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Maid Service Franchises

Independent home cleaning businesses aren’t scalable because operators lack the tools needed to effectively and efficiently manage over 25 employees and 50 assignments per day. Top flight maid service franchises have developed the tools needed for managing such volumes but, because they favor penetration, over scale, most of their deals also are not scalable.

The house cleaning industry has evolved so that the benefits of being associated by name with a major maid service company have become overshadowed by the poor service stigmas earned by even a few poorly run franchisees. And no matter that a certain franchisee may not even be related by name, because too many consumers fail to distinguish among the similar m-m-m-maid service sounding names. The result is that the reputation of one exceptionally good, conscientiously well-run Marmy Maids franchise located in Mid-South-East-Central-Mid Atlantis City is adversely affected by the shoddily-run Mornimy Maids franchise located in Mid-North-Central-West-Mid Atlantis City.

Just because the “M’s” have organized the market this way in the past, doesn’t mean this is the way it will be organized tomorrow . . .

Outside the box: non-conformal, creative thinking.

The term “outside the box” is derived from a famous puzzle created by the 20th century mathematician, Henry Ernest Dudeney, in which someone is asked to interconnect an array of nine dots in a three-by-three grid by using four straight lines drawn without the pencil leaving the paper. Success depends on the puzzle solver realizing that the boundaries of the array are psychologically artificial. The only way to solve the puzzle is to extend the lines beyond the psychological boundaries, and draw them outside the box.

Similar, older terms include blue sky, far out, and off the wall. A more recent term, coloring outside the lines, is popular with today’s marketing and consulting types.

“M” Service Zones–Designed for Optimal Penetration & Franchise Fees

If you’ve shopped for “M” house cleaning franchises, you’ll find that the first thing you’ll receive after a UFOC is a load of maps depicting available service zones, and tables of “qualified households.” The “M” house cleaning franchises are asking you to believe that any household with a garden hose is a potential buyer of home cleaning services. We’re skeptical. The M’s have organized the market in this way to obtain, for every metro area, maximum penetration, revenue and franchise fees, without regard to what profits can be earned by the individual franchisees.

Most cities have some really nice neighborhoods which are chock-a-block full of very profitable maid service customers, other pretty nice neighborhoods from which can be cherry-picked some profitable maid service customers, and then some other interesting, but difficult-to-identify areas of the city which are poised for significant growth. While the major franchises continue to prove that maid service customers can be eked out of almost any service zone, for those franchisees stuck with the worst zones, profits may be elusive and growth rates uninteresting.

Predicting the amount and quality of business in the city’s next hi-growth neighborhood is important for top-flight franchisers, because it is their best remaining chance to offer additional attractive service areas to new franchisees. But guessing the ultimate success of residential real estate developments and population growth rates is risky, particularly for the new franchisee. The problem is that other franchisees may have chosen the best neighborhoods ahead of you, leaving you with an adverse selection of less attractive neighborhoods. This problem of adverse selection is not trivial. If you buy a typical maid service franchise, your ultimate success may be doomed from the outset based solely on which service zone you are stuck with. While “location, location, location” always applies to retail stores, and restaurants, why must it ever apply to maid service franchises?

A New Paradigm for the Industry

We believe it should be possible to dispense with service zones altogether by organizing franchises by entire Major Metro Markets, and selling, for example a maximum of two licenses per each million population. Each franchise would be entitled to one office, and each office would be free to service any customer within a half day’s drive. For example, for the Greater Denver Metro Area which, according to the latest census, has a population of over 2 million, a franchiser could sell a maximum of 4 franchises. By comparison, to date, the largest “M” franchiser has sold 8 franchises in the equivalent market and is still offering new franchises in Denver today. Under such a concept, if a new franchisee were to miscalculate and discover that her original target neighborhood of really nice, expensive houses is filled with homeowners who have overbought, are mortgaged to their eyeballs and can’t afford living room furniture, let alone premium-priced maid services, then her mistake will not have been fatal. She could refocus her marketing efforts on more attractive neighborhoods, and pursue growth where it finds her throughout the entire metro area (because under such a system franchisees would keep their own referrals).

We have proven in Denver that significant profits can be earned by snatching in a flash a large volume of business from well-entrenched companies. We’ve done this by combining an acquisition strategy with a low customer churn rate based on our reputation for exceptional service. We believe that it should be possible to sell a franchise based on the concept of each franchisee selecting, as a member of an Alliance, its own name and paying a flat periodic fee. Under such a system, the franchiser would be able to forgo almost all monitoring, and dispense with many of the other standard spending requirements and restrictions levied by other franchisers, such as those relating to advertising, signs, vehicles, office location, and most importantly, service areas. By offering quality service, franchisees would build their own brands, earn their own referrals, influence their own churn rates, buy competitors as opportunities present themselves, and ultimately profit based on the operating, marketing, and acquisition decisions each made for itself. The Franchiser would provide marketing expertise, operating systems and expert advice, without all those rules.

Look Before Leaping

Before you head down this potentially one-way street called entrepreneurship, and before you buy yourself a job as a franchisee or small business owner, ask yourself a few questions. What kind of salary are you seeking? Is the business prospect on offer scaleable? How much do you really expect to pay yourself if you run some dinky little business? What kind of cash out can you expect? When? Are you ultimately going to be able to retire on, or finance your next venture with, the proceeds from the sale of such a business? The “M” franchises use a low bankruptcy rate as a proxy for success rate. But can a small venture which has avoided bankruptcy really call itself a success if it has grown to generate only $20,000 or $30,000 net per year?

House Cleaning Franchise for Sale Asking Price $35K Gross Revenues $100K Seller Finance No Year Established 1997 Number of Employees 6 Real Estate Leased Reason for Sale Other Commitments Description House cleaning for mid to upper income families. This entrepreneur deal is not binary–the most likely outcome for any small business venture is that the owner pays himself an insufficient amount to live on and simply becomes worn out and bled of cash before the business reaches sufficient scale to pay a reasonable salary, and allow for the hiring of a professional management team. House cleaning customers of formerly surrendered markets are regularly transferred to contiguous “M” franchisees for a fee to the “M” franchisor (and none to the former “M” franchisee), and such fire-sale liquidations may not be counted in “M” failure rates.

Before buying a maid service franchise, consider the following: monthly take-home pay of existing co-franchisees (especially for years 3 onwards); reputations of existing co-franchisees throughout the entire metro area; attractiveness of remaining service zones; penetration assumptions implied by service zone population tables; any restrictions placed on reselling a franchise; and alternative uses of franchise fees, if you were to instead apply the same funds in opening an independent maid service.

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Nicole really enjoys cleaning and home organizing. You can read some of her latest publications at http://www.endoftenancycleaning.com/ .

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Is Cleanliness Really next to Godliness?

This may strike you as a rather existential question since the answer depends largely on your own definition of the terms “cleanliness” and “godliness”, not to mention your assessment of the relative value of these terms in relation to one another. Setting aside that this question is based on a rather trite (but enduring) expression, we can first examine what would prompt someone to make such a claim, followed by consideration of whether or not the claim holds any sort of practical value. And in this manner we may come to some conclusion pertaining to whether or not cleanliness is really next to godliness.

This phrase is rumored to have been in use since at least the middle ages, when it was first said to have been noted in literature, although some claim it was used in one form or another long before that. If you look at the saying from a purely practical perspective, it must be noted that organized religion has long been used as a method of societal control. Consider the Ten Commandments, for example, which provide Christians with a set of basic rules to live by, including moratoriums on criminal acts like theft, adultery, and murder. They sound more like tenets of a system of legal governance rather than religious observance. Throughout history, people have been compelled to follow religious rule where they may not have been so keen to bow to the whims of a hated political leader or regime. This is because people who believe in a god and an afterlife may be willing to do what they have to in the here and now to ensure a favorable outcome following death.

Now, how does this dynamic relate to cleanliness? It’s simple enough when you consider historical systems for water treatment and waste disposal. It is only within the last couple of centuries that clean water and waste disposal options have become widely available in homes. Prior to that, chamber pots, outhouses, and private wells were the norm, and people rarely bathed. This led to the rampant and rapid spread of disease, especially in densely populated areas. So finding ways to keep the populace clean and stop them from spreading germs to their neighbors was of the utmost importance. And yet, it’s not as though a municipal power would have the authority or manpower to enforce regulations pertaining to personal hygiene. But religion and peer pressure from the community could certainly do the trick.

And perhaps that is how the expression “cleanliness is next to godliness” was born. In any case, it’s easy to see from a historical perspective how such a phrase may have gained popularity. But is cleanliness truly next to godliness? You might as well ask what is god – you’ll get just as wide a variety of answers, most likely. In truth, caring for yourself and attending to your personal health is perhaps the highest pursuit if you think that god granted you life and made you in his image. And cleanliness of yourself and your environment is certainly an essential part of that equation. So in a manner of speaking, cleanliness could definitely be considered to be next to godliness. On the other hand, it could just be a clever turn of phrase.

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Maid Service Rates

Maid service rates vary and depend on a number of factors. For instance, an individual will be cheaper than the majority of companies, mainly because they do not have to deal with the same level of overheads. Individuals looking for a maid service should probably look at small organizations. The small scale of the task is unsuited to a larger company that will charge higher rates. Small businesses may need a more thorough cleaning so maid service companies with more advanced equipment might be necessary. Naturally, this will cause the rate to increase.

Basic Services
The average maid service will perform typical janitorial duties such as removing garbage, sweeping and vacuuming the floors before washing and buffing them. They should also clean the inside of windows clean and dust furniture as well as ensuring the bathroom is sanitary. In order to keep the cost down, small companies and individuals are encouraged to use maid services sparingly. Most houses will not need to be cleaned more than once a week while offices with 20 or so employees might need servicing twice a week. Large corporations must utilize maid services daily. Businesses are obliged to obey health and safety regulations so it is important to have a cleaning company on hand to prevent any problems.

More Equipment, Higher Rates
For a more comprehensive job, expect to pay much higher maid service rates. Exterior cleaning is a specialized task and one that is only performed on a monthly basis. Such a job requires the grouting of tiles, washing of exterior windows, cleaning of parking lots, pressure washing as well as dusting and cleaning of lighting fixtures. ‘Q-Tip’ cleaning is a colloquialism for an extra-thorough clean that encompasses every single nook and cranny of a building. This also requires special equipment which again, will see the maid service rates escalate.

Making A Decision
In general, you will have the choice of dozens of companies. Some will be locally-based businesses, others will be national institutions. These large corporations provide expert cleaning and use the most sophisticated equipment to perform each task. All their employees should have various qualifications and the job will be completed in rapid time because of their machinery. Companies of this type may elect to charge per square foot which can cost thousands of dollars a month depending on the frequency of the cleaning and size of the building. Smaller businesses may be better suited to locally-based cleaning services. Although they will not provide the same level of service, their maid service rates will be a lot lower and more manageable. Besides, small companies do not usually need futuristic technology in order to be clean.

Most companies don’t bother with square foot charge and generally offer fixed or hourly rates. Certain companies charge extra depending on the equipment used and services provided. For example, trash pickup could be extra and other costs such as supplies and insurance will also be factored into the price. When it comes to maid service rates, it is probably better to opt for a company that charges a fixed fee. Organizations that get paid by the hour have no incentive to finish quickly. On the other hand, fixed fee companies may overlook certain areas in their rush to get the task completed in order to move onto the next job as soon as possible. Regardless of what billing method you choose, ensure the company is licensed, bonded, insured and reputable.

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Making House Cleaning a Breeze
Making house cleaning a breeze may sound like a stretch considering the current state that you may find your home. After all, you may have let the house cleaning slide for some time now and be facing an absolute uphill battle. However, it is attainable to make your house cleaning as easy as pie and you can actually go about it in a couple of different ways.

The first way in which you can make house cleaning a breeze is by hiring someone to do it for you. There are many maid services that could care less how badly your house needs to be cleaned and they will gladly come in and clean your house from top to bottom. Once they are gone, you will be left with a clean home and a great feeling, but this may not be an option for you.

As nice as it would be for everyone to be able to afford their own personal maid service, the fact is that not everyone can and you might find yourself in the same boat. This is where you have to just face the facts and realize that you have to go at it yourself. However, you can still make you’re your house cleaning a breeze even if you have to go at it all alone.

First of all in order to make house cleaning a breeze, you have to first get the entire house in order and cleaned up in every nook and cranny. While this may seem like a challenge you simply can’t take on all by yourself, the important thing to remember is that you probably can, as long as you don’t take it on all at once.

One of the biggest mistakes that people make with house cleaning is they attempt to clean their homes from top to bottom in one single day, or maybe over a weekend. This is not only near impossible, but it is also anything but a breeze. Instead of wasting an entire day, or even weekend, cleaning from top to bottom, spread it out over a week or so.

Each day, designate a certain amount of time in which you will devote to house cleaning. This can be two hours, one hour, or less if you so desire. The point is to make some kind of time commitment so you are almost forcing yourself to get the job done. Once you decide how much time to devote each day to getting your home back in order, you then need to put together a game plan to make the plan turn to action.

It helps if you break up your home in sections and focus on one room or section at a time. Otherwise, you will only clean parts of several rooms and this will lead you to never completing your task of cleaning the entire home.

Always start with rooms that are used the least as these rooms will stay cleaner much longer after you have thoroughly cleaned them over rooms that are seeing frequent use. A good example is to start with a guest room that is seldom used versus starting off with the bathroom that most of your household uses on a daily basis. By staggering your cleaning this way and saving the higher traffic areas for last, you will be able to maintain a more equal balance of clean as you are cleaning each section of your home. The end result will be a house that is clean almost all the way around.

Once you have worked the designated time each night for a week or so, your house will be spic and span and you can then sit back and marvel over the wonderful job you did. However, you shouldn’t marvel for too long because this will be the time that you can guarantee that house cleaning always remains a breeze. How you will do this is by maintaining your cleaning on a consistent basis.

Now that your house will be ship-shape you can keep it that way with a little more devotion of your time on a daily basis. Just as you did before when your house was a disaster, devote a certain amount of time each day for house cleaning. The main difference this time will be that you will only have to probably devote 20 to 30 minutes each day as opposed to the hour or two that you did before. So while you will still have to give up a bit of your time, it will go much quicker as the time will be minimal.

Another difference that you will notice is that it is much easier to keep an already clean and organized house clean and organized. While this sounds like a cliché, it is all about making house cleaning a breeze and nothing makes cleaning easier than dealing with clean things.

What you will find when your house is maintained as opposed to being let go for an extended amount of time is that the maintenance cleaning is a lot faster and much less strenuous. Where you may have had to scrub before, you only have to wipe off now. Where you may have had to sweep and mop, you may only have to lightly sweep. The best part is that as long as you don’t let it get out of control, the maintenance will remain just that easy.

Making house cleaning a breeze isn’t a statement that sounds like it could actually be true, but if you approach it in just the right manner, it certainly can be. No matter how messy and cluttered your home might be, just remember that it is only going to get worse with each passing day. The sooner you get to the weeklong cleaning that you know needs to be done anyway, the sooner you can get to the maintenance cleaning. Unless you can afford to hire a maid service that is in fact your only option so you might as well embrace it.

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Reasons to Hire a Maid Service

It seems like such an indulgence at first thought, but upon further consideration, hiring a maid service to do literally your dirty work for you actually has a lot more advantages than disadvantages. Of course we’ve heard all the arguments against it before. Reasons like maid service is costly and the money you use to hire cleaners on a regular basis can be put to better use, or you’re just not convinced that a maid service can do the job better than you can, have all been run to the ground.

The truth is, if you’re ready to hear it, that the cost of hiring a regular maid service these days have gone down significantly enough for the average individual to be able to afford it. Thus, there shouldn’t be any reason for you to dismiss this option as easily, especially if you think that it’s a service that could improve your lifestyle dramatically.

Not yet convinced? Here are a few of the top reasons why we think that hiring a maid service is a good move.

Value for your Time and Money

In this day and age of multi-tasking and putting premium on work efficiency it is sometimes easy to forget that we actually have lives outside of our work place and interests other than getting ahead in our chosen careers. Most of us have a long list of things that we’ve always wanted to do in life but never get around to doing because, of course, we never have enough time to do it.
We come home from work, and instead of resting or doing something that is interesting or relaxing, we are greeted with the necessity of having to do the dishes and the laundry, cleaning the bathroom, mopping the floor and a gazillion other things that we’d rather not do.

The good news is that hiring a maid service can remove all this unnecessarily stressful daily household chores off our plate so that we are free to concentrate on the things that we do like doing like relaxing, watching a movie or reading good book. The time that this frees up also allows us to earmark this block of time for a class that we’ve always wanted to take or a sport that we’ve always wanted to play or an adventure that we’ve always wanted to experience.

But this doesn’t necessarily have to be at great cost to us. The average fee for maid services has decreased significantly over the years, allowing most of us to actually be able to afford it. And if you really think about the trade-off – time that you otherwise would have wasted cleaning up for a few hundred dollars a month – that’s a value that, just like time, you can never get back once it’s gone.

Stress Reduction

Add to this the fact that cleaning your own home has never been a completely pleasurable job – especially if you’d rather rest than take out the trash. After a particularly tiring day at work, coming home to an already spic and span household is guaranteed to lower your stress levels and allow you to enjoy the rest of your day in peace and freedom. That’s another value that is simply worth every penny.

Efficient Service

Any way you look at it, getting a maid service to do your house cleaning for you almost always guarantees more thorough, professional cleaning work than you probably could do all by yourself. Maid services are usually equipped with better cleaning tools and professional grade cleaning products that you may or may not want to invest in, and which are otherwise, available to you through the service.

And since maids are trained and are well-equipped to do the work, they inevitably have a better chance of doing a more thorough and efficient cleaning job that leaves no surface unpolished, no floor unswept and no bathroom unscrubbed.

Keeping all these reasons in mind, it is always a good idea to hire a maid service when you can. Your every cent will definitely be worth it.

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Tips on Hiring a Maid Service
Fast-paced lifestyles, hectic schedules and a lack of free time can lead one to consider hiring a maid service to handle critical house cleaning duties. But before picking up the phone to schedule an appointment, it is important to know whom you are letting into your home.

Bonding: Make sure the maid service is bonded for its house cleaning clientèle. Should a theft occur, you need to be protected. Some companies, if they are bonded at all, protect only themselves, not the consumer.

Insurance: Make sure the house cleaning company is insured. If a maid slips and falls while cleaning the shower, your homeowner’s policy might not cover the incident. The maid service should have liability and employee accident coverage and should include your home, the housecleaner(s) and the company.

