hunting – quail – dove 1.23

P-Arrow Plantation has been extensively managed for game and fish for 30 years. Its owners offer hunting and fishing for individuals or for corporate retreats. The P-Arrow is located in Livingston, Alabama, east of I-59 and I-20 halfway between Birmingham, Alabama and Jackson, Mississippi.

Located on the P-Arrow is over 100 acres of lakes for largemouth bass, crappie, and bream fishing. The P-Arrow is a prime location for exciting whitetail deer hunting from shooting houses overlooking green fields or tree stands.

Hunters can ride on a Belgian Mule drawn wagon carrying English Pointers and English Setters, or ride Tennessee Walking Horses to experience covey rises of fast flying bobwhites from sedge grass covered pine hills or stream side fields of partridge peas, Egyptian wheat, and corn. We have opening day dove hunts. Private dove hunts and turkey hunts are also available.

For those who simply want an outdoor experience in the old South, nature trails and historic tours are available.

Quail Hunts
There are three types of Quail Hunts which are available. They are:

The most authentic southern style quail hunt is by Belgian Mule drawn wagon. Dixon and Luke are our 1600 pound mules that pull the dog wagon. A hunt master and Hunt scout on a horse will direct each hunt. Lunch will be provided in the field by a cook.
The other type of quail hunt we provide is a full or half day hunt using the John Deere Gator with a customized box to carry the dogs and seats on top to carry the hunters. A scout on a horse will direct the hunt along with a hunt Master.
We also provide customized quail hunts to fit your desired experience.

All of the birds are either native or early released birds. There is NO LIMIT!!!

Dove Hunts
Opening Day Hunts are available. Hunters are served an excellent BBQ Lunch!!

Turkey Hunts
You will enjoy our Spring Hunts over chufa fields and wild game sorghum. We provide our turkey hunters with a personal guide.

Deer Hunts
Guided whitetail deer hunts are available. You may hunt the wary Whitetail Buck on green fields from comfortable shooting houses or tree stands. Bow hunting is encouraged!! We also offer customized hunts.

3 bed rooms /3 baths (1) king (1) queen (1) twin and a loft with a king and a full bed and a full bathroom. Every bedroom comes with its own private bathroom.

P Arrow consists of eight lakes that comprise 110 acres stocked heavily with Northern, Florida and Hybrid large mouth bass. Additionally, different lakes have coppernose, bluegills, shellcrackers, and crappie. The largest lake on P-Arrow is horseshoe lake, which contains about 33 acres of water and has quite a bit of grass in it. For the angler who enjoys fishing rubber rats, rubber frogs, swimming worms and grass type baits, this lake can be very exciting. Another honey hole at P-Arrow, the brewer pond, is more than 65 years old and contains a native strain of large mouth bass. It is also home to shellcrackers blue gills. If a fly-fisherman likes to catch bass and bream this is the place for him to do that. Pruitt built coyote lake with the structure fisherman in mind. After seeing Ray Scott’s video on how to build a pond to produce big bass he adopted many of the ideas for Scott’s tape.

Available are guided largemouth bass and bream fishing trips in over 110 acres of lakes. Bass as large as 14 pounds have been caught. And, catches of as many as 50-75 fish a day are the norm for the P Arrow fishing experience.

A guide will accompany the fishing party. We will provide you with a boat and a guide for the length of your trip. Fishing for Bass are catch and release.

Clayton Batts – Fishing with the New Bio-Bait!

P-ARROW Plantation is truly a heaven on earth. The staff is some of the best people you will ever meet and the food is worth coming in early for. It is truly an outdoorsman’s paradise whether you come to fish or hunt; I promise that you will leave with a smile on your face. The cover is abundant from fishing trees in open water, to simply beating the banks you are guaranteed to catch fish. The fish are strong and healthy and willing to bite anything in your box. The question is not when am I going to get a bite, but how big is the fish going to be. Thanks for a great trip and hope to see yall very soon.

Clayton Batts


Nothing says Memorial Day Weekend like a family picnic. And this past May 26th, the 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 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 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
4,100 acre year round lease in Zavala County approximately 7 miles south of LaPryor and 8 miles north of Crystal City. Classic South Texas mesquite brush country, lots of drainage, rolling terrain. There are lots of good roads cut throughout the property which provide better access to the brush and an increased amount of terrain for “joy riding”. The property has about 3.5 miles of Nueces River frontage. There is a dam about 4 miles downstream that creates a small lake (reservoir). We are on the top end of this reservoir and it makes our entire river frontage approximately 60 yards wide and 20 feet deep (even in drought conditions). The water is a clear/blue/green color, not muddy like most rivers that you find in South Texas. It is perfect for taking the kids swimming in the summer, launching a small boat/canoe/kayak, or tying out limb lines if you like big catfish. The river bottom supports an entirely different ecosystem than the brush and has huge live oak trees, some of which are over 5’ in diameter at the trunk.

