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Mar 25th, 2012
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Question about deer hunting and leasing my pasture for cattle #7034883
01/12/18 12:16 AM
01/12/18 12:16 AM
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alsaenz Offline OP
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I think I have the answer from this thread, but I'd like everyone's feedback about whether I should lease my pasture for cattle.

Context:

I have 114 acres, about 60 in pasture (cross-fenced into two 30 acres sections), the rest woods. One neighbor is 4500 acres, no cattle. One neighbor is 1,000 acres, and I've only ever seen about 5 cattle at a time on his place. Two other neighbors are about 200 acres each, and only one of those has cattle (about 3).

A friend of mine asked me if I'd be open to him leasing my pasture (he has about 12-15 head). He's a great guy, and his family has lived and owned land in the area for a few generations. The way my land is set up, I have one tower blind, and the feeder is about 40 yards on the other side of the pasture fence, so cattle, in theory, wouldn't be able to get to it. In other words, the feeder is on the edge of the woods that borders the pasture. I've only owned the place for about two years, and this was the first deer season I've taken anything (an 8-point). Overall, I'm pleased with the deer I've seen from the blind and on camera--no monsters, but a good handful of up-and-coming bucks, and 6-8 doe any given morning or evening. This year seems to be a bit richer than last, but I've been feeding all year, so that may explain it.

For years, we would buy hunts, and even with our land now, I still like to take my boys out to west or north Texas, so we don't put a lot of hunting pressure on our land. Neighbors hunt, and I don't know for sure, but I don't get the feeling that anyone is overhunting (just based on the number of shots I tend to hear--or not hear--in the mornings and evenings.

One last thing: I really don't need the money. My friend just said it would be a huge help to him as he is always looking for land near his ranch to rotate his cattle onto. In addition to paying me per acre, he also said he would take care of any fence work that needed to be done or any other maintenance associated with the animals.

Given all the above, what should I be thinking about as I decide whether to move forward with extending him a lease?

Thanks for the feedback.

Re: Question about deer hunting and leasing my pasture for cattle [Re: alsaenz] #7034905
01/12/18 12:32 AM
01/12/18 12:32 AM
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I wouldn't lease it to him, it will be a hassle for you and if he starts to overgraze it you will be pissed at him and your land will suffer. Now if he needed a place to keep a few cows during the summer only I would be open to that with the ability to ask him to remove them at the first sign of overgrazing.

Re: Question about deer hunting and leasing my pasture for cattle [Re: alsaenz] #7034953
01/12/18 01:09 AM
01/12/18 01:09 AM
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Breckenridge Tx
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I wouldn't lease either, unless he removed them before deer season.


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Re: Question about deer hunting and leasing my pasture for cattle [Re: alsaenz] #7034964
01/12/18 01:15 AM
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Depends on what area the property is in, makes a big difference in acres per AU.
Most places I lease I wouldn't put 12-15 on 114 acres for more than brief periods with reasonable pasture rest between on periods.

If he's talking about a strict rotation type lease, a specified amount of head, number of days and time of pasture rest, it could be a good deal for both.
If he wants year around access for his cattle as he see's fit,, nope.

You're the LO, you can set / specify / structure anything to your liking in the contract.
Like cattle off Oct 1 ~ Feb 1 or no more than x head or x AU, no bulls / aggressive livestock removed immediately at LO request,,, whatever trips your trigger.

Re: Question about deer hunting and leasing my pasture for cattle [Re: alsaenz] #7035179
01/12/18 03:35 AM
01/12/18 03:35 AM
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One of the tracts that I hunt is roughly 70 acres of pasture and 30 acres of hardwood? The landowner runs about 20 head of cattle on it. Without any feeders and food plots, I saw more deer on that 30 acres this year than I did on another, heavily wooded 100 acre tract that has both a food plot and feeder on it. After looking at satellite images, I found several pinch points that made it a natural deer highway to and from adjacent properties. I placed stands at these pinch points and saw deer on 90% of the hunts.


