Articles by Spring Creek Outdoors, LLC
Food Plot Experiment: San Saba County
December 01, 2018 by Macy Ledbetter
Four deep sandy soil food plots were plowed and planted on the Ledbetter Ranch in northern San Saba County. Topography is slightly rolling throughout, but each food plot was basically flat or terraced throughout. Two separate large plots were divided in half length-wise and planted with different species for comparison purposes. Right down the center of each large field, one narrow strip was planted (hand broadcasted) to plant both turnips and rape. Exclosures were constructed at each intersection to fairly and equitably judge plant success and deer preferences. One long and narrow field was planted with a mixture of wheat and oats together and one exclosure used in the center of the field. One small plot, the Game Patch, was planted via hand broadcaster with Austrian Winter Peas, Madrid and Mixed Clover Seed. This plot was very small and no exclosures were present.
Facts About Deer That You May Not Have Known
September 16, 2018 by Macy Ledbetter
* White-tailed deer, mule deer, black-tailed deer, elk, axis deer, fallow deer, and moose all belong in the Family Cervidae. This family of deer is characterized by an absence of a gall bladder, feet are actually four toed (dew claws count as toes), all have 32 teeth (except the elk), and the males grow antlers.
* There are 30 different subspecies of white-tailed deer in North, Central, and South America. White-tailed deer are also ungulates, which means they have a hoofed foot as well as ruminants which means they have a four chambered stomach and chew their cud.
Hunter and Landowner Ethics
July 21, 2018 by Macy Ledbetter
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:Read More
Does Supplemental Feeding Protein Pellets Really Work?
June 03, 2018 by Macy Ledbetter
Supplemental feeding in the form of pelleted feed is a valuable tool in the serious deer manager’s tool belt, as it provides two things: consistency and a higher level of nutrition. As it’s name implies, supplemental feeding is something done to augment or increase the natural feed available to deer. Seasonal cycles, weather patterns and man-made disturbances can cause the nutritional value and availability of native deer foods to be unpredictable with a wide swings in quality. Supplemental feeding is a safety net or an insurance policy against periods of low nutritional value and/or availability. Of course, there are different degrees of supplementation and how it is used and its effectiveness, but a supplemental feeding program’s primary responsibility is to lessen the blows of low nutrition and keep the deer on a more level nutritional plane throughout the year.Read More
Doe Harvest Strategies Examined
April 14, 2018 by Macy Ledbetter
“Back in the day” antlerless harvest was not only unpopular, but also downright illegal in some areas. Many areas of North America still have permit-only antlerless harvest due to low populations so why all the fuss about why to harvest female deer?
This article is more about the HOW and not the WHY of harvesting antlerless deer. We know why we harvest females—to help lower the population and keep the herd in balance as best we can; but the how sometimes gets lost or foggy and so perhaps we can clear the muddy waters a bit here.
What are the Differences Between a Nutritional Food Plot and an Attractant Food Plot?
February 25, 2018 by Macy Ledbetter
Food plots are planted primarily for two reasons: 1) to provide a nutritional supplement to deer during times of nutritional stress or when native browse is low in quality or availability, and 2) to attract or concentrate deer for viewing or hunting purposes. This concept is similar to using protein pellets for a nutritional supplement and corn as an attractant. A food plot by itself is not a cure-all or magic fix for any problem in deer management, just as feeding protein or corn is not a silver bullet for what ails your deer herd. These are all just tools to be used in conjunction with others–parts to the whole of a well-rounded plan.Read More
Deer Blind Location
January 31, 2018 by Macy Ledbetter
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.Read More
Corn vs. Protein Pellets
September 10, 2017 by Macy Ledbetter
What are the differences between feeding corn and protein pellets to your deer herd? Corn is used primarily as an attractant to lure deer to a location for viewing or hunting and is low in overall nutritive value. Protein pellets contain a balanced ration with micro and macro nutrients and is used to supplement the natural diet of deer to help them maintain a consistent and high level of health and body condition–which translates to increase body weight, fawn production and antler growth.Read More
Blind Placement is Critical to Hunter Success
August 01, 2017 by Macy Ledbetter
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.Read More
Antler Growth for Beginners
June 15, 2017 by Macy Ledbetter
Who out there can honestly say that deer antlers don’t get them excited? Whether we manage deer as a profession or a passion, growing bucks with the big antlers is on our minds somewhere down the line. From the earliest drawings of our ancestors on cave walls, we have always had a fascination with antlers–their size, their shape, their oddities, their growth. Why else would we get up well before daylight and brave the harsh elements to pursue antlers and their owners?Read More