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#6399743 - 08/08/16 09:26 PM Mason County Ranch Management????

Registered: 11/25/11
Posts: 173
Loc: Tyler, TX
Ok, so I have a lot of questions.... Been hunting the hill country my whole life. I have hunted small acreage family property most of my years, but have started leasing with a group of buddies for the last 3 years going on 4. We all pretty much bow hunt exclusively (not a lease rule, just preference) so we never kill very many deer and are ok with that, but we are finally getting on a lease that has some potential and we want to do it up right. We are going to try and implement some basic management practices to make sure our herd has the best chance of producing mature bucks.

The lease has 6 hunters, 900 acres, and in Mason County. Property has not been hunted the last two years. It seems like there are deer EVERYWHERE! Which is good, but I realize can not be good too... We have 6 600# corn feeders spread out on the property. There are two wells, with 4 water troughs on the property. Owner runs 20 head of cows and moves them in and out of 4 different pastures. Not real sure on neighbors hunting situation but all borders are large ranches.

So like I said basic management practices: What we want to do is figure out how many deer our property can efficiently hold with the native browse. Figure out an estimate of how many deer we currently carry so we know how many to kill. Once we know an estimate on how many deer we have, we would like to use the "Base Doe Herd Harvest Strategy". Simply meaning if we can handle 1 deer per 10 acres and want a target of 40 bucks and 50 does for the 90 deer we will kill how ever many does we need to get to 50, and harvest bucks simply by killing all spikes and deer that meet the age criteria of say 4.5 to get to 40.

Year 2 based on my reading we would assume maybe 60% fawn crop? So 24 deer that would need be harvested the next year 12 doe and 12 bucks to stay at the 90 total deer target?

So my questions are how do I find out the info I need to get these current numbers. Do I call a biologist? Can I calculate myself? Does it cost to have a biologist come out?

Our reason for doing this is that we don't want to feed protein because it is expensive, and with the size of our property don't think we would see enough upside. So we want to make sure the deer we do have are getting the best opportunity for browse and forbes without being over populatated. We usually only kill 5-10 deer per year and are likely not helping anything. We are not expecting this to produce monsters, but hopefully give the genetics we do have a fighting chance to have their share of Mother Nature....

If this will be a total waste of time you can tell me that too, and we may just scrap the whole thing!

Thanks for reading, sorry so long!

#6399766 - 08/08/16 09:41 PM Re: Mason County Ranch Management???? [Re: TAFFMASTER]
rickym Online   content
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 06/14/15
Posts: 5747
Loc: texas
Best way is to call your biologist. You could put up 1 game cam per 50-100 acres all scattered and get an idea of your herd. You need to watch your herd a couplw years and find what sex is being thrown the most before you decide how many of what to harvest
Originally Posted By: Grizz
Wingshooting is like sex for me - I love doing it but I'm just not that good at it.

#6406564 - 08/13/16 11:39 AM Re: Mason County Ranch Management???? [Re: TAFFMASTER]
Big_Ag Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 12/23/12
Posts: 1241
Loc: Denton or Knox County
You are on the right path. I prefer using trail cameras for my deer censuses to get my herd numbers. Google QDMA deer camera census. They have good basic instructions and a sheet to do your calculations. Your area biologist will also help you put together a wildlife management plan and will tell you the carrying capacity and herd number target. They can also approve MLD permits to take additional deer to get down to or maintain carrying capacity. The TPWD biologist assistance is free, so if you are in it for the long term, I'd definitely contact him/her and get that relationship started. Knowing Mason County, you guys are going to need to kill more than 5 a 10 deer a year. Good luck.

#6407478 - 08/14/16 09:56 AM Re: Mason County Ranch Management???? [Re: TAFFMASTER]
colt45 Online   content
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 08/19/06
Posts: 8180
Loc: bastrop county
if you could find out what the surrounding ranches have in water ect. would help. if you have the water source for a large area outside your lease, you will be pulling in deer from surrounding area
hold on Newt, we got a runaway

#6421097 - 08/23/16 12:26 PM Re: Mason County Ranch Management???? [Re: TAFFMASTER]

Registered: 11/25/11
Posts: 173
Loc: Tyler, TX
Thanks for the input guys! I have gotten in touch with the county biologist, and working through some things now.


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