What formerly was known as the West Texas Deer Study Group is being expanded statewide and has been renamed the Texas Deer Study Group, said Ken Cearley, Texas AgriLife Extension Service wildlife specialist in Amarillo and a member of the steering committee.
This year’s meeting theme is “Navigating the Deer Management Continuum.” “Landowners and land managers have long known the value of incorporating deer-related enterprises and activities into more traditional ranching operations,” Cearley said.
“Many face decisions relative to the questions: Just how intensively should I approach this portion of my responsibilities? Is a high fence essential? What about a supplemental feeding program, or introduced genetics? Can I be just as serious a deer manager if I choose more extensive methods? What results can I realistically expect, and what will be economically feasible?”
He said the meeting planners decided to cover a wider array of deer management issues by moving the meeting to a statewide format. This year’s program will consist of a full day of presentations on Sept. 16 and a half-day field visit to the King Ranch on Sept. 17.
The program will offer a rare opportunity to hear from leaders in white-tailed deer research in South Texas and from some of those who have applied those practices on the ground, Cearley said.
Topics of discussion will be: a historic perspective, invasive species, disease issues, region-specific management tools, economic impacts, pros and cons of supplemental feeding, efficiency of intensive deer management and landowner expectations.
Attendees will have ample chance to hear from and visit with managers who are working at various points on the intensive-extensive deer management spectrum, and decide where they might individually reside, he said.
“That recognition will go a long way toward helping with decisions about deer management in the future,” Cearley said.
The sponsoring organizations - AgriLife Extension, Texas Wildlife Association, Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Natural Resources Conservation Service - plan to hold the annual meeting in various parts of the state in the future, he said.
“With that approach, more folks will have an opportunity to learn about region-specific issues as well as research advances and current best management practices relative to those interested in stewardship of deer and the habitat that supports them.”
Early registration, before Sept. 9, will be $75 and on-site registration will be $100. Registration forms are available by clicking on the “Upcoming Events” tab on the Texas Wildlife Association website, http://texas-wildlife.org . Forms and payment should be mailed to: Texas Deer Study Group, c/o Texas Wildlife Association, 2800 NE Loop 410, Suite 105, San Antonio, Texas 78218.
For more information, contact Courtney Hollimon at email@example.com or Justin Dreibelbis at firstname.lastname@example.org .