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Mar 25th, 2012
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Letís play a hypothetical....stocking your Ranch #7331078 10/30/18 12:01 AM
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Being in the business I often wonder what I would do with property if I myself owned it.

Letís have a hypothetical scenario. Letís say you bought a 700 acre property in bandera county. Good mix of hills and more level type terrain. Say 70/30. Not overrun with cedar but does have some. Two stock tanks for water plus whatever troughs you install.

Property has a 8í perimeter high fence but only has native whitetail in it.

You hve budgeted for the following :

Introducing TWO common species of exotics, OR, 1 exotic species and genetically superior whitetail OR 1 species of super exotic ( kudu, sable, eland, etc)


Genetically superior whitetail only is not an option. You can choose to kill out the whitetail and add a 3rd common exotic.


Interested in hearing your responses and Iíll share mine.

Re: Letís play a hypothetical....stocking your Ranch [Re: txtrophy85] #7331100 10/30/18 12:20 AM
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I work at a ranch with high end deer, they are fragile and die easy. I would just let the deer get some age on them and be happy. The exotic would be elk, and probably Blackbuck. Elk are very hearty and while i know basically nothing about blackbuck, i like the way they look

Re: Letís play a hypothetical....stocking your Ranch [Re: txtrophy85] #7331102 10/30/18 12:21 AM
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I would consult some professionals before I made a decision like that. Personally I think axis and blackbuck would be good but I have zero experience with exotics other than a few that have wandered to the wrong side of a fence.

Re: Letís play a hypothetical....stocking your Ranch [Re: txtrophy85] #7331130 10/30/18 12:54 AM
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HF with just native WT is good.
I think exotics are not that big of a deal.


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Re: Letís play a hypothetical....stocking your Ranch [Re: txtrophy85] #7331132 10/30/18 12:56 AM
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Work with your native deer, maybe introduce a supplement feeding program and see what age and supplements do for your herd. I would want a healthy population of whitetail to start with. I might also add to my native whitetail herd some bred doe from a good reputable ranch to strengthen my genetics. I'm not a fan of exotics, causes competition for food and such as axis, they tend to push whitetail away from the supplement feed stations. Just my 2cents, good luck!!

Last edited by BowsnRods; 10/30/18 01:45 AM.
Re: Letís play a hypothetical....stocking your Ranch [Re: txtrophy85] #7331133 10/30/18 12:58 AM
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Take this for what it's worth; I'm from Idaho and we aren't allowed to "farm" any of our wildlife to speak of, so don't know a lot. I do hunt in Texas every year and have been on some good ranches, and some even have exotics on them in limited numbers. The ones I am experienced in range from 300 to 2400 acres, and all except one have been low fenced. The one around Seguin was 1200 and fenced. 700 acres doesn't seem like an exceptionally large property, so agricultural improvements would be smaller, but more of them.

My first concerns would be the availability of year round water, next natural grasses like gramma and blue stem, and good browse conditions, followed by some minor types of food plots like Wild Life Systems or Tecomate. You could raise. the average score of your native deer 10-15 points with better nutrition. I believe all of Bandera County is on the Plateau so rocky (?) and water runs off quickly. Can water catchments be improved or fortified??

Like the others said, consult some professionals for their input. There have to be hundreds of ranchers doing the same thing, some better and some worse.I might look to TPWD WMA's like Mason Mt for their recommendations since they try to keep all their exotics naturally sustaining with native deer.

My personal leanings would be towards native deer only, and add axis deer, and probably blackbuck. As for super exotics, I love the look of gemsbok, scimitar, or kudu and sable but I could never afford them and don't want the hassle of trying to keep them separated all the time. Having been to Africa and hunted them it wouldn't be the same. If my fences were good I might add a couple dozen bison for a meat animal every once in a while.

It is fun to think and dream of such things. Hoping to return to the Hill Country in a few years, so who knows what might happen. I'm a hunter, not a biologist, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express once.

