Burn Ban Order In Effect as of August 14, 2017

Burn_Ban.8.14.2017

The Colorado County Commissioners’ Office  has reinstated the Burn Ban for Colorado County effective Aug 14th and for the next 90 days.

The burn ban includes “the use of combustible materials in an outdoor setting.”   This includes but is not limited to trash burning, burning of brush piles and open campfires.

Please see the attached Burn Ban order for complete details.  As always, you can check the Current Burn Ban Map under the Fire Danger tab on this website.  This map is updated daily.

 

Individual Landowner’s Deer Census Form 2017

LandownerIndividualDeerCensusForm_2017

Attached is the individual landowner’s deer census form for August 2017 for your immediate use should you not have received it before this post.

All Oakridge Ranch property owners are required to complete this form and submit it as part of the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department Managed Land for Deer (MLD) program for the Ranch.   These are sent to our county Wildlife Biologists to use for management of our deer herd for the upcoming season.   

Please submit your completed form to Jim Trickett at the address at the bottom of the attached form by Sept 1st.

We appreciate your cooperation and participation in your MLD!

Young Buck; Photo by B.LaVergne, 09-2013.
Young Buck; Photo by B.LaVergne, 09-2013.

Click on the picture above to enlarge.  Enjoy!

Greater Roadrunners at Oakridge Ranch

Greater Roadrunner, July 2017, Photo by B.LaVergne
Greater Roadrunner, July 2017, Photo by B.LaVergne

GreaterRoadrunner2_Aug2017_BLaVergne

The Greater Roadrunner (Geococcyx californianus) is native to the desert southwest portion of the U.S., also found in most states of the southwest.  These birds are year-round natives of Texas, including the Oak Prairie Region here at Oakridge Ranch.   Several birds have been seen for the last few years in our area and we have had a nesting pair for the last 4 years.

These birds are much more interesting than the one made famous in the Warner Brothers cartoon series.   Adult birds are 20-24 inches long with a large up-turned tail and long beak and mottled black/brown & white feathering throughout its body that appears to look like stripes.   These birds have long legs with 4 toes on each foot, two pointing forward & two pointing back.   You’ll rarely see a Roadrunner in flight for more than a few feet because it can’t get the lift it needs due to its size.   However, Roadrunners have been clocked at 12 to 17 miles per hour.

Roadrunners mate for life and have 2 or 3 clutches per year as habitat conditions and food availability allow.   A hen will usually lay 2 to 12 eggs in one clutch, but records show up to 20 eggs have been laid in rare clutches.   Their nest is built by the female 2 to 12 feet off the ground with materials supplied by both the male and female.   Interesting thing is the male sits on the nest at night since the female’s body temperature drops too low to keep the eggs warm enough.   Young birds hatch out at about 20 days and are taken care of by both parents.  The baby Roadrunners will leave the nest at 18 to 21 days, but will continue to be fed & cared for by the parents until day 30 to 40 when they go out on their own.  Greater Roadrunners’ life span is approximately 8 years.

Greater Roadrunners are omnivores.  Their diet is varied and includes insects, various plants & berries, lizards, small birds such as sparrows & hummingbirds.   And they are fast enough to take on rattlesnakes for dinner!   These beautiful birds do drop their activities by approximately 50% during the heat of the day.

Stay alert when you’re on the roads in and around Oakridge and you just might catch a glimpse of the amazing birds.

Below is a link for more information on breeding of Roadrunners in Texas:
http://txtbba.tamu.edu/species-accounts/greater-roadrunner/

Check out this next link for a map of their locations in the U.S.:
http://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/greater-roadrunner

Click on any picture here to enlarge it!

Live life outdoors!

Spa Day for a Young Chick, Aug 2017
Spa Day for a Young Chick, Aug 2017
All Fluffed Up!   Photo by B.LaVergne
All Fluffed Up! Photo by B.LaVergne

Key Dates/Facts For 2017/2018 Whitetail Season

SURVEY DATES:
We conduct our annual deer survey during the month of August. We encourage all who are interested in the road survey we do to come on out. Surveys will begin and end at Jim Trickett’s house LOCATED AT 1278 Oakridge Rd. You may bring a beverage of your choice.

  • Saturday, Aug 12 Gather at 7:15PM, Start at 8:00PM Visit while trucks are out if not counting
  • Saturday, Aug 19 (Taylor Reunion) Come on out and visit
  • Friday, Aug 25 Gather at 7:15PM, Start at 8:00PM Visit while trucks are out if not counting

Your personal survey results should be turned in to Jim Trickett no later than September 1st.

 ANNUAL PERMIT MEETING

  • Saturday, September 23, 9:00AM at the Community Center
    • ORWMA Dues $20 / Deer Hunt Participation Fee $20
    • There are several new regulations that will impact hunters at Oakridge that will be discussed at this meeting
    • Due to a change in TPWD regulations ORWMA will be responsible for printing the doe permits and will have them at this meeting
    • A list of deer checkers with their contact information will be provided at the meeting.
    • If you don’t attend this meeting and pickup your permits then they will be available by appointment only

DOE SEASON

  • September 30, 2017 to February 28, 2018
  • Does may be taken with a MLD permit only
  • Does may be harvested with any legal means (firearm, bow, crossbow, muzzle loader etc.) during this season.
  • All does must be checked in with an ORWMA deer checker or the TPWD biologist. The deer must be field dressed when checked in.
  • You will receive a replacement permit each time you check in a doe.