There are 4 tanks and the fishing is great. Several black bass approaching 8 lbs have been caught, 4 kids with night crawlers and bobbers will land about a dozen 2 lb. channel cats in about 45 minutes.

There is a 160 acre field by the river that can be irrigated (irrigation is unusual in South Texas). We currently have 40 acres of oats planted in the river field and another 25 acre plot in the center of the ranch.

I have hunted this ranch for the last 4 seasons. I am now looking for 3 seasoned hunters to enjoy and steward this ranch with me. The owners and their family could not be nicer people and their desire is to establish long term relationships with quality hunters who are respectful to them and to their property. Any hunters who can fit that mold will have the opportunity to hunt on their ranch for a long, long time. The opportunity for longevity is invaluable to anyone who is looking for a new lease.

The base lease cost is $7,950 per gun. There are additional camp expenses that are split by the group (electric bill, insurance, all feeder corn, protein, biologist fees, maintenance, etc.). If you sign up for this lease, you will be required to pay $2,500 to our camp account for your portion of the expenses for the year. This amount should cover all of your camp expenses for the rest of the lease term which runs through February of 2010. If there are any surplus funds in the camp expense account at the end of the year then those funds are redistributed to the group. I take care of keeping all feeders full and batteries charged. You will be required to contribute 2 corn feeders and 2 protein feeders (protein feeders must be at least 700 lb. capacity). You may be required to contribute a blind at some point, but that isn’t required or needed at this time. All corn/protein feed pens are built and in place (17 total). All hunting locations are established. All members have equal access to all hunting locations. There are currently 18 hunting locations set up (1 without a pen for corn only). You only need to bring the feed equipment to the ranch and I will get it set for you. If you are buying new equipment I may be able to pick it up for you and deliver it to the ranch.

We operate under a MLDP Level 3 permit. This extends “rifle season” for bucks and does from Oct. 1st – Feb. 28th, doe harvest may be limited after the rut. The MLD also allows/requires hunters to use tags provided by the TPWD. Under MLDP Level 3, any one individual may harvest many more than 5 deer per season which is the traditional individual tag limit.

We are a management minded group and it is expected that any trophies taken are Post Mature (6.5 years old and older). We have harvest guidelines for management deer that will be provided to those that are interested in this lease.

Over the last 4 seasons we have harvested 79 Does, 88 Cull Bucks, & 2 Trophy Bucks. One of the Trophy Bucks taken scored 171 B&C and was a natural 13 point with a broken drop. In a typical season we see around 3 – 4 deer that score near or above 160 B&C. Most of those deer were aged on the hoof as being “4.5 – 5.5” and not post mature so they were not taken. We have shot several large 8pt. culls that were in the mid 130 – mid 140 B&C range. Antler growth was down this year like it was all over South Texas and we only identified 2 bucks over 160 this past season. The doe to buck ratio has consistently been 1.5 Does: 1 Buck. The herd density is somewhere in the neighborhood of 1 deer per 18 acres.

This is a low fence ranch. The west boundary is HWY 83 and across the highway is the La Chaparosa which is a top end ranch. There is a high fence on the La Chaparosa about 600 yards in from the highway and runs parallel to our fence line. The north neighbor is a 5,000 acre pasture out of the Mac Pryor Ranch. This north neighbor is leased by a 12 gun group of 6 bow hunters and 6 rifle hunters. The north neighbor has been managed for 15 years, they shot 3-4 deer over 160 B&C this last season and the largest of those was mid-170 B&C (in a drought year). The ranch which is on the west end of our south fence line is rarely hunted and this property is wild and raw. The neighbor on the east end of the south fence line leases to hunters that corn our fence line and have corn feeders close to our fence line, we consider this neighbor a bad neighbor concerning management. The east boarder is the river which is deep & wide and is probably as good as a high fence. Overall, out of the 14 miles of fence line that boarders and surrounds the ranch, I would say that about 80% of it is occupied with “good” neighbors for a low fence situation.

This will be our 5th year feeding protein and we have 17 protein feeding locations (one per 241 acres). We have completed 4 years of herd management. When we took the lease in 2006, the ranch had been basically not hunted for decades (probably not since the 1970’s). The only hunting pressure prior to our 2006 lease came from an outfitter who purchased 6 bucks per season during the 2003 & 2004 seasons. As far as trophy management goes, in 2006 we were starting from scratch. The ranch is still a work in progress concerning herd development. The rancher to our north told me that it took them 8 years to develop their herd to the level that it is today (3-4 160 class deer taken per year). Point is, don’t consider this lease if you expect to shoot a 160 class post mature buck in your first season, while that is certainly possible, I believe that we are about 3 years away from having a top end herd where 3-4 160 class bucks (or better) are taken each year. In the last 4 years I (personally) could have killed 2 bucks at or above 160 B&C on this ranch. Neither buck was clearly post mature, and they both walked.

