Texas Hunting Forum

Free Ranging Exotic Scenario

Posted By: Kobus

Free Ranging Exotic Scenario - 09/18/14 05:45 PM

I've always been interested in the effect of exotics on the local ecosystem/their biology, so how would these species do free range.
*Afghan Urial
*Markhor
*Nile Lechwe
*Common Waterbuck
*Impala
*Thomsons Gazelle
Let's just say that 50(25 males, 25 females) of each specie is released just outside Kerrville/Ingram.
How do they fare against Climate? Predators? Hunting Pressure? Etc.
Which specie does the best?
Posted By: therancher

Re: Free Ranging Exotic Scenario - 09/18/14 05:55 PM

Pretty much everything you listed but lechwe and waterbuck will get eaten up in short order.

Not sure who would invest in those valuable assets and just turn them loose. But hey, people ARE crazy.
Posted By: Kobus

Re: Free Ranging Exotic Scenario - 09/18/14 05:58 PM

That's surprising I thought the impala would do pretty well? What factors would make the others fail?
Posted By: therancher

Re: Free Ranging Exotic Scenario - 09/18/14 06:00 PM

Oh, and those that the predators didn't get would get shot by the hunters. I'd bet a lot of $ that they'd last less than 6 months.

I turned loose (in a large high fenced ranch near Mountain Home with no predator control) 35 axis and 34 blackbuck before I got the cedar cleared. The blackbuck lasted less than 4 months, the axis were gone in 6.
Posted By: therancher

Re: Free Ranging Exotic Scenario - 09/18/14 06:04 PM

Originally Posted By: Kobus
That's surprising I thought the impala would do pretty well? What factors would make the others fail?


Impala would do fine if you could keep him in a wide open field. As would other smaller animals.

Look around you in the Kerrville Ingram MH area and tell me how many low fenced wide open fields you see?

Poor little impala, blackbuck etc is free meat for yotes and cats when it hits a cedar wall. Pigs eat the babies if they actually survived to breed.

I wasted many thousands of dollars stocking before I got cedar and predators under control. No way I'd stock a place that I couldn't keep my animals on either.
Posted By: therancher

Re: Free Ranging Exotic Scenario - 09/18/14 06:06 PM

And virtually all sheep and goats are easy meat for predators.
Posted By: Kobus

Re: Free Ranging Exotic Scenario - 09/18/14 06:06 PM

What would contribute to the Waterbuck and Nile Lechwe surviving?
Posted By: don k

Re: Free Ranging Exotic Scenario - 09/18/14 06:21 PM

Why are you hug up on the Kerrville -Ingram area. It is either HF or houses until you are just about to Mountain Home. If you think East Tx. { no offence to anyone} is bad about poaching or animals getting taken out of season try that area.
Posted By: therancher

Re: Free Ranging Exotic Scenario - 09/18/14 06:23 PM

Size and ability (and will) to defend themselves from yotes and cats.

But make no mistake, they wouldn't survive long. Everybody out here carries a gun. No season, no bag limit, legal to kill 24/7. Super exotics never fare too well against those odds in open range.
Posted By: Kobus

Re: Free Ranging Exotic Scenario - 09/18/14 06:28 PM

Originally Posted By: don k
Why are you hug up on the Kerrville -Ingram area. It is either HF or houses until you are just about to Mountain Home. If you think East Tx. { no offence to anyone} is bad about poaching or animals getting taken out of season try that area.

I live in the Kerrville area so I'm just curious how they would do around here.

Also let's add in:
*White Bearded Wildebeest
*Sable
*Nyala
*Greater Kudu
*Elds Deer
*Roan
*Eland
*Rusa Deer
*Grants Gazelle
Posted By: Sevens

Re: Free Ranging Exotic Scenario - 09/19/14 02:58 AM

Any free ranging exotic seen wondering around is going to get shot with pretty quickly. Seems like at least once a year someone finds a sable or oryx or whatever wondering their ranch and posts on here about it. Most of the time they don't know what it is, but they do know it's an exotic and they can shoot it.

I realize your concern is more in regards to the absence of hunters, but that is the reality of it.
Posted By: Kobus

Re: Free Ranging Exotic Scenario - 09/19/14 03:16 AM

Originally Posted By: therancher
Oh, and those that the predators didn't get would get shot by the hunters. I'd bet a lot of $ that they'd last less than 6 months.

I turned loose (in a large high fenced ranch near Mountain Home with no predator control) 35 axis and 34 blackbuck before I got the cedar cleared. The blackbuck lasted less than 4 months, the axis were gone in 6.


Dang I thought axis would do better then that
Posted By: Txnrog

Re: Free Ranging Exotic Scenario - 09/19/14 05:32 AM

Kobus -

I am not as pessimistic about the odds given the right scenario - this being a hypothetical discussion and money not an issue, some may work. I mean heck, how do you think we ended up with free range common exotics all over the place today.

