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Old 05-14-2020, 04:41 PM   #1
MAP
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I decided to create a thread for a piece of property that I'm going to develop into my dream place. Its in south Texas, mostly farm land with some of the best dove hunting around. I'm doing this in part for myself, to make sure I follow through with certain plans that I post here. Also to have a time frame that I can look back at over the years and see what progress I've made. This will be a long drawn out project that I'm going to enjoy and appreciate each step of.

Below is a picture of one of our 50 year old barns that I took last year. This thing was very well built and is still in wonderful shape.
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Old 05-14-2020, 04:49 PM   #2
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My overall projects for this place include = new fencing, dig out a 2 acre pond, create another 1/2 acre pond, drill water well, plant LOTS of trees, create brush lines, plant native brush in motts, run water lines, create irrigated plots, improve game bird numbers, raise exotics for live sales, expand the size of the overall property, and make sure this place stays in my family for another 100 years.

I've already had some mulching done of regrowth brush in the old pond, I'll post pictures and video soon. I also recently bought several trees and will keep them in containers until this fall.
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Old 05-14-2020, 05:06 PM   #3
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Good Luck! Sounds like a fun & rewarding goal!
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Old 05-14-2020, 05:27 PM   #4
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The first 2 pictures are the old overgrown pond, taken from the front looking to the back. The last picture is taken from the back looking to the front. The mulcher really did a good job. This will be the biggest project for a while, digging out the old pond and turning it into a fishing hotspot.
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Last edited by MAP; 05-14-2020 at 05:43 PM.
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Old 05-14-2020, 05:33 PM   #5
Heath
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Iím in!

Looking forward to following along.
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Old 05-14-2020, 05:40 PM   #6
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A few of the cool trail camera photos I got this year after just a few days.

On this place, I'm not going to focus on the native deer herd but they will benefit from everything that I'm doing. The last picture is a deer that I never saw in person and he disappeared before gun season. There are some good genetics in the area, but I've only killed 2 bucks out here over the years.
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Old 05-14-2020, 06:18 PM   #7
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In for the transformation. Good luck.
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Old 05-17-2021, 08:36 PM   #8
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Its been awhile since I posted on this thread, but its been right at a year since I started this thread and I've done alot.

For starters I put up a new high fence
Had the main pond dug out and it was filled last week with a 5" rain
Had a smaller pond built in the back corner of the place for dove, turkey
Have planted trees but still have ALOT to do
Also planted shrubs along the fence line in bare spots

The front of the pond is to wet to walk to for pictures so I'll post some of them in a few days. The pictures I'm posting are from the back of the pond. There is still alot of stuff that I'm wanting to do to the pond, so around October after dove and teal season, I'm going to pump out the water and hopefully let it dry up. I'm wanting to make it deeper, add rock and more habitat, also make the island alittle taller and really compact.

When the pond was dug, it was so clean and pretty it was really hard for me to make fish structure down in it. I felt like I was "dumping trash" and talked myself out of it several times. But I have plans to add big tractor tires, build a fence like structure, add big tree stumps, piles of brush, and bring in a few belly dump loads of river rock or pea gravel with maybe a load of bigger rocks.

It currently looks like a great fishing hole. Parts of me want to start adding bait fish, but I'm going to wait and instead pump out all of the water after dove/teal season. Hopefully this winter we wont get a massive rain and the pond will stay dry. I'm going to do the additional work and will be ready when the next big rain comes. I will however add a few hundred pounds of crawfish to get them going. I think they will dig in the mud and not all of them will be killed when the tank is drained and more dirt is pushed out.

I had a D7 come out and he did a great job. In the pictures you can see the island which is about 12 foot tall from the bottom of the pond. You can also see a burn pile of brush, a pile of clay, and a pile of top soil that was all pushed out. There is a canal of water between the island and those piles, that is where most of the pea gravel and river rock will go. I will also have a cabana with outdoor fireplace built up there and a pier/walk way connecting it to the land on the left of the picture.
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Old 05-17-2021, 09:13 PM   #9
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I'm having a really hard time put pictures on this thread, I dont know why, I'll post more in a few days.