References: Make sure the maid service is reliable. How many years have they been in business? Ask for references and a work history. When calling references ask some key questions:

How long have you used the house cleaning service?
Have you ever needed to make a complaint? If so, how did the service handle resolving the issue?
Would you enthusiastically recommend the maid service provider?
Employee screening and hiring: Ask the house cleaning company if employees’ references are checked, if criminal background checks are administered, and if residence status is confirmed. Also find out if the workforce is comprised of employees or subcontractors. A maid service using subcontractors does not provide staff training and may not provide liability insurance. In addition, there may not be a standard of quality and unclear procedures for complaint resolution.

Cleaning products: Some independent housekeepers as well as some services expect you to supply all cleaning products. If products are included by the house cleaning company, find out what type of products will be used and if they contain harsh chemicals like bleach or ammonia. Be sure the products are safe for pets and kids.

If the maid service touts using “green” products or environmentally friendly products for house cleaning, understand what you are getting. Ask if the products are effective in cleaning and disinfecting pathogens like Staphylococcus (Staph.), Salmonella and E.coli If the maid service is “Green Certified,” find out which certifying body certified the cleaning products and their certification process.

Some products, although certified “green” actually use standard chemicals at a lower ratio, literally watering down a chemical until it passes standards. This can be at the expense of the performance of the product. Other environmentally safe products contain bio-based ingredients that contain natural bacteria and enzymes, which are non-pathogenetic environmental isolates that imitate the way nature naturally cleans itself. These natural substances can be used in hard surface cleaners and degreasers to create a safe, effective cleaning solution.

Equipment: Check out what is included with your house cleaning. Some independent housekeepers as well as some services expect you to supply all cleaning equipment. If the maid service is supplying the equipment, find out the efficiency of the vacuum and the filtration system.

Satisfaction: Ask if the maid service measures customer satisfaction and if so, what type of procedure is used to collect responses. Are you asked to fill out a survey online or on paper? Will a manager contact you following the house cleaning to be sure your expectations were fulfilled or exceeded? The steps a company takes to ensure a customer’s satisfaction tells a lot about how much they value their customers.

Quality assurance: Find out the service’s quality assurance procedures. How is the quality of service measured and verified to ensure quality of service is maintained? A maid service should have quality assurance procedures in place to be sure their house cleaning meets quality standards every clean. Ask if the maid service has managers who inspect every clean to be sure the quality of service is upheld.

Guarantee: Find out how the company handles complaints and make sure the service is backed by a written satisfaction guarantee. Know prior to the house cleaning the limitations of the guarantee and what steps consumers should take to execute the guarantee.

Taxes: Make sure you don’t break any tax laws. If you pay a housekeeper or maid a certain amount per year, the federal law requires you to pay social security and other taxes on that person. However, some states may require you to withhold state taxes on payments smaller than $1,000. Most maid service companies withhold taxes for their employees, but check to make sure. If you pay a housekeeper or maid at least $1,200 per year, the federal law requires you to pay social security and other taxes on that person. For more information about household employee taxes, call the Internal Revenue Service.

Daniel J. Bishop is the president and CEO of The Maids International, Inc., a premier house cleaning service in the United States and Canada. Prior to founding The Maids in 1979, Bishop served as executive officer and president of the Building Services Contractors Association. Bishop is also a director of the World Federation of Building Service Contractors and is a Certified Building Service Executive. For more information about The Maids, please visit www.maids.com.

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Maid Service Rates – The Cost of Hiring a Maid to Clean Your Home
If there is one thing that most of us would love to have, it is maid service. And why not? Maid service can actually be a cost effective option, especially when you consider the amount of time and energy that you put into cleaning your home every week. If you are considering hiring a maid service, it is important to know about maid service rates. Maid service costs are influenced by several factors, so who you call, and what maid service rate you pay, is going to be influenced. The more you know, the better position you will be in when researching maid services in your area.

Can You Afford Maid Service Rates?
Some people may not even have to ask themselves this question. They may know right off the bat whether or not they can afford maid service rates. But there are a lot of people who fall somewhere in the middle, who don’t actually know if it is something they can afford. These people, as well as those who feel they can’t afford it, should at least take a few minutes to give it a fair evaluation. They may be surprised to find out that they indeed can afford basic maid service costs.

Maid service costs are going to vary. There are a lot of factors that are going to influence what a particular company’s rates are. These factors include such things as geographic location, how often you want the cleaning service, if they specialize in something, and how big your home is. While the maid service rates vary, depending on these factors, there are some price ranges that you can typically expect.

We contacted several maid services in each of the following cities and asked them what the cost would be to clean a 3 bedroom, 2 bath, 2000 square foot home. We then averaged the rates and posted them below to compare maid service rates in various cities across the US:

Each additional room that will need to be cleaned will increase your made service cost by around $5 or more per week. Whether you opt for weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly maid service will also influence the price you pay. If you are going to opt for a weekly maid service, you are typically going to get a little better rate than if you opt for bi-weekly or monthly maid services. This is because if the maid service is done on a weekly basis, the home is kept cleaner, but bi-weekly or monthly maid services will likely mean that there is more work to be done during each cleaning.

Also, it is important to note that these rates are for a basic one story home. Those homes that are two or more stories will have higher made service rates. For multi-story homes, you would typically add an additional $10 or so to each price, per week. For a multi-story home with three bedrooms and one bath, you can expect to pay maid service rates in the area of $80-150 per week, taking the above mentioned factors into account. You can expect to pay a little more for the initial cleaning.

Other Influencing Factors
When we think about maid services, we may conjure up a lot of images of what that includes. But most people will have slightly varying views of what would be included in a basic maid service cleaning. Here is what things are usually included in the regular maid service cost:

• Dusting of all rooms, including the furniture, window ledges, and each room is vacuumed.
• In the kitchen, the things that will be cleaned include the sink, appliances, counters, tables, chairs, and dishes will be washed.
• In each bathroom, the maid service will include cleaning the toilets, mirrors, sinks, shower, tub, and exterior of the cabinet.
• Throughout the house, all floors will be swept, mopped, and vacuumed.

Beyond such typical services that are included in basic maid service rates, there are additional services you can choose to pay for. You may not want them on a regular basis, but opting for them once every few months may be ideal. These options, in addition to others, are usually available for an additional charge and include such services as a deep spring cleaning, stain removal, holiday cleaning, after party cleaning, washing baseboards, etc.

Choosing a Maid Service
While maid service rates are important, they are not the only issue that you should consider when choosing a maid service for your cleaning. It is also important to consider such things as the reputation of the maid service, if they are experienced, bonded, trustworthy, insured, and what type of cleaning services they specialize in. For example, some companies offer green or natural cleaning services. You need to know what the maid service offers and how they go about hiring the maids that will be coming into your home.

Start out by getting referrals from friends who have companies they have good experience with. Inquire, if they don’t mind disclosing, what maid service rates they paid and what service was included. Meet and interview several maid service companies before choosing one. Be sure to get in writing what all their maid service cost includes. Once you have narrowed down your options and researched the companies, it’s time to make a selection.

What’s it Worth
If you are skeptical about hiring a maid service, know that it is not a commitment you are making that will last forever. It is something you can try and then back away from if you decide it is not what you thought it would be or if you feel you can’t afford the maid service rates.

Most people who have a company clean their home find that it is well worth the maid service cost. You really have to stop and consider what your time is worth and then decide if it is worth the amount you are paying to the maid service. Chances are you, like millions of others, will find that it is worth every penny!

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Tips on Cleaning Metal Surfaces
When we clean our home we have many things to take care of – dishes, surfaces, the oven and so on. One thing we can really find daunting is cleaning metal pans and other surfaces from buildup or tarnish. These can be very annoying to deal with as most of the stains are very resistant to most of what we use to clean. Here we have a few tips which will help you deal with these a little easier next time you do your cleaning routine:

1. Copper-bottomed pans and pots
Tarnish can appear on those as a result of water stains and a number of other reasons. Have no fear though, it can be easily remedied by using the correct cleaning technique. Just turn the pan upside-down and pour some white vinegar on the surface, sprinkle some salt on that and scrub away with a paper towel or a soft cloth. If it doesn’t work the first time around try again until all traces of the spots are gone.

2. Cleaning copper and brass
You might have a lot of copper or brass trinkets and things like handles for example which give your kitchen a nice old-time feeling to it with their wonderful, warm colors. Those can get dirty as well and the only way for them to regain their shine is to clean them up using the right products. This can be done easily by cutting up a lemon in half and using said half with a bit of salt sprinkled on. Just rub the affected surface and lo and behold the brass and copper will shine like new again in no time.

3. Cleaning silver items
Most often these are silver candlesticks and we all know how much fun it is to have those around the house if the reason for that is romantic dinners or simply the more practical need in case you’re having power failures. Regardless these often get enough patina and grime on them in time that dulls their shine. Wax drippings can also be a real bane to their looks, but fear not – you can easily rid them of that by placing them in the freezer. The cold will make the wax brittle and weak and you’ll be able to quickly break it off. Apart from commercial silver cleaners you can use white toothpaste or baking soda to clean the grime off silver surfaces.

4. Metal faucets
If you see caulk buildup around the faucets know that you can rid yourself of them by simply using lemon juice to dissolve the annoying rings forming around them. Much like using it with copper and brass you can do the same with half a lemon – just rub the surface until the acid dissolves the buildup.

5. Cleaning up rust
Some instruments or places get rusty as a result of moisture and so on, so in these cases there are some simple steps one can take:

• Scrub off the rust by using a scrubbing pad or some steel wool.
• Use some rust remover with a steel wool pad and rub it into the surface.
• Leave it on there for up to 20 minutes depending on the damage.
• Wipe it off with paper towels or a soft cloth.
• Apply a rust-proof coating – some can be water-resistant and capable of protecting even against heavy moisture.

Grace is an expert in the field of home improvement and organizing. Read more at http://www.0800housecleaning.co.uk/ .

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Tags: The Picky Maid reviews

Have you ever asked yourself what the point of life is all about? It seems as though everything is an endless cycle of the rat race. There seems to be no rest or pausing. If you are not in the office, you are supposed to be at home to cook, clean the house, empty the trash, do the laundries take care of the kids, and before you know it, it is another morning, time to go to work. This explains why so many families in the United States of America are not living a balanced life, because it is all work and no play, which makes the average American a ‘dull’ citizen. No wonder there are a lot of cases of illness, mental disorder, and many cases of stress and depression.

“Do you have to go that far to prove that maid services are important?” You ask. The truth is that this is the reality. There is literary no time to even have a break. Home demands and work demands can make you go insane. It is not an exaggeration; many people have become insane because of overwork. Many families have been broken because of the little time available to connect to each other and crime rate has increased. In order to live well, you need time to relax, stroll on the beaches, go out fishing, skiing, and mountain climb, take your family out for a treat, so some love to your family, do some gardening, play games, and jog and so on. However, did you know that it is not possible for some people to engage in such activities because of the commitments of household chores? The sad news is that despite the fact that life is made of simple things, we ignore the very things that make life.

It is no wonder that you can make all the money in the world, but if you find no time to enjoy it, then you still remain as miserable as ever. Austin maid services can help restore the meaning of life to your family. Maids come into your house to give you a chance to enjoy other parts of life. When you hire a maid for house cleaning and household chores, you are not spending money, but giving away some money in exchange for some golden freedom. You may think that this is all crap, but the truth is that it is the absolute truth. Maids are the guarantors of your freedom. They give you an opportunity to discover yourself, share quality time with your family and friends and engage in your treasured hobbies. If you do not believe this, then you also have the choice to continue to live in the miserable and congested lifestyle. Why not walk into one of Austin maid services and ask for rescue from the chains that the demands of modern daily living has plunged you into? It will not cost much, indeed no price is too big to pay for one’s happiness.
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How to Clean and Maintain the Range Hood in Your Kitchen
When you’re in your kitchen and you’re in the process of cleaning it, how much time do you devote to your range? Although it tends to be an appliance that not a lot of us give thought to, the truth of the matter is that it’s essential when it comes to keeping our kitchens healthy. That’s because the internal fan that is attached to it helps to capture all of the grease and residue that’s in the air as we’re cooking our meals. If we don’t clean it on a regular basis, it can be a breeding ground for bacteria and even the source of a potential fire hazard. This is why it’s so important that you do all that you can in order to clean and maintain your range hood.

If you’d like some tips on how to do that, we’ve enclosed five of them below:

Clean the vent hood. When it comes to your vent hood, take out the grease filter that is inside of the range and let it soak in a degreaser solution for about an hour. Then take it out and wash it in some soapy warm water (dishwashing liquid should be fine). Also take special note that if your range hood happens to use charcoal filters, when you’re in the process of cleaning it, you should change those as well.

Clean the filters. If you wait too long, there’s a pretty good chance that an oily residue is going to collect on your filters. The reason why this is cause for concern is that if the filters are not clean, the residue could actually end up dropping into your food. So make sure that you take the time to clean those out too.

Clean the inside and outside surfaces. Just about all of us have seen a range hood that seems to have layers of residue on them; almost to the point where it appears impossible to remove. You can avoid this from happening by cleaning the inside and outside surfaces of your range hood no less than twice per month. In most cases, you can put some degreaser on a damp cloth to remove any grime, grease or debris that you see. But if you come across some really stubborn areas, mix one part baking soda with one part water. That should make those spots as good as new. Word of caution: keep the degreaser and baking soda solution away from your light fixtures; it could damage them.

Empty your reservoir. If you were to ask a company like Range Hoods Inc. about what you should do in order to maintain your range hood, something that they would probably tell you to do is look to see if you have reservoir (if you do, it would be located close to the backsplash in your kitchen). It’s something that also helps to catch the oil. If you happen to notice that it is filled with oil, it’s important that you empty it just as soon as possible.

Consider using a natural degreaser. Are you someone who would prefer to use as little chemicals as possible while cleaning your range hood? If so, consider making your own degreaser. All you need to do is combine two cups of warm water, two tablespoons of baking soda, two teaspoons of castile soap and 20 drops of your favorite essential oil. It’s cheap, it’s effective and it will have your range hood sparkling clean in no time!

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Everyone wants to make a good impression. Unfortunately, in today’s demanding world we don’t always have time to make our apartments spic-and-span. Whether the in-laws are coming to visit or a friend is seeing the place for the first time, your place needs to undergo some cleaning, and fast. Luckily, we can help make sure all the buzz about your apartment is as sweet as honey.

We provide cleanings at whatever frequency you need, whether it’s a daily, weekly, bi-weekly, monthly or one time cleaning, we can work within your schedule to make it happen. We are also able to help with things other than just regular housekeeping. We will work with you to create a plan specifically tailored to suit your needs.

Our maids are 100% dedicated to making your home or apartment spotless and sparkling from top to bottom. Our maids are well known for their attention to detail and personalized attention to our customers.

Our maid services are more than just dusting and vacuuming. Each house has specific needs. We wash walls, windows, dishes, clothes, and most anything you can think of.
Few quality of our experienced maid

• Keep a Tidy Kitchen
• Better Bathroom, Big Bonus
• Bask in a Blooming Bedroom

Another benefit of working with us for your maid service is being able to have the same crew each time your home is cleaned. Our maids get to know your personal needs and requests to ensure your home is cleaned just the way you want.

Residential service

We offer value added services to various buildings and apartments, which comes under residential sectors. We facilitate our clients in this sectors with residential house cleaning services, residential housekeeping services, residential management services, home security services, residential maintenance services, engineering services and varied other facility management services as per the requirements of our clients.

Office/Business service

No matter how competitive your company’s core strengths may be, a visitor to your building may gain an entirely mistaken impression of your business if the workplace environment doesn’t reflect a commitment to precision and order.

Office:

We understand that a clean working environment enhances the productivity, health, and work experience of your employees, improving morale and increasing efficiency. We are ready to fulfill your office and facilities cleaning needs.

Restaurant:

We clean all surfaces and equipment, from tables and chairs to entrance ways, dining rooms, restrooms and kitchens. We use the highest standards of personal and environmental hygiene, to ensure elimination of odours and contamination.

Retail/shop:

Quality Control and our detailed colour code floor plan system set us apart in the retail sector. We take the worry out of running the daily or around-the-clock cleaning operations of a retail business.

Mall:

We are specialized in offering Mall Management Services to our clients that are appreciated for their reliability, systematic approach and timeliness. For this, we undertake housekeeping and maintenance for these malls. Our services are catered by our trained team of personnel, who have in-depth expertise in delivering these services so as to meet the utmost satisfaction level of our clients.

Babysitter

Babies are the god gift to human. Babies need to take good care. For parents who are working and need their baby to be in safe hands in there absents. We solve the problems of such parents by providing babysitter. We give you the most advanced search tools and security systems available to make it safe and easy to find Babysitters with the specific traits you want. Whether you’re seeking a part-time, live-out job or perhaps you want a full-time, live-in job. Either way, if you want great Babysitters, We’ve got you covered.

Speciality Service

We offer cleaning for special occasions. There is no better way to enjoy your party, then to let us help you prepare for it, and let us clean up after it. We provide services in parties, functions and special occasion in cleaning department. Every party organiser wants to enjoy their party in clean environment. Our staff will provide you service before function, on functions and after functions to make your house look fresh new.
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cleaning 1.23

At Calvert Cleaning, we focus on providing the highest level of service and satisfaction for our customers. With that in mind, we have established a set of
specific quality standards to guide our staff and define every aspect of our service:

Quality Standards
Honesty
Safe cleaning
service procedures
Exceptional attention to detail
Care for the environment
Eco-friendly cleaning products
Bonded and
insured employees
Response to client requests within 24 hours

Supporting Calvert Cleaning’s Quality Standards, we can provide references and testimonials from our clients.

Client Reviews –

• As the office manager of our company one part of my job is finding contractors who can support our company for various jobs. I was having trouble with cleaning companies being consistent with service three nights per week. When I approached the manager of the previous company his reply to my problems with cleaning was “sorry but you are a small account, I will assist you when I can”. I started looking and found Calvert Cleaning Services. Uncertain as to how they would perform I said to the owner Jeff, I want a three month contract to start until we see how you do the job. He said no problem, I am sure you will be happy with us. Well, that was four years ago, we have an annual contract and I still trust him!

• Working with Jeff at Calvert Cleaning, I found out over time that he had a hotel background and used to manage resort hotels. This got me thinking that he can possibly assist me with finding a caterer for an upcoming luncheon for the CEO of our company. Jeff quickly found me a great company who presented the food beautifully. We received many comments on the event. Thank you Jeff for making that happen!

