Category Archives: Deer

Note from Colorado County WMA to Deer Hunters for 2016-2017

Below is a note received from Mark Lange, the Colorado County Wildlife Biologist and CCWMA to all members of Oakridge Ranch WMA.

“Good morning,  CCWMA members,

Just a couple quick reminders this morning as the general season opener is fast approaching.

1)       CCWMA leadership would like to remind you that If you haven’t already joined the whitetail contest, please try to do so before November 5th.   Your $15 entry fee puts you in the running for the $9,100 in prizes.    We are really urging you to get your kids involved (deadline October 29th for youth).   A complete contest entry form can be found on www.ccwma.org on the home page.   You can mail your entry to Mickey Mangum or drop it by my office and I will get it to him.

2)      Like I discussed at the meetings and to everyone that has come to my office for tags, the CWD testing efforts are still on-going and will be for years to come.    I would greatly appreciate your assistance in my efforts to collect samples.   After you harvest any adult deer, simply save the head on ice and contact me at my office or via email (Mark.Lange@tpwd.texas.gov).    I will be checking my phone at the office for at least the first two weekends of general season so just leave me a message and I will return your call ASAP.

Thank you for your assistance and continued support of CCWMA.  Good luck this season.”

Mark Lange
Texas Parks and Wildlife
Wildlife Biologist
Colorado/Austin Counties
1117 Travis St.
Columbus, TX 78934
Office-979-732-3458
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Spring 2016 Whitetail Update

Young Fawn, Photo by D.Mason, May 2013.
Young Fawn, Photo by D.Mason, May 2013.

Well, here we are in April already – cool mornings, warm afternoons with plenty of sunshine and an adequate amount of rain. The grass is growing and the birds are nesting.  Therefore, I would like to take this opportunity to remind everyone of a couple of things regarding our whitetail herd and turkey flock.

The early breeding does will begin fawning soon. Please be careful when you are mowing your tall grass.  The does hide their newborns in it and the fawns are instinctively not going to move when danger approaches.  This brings me to the next reminder.  If you find a fawn and you do not see the doe around, don’t worry.  Mom knows where she left her baby.  Take a moment to admire nature’s creation then leave the fawn(s) undisturbed.  Mom will take care of the rest.

Many of you have had the opportunity to observe the turkeys courting this spring. Our local flock has really grown over the years. They will be nesting soon in nests made on the ground, hiding their nests in tall grasses and scrub thickets.  That’s something else to watch for.

Rio Grande Turkeys - Toms showing off for the hen; Photo by B.LaVergne, March 2013
Rio Grande Turkeys – Toms showing off for the hen; Photo by B.LaVergne, March 2013

My last comment would be for those who feed supplemental protein. You might consider continuing feeding for another couple of months.  Right now, there is plenty of natural forage available for the deer but demands are high for a lactating doe.  A doe will pass on any protein she takes in to her fawn(s).  A little boost now could help them get thru the dry time of summer.

Enjoy your spring.

Jack Jetton
ORWMA Deer Group Committee Chairman

Whitetail Fawn still wet from birth; Photo by B.LaVergne, Spring 2007.
Whitetail Fawn still wet from birth; Photo by B.LaVergne, Spring 2007.

[click on any picture on this website to enlarge.]

Update on Fawns & Spring/Summer Mowing at Oakridge

BabyFawn_LPetter_June2015

The picture above was taken by Linda Petter of a new fawn found by Larry in their yard here at Oakridge.   As noted below does often leave their fawns for several hours in tall grass while they go find food.  Please check your grass over prior to mowing to ensure there are none hidden in your grass.   You might also think about not mowing a couple of areas in order to provide places for the does to hide their young.   We are still having new fawns born here at the Ranch, some as late as August.

Doe with new Fawn, Photo by J.D. Ray, May 2015
Doe with new Fawn, Photo by J.D. Ray, May 2015

Our does have begun dropping their fawns as seen in the picture above.   Take care when mowing around your place.   A doe will leave her fawns in tall grasses while she feeds.   A fawn has no scent for the first few days of its life, giving the it time to get stronger.  Thanks, J.D., for the nice picture!

Live life outdoors!

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

Annual August Deer Survey

COME JOIN the FUN!   ORWMA’s annual deer spotlight survey has begun.   It’s happening most Friday or Saturday nights in August.   Join your neighbors to help count the deer and spend time visiting with your neighbors.   Starting point for the count is at the Trickett’s home.   Contact Jim Trickett for information & times: 979-732-2447 or jtricket@att.net.