We have an open guest policy on this ranch and lease members do not need to sit in the blind with their guests, but lease members are responsible for their guest’s actions and for any game that is harvested by their guest. A lease member may bring more than one guest, but we are limited to 12 hunters on the ranch at one time so we just have to coordinate with each other when we are bringing people down. Kids are welcomed and encouraged. The owner likes to saddle up horses for the kids a few times each year. We have the opportunity to arrange access to horses and riding equipment by contributing something to the owners feed costs. Keeping your own horse on the property could possibly be arranged (for a fee).

Our camp consists of a well/water system, septic, a 16,000 s.f. crushed limestone pad/parking area, covered deck, cleaning area, and 2 Conex storage boxes (one for feed and one for storage). New hunters will need to bring down their own mobile home or R.V. There are spots set up on the crushed limestone pad for trailers to be parked. They have septic lines, electric, and water hook ups in place for easy set up.

The owner also has a relatively new three bedroom mobile home that sits behind their homestead (this is about 1.5 miles from our camp). We can use this trailer whenever it is needed for spill over, or if you were down there with your wife or a guest and you didn’t want to stay in an R.V. This trailer has a big screen TV with a dish so we typically watch the football games over there. The owner’s mobile home is only for spill over and is not to be used as any hunter’s primary lodging when on the property.

There are lots of turkeys. Quail have been good in wet years but not in dry years. Dove hunting on the tanks is always steady, there are some fields that have re-grown old plantings and have been full of dove. There are lots of ducks & sand hill crane. Plenty of pigs, coyote, etc. We can’t shoot bobcats.

There are a total of 8 guns on the ranch. I am one of the guns.

Thank you for your time and interest. If you are an experienced management minded hunter and easy to get along with then you will be welcomed. Anyone who is laid back will enjoy our group and this ranch.
News Release
General Media Contact: Business Hours, 512-389-4406

Sept. 22, 2010

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

North Zone Dove: Best hunts have been in milo, corn and sunflowers around Abilene, Lubbock and Amarillo. The absence of cool fronts have not encouraged new migrants to find Texas, though a brighter moon might prompt new birds to head south this week. Red River hunters have enjoyed afternoon shoots over soybeans, roosting trees and ponds. Hunter participation has waned since the opener. Prospects are fair to good.

Central Zone Dove: Wet conditions have hampered the flight near San Antonio. Brownwood and Stephenville hunters have seen fair afternoon shoots around grain fields. Harrison and Panola county hunters have found best shoots around goatweed and plowed ground. Sealy and Columbus hunters saw more birds this week since nearby South Zone fields were hunted. Hunts near Hankamer, Winnie and Anahuac were fair. Prospects are fair to good.

South Zone Dove: Good shoots were posted in sunflowers, plowed ground and corn around El Campo and Danevang, despite heavy rains throughout opening weekend. Rain slowed hunts around Port Lavaca. Bay City hunters were inundated with rain, which limited the flight. Rain bands coming off the Gulf of Mexico drenched Rio Grande Valley hunters. Prospects are good when the region begins to dry.

Teal Season: It has been an average teal season along the coast with plenty of rain and little cool weather. Hunting slowed as a whole on the prairies and marshes since no cool fronts have prompted new ducks to migrate. Many hunters did report better flights early this week, probably due to the upcoming full moon. Unofficial harvest reports indicate more hens have arrived, giving rise to the notion the first wave of birds (mostly adult drakes) have moved south. Typically, the majority of adult drakes migrate first, then hens that did not raise a brood, then hens with their first-year. Most bluewings are in drab plumage, but hens and drakes can be distinguished by their chevrons (wingpatches). Males will have a solid white chevron while females will have broken blotches of brown that breaks up the white on the wing. Teal season ends at sunset Sept. 26. The regular duck season open Oct. 30 in both the North and South zones. Prospects are fair to good.


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Wildlife biologists at Texas Parks and Wildlife Department are cautiously optimistic about quail prospects this season, which gets under way Saturday, Oct. 30 statewide.

This past winter a two-year drought in the major quail hunting areas of the state was finally broken. Range conditions and more importantly, according to TPWD, nesting and brood rearing habitat greatly improved, setting the stage for a marked increase in production. Unfortunately, after two years of unfavorable weather, the number of quail available to breed had become quite low. In general, quail rebound fastest from the remaining pockets of survivors from last season.

