Hummingbird Census – Late Summer 2014

Hungry Hummingbirds sharing ports; Photo by B.LaVergne, Sept 2014.
Hungry Hummingbirds sharing ports; Photo by B.LaVergne, Sept 2014.

The just completed Oakridge Ranch hummingbird census has been attached to the bird group tab.   This has been an outstanding year for hummingbirds at Oakridge!   We’ve included a few pictures here for your enjoyment.  Click on any picture and enlarge it on your screen.  The one above shows more than one hummingbird drinking from the same port at once!   And one picture below is a fantastic shot of an Orchard Oriole invading a hummingbird feeder here at Oakridge. 

As of this posting the majority of hummers appears to have left the Ranch.   Let us know if you still have more than a handful…..click on “Leave a Reply” and keep us posted.   Keep at least one feeder filled and you may have a few birds that winter here rather than flying south.

Hummingbird feeder invader; Photo by J.D. Ray, Sept 2014.
Hummingbird feeder invaded by Orchard Oriole; Photo by J.D. Ray, Sept 2014.
Hummingbirds at Sunrise, Photo by B.LaVergne, Sept 2014.
Sunrise Hummers; Photo by B.LaVergne, Sept 2014.
Hummingbirds in the Rain; Photo by B.LaVergne, Sept 2014.
Hummingbirds in the Rain; Photo by B.LaVergne, Sept 2014.

 

Scouting for Food

Beautiful female Coyote, Photo by David Mitchem, Aug 2014.
Beautiful female Coyote, Photo by David Mitchem, Aug 2014.

This healthy female coyote was scouting for food around the Mitchem’s home, including checking out their cats on the porch.   Keep your small pets and children close and be aware.   Most coyote packs send out a scout or two who then call the remainder of the pack in once he/she has found available food.   There are always coyotes following whitetail deer, as well as other small animals such as the plentiful rabbits we have here at Oakridge.  

David asked me to post these pictures and remind everyone to be cautious as these were taken just off their back porch.  It’s a good idea to not leave pet food out overnight that would attract unwanted predators.   Below is another nice picture of the same coyote.    And as always, live life outdoors!

Female Coyote, Photo by David Mitchem, August 2014.
Female Coyote looking for food near the deer feeder; Photo by David Mitchem, August 2014.

 

Fall Food Plots

Fellow Oakridge folks, if you enjoy observing whitetail deer, like to hunt them or just want to add to their nutritional resources, planting a food plot is a great way to meet your deer objective.  You do not have to be an experienced “farmer” to be successful and it doesn’t take a huge amount of time or money.

Last fall I planted my first two plots in mid-September and before long, I had 2, quarter-acre plots of very nice oats and wheat.  I had chosen spaces in the woods that were open enough for sunlight.  They were in the secluded areas and not spots that a large tractor with big implements could easily access.  However in a couple of hours I had both plots semi-tilled, the seed spread and then hand racked over.  I have an aversion to deep tilling so I simply pulled a rake behind my small John Deere 790 to break open some soil.  I did not remove the grass or roots to get to a clear plot of bear soil, I just broke enough ground to have a place for the seeds to land and be covered.  Again, within a few weeks I had a growing crop of cereal grains that lasted through our winter.  I did not hunt these plots as they were simply there for winter nutritional supplement.  I did walk through them regularly to observe the presence of deer.  I actually never saw deer in the plots, but I did see their hoof prints and other signs of evidence of them eating the crops.

All of this to say, it is not too late for a cool season plot.  The old saying, “better late than never” is very appropriate for this subject.  There is even time for some growth to appear before the bow season opens if you want to enhance your hunting options.

There are many on-line resources for review and research.  There are many sources for seeds and seed mixes.  Local stores such as Tractor Supply, Wal-Mart, Bass Pro Shop, Cabela’s all carry seed products in a wide variety.  Since we are in the “late” time rather than advanced, I suggest purchasing seeds from the local sources.  Also there are several ranch property owners who have lots of experience with food plots and are very willing to offer advice and guidance.  If you have questions just send us an email and we’ll have someone get to you quickly for some guidance.

Some points to remember:

  • food plots only contribute to, or supplement the overall habitat management, such as proper herd/harvest management;
  • fall/winter plots do attract deer but they are primarily used for their nutritional value;
  • cool season plants include oats, wheat, brassicas and clovers.Try it and send us some photos of your efforts [send photos to oakridgeranchwma@gmail.com].  You’ll be glad you gave it a try.  Then you just may want to put in some warm weather plots to support our herd during the spring and tough summer months.
    RC Lumpkin, Habitat Chairman-ORWMA

Hummingbird Census, Fall 2014

 

Hummingbird Dinner, Photo by Beverly Olsen.
Hummingbird Dinner, Photo by Beverly Olsen.

