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Old 04-29-2021, 01:41 PM   #1
cehorn
Ten Point
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Pflugerville, TX
Hunt In: Uvalde, TX
Default Help with Management Plan ??

It isn't official but it looks like we will be selling our old place and buying a new one. As of now (trying not to jinx anything so pending contractS) we will be buying 600 ac in Melvin, TX that was recently high fenced. It will likely be September before we can get on it due to closing dates, etc. But, I'm starting to think about what all we need and or can do so any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Here's what I have so far:

First, all livestock will be removed as we won't have cows, etc on the place. And then we will get our wildlife exemption in place. Our current place has a wildlife exemption so we are familiar with that process.

The next thing we need to do is get a handle on how many deer (and other animals like axis and pigs) are currently on the place. I have never actually done census type stuff since we have always been low fenced with small acreage and even smaller around us. Anyway, I'm thinking get trail cameras set up at all feeders and water (see below) and then get as many butts in seats at all the stands for a weekend and see what comes in. Outside of flying the place, is this on the right track? I know they don't all come in or come in at the same time so how would the number of deer seen be translated to an estimate of how many are on the place? I'm thinking there is a ratio of some sort that is commonly used. Our thoughts are to try to have 1 deer per 10 acres but I'm not sure if that is the correct number and I guess part of that depends on how much we feed, again see below. I would like to carry a few more deer so maybe 1 to 8 acres?

On our current place we feed corn all year. Our initial thought is 7 stands with 7 corn feeders but that could go up or down by a couple. We feed free choice protein January to September and then timed protein as more of an attractant the rest of the year. We would put out at least 2 water stations immediately and there are already a couple of water troughs on the place. All of this would be done immediately except I'm not sure if we would put out protein immediately or wait until January. I guess cotton seed may be an option as well but I know that would be in January. I think the only other thing we could do is get some food plots in the ground pretty quick. I think there are plenty of areas for this already there. Am I missing anything regarding food and water? If you have experience in the area we would love suggestions on what to plant as well. Typically we do oats.

Everything above is short term. In the long term we plan on building at least 1 stock tank next spring to provide another water source. We will more than likely plant spring/summer food plots to help with the protein bill. Again, any help on what to plant in that area of Texas would be appreciated. I'm sure there is help at Jacoby's as well. I think there would be some benefit from clearing some underbrush as well to allow native grasses and whatever we plant to grow better (more sunlight, etc.).

We are also planning on releasing some bred does and maybe a buck or 2 next spring to help the genetics. My thought on this is we need to shoot the same number we plan on releasing in the spring out of the existing herd this fall. Am I thinking about that correctly or do we need to shoot more or less? We don't really want to wipe out the existing herd and start over just give the current herd a boost. I guess part of that depends on how many deer are on there and how many we plan to carry as well.

We have also discussed releasing some exotics like axis or black buck. I think it would be a year or 2 before we do that so we can focus on the whitetails first but any advice on that? My dad has heard axis will run whitetails off so he is leery of that. Any advice here would also be appreciated. From what we heard there is a good chance there are already some axis on the place but we won't know for sure until we get some cameras up and get some stand time in.

This is about all I can think of off the top of my head but I'm welcome to any and all suggestions to help manage our deer herd or more importantly the ranch in general. Thanks in advance for any and all input.
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Old 04-29-2021, 01:47 PM   #2
SuperExotics
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Old 04-29-2021, 02:10 PM   #3
Drycreek3189
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You probably should contact a biologist that can visit your place and make some recommendations. You’ll get some here, but they may not be right and they certainly won’t benefit from actually looking at your particular situation. My two cents
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Old 04-29-2021, 08:42 PM   #4
deerwatcher51
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Is the place currently MLD Conservation option?
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Old 04-29-2021, 09:52 PM   #5
DKW II
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I just referred this guy in another thread and I’ll do it here as well. Contact Lin Poor with Texas Wildlife Management. He’s our old biologist and is the biologist on the 74 Ranch and many other big time ranches. He knows his stuff and can answer all your questions, even write you a management plan. First class guy and very knowledgeable, I’d recommend him to anyone.
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Old 04-30-2021, 08:44 AM   #6
cehorn
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Hunt In: Uvalde, TX
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Thanks for the advice, keep it coming. The place is not currently MLD. We may look into that. We will likely bring out a biologist and someone from SCS to help with things as well.
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Old 04-30-2021, 09:29 AM   #7
SuperExotics
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cehorn View Post
It isn't official but it looks like we will be selling our old place and buying a new one. As of now (trying not to jinx anything so pending contractS) we will be buying 600 ac in Melvin, TX that was recently high fenced. It will likely be September before we can get on it due to closing dates, etc. But, I'm starting to think about what all we need and or can do so any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Here's what I have so far:

First, all livestock will be removed as we won't have cows, etc on the place. And then we will get our wildlife exemption in place. Our current place has a wildlife exemption so we are familiar with that process.