Right scenario being - large home range where they are protected (5K+ acres as a SWAG [depends on the species], relatively large neighbors [at least some opportunity to find addtl pockets where they can avoid pressure], animals that 'fit' the terrain and climate [lechwe is a great example of one that doesn't - they have almost no defense against predators inc. human on hard ground, and some of the african game listed can have some challenges with the cold], animal with high reproductive rates and relatively quick maturity [so they can withstand some predation and harvest], source stock that was raised in open pasture on natural forage [tough on animals to make the switch from pen and protein to fending for themselves completely], finally a soft release [open the trailer and they'll be gone - raise them in a protected pasture for a while and have some animals born in the location, they may stick].

If I applied the above criteria to your senario and species, a) I think as Don mentioned, you'd be hard pressed to find a spot around Kerrville that fits the bill b) most don't 'fit' that area for terrain and climate c) you'd have a tough time finding some of those that are self-sustaining pasture raised and d) most are pretty slow to mature and have lower reproductive rates (there's a reason they aren't 'common').

I think of the list the Afghan urial [my understanding is there really aren't Afghan Urial in Tx, just Transcaspians back crossed to Red sheep] is the most likely to work if you are in a pocket with some more open/hilly terrain. We're a bit west of you and sheep do very well in our country, even with predators. Goats do very well too, but Markhor are pretty slow to mature - you'd have to have a huge population before you could have enough males make it to maturity/trophy class. Both of those species would have issues with hybridization though.

BTW - Pretty sure it's illegal, or at a bare minimum, know it's against the ethics rules of the EWA and likely other trade groups. You may want them free range, but your neighbors and the state may not.
Posted By: ParkCountyElkDestroyer

Re: Free Ranging Exotic Scenario - 09/19/14 05:44 AM

I was surprised having never seen an impala in person until I shot one a couple years back that they are actually tiny. I always figured them to be about the size of a white tail but they are just a little bigger than a black buck.
Posted By: John Humbert

Re: Free Ranging Exotic Scenario - 09/19/14 06:12 AM

Besides predators, I'm pretty sure disease/parasites would reek havoc with most of those species. I'm not a breeder, but just from what I've heard from a few folks - keeping those species alive even in a well managed HF operation is not easy. Lose a lot of newborns due to factors other than predation

IMHO, I think the reason that axis and blackbuck establish and thrive is because they are very disease resistant and breed like rabbits, and are very adaptable.

Just my $0.02
Posted By: Kobus

Re: Free Ranging Exotic Scenario - 09/19/14 03:30 PM

Originally Posted By: jensent
I was surprised having never seen an impala in person until I shot one a couple years back that they are actually tiny. I always figured them to be about the size of a white tail but they are just a little bigger than a black buck.

Really? My impala I shot was a BIG boy, he weighed 160-170.

Mine I think was East African or of mostly East African genetics. His body size and coat color was East African, his horns seemed to be a mash of both Southern and East African genetics.
Posted By: Kobus

Re: Free Ranging Exotic Scenario - 09/19/14 03:33 PM

Originally Posted By: Txnrog
Kobus -

I am not as pessimistic about the odds given the right scenario - this being a hypothetical discussion and money not an issue, some may work. I mean heck, how do you think we ended up with free range common exotics all over the place today.

Right scenario being - large home range where they are protected (5K+ acres as a SWAG [depends on the species], relatively large neighbors [at least some opportunity to find addtl pockets where they can avoid pressure], animals that 'fit' the terrain and climate [lechwe is a great example of one that doesn't - they have almost no defense against predators inc. human on hard ground, and some of the african game listed can have some challenges with the cold], animal with high reproductive rates and relatively quick maturity [so they can withstand some predation and harvest], source stock that was raised in open pasture on natural forage [tough on animals to make the switch from pen and protein to fending for themselves completely], finally a soft release [open the trailer and they'll be gone - raise them in a protected pasture for a while and have some animals born in the location, they may stick].

If I applied the above criteria to your senario and species, a) I think as Don mentioned, you'd be hard pressed to find a spot around Kerrville that fits the bill b) most don't 'fit' that area for terrain and climate c) you'd have a tough time finding some of those that are self-sustaining pasture raised and d) most are pretty slow to mature and have lower reproductive rates (there's a reason they aren't 'common').

I think of the list the Afghan urial [my understanding is there really aren't Afghan Urial in Tx, just Transcaspians back crossed to Red sheep] is the most likely to work if you are in a pocket with some more open/hilly terrain. We're a bit west of you and sheep do very well in our country, even with predators. Goats do very well too, but Markhor are pretty slow to mature - you'd have to have a huge population before you could have enough males make it to maturity/trophy class. Both of those species would have issues with hybridization though.

BTW - Pretty sure it's illegal, or at a bare minimum, know it's against the ethics rules of the EWA and likely other trade groups. You may want them free range, but your neighbors and the state may not.

