tool for guys who understand how to age and manage whitetail, LO's and hunters, no more.


No it's not. The Managed Lands Deer Program's primary focus is to keep deer numbers below carrying capacity for that area. This helps to maintain and improve the native habitat/forage for the benefit of all wildlife, not just deer on the property. The longer season that comes with a Type III MLD provides landowners/managers the time to harvest the right deer in the numbers needed to meet the harvest recommendations of the biologist. One must also make improvements to habitat to remain in the MLD program (i.e., controlled burns, roller chopping, plantings, etc.).
Again, as someone who has hunted multiple MLD properties and killed multiple large animals on these properties, let me assure you it is more often than not (99%) used as a TROPHY management tool and MLD tags are more often than not used as currency, much like the tags you buy in Mexico. I understand the end game with MLD; however, like antler restrictions it is flawed in the sense that a majority of these properties are looking to produce trophy caliber WT/MD bucks. The last MLD property I was on had some ignorant rules in as much as they (LO) did not want anything under 4.5 years old PERIOD to be shot assuming that even middle age 8 pointers might perhaps grow into large trophy whitetails. What you had is guys burning tags out of fear of missing out on being able to kill a trophy after they passed up these mature management type bucks early in the year, so there goes the population management aspect right there. I can also with 100% certainty tell you that the MLD rules are often bent, followed loosely, etc... just like any other government program or entity. If used correctly, MLD is a good tool to manage a deer herd and if your looking to manage for trophies, there is one way to do it and if your looking to manage population and habitat there is another way to do it. I agree both are important and should go hand in hand, but I also know from experience big bucks equals big money and the MLD tool is used in most cases to grow big bucks but in most cases is not managed or handled correctly. In closing, I no longer hunt MLD properties and will not unless the rules of said properties fit my idea of management.
_________________________
How come everybody I meet is a deer hunting expert?

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#5998707 - 10/28/15 01:01 PM Re: MLD 3 Lease with Antler Restrictions?! [Re: fouzman]
HuntinForTail Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 08/24/09
Posts: 208
Loc: Houston
Originally Posted By: fouzman
No it's not. The Managed Lands Deer Program's primary focus is to keep deer numbers below carrying capacity for that area. This helps to maintain and improve the native habitat/forage for the benefit of all wildlife, not just deer on the property. The longer season that comes with a Type III MLD provides landowners/managers the time to harvest the right deer in the numbers needed to meet the harvest recommendations of the biologist. One must also make improvements to habitat to remain in the MLD program (i.e., controlled burns, roller chopping, plantings, etc.).


You're right, the true purpose is about managing numbers. A lot of us use it to improve deer genetics though. Since it is about keeping numbers in balance, shouldn't that be more of a case to not have a 13" requirement? The ultimate goal should be to have all the tags filled by the end of the year. Correct?

This kinda has me thinking of a side question. Do timber companies get any benefit from having hunters who participate in MLD? The last 2 owners said that MLD is the only way they will lease the property for hunting.


Edited by HuntinForTail (10/28/15 01:05 PM)

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#5998710 - 10/28/15 01:03 PM Re: MLD 3 Lease with Antler Restrictions?! [Re: tShawnB]
HuntinForTail Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 08/24/09
Posts: 208
Loc: Houston
Originally Posted By: tShawnB
Again, as someone who has hunted multiple MLD properties and killed multiple large animals on these properties, let me assure you it is more often than not (99%) used as a TROPHY management tool and MLD tags are more often than not used as currency, much like the tags you buy in Mexico. I understand the end game with MLD; however, like antler restrictions it is flawed in the sense that a majority of these properties are looking to produce trophy caliber WT/MD bucks. The last MLD property I was on had some ignorant rules in as much as they (LO) did not want anything under 4.5 years old PERIOD to be shot assuming that even middle age 8 pointers might perhaps grow into large trophy whitetails. What you had is guys burning tags out of fear of missing out on being able to kill a trophy after they passed up these mature management type bucks early in the year, so there goes the population management aspect right there. I can also with 100% certainty tell you that the MLD rules are often bent, followed loosely, etc... just like any other government program or entity. If used correctly, MLD is a good tool to manage a deer herd and if your looking to manage for trophies, there is one way to do it and if your looking to manage population and habitat there is another way to do it. I agree both are important and should go hand in hand, but I also know from experience big bucks equals big money and the MLD tool is used in most cases to grow big bucks but in most cases is not managed or handled correctly. In closing, I no longer hunt MLD properties and will not unless the rules of said properties fit my idea of management.


Well said. That last sentence is about the only option we all have.

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