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MLD Program #8788420 01/26/23 02:59 PM
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What advantage is it of the state to offer the MLD program? If it does not effect the ranches on the MLD program as far as numbers of deer killed, why doesn't the state just make the season longer for all Texas ranches with the same license limits as now?


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Re: MLD Program [Re: BenBob] #8788445 01/26/23 03:23 PM
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It does affect the number of deer killed, as it’s a management program (‘Managed’ Land Development). MLD’s are issued tags. My MLD was awarded 24 doe tags this year for 4600 acres, so we can’t just stuff 50 hunters in there and everyone use their 2-3 state doe tags. We’ve also been told specifically to take more spikes etc out. Most regular leases aren’t properly managed unless there’s a great group of long term guys but that’s pretty rare


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Re: MLD Program [Re: BenBob] #8788448 01/26/23 03:26 PM
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Ranches on the MLD program have shown and must continue to show that they are trying to do whats in the best interest of the animals and habitat. Track record of any other individuals/ranches shows otherwise.


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Re: MLD Program [Re: DukeCigars] #8788464 01/26/23 03:39 PM
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Originally Posted by DukeCigars
It does affect the number of deer killed, as it’s a management program (‘Managed’ Land Development). MLD’s are issued tags. My MLD was awarded 24 doe tags this year for 4600 acres, so we can’t just stuff 50 hunters in there and everyone use their 2-3 state doe tags. We’ve also been told specifically to take more spikes etc out. Most regular leases aren’t properly managed unless there’s a great group of long term guys but that’s pretty rare



Looks like if MLD shows good management practices, the entire state would want to improve the deer herd and it would give ranches an extended time period to do it in. As high as leases are getting, I would think the ranchers would see this as a cash cow and want to get their deer herd in as good of shape as possible.


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Re: MLD Program [Re: BenBob] #8788475 01/26/23 03:49 PM
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Originally Posted by BenBob
Originally Posted by DukeCigars
It does affect the number of deer killed, as it’s a management program (‘Managed’ Land Development). MLD’s are issued tags. My MLD was awarded 24 doe tags this year for 4600 acres, so we can’t just stuff 50 hunters in there and everyone use their 2-3 state doe tags. We’ve also been told specifically to take more spikes etc out. Most regular leases aren’t properly managed unless there’s a great group of long term guys but that’s pretty rare



Looks like if MLD shows good management practices, the entire state would want to improve the deer herd and it would give ranches an extended time period to do it in. As high as leases are getting, I would think the ranchers would see this as a cash cow and want to get their deer herd in as good of shape as possible.


more and more ranches are going to MLD. The ones arent are usually smaller properties that end up with less tags then whats in their licenses, or dont want oversight


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Re: MLD Program [Re: BenBob] #8788505 01/26/23 04:22 PM
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Another huge advantage of MLD is your not cramming your hunting season into 6 or 7 weekends. This way you get to enjoy the 'season'. No snap decisions. You can properly manage the herd and make qualified decisions. If you run cameras ( I use 10-14) they are a starting point. You have to physically look at an animal to make a judgement call on his age and determine to harvest or let walk. For us MLD was one of the best management tools developed. It has allowed us to improve our herd and get rid of the itchy trigger finger.

Re: MLD Program [Re: BenBob] #8788512 01/26/23 04:36 PM
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I'm MLD, but it's just me, family, and friends. Of course, a LO could always dictate the time frame, but I can see where some wouldn't want the hassle of lessees coming and going over a 5 month period.

Last edited by Creekrunner; 01/26/23 04:38 PM.

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Re: MLD Program [Re: BenBob] #8788524 01/26/23 04:54 PM
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The place I go to that is MLD, the landowner has dictated that she wants no one WT hunting past the last weekend in January.


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Re: MLD Program [Re: BenBob] #8788539 01/26/23 05:18 PM
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As others have mentioned it gives you the power to truly manage your herd as it requires and allows you to disperse your pressure over a longer time period. We have 20 total doe tags. If we were not MLD, we would’ve tagged out already as it is just my dad and I plus an occasional guest.

It helps us too as we have freerange red deer and like to hunt their rut pretty hard specifically in October. If I whitetail shows up in that timeframe we can take it out too vs waiting til November.