• We are pleased to be working with Calvert Cleaning managed by Jeff and his good team, I have challenged him a few times with floor care, window cleaning, curtain repairs of our boardroom and he always comes up with a solution. At month end, we appreciate that he has itemized the other services requested, apart from cleaning, and presented one invoice to pay.

• We have trusted Jeff for years; we started working with his company when he was cleaning our residence. I asked him one day, as my husband was complaining about the office cleaning, would you consider doing it. That was a great decision, we trust him with keys and security for both the business and our personal home.

As always, if you have any questions about our work, staff or quality standards, we invite you to contact our president, Jeff Calvert, at 1 (407) 968-2498

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The main reason why people think of going the do-it-yourself way when it comes to carpet cleaning is to save money. Now, let us do some simple arithmetic here: you will need to hire a cleaning machine and buy the chemicals for the job. The total cost of this will of course be lower than what you would have paid to a cleaner. But you will then have to do the tough part by yourself – move the furniture and spend time trying to remove those tough stains. If you are doing the whole house, it will take you more than 4 hours. Is that time worth the cost difference between hiring the machine to clean your own carpets and hiring professional carpet cleaning services for the entire job?

Another consideration that is important when looking for a professional carpet cleaning service as compared to renting a portable carpet cleaning machine from your local grocery store is the capacity of the equipment and the cleaning solutions. If you are just using the device in your home, one with a small tank may be appropriate. However, you need to accept the fact that small tanks need to be filled and emptied more often. For those who want to use the machine for professional carpet cleaning services, a machine that holds 100 gallons of waste water and cleaning solution may be ideal, especially if it can be plugged to the engine or a truck. However, if you are only interested in a portable professional steam extractor, one with a capacity of 10 to 12 gallons is perfect.

Carpets being one of the expensive pieces of furnishing in our homes, needs to be well-kept-up and taken care of regularly. Getting your carpets cleaned through a professional Calgary carpet cleaning service, ensures longer life and much greater hygiene for your carpets. Just like any other thing used regularly in your house, requires maintenance, even carpet demands certain level of care and maintenance to look their best. Keeping carpets fresh and free from dirt and germs ensures a healthy indoor environment. The minute carpet fibers tend to hold small particles that can contaminate the indoor air quality environment. Vacuuming the carpets thus becomes vital in sustaining their freshness and getting rid of the germs ridden with soiling, bacteria and dirt. Though vacuuming is an integral part of any carpet cleaning methodology, it is just an initial step in protecting your carpets or rugs from dirt and wear. Though it is essentially important to opt for a professional carpet cleaning service for utmost care of your carpets, rugs, and upholstery, you too can ensure long life and optimum quality of your carpets by following some of these carpet cleaning tips.

Because of the great experience of most cleaning service providers, you should most definitely consider seeking the help of a professional cleaning company when you find it impossible for you to handle all the tasks by yourself. The extensive experience of a cleaning professional when it comes to cleaning carpets, stoneware, will always ensure the best results. So whenever you are looking for the best professionals for having your home or business cleaned, you should take action in the shortest time. Most professional cleaning service Calgary companies constantly offer high quality services using the most advanced equipment and professional cleaning products exclusively. The experts in this field are aware of the importance of cleaning and the staff is always chosen carefully and undergoes all the necessary training and practice before being selected to clean your home or office. The cleaning experts are always ready to keep your home carpets impeccably clean! By choosing a professional cleaning company in your area, you will never need to worry about the difficulty of renting a cleaning machine, hauling it home and spending countless hours of hard labor trying to get those carpets looking good again. If you choose the best cleaning experts in your area you will no longer need to worry about any of these aspects.

One of the benefits of using a Calgary Carpet Cleaning services is most cleaning companies offer a 30-day guarantee. Expert Cleaning Services in Calgary agrees to return to your home to re-clean any spot or stain that appears within thirty days of the first cleaning if you purchase and standard or premium service. Because they are willing to fix any mistakes and because of their timely response time, Expert Cleaning Services in Calgary is an A+ rated company by the Better Business Bureau.

Expert Cleaning Services in Calgary uses the best truck mount carpet cleaning equipment and specializes in carpet and rug cleaning and the professional cleaning of marble, stone, tile and grout, and upholstery. They also provide special services such as drapery cleaning, and blind cleaning. You can get every floor surface or window covering of your home cleaned and or polished by the services offer through Expert Cleaning.

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Calgary Carpet Cleaning – Choosing The Right Type Of Carpet Cleaning

BY EXPERT CLEANING SERVICES

Do a quick online search for carpet cleaning and you’ll find a variety of different methods. The two most common are hot water extraction — mostly known as steam cleaning — and hot carbonation, often referred to as dry chemical techniques.
So how do you decide which method is best? To start, check the paperwork that came with your carpet, with the carpet manufacturer itself or with a reputable carpet cleaning company. With most carpet manufacturers the most widely accepted cleaning method is hot water extraction.
The use of truck-mounted equipment that injects water heated between 180 and 250 degrees Fahrenheit into the carpet under pressure and then rinses out a pretreated solution referred commonly as steam cleaning, helps removes embedded soiling , bacteria, dust mites and some odors. The most common drawback is a longer dry time. Done well though, the carpet should dry in just 4-6 hours, but if inferior equipment is used for steam cleaning, dry times can take more than a day — resulting in a over wetting and possibly a mildew smell — as well as the soap can be left behind, attracting more dirt.
Using technically advanced cleaning products has greatly reduced the likelihood of re-soiling that for years has been so prevalent with inferior products that left a great amount of residue behind that attracted soiling. The recent use of non residue cleaning technology has now allowed carpet to be cleaned residue free, leaving the carpet in it’s natural state as when it was new.
“The big, big difference with the advanced cleaning solution is it crystallizes as it dries, while encapsulating any remaining soiling that may have been left behind. It’s pet and family friendly and there’s no risk of leaving any type of soap residue in your carpet, which will attract dirt. If the technician used inferior products, leaving soap in the carpeting, you can tell when a customer has that happen to them. It seems like, within a week or two, the carpet seems dirtier than before they had it cleaned.”
Though most carpet types can withstand both methods, always follow the cleaning recommendations of your carpet manufacturer to ensure you don’t void the carpet’s warranty.
Some companies charge by the room, others by the foot. However a company charges, you should know what the fee will be before the technicians begin the work. Ask for a written quote if it’s not offered to you upfront. Look for a company with a good history and that carries workers compensation and liability insurance and has an affiliation with an industry trade association, like the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) or The Carpet and Rug Institute.
The most common complaint, according to the BBB or Angie’s List reports, is companies that offer a discount and then try to up-sell for additional services once they get in the door.
Customers should understand what their bill is before any work is done, “I invite customers to do as much research as they can on carpet cleaning because there are huge differences in carpet cleaning companies. It’s not just about price.” The old adage, “you get what you pay for”, truly applies. Choose your cleaning company wisely, not by their price alone.

For more articles go to Expert Cleaning Services or subscribe to our News Feed
At: Calgary Carpet Cleaning Blog

We’ve been providing cleaning services in Calgary for over 60 years. Our services include carpet, blinds, and tile cleaning. Call us for your cleaning needs.
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Expert Cleaning Services

4536 Manilla Road S.E.
Calgary, ABT2G 4B7
Canada

[email protected]
403 243-5220

Expert Cleaning Services offers Calgary AB customers top cleaning services and products. Our organization specializes in Carpet Cleaning, Rug Cleaning, Tile & Grout Cleaning, Stone Cleaning. Our team has grown to become an industry leader, trusted for professional cleaning by Calgary residents. Our local customer support personnel is looking forward to serving you. For more information get in touch with us at: 403 243-5220

Why should anyone use the services of a cleaning services company? The short response is they have the training as well as the equipment to maintain your home or office the right way. What a professional cleaning services company is able to do is provide you peace of mind. The right one should leave you feeling confident that your home or office is in excellent hands.

Let’s face it, for instance, to replace carpet isn’t cheap. Not only is the carpet costly, the labor is just as, if not more, costly. More times than not carpet covers most your home and office. It is like the skin on your body. The last thing you want to undertake is have to replace any of that skin. Also, the last thing you want to do is leave the care of your skin to simply anyone.

Enter the expert cleaning services of the world. These are technicians who are trained in the art of cleaning. Their role is to understand how to address all of your cleaning needs. They have the high tech hardware. They have the right cleaning products. And they possess the training to understand how and when to utilize them.

Now if all you must do is get your carpet vacuumed or some dusting, then you really don’t need a professional cleaning service. You need either a maid or a bit of individual motivation. However, if it’s time for the carpet’s annual maintenance or if you have guests coming over and there are some sort of ridiculous traffic stains you need out, you need to employ the service of a cleaning professional. If your loved pet can’t stop creating an “oops’ on the carpet, then you want to hire a professional cleaning service.

Unattractive stains as well as spot treatment tend to be specialties for these cleaning services. Many of them have many different varieties of spot removers for the plethora of stains your carpet can possibly encounter each day. Are you aware that certain stains call for certain types of cleaner? The professional cleaners do. Betcha didn’t realize that the last thing you want to put on a bloodstain is hot water. The professional cleaning services knows.

Nowadays a lot of cleaning services in Calgary do more than just clean carpets. Many of them will also care for your hardwood and stone and tile floors, treat leather furniture, clean upholstery and blinds. Many will even clean draperies.

For people with cleaning service necessities outside of a typical vacuuming and dusting then it is usually in your best interest to employ the best professional cleaning Calgary has to offer. Your home and office will get squeaky clean and you’ll get the satisfaction associated with knowing the job is in excellent hands.
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Expert Cleaning Services

4536 Manilla Road S.E.
Calgary, ABT2G 4B7
Canada

[email protected]
403 243-5220

Expert Cleaning Services offers Calgary AB customers top cleaning services and products. Our organization specializes in Carpet Cleaning, Rug Cleaning, Tile & Grout Cleaning, Stone Cleaning. Expert Cleaning Services has become Calgary AB’s cleaning Business leader. Our local customer support personnel is looking forward to serving you. For more information get in touch with us at: 403 243-5220

Why should anyone use the services of a cleaning services company? The short response is they have the training as well as the equipment to maintain your home or office the right way. What a professional cleaning services company is able to do is provide you peace of mind. The right one should leave you feeling confident that your home or office is in excellent hands.

Let’s face it, for instance, to replace carpet isn’t cheap. Not only is the carpet costly, the labor is just as, if not more, costly. More times than not carpet covers most your home and office. It is like the skin on your body. The last thing you want to undertake is have to replace any of that skin. Also, the last thing you want to do is leave the care of your skin to simply anyone.

Enter the expert cleaning services of the world. These are technicians who are trained in the art of cleaning. Their role is to understand how to address all of your cleaning needs. They have the high tech hardware. They have the right cleaning products. And they possess the training to understand how and when to utilize them.

Now if all you must do is get your carpet vacuumed or some dusting, then you really don’t need a professional cleaning service. You need either a maid or a bit of individual motivation. However, if it’s time for the carpet’s annual maintenance or if you have guests coming over and there are some sort of ridiculous traffic stains you need out, you need to employ the service of a cleaning professional. If your loved pet can’t stop creating an “oops’ on the carpet, then you want to hire a professional cleaning service.

Unattractive stains as well as spot treatment tend to be specialties for these cleaning services. Many of them have many different varieties of spot removers for the plethora of stains your carpet can possibly encounter each day. Are you aware that certain stains call for certain types of cleaner? The professional cleaners do. Betcha didn’t realize that the last thing you want to put on a bloodstain is hot water. The professional cleaning services knows.

Nowadays a lot of cleaning services do more than just clean carpets. Many of them will also care for your hardwood and stone and tile floors, treat leather furniture, clean upholstery and blinds. Many will even clean draperies.

For people with cleaning service necessities outside of a typical vacuuming and dusting then it is usually in your best interest to employ a qualified cleaning service. Your home and office will get squeaky clean and you’ll get the satisfaction associated with knowing the job is in excellent hands.
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Cleaning Services – Should I Use A Professional Cleaning Service?
By Expert Cleaning Services Calgary

Cleaning a house may be daunting for some individuals. Not everyone has time to cater to different things such as full house cleaning. People do not like their houses looking messy. Fortunately, there are companies that offer cleaning services to homeowners and other premises.
Getting cleaning services from a company does not mean that an individual is not clean. It can simply be because a person does not have time to do it. There are very demanding jobs that require long hours hence not everyone has the time to do everything as desired. Professional companies also have equipment that an individual may not. This means that for effective cleaning, these companies have to use their products to ensure that the job is done well.
There is also the aspect of thorough cleaning, when it comes to moving in and out. Depending on the house, it may be cumbersome for a single person to clean the whole place in line with the requirements of the landlord. Some strict landlords only give out the full deposit after someone has cleaned the premise satisfactorily.
Hiring the services of professionals will contribute immensely to relieving pressure from a person. Once they are done delivering their services a person will be surprised by how good the house will look. They always ensure that they clean all places that have dust or debris. They also make sure that areas that may not be noticeable are still taken care of, leaving the house sparkling clean.
Professionally Carpet Cleaning can make a huge difference in the appearance of the premises. Dirty carpets don’t only look terrible, they can capture unhealthy bacteria and odors. Professional carpet cleaning can provide a cleaner and healthier indoor environment.
Did you know there are cleaning companies that also provide blind and drapery cleaning services? For professional cleaning of your window coverings these cleaning companies can provide a pickup service to provide professional cleaning or you may have the option of bringing your blinds and draperies into these cleaning service companies location. Clean blinds and draperies is another step in providing a healthy home environment.
Tile cleaning is convenient and can transform the look of a house. Most professionals will first inspect the tile and grout. This process is done with the main aim of gathering all the necessary information. The measures that are meant to do wonders to the tile flooring are then put in place. The services are great for removing things that are encountered daily such as dirt, stains and oil.
Stone cleaning should only be done by professionals. Marble and stone floors are expensive and usually require professional cleaning services to bring back a tired looking floor to it’s original appearance. They can absorb oil, dirt and other debris which may make them look unappealing. They need to be cleaned professionally so as to ensure that they maintain that beautiful look that adds to the overall beauty of a well cleaned house.
Professional companies have technicians who are highly trained in cleaning. They aim to ensure customer satisfaction and give their clients a positive experience that is memorable. They are guaranteed to offer satisfaction with their cleaning services.
Expert Cleaning Services provides Calgary consumers top quality cleaning services products and services. Our company specializes in Carpet Cleaning, Rug Cleaning , Blind Cleaning, and Stone & Tile Cleaning. Expert Cleaning Services has developed into Calgary AB’s cleaning services Business leader. Our local customer assistance staff looks forward to helping you. For further information get in touch with us at: 403 243-5220

We’ve been providing cleaning services in Calgary for over 60 years. Our services include carpet, blinds, and tile cleaning. Call us for your cleaning needs.
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Natural stone floors can give a wonderfully unique feel to any home. Every house owner has their wish list for their flooring, countertops, and all other stones or the marble areas that always have a unique look. They can make a house look beautiful in different ways, but as easy as it is to get your home looking beautiful just by adding natural stone floors or countertops, keeping them clean and in good condition might just be another story entirely. Over time, these surfaces, as a result of wear and tear, begin to fade and lose the shine which appealed to so many householders when they were new.

If you have natural stone flooring then you already know that it isn’t as eye catching when it’s not clean. Here are some tips to help you avoid dirty stone flooring. They may seem simple, and they are, but they’re also very effective and will undoubtedly make it easier for you to keep your floors in good condition.

Daily Sweeping – Dust and dirt are probably the biggest factors that contribute damage to natural stone floors. These particles may be extremely tiny but they can do a lot of destruction to your flooring over time. These small particles can cause abrasions and scratches on the surface of your stone and, after time, reduce the natural luster. This is why daily sweeping is so important. It really doesn’t take but a few minutes of your time and a small amount of your energy. Use a micro-fiber broom rather than a traditional straw broom. On stone, the traditional broom may leave scratches. Micro-fiber is much gentler and less abrasive. Plus they pick up more particles.

Damp Mopping – Using a damp mop to clean your natural stone flooring is an effective way to remove any dust and dirt and make it shine in the process. A damp mop will remove the dust and dirt particles that sweeping couldn’t. Try using a string mop or one made of micro-fiber for your stone flooring. This type of mop is less abrasive and will reduce the potential for scratching. Warm water is really all you need for a good mopping but if you do choose to use a chemical cleaner make sure that it is safe for your type of stone.

Avoid Using Acidic Cleaning Agents – Cleaning agents that contain any form of acid are very bad for your stone. Any acidic or even citrus based cleaning agents can etch into the surface of your stone and leave scarring and scratches that will require professional polishing to remove. If you feel the need to use anything other than water on your natural stone then opt for a neutral pH cleaner or a stone soap.

Maintaining your natural stone flooring is not as difficult as it may seem. Following these tips will maximize your cleaning efforts and ensure that your natural stone floors will remain beautiful and healthy for years to come.

When it comes time for professional cleaning of your natural stone or marble, it is vital to understand the benefits which are available when you make investments in the expertise and experiences of marble and natural stone cleaning experts.

To find a qualified tile and natural stone cleaner visit your Local Tile & Stone Cleaning Experts
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Milk stains really don’t seem that hard to clean, but in fact, they are and it can take you up to an hour to remove them entirely. The problem is that once milk dries on a fabric it can darken and the stain turns into a big mess. Here is what you should do with milk stains.

Step 1: As a general rule for most stains, the quicker you treat it the better. Put the fabric in cold water and leave it there for about 10 minutes. Make sure you are using cold water as warm water will darken the stain.
Step 2: After soaking the fabric if the stain is still visible, rub some liquid detergent for laundry and soak the fabric for half an hour in room temperature. Rub the stained area gently every few minutes – this way the detergent will penetrate the fabric quicker and will loosen the stain. Rinse the fabric thoroughly and check the result.
Step 3: You can add some type of stain remover like gel or stick or spray the stain and leave it to sit for about 10 minutes. You don’t have to rub the fabric while waiting.
Step 4: If the stain remains, repeat steps 1, 2 and 3. If the stain has dried you will need to treat it several times before you remove it fully.

