Monthly Archives: February 2013

Riparian Habitat Management – Comal & Guadalupe Rivers

Texas landowners who have property located along streams, known as riparian areas, may benefit from a free riparian habitat management workshop being offered by the Guadalupe-Blanco River Trust (GBR Trust) and the Comal-Guadalupe Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) on Wednesday April 3, 2013, at Guadalupe River RV Park in Spring Branch and on Thursday April 4, 2013, at the Texas Agricultural Education and Heritage Center in Seguin.

Experienced natural resource specialists familiar with habitat management practices will deliver the program that features both a classroom session and a site visit to a riparian area. Functional streamside, or riparian, areas provide a wide range of benefits to both people and wildlife, and interest in function and management of these areas has been growing steadily throughout the state. Continue reading

Prairie Chicken Management in Texas

It seems more intensive lesser prairie chicken management is on the horizon as chicken numbers continue to decline across its range. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) will host a public meeting on February 25 in Morton, Texas and a stakeholder meeting February 28 in Austin to discuss the draft range-wide conservation plan for the lesser prairie chicken. The plan represents a multi-state effort to conserve the prairie chicken and its habitat, and to address its proposed listing as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is expected to publish a final rule on the status of the chicken in September. It appears that the “endangered” status of the lesser prairie chicken is definitely on the table. Continue reading

Supplemental Feeding for Deer: Bigger Bucks, More Fawns

Question: “We have been trying to improve the deer hunting on our property for about four or five years now. We started some wildlife habitat management practices and have started to keep survey records of the deer we see. We have tried deer food plots during the past several years, but because of the lack of rain, they have performed poorly. They are not helping the deer if they do not grow. Now we are considering the feeding of deer. So my question is, when should we start the supplemental feeding of protein pellets and when do the bucks need most and when will they benefit from it the most during their antler growth?”

Wildlife Management Pro: Feeding protein pellets really helps the body condition (i.e. weight) of whitetail deer. Bucks with better body condition grow larger antlers. Heavier does will raise more fawns. If you want to benefit bucks the most for antler growth, to grow bigger antlers, start supplementing as soon as possible after the rut, or at least after you are through deer hunting, each year. Bucks will readily consume high quality protein foods until spring green-up, then they will use the better stuff found growing in their habitat. Continue reading

Prescribed Burning for Habitat Management – Workshop

Landowners interested in learning more about prescribed burning as a wildlife management tool or gaining experience with prescribed fire in the Central Texas area are invited to attend a workshop in the Bandera area. A private landowner would like to invite anyone who is interested in learning more about how to conduct of prescribed burn, to his ranch in Tarpley. Larry Stark of the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) will be assisting with the planning stages of the burn. The prescribed burning for wildlife management class is open to anyone of any experience level and a meal will be supplied afterwards.

If you do not live close by, the landowner will be providing his camp house to anyone wishing to overnight, all you need is a bedroll and personal items. Please contact any of the below individuals in advance if you will be staying overnight and/or staying for the meal. Continue reading