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#6335146 - 06/14/16 04:23 PM Deer Quality in Llano County
Night Skunk Offline
Light Foot

Registered: 05/28/12
Posts: 49
We just got a lease in Llano County just between Llano and Mason. We've hunted many years closer to Brady and the deer were plentiful with some good trophies on a regular basis. Any of you guys hunting around Llano that can give me a heads up to what I might start seeing at the feeder this year? I also hear the closer you get to Llano and south of there you have a pretty good chance of seeing a stray exotic or two.

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#6335171 - 06/14/16 04:44 PM Re: Deer Quality in Llano County [Re: Night Skunk]
copperhead Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 11/22/05
Posts: 1486
I live in the eastern part of Llano county and there are some decent bucks here, not a lot but enough to keep it interesting. There are exotics in almost the whole county. I've seen a couple of blackbucks on the road between Sunrise Beach and Kingsland. My co-worker almost ran over an elk calf last fall by Tow. Not to mention lots of hogs. The area you're hunting in I think will have the bigger deer though. I've seen some nice ones on the highway over the years.

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#6335195 - 06/14/16 05:02 PM Re: Deer Quality in Llano County [Re: Night Skunk]
PMK Online   content
Extreme Tracker

Registered: 09/10/12
Posts: 4977
Loc: Central TX (Gtown/Austin)
agree with copperhead.

Is your lease on or slightly off hwy 29 between Llano and Mason? one of the guys that works for me has a lease a couple miles west of the county line and 4-5 miles north of hwy 29, they have good numbers of deer and a lot of hogs although they tend to roam, be there one day and not the next. He is on a smaller place, around 350 acres and there is hunting pressure on all sides. His group has taken a couple of middle aged deer over the past 5 years they have been hunting there, guessing 4-5 year old, 105-115 BC class. They have not seen any exotics on their place but in talking to other hunters in their area, some will filter thru from time to time. There are several high fence places in that general area and with the flooding the past couple of years, there might be some various breeds of escapees roaming around.

I looked at a place (~400 acres) 3 years ago about a mile west of the Llano/Mason county line, north side of 29 portion of it faced right on 29. There were good numbers of deer and a friend of mine's dad had been hunting it for about 25 years (mid 70s and he retired from hunting since his other hunting buddies moved to south Texas on family land). He said they took a couple nice bucks every year off the place but based on pictures I saw, maybe in the 100-120 class were the best I saw out of 20+/- pictures. I would have taken the lease for my son & SIL along with a buddy of mine for he & his son but my buddy backed out and I couldn't justify the entire thing alone.

Watch for rattlesnakes on warm sunny days during deer season! I grew up hunting off 71 around Valley Springs which can't be too far as the crow flies, and we were covered up with rattlers.
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#6335712 - 06/14/16 11:04 PM Re: Deer Quality in Llano County [Re: Night Skunk]
Txduckman Online   content
THF Celebrity

Registered: 08/30/04
Posts: 11719
Loc: Big D
Buddy hunts just SW of Llano near Castell. Been there 30+ years with same German landowner. Biggest deer might go 130. But they see a lot of deer and shoot a lot of does. They don't pay much though and have house and creek. Lots of turkey and snakes.

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#6335732 - 06/14/16 11:42 PM Re: Deer Quality in Llano County [Re: Night Skunk]
Mathp Online   content
Bird Dog

Registered: 03/16/12
Posts: 454
Loc: Coppell Breckenridge, TX
I hunted Llano 43 years and watched the herd change drastically when we started shooting does and quit shooting young bucks. I shot two bucks just a hair under 140 by my calculations, but consider those two are the only ones I've ever measured. You can see them in the photo below on top and the one on the left. The one on the left has 13 points but the top one is my favorite. All four are from the Llano lease. It's south of the Llano river a few miles off of RR 106.


Edited by Mathp (06/14/16 11:48 PM)
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#6335789 - 06/15/16 06:25 AM Re: Deer Quality in Llano County [Re: Night Skunk]
Bbear Online   content
Tracker

Registered: 11/24/13
Posts: 598
Loc: West Texas
Hunted north of Llano off of 16 for over 20 years. Like Mathp said, when we started letting bucks grow we started seeing some better quality. I have a 10 pt on the wall that scored in the low 140's. 4.5 year old deer.

