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Old 09-25-2022, 09:03 AM   #51
Gumbo Man
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Well as already discussed I contribute the decline in certain areas to large properties being sold off in small parcels with a lot of hunting pressure and tag filling. As irritating as it is, every license holder has the right to kill their legal allotment. But that mentality WILL take its toll on population and quality. My BIL owns 350 acres in Anderson County ( Slocum) and I used to hunt with him up till about 6 years ago. Where I hunted I expected to see about 15- 20 deer per sit. Neighboring properties have sold off and he has alot of pressure around him resulting in lower numbers. I good sit now will result to 5-6 deer. But he does still have some quality bucks but they are very crafty becuase of the pressure.
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Old 09-25-2022, 09:17 AM   #52
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Originally Posted by Johnny Dangerr View Post
This goes back to 1970 when hill country deer weighed 50 pounds on the hoof - there were zero deer in east Texas - and south Texas had a few large survivors. Since then there have been a lot of additions and subtractions in all the regions mentioned.
The biggest doe I have ever seen killed was 5 minutes from Carters Country off Telge, blocks from Intercontinental Airport N. Houston. So is it a E Texas deer or a S Texas deer? Maybe a bit of both...

Cool story but Carter country isnít off Telge, itís off treshwig.


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Old 09-25-2022, 09:42 AM   #53
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Originally Posted by Snowflake Killa View Post
Clear cuts really help east Texas for sure

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These people who are talking crap about east texas would crap if they saw some of your pics!
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Old 09-25-2022, 09:47 AM   #54
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Originally Posted by Throwin Darts View Post
Every east Texas lease I see posted.

ď400 acres. Looking for 26 hunters at $1k per spotĒ.

Might be a piece of the puzzle
ive hunted East, south and hill country parts of texas, one of the biggest factors is quality of browse-- a lot of very high protein stuff in south texas, which turns into lots of numbers and big, heavy deer. east texas can produce some giants. i grew up hunting on family land in grimes county in the 70's and 80's my uncle knew how to hunt those woods and he killed some BIG bucks, but there were big tracts of land back then and not alot of hunting pressure- most hunting was just family and just around holidays, not "leases". most big tracts in east texas now are paper mill owned, thats where you end up with 1 hunter per 100 acres and alot of folks just wanting to shoot at something and ride 4-wheelers around
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Old 09-25-2022, 09:48 AM   #55
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Originally Posted by hpdrifter View Post
When I first moved to Houston(1978) the Houston Post had a picture where some apartments were being built in the background. There was a tree line in front of the apartments and there were 3 monster bucks walking the treeline.
We did some pipeline work over in Atascocita and there were deer tracks all up and down the right of way, some were huge.
Client of mine has 200 acres that borders the San Jacinto river in Kingwood. He has some great bucks.
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Old 09-25-2022, 10:01 AM   #56
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These people who are talking crap about east texas would crap if they saw some of your pics!
SHHHHHH. East Texas is horrible. There are no deer here. There are no pictures of Pat's deer. Any pics of big deer are photoshopped. There is nothing for them to eat. Everyone should hunt in the Hill Country.
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Old 09-25-2022, 10:10 AM   #57
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Originally Posted by Throwin Darts View Post
Every east Texas lease I see posted.

ď400 acres. Looking for 26 hunters at $1k per spotĒ.

Might be a piece of the puzzle
Agreed. Itís all about the number of hunters per acre and how much they take off it.

Also, Iíve seen a lot of high fence in ET. Do you need to exclude that from the discussion?
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Old 09-25-2022, 10:11 AM   #58
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Originally Posted by Longue Carabine View Post
Some parts of the hill country and especially South Texas actually have more food and higher quality food than east Texas. Timber is a food desert. Brush country is a buffet.
I find that hard to believe, especially for the Hill Country. Please specify what type of plants are there. I have always been curious about how the EP can have so many deer. Tiny deer, which is why I say they dont have much food.

SETx has so much browse, I find it hard to believe, thats all.

STx, I can kinda see maybe as much. I am guessing the limestone leeching has a lot to do with it?
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Old 09-25-2022, 10:16 AM   #59
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Originally Posted by txtrophy85 View Post
Pine forests and hay meadows are not the most nutritious things for deer.

What you see as lush, green and productive can actually be very a very sterile environment.