“Low carryover is the biggest obstacle to recovering quail populations,” said Robert Perez, TPWD upland game bird program leader. “Quail species are hardwired to take advantage of good reproductive environmental conditions. It’s part of their survival strategy. So many are consumed each year, the species relies on a high reproductive output in order to persist on the landscape. We expect a greatly improved season over last year but a hen can only do so much in one year. Given another wet winter and spring we could expect a much stronger rebound next season.”

Perez indicated those ranches that managed habitat for quail during the extended dry spell will likely see more birds this season, which runs Oct. 30-Feb. 27.

The daily bag limit for quail is 15, with 45 in possession. Legal shooting hours for all non-migratory game birds are 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset. The bag limit is the maximum number that may be killed during the legal shooting hours in one day.

Since 1978, TPWD has conducted annual statewide quail surveys to track population trends. This index uses randomly selected, 20-mile roadside survey lines to determine annual quail population trends by ecological region. This trend information helps determine relative quail populations among the regions of Texas. Comparisons can be made between the average number of quail observed per route this year and the long term average for quail seen within an ecological region. The quail survey was not designed to predict relative abundance for any area smaller than the ecological region.

Following are summary prospects for each region this season:

Rolling Plains
This region received timely winter, spring and summer rainfall resulting in excellent breeding conditions for bobwhite quail. The summer rains extended the window of opportunity for nesting. If a hen failed in her first attempt, there was ample time for a second attempt. The limiting factor was the number of birds available to breed. Field reports indicate that quail have made a strong comeback in areas that held birds last year. Other areas have improved as well but to a lesser extent. It’s a good idea to scout ahead to be sure the areas you plan to hunt are holding birds.

The average number of bobwhites observed per route was 8.0 compared to 6.6 last year. This is well below the Long Term Mean of 21.5. Despite low counts, enough young birds and coveys have been anecdotally reported that we suspect hunters will be able to find birds. Public hunting opportunities can be found at the Matador and the Gene Howe Wildlife Management Areas.

South Texas Plains
Although considered one of the last strongholds for quail, South Texas is not immune to drought impacts on quail populations. The 2009 season was no exception and quail numbers were down. Consequently, it will effect the 2010 season.

There should be greater nesting success and production of bobwhite quail this year on those properties that have an adequate number of carryover birds from last year. On many properties that did not implement the proper management techniques or limit grazing pressure, there will be fewer birds available for production. In these areas it could possibly take a few above average years to regain those populations to normal levels.

This region also experienced a wet winter, spring and summer. South Texas also had very few days 100 degrees or greater. Cool-wet summers are ideal for quail reproduction but similar to the Rolling Plains, carryover was a limiting factor. Overall, our surveys indicate an increase in population compared to last year but still below average across the region. The best opportunities will be on well managed sites that held over birds from last year.

The average number of bobwhites observed per route was 8.61 compared to 5.2 last year. This is well below the Long Term Mean of 18.6 and is predictive of a below average hunting season. The Chaparral and the Daughtrey Wildlife Management Areas provide public quail hunting opportunities.

Portions of the Trans-Pecos ecological region received timely rainfall while other areas either missed the rains completely or received it at times less beneficial to scaled quail. As a result, reproduction varied across the region. Field reports indicate that birds can be found in areas with good range condition. Reports from the western edge of the Edwards Plateau (the Stockton Plateau) indicate an improvement over last year but still below average.

The average number of scaled quail observed per route was 7.2 compared to 16.9 last year. This is below the Long Term Mean of 17.5. Public hunter opportunities can be found at Elephant Mountain and Black Gap Wildlife Management Areas.

Other Areas
TPWD surveys indicate that bobwhite numbers in Gulf Prairies are similar to last season. Hunters should focus on the central and lower coast in native prairie habitats. The Cross Timbers and Edwards Plateau continue to report numbers well below their respective Long Term Means. Although there are certainly areas within each region where some quail hunting opportunity remains, this survey is not designed to detect changes in localized populations, especially in fragmented landscapes.

CLICK HERE for article on Texas Parks and Wildlife
Common Gray Fox, Urocyon cinereoargenteus (Schreber), a medium-sized fox with grayish upperparts, reddish brown legs, tawny sides, and whitish throat, cheeks and mid-line of belly; sides of muzzle and lower jaw with distinct blackish patch; tail with distinct blackish stripe on upperside and black tip (no white on end of tail as in the red fox; tail roughly triangular, not round, in cross section; skull with distinct lyrate temporal ridges, which meet only at hind part of skull. Dental formula as in the red fox. External measurements average: total length, 970 mm; tail, 347 mm; hind foot, 143 mm. Weight, ordinarily 3-5 kg, occasionally as much as 9 kg.