Re: Letís play a hypothetical....stocking your Ranch [Re: txtrophy85] #7331159 10/30/18 01:13 AM
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Re: Letís play a hypothetical....stocking your Ranch [Re: txtrophy85] #7331211 10/30/18 01:37 AM
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Leave the whitetail alone, manage accordingly. Add a handful of Axis.


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Re: Letís play a hypothetical....stocking your Ranch [Re: txtrophy85] #7331216 10/30/18 01:44 AM
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I would only work with the native whitetails if it were my place. This video is from 2003 and it was a native Bandera County buck that was born when this ranch was LF and then later HF after he was 1.5 or 2.5 yr olds. There are really good genetics in a lot of areas of the county. I would never bring in any exotics on a place I owned. IME and IMO they will out compete the WT and eat you out of house and home.



Re: Letís play a hypothetical....stocking your Ranch [Re: FiremanJG] #7331223 10/30/18 01:48 AM
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Originally Posted By: FiremanJG
Leave the whitetail alone, manage accordingly. Add a handful of Axis.


Same except I would also add a handful of Japanese Sika.

Last edited by scottfromdallas; 10/30/18 02:02 AM.

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Re: Letís play a hypothetical....stocking your Ranch [Re: stxranchman] #7331245 10/30/18 01:57 AM
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Originally Posted by stxranchman
I would only work with the native whitetails if it were my place. This video is from 2003 and it was a native Bandera County buck that was born when this ranch was LF and then later HF after he was 1.5 or 2.5 yr olds. There are really good genetics in a lot of areas of the county. I would never bring in any exotics on a place I owned. IME and IMO they will out compete the WT and eat you out of house and home.

Says video unavailable

Re: Letís play a hypothetical....stocking your Ranch [Re: 8pointdrop] #7331247 10/30/18 01:59 AM
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Originally Posted by 8pointdrop
Originally Posted by stxranchman
I would only work with the native whitetails if it were my place. This video is from 2003 and it was a native Bandera County buck that was born when this ranch was LF and then later HF after he was 1.5 or 2.5 yr olds. There are really good genetics in a lot of areas of the county. I would never bring in any exotics on a place I owned. IME and IMO they will out compete the WT and eat you out of house and home.

Says video unavailable

It shows and plays for me.



Re: Letís play a hypothetical....stocking your Ranch [Re: txtrophy85] #7331293 10/30/18 02:29 AM
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Let the wt grow, introduce a few axis and maybe a couple elk.


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Re: Letís play a hypothetical....stocking your Ranch [Re: txtrophy85] #7331303 10/30/18 02:36 AM
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My opinion is not based on science, only my wants. I would manage the WT and introduce either Axis or Blackbuck and see how it worked out. If it worked out, I would introduce the other to have WT, Axis, and Blackbuck. Of course, my scenario is based on the assumption that I could afford all the supplemental feeding.
If I had to stick with two, it would be the WT and Axis.


Re: Letís play a hypothetical....stocking your Ranch [Re: txtrophy85] #7331358 10/30/18 04:42 AM
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Iím in the ďno exotics to compete with the whitetailĒ camp. Build a 15 or so acre high fence in a prime habitat area of the ranch that includes cover and a permanent water source. Buy 15 bred high end genetic does, preferably 3 or 4 years old from 2 or 3 sources and put in the 15 acres along with a breeder buck from another source. The does will have their fawns and then be bred back by the breeder buck. The spring of year two after the does have been bred back, release all the deer in the 15 acres onto the ranch. You want to do this in the spring after the bucks have shed their antlers so any native bucks wonít kill your young improved genetic yearling bucks or the breeder buck.

During the two years you are building your high end genetics to release, kill as many of the native does as possible (I guarantee you wonít be able to kill them all). Does contribute more to the gene pool than bucks, but you canít tell which native does have good genetics, so remove as many as possible, You know the high end does you release do possess superior genes and you want these does to be your ongoing breeding stock. Your high end does will be tagged when they are delivered to your ranch, so this will enable you to protect them from hunters once they are liberated out of the 15 acres.

