Conservation Matters March 2012

The Texas Land, Water and Wildlife Connection

Texas Deer Study Group to convene April 19–20 in Stephenville

White-tailed deerThe Texas Deer Study Group conducted by the Texas AgriLife Extension Service will convene April 19-20 and meetings will focus on deer management practices. Dr. Dale Rollins, originator of the deer study-group concept said that this year's theme is "Deer Management in Texas: Navigating the Deer Management Continuum."

The group will meet 7 a.m.-5:30 p.m. April 19 in the Graham St. Church of Christ Family Center, 375 N. Graham St., Stephenville and from 8-11:30 a.m. April 20 on the Dearing Ranch at Mingus.

Rollins said the program was created in 1997 as a posthumous tribute to Donnie Harmel, the long-time manager of the Kerr Wildlife Management Area, and since their beginning, the meetings have moved around the state and have been planned around topical issues in deer management.

"Deer management as a profession and a practice has become increasingly contentious over the past decade with the increasing number of deer herds managed for large antlers," Rollins said. "Traditionalists and entrepreneurs often differ about the ethics of various intensive practices, so this will be one area we will give in-depth discussion to.

"Specific to the Possum Kingdom/Cross Timbers region, we'll also be discussing a number of deer habitat-management topics following last year's historic drought and wildfires. These will include long term-drought and fire perspectives, plant and soil responses to fire and drought, legumes after fire and drought, effects of fire on woody plant structure, deer response following wildfires, range recovery and financial impacts of fires from a hunting perspective."

Other highlights will include talks on food plots, deer diet studies and the Dearing Ranch tour on the second day of the program.

Entities involved with the study group along with AgriLife Extension are the Texas Wildlife Association, U.S. Department of Agriculture - Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

Individual preregistration is $75 before April 12 and $100 thereafter. For more information, contact Helen Holdsworth, director of Conservation Legacy, Texas Wildlife Association, at 210.826.2904 or hholdsworth@texas-wildlife.org. Additional details and registration information are online.

Read the full AgriLife TODAY article.

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