Lots of natural browse in the hill country
x1000
They dont like pine needles !lol
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Old 09-25-2022, 10:19 AM   #60
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shhhhhh. East texas is horrible. There are no deer here. There are no pictures of pat's deer. Any pics of big deer are photoshopped. There is nothing for them to eat. Everyone should hunt in the hill country.:d:d
😆😀🤣😆
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Old 09-25-2022, 10:26 AM   #61
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Originally Posted by txtrophy85 View Post
Pine forests and hay meadows are not the most nutritious things for deer.

What you see as lush, green and productive can actually be very a very sterile environment.


Lots of natural browse in the hill country
You are right, however it isnt this way on our lease. 15 years and at some point parts of the lease and surrounding properties are thinned or cc which produces tons of browse per acres.

Prime example of deer quality improvement. Newton County public went to straight bowhunting several years back. Buck quality has grown through the roof.
Another example is Hagerman, if you want to call it ETx.
MLD has produced massive buck growth in SETx, amongst hayfields and pine forest
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Old 09-25-2022, 10:27 AM   #62
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We only saw 2-3 deer on our family ranch in calvert,tx growing up my whole childhood. Going back out in that same area recently there was a huntable population. Somethings working.
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Old 09-25-2022, 10:38 AM   #63
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Originally Posted by lovemylegacy View Post
I find that hard to believe, especially for the Hill Country. Please specify what type of plants are there. I have always been curious about how the EP can have so many deer. Tiny deer, which is why I say they dont have much food.

SETx has so much browse, I find it hard to believe, thats all.

STx, I can kinda see maybe as much. I am guessing the limestone leeching has a lot to do with it?
Blackbrush, Guajillo, Mesquite, guayacan, make up most of the south tx browse and are all over 21% protein. Pine thickets are deserts to deer (except for bedding areas) there is plenty to eat in east tx, it just doesnt pack the power.
i still say biggest factor is almost all of south texas is BIG, privately owned ranches that actively manage their herd. Most hunt only 1 man to at least 500 acres and some are at 1000 acres per man, thats why the hunting is really good, but expensive.
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Old 09-25-2022, 10:41 AM   #64
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There is next to nothing in pine forest for deer to eat.
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Old 09-25-2022, 10:52 AM   #65
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This is hilarious.

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Old 09-25-2022, 10:53 AM   #66
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Originally Posted by Pernell View Post
These people who are talking crap about east texas would crap if they saw some of your pics!
True Dat !!
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Old 09-25-2022, 10:55 AM   #67
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I will jump back in here… East Tx is dynamic and changes when ever there is pine tees/plantations involved. Clear cuts and new plantation seem to support more deer, but then those new plantations grow and at sone point, year 10 or so it goes what we call pine desert. Then it’s thinned and it gets better (but not as good as clear cut/new plantation). And then years later it’s clear cut. That being said, not 100% of east Tx is a pine plantation. Although so many guys in here talk like it is.
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Old 09-25-2022, 10:59 AM   #68
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It's just that east tx gas no food and the bucks are skinny
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Old 09-25-2022, 11:01 AM   #69
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Originally Posted by Anvilheadtexas View Post
I will jump back in hereÖ East Tx is dynamic and changes when ever there is pine tees/plantations involved. Clear cuts and new plantation seem to support more deer, but then those new plantations grow and at sone point, year 10 or so it goes what we call pine desert. Then itís thinned and it gets better (but not as good as clear cut/new plantation). And then years later itís clear cut. That being said, not 100% of east Tx is a pine plantation. Although so many guys in here talk like it is.
no, it definitely not 100% pine thicket but, quite a bit of it is...
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Old 09-25-2022, 11:01 AM   #70
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Old 09-25-2022, 11:02 AM   #71
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Most ET bucks are only spikes. I have one right now that has 13 spikes on his head. Hoping he’ll be better next year.
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Old 09-25-2022, 11:03 AM   #72
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.....
Bark and pine needle fed !!
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Old 09-25-2022, 11:03 AM   #73
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Let’s see some of Pats deer
I don’t believe I’ve seen those
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Old 09-25-2022, 11:06 AM   #74
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Most of our place is within the post oak savannah region & not Pineywoods so we are not all pine needles. I guess we are considered more of the central area within east Tx
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Old 09-25-2022, 11:27 AM   #75
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Originally Posted by HogHunter34 View Post
Iím born, raised & still live in East Tx. Iíve always wondered how the deer population in the hill country & south Tx is so much more in quantity & buck quality vs East Tx numbers & quality
I know not all counties in the hill country have real big bucks but in general you see more deer & better quality vs East Tx. Donít get me wrong there are pockets of areas in East Tx that produce nice bucks especially your river bottom areas

My main question is how are there so many more deer in the hill country but less natural food sources to sustain them?