Dan,

Spring, Texas
Re: Question about deer hunting and leasing my pasture for cattle [Re: alsaenz] #7035224
01/12/18 04:13 AM
01/12/18 04:13 AM
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I usually see whitetails avoid cattle, and mule deer eating right in the middle of them. The whitetails don’t leave though, they just eat and sleep where the cattle aren’t. Obviously you don’t want him damaging your land, but cattle presence on the pasture only and not in the same pasture as your blind and feed really won’t bother you. If anything, it’ll push deer to your area because they’ll avoid the cattle in the opposite enclosure and the cattle will reduce forage in that pasture as well. Your feeder and pasture without cattle will become preferred. Not to mention he’s you’re friend and a great guy. Friends help each other out. Tell him that you want to help and would be happy for him to lease your pasture, and then simply voice any concerns you have regarding overgrazing and the amount of time you think cattle should be in the pasture without giving it a rest. Either your preferences will be fine with him and he’ll lease the land from and be very greatful to have you as a friend, or he’ll realize that he’s better off putting his cattle somewhere else and he’ll still be greatful to have you as a friend for offering to let him graze his cattle even when you had concerns about it.

Last edited by ImBillT; 01/12/18 04:15 AM.
Re: Question about deer hunting and leasing my pasture for cattle [Re: alsaenz] #7035312
01/12/18 12:05 PM
01/12/18 12:05 PM
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If you don’t need the money, don’t lease it. Other people’s cows are annoying to have around in my experience.


The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference. -George Washington
Re: Question about deer hunting and leasing my pasture for cattle [Re: alsaenz] #7035375
01/12/18 01:20 PM
01/12/18 01:20 PM
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I did the same thing but it was not for a friend just someone who need a little bit more land. and it worked out, But he was only allowed to have the cattle on the property from March 1st to October 1st. I don't bow hunt so it worked for me.


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Re: Question about deer hunting and leasing my pasture for cattle [Re: alsaenz] #7035412
01/12/18 01:59 PM
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Thanks for the feedback, everyone. Very helpful. I was thinking about doing a six-month type of thing. I'm guessing that if we did something like March 1 through August 31, it wouldn't affect deer patterns through the actual season then (I don't bow hunt)?

Re: Question about deer hunting and leasing my pasture for cattle [Re: alsaenz] #7035422
01/12/18 02:03 PM
01/12/18 02:03 PM
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I guess I see it differently than many, IMO there could be a few advantages.

If the land was under AG exemption, having cattle on it may allow you to keep it, or get it. This could allow you to pursue a wildlife exemption down the road if you want to go that route.

You didn't say if it was improved pasture, or native range, but you may be able to have him plant the 30 acres near the trees on his dime with oats/wheat each fall if he has access to a no till drill (no cost to you). If the cows are off by say Sept-March, you will have oats to hunt over, deer will have extra browse and he can turn the cows on it early to clean it off.

You will have your fences looked after, but more importantly, extra eyes helping keep watch over your property.

If the fella is a good guy, and you treat him in kind, this could be the most advantages piece of the deal as far as community, word gets around pretty quick in rural communities and the more folks that like you there is very advantages for many reasons.

You can make the deal that doesn't make you a dime per se, but it could save you some, improve your land and work in your favor as well.


“Never be afraid to try something new. Remember, amateurs built the Ark, professionals built the Titanic”

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The first 5 day's after the weekend, are the hardest....

Dennis

Re: Question about deer hunting and leasing my pasture for cattle [Re: Western] #7035435
01/12/18 02:12 PM
01/12/18 02:12 PM
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Originally Posted By: Western
I guess I see it differently than many, IMO there could be a few advantages.

If the land was under AG exemption, having cattle on it may allow you to keep it, or get it. This could allow you to pursue a wildlife exemption down the road if you want to go that route.

You didn't say if it was improved pasture, or native range, but you may be able to have him plant the 30 acres near the trees on his dime with oats/wheat each fall if he has access to a no till drill (no cost to you). If the cows are off by say Sept-March, you will have oats to hunt over, deer will have extra browse and he can turn the cows on it early to clean it off.

You will have your fences looked after, but more importantly, extra eyes helping keep watch over your property.

If the fella is a good guy, and you treat him in kind, this could be the most advantages piece of the deal as far as community, word gets around pretty quick in rural communities and the more folks that like you there is very advantages for many reasons.

You can make the deal that doesn't make you a dime per se, but it could save you some, improve your land and work in your favor as well.
I agree with Western. From what I have seen is that Deer do better on pasture that has a few cattle on it. The cattle will eat down the taller grass so the deer can get to some of the forbs they could not get to before. As long as it is not over grazed it should be good.

