In today’s world it seems successful white-tailed deer management programs are just like everything else; they never sleep. There is always something for managers to do out at the ranch, be it checking feeders or “sculpting” brush. There are also opportunities available to hunters and land managers to gain additional, helpful information about deer, their habitat and the methods to improve the overall deer hunting and herd quality on a piece of property. There is always something new to be learned about whitetail, whether it be from university research or a salty ole ranch hand. Learning should never sleep.
For those looking to spend a day or two off the ranch (or out of the office), The Texas Deer Study Group is slated to meet in mid-April. The presenters at these annual forums are typically well-versed in wildlife management and offer the latest details on what’s happening in the world of whitetail. Attendees this year can expect to hear about genetics, nutrition, and diseases, as well as talks on the social and economic factors impacting deer hunting in Texas. There is also a ranch tour on the second day that allows folks to see on-the-ground deer habitat management.
Source: “This year’s theme is Navigating the Deer Management Continuum, which reflects the spectrum of deer management intensity and technologies,” said Dr. Dale Rollins, AgriLife Extension wildlife specialist at San Angelo and steering committee member. “A growing trend towards more intensive deer management, including deer breeding, illustrates some managers’ goals, while others believe such intensive management diminishes the overall value of deer in the eyes of the hunter and the public.
“The slate of speakers assembled for this year’s meeting is a who’s who among deer biologists. Topics will range from biology to ethics. Several veterinarians will lead the group in a hands-on deer dissection which will help set the stage for the other presentations. The hands-on teaching method will continue during the second day’s tour of the Quail Ridge Ranch where participants will be trained on proper habitat management.”
If you’ve not attended a Texas Deer Study Group meeting in the past, let me just say that they can be quite interesting. In fact, anytime you get a group of experts together, regardless of the subject, you are going to have the opportunity learn a lot, and from many different takes. Spoiler alert: You will also find that the experts do not always agree. You should, however, leave with more information about the management of the deer and the habitat found on your property. You can get more information and register here for the 2013 Texas Deer Study Group meeting.