Distribution in Texas

The gray fox is essentially an inhabitant of wooded areas, particularly mixed hardwood forests. It is common throughout the wooded sections east of the shortgrass plains and in the pinyon-juniper community above the low lying deserts.

This fox is adept at climbing trees, particularly if they are leaning or have branches within 3 m of the ground, and it is not unusual for it to use this escape device when pursued by hounds. Contrary to common belief, gray foxes are not strictly animals of the night, but they are much more active then. They have been observed on many occasions in the daytime under conditions that suggested they were foraging. When so encountered, they often move to one side behind a protecting screen of vegetation and wait for the intruder to pass.

Gray foxes usually den in crevices in the rocks, in underground burrows, under rocks, in hollow logs, or in hollow trees. In eastern Texas, one was found denning about 10 m above the ground in a large hollow oak. In central Texas, a den was found in a hollow live oak with the entrance about 1 m above the ground. Two unusual den sites which have been documented include a pile of wood and a field of sorghum into which a fox had “tunneled.”

The gray fox is omnivorous; the food varies with season and availability. Based upon the stomach contents of 42 foxes from Texas, the winter food consisted chiefly of small mammals (cottontails, cotton rats, pocket gophers, pocket mice), 56%; followed by insects, largely grasshoppers, 23%; and birds (doves, quail, sparrows, blackbirds, towhees), 21%. In the spring the diet was but slightly changed — small mammals, 68%; insects, 25%; small birds, 17%. In late summer and fall, persimmons and acorns led with 30%; insects, 26%; small mammals, 16%; birds, 14%; crayfish, 14%. In these 42 stomachs, chicken and quail occurred once each, and mourning doves twice. Consequently, as judged from these analyses, the usual food habits of the gray fox do not conflict much with man’s economy.

In Texas, the breeding season begins in December and continues on into March. Most females captured in March and April are gravid. The three to six pups are born in April or May after a gestation period of about 53 days. At first they are blind and helpless, but they grow rapidly and soon leave the home nest, possibly because of the heavy infestation of fleas characteristic of such nests. Then they seek shelter in rock piles, under rocks, in piles of brush, or in other sites that offer concealment and protection.

Of some interest is the possible relationship between gray foxes and coyotes. In sections of Texas where coyotes formerly were numerous, the gray fox was scarce; now, after elimination of the coyote, the gray fox has become abundant. Perhaps the coyote tends to hold this fox in check under conditions where they both occupy the same area.

Gray foxes are thought to live six to 10 years in the wild. Major factors causing mortality include predation, parasites, diseases, and man. The gray fox is among the most important of Texas’ fur-bearing animals.
credit to :

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.

credit to: Article From Plateau Land and Wildlife Management
A step by step guide to get you in the field!

Dove Hunting in Coppell Texas is a great sport for all ages. Whether you are 12 or 50, it can be rewarding. I started at age 17 and haven’t missed an opening day since. As the summer begins, my heart and mind always go to September 1st (opening day North and Central Zones in Texas) although it is likely very different in your area. With all that said, if you would like to try it out I have some practical things for you to do to make getting started easy.

Getting started falls into two basic categories:

What to purchase?
What to do?

What to Purchase

I know, you are thinking this is going to be expensive. It can be (if you have the money), if not, you can start out on a shoestring budget, like me. There are many items that make dove hunting more comfortable but they are not necessary to start dove hunting. I’ll begin with the bare necessities.

A Shotgun
I don’t think there is any way around this one, unless you are real good with a sling shot. There are many options when it come to a shotgun. The basic categories are; pump action, auto-matic, and over and under. All three have there advantages and disadvantages. The other things involved in purchasing a shotgun are , what gauge and what brand.

A pump action shot gun is the least expensive type of shotgun. Pumps can be purchased for around $300. Winchester and Remington have decent entry level pump shotguns. A pump simply means that the discharging and reloading of shells is done by pumping the gun backwards and then forward. Contrary to popular belief, this can be done very quickly and all have shot a lot of birds with a pump. A pump’s advantages are it is a great starter gun and the cost will keep some money in the bank if you are on a budget.

An automatic shotgun is an upgrade from a pump. An automatic shotgun ejects the spent shell and reloads the chamber automatically (hints why it’s called an automatic). Both the pump and automatic hold three shells(with the plug in). For a beginner and even for me (as I shoot an automatic), the third shot can be a life saver. Automatic shotguns can be pricey though.

Gauges: When buying a shotgun, size does matter. The smaller the number the larger the shell.

