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Sustainable Forage Management and the BLCC Deer Herd

February 1, 2012

As of midnight, the BLCC white-tailed deer hunting season officially closed.  This season proved to be a very successful one indeed.  Our season-end harvest count stands at 33 does and 12 bucks.  Six of those bucks are currently being measured for inclusion in the Texas Big Game Awards.  Stay tuned for the Biggest and Best of BLCC’s Bucks 2011-2012!

Just two of the bucks harvested this season

This season, the BLCC trialed some new management practices based on advice recieved last fall from experts in forage and wildlife.  We chose not to plant food plots for the deer.  Food plots are traditionally planted with a high-protein food source that attracts deer in numbers throughout the hunting season.  The philosophy behind these food plots is to not only attract deer, but also to create a deer herd filled with larger, healthier deer. 

Notice the delineation between the native field and the traditionally planted plot

With plowing, planting, and fertilizer costs on the rise, the BLCC decided to take the advice of experts and rely on the native forage available on the BLCC, enabling us to reduce expences and use a more enviornmentally-friendly and sustainable method of management.  By minimizing plowing, we can help restore the soil integrity in many of our fields.  Money saved can be put toward other projects around the BLCC.  Now, this is not to say that traditional plowing and planting does not have its place here on the BLCC.  Many fields here on the ranch have been plowed for generations and, at this point, require a consistent form of planting in order to produce healthy crops. 

Traditional plowing on the BLCC

This year, the Texas Big Game Awards is recognizing landowners for the first time with a Landowner of the Year Award  for landowners demonstrating dedication to active management of their property for healthy wildlife and creation of an enduring native ecosystem for future generations.  We believe the BLCC would be a superior candidate for this award and will be applying for it this month.  Stay tuned for the results!

Native forage fading into good habitat and cover create a thriving environment for the BLCC deer herd

As with most businesses, diversification is key.  Our management program will remain diverse, creative, and sustainable.  Our committement to the environment and to our land will remain a priority and the fruits of our labor will be seen in a healthy deer herd, a strong cattle operation, and a ranch full of recreational opportunities for people of all ages and interests.  Contact us for more information on our management practices or to come out and see them in action!

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