This picture was sent in as an example of a buck that might need to be cut from the herd. (The camera was tilted a bit, but still a good picture of this buck.) Study the deer in your area, learn more about aging on the hoof, and please make your selections carefully when Archery Whitetail season opens tomorrow.
Also remember safety is priority number one when using either a bow or rifle for hunting. ORWMA requests everyone (bow & rifle hunters) to hunt from elevated stands only. Think ahead about the trajectory of your shot. Think ahead about the safety of your family, friends and neighbors.
A member of the Verbena family, American Beautyberry (Callicarpa americana), also called “French Mulberry” by some, is a deciduous, perennial native shrub growing up to 6 feet wide and almost as tall. One of the most eye-catching plants at this time of year, it’s the purple berries that draw people’s attention rather than the palest of pink flowers in spring & early summer. The flowers are approximately ¼ inch wide, and the berries are not much bigger than that when formed in late summer. The berries hold their bright color for many weeks, even after the leaves are gone, usually until a good frost has occurred.
American Beautyberry is one of the favorite forage plants for whitetail deer in the Oak Prairie Region of Texas. Check out the link on the ORWMA “Groups” tab above, and click on Deer, then “Links for Managing Whitetails”, click on “Favorite Forage Plants of Whitetail Deer” to learn about other favorite plants for deer in this area.While the deer enjoy the leaves, several species of birds enjoy the berries in the fall & winter, such as Bobwhite Quail, Robins and even domestic chickens.
What beauty is added to our landscapes when most others have stopped blooming in late summer and fall while adding to beneficial food sources for both deer and birds! The berries on their long stems also make beautiful dried fall decorations in our homes (but please take care to keep them away from children). Click on the following link to find out more on this wonderful plant: http://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=CAAM2.
Feral hogs are definitely a problem for most of the state of Texas, including the area of the Oak Prairie Region of Texas. We have an active group here in Oakridge Ranch headed up by Douglas Mason that works to keep the feral hogs in our area at a minimum. Below is link to an informative article by Mr. Rick Taylor, Wildlife Biologist with Texas Parks & Wildlife.
We have noticed both Baltimore and Orchard Orioles here at Oakridge Ranch for the last 2 years. The Orchard Oriole (Icterus spurius) is slightly smaller and darker than the Baltimore Oriole (Icterus galbula). The males of both birds are brightly colored and all are somewhat skittish. Both enjoy nectar offered at Oriole feeders, Hummingbird feeders, grape jelly in Oriole feeders or sliced oranges & grapefruit hung in the Yaupon. Although some references show our area of Texas only as a migration area for the Baltimore Oriole, other books & researchers show that both these birds spend summers here in our part of Texas. Both enjoy a deciduous wooded habitat with large trees. We have also noticed they enjoy bird baths as well as water sprinklers here at Oakridge Ranch.
Please consider adding an Oriole feeder at your home. Let’s invite more of these gorgeous birds to the Ranch before they migrate south for the winter. Keep us posted on your birds via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.