Re: Question about deer hunting and leasing my pasture for cattle [Re: alsaenz] #7035461
01/12/18 02:28 PM
01/12/18 02:28 PM
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Let him put cattle on your place in exchange for hunting rights on his place.

Re: Question about deer hunting and leasing my pasture for cattle [Re: CenTex] #7035503
01/12/18 02:46 PM
01/12/18 02:46 PM
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Originally Posted By: CenTex
Let him put cattle on your place in exchange for hunting rights on his place.
Hadn't even thought of that. Great idea.

Re: Question about deer hunting and leasing my pasture for cattle [Re: don k] #7035513
01/12/18 02:51 PM
01/12/18 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted By: don k
Originally Posted By: Western
I guess I see it differently than many, IMO there could be a few advantages.

If the land was under AG exemption, having cattle on it may allow you to keep it, or get it. This could allow you to pursue a wildlife exemption down the road if you want to go that route.

You didn't say if it was improved pasture, or native range, but you may be able to have him plant the 30 acres near the trees on his dime with oats/wheat each fall if he has access to a no till drill (no cost to you). If the cows are off by say Sept-March, you will have oats to hunt over, deer will have extra browse and he can turn the cows on it early to clean it off.

You will have your fences looked after, but more importantly, extra eyes helping keep watch over your property.

If the fella is a good guy, and you treat him in kind, this could be the most advantages piece of the deal as far as community, word gets around pretty quick in rural communities and the more folks that like you there is very advantages for many reasons.

You can make the deal that doesn't make you a dime per se, but it could save you some, improve your land and work in your favor as well.
I agree with Western. From what I have seen is that Deer do better on pasture that has a few cattle on it. The cattle will eat down the taller grass so the deer can get to some of the forbs they could not get to before. As long as it is not over grazed it should be good.


I do have an ag exemption in place, but I like the idea of being set up for a wildlife exemption later. I have a tractor, but I'll admit that I'm not a huge fan of cutting--I just get bored too quickly after about 10 acres. So most of that 60 acres of pasture is native, with some ragweed, etc. I like the idea of cattle keeping it mowed naturally.

Re: Question about deer hunting and leasing my pasture for cattle [Re: alsaenz] #7035545
01/12/18 03:09 PM
01/12/18 03:09 PM
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I agree with Western & don k.
I own & lease property for grazing my cattle on, my previous post came out a lot more jumbled up than I wanted it to.

Western has seen how I manage a small part of my operation.
Cattle & deer can do very well together, can be one of the better management tools, plus cow poo is the best cover scent known to man and it's free.

In all but 3 of my grazing leases the LO sets their expectations in writing. Some of them have some unique requests.
Just me, no matter how good a guy he is or even a close friend get the basics in writing, sometimes nothing screws up friendships faster than doing business together. Then you both have a paper to look back on when or if anything comes up.




Re: Question about deer hunting and leasing my pasture for cattle [Re: alsaenz] #7035554
01/12/18 03:15 PM
01/12/18 03:15 PM
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If you are currently under AG, then you probably already meet the threshold for a Wildlife exemption, it would be worth finding out from the tax office, they should also have the requirements to file for it, like the yearly land management plan and other "stuff".

The neighbors cows could still be used for the "other" benefits even with the WE. As Don mentioned, keeping the native grasses in check, or manageable, what ever works with your WE management plan.

You can also contact your county Agriculture folks, they will have great knowledge of the area, have all kinds of materials and programs (less now than in the past due to budgets I'm sure) for land owners and they will meet you out there for FREE. Great resource to help you develop what you need on that land. They know the soils, plants, plant growth habits for the area ectra and did I mention they are FREE grin


“Never be afraid to try something new. Remember, amateurs built the Ark, professionals built the Titanic”

Friends don't let Friends drink and post.......

The first 5 day's after the weekend, are the hardest....

Dennis

Re: Question about deer hunting and leasing my pasture for cattle [Re: Western] #7035621
01/12/18 03:54 PM
01/12/18 03:54 PM
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Originally Posted By: Western
If you are currently under AG, then you probably already meet the threshold for a Wildlife exemption, it would be worth finding out from the tax office, they should also have the requirements to file for it, like the yearly land management plan and other "stuff".