Here is part of the new high fence. The milk weed will be a lifetime battle on the fence, it has been on trees and bushes over the years. I had the fence offset 20 feet from the property line because there is a road there. I'm hoping the brush keeps growing and I will help it out as much as I can. I dont want anybody to be able to see into the place from the road, that will take alot of time. I've started planting lantana, Japanese primrose, and something else I cant think of right now. Its all suppose to be drought tolerant and grow 6+ feet tall and wide. I've been watering everything with a 250 gallon tank but this big rain recently sure has helped.
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Old 05-18-2021, 12:38 AM   #10
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Awesome!!!
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Old 05-18-2021, 06:30 AM   #11
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Looking good.
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Old 05-18-2021, 08:12 AM   #12
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Congrats! That is coming along beautifully!
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Old 05-18-2021, 08:23 AM   #13
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Looking good!

Do you farm it yourself or have someone else? What are you planting for doves this year?
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Old 05-18-2021, 08:41 AM   #14
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How many coveys of quail have you seen?
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Old 05-18-2021, 09:07 AM   #15
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Looking good!
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Old 05-18-2021, 09:47 AM   #16
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Do you farm it yourself or have someone else? What are you planting for doves this year?
No we dont, this year there is some cotton and a few hundred acres of grain/milo. I never dove hunted this field until the last few seasons, then I realized this is one of the best spots we have. This place really holds the birds

Quote:
How many coveys of quail have you seen?
The quail are really down this year, I didnt even hunt them over here. I normally see alot of birds just driving roads but this year that was not the case. I've got 2 new ponds out here and multiple quail feeders going so I hope it helps them. I have been hearing alot of quail whistling this spring though
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Old 05-18-2021, 10:03 AM   #17
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Here are some neat trail camera photos I have gotten, the hog reminds me of a scene from lion king. Those coyotes and bobcats will need to be thinned once I start putting blackbuck out here.

The water picture shows what can happen out here with an 8" rain in 24 hours. I took that picture about 10 years ago on opening weekend of dove season. The day before we had people hunting there, the next afternoon this is what it looked like. The pond that I had built is on the left, the brush on the right is part of an old creek and a drainage. Alot of that water comes from different directions and flows down to this low spot. It shrinks pretty fast but there is still a good portion that will remain muddy for a long time. Great for duck hunting but not for getting around. I hope the new pond I dug will help with this problem, unless its already full when a big rain like this happens.
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Old 05-18-2021, 12:31 PM   #18
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is this the place I dove hunted 15 yrs ago ? Love what you are doing with it.
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Old 05-18-2021, 12:34 PM   #19
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is this the place I dove hunted 15 yrs ago ? Love what you are doing with it.
15 years??? it cant be...you need to come out again if your in the area. But this is a different spot, about 15 miles west of where we hunted
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Old 05-18-2021, 12:39 PM   #20
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Following along, very nice place.

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Old 05-18-2021, 01:34 PM   #21
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Cool thread. It'll be fun to follow along. That pig chasing off that crane should be an automatic death sentence
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Old 05-18-2021, 02:37 PM   #22
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That pig chasing off that crane should be an automatic death sentence
I shot a big one there with my bow a few weeks after that picture was taken, I dont know if it was the same one or not, we get alot of loner boars around there. We do have a history of big hogs, but very few with big teeth, I think its from all the fighting and having to many.

I've been using this medina fertilizer on the stuff I've planted and also broadcasting it in certain areas of the brush. Mostly around the white brush, texas persimmons, and mulberry trees. Anybody have something better for the native brush?
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Old 05-19-2021, 03:09 PM   #23
gingib
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Awesome! how big is the place?

100% HF? Hogs still getting in or they been inside?

Keep it up
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Old 05-19-2021, 07:34 PM   #24
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Super cool thread
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Old 06-11-2021, 04:02 PM   #25
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Here is a picture from the side view last year and again from yesterday. We have had about 15" of rain in the past month and there is still alot of water in the field along with the tank being full.

The second picture is after the pond was dug out, the gray mound is all clay and behind it is a second mound of top soil. Both mounds are twice as high as the D7 that was used to make the pond. The brush pile is my burn pile and was pushed out with the dozer. I'm so glad I had a mulcher go in and clear everything first, it really saved time with the dozer and there was very little left to burn.
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Old 06-11-2021, 04:05 PM   #26
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Looking Great!
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Old 06-11-2021, 04:36 PM   #27
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The brush has really grown over the past month, everything is blooming and you can see atleast 8" of new growth on just about everything. I'm starting to get alot of whitebrush in a certain area that I'm happy about. I drove by looking for a texas persimmon that is easy to walk to and pick fruit from but I didnt notice it, I was afraid the wind might have broken it. I got out of my truck and walked up to it and realized that it was so weighted down with green fruit that it was having a hard time standing straight.