BUCK SEASONS

  • The TPWD seasons, restrictions, and bag limits for Colorado County apply. For example: September 30 – November 3 is Archery Only Season, Bucks may only be harvested with archery equipment. Youth, General, and Muzzleloader seasons and restrictions all apply to buck harvest.
  • All bucks must be checked in with an ORWMA deer checker or the TPWD biologist. The deer must be field dressed when checked in.
  • Bucks are tagged with a tag from your hunting license.

If you have any questions feel free to give me a call.

Thanks,

Jack Jetton
ORWMA President
Whitetail Deer Chairman
281-910-1432

Annual Whitetail Spotlight Census

Old buck came for breakfast; Photo by B.LaVergne, Aug 2014.
Old buck came for breakfast; Photo by B.LaVergne, Aug 2014.

ORWMA will be hosting our Annual Whitetail Deer Spotlight Census in August this year.   The census dates are as follows:

 1.  Sat – Aug 12: We will gather at 7:15PM.  The trucks will be on the start line at 8:PM.  Anyone who does not ride in one of the trucks may stay and visit while trucks are out.

 2.  Sat – Aug 19:  There may be a spot or two still available in one of the pick-up trucks for counting, but come on anyway and just sit and talk.

 3.  Friday – Aug 25: Gather at 7:15PM.  Trucks on start line at 8:PM.  Visit while trucks are out if you’re not counting.

 The numbers are added to the individual landowner totals and turned in on September 1st to our TPWD Wildlife Biologist.   These numbers help determine the number of doe tags Oakridge Ranch Wildlife Management Association receives for the upcoming Whitetail Deer Season.

 We will meet at the Trickett’s house, 1278 Oakridge Rd.   You may bring a beverage and/or snack of your choice.

 Please contact Jim Trickett if you would like to drive or participate in the count.   Jim’s number is 281-507-7572.

 Please print the attached form for your Individual Count:    LandownerIndividualDeerCensusForm_2017

Burn Ban Now In Effect

Colorado County has issued a burn ban and it’s in effect until further notice:

  •  NO outdoor burning is permitted per county ordinance.

  •  NO fireworks per county ordinance.

  •  Strict instructions for welding.

  • Includes other restrictions.

Please click on “Burn Ban.7-28” below to see the full order from the County.   Thanks for taking care of your neighbors!

Burn Ban.7-28

 

2017 Winter Bird Census – Feb 4th

Eastern Bluebird at Oakridge Ranch, unknown photographer/date
Eastern Bluebird at Oakridge Ranch, unknown photographer/date

Since the first years of the millennium, folks at Oakridge have conducted winter and summer bird censuses.  In keeping with that tradition, we invite anyone interested in birds at the ranch to participate in this year’s winter census on the morning of Saturday February 4th from first chirp (around 7 am) to Noonish or whenever you think you’ve had enough!  We will meet later that afternoon (between 3 and 5 pm) at our house to turn in checklists, have some snacks and refreshments and discuss the birds we saw.

You are welcome to census your own place or join a team and maybe learn a few new birds with your neighbors.  We will try to cover as many habitats within the ranch as possible.  If you are interested in participating, please let me know so I can send you a checklist and so we can plan for how many people are coming that afternoon.

Birds are an essential ingredient in any wildlife habitat and censuses may qualify as an activity in a wildlife plan.  I hope you will participate and start down that path to becoming a bird nerd, if you’re not already!  It’s fun and easy.

Amy Hardy
Chairman-ORWMA Bird special interest group
amyhardytx@gmail.com

[Click on any picture to enlarge it.]

Cedar Waxwings; Photo by B.LaVergne, Feb 2014.
Cedar Waxwings; Photo by B.LaVergne, Feb 2014.

Time to Plant Wildflower Seeds for Next Spring

Bluebonnets_Spring2016
Bluebonnets_Spring2016

Now is the time to plant your wildflower seeds for next spring.   Any time is good during October or November before the cold weather gets settled in our area.   This gives the seeds plenty of time for germination before the spring sprouts come forth.   Be sure you keep the seeds moist by watering when it’s not raining.   We’re having a dry fall this year, so you may need to rely on watering your seed to have a nice wildflower crop next spring.   You can buy wildflower seeds most anywhere, but some packets on sale for our area do contain grass seed, too.   So, if it’s only wildflower seeds you’re looking for, be sure to check the back of the package to see just how many seeds are included inside.   Or you can buy from one of the wild seed sources listed on our website & below:

  • Wildseed Farms of Fredericksburg, TX, www.wildseedfarms.com;
  • Native American Seed of Junction, TX, www.seedsource.com.

Wildflowers not only add beauty to your landscape, but they bring in the pollinators necessary for our food crops.   Additionally, most wildflowers are not eaten by the deer except in extreme drought conditions making these flowers a great choice to add to your home here at Oakridge Ranch.

And don’t forget to send pictures of your wildflowers to ORWMA at oakridgeranchwma@gmail.com.

Live life outdoors!

Butterfly Garden, May 2013
Butterfly Garden, May 2013