Mourning Dove

The bottom line is you have to have a gun, so decide on your budget and make a purchase that will last a life time. Let’s keep a running total….

1-pump-action gun = $300

2. A place to Dove hunt near CoppellTexas

I’d say this is a necessity. Here again, this depends on your bank account. There are several ways to hunt without paying ant outrageous amount of money. In Texas, they have public land and for around $50 one can access thousands of acres. The trick is finding a spot with birds. There are also day hunts for around $100 per day, and even some leases for around $150 per season (usually these suck). If you’ve got the money, look for some established leases in the newspapers. They can range anywhere from $300 to $1000 per gun. Again, a gun is no good if you don’t have a place to shoot it (preferably with birds on it or flying by).

1-pump shotgun @ $300, 1- public land permit @ $50

3. Hunting license

I don’t think this needs too much elaboration. Depending on your Texas, should be around $10-50. You also may need additional “stamps” on your state license.

1-pump shotgun @ $300, 1- public land permit @ $50, 1- hunting license @ $40,


You can really go crazy here if you want, but there are a few ‘must haves’.

Shells. I could write a novel on this, but to start just buy some 8 shot dove load. Buy a case (10 boxes), should be around $60.
Bird/bullet bag.Probably a three pouch camo, $15.
Chair. Get a comfortable one. They are cheap $30 max.
Camo clothing. Depending on your climate, you’ll need pants and a shirt. The more pockets the better. You might want to buy some boots too. We’ll say $100.
Other accessories you might want to get could be a water bottle (camo, of course), flashlight, hunting vest, a new cooler (to put all your birds you kill in), camo hat, and polarized sunglasses. For now i won’t figure these into cost.
1-pump shotgun @ $300, 1- public land permit @ $50, 1- hunting license @ $40, 1-set of accessories @ $205.

That’s it! The grand total to get you into business is around $600. It sounds like a lot, but if you don’t wait until the last minute you can budget it in over time.

In the next article, I’ll cover what to do to get started dove hunting in CoppellTexas.

Dove hunting is a popular form of sport that is embraced by many people in CoppellTexas. When hunting for dove, there are numerous factors that can go into making every hunting excursion successful. Some helpful dove hunting tips would include such topics as the hunter’s armament, concealment, decoys, and a good working knowledge of a dove’s normal activity.

Armament is the easiest external factor to control while hunting for this fowl. Try to keep in mind that doves are small birds and smaller caliber ammunition will be required. The best guns to use are either repeating, pump action, or double barreled shotguns in 12, 16, or 20 gauge varieties.

Concealment and decoys are both good ways to attract and shield oneself from being spotted by potential prey. A decoy works by portraying the look of doves and attracting them into a predetermined kill zone. Doves, like many birds, are pack animals and are attracted to other doves. However, when attracting doves, one must be well camouflaged because doves have very good eyesight.

Finally, the knowledge of dove behavior and the seasons for hunting them are critical to being a good hunter. Doves are seed eating animals, so a dove hunter should place himself and his decoys in wherever there is a healthy supply of seeds. They are also easier to spot in the morning to the mid-afternoon.

Dove hunting is a popular sport because they are a plentiful animal that can be found in many locations in the United States. When going on a dove hunt, a person must use smaller caliber ammunition out of a shotgun and remain well hidden. Place decoys in heavily seeded areas and wait for them to come to you. One things is for sure, dove hunters will find that after years of hunting these fast moving birds, they will end up being a crack shot.
Have a questions about hunting in Argentina?
Los Gauchos Outfitters is based in the US and we are here to answer your questions. We have all traveled the route and know the country and the hunting – so ask! Please contact us with any other questions and have a good time bird hunting in Argentina.

How do I get to the Santa Fe Lodge in Argentina ?

Clients from the USA will fly to Buenos Aires, Argentina (EZE airport code) and then transfer to the domestic airport for a flight to Santa Fe, Argentina. Please keep in mind the costs associated with transportation from Buenos Aires interntational airport to the domestic airport. We have a great guide who can meet you – contact us for more information and fees associated with our travel service within Buenos Aires, Argentina.

What Argentina hunting is available at the Santa Fe Lodge ?

Bird hunting at the Los Gauchos Santa Fe Lodge will give you the best of bird hunting in Argentina.

Morning Duck Hunts
Afternoon Argentina Dove Hunting
Afternoon Perdiz Hunting
Do we need waders for the duck hunting in Argentina ?

Pack Your Duck Hunting Waders
Yes. Please pack some light weight waders for the morning duck hunts at the Santa Fe Lodge.

What do I need to travel to Argentina (visa or passport) ?

Currently USA citizens only need a valid current passport to enter Argentina. Please note your passport must NOT expire within 6 months of entry or exit from Argentina.