One of the nastiest stains on any piece of clothing is that of tomato sauce. It can look quite nasty and you simply can’t hide it. However, you can clean it quickly and with just a few easy steps.
Step 1: Treating the spot as soon as possible is advisable, especially if there is excess tomato sauce on the fabric. You can remove it with a butter knife or a spoon. Be careful not to smear the area even further.
Step 2: Run cold water through the fabric, from the back side of the stain to get off as much as possible.
Step 3: Rub some liquid detergent through the stain with circular motion.
Step 4: If the stain remains and the clothing is white you can use a mild bleach (vinegar, lemon juice or hydrogen peroxide) and apply it with a sponge. Rinse the clothing well afterwards.
Step 5: If the stain of tomato sauce is particularly stubborn you will need to use a stain remover and repeat some of the steps.

A useful tip is to check what kind of stain it is before you treat it – if it is a combination of food and oil, then treat the oily part first with a dishwasher liquid.

Quite a common stain is caused by pencils. Even though we use pencil on paper stains are often found on our clothes afterwards. It is not hard to clean them and it takes only about 10-15 minutes. First of all, try to erase the pencil. You may be surprised at how easy it is to simply use a pencil eraser. If you rub the stain gently you can do a really good job. If it remains use a stain remover – apply it and follow the product’s instructions. Wash the garment normally in the right temperature for the given fabric.

Mas you can see from the above-mentioned tips most common stains can be treated pretty easily and successfully. Don’t despair if tomato sauce goes on your new white shirt while eating your spaghetti. You can deal with just about any stain with the great cleaning products available on the market these days.

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It’s that time of year again. The time when people tend to spend as much time outside as they do in (if not more). This means that the patio furniture on the front porch and back deck has to be impeccably clean and presentable.
If you have some patio furniture and you’d like a few ideas on how you can keep it clean during the spring and summer seasons, we have five tips that will keep your pieces looking great during the sunshine, rain and everything in between.

Plastic furniture. If your patio furniture happens to be made of classic, the main thing to keep in mind is while it may be durable, without cleaning it on a weekly basis, it can start to look a bit dingy. Usually, all you need to do is get a bucket of warm soap and water, wash the pieces down with a sponge and then rinse them off with a hose. However, if your furniture happens to be white, it’s a good idea to add a bit of bleach or hydrogen peroxide and let it sit for about 15-20 minutes before the final rinse.

Aluminum furniture. This kind of furniture can handle soap and water too. The only other thing that we suggest is that once the furniture is dry, apply a thin coat of high quality car wax in order to protect it until it’s time for you to wash it again.

Wooden furniture. Although the general concept for cleaning plastic furniture is the same for wood, one thing that we do advise is that you wear some rubber gloves (to protect your hands from possible splinters) and that you go with a kind of soap that’s specifically made to clean wood like perhaps Murphy’s Oil Soap. A denture brush is pretty effective for hard to reach crevices. Also, make sure that after you rinse the furniture that you use a soft rag to dry the furniture off.

Wicker furniture. Wicker is one of the most beautiful kinds of patio furniture, but if you try and clean it with soap and water, it can prove to be pretty frustrating. Our suggestion is that you put a small attachment on your vacuum cleaner and then vacuum the furniture to get the dirt and twigs off of it. You can then follow that up with wiping the pieces down with a damp cloth.

Upholstery, glass tabletops and patio umbrellas. When it comes to your patio furniture’s “accessories”, we have a few suggestions. For your cushions and pillows, if they are made of vinyl rather than fabric, mix a teaspoon of dishwashing detergent and Borax into a quart of warm water and put the cushions into the solution for 5-10 minutes before rinsing them off and letting them air dry. For glass tabletops, you can use regular window cleaner although if some candle wax has hardened on them, you can loosen it up by blowing warm air from your blow dryer on it for a couple of minutes and then applying some rubbing alcohol to remove any residue. For patio umbrellas, if you’ve noticed any mildew, to remove it mix ¾ of bleach to a gallon of water and then wipe it down with a rag. That should do the trick.

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It’s no secret that cleaning isn’t a particularly enjoyable enterprise. It’s not called a ‘chore’ for nothing. But it is a necessary aspect of maintaining any house or apartment, no matter the size. You can only put it off for so long, and the greater the time between cleanings, the taller the task you’ll face when you finally bite the bullet and get started. Yet even though cleaning isn’t much fun, it doesn’t have to be that time consuming. Professional cleaners manage to handle full houses in the same amount of time that most of us take to tackle a single kitchen. And there are many things you can learn from the pro’s approach. Come at it from the right place, and you’ll get it done with very little pain and suffering. Here are five tips to help you clean your home like a pro.

First of all, know that every job has its own perfect tool. Luckily, when it comes to cleaning you should be able to multitask with the right tools. Your best bet is to buy a cleaning apron, which has a series of pockets you can fill with your supplies. Another option is to put together a basket of cleaning supplies. With all of the right brushes, rags and products at your fingertips, you’ll end up drastically reducing your cleaning time. If you hit a snag in a room, you’ll have what you need right there, so you won’t have to waste precious minutes hunting around under the kitchen sink.

The professionals also avoid unnecessary movements. Cleaning can be backbreaking work, and professionals know how to conserve their energy so they can keep things moving for eight full hours a day. Have a plan for every room, and be organized about it. Professionals will work their way through a room once, instead of going task to task and crossing the same room dozens of times. To make this possible, make sure your small basket of supplies is light enough that you can carry it around with you. That way you can minimize your trips around the room, and shorten your cleaning time.

There’s definitely a right way to approach a cleaning job, and it usually means doing the same thing every time. Watch a professional cleaner, and you’ll notice he always works from top to bottom. It’s basic physics. Dirt that you shake loose when cleaning falls to the ground. So if you start at the top, you won’t end up having to clean the same area twice because you’ve simply moved dirt from one place to another.

Although it will take you a bit of practice, try to use both hands while you’re cleaning. It’s common sense if you think about it. Just as a team of cleaners get a job done faster, your hands working as a team allow you to do twice as much. After you get used to it, you should be able to finish off a polish or wipe job with one hand, while the other hand is already working on the next area.

Finally, pay attention to the job at hand. This isn’t something you need to discover through one of those click here to read the full article links. But think about it. When are you most effective at work? It’s probably when you’ve got a razor focus, and you aren’t thinking about the night’s dinner or the sports scores from the prior weekend. Cleaning may feel like an absolute chore, but if you put your mind to the task in front of you, you’ll get the whole thing finished much quicker, and with a visibly better result.

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Washing your windows perfectly is certainly one of the greatest challenges at home. You can even talk about cleaning and how to achieve a perfect shine of your windows with your mother because she knows plenty of secrets to share with you. And when the sun gently caresses your windows that look terrible after the long winter, you start thinking how to deal with this issue. In such cases, any good housewife cannot stay indifferent to what is happening, so let’s get to work.

What to Use for Cleaning?
Naturally, a variety of products for washing windows is available on the market. Each of you can choose whatever you want or need. But there are many advantages that homemade cleaners offer as well:
1. They are cost-effective;
2. They are absolutely natural – so you protect yourself, your children and pets;
3. They are close at hand and you do not even have to go to the store to get them.

Tested Recipes for Shiny Windows
So, if you believe that natural ingredients are the right choice – get to work because no one will do it for you.

Water with Vinegar

The most common way to wash your windows is the mixture of water and vinegar. The ratio should be 150 ml apple vinegar and 3 liters of water. Mix them in a bucket or bowl, then you can fill a bottle with sprayer, or use a sponge to apply and scrub the windows. If you have a rubber for windows – use it to remove any excess of water and detergent, and then dry with a dry cloth or paper. You can replace the vinegar with lemon juice if that’s how you prefer it.

Water with Iodine
Efficient way to clean dirty windows is to wash them with water in which iodine is dissolved – for example, make a solution of 2 liters water and about 50 ml iodine. Spots that detergents fail to remove are no obstacle for the iodine.

Water with Ammonia
Mix the water with the liquid ammonia and some kind of strong alcohol. The ratio should be about a liter of water mixed with a coffee-cupful of both products. Clean with the mixture and then polish the windows with kitchen towel. Tested and really effective method.

Little Secrets for Success
If you use soap or a kind of washing liquid to wash the windows, do not overdo with the amount of the detergent. If it is more than necessary, washing will take more time and the final result will be blurred windows.
Try to wash windows when the sun does not shine on them directly. When the surface is heated, the time for reaction is less – you spray the cleaner and try to rub with a cloth, but the surface dries too quickly and finally the result is deplorable.

If on the windows there is old accumulation of dirt or other detergents, wash them with warm soapy water first. Then, it will be much easier for you to make them shine. Never use a circular motion to clean. Move the brush or sponge from top to bottom or from left to right.

Grace is a happy mom who really loves sharing domestic cleaning tricks and tips and to help busy modern housewives to handle easy all the tasks at home. For more check http://www.londoncleaners.co.uk/ .

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Factors to Consider When Hiring a Maid Maid Service
Need an extra pair of helping hands at home? Why not hire a maid? Anyone can feel like royalty when contracting for housekeeping assistance from a professional service. Maid service can be obtained anywhere from a few hours or half a day to a permanent part-time or full-time position. You don’t have to be rich or famous to need a maid; many busy housewives and business professionals seek housekeeping assistance to ensure their homes stay clean and tidy while they are occupied with family matters or business duties.

What factors should you consider when hiring a maid (or two)? Here are a few to consider.

1. Is the maid service reliable? In other words, is it professionally operated? Does it employ underage teens, or are the employees bonafide legal adults with citizenship or proper visas? Has the company completed background checks on its employees? While it is up to the maid service company to ensure the legality of its employees, you may want to ask just to be sure. Contact the Better Business Bureau and ask if complaints have been filed against the company, and if so, how were they resolved.

2. Are employees insured and licensed? Are the maids well-trained in housekeeping skills? There have been horror stories in the news of maids who mixed the wrong cleaning chemicals and inadvertently harmed the client. Find out if the maids have experience and solid references, and don’t hesitate to request copies of relevant documents.

3. What exactly will the maids do? Be specific in describing the work you want done. “Cleaning the bathroom” can mean anything from washing walls and windows to scrubbing the sink, tub, and toilet. List the tasks to be addressed so the maids know what to do.

4. How will you be billed? Some services bill by the hour or part of day – usually a half-day or whole day. Others bill by scope of work, i.e., cleaning three bedrooms and one bathroom. Find out how much you will be charged. Get a written estimate before having the work done. Inquire if you need to pay extra for cleaning supplies or equipment, such as a rug shampooer, and if there are any fringe costs not readily apparent.

5. Do you need for the maids to have any special skills? Being effective communicators, getting along with kids or pets, and being able to return several days or weeks until a job is finished may be concerns you will want to ask about. It is also a good idea to discuss limitations – what maids cannot do, such as wash the windows or perhaps the car, or clean out the basement, etc.

Maid service has become more of a necessity than a luxury for many individuals and families nowadays. Knowing how to find the right service with the housecleaning skills you need can help to alleviate your stress over a dirty house and prospective strangers working in your home. The above can help you start the process.

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Hiring A Maid Service To Help You Keep A Tidy House
Keeping a house clean can seem like an impossible chore if you are a busy mother or father managing a career and kids. This is where a maid service can provide you with peace of mind that the house will get clean and stay clean. Sometimes, families may feel they have too much on their plate to maintain a perfect and clean house. It can be stressful to try to do it all. But it’s important to not let it worry you or stress you out. Not when you can hire someone to help you with the housework and take that pile of bricks off your shoulders.

Many house cleaning companies know just what you are going through. That is why they provide maids to keep up on the housework as often as you need them to. Maybe you need someone to come over once a week or twice a week. Maybe you only need someone once a month for the really deep cleaning jobs. Whatever it is that you need, a maid service can provide it. Many of them are only a phone call away.

If you are wondering where to start when looking for someone to clean your house, start by flipping through the yellow pages of your phone book. You can find several house keeping and maid service companies in the phone book and most of them list the locations they service and what types of house cleaning they provide. Before you give them a call, decide how often you want them to come out. This will help them give you a better quote on price. Find out what exactly is covered under that price and if there are any extra fees that may come up unexpectedly. Ask if the company is licensed and insured. If a maid gets injured at your home, you don’t want to be held liable. Make certain the company has their own insurance to cover accidents or injuries.

Another great way you can find a reputable maid service is by asking around to other busy moms or families to find out if they use a house keeping service. They just may have someone they can recommend to you that will come in and help relieve the burden of keeping a neat and tidy house.

When the maid service arrives, make sure you tell them the areas of the house that you want cleaned. It’s sometimes helpful to make a list of the areas you want clean and give it to your maid or house cleaner. Most maids and house cleaning companies will bring their own cleaning tools and supplies, but be sure to check ahead of time to ensure that they indeed bring their own supplies.

A clean home is a happy home. With a tidy house, you will be able to feel more relaxed and at ease knowing that you don’t have to live in a scattered, messy house everyday. When there is no clutter in sight and your house has a clean, fresh smell, you will be surprised at how much it can change your mood. Make house cleaning one less thing you have to worry about by calling a professional maid service today.

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Making Your House Sparkle
Living in a clean and organized house is essential in having a good quality of life. Although small children and pets can make home cleaning into a continuous all-day chore, there are some tips and shortcuts you can take in order to keep your house looking great. You never know when someone is going to unexpectedly drop by the house. By making your house look clean and clutter free most of the time, you won’t have to worry about guests dropping by and you can invite them into a clean house.

When you have children, it seems impossible to keep all of the toys and clutter picked up around the house. Just when you get everything put away, they pull out their toys again and you’re back where you started from. Here are some tips that can keep your house looking nice, even when you have kids and pets living with you. Getting your children involved in the cleaning process will not only give you a few extra helping hands, but also teaches your kids the value of home cleaning. Teach your children that when they get something out, they need to put it away after they are done playing with it. Have each child be responsible for cleaning their own room. Keeping their room clean will give them a sense of responsibility and accomplishment when they are able to play in a nice, clean room. Everyone wants to raise their children in a clean environment. Because home cleaning will ensure that your house will be free from bacteria and germs, your kids may actually be healthier.

Gathering your cleaning supplies before you begin home cleaning will save you time from having to search for your cleaners while trying to clean. Having a cleaning bucket full of your supplies is a good idea, making it easy to grab and go. A good way to set the mood and get yourself motivated to clean is to put on your favorite mix of high energy music and turn it up loud. Get out some tasty snacks to munch on and wear some comfortable clothes. Now you’re ready to clean. Sorting your clutter and picking up scattered items around the house is a great place to start when cleaning your home. Throw away any garbage you might have and put everything back into its place. Don’t overwhelm yourself with the entire house. Take it easy and just work on one room at a time.

Having a cleaning routine will help to make your home cleaning be quicker and more efficient. Start in the same room each time and develop a cleaning pattern. Starting from the top of the room and working down is a great strategy. Begin with dusting your ceiling fan and work your way down the walls. Next you can dust and clean your furniture, fireplace mantels, countertops and windows. Last but not least, vacuuming, mopping and waxing the floor adds the finishing touch to your clean home.

It’s a wonderful feeling when you have a fresh and clean house. After you’ve worked hard and cleaned the entirety of your home, treat yourself to something special like a hot bubble bath. Relax and enjoy the rest of your day. Another cleaning day is right around the corner.

If you prefer to hire a maid service to keep your home sparkling clean, check out our maid service reviews.

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How to Find a Maid that’s a Good Fit
Hiring a maid is a decision that shouldn’t be taken too lightly. This person will be given full access to your home and you want to be sure you’re working with someone you feel you can trust. Some services will even clean your home while you’re away, so you’ll be handing over your keys and alarm code to a new person. Before you make your choice, there are many important factors to consider.

How Does the Maid Service Operate?
Different maid services can operate very differently, so you’ll want to find a company that fits your personal needs. Some companies will send a team of three or four people with a set routine who will quickly and efficiently handle the housecleaning. Other services will send a single maid to assist with your housecleaning. This type of arrangement is often more flexible with following your routine rather than their own. You will also find different scheduling choices with various companies. If you need services at a very specific time, this is an important factor to consider when you’re comparing maids.

Do You Have Special Family Members?
If you’re home while your maid is cleaning, she may become like a part of your family during the time that she’s there. You want someone who feels comfortable with your family. If you have pets, it’s important that you find a maid who is comfortable with animals and certainly not allergic. Some maids may be more comfortable with children or the elderly as well. Language is an important factor for clear communication, so you should select someone that you and your family can communicate with well.

What Are Your Cleaning Requirements?
Consider your expectations carefully before hiring a maid so you can make sure you’re all on the same page. Some clients need only a light cleaning service, while others expect a deep cleaning. Make a list of what you expect on each visit and don’t take any services for granted. Do you want the windows cleaned, dishes done, laundry washed, porches swept and plants watered? You can’t expect your maid to perform all these tasks unless you’re very clear about what you need. You should also ask whether the service will pick up and organize your belongings, or if this needs to be done prior to each visit.

How Did You Hear About the Maid Service?
Reliability and trustworthiness are a priority when you’re hiring the services of a maid. If you’ve simply selected a company from the phone book, you may want to ask for references to see how other clients feel about the company. Online research will help you learn more about the reputation of the company as well. When you read user reviews online, keep in mind that dissatisfied customers are more likely to take the time to post a complaint than happy customers are to sit down and rave. A single poor review could be the result of one unfortunate incidence in an otherwise reputable company.

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House Cleaning Tips for Busy People

Nothing can make you feel better than a nice maintained home that sees everything in its place and is free of cutter, but in today’s fast paced world cleaning your home may be the last thing on your mind as you are simply too busy. More and more people are just letting the homestead slip to the sloppy and unorganized side or are hiring a maid service to do the job for them, but if you don’t want to do either there is hope for you to clean your home no matter how busy you get.

Here are some helpful tips that will have even the busiest person find time for a little spring – or anytime – cleaning:

• Make it fun: No one likes to clean but you can make the task just a bit more on the fun side. Get an egg timer and set it for five or ten minutes. You take on one room and have someone else in your family take on another. At the end of the time see which room looks the neatest. You will have a little fun and you will get tidied up just a bit.
• Don’t drop and go: Many times when people return from a long day at the office they walk in their house, flip off their shoes, let their coat drop, etc. This is what is known as ‘drop and go.’ When you drop and go you are not only cluttering up your home but you are in fact increasing the workload on yourself when you do find the time to clean as you will now have to pick everything up and organize more than you would have had too if you simply put things in their place as you went. While drop and go is a bad habit, you can work to reverse it into a good habit and make sure those shoes, jackets, and other things from you busy work day end up where they belong and not all over the floor of your home.
• Combine relaxing and cleaning: What do most people want to do when they get home from a long day of work? Relax and watch some television right? Well you can utilize what we all hate about television, namely commercials, to help you get your house cleaned. The average commercial break is about two and a half minutes long and sometime can be more. Have your cleaning weapons of choice ready when your favorite program is about to start and when the commercials hit, you hit the house cleaning. You will be surprised at just how much you can get done during commercials. While you won’t get the entire house cleaned it is not out of the realm of possibilities to knock out a quick vacuuming, some light dusting, and even a wiping down of the kitchen counters.

