Texas Lease Hunting

Lease hunting in Texas is a pasttime thousands of hunters look forward to each year. Starting in September with opening dove season, the long wait is finally over. It's all about camaraderie with hunting buddies and the thrill of the big buck out your blind window. It's also about a productive, responsible and enjoyable hunting tradition that will last long after we've pulled a trigger for the last time. Enjoy the Texas lease hunting experience as a steward of the land and as a protector for the next generation of hunters.

From the Hill Country to the Brush Country of South Texas. the enjoyment of hunting in the Lone Star State is not an activity available to only the priveleged few. We firmly believe that hunting, fishing and outdoor recreational activities contribute to the well-being of adults and children alike. Hunt Texas and enjoy Texas.

Management Bucks Vs. Trophy Bucks

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The topic of what constitutes a management buck versus a trophy buck is a subject entirely predicated upon the geographic location of hunting activities, first and foremost. Also involved with this subject is a hunters view of what is trophy versus what is management. The primary goal of eliminating management bucks is to eradicate inferior genes while promoting and protecting a trophy class gene pool.

Trophy Class Bucks

Obviously, a trophy class buck is a deer that can be in the 150 class or above while a book deer is 170 or above. Keep in mind that 150 and 160 class deer, while obviously trophies, can grow bigger during years of substantial rain and ample food supply. Supplemental protein feeding can increase the antler mass even further. This too, depends on the geographic location of the deer hunting activity. Most experienced hunters are able to spot a trophy class buck without having to compare to other deer in the herd, especially when hunters are familiar with the herd and the land.

Historically, South Texas hold the bulk of the states trophy class deer. While trophy class bucks are increasingly being seen in all areas of the state, South Texas maintains its dominance in growing trophy class deer. Comparing a trophy from South Texas to what's considered a trophy from the Hill country, the differences in the deer will generally be quite obvious. That's not to say that 150 and 160 class deer don't live in the Hill country areas, they're just not as common as in South Texas. Understanding what makes a true trophy buck a wall hanger does not require a huge amount of hunting education, but rather it takes the basic understanding and familiarity with buck deer in the local geographic hunting area.

Management Class Bucks

A management class buck on a hunting lease is sometimes defined by the landowner. Some rules for shooting management deer are simple while others are more complex. There are deer in many cases that are most obviously management class bucks, such as a five-year-old 13 inch spike. At the same time, the management class deer is relative to the overall scoring strength of bucks in the hunting lease herd. It's for this reason that management bucks should be clearly defined, or otherwise, what constitutes a management buck should be clearly outlined. Some leases may view all eight pointers 3 1/2 years or older as a management class buck while other leases may define a management class deer as 5 1/2 years and older with a gross score of less than 130.

On a hunting lease, removing management bucks from the herd isn't a sure fire way to have absolute control over the quality of bucks in the herd, but it does go a long way in removing inferior genetics. Note that an inferior buck that goes unharvested continues to spread inferior genes to does in season. Harvesting management bucks through a rigorous program is a key element in supporting the production and growth of trophy class bucks.

Bucks and Herd Management

Managing the bucks in a white tailed deer herd is a critical part of the overall herd management. While removing deer of either gender is vital to being in line with the carrying capacity of the land, the removal of obviously inferior bucks helps accomplish this goal. Certain programs, such as the Managed Land Deer Program administered by the Texas Parks and wildlife Department allows deer to be harvested outside the normal hunting season. Depending on the level of permit obtained through the MLD program, bucks can be harvested months before and months after the regular hunting season opens and closes in Texas. This gives lease hunters the opportunity to better manage their deer herd by participating in the MLD program.


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