Saddle up, folks, it’s roundup time!  Join Oakridge Ranch Wildlife Management Association (ORWMA) in a hummingbird survey.  Your participation will help us to determine more about range, distribution, favored sites and feeding habits of hummingbirds.  The survey is also a way to share information about their natural history. 

Brenda LaVergne, our Birding Chairperson, requests your participation in our  Hummingbird Census September 1 – 15, 2014. Please see the list below and begin your daily count.  This month’s focus will be hummingbirds. 

Thank you,
Larry Petter
President-ORWMA

Hummingbird Species                                               9/1-15
     (Please use tick marks in count column)

Black-chinned
Buff-bellied
Ruby-throated
Rufous
OTHER:
    TOTALS:

Please send your totals to oakridgeranchwma@gmail.com by September 19th to be included in our census.

Antlerless Deer Permits

ANTLERLESS DEER PERMITS

ALL of Oakridge Ranch is included in a Managed Land Deer Permit administered by Texas Parks & Wildlife Department.

ALL deer taken must be checked in with one of our designated deer checkers to insure accurate harvest data required by TPWD.

Antlerless Deer may only be taken with a MLD Permit issued by TPWD & ORWMA’s Deer Management Program.  You cannot use the doe tags on your license on Oakridge Ranch.

ALL Oakridge Ranch property owners are members (active or not) of Oakridge Ranch Wildlife Management Association sponsored by Texas Parks & Wildlife.  To become an active member of ORWMA, please contact us at oakridgeranchwma@gmail.comor call one of the ORWMA officers.

Larry Petter
ORWMA–President
September, 2014

Colorado County Burn Ban in Effect

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

  •  No outdoor burning is permitted for 90 days per county ordinance.
  •  No fireworks per county ordinance.
  •  No welding without the presence of OVFD standing by with pressurized hoses for the entire time the welding is taking place per county ordinance.

Please take care of your family, your pets and your animals.   And check on your neighbors, too!

President’s Message, August 2014

September is knocking at our front door, temperatures are in the century mark, and the drought has lowered our pond levels and turned the grass brown.  I know we have all been there before.
Be aware that we are currently under a burn ban for the county. No open fires please!  The Oakridge Volunteer Fire Department has been actively responding to fire calls, a home in Sheridan, and numerous bales of hay on fire.  Please do your part in observing the burn ban and give thanks to our volunteer firemen/firewomen when you see them.

We will be having an ORWMA meeting this Saturday, August 30, 10:00 am at the Community Center.
A topic of discussion will be the Wounded Warrior Hunt scheduled for December 6-7, 2014.  I am looking for suggestions and new ideas to make this another unforgettable event.  All landowners please join us as we plan for December!

The August, 2014 Deer Census is coming to a close this Saturday.  Many thanks to Jim and Carolyn Trickett for coordinating this event.  I have been told a hayride for the children and grandchildren will be included for the final tour!  See you Saturday August 30 at 8:30PM at 1278 Oakridge RD.

UPCOMING EVENTS
ORWMA annual meeting
On September 20th, 4:00 PM, we will be issuing doe permits to Oakridge landowners at the Community Center.  This is also the time we will be collecting annual dues for ORWMA.  If you are unable to attend then annual dues of $20.00 may be mailed to ORWMA, P.O. BOX 1278, Columbus TX. 78934.  If you are a deer checker, please attend so that I may introduce you to new landowners.  Mark Lange, Colorado County Wildlife Biologist, will be on hand to talk about aging deer on the hoof.

CCWMA Colorado County Wildlife Management Association – Entry forms for the 2014 CCWMA whitetail contest will be available.  $9100 in prizes are available.  All bucks (including spikes) to be aged and scored by our WMA scorers.  Also bring in doe heads.  Every deer brought in makes you eligible for the drawings.  Spikes brought in get two chances in the drawings.  We will have raffle tickets available for our Spring Banquet.  Tickets are $2 each or 12 for $20.  Prizes include a Lifetime Hunting & Fishing License, several rifles with scopes, pistols, Yetti Cooler, knives, shotguns, several gift certificates to name a few!

CHL class sponsored by ORWMA
The class is full!  The date is September 13, 2014, at 8:00 am at the Community Center.  This is a four hour classroom with range qualification on the ranch.  Contact Vernon Wallace for additional details at vwallace@satyainc.com

We apologize that our website is currently under repair.  http://orwma.org
We hope to have it up and running soon.

Larry Petter, President-ORWMA