The potential for good bucks is there, you just have to keep the herd numbers down and selectively cull out the lesser bucks.
When we started taking does and culls, the ranch had been 'managed' by the old 'all spikes grow to 10 pointers' adage. The first year we took 13 spikes with an average age of 5. Had one that was an estimated 8 years of age. 11-13" spikes weren't uncommon.
The last year I was on the lease we took 6 bucks averaging around 4 years of age that scored in the 130's -140's and one that nudged 150. No protein was fed, just herd management.
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#6335905 - 06/15/16 08:34 AM Re: Deer Quality in Llano County [Re: Night Skunk]
sbushee Online   content
Tracker

Registered: 07/08/15
Posts: 779
I have family that has a large piece of property north of Doss. Tons of deer and biggest buck I've seen is prolly 130.

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#6335922 - 06/15/16 08:52 AM Re: Deer Quality in Llano County [Re: Night Skunk]
TxAg Offline
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 01/15/07
Posts: 3254
Loc: Live in Katy, Hunt in Llano Co...
Night Skunk welcome to the area.

If your new lease is around the Castell area I'd invite y'all to join our Wildlife Management Association. We've got a good thing going. You can find more info about here:

http://castellwma.org/

I have been hunting the area for about 6 years. What others have said above is true. Depending on where you are, you could have too many deer, which means you will start with small body sizes. Things can vary a bit depending on if you are north or south of the river. But in general if you get herd numbers under control and help maximize the habitat you can produce some respectable deer. Feel free to PM me for more info.
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#6335923 - 06/15/16 08:54 AM Re: Deer Quality in Llano County [Re: Txduckman]
BOBO the Clown Online   content
decoy

Registered: 04/19/07
Posts: 41118
Loc: Metroplex
Originally Posted By: Txduckman
Buddy hunts just SW of Llano near Castell. Been there 30+ years with same German landowner. Biggest deer might go 130. But they see a lot of deer and shoot a lot of does. They don't pay much though and have house and creek. Lots of turkey and snakes.


I hunt real close to castell and have for almost two decades. we get close to or break 150 every year. No protein... average non cull(7-6pt) mature buck is 135-145. I know of three killed over 160-170 in last few years by neighbors.
Beam length is only issue I come across its hard to fine one over 21". With that said if they are over 21" on beam they are usually 21-26" wide

No different then most places in Texas, have to allow genetics to get old enough to express them selves, and keep doe numbers in check. We usually don't see over 26" mass until 6.5 years old

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#6336062 - 06/15/16 10:12 AM Re: Deer Quality in Llano County [Re: BOBO the Clown]
txbobcat Offline
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 06/18/05
Posts: 2469
Loc: TX
Originally Posted By: BOBO the Clown
Originally Posted By: Txduckman
Buddy hunts just SW of Llano near Castell. Been there 30+ years with same German landowner. Biggest deer might go 130. But they see a lot of deer and shoot a lot of does. They don't pay much though and have house and creek. Lots of turkey and snakes.


I hunt real close to castell and have for almost two decades. we get close to or break 150 every year. No protein... average non cull(7-6pt) mature buck is 135-145. I know of three killed over 160-170 in last few years by neighbors.
Beam length is only issue I come across its hard to fine one over 21". With that said if they are over 21" on beam they are usually 21-26" wide

No different then most places in Texas, have to allow genetics to get old enough to express them selves, and keep doe numbers in check. We usually don't see over 26" mass until 6.5 years old


That's probably the main problem in the area. Not many bucks make 6.5 and if they do its probably more on the cull/management side that someone didn't want to shoot. I have a cousin that is on a large lease down there and as hard as they try with other members most bucks are shot at 4.5 when they are in the 120s or maybe low 130s.