My wife & I stayed in a B&B outside of New Braunfels and there were deer everywhere roaming around like herds of cattle. I saw more in one setting then I will see an entire season here in East Tx
However the terrain there was rocky with cacti & shrubs not many mature trees

Compared to East Tx where we are plentiful in oaks dropping acorns, pastureland & agricultural areas, natural berries, persimmons, etc

What sustains the deer in the areas that looks like a rocky desert?

In for the debateÖ.

South Texas native browse has a higher nutritional value per acre than East Texas, even though it looks like it wouldnít. Besides nutritional analysis alone you can also look at the features of many plants down there, they have some form of defense mechanism aka spines, thorns. This is often an indicator of a highly palatable plant.

Another big contributor is the average land size. South and West TX have a higher average acre per property overall. That means less fragmentation which is going to help sustain populations.


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Old 09-25-2022, 11:31 AM   #76
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Originally Posted by texasdeerhunter View Post
As far as quantity of deer in the Hill Country vs East Texas, I have no idea. But regarding quality, I would put East Texas above the hill country. I am fortunate to hunt on MLD managed property, and there are very nice bucks year after year

I'm purely guessing here, but I'd guess the average 5 year old ET buck would score higher than the average hill country buck of the same age, its just easier to get a good one in the hill country because the population is higher. I wish the entire state went to MLD style and tags were issued by the property, not the hunter. Right now there is nothing to stop a guy from letting as many people as he wants to hunt and tag out on his 20 acres, and considering average tract size is smaller in ET, it takes its toll.
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Old 09-25-2022, 11:35 AM   #77
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Originally Posted by Gumbo Man View Post
Bark and pine needle fed !!
IDK why this is supposed to be a "debate" nothing to argue about, its just two completely different types of hunting areas/ habitats. the guy that started the thread was just asking what the differences were. i will ALWAYS respect he guys that take big deer out of east texas, you have to know what you are doing and have a ton of patience.
honestly it really got me back to some great memories-- i can remember my uncles best stand (and he killed 140-160 inch deer) was just a couple of 2X6's in a big elm tree.- we never heard of a corn feeder back then-- he was down in a big bottom where he could see a small oat patch we planted every year, as well as an old logging road that would just be covered in acorns. he would never let me hunt there-- my grandfather sold alot of the property when i was about 14yo
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Old 09-25-2022, 11:40 AM   #78
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Originally Posted by HogHunter34 View Post
Let’s see some of Pats deer
I don’t believe I’ve seen those
And your not going too I have seen them and they are small

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Old 09-25-2022, 11:50 AM   #79
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Originally Posted by HogHunter34 View Post
Letís see some of Pats deer
I donít believe Iíve seen those

Youíd have a better chance of him posting feet pics.


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Old 09-25-2022, 11:51 AM   #80
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Originally Posted by Barney1971 View Post
Blackbrush, Guajillo, Mesquite, guayacan, make up most of the south tx browse and are all over 21% protein. Pine thickets are deserts to deer (except for bedding areas) there is plenty to eat in east tx, it just doesnt pack the power.
i still say biggest factor is almost all of south texas is BIG, privately owned ranches that actively manage their herd. Most hunt only 1 man to at least 500 acres and some are at 1000 acres per man, thats why the hunting is really good, but expensive.
Well once again I will disagree. Ragweed both common and giant, Goldenrod, Smylax, Black and Dewberry vines, American Beauty bush, Arrowwood and many other plants are more than available for consumption. Several mentioned above are over 20 percent protein, high in Phosphorous, Calcium, Selenium and many more trace minerals.
It sounds as if both regions are proliferate in nutritious browse. I would like to hear from the EP boys about what browse is a available there.

Agree with the pressure aspect. Our lease is 1500 acres/11 hunters, all bowhunters. So the hunter density is high, but we bowhunt and are picky. Only 3 deer taken last season. Members saw plenty, just wanting a wall hanger.