There is a new fee for North Americans entering Buenos Aires. The current rate is about $142 and is paid when you arrive at the airport.

How do I get to the Santa Fe Lodge ?

When you land at the Santa Fe Lodge, our head guide will be there to meet you and transfer you and your group to the Santa Fe Lodge. The drive time is about 1 hour 30 minutes from the Santa Fe Lodge.

What is the Santa Fe Lodge like ?

The Santa Fe lodge is able to accommodate up to 8 hunters. Rooms are designed for double occupancy. Please inquire if you would like a single room. Depending on availability we can accommodate you (there is a fee to reserve a single room at the Santa Fe Lodge).

What are the limits for the Bird Hunting at Santa Fe in Argentina ?

The limit for the morning duck hunt is 25 ducks per day per hunter. There is NO limit for dove hunting in Argentina. The limit for Perdiz is 10 Perdiz per hunter.

What does the daily rate include at the Santa Fe Lodge ?

The Argentina BIrd Hunting Trip at the Santa Fe Lodge includes:

Lodging, Beverages, Guided Hunting (Ducks, Doves, Perdiz), Guns, Tips
Ground Transfer Fee – includes the transfers in Santa Fe, Argentina and during your hunt. This fee DOES NOT include any transfer in Buenos Aires.
License – includes the bird hunting license for ducks, doves, and Perdiz.
What is the hunting season in Argentina ?

Argentina Hunting Seasons
The Argentina duck hunting season is May 1 to August 31. The Perdiz season begins May 1st and ends July 31st. Dove hunting is available year round in Argentina.

Can I bring my own shotgun to Argentina ?

Yes, you can. Our daily rates include the use of high quality Benelli m2 semiauto shotguns. You will have to pay a fee of $110 at the airport and there is a fee to have our guide meet you at the airport to assist with registering the gun. Please make sure you keep all licenses with you at all times. When you depart, the officials will have to see the license.
Duck Hunting in Uruguay has gained its notoriety through the focus on the duck hunting land and rice farms and duck hunting guides that are keen to the behavior of the Uruguay ducks and the calls that bring the Uruguay into the fields in high volume flocks each day during duck hunting season. While duck hunting in Uruguay rarely makes national news, the duck hunting Los Gauchos provides in Uruguay has every reason to make the headlines.

The duck hunting in Uruguay is the way it used to be in the US during the beloved winter duck season. Much of Uruguay is still farmland with the capital, Montevideo bare of skyscrapers and high population. Farmers in Uruguay rely on their crops including rice farms and much of Uruguay’s economy is based on the agircultural rewards of Uruguay rice farms. Ducks that migrate into Uruguay during the winter months (May to August) congregate around the rice fields and potholes and marshes. This is one reason why Uruguay is such a duck hunting paradise.

Los Gauchos is set up right on a private rice farm and the lodge is within minutes of these duck feeding spots. Thus, duck hunting in Uruguay is a satisfying occurrence for all duck hunters, young and old and everything in between. Los Gauchos operates four lodges for the Uruguay duck hunting trips. One is dedicated to pure duck hunting both morning and afternoon duck hunts with lodging about 15 minutes from the duck blind. The lodge is equipped with wireless internet, full kitchen and dining room, private baths, double occupancy and large living room with a fireplace to enjoy the Uruguay wines and food.

Los Gauchos Outfitters has two Duck Hunting Lodges that offer the best in duck hunting. Waterfowl hunting and the meals, service, guides, and experience is worth a million – but the rates we charge are NOT even close.

Duck hunting in Uruguay should be the best trip – from pre trip planning to flights to/from Uruguay to the service before, during and after your Uruguay duck hunting trip. Guess what – Los Gauchos ranks high and the bottom line – is near the bottom. Huh?

Duck hunting in Uruguay – $599 and below! So contact Los Gauchos Outfitters today to find out about the duck hunts and the packages they include. We look forward to seeing you in duck hunting paradise – Uruguay.

The Uruguay duck hunting is set apart from the other hunting trips in Uruguay. It is a seasonal affair, with the Uruguay duck hunting season starting May 1st and lasting until the end of August. The hunting lodge is a great experience for the advanced duck hunter, the beginning duck hunter, or the waterfowl hunter who just wants to experience the best duck hunting in Uruguay. While many stories have been released talking about the duck hunting population dramatically decreasing, the stories and research does detail the fact that sons are more likely to hunt if their dads or grandfathers are avid duck hunters.
Uruguay is a peaceful country without the modernization that tends to keep the young duck hunters away from the fields. Los Gauchos welcomes father and son pairs, as we usually place two hunters in a blind with a duck hunting guide. The species of ducks is vast and many are only found in South America.