The bottom line is that everyone could use more time to get house cleaning done, but few will get it and will have to make it instead. By squeezing in cleaning here and there when you can your home will look less like a pig pen and more like the cozy haven that you want after a tiresome day of working.

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How to Find a Reputable Cleaning Service
It is true that our homes can get quite dirty – so do our office spaces and any other indoor area that we occupy. It seems that everywhere we go and spend time we create a mess. Most of us don’t even have the time to pick up after ourselves, let alone spend a good couple of hours cleaning. In this case it can be critical to hire a cleaning service. However, hiring a reputable cleaning service can be difficult, especially if you don’t know where to start. Here are some ways you can find a reputable cleaning service.

For one, ask your friends and family. In fact, ask your friend with the most kids, because chances are they have gone through all the cleaning services in town. Asking your immediate and closest contacts is a great place to start looking for a reputable cleaning service, because you can trust their opinion more than anyone else’s. Moreover, they can give you personal accounts of how thorough they were. It can be very easy to hire a cleaning service and then realize they forgot to clean half your house. In most cases, you want to have more favorable reviews than negative, because you want to know that a particular cleaning service did a stellar job before you actually hire them to clean your home or office.

Next, you could contact a cleaning service agency. This can be a great way to hire a reputable cleaning service, because agencies usually have very stringent hiring practices and they do background checks. The only downside to hiring a cleaning service from an agency is that they are typically more expensive. Also, there are lot of cleaning agencies to choose from and because they are all listed online, you might be spending a lot of time looking through websites and reading reviews. If the particular cleaning service had online reputation management services performed on their online image it might be hard to find negative remarks, but if you dig hard enough you should be able to find something.

Another way to find a reputable cleaning service is to look online. There are a number of job seeking sites where house cleaners will post their services and rates. The only downside of this is that some of these services might be a scam, which can be devastating if you become a victim. They might steal your money by asking for a deposit or their services are just a front to case your home so that can rob you when you aren’t home. In this instance, it is important to perform a background check to make sure that they don’t have any criminal records or pending lawsuits. You could also ask for references, but most importantly you should meet them in person.

Lastly, when you are looking for a reputable cleaning service you want to make sure that you have a number of references or even complete a background check. You don’t want to bring strangers into your home and then realize that something valuable is missing after they’re gone. If the cleaning service is good and does a thorough job you might hire them again and again.

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Learn the Pros and Cons of a Maid Service
In today’s fast paced world, we can often struggle to find time for ourselves to relax as we struggle to cope with life’s everyday demands. It is for this reason that many are turning to the use of maid services in order to free up their spare time and keep their homes spic and span. Within your local area there are many maid services which can be found by researching on the web or by simply browsing through your local directory. However, before you agree to sign any agreement with a maid service, it is important that you are aware of the pros and cons of using a maid service to ensure that this is the correct route for you.

Maid Service Pros:

It’s easy to see why so many homeowners pay for the services of a cleaner as they are able to continue with their everyday tasks knowing that their chores have been taken care of. In the event you have children to look after, it can be extremely exhausting running around after them, trying to clear up the destruction they often cause within the home without having to worry about the stacks of laundry you need to do also. By employing a professional maid, you will be provided with peace of mind that no matter how stressful your day at work may have been or any errands you may need to complete before you are able to venture home; you will know that when you enter your home, it will be clean, tidy and mess free. This in effect can also help the daily running of your family as you will find you have more free time on your hands. Tidying up after a family can be a long and lengthy job which can often seem never ending. By employing a maid service to do this for you, cleaning your home is one job you will not have to worry about, meaning you have much more time on your hands to spend with your family. If you opt to have weekly, bi-weekly or even bi-monthly cleans, your home will also benefit from frequent maintenance meaning you will have to complete very little cleaning yourself.

Maid Service Cons:

Having your very own maid can be a very indulgent thing to invest in as it helps to eliminate the stress which can be caused from too much housework. However, as with any type of service, there are a few cons which you must take into consideration before agreeing to use a service. When making your agreement, you must be specific with the company and/or specified maid about which rooms you wish to be cleaned and any areas of the home that the maid is not permitted to go into. If you are looking for a thorough clean, be sure to tell the maid that she is allowed to move the furniture, etc as many maids will refrain from moving personal items unless permitted as to not upset a client. You should also not expect to be provided with the level of service one would see in a hotel-unless this level of cleaning has been strictly advertised and promised. Often, a client will become disheartened to find that their home has not be cleaned to the level they initially expected but remember, a maid will be given a set time in which to have your home completed within. Beware that some companies may provide you with a different maid each time which although they all do the same job in regards to cleaning, some clients may prefer to build a relationship with a specific maid so that they feel safer having a stranger in the home. Where possible, request to keep the same cleaner which will not only help provide a sense of relief, but as your relationship grows, it will make it easier for you to amend your requirements and have these put into plan.

In regards to the costs of using a maid service, this will depend on the level of service you require, the amount of rooms, etc you need the maid to attend to and the company in which you choose to use. However, whether you believe using a maid service will be beneficial to you or not, is primarily up to you although with the use of a maid service, you are guaranteed to have a clean and tidy home which allows you to get on with more important tasks, such as spending time with your family.

Compare maid services by reading customer reviews.

On January 9th, 2011,
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Tags: maid service cons, maid service pros

bird hunting 1.234

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If you are looking for an exclusive Texas hunting lease than you need to consider Tajos Hunts on the El Sauz Ranch. Tajos Hunt’s hunting lease is on 50,000 acres of the Nopales division of the El Sauz Ranch which is five miles from Port Mansfield Texas. You’ll find a large and diverse population of game including:

Whitetail Buck – Whitetail deer are popular game on the Tajos Hunts lease and the deer herds have been managed for sport hunting since 1986.
Nilgai Antelope – the most successful exotic in South Texas, Nilgai are native to India and were initially brought to the United States as zoo animals during the early 1920s and the El Sauz Ranch is home to a large free ranging herd. As the largest Indian antelope, adult males weigh over 600 pounds yet exhibit great endurance and can maintain speeds of 30 miles per hour when fleeing danger. They offer very challenging spot and stalk hunting opportunities.
Feral Hogs – Feral pigs in Texas are descended from introductions of European wild hogs for sporting purposes and from escaped domestic swine that have established feral populations.
Javelina – Early Spanish explorers called these small, pig like mammals “Javelina” which was derived from javelin because of their sharp, nearly straight canines. They top out at about 60 pounds and are classified as game animals and are available for year-round hunting excursions.
Feathered game – turkey, duck, geese, dove, and quail are plentiful on the 50,000 acres of the Tajos Hunting Lease. The acreage can produce large numbers of quail when conditions are right, but good populations of quail happen in poor rainfall years due to the varied habitat that covers the ranch. With the large areas of wetlands the ranch encompass, duck hunting is always good and easy to reach
Hunting Lease Memberships

Tajos Hunts is an very exclusive Texas hunting lease which is limited to 35 members. Each member can bring up to three guests on each visit with no limit on the number of visits to the hunting lease. Memberships are available on an individual or corporate basis. The annual membership is $21,000 and includes:

· staff provided lunch and dinner for members and guests – breakfast food is available on a self serve base

overnight lodging in the unique Nopales Lodge
full use of dog kennels
two covered parking bays which offer hunting vehicles and equipment protection from the elements
indoor game-processing facility with a walk-in cooler making game cleaning and storage quick and convenient
a secure and climate-controlled firearm storage and cleaning facility.
200 yard rifle range providing a safe environment for shooting sports, target practice, and sighting-in
swimming pool and deck chairs for relaxing
· fire pit and patio area which is perfect for a cold drink and spinning some tales

Hunting

Each member can enjoy a very diverse hunting experience with the liberal game limits and year round access on this very large Texas hunting lease. The lease year starts April 1st and allows year round access by members on the 50,000 acres for hunting, fishing, bird watching, photography, enjoying the outdoors, or relaxing around the pool. The annual limits of game and fish per member and their guests per year include:

1 trophy whitetail buck
2 management whitetail buck
2 bull nilgai
4 cow nilgai
10 feral hogs
2 javelina
1 spring turkey
daily limits of ducks, geese, dove, and quail for each member and guest as set by State and Federal Law
daily fish limits are set by State law
Each member provides his own hunting vehicle and is free to roam and hunt all of the 50,000 acres as they desire. One blind and one feeder is allowed per member. Most members take advantage of the large size and hunt safari style from a vehicle rather than a blind. If a member requires a turn key approach, a vehicle and guide can be provided at additional cost.

Nilgai and hogs offer year round hunting opportunities. The Nilgai can reach almost 700 pounds and are excellent eating and a very good trophy animal. Nilgai, as well as deer, are managed to provide quality animals as well as numerous hunting opportunities. The fall season starts in September with early Teal and dove season. Dove and quail are usually in good numbers even during a poor rainfall year.

Fishing

The same wetlands that provide superior duck hunting allow members and their guests to fish for redfish and freshwater catfish by driving right up to the water. Or if you prefer, Port Mansfield is just five minutes from the Lodge and gives you access to Laguna Madre and the Gulf of Mexico for some of the best fishing in Texas. By boat, the Gulf Of Mexico is only nine miles away and once through the Port Mansfield Pass you’ll be able to go after the big ones like: Sailfish, Marlin, Tarpon, Ling, Mackerel and Snapper. Laguna Madre is a unique shallow water bay ecosystem that is home to redfish, speckled trout, flounder and a variety of other game fish year round Take your catch back to the ranch and have a fresh fish fry and get ready for another day of excellent hunting and fishing.

Lodging

Member accommodations are in the Nopales Lodge which once served the United States Navy as a missile-tracking station. After extensive remodeling of the original building and several additions the former missile-tracking station now provides elegant accommodations with private cabanas and an inviting swimming pool and patio area. The lodge has 24 bedrooms and 23 bathrooms and a commercial grade kitchen. Nopales Lodge is located within the boundaries of the ranch and just a half mile from Highway 186, is easily accessed year-round and during any weather conditions via a paved entrance.

Nearby

Nopales Lodge is conveniently located to the Port Mansfield 3500 foot runway or Valley International Airport in Harlingen is less than 30 minutes from the ranch. The Ranch is less than an hours drive from Mexico and the beaches and activities at South Padre Island.

Summary

Tajos Hunts is a unique Texas hunting membership because of it’s location, size, and facilities. It will appeal to both an individual for his own enjoyment or for a corporation who wishes to reward employees or entertain clients with excellent hunting and fishing trips. Since membership is limited to 35 members, you need to act quickly.
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When to keep and when to kill the prickly pear

Like most things in life, the prickly pear cactus has it pros and its cons. For anyone who has ever had a brush with prickly pear glochids, those tiny, barbed spines that can inflict a world of hurt, it might be difficult to envision particular positives at that moment. But fans of the slightly tart, almost citrus flavor of nopalitos, made from the tender young pads of the cactus, are happy to extol the prickly pear’s culinary virtues. The brilliant magenta fruit of the prickly pear – the tuna – can also be eaten raw (once denuded of its spines and peeled) or used to make sweet jellies or syrups. In his accounts of experiences in the area now known as Texas, Spanish explorer Cabeza de Vaca noted the prickly pear as a staple of the native peoples’ diet. During times of drought, the prickly pear has long served as an emergency source of food for livestock. Ranchers have often initiated controlled burns or used “pear burners” to rid the cactus of its painful spines, making it easier for cattle to eat.
But while a plate of fajitas con nopalitos washed down with a prickly pear margarita is all fine and tasty, what about prickly pear and wildlife?
In moderation, prickly pear is an excellent plant for whitetail deer, javelina, and other wildlife. As a bonus non-nutritional benefit, bobwhite quail and small mammals utilize the cactus for screening and protective cover. It can also serve as a protective “nurse plant” for more desirable woody and herbaceous plants. Like many other native plants, it has its wildlife-beneficial features, as long as it is limited on a property. It also occupies an aesthetic place on the Texas landscape, particularly during the spring when its delicate pink buds blossom to showy yellow flowers. However, when landowners have too much of a good thing and prickly pear density and abundance suppress native grass, forb, and shrub diversity, then it needs to be controlled. In addition to crowding out other native plants, over-abundant prickly pear can also limit some wildlife management practices such as mowing and discing due to concerns about spreading the prickly pear.
Unlike other cacti which tend to grow slowly, the fast growing prickly pear can spread at a sometimes alarming rate. This tends to happen in pastures that have been subjected to long-term overgrazing. Once prickly pear gets established in dense stands, the only way to reduce its dominance is to kill it. Options for doing so include digging out the plants (roots included) by hand or with equipment, which is labor intensive, and the plants must be gathered to prevent creating new plants from loose pads. Prescribed fire followed by immediate grazing can reduce its dominance and has other benefits, but the most practical, long-term solution for problem prickly pear is to have it professionally treated with a herbicide.
It takes a strong herbicide to take down prickly pear and, if not carefully applied, it can kill other desirable plants. Herbicides that control prickly pear are almost all controlled use herbicides, which means you must have a license to buy and use them.
Because many landowners do not have a controlled use license for prickly pear herbicide, or the experience to assess the value of leaving some prickly pear for wildlife, Plateau offers prickly pear removal as one of its many Wildlife Management services. Plateau takes the time to thoroughly treat each plant individually to get the best possible kill without wasting expensive herbicide, and to make sure that only the target plants are treated.
The best time to treat prickly pear is when the invasion is still limited to small, but abundant, plants. Select plants should be retained for the positive benefits they provide, including cover and food. While prickly pear control can be done year round, the best seasons to do so, if a herbicide is used, are spring to early summer, and then in the fall, as post-treatment rainfall is important to move the herbicide into the soil. But, as we all know, Mother Nature doesn’t always follow the calendar, so ideal windows can shift from year to year. Summer applications can also be very effective if soil moisture levels are adequate and rainfall is expected.
Because successful herbicide application takes planning, landowners in need of prickly pear control – or those in need of an assessment of their prickly pear situation – should contact professionals like Plateau prior to the ideal treatment seasons so a treatment plan is at the ready when the time is right.

Early summer is also the only good time to do foliar herbicide applications for mesquite. Half-cutting mesquite is best done during the spring/early summer period as well.

Article From Plateau Land and Wildlife Management
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#11 Protect Yourself From Bugs

The spring woods are full of several of God’s creatures, and some consider turkey hunters a good meal. In the Deep South, the creeks and sloughs are guarded by alligators and snakes. Nevertheless, to be honest, the real deep wood’s villains are the insects.

Gnats, chiggers, mosquitoes, biting flies and ticks are annoying and some can carry diseases. For this reason, hunters that rely on a spray repellant should make sure that the product has an adequate amount of DEET. Use caution however when using DEET as the concentration strengths vary, and some of the DEET is absorbed through the skin.

A better choice is to use a ThermaCell – a butane charged repellant that works remarkably.

Another choice for repelling insects is to wear a bug suit. These tightly meshed outfits serve as a thin “body armor” to protect you from bites.

Either way you choose, be prepared and know that insects can spoil your trip if you allow them to.

#12 Stay Out of Sight

When setting up in the pre-dawn hour on a roosted tom keep in mind that if you can see the turkeys then the turkeys can see you. A turkey’s vision is actually keener than that of a human.

I usually try to slip to within 100 yards of the turkeys I plan to hunt, and use natural vegetation to hide my movements as I approach my setup location.
Do not try to get any closer than the landscape will allow because you risk spooking the turkeys in the opposite direction.

#13 Stay Away from Obstacles

When setting up, keep in mind that turkeys normally do not like to cross natural barriers – like fences or creeks. Often hunters believe a turkey that was previously fired up and gobbling at will lost interest when he stops gobbling, but many times he has just run into an obstacle.

Knowing the terrain you are hunting can pay big dividends, by helping you avoid natural “hang ups.”

#14 Know Non-Verbal Turkey Talk

When closing the deal on a gobbler just out of gun range rely on non-vocal sounds that turkeys make when feeding; the easiest of which is to scratch in the leaves to simulate feeding turkeys.

Another non-vocal method of attracting turkeys in the morning is with the use of a wing to imitate turkeys scraping their wings in the tree. A wing can also accurately mimic a turkey flying down from the roost.

Exercise caution when using or carrying a turkey wing into the woods.

#15 Use Caution Gobbling

Though a gobble call may work sometimes, generally it will spook more subordinate gobblers than it will lure. Use extreme caution if you choose to use this call, as it will attract other hunters.

Gobble calls can be excellent locator calls, and at times can attract dominant gobblers, but they can pose a danger as they sound exactly like the birds you are hunting.

#16 Use Decoys, But With Care

In states where allowed, decoys add a realistic touch to a turkey calling setup. With the realism found in today’s models, care should be used when using decoys.

I have found that placing a jake decoy directly behind a hen decoy produces a very effective arrangement. I also like to use a jake with two or three hen decoys to imitate a flock of birds.

Keep in mind that when using a jake decoy that most approaching longbeards will move around to the front of the decoy, in an effort to challenge the “juvenile” head on.

Remember decoys can fool other hunters also. Always have a clear view well past shotgun range to reduce your risk of being shot.

#17 Know Your Woods

Being a good woodsman will win out over being a good caller any day. I have hunted with nationally known calling champions that relied solely on their calling prowess, and many times went home empty handed.

Knowing the woods where you hunt instantly helps put the odds in your favor. Knowing where turkeys like to feed, loaf, and strut enables you to strategically move and stay one step ahead of your quarry.

Turkeys are hard to stalk, but with a knowledge of the land enables you to circle around ahead of where they want to be, and in the process place yourself in a position for a possible shot.

Remember also that you cannot call a turkey to a place where a turkey does not want to be.

#18 Shoot Humanely

Hunters using shotguns for spring turkeys should aim for the area where the feathers meet the caruncles on the neck. A turkey must be hit in either the neck or head to anchor and humanely harvest. Shots to the body only serve to cripple a turkey and many times the birds are never recovered but die a slow lingering death

Archers faced with a side profile of a turkey should aim at the wing butts. A sharp broadhead is recommended as these heavy bones shield the vitals (heart and lungs) which are approximately the size of a baseball. When faced with a head-on shot, an archer can aim for the upper chest area near the beard and impale the vitals. An archer should aim for the middle to upper spine on a turkey facing away.