The neighbors cows could still be used for the "other" benefits even with the WE. As Don mentioned, keeping the native grasses in check, or manageable, what ever works with your WE management plan.

You can also contact your county Agriculture folks, they will have great knowledge of the area, have all kinds of materials and programs (less now than in the past due to budgets I'm sure) for land owners and they will meet you out there for FREE. Great resource to help you develop what you need on that land. They know the soils, plants, plant growth habits for the area ectra and did I mention they are FREE grin


I'm guessing they might also be able to tell me based on my soil type what kind of food plot would be most likely to flourish and be most beneficial for deer?

Re: Question about deer hunting and leasing my pasture for cattle [Re: don k] #7035669
01/12/18 04:15 PM
01/12/18 04:15 PM
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Originally Posted By: don k
Originally Posted By: Western
I guess I see it differently than many, IMO there could be a few advantages.

If the land was under AG exemption, having cattle on it may allow you to keep it, or get it. This could allow you to pursue a wildlife exemption down the road if you want to go that route.

You didn't say if it was improved pasture, or native range, but you may be able to have him plant the 30 acres near the trees on his dime with oats/wheat each fall if he has access to a no till drill (no cost to you). If the cows are off by say Sept-March, you will have oats to hunt over, deer will have extra browse and he can turn the cows on it early to clean it off.

You will have your fences looked after, but more importantly, extra eyes helping keep watch over your property.

If the fella is a good guy, and you treat him in kind, this could be the most advantages piece of the deal as far as community, word gets around pretty quick in rural communities and the more folks that like you there is very advantages for many reasons.

You can make the deal that doesn't make you a dime per se, but it could save you some, improve your land and work in your favor as well.
I agree with Western. From what I have seen is that Deer do better on pasture that has a few cattle on it. The cattle will eat down the taller grass so the deer can get to some of the forbs they could not get to before. As long as it is not over grazed it should be good.

I totally agree as long as he is a good guy. I have 160 acres, 75% wooded with pasture scattered throughout, in NE Tx and my good neighbor runs about 3 dozen head on it. Cattle help to beat down the overgrowth in the woods and the deer use the area much more than before. Feeders are in small fenced pens to keep cattle out and I have only seen increases in the deer population since leasing the cattle rights years ago. A plus is the AG exemption lowering my taxes a lot and the fence upkeep and extra security!
If you have improved pasture I would definitely rotate grazing.

Re: Question about deer hunting and leasing my pasture for cattle [Re: alsaenz] #7035673
01/12/18 04:17 PM
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Originally Posted By: alsaenz
Originally Posted By: Western
If you are currently under AG, then you probably already meet the threshold for a Wildlife exemption, it would be worth finding out from the tax office, they should also have the requirements to file for it, like the yearly land management plan and other "stuff".

The neighbors cows could still be used for the "other" benefits even with the WE. As Don mentioned, keeping the native grasses in check, or manageable, what ever works with your WE management plan.

You can also contact your county Agriculture folks, they will have great knowledge of the area, have all kinds of materials and programs (less now than in the past due to budgets I'm sure) for land owners and they will meet you out there for FREE. Great resource to help you develop what you need on that land. They know the soils, plants, plant growth habits for the area ectra and did I mention they are FREE grin


I'm guessing they might also be able to tell me based on my soil type what kind of food plot would be most likely to flourish and be most beneficial for deer?


You can plug your land into Farm logs and get a pretty good soil map, rainfall tracking and many other things if you like. I use it and its pretty accurate.

Re: Question about deer hunting and leasing my pasture for cattle [Re: alsaenz] #7035681
01/12/18 04:20 PM
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Originally Posted By: alsaenz
Originally Posted By: Western
If you are currently under AG, then you probably already meet the threshold for a Wildlife exemption, it would be worth finding out from the tax office, they should also have the requirements to file for it, like the yearly land management plan and other "stuff".

The neighbors cows could still be used for the "other" benefits even with the WE. As Don mentioned, keeping the native grasses in check, or manageable, what ever works with your WE management plan.

You can also contact your county Agriculture folks, they will have great knowledge of the area, have all kinds of materials and programs (less now than in the past due to budgets I'm sure) for land owners and they will meet you out there for FREE. Great resource to help you develop what you need on that land. They know the soils, plants, plant growth habits for the area ectra and did I mention they are FREE grin


I'm guessing they might also be able to tell me based on my soil type what kind of food plot would be most likely to flourish and be most beneficial for deer?