See the photos for the various ducks that are abundant in Uruguay: Rosy bill pochards, Silver Teal, and White Faced Tree Duck are just a few of the many species of ducks one will experience on a Uruguay duck hunting trip.

Uruguay duck hunting provides the duck hunter a duck hunting season year round, since seasons are opposite those in North America. Access and availability is large in number. So contact Los Gauchos Outfitters today to find out more about the outstanding duck hunting in Uruguay and how the ease of getting to Uruguay and enjoying the Uruguay duck hunting lodge will bring back and create many good memories.

See the professionals taking advantage of the authentic Uruguay duck hunting outfitters, Los Gauchos. Duck hunting in Uruguay has never been this good and season after season Los Gauchos Outfitters provides.

There is a place…in the southern part of the South American continent, where wingshooting dreams are made into realities—365 days a year. In Uruguay, it is open season on doves and pigeons, and duck season is open from May until September. The dove hunting in Uruguay can only be described as out of this world! Only Argentina dove hunting can compare, and the duck hunting in Uruguay has made this little country famous throughout the world in waterfowl hunting camps, and chat rooms alike.

All the buzz has created quite a stir on outdoor television networks as well, and no one has brought more bird hunting in Uruguay to your television set than Los Gauchos Outfitters. Since 2003, we have been featured in one episode per year, and our credits include: Benelli American Safari, Benelli Dream Hunts, The Beretta Bird Hunter’s Journal, American Gun Dog, and Final Approach TV—where one can always watch the world’s best waterfowl hunting destinations live, and in color.

Many of our clients who have never been on a Uruguay hunting trip ask us what type of packages we offer with respect to our Uruguay bird hunts…our answer is this: Any and all of them. We can customize your bird hunting vacation to fit your mold, with an emphasis on the species that you wish to hunt and/or fish for. We have been doing this with our Argentina bird hunting trips since 2001, often planning overlapping trips between the two countries. A lot of our clients have been dove hunting in Argentina for years, and are ready to try something new; not just a new Argentina wingshooting trip, but an entirely new country as well. This is typically when the subject of bird hunting in Uruguay comes up, and we encourage all of our clients to give wingshooting in Uruguay a shot, because no other destination that we have more consistently pleases our clients.

Uruguay bird hunting offers the volume of shooting that our clients have come to expect from hunting in Argentina, combined with the unique class and charm that makes bird shooting in Uruguay a lot like hunting in northern Spain, or the south of France, the only difference being that instead of costing 2,000 Euros per day, the trips cost approximately $2,000 U.S. dollars for three or four days of hunting in Uruguay, depending on your quarry.

“I have never seen duck shooting like this, and I have been duck hunting in Argentina for over a decade!”

Mr. L. Haggar—Boston, MA

“Incredible Perdiz hunting! The only upland bird hunting trip that I have ever been on where I reached my limit of ten birds in less than an hour was this one. I was done in a record 37 minutes!”

“I just loved the dogs. Each day we had a different one, and all I could think about was how lucky these dogs were to have a chance to be Perdiz hunting in Uruguay almost every day during the Perdiz hunting season in Uruguay.”

Mr. and Mrs. J. Hollowell—Elko, Nevada

“Too much good food and wine. We travel on our stomachs and found the cuisine in Uruguay to be delightful. The birds were plentiful, the dog work was outstanding, and the in-the-field service was first rate. We will return for another Uruguay hunting trip sometime in the near future.”

Mr. and Mrs. L. Brennan—Elyria, OH

One of the things that might stand out from the testimonials above is the fact that two out of three of them were from couples. Bird hunting in Uruguay is our top couples shoot, because everything is close by, and our Uruguay dove hunting lodges offer plenty of recreational activities for hunters and non-hunters alike—activities such as: Spanish classes, cooking classes, horseback riding, and shopping and city tours. Day tours to Colonia are probably the most popular, followed by tours in the city of Salto, where one will find some of the only naturally occurring hot springs in all of South America.

If you would like more information about bird hunting in Uruguay, give us a call right now at 800-420-8707. We will be happy to send you a catalog featuring all of our destinations hunting in Argentina and Uruguay. Our experienced staff has been to all of these destinations many times, and our managers have worked as outfitters and guides for some of the best operations for wingshooting in Argentina.

In addition, Los Gauchos Outfitters offers fishing in Argentina and Uruguay. Try a Cast & blast on for size. If you and yours are anglers and hunters, this trip will exceed your expectations in every area: high-volume birds, and BIG fish—the Golden Dorado fishing in Uruguay is excellent.

For more PHOTOS AND VIDEOS, select the following link, and get set for some hard-hitting action:

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