In short, any shot taken at a turkey must be a shot to kill and not merely wound.

#19 Use Blinds

When hunting with a novice hunter it is a good idea to employ a blind. Several manufacturers make blinds in all shapes and sizes. Using a blind enables most movement to be safely hidden from the keen eyes of an approaching turkey.
I like to use a pole blind, which is lightweight and easy to set up. It also gives me the freedom to have complete use of my hands while operating calls when turkeys are just out of range.

Last season I hunted out of a tent blind and was amazed at the results. I was able to completely stand up and stretch my legs while remaining hidden from my quarry.

The only detriment to using a blind is the lack of mobility. However, the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages.

#20 Use a Turkey Vest

The turkey vest is one of the most critical aspects of apparel I wear when turkey hunting. I carry virtually everything but the proverbial kitchen-sink in mine. In it, I have an assortment of turkey calls ranging from box calls to several types of friction calls. This variety of calls enables me to make a wide range of turkey talk from mellow to raspy yelps and from faint to high pitch cutts. I also carry extra head nets and gloves for hunting companions who inevitably forget theirs.

I use the back of my vest to tote decoys and hopefully my long-bearded gobbler. My vest has a place to carry a water bottle as well as a flashlight. Best of all my turkey vest has a snap out seat that cushions my backside from the hard thorny and sometimes damp ground, which enables me to sit still longer.

WORDS OF WISDOM

As hunting legend Ronnie “Cuz” Strickland once said, “Any long beard is a good turkey.”

Taking a long beard under fair chase conditions is a tough proposition at best. The quest to take a mature tom can come extremely easy at times, and then cause you to go stir crazy other times.

Simply put, there are no absolutes in turkey hunting. Turkeys will defy logic at times, but most of the time they follow their daily routines.

Thanks to the efforts of the National Wild Turkey Federation, the wild turkey numbers 5.6 million birds in North America. Turkeys flourish in 49 of the 50 states, and in Canada and Mexico.

Our turkey hunting heritage is a legacy that we must pass on to those who come after us. We are most privileged to hunt the majestic game bird.
I hope this article whet your appetite for a spring turkey hunt, and I hope it culminates in a savory turkey dinner.

Be sure to identify your target, hunt safe, and introduce a new hunter to our great outdoors!

By Mike Lambeth

Moultrie Feeders
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Weekly migratory bird hunting reports are posted from early September through early February.

North Zone Dove: Rain showers in North Texas hurt the flight a bit last week, but locals are not complaining since the region has been without rain for some time. Good flights of mourners resumed their pattern over soybeans and corn after the rain. Abilene saw half-limits to near-limits of mourning doves. Better shoots were had in the afternoon. No cool fronts are in the forecasts for the next week, especially with high pressure dominating the region. Prospects are fair to good.

Central Zone Dove: High winds and water last week put a damper on dove hunting. Uvalde, San Saba, Waco, Sabinal, Del Rio and Hondo were steady for mourning doves and whitewings. Expect hunting to improve around San Antonio as the area dries. Whitewings are good around Columbus and Sealy. Brenham hunters have enjoyed good shoots as well. Scorching temperatures have done nothing to prompt a new influx of birds. Hankamer and Devers has enjoyed good afternoon shoots. Prospects are fair to good.

South Zone Dove: The season opens Sept. 17, and corn, milo and wild sunflowers have held the largest concentrations of birds around Lytle, Uvalde, Del Rio and the Rio Grande Valley. Conditions are wet in the Valley so afternoon water shoots should not be as profitable as in dry years. Doves have been pressured in Central Zone fields around Uvalde and Del Rio are staging just over the zone boundary in corn, milo and sunflowers. A wet summer hurt sunflower production around El Campo, however, strong concentrations remain in the township and around Danevang. Prospects are good.

Teal Season: Opening day of teal season on the coast was steady on the coastal prairies, though many insisted best flights occurred later in the morning. Sunday was much slower as birds seem to disappear in historically steady locales. Many hens were harvested, giving rise to the notion that the first wave of adult drakes continued south. Good hunts were posted in Wharton County rice fields and leveed ponds. Eagle Lake and Garwood hunters reported good shoots. Collegeport hunters shot limits. Playa lakes in the Panhandle gave up good shoots. Water supplies there are in good shape from summer rains. Along the coast, biologist Matt Nelson said Mad Island WMA near Bay City averaged around three birds per man for the weekend. Justin Hurst WMA near Freeport saw slower results with just over a bird per man. The Guadalupe Delta WMA near Port Lavaca is closed due to flooding. Prospects are good.

2010-09-15

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bird hunting 4.56

We put together a group hunt for white-tail and mule deer bucks and had a good response and a few more had circumstances come up which forced them to back out of the hunt. It’s understandable with most people interested having to drive over 6 hours to get to the Area. We hunted the southwest part which allows all terrain vehicles. Our plan was to take my Kawasaki Mule down river to the area where no motorized vehicles were allowed and hike in back where most others would not be hunting. The plan worked well as most hunters were in the all terrain vehicle area.

The first night I arrived solo and after spending the last few minutes of day light scouting out where we were going the next day, I started cooking up some chili waiting for the crew that was meeting me there. It was a great campground with not many others around and plenty of places to setup camp. The crew (Blake, Brian, and Loren) pulled in around 8pm pulling a 32 foot camper which definitely proved to be more comfortable than the tent I had packed. We attacked the chili pot and turned in knowing the next day was going to be a long one.

The First Morning Hunt
We woke up a little past day light knowing that we had no idea where we were going to hunt so we spent some time scouting. It was some seriously rough country down along the Canadian River bottoms. After going up and down many rough hills and canyons, we finally found out that going straight down the river bed was the best way to get to where we wanted to hunt. This was the roughest terrain I had taken the Mule on since I got it at uvcountry.com and I was seriously impressed with its abilities and doing what it did loaded with 4 adults and gear.

We were almost to our planned hunting area when Blake spotted a decent 6 point whitetail in the river bottom crossing where we had just driven. Brian had not shot a deer before so Blake told him to get out, load up, and take his best shot. It was a quick shot with extreme excitement on top of that so it resulted in a miss. I was pretty happy just seeing a buck that early in the hunt and figured it had to be somewhat in rut to be unwary enough to cross right where we just drove. At least we still had the whole hunt in front of us.

The First Afternoon Hunt
We decided to spend the whole day out hunting and not head back to camp so we split up and started scouting around looking for good traveled trails and rubs. There was a huge bottom land area that I ended up stalking the whole afternoon. I found some great rubs and really good evidence of deer bedding up in a few places. The tough part was finding a good place to setup. Most of that part of the country is either totally flat fields or extremely rough canyons. This area was the fields. It would have been great to have a tree stand around a few cottonwoods I found.

After a couple hours I just had to stop and take a lunch break and what a lunch it was…

I found a great trail to setup on and built a little ground blind. The wind was quite severe bringing on wind chills in the 20s(at least that’s what it felt like). Dark came quick and I had not seen anything moving at all. I had spent the last hour on a ridge overlooking the river. Everyone else only saw a couple does, but where there are does there are bucks!

I also had thoughts going through my mind this whole time because of the public hunting and orange suits all over the place. There were quite a few hunters out there and you just had to respect the space around each one and find your own place. My biggest hope was that everyone else would just respect the space I was hunting and find their own. You can see here about how it was in most places we hunted. The scary ones are the ones close to you that you don’t see.

Can you find Waldo in Orange in one of the next 5 photos?

…and we also had a fair share of “off road groups” who had nothing better to do than drive their rigs straight down the river during the first weekend of deer season. I’m sorry but that’s flat out disrespectful – bunch of jerks! (ok take a deep breath Allen)

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Stovall Ranch, 70,000 acres, Low fence, Brewster County
Lodge elevation: 3023 ft

A KnockOut Guide Service
Keith & Jordan Oliver, Seth & Heath Noble.

Solunar Table said it was a “Good Day” to hunt. It was.

8 hours after leaving Austin, driving West by Southwest, I was still in Texas. On US 385 South, 31.8 miles south of Marathon, I turned down a dirt road. The GPS told me it was called, “Dove Mountain Rd.” named after Dove Mountain. 19 miles down the dirt road I started to doubt my directions. 25 miles down the dirt road I found the KO LODGE.

I thought it was a six hour drive, and now that it was 9:00pm, can you believe that Keith Oliver was standing outside in 33 degree weather (later I found out he was also sick) waiting to greet me? I met the guides (his family); the other hunters; went to bed; listened to Mr. Size 19 shoe snore; and then the hunt began.

Speaking of the “hunt,” I have never hunted Mule Deer. In fact, I didn’t know that Texas Mule Deer are Desert Mule Deer, which are different from Rocky Mountain Mule Deer. Apparently 90% of the forms that your Taxidermist might use are for the Rocky Mountain Mule Deer, so you might want to double check to remind him if you harvest a Desert Mule Deer.

Jordan and Keith took me out in a 1984 CJ-7 for our morning hunt. I could talk about the Mule Deer we didn’t get; yes, that big, wide, mature, 10 point frame. Or, I could tell you about the Black Bear we saw at a 100 yards while trying to flush the Mule Deer. I fumbled for my camera but failed to produce a photo of either!

Note to self (Lessons for a Beginner) after my first Desert Mule Deer Hunt:

Don’t JUST look in the distance, look within 100 yards, especially in any draws, gullies, or coulees.
Make sure you tell your Guide to speak direct and blunt if you are a beginner. What is the point of asking me what I think when I don’t have anything to compare it to?
Discuss your harvest goal before leaving for the hunt, so that if you see a potential deer there is no time wasted talking.
Clearly discuss the distance at which you can make a clean, comfortable kill shot so that when you are within that distance there is no time wasted talking.
Be honest with yourself… are you going to get nervous on the trigger since it is your first time to hunt a Desert Mule Deer. If so, communicate.
Consider that if you are shooting your first deer you might want to harvest a mature representative of the species, rather than hold out for that huge “trophy” that you might not even see.
A very important indicator of the potential size of the mule deer you are hunting will be the amount of rainfall in that area during the last Spring.
Day One: Morning Hunt
21.2 Miles of spotting; 6.0 mph moving average; 4 mph average speed.
We saw a mature 10 point frame (didn’t get off a shot) and a Black Bear. The Outfitter has never seen a bear but there have been rumors of a bear recently which I guess, turned out to be true.
Chris (another hunter) harvested a SCI Gross Green score of 137 6/8 Desert Mule Deer.
Seth (guide) added a fox to his Medicine Stick.

Day One: Afternoon Hunt
29.4 Miles (Total Trip Miles, which means we only drove 8.2 miles); 6.9 mph moving average; 3.3 mph average speed; 4:15 hrs Moving Time; 4:33 hrs Spotting Time
Jordan and I left the camp house and didn’t have time to get settled before we came upon a couple of does down in a Gully to our immediate left. We paused and Jordan noticed a buck. All of a sudden a 2nd buck steps into sight and the two Mule Deer started to wrestle. We were able to catch it on tape, so enjoy. After watching the two bucks, Jordan decided that one of the bucks was a mature 8 point and if I agreed, he thought I should harvest the buck.

Day Two Morning Hunt
53.0 Miles Total Trip Miles; 6.7 mph moving average; 3.7 mph average speed; 7:53 hrs Moving Time; 6:18 hrs Spotting Time
We saw three mule deer does, one 8pt immature buck, a covey of quail, and an animal running very fast in the distance that we couldn’t identify. We looked for Aoudad (Barbary Sheep) since we were told they are in the area but never saw one.

Day Two Afternoon Hunt
We saw three more mule deer bucks but no shooter. The other group of hunters saw nothing but a family of Javelinas.

Day Three Morning Hunt
We saw lots of bucks and does, but the hunter had a particular size he was looking for and chose not to shoot.

Day Three Afternoon Hunt
84.1 Miles Total Trip Miles; 6.9 mph moving average; 3.9 mph average speed; 12:12 hrs Moving Time; 9:21 hrs Spotting Time
I shot a fox in the neck at about 75 yards with my .223 with 5x Leupold; and when I shot it a family of Javelinas flushed and I shot the two largest. I have always thought about mounting two big Javelinas and now I will. I have attached a number of photos, including an image of the GPS tracks from our travels.

Conclusion:
I found this trip to be very educational. The Guide and his sons did a great job. The diversity of wildlife, the indian caves, the amazing landscape, the amenities of the lodge, and the excellent food made for a great trip. Originally, I was invited by another hunter to join this group. At the last minute, the other hunter did not show up, and because I was the guest of the other hunter, I did not do ANY HOMEWORK on where I was going or what I needed to bring.

Bottom line, this caused me to not be well organized, to be “stressed”, and worst of all, to not be prepared. Thank God for the Walmart in Ft. Stockton where I bought a sleeping bag, but otherwise, I showed up without ice, snacks, any type of alcohol to share with the staff, late, and distracted. I didn’t relax and take a deep breath until the afternoon of the second day. I learned a good lesson and won’t let that happen again. It reminded me of a quote I read many years ago, “To do two things at once is often to do neither.”

Related Videos:

How To Score A Mule Deer

Hunting Grapefruit at the Stovall Ranch

How To Field Dress A Deer
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Last Friday I took two of my children, Naythan (10) and Brooklyn (8), on a turkey hunt at the Thunderhole Ranch in Coke County. Things have been so busy lately that the only way I could work in a trip was to take them out of school — even then it was rather rushed. You see, the Thunderhole is nearly 300 miles from our home, and I could not leave for the ranch until after coaching basketball practice on Thursday evening. We arrived just before 2am and I grabbed four hours of much needed sleep before waking the kids and beginning our hunt. I had explained to the kids that it would be a whirlwind tour of the ranch with about as many hours driving as hunting, yet they were eager to join me. I was unsure whether it was the opportunity to be with dad or the chance of missing school that lured them, but I was thankful they had at least shown an interest in hunting.

We all came into this hunt as novices: my daughter had never been hunting before in her life; my son had been out with me twice this spring, and while we’d seen plenty of birds we had not fired a shot at a gobbler yet (and prior to this he’d been quail hunting just once and dove hunting twice); and I had killed three hens to date but had never hunted spring gobblers before this year. By virtue of my alleged maturity and prior experience, I found myself in the role of teacher, one I welcomed as an opportunity to pass along my passion for the outdoors. But I would soon find that on this trip, my daughter would be the real teacher and I had much to learn.

Our day began slow and grew even slower as the sun slid higher into the sky. We opted to set up in a ground blind that could accomodate the three of us confortably enough, and I looked forward to spending so much time with my children that day absent the usual distractions of television, homework, and life generally. It’s a good thing, too, as that is just what we did — we spent lots of time together without even the distraction of a turkey gobbling in the distance somewhere.

We hunted most of the day and took a late afternoon ice cream break before climbing back into the blind, which we had moved to the northern end of the ranch near a feeder and high traffic area. It was now about 5:30pm and we had yet to see or even hear a turkey. Throughout the day we had fiddled with slate and mouth calls, examined deer and turkey tracks, watched quail and dove, and generally enjoyed our time together, but it became clear that they were really hoping to at least see some turkeys before leaving. Ten hours of hunting without so much as a glimpse of the intended game can try anyone’s patience, let alone that of young kids.

We goofed around on the calls again as it approached 6pm, making noises that were almost certain to frighten off any birds within a mile. We even joked that we were likely to summon any turkey “field medics” to the area given how sickly our clucks and yelps sounded. Perhaps this was because I allowed my expectations to wane and became a little anxious to get packed up and headed home, or perhaps I just couldn’t ask my children to try to remain relatively quiet for any longer. Either way, I suggested that we could stay as late as 6:30pm but by then would need to load up and head home (this would get us home around 11pm, and I was already rather exhausted). I mentioned that if we were going to stay, we’d need to be a little more quiet and alert. I also gave my kids an out by asking them, “Do you kids think we are going to see any turkeys today, or should we just call it a day and head home?”

“Is your glass half-full or half-empty?” my daughter questioned sincerely. “Half-full,” I said, half-heartedly. “You have to be optimistic!” she stated, knowing I was less than enthusiastic. The teacher became the student, and I learned my lesson quickly. “You’re right,” I declared. “There are some turkeys on their way to see us right now, and we just have to be patient and optimistic.” Pleased with my answer, the young teacher turned to her elder brother and asked, “Naythan, what about you?” “Maybe,” he said with no enthusiasm but lots of honesty. “No, you have to be optimistic,” the teacher repeated. This all but settled the matter, and as if on cue, the feeder went off right away, giving rise to real optimism in all of us.

Looking at my watch every minute or two, I found my hopes slipping away. It was now 6:28pm and I could not justify staying any later than 6:30 given that we’d still not seen nor heard a single turkey. I was most disappointed that my teacher’s lesson would seemingly be lost, and I worried that it would dampen the spirits of this sweet first-time hunter who’d invested nearly twelve hours already. I should not have been surprised (though I admit I was) when I looked up from my watch to see a hen turkey moving toward our blind at about 25 yards. Within the next 20 minutes we spotted three hens, but still no toms and no gobbling. After seeing no activity for about ten minutes, I told the kids we’d give it another 5 minutes or so and if we did not see more turkeys we’d have to call it a day.

About one minute later my son excitedly whispered, “Dad, I see two males.” Sure enough, about 50 yards out were two bright red turkey necks poking up above the grasses and cactus. They slowly made their way toward us, and at 20 yards the lead tom presented a clear view. My son and I had already discussed a plan to count down and shoot simultaneously if the shot presented was one outside of 15 yards (because he was hunting with an old fixed choke .410 and we wanted to ensure a clean kill). We both were in position and I counted down before letting my Remington 12 gauge roar. The bird crumpled instantly, and when my ears could hear again, my son said, “Dad, I forgot to cock my gun — I didn’t shoot.” He was a little disappointed but the disappointment soon left. I was pleased that he again showed patience and safety awareness, and he was pleased that his third trip to hunt turkeys finally paid off with a gobbler, even if he hadn’t pulled the trigger. More than any other game harvest in my life, this felt like a real team effort.

We savored the moment, looking at the beautiful tom and examining his wing feathers that were well-worn from strutting. Although no record-book tom, he was a respectable gobbler with an 8 1/2 inch beard and 7/8″ spurs. We talked about the opportunity we’d shared that day being outdoors together and about the blessing of having our needs met by the animals God has placed on this Earth for our benefit. Then, as we packed up our gear, my daughter said, with a broad smile and a sparkle in her eyes, “Dad, I really like hunting! I’d like to come again sometime.”