Summer Velvet!   Join in the Annual Deer Survey.  Photo by B.LaVergne, Aug 2014.
Summer Velvet! Join in the Annual Deer Survey. Photo by B.LaVergne, Aug 2014.

You can click on any picture in this website to enlarge it for better viewing.

Review of the recent Texas Deer Study Group Seminar

The Texas Whitetail Deer Study Group, held April 10-11, 2014 seminar included over 160 participants and twenty plus  wildlife biologists, DVM’s, and doctorate-level wildlife scientists from various agencies and practices.  This very significant program was co-sponsored by the Texas Wildlife Association, Texas Parks & Wildlife, Texas A&M AGRILIFE Extension and the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservations Service.  The seminar’s subtitle was “Great Expectations: Optimizing Deer Management in the Post Oak Savanna and Gulf-Coast Prairies.  The majority of the participants were individuals who have small parcels of land, with a few others that owned or operated very large ranches.  Here is a summary of the educational points  presented:

  • The small parcel phenomenon has been made successful by the amount of cooperation amongst landowners vis-a-vis wildlife management co-ops or associations.
  • As a result of co-ops and antler restrictions the Texas deer population of 13.8 million is the largest in the nation.
  • The ratio of doe to buck in Colorado County is >3.3:1 and according to all biologists present should be reduced to <1.5:1.   The primary concern is the increased pressure on available food, leading to reduced available nutrition and thus declining physical condition and survival rates.  The biologists also strongly recommend harvesting only mature bucks which are more than 5 years of age.
  • Habitat should be diverse in structure and plant availability.  Deer need brush, tall grasses and timber, all of which provide safety and privacy.
  • Nutrition is best derived from a variety of plants in the habitat and deer will decide for themselves what is best for their bodies at any given time.  They are very selective, choosing according to protein or other nutrient chemicals that are necessary for their growth and maintenance.
  • Deer consume several pounds of plant material and 1.5 gallons of water per day.
  • Nutrition sources include: sporadically available forbs (which includes most wildflowers) and  soft and hard mast (fruit, berries, acorns and nuts) ; and, continuously available browse such as Beautyberry, greenbriar, sophora, oaks, poison ivy and mustang grapes.  Deer seldom eat grass or sedges and only when these plants are young and other nutrition is not available.

Unfortunately, the presenters’ notes were not included in the handout materials.  Presentation notes have been requested and will be made available if possible.

 

Texas Deer Study Group, April 2014

A flyer was available at the recent CCWMA banquet, announcing a two-day seminar to be held April 10-11, 2014 at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Columbus.  The program  is offered through the Texas Wildlife Association with additional sponsorship from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, Texas Parks & Wildlife and Texas A&M Agrilife Extension.  A few of the topics to be included are:

  • history of deer management in the Post Oak Savanna and Gulf-Coast Prairies
  • habitat changes
  • managing deer on small acreage
  • an overview on deer nutrition

The second day of the program includes a field day at J3J4 Ranch for habitat management techniques, native and introduced vegetation identification and deer necropsy.

The seminar fee is $75 before 3/31 or $100 after 3/31 and includes meals and handout materials.  You may register online at www.texas-wildlife.org/resources/events/texas-deer-study-group.  More information is available from Clint Faas   cfass@texas-wildlife.org or 979-541-9803

I have registered to attend and look forward to learning more about how ranch habitat management and deer management go together.

Wounded Warrior Hunt Upcoming

We hope you make plans to participate in ORWMA’s Annual Wounded Warrior Hunt coming up on December 14 & 15.   We host several wounded warriors from Brooke Army Medical Center for the 2-day period and give them a chance to hunt at Oakridge Ranch.  For more details on how you can participate, please click on the “Groups” tab, then “Deer”; next click on “Wounded Warrior Hunt“. 

Oakridge Ranch’s Douglas Mason gives away several wounded warrior hunts throughout the year.  Below is a nice picture of a recent successful hunt Douglas (& his dogs) had with Jeremy Spoerle and his family.  Jeremy was wounded in 2007.  Pictured are Jeremy with family members Barb, Callie & John.  Thank you, Douglas, for what you do for our wounded warriors all year long!

Spoerle Family Hunt with Douglas Mason, November 2013.
Spoerle Family Hunt with Douglas Mason, November 2013.