Last edited by lovemylegacy; 09-25-2022 at 11:56 AM.
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Old 09-25-2022, 11:53 AM   #81
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Originally Posted by Barney1971 View Post
IDK why this is supposed to be a "debate" nothing to argue about, its just two completely different types of hunting areas/ habitats. the guy that started the thread was just asking what the differences were. i will ALWAYS respect he guys that take big deer out of east texas, you have to know what you are doing and have a ton of patience.
honestly it really got me back to some great memories-- i can remember my uncles best stand (and he killed 140-160 inch deer) was just a couple of 2X6's in a big elm tree.- we never heard of a corn feeder back then-- he was down in a big bottom where he could see a small oat patch we planted every year, as well as an old logging road that would just be covered in acorns. he would never let me hunt there-- my grandfather sold alot of the property when i was about 14yo
Nobodies getting upset and your right this is just a discussion. Itís obvious that some hunters are as uneducated on what deer not only can live on but actually benefit from in ET. Iím equally uneducated as to what HC deer live on and benefit from. ST I think we all get that but with droughts they are no different than any other region. Iíve personally watched and videoed bucks eat Youpon when I never new that they would eat it. And that was within 100 yards of a protein and corn feeder.
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Old 09-25-2022, 11:57 AM   #82
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Originally Posted by curtintex View Post
Youíd have a better chance of him posting feet pics.


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True Dat. I have em on my phone and was warned about posting them ANYWHERE. Heís so secretive that he blind folds his own son riding to the lease to let him hunt. And then all cameras and phones are checked at the gate.
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Old 09-25-2022, 12:03 PM   #83
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Sounds like Pat has a honey hole in East Tx
Heís afraid of the outlaws finding it
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Old 09-25-2022, 12:04 PM   #84
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Originally Posted by canny View Post
South Texas native browse has a higher nutritional value per acre than East Texas, even though it looks like it wouldnít. Besides nutritional analysis alone you can also look at the features of many plants down there, they have some form of defense mechanism aka spines, thorns. This is often an indicator of a highly palatable plant.

Another big contributor is the average land size. South and West TX have a higher average acre per property overall. That means less fragmentation which is going to help sustain populations.


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Thanks Canny
Lots of good info here & makes sense
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Old 09-25-2022, 12:43 PM   #85
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Well once again I will disagree. Ragweed both common and giant, Goldenrod, Smylax, Black and Dewberry vines, American Beauty bush, Arrowwood and many other plants are more than available for consumption. Several mentioned above are over 20 percent protein, high in Phosphorous, Calcium, Selenium and many more trace minerals.
I would have never known that about ragweed. Thanks.
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Old 09-25-2022, 01:15 PM   #86
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Itís only part of the year, but when live oaks are loaded there are many, many acorns on the ground. The rest of the year they must eat rocks !
Right now the Live Oaks, shin oaks, persimmons, and pecans are all LOADED. The deer are gonna have more to eat in the next two months than they know what to do with.
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Old 09-25-2022, 01:20 PM   #87
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On my place here in Cherokee county last spring I watched a doe behind my shop along the tree line. I noticed she was eating leaves off a shrub/bush. I didnít identify what is was but thought that was interesting to observe
Iíve been feeding corn year around & so is my neighbor. Last fall I planted two food plots & the deer enjoyed it
The nice thing is I have bedding area behind my shop & have seen as many as 6 does bedded
Might make for an interesting rut with the does bedding & hanging around
Just havenít seen them here lately
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Old 09-25-2022, 01:23 PM   #88
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Iím not here to debate but I really enjoying seeing big bucks come out of every area of Texas.

Texas as a whole is an impressive and fun state to hunt. IMO.
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Old 09-25-2022, 01:34 PM   #89
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Iím not here to debate but I really enjoying seeing big bucks come out of every area of Texas.

Texas as a whole is an impressive and fun state to hunt. IMO.
Solid reply Brandon. And as always we are looking forward to seeing another stud from your place.
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Old 09-25-2022, 01:35 PM   #90
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I would have never known that about ragweed. Thanks.
Yessir and its not just Ragweed.
I have never heard of some of the browse mentioned above, but have no doubt its good stuff
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Old 09-25-2022, 03:06 PM   #91
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You’d have a better chance of him posting feet pics.

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I would say Pat is a smart man on this matter. If we could only get other pine tree residents to follow his lead.

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Old 09-25-2022, 03:13 PM   #92
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Nice thread. Learning a little bit about other regions….never knew deer ate Mesquite. Do they eat the pods also?
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Old 09-25-2022, 03:31 PM   #93
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Nice thread. Learning a little bit about other regions….never knew deer ate Mesquite. Do they eat the pods also?
Yes to both.

From what I understand the mesquites leaves are easily digestible and a good protein source. Not sure if it’s their preferred food but it’s a good choice for them.

Our area of Texas is in one of the worst droughts I’ve ever seen. No Forbes on the ground for us with very limited browse other then mesquites. This drought started on us back in November 2021 and just a few limited rains to date.

We keep our deer numbers in check as much as possible but I’m a big believer the Mesquites kept our deer alive during this drought.