Re: MLD Program [Re: BenBob] #8788547 01/26/23 05:24 PM
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The long-term result of MLD is to obtain better land carrying capabilities and better buck/doe ratios which improve the overall quality of all the animals in the herd.
There really is science behind a lot of it.
Look at Antler Restrictions. In AR Counties you are seeing more 3-5 year old bucks with better racks where prior to ARs those same bucks would have been killed as yearlings or maybe 1-2 year olds.

Re: MLD Program [Re: BenBob] #8788604 01/26/23 06:38 PM
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There are two types of MLD, conservation MLD or Harvest Option MLD. There are some significant differences, look on TPWD website for the differences. I'm going Harvest Option next year.

Last edited by Stompy; 01/26/23 06:39 PM.

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Re: MLD Program [Re: BenBob] #8788614 01/26/23 07:00 PM
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Great program and been using it since 2003. But before sign on the dotted line be sure to read everything including the fine print.


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Re: MLD Program [Re: BOBO the Clown] #8788667 01/26/23 07:49 PM
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Originally Posted by BOBO the Clown
more and more ranches are going to MLD. The ones arent are usually smaller properties that end up with less tags then whats in their licenses, or dont want oversight

So as an example, properties of less than 500 acres likely wouldn't benefit from such a program? Or in other words, on a place that small, you're likely to face more limited harvest allowances than the standard hunting license would allow, yes?


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Re: MLD Program [Re: kry226] #8788677 01/26/23 07:56 PM
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Originally Posted by kry226
Originally Posted by BOBO the Clown
more and more ranches are going to MLD. The ones arent are usually smaller properties that end up with less tags then whats in their licenses, or dont want oversight

So as an example, properties of less than 500 acres likely wouldn't benefit from such a program? Or in other words, on a place that small, you're likely to face more limited harvest allowances than the standard hunting license would allow, yes?


It depends on the survey's/census that you submit to your biologist as to how many tags you're allotted.

Re: MLD Program [Re: kry226] #8788711 01/26/23 08:18 PM
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Originally Posted by kry226
Originally Posted by BOBO the Clown
more and more ranches are going to MLD. The ones arent are usually smaller properties that end up with less tags then whats in their licenses, or dont want oversight

So as an example, properties of less than 500 acres likely wouldn't benefit from such a program? Or in other words, on a place that small, you're likely to face more limited harvest allowances than the standard hunting license would allow, yes?
My buddy's 1200 acre place was only going to be allotted 2 buck tags, so he declined it. Ironically, only 2 bucks (both culls) were taken off the property this year anyways.

Re: MLD Program [Re: kry226] #8788758 01/26/23 09:12 PM
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Originally Posted by kry226
Originally Posted by BOBO the Clown
more and more ranches are going to MLD. The ones arent are usually smaller properties that end up with less tags then whats in their licenses, or dont want oversight

So as an example, properties of less than 500 acres likely wouldn't benefit from such a program? Or in other words, on a place that small, you're likely to face more limited harvest allowances than the standard hunting license would allow, yes?


yes, but every place benefits because its now managed in response to real data(population surveys, browse utilization etc) , . with that said properties with low densities may have a smaller allocation then what they use to under LO/lease boss thoughts.

the MLD program also exempts from AR’s and Doe days/permits(lamps).

not really any down sides if you want to manage your herd based on data relative to your property


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Re: MLD Program [Re: Gringo Bling] #8788802 01/26/23 10:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Gringo Bling
Originally Posted by kry226
Originally Posted by BOBO the Clown
more and more ranches are going to MLD. The ones arent are usually smaller properties that end up with less tags then whats in their licenses, or dont want oversight

So as an example, properties of less than 500 acres likely wouldn't benefit from such a program? Or in other words, on a place that small, you're likely to face more limited harvest allowances than the standard hunting license would allow, yes?
My buddy's 1200 acre place was only going to be allotted 2 buck tags, so he declined it. Ironically, only 2 bucks (both culls) were taken off the property this year anyways.

A 1500 acre property I guided on was allotted 15 buck tags and we could’ve taken 25 bucks and left the population a 1-1.5 buck to doe. Had the property not been MLD we could’ve taken those numbers but would’ve been time crunched to do so. MLD can be beneficial when trying to weed out a certain genetic, especially in a high fence.