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#6336208 - 06/15/16 11:31 AM Re: Deer Quality in Llano County [Re: Night Skunk]
Night Skunk Offline
Light Foot

Registered: 05/28/12
Posts: 49
Thanks guys for all the input. Our group did the same at our lease in Brady. Once we started managing numbers and thinning out spikes and does the bucks really started changing in quality. It took about 3.5 years to begin to see some noticeable changes.

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#6336215 - 06/15/16 11:35 AM Re: Deer Quality in Llano County [Re: Night Skunk]
BOBO the Clown Online   content
decoy

Registered: 04/19/07
Posts: 41118
Loc: Metroplex
Originally Posted By: Night Skunk
Thanks guys for all the input. Our group did the same at our lease in Brady. Once we started managing numbers and thinning out spikes and does the bucks really started changing in quality. It took about 3.5 years to begin to see some noticeable changes.


One thing I will say is mason/llano is a heavy feeder area.... Lots of those buck see a lot of Hunter activity at feeders starting at a young age.

Only 2 of the five biggest on this place came from a feeder, and that was very late season when they did.

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#6336218 - 06/15/16 11:36 AM Re: Deer Quality in Llano County [Re: Mathp]
Night Skunk Offline
Light Foot

Registered: 05/28/12
Posts: 49
Very nice deer Mathp. Definitely looking forward to Llano County this year.

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#6336240 - 06/15/16 11:49 AM Re: Deer Quality in Llano County [Re: BOBO the Clown]
Txduckman Online   content
THF Celebrity

Registered: 08/30/04
Posts: 11719
Loc: Big D
Originally Posted By: BOBO the Clown
Originally Posted By: Txduckman
Buddy hunts just SW of Llano near Castell. Been there 30+ years with same German landowner. Biggest deer might go 130. But they see a lot of deer and shoot a lot of does. They don't pay much though and have house and creek. Lots of turkey and snakes.


I hunt real close to castell and have for almost two decades. we get close to or break 150 every year. No protein... average non cull(7-6pt) mature buck is 135-145. I know of three killed over 160-170 in last few years by neighbors.
Beam length is only issue I come across its hard to fine one over 21". With that said if they are over 21" on beam they are usually 21-26" wide

No different then most places in Texas, have to allow genetics to get old enough to express them selves, and keep doe numbers in check. We usually don't see over 26" mass until 6.5 years old


For sure. Those guys never managed for 5-6 age. They sure feed protein though! Lol. But being 500 acres on a long property the neighbors are going to make a big difference too.

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#6336272 - 06/15/16 12:16 PM Re: Deer Quality in Llano County [Re: txbobcat]
BOBO the Clown Online   content
decoy

Registered: 04/19/07
Posts: 41118
Loc: Metroplex
Originally Posted By: txbobcat
Originally Posted By: BOBO the Clown
Originally Posted By: Txduckman
Buddy hunts just SW of Llano near Castell. Been there 30+ years with same German landowner. Biggest deer might go 130. But they see a lot of deer and shoot a lot of does. They don't pay much though and have house and creek. Lots of turkey and snakes.


I hunt real close to castell and have for almost two decades. we get close to or break 150 every year. No protein... average non cull(7-6pt) mature buck is 135-145. I know of three killed over 160-170 in last few years by neighbors.
Beam length is only issue I come across its hard to fine one over 21". With that said if they are over 21" on beam they are usually 21-26" wide

No different then most places in Texas, have to allow genetics to get old enough to express them selves, and keep doe numbers in check. We usually don't see over 26" mass until 6.5 years old


That's probably the main problem in the area. Not many bucks make 6.5 and if they do its probably more on the cull/management side that someone didn't want to shoot. I have a cousin that is on a large lease down there and as hard as they try with other members most bucks are shot at 4.5 when they are in the 120s or maybe low 130s.


We get a lot of deer make it to 6.5 probably more then we should. 6.5 don't hit feeders much after bachelor groups split. I really think it's a dominance thing or just no tolerance for the really dominate 4.5 and 5.5 year olds.

We have culled a few really dominate culls 4.5/5.5 and seems instantly the bigger 5.5/ 6.5 show back up to the feeders.

I hunt feeders opening weekend and then normally don't hunt them again until after xmas. I'm hand Corning draws inbetween those times usually

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