Right then and there I knew that I had been much more a student than teacher that day, and suddenly recognized that my cup was far more than just merely “half-full.” While I’ve known for a long time now that lessons learned hunting often transfer to life generally, I had not appreciated how life’s general lessons could so profoundly apply to hunting. My first spring turkey will be forever memorable, not because of the size of the bird’s beard or the excitement of the hunt, but because of who I shared the experience with and the profound lesson I learned that day — from an eight-year-old girl on her first hunting trip ever.

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Texas –

by Texas AgriLife Extension Service

Many Conservation Reserve Program contracts are due to expire this September, and landowners need to give careful consideration as to what comes next for once highly erodible land, according to Texas AgriLife Extension Service personnel.

The land put into the federal program commonly called CRP in the mid 1980s provided permanent grassy cover on this relatively poor cropland, which was a tremendous benefit to wildlife, said Ken Cearley, AgriLife Extension wildlife specialist.

Approximately 36 million acres are currently in the program in the U.S., with about 4 million acres of that in Texas, much of it in the High Plains.

“Landowners today find themselves at a crossroads because their contracts may be expiring fairly soon, and they know they can either re-enroll or break that land back out,” Cearley said.

“If you choose to return the land to farmland, you can expect a significant decrease in its value for wildlife.”

There are a few things a landowner can do, however, to ameliorate some of the loss of wildlife habitat, he said. For example, grain farmers can leave stubble as high and as long as possible in the field for cover, as well as leave waste grain on the surface.

Cearley advised landowners to also think about leaving waterways and drainage areas in grass, as well as leaving a wide band of grass around playas and around field perimeters.

“If you keep the field in grass, you need to go through the mental exercise of deciding what your priorities are. Are you mainly interested in wildlife, livestock or a combination of the two?” he said.

If the land is grazed without any kind of modification, landowners can expect to see brush encroachment in many parts of the state, he said. Denser brush favors white-tailed deer, lesser brush favors mule deer and very little to no brush might favor pronghorns, for example.

“You can enhance the field by modifying that brush,” Cearley said.

“You might want to encourage some brush if your goal is to have white-tailed deer. Or you might need to control some of that brush if you’re thinking about quail production, because quail can get by on 10-15 percent brush cover in many areas.”

DeDe Jones, AgriLife Extension risk management specialist, said landowners choosing to develop the land for wildlife enhancement could see some increased land values and additional income potential in the form of hunting and fishing leases.

AgriLife Extension recommends six practices to benefit wildlife on former CRP land: controlled grazing, interseeding of forbs and additional grass species, prescribed burning, woody plantings, invasive brush management and fall/winter strip-disking.

“It may seem a little cost prohibitive at first when you think about developing former CRP land for wildlife, however there are several government cost-share programs available,” she said.

Those include the Grassland Reserve Program, Wetland Reserve Program (if there is a playa lake on the CRP land); and the Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program. Any of these programs can help offset the wildlife-development expenses, Jones said.

“There is a lot of income available out there if you develop your land for wildlife,” she said.

The Texas A&M Real Estate Center estimates an additional increase of about $75 per acre in land value if it is developed for wildlife, Jones said.

She said a Tulia hunting operation told her they would see a profit of about $150 per gun during dove and pheasant seasons. Additionally, a Canadian ranching operation, offering a whole hunting experience to six to eight hunters a year, indicated it would net about $10,000 a year off that hunting enterprise.

“The potential definitely exists to increase your overall land value as well as get a little bit of income off these former CRP lands that you develop for wildlife,” Jones said. “Choosing to develop former CRP land for wildlife can be very beneficial to the land, the water, the wildlife and maybe even a landowner’s pocketbook.”

She did advise landowners to do a careful economic analysis in the form of partial budgeting to look at the benefits of developing the land versus the expenses before making any decisions.

Patrick Warminski, AgriLife Extension risk management specialist, said one of the most important things to consider when making decisions about what to do with the land involves the economic costs associated with conversion.

If the choice has been made to put it back into a crop production, the landowner typically will be looking at a dryland wheat or grain sorghum crop in the Panhandle.

“The first thing you have to do is remove the grasses, which will require the use of several different tillage trips,” Warminski said.

For a dryland wheat crop, the landowner can expect to spend between $130 and $160 per acre; and for a dryland grain sorghum crop, the cost will be between $190 to $210 per acre, he said. “And that’s just going to be to get the land back suitable enough to plant those two crops.”

If the decision has been made to use the land for a livestock grazing operation, it may be necessary to remove the old grass and forage with a prescribed burn and apply fertilizer to encourage new growth. The expected cost of that process is about $40 to $60 per acre, Warminski said.

Two other aspects to consider are fence repair and possible water-well repair or water-well drilling, he said. If the fence is in bad shape, to upgrade to a five-strand barbed-wire fence will cost about $6,400 per mile, including gates and corner posts.

For a windmill, the expected cost will range from $20,000 to $44,000, and a submersible pump with electricity will run in the neighborhood of $16,000 to $30,000, Warminski said.

“We know overall through the years CRP has been a valuable contributor to wildlife habitat in country that was formerly cropland,” Cearley said. “We can see that benefit continue if we decide to keep our country in grass and manage it with good land stewardship in mind.”

Landowners wanting more information on decisions concerning CRP land, as well as recommended budgets and frequency of management practices, can go to http://agrilifebookstore.org to find three publications in the “After the Conservation Reserve Program” series.

The publications are “Land Management with Wildlife in Mind,” “Economic Decisions with Wildlife in Mind” and

“Economic Decisions with Farming and Grazing in Mind.”

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As a true Texan born and raised I feel extremly lucky to be living in one of the best states in all of America to enjoy the great outdoors. With the coming of the new fall hunting season I am eagerly awaiting cool weather which will host classic Dove hunts early for me. I really look foward to the begining of hunting season so I can dust off that old shotgun and sight in the trusty deer rifle in preparation of a new hunting season. I like to share my outdoor experiences with others so I have recruited my brother-in-law, son and anybody else willing to put up with me on hot september afternoons to hunt Dove. I take Dove hunting very seriously and plan my outdoor outings very carefully to ensure 100% success. I like to hunt at least two weekends in September, three in October and then start deer hunting in Novemeber. This year I plan to focus most of my hunting time in the cooler months chasing after a trophy wild boar. Last year I shot a nice buck and look foward to adding a fat pig to the tall hunting stories I like to share with others.

Already we have been hitting the coast this summer chasing after the elusive redfish and sleek speckled trout to satisfy our outdoor appetite. If I can’t be out in the mesquite brush hunting then I would rather be knee deep in shallow water heaven filled with tasty game fish. Becuase of the summer heat we prefer to do our summer fishing early in the am or late in the evening. There is nothing better the getting up early at the crack of dawn to head out on the water for some early day wade fishing or relaxing in the sunset of a great evening fishing trip. This year I was fortunate enough to put some great eating fish in the freezer to fry up at the ranch when deer hunting.

I consider myself an outdoor activist and enjoy recruiting new members to our elite society of hunters and fisherman. I am blessed to have an extended family that love the outdoors and have access to family ranch land. One of these locations is a sweet piece of South Texas located near Mathis lake loaded with whitetail deer. The best part of the deal is that I don’t have to pay costly lease fees or trophy fees, it is purely a family run hunt club. All that is required is respect of the land and a promise to lend a helping hand off season to ensure the property is kept in prime condition. If this was not good enough I am also happy to say that my father is part of a historic hunt club of aluminum workers who lease a small ranch near the famous King Ranch. Good bucks have been shot at this location for many years and the place is loaded with huge wild boar. A bonus to this classic South Texas deer lease is the amazing quail and dove hunting that can be had.

I promote hunting and fishing as a way to deal with stress and life in general with a positive activity that can influence our youth to be good stewards of the land. I absolutely enjoy taking my ten year old son hunting and fishing with me on all my outdoor adventures so I can ensure that this great outdoor tradition will be passed on to others. I hope everyones outdoor adventures are plentiful and boutyful this hunting season and would like to wish all the outdoor sportsment good luck affield this year. May you catch that big fish that had been eluding your hook and may you take that nice buck that you have been dreaming about for all those years.
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Sara pointing quail was witnessed by two friends one time and sparked a story which is not true, but possibly could have been. It goes like this: Once, I invited a couple of friends quail hunting. When they arrived, I had Sara ready to go and they asked why I was taking her. I replied that we needed her along to act as our bird dog to find the quail. They began to eye me in a strange questioning way, but shrugged their shoulders and came along. Well, it wasn’t too far into the hunt that Sara stopped and pointed. I told them to get position quickly and away the quail went. They each got one bird and the excitement rose to a high pitch. One of them exclaimed that was a sight to see, a mule pointing quail like a birddog, the only difference being that she did not point her tail straight up or lift one foot, she just used her ears. The other said that the birds had spread out along the edge of the river and he had marked them down. Let’s go after them! I told them as calmly and politely as I could that we couldn’t go after the quail down by the river. They wanted to know why and I told them the reason. If we go down to the river, the quail hunting would be over. Sara wouldn’t hunt quail anymore because she would rather fish than hunt!

We had a few Santa Gertrudis cows and bulls. One of the bull calves was selected for a show calf and the training began. After the show, we kept the little bull for a herd sire. He was really a gentle natured bull. That is until one day before it was planned he got loose and joined up with the cows up top. We called all the land that was not under irrigation up top and everything else down bottom. I went up to get him on Sara Gay and took his halter and a lead rope. I hitched up the girth pretty tight and roped the bull that was now approaching 1200 lbs. and would be close to 2000 when he was fully grown. He stood still while I put his halter on and loosened the lariat. Well this bull definitely did not want to leave the cow that he had just bred and I did not know for sure that we were going to be successful taking him back down bottom. I nudged Sara Gay and she slowly took up the slack and the bull began to pull back. Sara leaned into the load and rocked over in her shoulders to the other foot and pulled the bull off his balk and we began to move. We moved off at a good pace and Sara kept the bull moving right along and got him back in the barn pens where he belonged without a hitch except for his protesting all the way.

When we were hunting elk or deer in the mountains, Sara would see about half the animals before I did and I saw the others before she did. I guess it was different lighting for different types of eyes that made the difference as to what was seen first. Sometimes when we were going down a steep slope, something would begin to pinch her and she would turn in toward the high side of the trail and buckjump in place a couple of times, then I would get off and check it out to find the problem. I finally quit using a crupper under her tail and would use the back cinch behind under her tail and this proved to please her much better and kept me from sliding forward as well. We were coming back at night one time with no moon and hardly any light at all when Della the mule that was in the lead at the time stopped abruptly. Don Vestal got off and cautiously felt with his feet in front of Della and discovered that the trail had been washed out and therew as a drop off. Don got back on and turned Della around and gave her her head. She worked down the bank to the side of the trail and went on down the trail. The next time that she stopped, Don got off and found the back of the horse trailer. I cannot end the story about Sara Gay just yet because she is still living and enjoying her oats every day. At the time of this writing the date is November 6, 2006. In March 2007 she will be 39 and holding. People have asked why I still keep her and I tell them that we have been over hill and dale together and she saved my bacon several times by not panicking in adverse situations that could have gotten me hurt badly or worse.
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Free range stalk.
Written on: 12/24/2007 13:23 by: wheeless621 Click a star to rate this entryAverage user rating: 4.8 (of 5 total)
Yesterday, a man that my father-in-law does some work for invited us to go hunting on his 2000 acre ranch. He is a quail hunter and isn’t real big on deer hunting. I’ve been all over this ranch several times and know my way around it pretty good. We built the roads so I know where they all are and where they go. As most of you have heard me say, 99% of my hunting is done on a 15 acre plot outside of town. My Father-in-law went to one side of the ranch and got in one of the owners son’s stands. Not me, I get enough sitting at my own place. I started at the gate and walked the other half of the ranch. The place is one hill after another with shooting lanes for his quail hunts checker boarding most of it. I wanted the chance to hunt like I used to before my dad lost his lease in SanSaba Co. 10 years ago. I put all the gear I could carry on and headed out. I got to use my binos for the first time in years. I walked and glassed for about two hours. I got tired and sat down for a bit on the side of a hill, where I had a real good view, and started glassing from there. Finally I saw some movement just past another hill about 400 yrds or so away. All I could see were three does with my binos but they were just past the edge of the hill. I started out walking parelell to them till I could put the hill they were beside between me and them. Then made the trek across the open ground between them and me. While I was where I couldn’t see them they had walked up the hill I was going towards. When I finally crested the hill (after what seemd like hours because the dry grass sounded to me like I was walking on broken light bulbs.) They had just reached the top of the hill also. I was expecting to be loking down at them instead we were eye to eye at the crest. I had just seen one of their heads and she had noticed my movement. I had to freeze in my tracks. I had blundered up into a spot with no cover. So I just was squatting there trying my best to look like a harmless old bush. I guess she bought it cause she went back to eating. But I was still out in the open with her not 20 yards away. Finally she turned her back to me and I was able to move to some cover. Haven’t had to low crawl in a while, but I managed. They walked back down the same side of the hill they had come from and I followed. I didn’t shoot any of them, I just wanted to see if they had brought their boyfriend with them, which unfortunatly they hadn’t. But I had a great time. Man, I miss this stuff. But he told us we could come back again. So maybe next time I’ll get to test myself against someone a little more wary. I have no doubt that if that doe had been a mature buck it would have all been over when I first crested the hill. I wouldn’t have gotten that second chance. But hey, I’m a little rusty, alittle older and a good bit fatter than I was back in the day. All in all, though I came home empty handed I had a great time that brought back some wonderful memories.
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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

As Charity’s family babysitting time had expired, plus there was make-up homework to help the kids with and laundry to do, Charles headed out to “Prairie Chicken Paradise” on his own. He was making his way out to the paradise, in an area that used to surprise us when birds got up, but we’ve been surprised enough years to now know that a flock resides in these very low, almost nonexistent dunes on the way to our usual hunting grounds a mile and a half away from the road. It was there that he took his only bird of the day, with unknown numbers jumping right into the sun, he instinctively fired at the sound of the wingbeats since he couldn’t see and was able to put one on the ground between him and Sam.

They made their way back to the deep dunefield that has consistently produced for us throughout the years, but not a flush was to be had. BB began tracking hard, so since there seemed to be nothing else going on, Charles and Sam followed along. BB was tracking a coyote, who jumped up and ran, but Charles was in no mood for fur and called the dogs off to head for home. It was time to enjoy the company of our family and good friends in the Nebraska Sandhills.

Despite the long summer drought and unseasonably hot conditions, Charles, Charity and the dogs were able to have success on their traditional sharptail grouse and prairie chicken opener by relying on proven approaches to covering ground and relocating known coveys that they’ve hunted for over a decade.

Preparing the trip’s harvest for the freezer, minus 2 grouse that were already consumed.
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Nothing says Memorial Day Weekend like a family picnic. And this past May 26th, the TexasHuntFish.com Team (Debra, Diana, and Chris) was invited to attend a “family picnic” of sorts for the Texas Big Game Awards Edwards Plateau Region. As we arrived in Burnet, Texas and entered the Galloway Hammond Center you couldn’t help but feel right at home. We were greeted with rows of tables lined with red and white checkered tablecloths, BBQ Brisket and sausage, cobbler, and good old-fashioned iced tea. Kids of all ages were running around having a great time. Sounds like a picnic to me.

As we made our way around the room, we met Lee Loeffler with Texas Land Bank and asked if he could use some TexasHuntFish stickers for his table. He obliged and asked us if Allen Shannon put us up to this. Turns out that Lee and Allen are friends and he just spent the weekend with him on one of their famous family camp outs. Click Here to read Kamping For Kids II by Allen Shannon.

Next we found the hosts of the evening, David Brimager, Assistant Vice President of the Texas Wildlife Association and Dr. Dan McBride, President of the Texas Taxidermy Association and big supporter of TWA. These guys are tireless supporters of TWA, TBGA, the TPWD and the Texas Youth Hunting Program, and not to mention two of the nicest guys on the planet. The room was buzzing with excitement as the awards ceremony neared and the room was filled with the smoky smell of country BBQ.

As the food was being set up, we were fortunate enough to talk with two custom knife makers, Charles Miller and Mike Morgan, about their passion for knife making. They both work out of the Burnet, Texas area using the best materials available. Knife making is a true art that takes time to master. While Mike’s craftsmanship is of a high quality, he still considers himself an apprentice and explained that it takes years to master the craft. Charles Miller is highly knowledgeable and had some very interesting things to say about his journey into knife making.

Find out more about Charles Miller Custom Knives and Mike Morgan Custom Knives.

Coming Soon Diana’s interview with Charles Miller

The cowbell sounded and dinner was on! We enjoyed fine country BBQ and I have to admit that this was one of the best “banquet” meals I’ve had in a long time. What a relaxing build-up to the night’s big event. After dinner, we settled in to watch the awards being handed out to young and old.

The backdrop for the awards ceremony was a very impressive wall of mounted trophies, including the 202 2/8 (net score) first harvest for 10 year old girl, yes 10, Mariah Gary shot on the Six Gun Ranch. Her father told TexasHuntFish.com that Mariah had been asleep in the stand and he had to wake her up to take the shot, to which she replied, “Is it the big one?”

Both her parents and younger sister were very proud of her and some of the older men were asking if they could switch their smaller bucks out for hers. Many of them also said that they’ve never harvested a buck that big and have been hunting for 20 plus years. Mariah just smiled and looked at her dad. She was one of many winners that night.

Cami Carrosco won the first harvest essay contest, which Dr. McBride pointed out that there is not an age limit on the contest. Whether you are 10 or 100, you can win. Cami’s buck scored 133 2/8 (net score) and was shot on the Nelms Ranch.

She said it was an unforgettable experience and one that she will always treasure. Whether it’s hunting with your dad or an official Huntmaster, passing on the hunting heritage for present and future generations is essential to the goals of the Youth Hunting Program put together by the Texas Wildlife Association and the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department.

The awards ceremony also honored many Texas Landowners for their pursuit in passing on the hunting heritage. Among them were the Six Gun Ranch, Nelms Ranch, Apache Springs Ranch, Kerr WMA, West Kerr Ranch, and many others. They were honored for participating in land and wildlife management, conservation efforts, as well as for supporting the Youth Hunting Program. A couple of landowners brought a very large display of native Texas plants with information cards showing their effects on different animal species like Quail, Deer, and Turkey. I asked them how long it took to gather up all these plants and they very proudly stated it took them all of 20 minutes or so. Check out the pictures.

