Shed Hunting in South Texas

Shed Hunting in South Texas

Shed hunting is my second favorite activity in the outdoors besides whitetail hunting.  Its time I get to spend with my boys on the ranch.  I explain it to them as the Easter egg hunt for antlers.  Shed hunting also allows me the chance to see how many big bucks never showed their face this past season and to get a tape on their antlers. Where do you look? – Any Water – Fence lines – Creeks / Drains – Protein feeders – Food crops – Game Trails Some of these are pretty obvious but why check fence lines, creeks and drains.  You want to check places where a whitetail will need to jump or exert energy.  Any jolting can shake a bucks antlers loose. Watch out for snakes while shed hunting!  Good luck and happy...
South Texas Whitetail Hunts

South Texas Whitetail Hunts

If your not counting down the days till whitetail season then its time to start.  Only 100 days till the texas whitetail season opens!  We are starting to check game cameras to see how are whitetails look for this coming season……and they look good so far!  These bucks can still put on 20-40 inches before the season begins.  The spring rains helped a ton on the health of our whitetails.  The next few south texas months looks to be pretty dry so I’m sure the bucks will be hitting the protien feeders harder.  I have set up the cameras at our protein stations to see the growth of the bucks.  Here are just a few pics from one protein station. Good luck and hunt...
South Texas Whitetail Bucks vs Hogs

South Texas Whitetail Bucks vs Hogs

If you hunt in South Texas, you know how frustrating it can be when hogs come barreling in and scare off your trophy whitetail buck that your about to harvest.  It happens every year and if you have a ton of pigs then almost every hunt.    Hogs like deer get conditioned to coming to corn, be that from a road feeder or station deer feeder.  Hogs have become a problem all over north American.  We as hunters in South Texas are use to the hogs but this doesn’t mean that we like pigs spooking our whitetails.  Every South Texas hunter has his own solution.  Shoot pigs all year long, Trap them, Hog panels around feeders, Helicopter shoots, running hog dogs, you name it.  Ranches with serious hog problems will do all of the above.  As a South Texas outfitter I hate when hogs spook whitetails when I’m with a client on a whitetail hunt but hogs are great for clients to shoot after they have harvested a mature whitetail buck.  It gives the client something to hunt after they have there whitetail down and a hog can fill their coolers with more meat.  So how can we have our cake and eat it too? Here are a few things we have done.  If your hunting out of a deer blind that is 100 yards or farther away from your feeder put up hog panels around that feeder.  Add a second feeder on the opposite side of your blind 100 yards away with NO hog panel.  Now you have 2 feeders that are 200 yards apart but only 100...
South Texas Whitetail Bucks

South Texas Whitetail Bucks

While filling protein feeders this morning I saw 5 young whitetail bucks.  Our south Texas whitetail bucks are in bachelor groups now and looking healthy.  I did notice that only one buck had dropped his antlers.  He was a buck that I saw quite a bit this season running doe’s.  He is easy to spot since he has a fighting scar on his right shoulder.  He was more worn down then the other bucks, thus the reason for him losing his antlers earlier than the other bucks.  In years past, most of our whitetail bucks had dropped their antlers by this time of year.  I’m glad to see that they are not totally dropped yet.  This means that our south Texas whitetail bucks are in better health than past years.  In 2014 we feed more protein than we have ever done.  Normally we stop feeding protein in Sep but this past year we fed all the way till November.  These few extra months of feeding had put more weight on our bucks thus keeping them healthier during the Rut.  I pulled game camera cards and saw the same, most bucks still had there antlers!   The extra time and money spend in Sep and Oct on protein seems to have paid...
South Texas Whitetail Management, Coyotes Help???

South Texas Whitetail Management, Coyotes Help???

Good Read on how Coyotes affect our South Texas Whitetail herds! Coyotes: a potential role in deer herd management ROBERT E. ZAIGLIN, Harrison Interests, Ltd., 602 Dorothy Jo, Uvalde, TX 78801 Abstract: White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) herd control is one of the principal problems faced by private lands game managers. Private landowners unwilling to permit adequate numbers of sport hunters on their lands force deer managers to exercise other harvest strategies, one of which is natural population control by protecting the coyote (Canis latrans). I describe an ongoing case study in South Texas where predation by coyotes may be considered a positive tool in deer population management. Predation by coyotes on white-tailed deer in South Texas is recognized as one of the major contributing factors to deer mortality. The combined impact of disease and predation represents the major causes of fawn mortality, with losses exceeding 50% of the fawn crops in some years (Cook et.al. 1971). Population studies conducted on the Welder Wildlife Refuge in South Texas indicated that fawn mortality is the major factor stabilizing this dense and generally healthy herd (Knowlton, 1964). Beasom (1974) demonstrated that deer populations in South Texas could be increased with a very intensive predator control program. Since coyotes represent the primary predator of deer (excluding man) in South Texas, and many deer herds are increasing uncontrollably, it may be wise to consider the coyote as a management tool instead of a hindrance, particularly on large land tracts. The following is my personal view of the coyote and the role it plays in the intensive deer management program conducted on the Harrison Piloncillo...
South Texas Whitetail Deer Management

South Texas Whitetail Deer Management

Below is a good refresher from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department about South Texas Whitetail Deer. Its always good to look backwards sometimes to make sure we are still on the right tract forwards on our game management. South Texas Wildlife Management White-tailed Deer Management When someone mentions South Texas to a hunter visions of white-tailed deer abound. The sight of a huge multi-point buck sneaking through the brush excites most hunters even on the coldest morning in the brush country. Although south Texas is considered by some as a harsh unforgiving land to it’s inhabitants, the diverse plant community provide excellent habitat for producing white-tailed deer. The philosophies and ideas of deer management have evolved dramatically in the last 20 years, and a plethora of information is available to hunters, biologist, deer enthusiasts, and many others. Deer management can be divided into two basic categories: Habitat Management (nutrition), Population Management (age, genetics, population control). The relationship, interactions and individual contributions of these elements play a key role in deer management. No one factor is responible for the production of trophy bucks or a healthy deer herd, rather a combination of all. Sound habitat management is probably the single most important factor in managing a healthy deer herd. Healthy habitat provides the ground work for good nutrition, cover from predators and hunters alike, and protection from the hot south Texas summers. Habitat Management (Nutrition) Providing quality habitat is essential for any deer management program. Deer like all animals have basic needs: food, water, cover, and space. Sound habitat management not only meets the needs of deer but all...