Iíd also try and kill as many of the native bucks, but if you have some better than average genetics, you may want to establish a cull criteria on the native bucks. After the deer are liberated and you are waiting on the improved genetic bucks to grow up, you could add some stocker bucks to hunt. You may also want to add 3 or 4 more bred does every few years to continue diversifying the genetics.

This model works, but does take some patience.

Last edited by Big_Ag; 10/30/18 10:06 AM.
Re: Letís play a hypothetical....stocking your Ranch [Re: txtrophy85] #7331363 10/30/18 04:59 AM
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Add some unicorn.

Re: Letís play a hypothetical....stocking your Ranch [Re: FiremanJG] #7331391 10/30/18 10:30 AM
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Originally Posted By: FiremanJG
Leave the whitetail alone, manage accordingly. Add a handful of Axis.

This agree on Axis for the meat food


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Re: Letís play a hypothetical....stocking your Ranch [Re: txtrophy85] #7331425 10/30/18 11:27 AM
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Native white tail and add axis.


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Re: Letís play a hypothetical....stocking your Ranch [Re: txtrophy85] #7331444 10/30/18 11:45 AM
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I'd manage the native herd of whitetail and add blackbuck/scimitar. If needed, they can be kept out of feeder pens to allow whitetail sole access to protein. I've seen axis bully the whiteatail out. I wouldn't want anything really big on the feed bill.

Last edited by TxHunter80; 10/30/18 11:47 AM.
Re: Letís play a hypothetical....stocking your Ranch [Re: txtrophy85] #7331469 10/30/18 12:15 PM
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I think what you do depends entirely on how you intend to use the ranch. Is it to make money or is it for personal enjoyment?

Re: Letís play a hypothetical....stocking your Ranch [Re: stxranchman] #7331484 10/30/18 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted By: stxranchman

It shows and plays for me.


Dang it. Still not working for me....I wanted to see this buck with good genetics....

Re: Letís play a hypothetical....stocking your Ranch [Re: txtrophy85] #7331492 10/30/18 12:30 PM
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My 2 cents for what itís worth is 700 acres isnít enough land, although itís a lot more than I have, for 3 big time targets. So Iíd focus on one and have a small herd of whatever other to mess with for fun. Iíd go with improving native WT herd by adding pedigreed Texas Doe to my herd and Iíd have 15-20 quality axis for fun and meat.

Re: Letís play a hypothetical....stocking your Ranch [Re: Roll-Tide] #7331497 10/30/18 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted By: Roll-Tide
Add some unicorn.


This. The meat is delicious.

Re: Letís play a hypothetical....stocking your Ranch [Re: txtrophy85] #7331524 10/30/18 12:57 PM
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My personal opinion.... (without having any actual knowledge of the property of course)

I would split the property into two 350 acre pastures....whichever pasture had the best whitetail habitat, I would use for only intensive whitetail management (no exotics). The other pasture I would focus on strictly exotics with Axis, Blackbuck, Scimitar Oryx, and one of the higher end sheep species such as Red Sheep or Transcaspian Urials.

Re: Letís play a hypothetical....stocking your Ranch [Re: txtrophy85] #7331546 10/30/18 01:23 PM
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Is this for you to hunt or are you wanting to make money having hunters come out to the ranch? Since your asking, I'm assuming it's to make money otherwise you would just add what you wanted. In my opinion, depending on the habitat, I would be thinking of what is going to make it unique and a place that people will want to come to instead of going somewhere else. Common exotics are all over the place, so why would anybody want to hunt your place instead of one that might be cheaper and more established? Of the super exotics, I'd avoid sable like the plague. They are just too dangerous. So make sure you pick safe animals. I've also heard this about waterbuck, wildebeest, zebra and roan. I'm sure that there are others to avoid on medium sized acreage. Blessbuck are cheap and stupid in Africa, but seem to sell for a premium here. Same thing with impala and springbuck. Ibex and Markhor seem to sell well and get top dollar. As goats, they tend to be more hardy then sheep and they are impressive to see when out on the land. No hybrids, just top genetics and wait until they get to trophy quality before offering them to be hunted.

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