Good Plan, but keep in mind you could use cattle in a short term lease situation to manage habitat/old growth of grasses

The next thing we need to do is get a handle on how many deer (and other animals like axis and pigs) are currently on the place. I have never actually done census type stuff since we have always been low fenced with small acreage and even smaller around us. Anyway, I'm thinking get trail cameras set up at all feeders and water (see below) and then get as many butts in seats at all the stands for a weekend and see what comes in. Outside of flying the place, is this on the right track? I know they don't all come in or come in at the same time so how would the number of deer seen be translated to an estimate of how many are on the place? I'm thinking there is a ratio of some sort that is commonly used. Our thoughts are to try to have 1 deer per 10 acres but I'm not sure if that is the correct number and I guess part of that depends on how much we feed, again see below. I would like to carry a few more deer so maybe 1 to 8 acres?

In that area of the state I would suggest a trail camera survey (on a grid system for 10-14 days) combined with a spotlight survey. This will give you a good start to follow yearly with additional surveys. Carrying capacity varies significantly from ranch to ranch. Id recommend a biologist site visit with a proper survey to determine harvest and population goals.

On our current place we feed corn all year. Our initial thought is 7 stands with 7 corn feeders but that could go up or down by a couple. We feed free choice protein January to September and then timed protein as more of an attractant the rest of the year. We would put out at least 2 water stations immediately and there are already a couple of water troughs on the place. All of this would be done immediately except I'm not sure if we would put out protein immediately or wait until January. I guess cotton seed may be an option as well but I know that would be in January. I think the only other thing we could do is get some food plots in the ground pretty quick. I think there are plenty of areas for this already there. Am I missing anything regarding food and water? If you have experience in the area we would love suggestions on what to plant as well. Typically we do oats.

Oats and wheat are great choices in that area. If you can get it in the ground September 15- October 1 you should be good to go. I typically recommend one protein feeder to 250 acres as a minimum. I would start feeding protein immediately, as it is also a great tool to keep more deer on your property.


Everything above is short term. In the long term we plan on building at least 1 stock tank next spring to provide another water source. We will more than likely plant spring/summer food plots to help with the protein bill. Again, any help on what to plant in that area of Texas would be appreciated. I'm sure there is help at Jacoby's as well. I think there would be some benefit from clearing some underbrush as well to allow native grasses and whatever we plant to grow better (more sunlight, etc.).

We are also planning on releasing some bred does and maybe a buck or 2 next spring to help the genetics. My thought on this is we need to shoot the same number we plan on releasing in the spring out of the existing herd this fall. Am I thinking about that correctly or do we need to shoot more or less? We don't really want to wipe out the existing herd and start over just give the current herd a boost. I guess part of that depends on how many deer are on there and how many we plan to carry as well.

I would stock/harvest depending on your survey data. Without that, its simply an expensive guess.

We have also discussed releasing some exotics like axis or black buck. I think it would be a year or 2 before we do that so we can focus on the whitetails first but any advice on that? My dad has heard axis will run whitetails off so he is leery of that. Any advice here would also be appreciated. From what we heard there is a good chance there are already some axis on the place but we won't know for sure until we get some cameras up and get some stand time in.

Axis compete heavily with whitetail. If your focus is trophy whitetail production, id stick to blackbuck and keep on the predators pretty hard. You could certainly have a few axis, but things can get out of hand with a big herd when it comes to habitat quality.

This is about all I can think of off the top of my head but I'm welcome to any and all suggestions to help manage our deer herd or more importantly the ranch in general. Thanks in advance for any and all input.
Outside of our PM i've touched on a few things above.
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Old 04-30-2021, 12:32 PM   #8
Shurshot
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Location: Houston
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I would contact a private biologist if I were you. It will be money well spent. Let me know I can give you the contact info for the one we use.
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Old 05-03-2021, 09:24 AM   #9
cehorn
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Join Date: Oct 2006
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Hunt In: Uvalde, TX
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Thanks again for all of the replies. I think if/when we close the first phone call will be to a biologist of some sort. I know I have a couple of pm's regarding that so I'll circle back once we get closer.
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