Re: MLD Program [Re: Double AC] #8788803 01/26/23 10:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Double AC
As others have mentioned it gives you the power to truly manage your herd as it requires and allows you to disperse your pressure over a longer time period. We have 20 total doe tags. If we were not MLD, we would’ve tagged out already as it is just my dad and I plus an occasional guest.

It helps us too as we have freerange red deer and like to hunt their rut pretty hard specifically in October. If I whitetail shows up in that timeframe we can take it out too vs waiting til November.

You are absolutely right.
When you can start culling that early before there is any chance of them breeding it HELPS.

Also, in years like this one where we haven't yet come close to killing what we need to kill we still have 1 month left to do it.

There are no disadvantages to it that I can see at all and is yet another great tool for ranches that want to serious manage their herd for the betterment of it.


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Re: MLD Program [Re: BenBob] #8788893 01/27/23 12:32 AM
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just me but we have been MLD on a 16k ranch for years -wonderful way to manage a ranch -plenty of time to harvest your does and do your culling of inferior bucks - our LO cut the season back some but we are in total agreement with it - we do not need to be hunting for 4-5 months each season - so we pair down our season to mid October to mid January and it works great

where I question MLD is on small acreage without everyone surrounding you doing the same - if you have MLD on a small acreage and everyone else around you is small but not into management then it is a hopeless cause IMO -


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Re: MLD Program [Re: BenBob] #8788943 01/27/23 01:28 AM
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One consideration if you go MLD and have the extended season you need to be careful cause some bucks can drop their horns before seasons up. This can happen during a regular season as well, but rare.


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Re: MLD Program [Re: tlk] #8789152 01/27/23 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by tlk
just me but we have been MLD on a 16k ranch for years -wonderful way to manage a ranch -plenty of time to harvest your does and do your culling of inferior bucks - our LO cut the season back some but we are in total agreement with it - we do not need to be hunting for 4-5 months each season - so we pair down our season to mid October to mid January and it works great

where I question MLD is on small acreage without everyone surrounding you doing the same - if you have MLD on a small acreage and everyone else around you is small but not into management then it is a hopeless cause IMO -

Agree tlk except for small acreages that are high fenced. I know of several 400-1000 acre ranches under MLD and it works absolutely GREAT for them. Hell, most of those would not be high-fenced today if not for the fact they couldn't manage their places at all due to both great young deer jumping the fence and being shot by neighbors when they were 3 years old and also for not being able to kill the culls needed to be killed because the neighbors were passing those inferior 2 & 3 year olds to shoot 130"-150" young deer!

But to your point with small places it surely will not work unless the bordering ranches are on the same management minded practice as you are!


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Re: MLD Program [Re: BenBob] #8789196 01/27/23 02:25 PM
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Can't you put a group of small ranches together in a CoOp and file together to get on the MLD program? Of course there will be pro's and con's to doing so if you could.


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Re: MLD Program [Re: kry226] #8789213 01/27/23 02:47 PM
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Originally Posted by kry226
Originally Posted by BOBO the Clown
more and more ranches are going to MLD. The ones arent are usually smaller properties that end up with less tags then whats in their licenses, or dont want oversight

So as an example, properties of less than 500 acres likely wouldn't benefit from such a program? Or in other words, on a place that small, you're likely to face more limited harvest allowances than the standard hunting license would allow, yes?


And most of those small properties shouldn’t be using all of their tags anyway. 500 acres doesn’t need 2 leasees taking 5 dear each in a 2 buck county. But they do.

Re: MLD Program [Re: BenBob] #8789218 01/27/23 02:51 PM
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Getting neighbors, of any size property, to agree on anything takes a world-class negotiator. Mix in that there's always one guy that just knows that he's a natural-born leader and his opinions should be gospel, and it's almost impossible.


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Re: MLD Program [Re: BenBob] #8789291 01/27/23 04:14 PM
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I agree that the program is good and it is geared to remove more deer/fewer deer depending on numbers. Why doesn't the state just set up all ranches over a certain number of acres in the MLD program? Looks like the program would be the ultimate management tool for the entire state. Landowners would still have the options within the program,


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