I took a picture of the new growth on one of the Bur oak trees that I planted, it has over 8" of new growth this month from all the rain. I took a vertical picture of it, but its a pain in the ACC to post those on this website. It was a $29 tree from HEB last year and is over 6' now. Its doing the best out of that group

I also got water in the other pond I had dug, it will be interesting to see how long it holds. At some point I will have a poly line ran back here to always keep it full. I also plan on planting about a dozen bigger trees around it this fall.

The last picture is the bigger pond. The red lines are where I'm going to plant some bigger shade trees, either some oak or pecans. I would love to put some cotton willows over here but they are hard to find in south Texas. The blue circle are some hackberrys that I had the dozer guy leave, they have doubled in size it seems.

With all this rain my only regret this year is not planting all the big trees. The only reason I didnt is because I needed a backhoe to dig all the holes and I never got around to finding somebody to do that. But over the next 2 years I will plant about 40 trees that are atleast 95 gallons in size when they go in.
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Old 06-12-2021, 05:45 PM   #28
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Here are some of the luckiest crawfish in south Texas, I bought 130 pounds of crawfish today to turn loose in the big pond tomorrow. This is one cooler of what I got and there are some big ones in the group. Since I'm planning on draining the pond and making it deeper this winter, I dont know how many of these things will survive. I'm hoping once the water gets emptied and sits for a while before the dozer comes in, they will dig deep into the mud and/or into the banks. I plan on doing this every year from here on out once we get some fish put in.

For a more important question, I was wondering if any of ya'll know what kind of "snail" this is? There are alot of them in the bags of crawfish. They floated up to the top once I put water in the ice chest. I'm wondering if they are good or bad and if I need to dig them all out before I dump the crawfish into the pond?
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Old 06-12-2021, 09:26 PM   #29
.243 WSSM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MAP View Post
Here are some of the luckiest crawfish in south Texas, I bought 130 pounds of crawfish today to turn loose in the big pond tomorrow. This is one cooler of what I got and there are some big ones in the group. Since I'm planning on draining the pond and making it deeper this winter, I dont know how many of these things will survive. I'm hoping once the water gets emptied and sits for a while before the dozer comes in, they will dig deep into the mud and/or into the banks. I plan on doing this every year from here on out once we get some fish put in.

For a more important question, I was wondering if any of ya'll know what kind of "snail" this is? There are alot of them in the bags of crawfish. They floated up to the top once I put water in the ice chest. I'm wondering if they are good or bad and if I need to dig them all out before I dump the crawfish into the pond?
I noticed the same thing when I bought a sack today at fiesta mart in dallas. I poured the sack on dry ground so I could sort them out from the dead ones before I put the live ones in the pond. Lots of the same snails as in your pic. I left them on dry ground and they baked out in the hot sun
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Old 06-12-2021, 11:20 PM   #30
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I noticed the same thing when I bought a sack today at fiesta mart in dallas. I poured the sack on dry ground so I could sort them out from the dead ones before I put the live ones in the pond. Lots of the same snails as in your pic. I left them on dry ground and they baked out in the hot sun
I just responded to my other post about these things and they are called "Marsh ram horns" which makes sense because they do look like little ram horns. After doing a google search, its a good thing you culled them out of the sacks. I will be doing the same thing tomorrow. I bought these in Corpus at a seafood place but I bet they come from the same area, I've never seen them in other sacks I've bought to boil.
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Old 06-15-2021, 09:30 PM   #31
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So this may be a naive question but whatís the significance of stocking crawfish in your ponds? Bass bait or vegetation control?


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Old 06-16-2021, 01:45 AM   #32
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So this may be a naive question but what’s the significance of stocking crawfish in your ponds? Bass bait or vegetation control?
I'm just doing it to establish a food source for bass and catfish, I'm still a way's from adding those into this pond, so I want to get something going. I really have no idea how they will do, alot of the ones I put out where walking out of the water into the fallen leaves and branches laying on the ground. One skinny raccoon might be a fat raccoon by this weekend.

I really have the urge to "do something" so this was a quick and easy way to get started. With crawfish season almost over I only have about 2-3 weeks left to find crawfish available down here.
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Old 06-21-2021, 09:54 AM   #33
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Awesome thread. Following
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