Conservation Matters April 2014

The Texas Land, Water and Wildlife Connection

Range and Wildlife Management Field Day set for May 6 in Coryell County

The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service is hosting a multi-county Range and Wildlife Management Field Day May 6 in Coryell County for landowners interested in managing both wildlife and livestock on their ranches.

The field day is from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Harman School Community Center, located about four miles off of Farm-to-Market Road 580 on Harmon Road. The cost of the program is $10, which includes lunch and three Texas Department of Agriculture continuing education units. For those interested in obtaining 5.5 PTP continuing education units for tax appraisers, the cost is $25. After lunch, attendees will travel to the Hannah Ranch for rangeland demonstrations.

"Many landowners in Texas are beginning to see the value in managing for wildlife on their ranch,” said Brian Hays, associate director of the Texas A&M Institute of Renewable Natural Resources (IRNR) and a speaker at the program. “Landowners interested in managing for wildlife can take advantage of various incentive programs to diversify their income through good land stewardship for livestock and wildlife.”

Pasquale Swaner, AgriLife Extension agent for Coryell County, said various AgriLife Extension staff will discuss quail and turkey biology and management, feral hog biology and abatement, and rangeland evaluation during the morning session. A Texas Parks and Wildlife Department expert will speak on wildlife management planning and Proposition 11, which allows landowners to retain their agricultural property tax valuation for wildlife management. A U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service expert will discuss proper brush management techniques such as dozing, prescribed fire and herbicide application.

“A particular focus will be given to quail because of their popularity as a game species, the extreme decline they’ve seen recently and the fact that habitat that produces quail also supports scores of other wildlife species in the rangelands of Texas,” said Mike Marshall, AgriLife Extension associate for IRNR. “We will also focus on feral hog abatement, as hogs have detrimental impacts on the wildlife landowners manage for."

At the Hannah Ranch, attendees will observe demonstrations on calculating stocking rates, plant identification, habitat assessment and feral hog trapping.

Swaner said three Texas Department of Agriculture continuing education units will be offered.

Lunch will be provided by Coryell County from a Texas Department of Agriculture County Hog Abatement Matching Program, or CHAMP, grant. To register for the field day, contact AgriLife Extension offices in Coryell County at 254-865-2414, Hamilton County at 254-386-3514 or Lampasas County at 512-556-8271 by May 2.

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