Yes, they can tell you about soil type and improved pastures, forest and soil conservation. They also have plans to sign up for pond building, fences, etc. and pay for a large amount of it if it meets their conservation plan.

Re: Question about deer hunting and leasing my pasture for cattle [Re: alsaenz] #7035695
01/12/18 04:25 PM
01/12/18 04:25 PM
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Originally Posted By: alsaenz
Originally Posted By: Western
If you are currently under AG, then you probably already meet the threshold for a Wildlife exemption, it would be worth finding out from the tax office, they should also have the requirements to file for it, like the yearly land management plan and other "stuff".

The neighbors cows could still be used for the "other" benefits even with the WE. As Don mentioned, keeping the native grasses in check, or manageable, what ever works with your WE management plan.

You can also contact your county Agriculture folks, they will have great knowledge of the area, have all kinds of materials and programs (less now than in the past due to budgets I'm sure) for land owners and they will meet you out there for FREE. Great resource to help you develop what you need on that land. They know the soils, plants, plant growth habits for the area ectra and did I mention they are FREE grin


I'm guessing they might also be able to tell me based on my soil type what kind of food plot would be most likely to flourish and be most beneficial for deer?


Oh yeah and then some, take a note pad, because you wont be able to remember everything they can tell you in a couple hrs. They deal with your county/area exclusively, other landowners problems and successes and pass what they know on, soil fertility, taking samples, brush growth, good and bad. Make a list of questions and wear comfortable walking shoes LOL

A great resource for LO's that is paid with by tax dollars, might as well use them and get any info you can use. They even "used to have" pond building subsidies, but I have heard those funds are almost impossible to get anymore, was a match grant type deal if built to their specs when I used it. In any event, he may also be able to give you ideas on water improvement if you have none, that is a huge plus IMo in land use and value.


“Never be afraid to try something new. Remember, amateurs built the Ark, professionals built the Titanic”

Friends don't let Friends drink and post.......

The first 5 day's after the weekend, are the hardest....

Dennis

Re: Question about deer hunting and leasing my pasture for cattle [Re: alsaenz] #7035706
01/12/18 04:29 PM
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Wanted to add :
They will also be able to give you their opinion, based on what they see with "boots on the ground" the carrying capacity roughly for cattle on your place, this may be helpful knowledge when negotiating a lease head/per acre. They may recommend based on observation, no grazing for a year, who knows.


“Never be afraid to try something new. Remember, amateurs built the Ark, professionals built the Titanic”

Friends don't let Friends drink and post.......

The first 5 day's after the weekend, are the hardest....

Dennis

Re: Question about deer hunting and leasing my pasture for cattle [Re: alsaenz] #7035753
01/12/18 04:58 PM
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We had a neighbor put cattle on our place in South Texas from June through August (3 months only.) The problems we had were: Cattle coming up to ranch house messing up yard (poop everywhere); going through the fence into other neighbors property and destroying deer feeders. Be sure you have a source of water for the cattle during a dry summer. Cattle can ruin a small but good fishing pond by wading in it. Cattle can also ruin a good dirt road during wet times.
Just things to keep in mind.

Re: Question about deer hunting and leasing my pasture for cattle [Re: alsaenz] #7035783
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Originally Posted By: alsaenz
Originally Posted By: CenTex
Let him put cattle on your place in exchange for hunting rights on his place.
Hadn't even thought of that. Great idea.

My uncle leases his out for grazing and hunting.....the cattle have to be off a month before rifle season starts and can't come back until after the season is over......


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Re: Question about deer hunting and leasing my pasture for cattle [Re: alsaenz] #7036500
01/13/18 06:18 AM
01/13/18 06:18 AM
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DocHorton Offline
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DocHorton  Offline
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I had considered doing the same thing with my neighbor who asked me to lease it to him for 10-15 cows, but I decided against it simply because of the fact I don't want cow [censored] all over my place to worry about stepping in and driving through. I also don't want them tearing up feeders and blinds. Plus I do a lot of night hunting for hogs and don't want to worry about the cows getting in the way. The small amount of extra money wasn't worth it to me.

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