AFAIK and I might be wrong, but I believe Priour has the only pure Afghan herd. Everything else I've seen is T. Caspian hybrids.
Posted By: therancher

Re: Free Ranging Exotic Scenario - 09/19/14 05:36 PM

Originally Posted By: Kobus
Originally Posted By: therancher
Oh, and those that the predators didn't get would get shot by the hunters. I'd bet a lot of $ that they'd last less than 6 months.

I turned loose (in a large high fenced ranch near Mountain Home with no predator control) 35 axis and 34 blackbuck before I got the cedar cleared. The blackbuck lasted less than 4 months, the axis were gone in 6.


Dang I thought axis would do better then that


I did too and lost several thousand on the bet. But I can't keep does alive. I'm in a pretty rugged place and it's hard to keep the yotes and cats under control until you get the cedars off.
Posted By: therancher

Re: Free Ranging Exotic Scenario - 09/19/14 05:45 PM

Originally Posted By: Kobus
Originally Posted By: don k
Why are you hug up on the Kerrville -Ingram area. It is either HF or houses until you are just about to Mountain Home. If you think East Tx. { no offence to anyone} is bad about poaching or animals getting taken out of season try that area.

I live in the Kerrville area so I'm just curious how they would do around here.

Also let's add in:
*White Bearded Wildebeest
*Sable
*Nyala
*Greater Kudu
*Elds Deer
*Roan
*Eland
*Rusa Deer
*Grants Gazelle


Yep. All of those are in the Kerrville Ingram MH area. But they are protected. And that's why.
Posted By: Kobus

Re: Free Ranging Exotic Scenario - 09/19/14 06:35 PM

But free range? I don't think so but I found someone who has a free range elds on their place.
Posted By: Kobus

Re: Free Ranging Exotic Scenario - 09/23/14 08:02 PM

How about if we move te location to let say The King Ranch, how would they do out there?
Posted By: Starett

Re: Free Ranging Exotic Scenario - 09/23/14 08:24 PM

Originally Posted By: therancher
Oh, and those that the predators didn't get would get shot by the hunters. I'd bet a lot of $ that they'd last less than 6 months.

I turned loose (in a large high fenced ranch near Mountain Home with no predator control) 35 axis and 34 blackbuck before I got the cedar cleared. The blackbuck lasted less than 4 months, the axis were gone in 6.


what happened to these animals the guy i lease from started out with 12 blackbuck no he has over 40
Posted By: therancher

Re: Free Ranging Exotic Scenario - 09/23/14 08:32 PM

Yotes cats and hogs. With too much cover they get eat up fast if you don't have predators under control.
Posted By: don k

Re: Free Ranging Exotic Scenario - 09/23/14 10:49 PM

I did not get as carried away as the rancher. Over a year ago I bought 3 BB does and a male. As of today I have 2 BB does and a male. Since a year ago I have lost 3 BB fawns and a BB doe. And I try to control the predators. I caught another coyote this week in a snare.
Posted By: don k

Re: Free Ranging Exotic Scenario - 09/23/14 10:52 PM

Originally Posted By: don k
I did not get as carried away as the rancher. Over a year ago I bought 3 BB does and a male. As of today I have 2 BB does and a male. Since a year ago I have lost 3 BB fawns and a BB doe. And I try to control the predators. I caught another coyote this week in a snare.
OH and I actually have some pretty good fences. Over half is stay tuff and 4X4 by 4' high cattle panels. Main reason I don't turn out my Ibex until they are over a year old.
Posted By: Txnrog

Re: Free Ranging Exotic Scenario - 09/24/14 02:15 PM

Kobus, it's next to impossible to get permits for the protected species on free range. I specifically asked Fish this question during the whole 3 species deal - so would be curious if the Elds you referenced above are legally huntable.


If you switched locations to the king ranch as you suggest, I think the larger African species could fare well though it may be a bit wet. You have a much larger predator problem down there, so think you'd really struggle with any of the gazelles or smaller animals. Rusa might work - know Sambar worked along the coast. Sheep and goats are out of the picture down there - too wet, grounds too soft, and no escape terrain.

IMO to really be successful, you'd still want to do a soft release, with a core breeder herd providing periodic injections of new stock till they establish.just dumping a bunch of pen/small pasture raised animals out is a recipe for failure.
Posted By: Kobus

Re: Free Ranging Exotic Scenario - 09/24/14 05:22 PM

So would the Nile Lechwe and Waterbuck do well?
Posted By: Txnrog

Re: Free Ranging Exotic Scenario - 09/25/14 12:46 AM

Imagine waterbuck might do. Lechwe are pretty susceptible to predators, and know there are marshes there for them, but not sure how much freshwater marsh there is.
Posted By: txtrophy85

Re: Free Ranging Exotic Scenario - 09/25/14 01:23 AM

Originally Posted By: Kobus
So would the Nile Lechwe and Waterbuck do well?



maybe on the coast, like Jackson, Lavaca and Aransas counties.


they would get slaughtered I bet unless they were on large ranches
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