Deer Management Plan
Landmark Wildlife was recently hired to assist a Uvalde County landowner in developing a wildlife management plan for a beautiful and diverse 1,200 acre property. The property, being owned by one family for several generations, was historically used for cattle production, but a move to wildlife appraisal was desired due to frequency of droughts and an emphasis on native wildlife.
The landowner’s primary interest is trophy white-tailed deer production with habitat improvement being a major area of interest. Habitats include mesquite savannas, mixed-species brushlands, and a riparian corridor along the Nueces River frontage. Management practices to be implemented include deep soil ripping to improve water infiltration and facilitate recovery of damaged soils, mesquite control, supplemental feeding, deer population control, wildlife surveys, and repair of existing ponds with bentonite.
Photo 1. South Texas mixed-brush community.
Site Preparation & Reseeding
A large portion of the property site visit was spent discussing a roughly mile long pipeline right-of-way bisecting the property. The pipe was recently buried and site preparation and reseeding are to be conducted before end of the year. One of the key decisions was selecting an appropriate native grass and wildflower seed mix. Many South Texas reseeding projects include non-natives with little to no wildlife value including buffelgrass, Kleburg bluestem, and/or coastal bermudagrass.
Landmark Wildlife analyzed existing soil types and checked South Texas native seed availability sources to identify two excellent seed blends – one for upland habitats and another for bottomland habitat types. The final seed mixes included pink pappusgrass, bristlegrass, hooded windmillgrass, Engellman daisy, bush sunflower, and other species native to South Texas. Instead of the pipleline right-of-way degrading habitat quality, the use of the excellent seed mix identified by Landmark will result in improved habitat for all wildlife and reflects the long-term commitment the landowner has to his ranch and its wildlife.
Photo 2. Pipeline right-of-way to be reseeded with native grasses and wildflowers