Land Management

Land Management

Land Management

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What You Need To Know About Drones

What You Need To Know About Drones

April 20, 2020 by

What You Need To Know About Drones

Over the past twenty years there have been huge advances in all forms of technology and it is no shock that major improvements have been made to nearly every type of hunting and fishing equipment. As a boy I remember walking behind my dad following a blood trail after dark with a Maglite the size of my forearm, and today I own several flashlights that take up less room than a candy bar with battery life and brightness that far exceed the trusty old 4-Cell D Maglites. As a young kid I often thought about how nice it would be to call a helicopter to look for a wounded deer instead of walking through a forest of prickly pear that I was not yet tall enough to see over. With the relatively recent availability, and affordability, of small unmanned aerial systems (sUAS) or drones, the idea of looking for animals from the air is suddenly a realistic option. With that being said, it is not legal for the average person to do so in Texas, but we’ll get into that shortly. 

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Invasive Grass Control

Invasive Grass Control

April 18, 2020 by

Much of the Texas landscape as we know it today would be almost unrecognizable to those that lived here only a few generations before us. Early settlers began improving the land they chose to call home almost immediately. Early settlers began improving the land they chose to call home almost immediately out of substance and demand to feed their livestock. Planting grass seed, much of which being from non-native species, made sense at the time and was very effective.  By today’s standards, however, we may wish they had better choices or options available at the time.

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Two Survey Methods In Great Detail

Two Survey Methods In Great Detail

April 18, 2020 by

If you are a practitioner of deer management and have been reading this publication very long, then you are well aware of the importance of deer surveys.  Deer surveys are surveys, not inventories, meaning we likely will never know exactly how many deer are on your property nor do we need to know that exact number.  Deer typically don’t want to be counted and game fences do NOT contain all of them, despite common perceptions.  So a survey is done each year at approximately the same time and by the same method so that any changes in the data must be from the deer themselves.  A survey is meant to provide estimates, ratios, and percentages and then used to apply harvest pressure to alter those numbers into the desired direction and levels.  Texas Parks and Wildlife Department offers specialized permits to assist qualifying landowners and those permits are based on survey data.  So know that survey data is mission critical for results-oriented management as well as specialized state issued management permits.  TPWD has a list of approved survey methods and the three most used methods for whitetail deer include spotlight, trail camera, and helicopter.  Each method has specific guidelines to be used in order for the data to be of value, but each technique also has advantages and disadvantages.  For this article’s purposes, let’s look only at the spotlight and the helicopter survey method.

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High Fences are Tools

High Fences are Tools

April 22, 2019 by

High fences are tools, just like low fences are.  Heck, FENCES are tools, regardless their height, material used, thickness, cost, color, or design.  Just like a screwdriver, hammer, or nail, either one is used to help get the job done that the operator desires.  If you want to stick two boards together, why use a tape measure?  Why not use a nail and hammer?  If you want to keep the deer on your property and your neighbor’s deer out, why not use a high fence?  If you are only interested in keeping your cows out of the bar ditch, why don’t you build a low fence?   Why don’t you build a cinder block fence and not just a net wire fence?  Why use barbed or slick wire?  Why metal and not wood?  Why not rocks or mud?

Tools, that is all they are.

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Hunter and Landowner Ethics

Hunter and Landowner Ethics

July 21, 2018 by

In my many travels, I see and hear of some pretty amazing deer hunter-landowner related stories.  Some are just funny and others are downright unethical.  I want to share with you some suggestions to help all of us as outdoor enthusiasts to present a fair and ethical face on all fronts.  Some of these may or may not apply to you, but I bet you can relate to all in some form or fashion:

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Deer Blind Location

Deer Blind Location

January 31, 2018 by

Blind placement is one of the most overlooked segments of deer hunting I regularly encounter.  When selecting a suitable location, don’t think like a human, but like that of a deer.  Oftentimes, placing the blind for convenience is much different than placing it where it may offer the best chance for success.

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Blind Placement is Critical to Hunter Success

Blind Placement is Critical to Hunter Success

August 01, 2017 by

As my wife gathered her bags before heading to the deer blind, the other hunters stared in amazement.  Binoculars, blue seat cushion, pink blanket, water bottle, spotting scope, video camera, flowery-colored knitting bag, colorful balls of yarn and her rifle all slung over her red sweatshirt shoulders.  “What is going on here, you headed to a circus or what?” one hunter finally blurted out.  The rest of the guys laughed but knew better than to chime in.

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Wildlife Habitat–General Requirements

Wildlife Habitat–General Requirements

April 30, 2017 by

Wildlife has a certain requirement for cover.  Cover provides a sense of security from disturbance and protection from inclement weather and predators.  The amount and kind of cover vary with the species.

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Why I Hunt

Why I Hunt

March 23, 2017 by

I hunt because my father hunted, and he took me with him, and so we built a bond that I still cherish. And because his father hunted, and his father’s father, and all of the fathers in my line and yours, as far back as those fathers who invented spears and axes and recorded their adventures with pictures on the walls of caves.

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Tips to Aid Aerial Helicopter Surveys

Tips to Aid Aerial Helicopter Surveys

October 11, 2016 by

For those choosing the aerial helicopter survey this year, consider the following tips:

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The Diverse Trail Camera

The Diverse Trail Camera

July 06, 2016 by

The foundation of any wildlife management program involves collecting survey data. Survey data may be collected in a variety of ways but consistency and trends are critical.

With recent advances in technology, the use of infrared-triggered cameras (trail cameras) may be used as an acceptable form of gathering such data, especially on properties that may not be conducive to spotlight or helicopter surveys. These devices have become an invaluable tool in the deer manager’s toolkit.

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Prescribed Burning for Better Wildlife

Prescribed Burning for Better Wildlife

April 21, 2016 by

Wildfire and prescribed fire are similar to illegal drugs and prescription drugs. The first can destroy your home and possibly kill you while the second will improve your wildlife habitat and cure your ailments. Wildfires and illegal drugs carry heavy negative impacts while prescribed fire and prescription drugs carry positive and healing impacts.

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Predator Control and How it Affects Your Hunting Success

Predator Control and How it Affects Your Hunting Success

April 13, 2016 by

Hunters, managers and landowners all have an interest in raising baby animals. Whether it be calves, lambs, quail chicks, turkey poults, or deer fawns, the end result is the same—without babies you will not have adults. Sounds pretty simple and easy doesn’t it? Don’t be fooled. This article is to remind you of the importance of predator control for the sake of wildlife management.

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Livestock Management for Wildlife Production

Livestock Management for Wildlife Production

September 15, 2015 by

Grazing management is the planned manipulation of livestock numbers and grazing intensities to increase food, cover, or improve structure in the habitat of selected species. Grazing management includes kind and class of livestock grazed, determination and adjustment of stocking rates, implementation of a grazing system that provides planned periodic rest for pastures by controlling grazing intensity and durations, and/or excluding livestock from sensitive areas to prevent trampling, allowing for vegetative recovery, or eliminating competition for food and cover. Planned deferments can be short or long term, depending on the conditions. Seasonal stocker operations may also be appropriate to manipulate habitat.

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Coyote Management & Recommendations

Coyote Management & Recommendations

August 13, 2015 by

Canis latrans are members of the dog family, with adults weighing 20-40 pounds.  They prey on a wide variety of animals including rodents, rabbits, deer, game birds and livestock.  They also consume vegetation such as prickly pear apples, mesquite beans and persimmons; and readily consume corn and protein feed meant for deer.

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