Last edited by Bone Thug; 09-25-2022 at 03:39 PM. Reason: Spelling
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Old 09-25-2022, 03:46 PM   #94
Killer
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Originally Posted by Larryf250 View Post
My 2 cents having hunted Alan of the areas mentioned
East texas has monsters but the biggest difference IMO is ďranchĒ size.
Most in the hill country and south texas are larger on average than east texas. Less hunters per acre. Far less pressure 24 hours a day. When we hunted east texas I heard gunshots and atvís all hours. Not so in other parts of the state.

The deer are in east texas they just adapt to their world. No feeders and move largely at night.

Like I said just my opinion.
Spot on
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Old 09-25-2022, 03:48 PM   #95
Longue Carabine
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Originally Posted by lovemylegacy View Post
I find that hard to believe, especially for the Hill Country. Please specify what type of plants are there. I have always been curious about how the EP can have so many deer. Tiny deer, which is why I say they dont have much food.

SETx has so much browse, I find it hard to believe, thats all.

STx, I can kinda see maybe as much. I am guessing the limestone leeching has a lot to do with it?
The majority of all the oceans of brush you see in South Texas are high protein browse that is palatable and digestible/bioavailable to whitetail deer. There are no forests to shade it out, and it's all within reach of the deer. It is well known that this area provides the highest nutritional quantity and quality per unit area for whitetail deer. East Texas gets more rain and looks more lush, but the vast majority of what is naturally occurring there just isn't useful/preferred diet of whitetails. That isn't to say you can't produce an equal or better ecosystem there with human intervention (you definitely could), but that doesn't represent the natural ecosystem. The dominant succession pattern of East Texas is grasses to timber. Both are useless to whitetail. There are some forbs and browse in east Tx, just not anywhere near what exists in STx. For food plot potential however, ETx dominates. Its the only region of Texas where you can easily transform deer quality with food plots. Key word there being easily.

As for the hill country, note I said "some areas." Primarily the borderlands between the hill country and STx. Much of the Hill Country is devoid of nutrition and the only reason you see more deer is less pressure.
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Old 09-25-2022, 04:04 PM   #96
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I grow some great deer and know several on here that grow bucks that blow away most herds in the state free range

East Texas biggest problems that keep it from exploding:

Land fragment is largest. In the 90’s everything was 200 acres and a father, son and cheap skate uncle. Now that same 200 is busted into 40-50 acre tracks and each 50 has…. A father son and cheap skate uncle

Then add ALL want to shoot biggest on camera reguardless if it’s mature. Leases are the same. They kill waaaayyyyy too many young deer

Take a place that has the habitat and limit it to 1 hunter per 300-400 acres reguardless of cost and it’s a different world.
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Old 09-25-2022, 04:12 PM   #97
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Originally Posted by lovemylegacy View Post
Well once again I will disagree. Ragweed both common and giant, Goldenrod, Smylax, Black and Dewberry vines, American Beauty bush, Arrowwood and many other plants are more than available for consumption. Several mentioned above are over 20 percent protein, high in Phosphorous, Calcium, Selenium and many more trace minerals.
It sounds as if both regions are proliferate in nutritious browse. I would like to hear from the EP boys about what browse is a available there.

Agree with the pressure aspect. Our lease is 1500 acres/11 hunters, all bowhunters. So the hunter density is high, but we bowhunt and are picky. Only 3 deer taken last season. Members saw plenty, just wanting a wall hanger.
NOW-- imagine that 1500 acres with 3 hunters on it-- after about 3 or 4 years of that what kind of deer do you think it would be producing?
(just curious on how you think it would change the hunting)
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Old 09-25-2022, 04:22 PM   #98
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Solid reply Brandon. And as always we are looking forward to seeing another stud from your place.
This drought is brutal. Going take it easy and put a lot of thought into it. Still trying to figure some stuff out. Lol
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Old 09-25-2022, 04:26 PM   #99
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Solid reply Brandon. And as always we are looking forward to seeing another stud from your place.
Only studs on my place so far is ME
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Old 09-25-2022, 04:30 PM   #100
lovemylegacy
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Long Carabine, after the season I will be glad to change your mind about “useful and preferred” diet and take you on a tour of our lease. Like I said, SETx produces good tonnage of preferred browse for deer. The plants mentioned earlier are native to the area that deer have been eating for centuries Im sure.

Just to clarify, the areas that dont have much browse is the hardwood bottoms and ridges. Acorns is the hot item now, once they are gone, the bottoms become uninhabited for the most part.
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