We had a great time and hope that next year’s banquet will be filled with more TexasHuntFish.com members and their families. Our thanks go to David Brimager, Dr. Dan McBride, and everyone at the TBGA, TWA and TPWD for allowing us to support your conservation and education efforts. See you next year.

Hunt Hard. Fish Smart. Explore Texas.

~Debra Heater

Find out more about these organizations by visiting their websites:

Texas Wildlife Association

Texas Big Game Awards

Texas Youth Hunting Program

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Conservation. Hunting. The Ducks. That’s what it’s all about.

The festivities for the 2007 DU State Convention began on Friday at the Sheraton Hotel in downtown Austin. I was welcomed by several large trucks with DU stickers on the back windows and I was pretty confident I was in the right place. One truck even had “DU” as the license plate, which is pretty intense. Don’t you have to pay for special plates? :-) The owners of these vehicles were the Area Chairs, District Chairmen, National Delegates, and highly involved members who DU wanted to take the time to encourage and recognize for their time and services.

My point is that every single member there was very involved and very proud to be a part of the Ducks Unlimited family. I learned that these men and women were some of the most avid and “hard core” hunters. They don’t play around in the field. They are the hunters who sit in the cold, wet conditions in the (very) early morning because they want to.

And THAT, my friends, is why it’s so important that they keep everyone updated on their efforts and achievements. DU is a national non-profit organization that dedicates time and money to the conservation of wetlands and waterfowl habitat in North America. The best way to keep everyone around is to make sure they are always having fun, right?! Which is probably why DU Texas has 177 chapters and has so many dedicated members, volunteers, and staff.

A brief synopsis of the weekend:

Friday night we went to the Texas Disposal Systems Game Ranch and Pavilion in Creedmore, TX (south of Austin) where we mingled and ate with the other members and saw all the exotic wildlife from Africa out on the ranch…AND all along the walls of the pavilion, but those were mostly just the heads of the animals. There was a full bar, frog legs and quail for dinner, and a full band entertaining us with country music.

Saturday was a series of meetings and an awards luncheon, honoring the top chapters in Texas and their achievements. Whenever people had “down time” during the day, they could head over to the hospitality room across from the big ballroom and grab a drink “for here” or “to go.” The entire weekend I felt like everyone genuinely loved the people they partnered with in this organization and they had so much fun joking around with eachother. John, Bud, and I were able to get a couple of interviews that day and those videos will be added to the journal later.

Saturday night was a blast as we saw awards given to the ones who exceeded expectations, whether financially or with their time…but all that was just the beginning of the night. Next was the live auction, raffle, and silent auction. I must say, those ladies who sell the raffle tickets are professional saleswomen…relentless. It is rare to find someone in the room who hasn’t bought a few tickets. During the live auction they carry around the item up for bid so people can get a better look…at the item, of course. George Williams became a victim of this (see picture below).

All in all, it was a great weekend and I would encourage all of you to go to www.ducks.org to find out more about what you can do for the Ducks.

Special thanks to:
John White (TX/NM Regional Director) – for letting me help with the gift bags and for making sure our team was all set up before we even arrived for the weekend.

Bill and Donna Pyle (District Chairman) – for taking me under their wings that weekend and making sure I got everything I needed, including good conversation.

Benjamin Jones (Area Chair) – for letting John Schwarzlose, Bud Force, and I interview him and sit at his table at the Saturday night Auction and Banquet.

Crispin Morin III – for taking our banner around Texas with him and his DU team, letting people know that TexasHuntFish.com supports Ducks Unlimited.

The Gokey family – Rob and Kyle, thank you for sitting down with us and sharing their experiences as a father and son team. Amy (and their daughter, Paige) thank you for letting us set up a table in the vendor room.
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HB5029 was passed by the Michigan House of Representatives on Tuesday, November 4th by a vote of 64-44 with two members not voting. It made its way over to the Senate, and on Wednesday, November 5th, Senate Majority Leader Ken Sikkema assigned HB5029 to Senator Shirley Johnson’s Appropriations Committee. During the Sportsmen’s Rally on November 4th, Senator Shirley Johnson introduced the resolution making the mourning dove the “Michigan Bird of Peace”.
This is the resolution that Senators Johnson, Jacobs, Brater, Clark Coleman, Clarke, Jelinek, Leland, Scott and Toy introduced:

Senate Resolution No. 192.

A resolution recognizing the mourning dove, Zenaida macroura, as the Michigan Bird of Peace.

Whereas, The mourning dove is an American bird known for its sad, cooing call. Its grayish-brown feathers and long tapering tail are widely recognized in Michigan, as is its soft and mournful sound. The mourning dove, or Zenaida macroura, as it is known in the scientific realm, is a peaceful songbird; and

Whereas, The day of the mourning dove begins early in the morning when it begins to look for food and water. The doves then rest during part of the afternoon, seek more food and water, and before nightfall, return to their nests built loosely of twigs in a tree or bush or on the ground. Many scientists believe that a male and female mourning dove mate with each other for life. Bird watchers will note that mourning doves are often found in pairs and, as parents, the doves are both responsible for feeding the young, called squabs, which are born blind and almost featherless; and

Whereas, The dove has traditionally symbolized peace. It is often depicted with an olive branch in its beak. Mourning doves do not eat olive branches, but do, however, feed on weed seeds and insects. It is a peaceful bird which will swiftly fly from conflict on strong wings that make a whistling sound as they move through the air. The mourning dove plays a quiet but vital role in the fragile and beautiful ecosystem that is the Michigan water wonderland; now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the Senate, That the mourning dove, Zenaida macroura, be known throughout the state as the Michigan Bird of Peace.

Pending the order that, under rule 3.204, the resolution be referred to the Committee on Government Operations, Senator Hammerstrom moved that the rule be suspended.

The motion prevailed, a majority of the members serving voting therefor.

The question being on the adoption of the resolution, Senator Hammerstrom moved that the resolution be referred to the Committee on Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs.

The motion prevailed.

I would encourage you to have all those interested in seeing HB5029 become law contact their senators and the members of this committee and also Senate Majority Leader Ken Sikkema and tell the Senators that you want this bill passed out of committee and passed by the Senate and given to Governor Granholm to sign into law.

Remember, the best way to communicate with the legislators is by scheduling and attending a “Face to Face meeting” with your legislator. These meetings can be done in Lansing, but many of the legislators will meet with you in their home districts. The next best way is to write a personal letter and mail it. A less efffective way is to fax that letter. The least effective way is e-mail.

_______________________________

The best defense is a
united offense.

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As a kid there were two skills I mainly learned from my father, how to work and how to hunt. My father was in the army, I remember him talking once about the $800 he got a month and where it was to be used. Needless to say we didn’t have a lot but by hunting and raising a garden we ate pretty good.
Venison, quail, pheasant those are meats you might find in a swank restaurant but we also had plenty of squirrel, rabbit, dove and an occasional ground hog…hell I even ate a raccoon once. To me this was normal, to me the best meat you could buy from the grocery store were hamburgers and hotdogs because when we did buy a steak from the store it was a cheap cut, tough as shoe leather and laced with fat and gristle, which, by the way, my dad made us eat. You know…”Finish everything on your plate boy, there are starving people in India that don’t have as much as you.”
Hunting was different then, we’d jump in the truck drive out into the country, stop at a house and ask if we could hunt their property. Sometimes it was yes, sometimes it was no, but it was simple…straight forward. My dad would make friends that way and when he did our freezer was stocked for the year.
Deer hunting………………The first deer hunting experience I had was on Fort Hood. There’s a rod and gun club there and during the season they set up a lottery for soldiers/hunters. The soldiers arrive about 4:30 am for the morning hunts, 2:30 pm for the afternoon hunts, wait to see if they were drawn, the lucky ones are taken to a stand in a big army truck everyone else goes home. My dad took me one afternoon, we were drawn and I remember well the bumpy ride out to the area we were to hunt. We laid down behind a downed tree and waited for a deer to come out so my dad could shoot it. I wasn’t hunting, I was there to observe, I was six years old. It started getting cold and as it did my teeth started chattering, I couldn’t help it. My dad became really perturbed and pushed my down under a heavy green army canvass we were laying on and told me to be quiet.
The next several hours were miserable to me, etched in to my mind, I reckon for the rest of my life. We didn’t get a deer that day but as we stood in the dark waiting for the big army truck to pick us up we looked at the stars and talked, my dad wasn’t angry anymore and I heard for the first time a deer snort, “the warning there’s danger present”, he said. The ride back was just as bumpy, a truck loaded with cold soldiers in camo and a couple of dead deer.
And that was deer hunting to me for the next ten years, laying on the ground scanning a brush line, looking out across a field from the loft of a barn, aiming my rifle out of the second floor of an old dilapidated farm house, no matter where it was it always seemed to be cold.
Then things changed, my dad retired from the army, went to a community college on the GI Bill and started an AC business and for once we had a little money. He had a lease we could hunt and we built blinds with soft seats, sliding windows and even propane heaters. Part of it was because we had money but I think the other part was because my dad was getting older and just wanted to be comfortable.
The last year my dad hunted was the year I stopped hunting and didn’t hunt again for about ten years. It was the year after I graduated highschool, I bought into the lease and could hunt when I wanted for the first time. My dad bought the back end of a refrigerated truck and set it up as a meat processing areas complete with a bandsaw to cut steaks. The thing that made me stop hunting was that my father shot more than the legal limit that year. I won’t say how many more, it still embarrasses me. I became really perturbed, I wanted to push him down under a heavy green army canvass and tell him how disappointed I was in him. After that, what he had taught me about hunting meant next to nothing to me.
Time ticks on and after about ten years I started hunting again, rediscovering some of what I had lost. I rifle hunted a couple of times in Bandera with reps. from a wine company trying to smooze me. Took a couple of deer and pretty much stopped again unsatified with the same ol’ same ol’. A few more years went by and I was talked into trying bow hunting by a friend of mine. I’d played around with compound bows as a teenager and was really quite good though I’d never hunted with one, but this was traditional, the classic stick and string. So my de-evolution began, I had to relearn everything, not moving for an hour at a time, covering my scent , learning the subtle signs that tell you where to set up, making myself invisible in my surroundings.
I’ve been hunting a ranch by Lake Buchanan for almost a year now. Dozens of times I sat there and watched the day turn into night, sometimes sitting through the night to watch the sun come up again. In those times I’ve only taken four shots with my bow and with those four shots I’ve taken three hogs and a deer. All clean, ethical. All easy to track.
Last night I walked down one of the ranch roads, found a place where game traversed and sat back a little ways in the brush, a cool wind in my face, a lane in front to take a shot if presented. My bow sat three feet away leaning against a wild persimmon. As I sat there a hawk swooped between me and my bow, oblivious to my presence, the tip of it’s wing inches from my face. It flew out through my shooting lane and landed in a tree across the road from me. It perched there for a minute and then started back towards the opening. At the last moment it saw me, spread it’s wings stopping in mid air, changed directions and was gone.
I watched a group of deer feed ten yards in front of me, three does and a couple of yearlings. Two of the does were mature, one was huge. I could have taken her but I was waiting for a buck I’d seen in the area earlier this year. I watched them for about thirty minutes as they grazed and made their way off. Later I had three bucks come out, three I had seen with the buck I wanted. One was a four and a half year old eight point. Classic Hill Country rack, not real high, not real woody but symmetric. Another eight, not as big and a younger six. But the one I wanted wasn’t with them, probably split off by now in anticipation of the rut. As they moved into the brush the two smaller bucks started to tussle a bit then they were gone. The light faded and I walked back to camp in the dark, through the woods not bothering to turn on my light. Best hunt of the year, what hunting is to me.
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Your dog would die for you. You would not do the same for him

-Quote from my good friend CB

I swore I’d never have another dog. Forget the bird dog, German Shorthaired Pointer thing. Just no dog. Not after Nikko. And that was almost twenty years ago. Even though every year the girls always asked for a puppy, I just couldn’t bring myself to it.

Nikko was my best friend.

We’d hunt quail all over the rapidly disappearing brush in Hidalgo County back in the early 1990’s when I was in college. We’d bum around in my little black Suzuki Samuri without a top, just Nikko and I looking for likely fields to shoot, sometimes overgrown ones over by Sugar Road in Pharr, or maybe way out Conway north of Mission, busting covey after covey.

My freezer was always full.

Once we went hunting north of the University on Hoen Road, a tumbleweed-grass field that just looked ripe for codorniz. We hunted and hunted that grey, cold afternoon, but no covey. Suddenly Nikko came on point, but just as quickly began jumping back and forth barking his still puppish yap….

That’s when I heard it.

The telltale dry buzzing of a big old rattlesnake.

My hair stood on end as I bolted forward just in time to see Nikko standing on rock solid point, the big old cascabel reared back ready to strike, head the size of a damn steam iron. I screamed at the top of my lungs “NIKKO!”. He jumped backward, trance broken, and I unleashed both barrels of my old side by side over his head, and into the snakes, which disintegrated into a fine mist of red.

Neither one of us wanted to hunt any more that day.

But there were many more days to come, and when I finally lost him (a whole ‘nother story), I swore I’d never have another dog.

Besides it’s kind of like having a family member that never grows up, and my own independence just wasn’t ready for the commitment of the whole thing.

Well, I don’t know what possessed me to do it, but about a month ago another little German Shorthaired pup found his way into our lives. We named him Assault, a play on words actually (Get it? Assault? A-Salt-y dog….)

When we went to pick him up in Edinburg, he rode home uncrated in the back of the Volvo. To show his newfound love for me, he immediately planted several Assault-bombs in my jacket behind the back seat.

Right now he’s asleep in the crate after a rather frustrating puppy morning out. Assault seemed more intent on pointing at cats and chasing the check cord than on whoa and dead. Happier rolling and sniffing the grass, chewing on palm fronds to sooth his cutting teeth than on heeling and fetching.

Sometimes they just have to be pups.

For the most part though he just wants to please, and training is coming along well. He points at the wing, responds reasonably well to commands and even came along duck hunting with us several days ago. The girls kept him tight leashed, but he perked up at the gunshots, and swam and splashed in the cold Laguna Madre waters, waiting for his master to knock down a couple of redheads.

There is joy mixed with sadness in my heart. Joy at the innocence of a new puppy, sadness over how short the time we get to enjoy them is. And I guess that’s true of all things. Besides, I watch my girls and this critter and wonder why I waited so long to let another gun dog into our collective lives. There is a bond that cannot be duplicated, and they deserve that too.

So for now, my little pup sleeps. Sometimes they just have to have puppy days.
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Current year Texas hunting and fishing licenses (except year-to-date fishing licenses) expire Aug. 31, and new licenses for 2010-2011 will go on sale Sunday, Aug. 15.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department issues about 2.1 million hunting and fishing licenses annually through the agency’s 28 field offices, more than 65 state parks and at over 1,500 retailers across Texas. For a $5 administrative transaction fee, licenses may also be purchased online through the TPWD Web site or by phone (800-895-4248). Call center hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday — Friday. The online transaction system is available 24/7. A license confirmation number is issued at the time of purchase for online and phone orders, and the physical license is mailed separately. Confirmation numbers will verify that a license has been purchased, which is sufficient for dove hunting, but will not allow hunters to take fish or wildlife that require a tag.

Dove Hunting Requirements
In addition to a hunting license, all wing shooters will need to purchase a game bird stamp. To hunt doves or teal in September, a Migratory Game Bird Stamp ($7) is required. Duck hunters also need to purchase a Federal Duck Stamp and receive HIP (Harvest Information Program) certification. HIP certification involves a brief survey of previous year’s hunting success and is conducted at the time licenses are purchased. Certification will be printed on the license. Lifetime license holders must also be HIP-certified and purchase the Federal Duck Stamp to hunt migratory birds. All other state stamp endorsements are included with a lifetime license.

There are other mandatory endorsements to consider at the time of purchase, too. An Upland Game Bird Stamp ($7) is required to hunt all non-migratory game birds, including turkey, quail, pheasant, chachalaca and lesser prairie chicken.

Of course, anyone who purchases the Super Combo license package, the best bang for the buck at $68, automatically gets these needed stamps. Sportsmen ages 65 and older qualify for a discounted Senior Super Combo for $32.

Lifetime License Drawing
Hunters and anglers can also take care of their licensing requirements for life with the purchase of an $1,800 Lifetime Super Combo, or you can enter for a chance at winning a lifetime license through a special drawing. Entries for the Lifetime License Drawing cost $5 each and may be purchased wherever licenses are sold. There is no limit on the number of entries that may be purchased. Winners will be drawn on Dec. 30, 2010 and June 30, 2011. If you enter by Dec. 27, 2010, you will be eligible for both drawings.

Mandatory Hunter Education Certification
Hunter Education Certification is also required of any hunter born on or after Sept. 2, 1971 and who is at least 17 years old. For hunters who are unable to work in a hunter education course before hunting season for whatever reason, TPWD does offer a deferral option that allows people 17 years of age or older a one-time only extension to complete the state’s hunter education requirements. The individual must first purchase a hunting license and then may purchase the deferral option #166.

Hunters using the deferral must be accompanied by someone 17 years old or older also licensed to hunt in Texas. The accompanying individual must have completed hunter education or be exempt from the requirements (born before Sept. 2, 1971). The extension is good for one license year, by which time the person with the deferred option needs to complete a hunter education course.

This option is not available to those who have ever received a conviction or deferred adjudication for lack of hunter education certification. They still must take the course before going afield.

Big Time Texas Hunts
Also available through license agents and online are chances for TPWD’s Big Time Texas Hunts. The Big Time Texas Hunts program offers the opportunity to win one or more premium guided hunts with food and lodging provided, as well as taxidermy in some cases. The crown jewel of the program is the Texas Grand Slam hunt package, which includes four separate hunts for Texas’ most prized big game animals — the desert bighorn sheep, white-tailed deer, mule deer and pronghorn antelope. There are several quality whitetail hunt packages available, as well as opportunities to pursue alligator, exotic big game, waterfowl and upland game birds.

Entries for the Big Time Texas Hunt drawings are $10 each and are available wherever hunting licenses are sold. They may also be purchased online at a discounted price of $9 each. There is no limit to the number of entries an individual may purchase, All proceeds from Big Time Texas Hunts benefit conservation, wildlife management and public hunting.

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