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Thursday, October 11, 2018
Aging White-Tailed Deer on the Hoof - Part II
Photo by Hardy Jackson
Photo By Hardy Jackson

Last week we discussed the scientific approach of aging of deer on the hoof. This week we focus on characteristics that will help you age deer in the field. 

The Best Characteristics For Aging Deer On The Hoof Are…
Results of statistical tests indicated that the single best antler characteristic to use for aging bucks on the hoof was gross B&C score.  Overall antler size is the best method for aging live bucks, contrary to what I was mistakenly told when I first moved to Texas.  Accurate field judgment of gross B&C score can become nearly instantaneous with practice.  In fact, a lot of south Texas hunters are already very adept at estimating antler size because they routinely estimate this before harvesting a buck anyway.

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Posted by Dr. Mickey W. Hellickson on 10/11 at 08:41 AM
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Thursday, October 04, 2018
Aging White-Tailed Deer on the Hoof - Part I
Photo by Hardy Jackson
Photo By Hardy Jackson

Have you ever wondered what characteristics are best for aging deer on the hoof?  When I was growing up in the Midwest, I was mistakenly told that the number of antler points also told you the buck’s age.  If the buck was an 8-pointer for example, he was eight years old.  Unfortunately, before I knew anything about aging deer on-the-hoof, I mistakenly killed a 13-point buck in Iowa that still had his milk teeth - he was only one-and-a-half years old!  Luckily, it didn’t take me long to figure out that the number of antler points had little to do with age. 

After moving to south Texas, I was again told false information about aging deer on-the-hoof.  This time I was mistakenly told that you could not accurately age a buck by the overall size of his rack.  Antler size, as you will soon learn, is the best characteristic to use for aging bucks on-the-hoof.  In fact, it is possible to get a nearly instant estimate of the appropriate age class (i.e., young, middle, or mature) to place a buck based on only antler size.

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Posted by Dr. Mickey W. Hellickson on 10/04 at 08:41 AM
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Tuesday, October 02, 2018
Choosing The Right Plants For Your Plots

It would be hard to imagine a better food plot than a really good stand of Tecomate Lablab, but does that mean Lablab is always the best food plot choice? No, it does not! Different plants do different things. You have to “prescribe” the right thing for the job. Let’s see what goes into that.

First, when buying seed, consider value, not just price. Don’t be fooled by bag size. Bigger is not necessarily better. Some of the best wildlife plantings, like clovers and chicory, come in small bags and have very low planting rates. An 8-pound bag of Tecomate Monster Mix, which consists of clover and chicory, for instance, plants a full acre. It would take 130 pounds of oats to do plant that same acre! Think in terms of cost/acre not cost/bag or cost/pound. Some big, cheap bags of seed aren’t bargains at all when you consider what how much it takes to plant an acre and what you really get.

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Posted by David Morris on 10/02 at 08:41 AM
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Monday, August 20, 2018
Laying Out Your Food Plots - Part II

Tecomate

Distribution And Size
Ok, you have a handle on the total acreage of food plots needed, but how many plots do you need, what size should they be and where should they go. You can’t really answer any of these questions without giving thought to the others since they’re all related and interdependent. The number of plots depends in part on what size they are, and vice versa. And, in areas with limited tillable land, the distribution of the tillable land and how much of it there is at each site will go along way in determining both the number and size of food plots. Still, there are ways to come to logical decisions.

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Posted by David Morris on 08/20 at 02:21 PM
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Monday, August 06, 2018
Laying Out Your Food Plots - Part I

Tecomate - Consulting and Food Plot Services

You like the idea of more and bigger deer on your property, and you’ve become convinced that food plots can help get you there. You’re ready to commit the time and resources necessary to get into an agricultural-based food-source management program, the kind that’ll significantly enhance the nutritional plane of the property, not just attract deer to a field. In short, you’re ready to start “farming for deer” so you can get the most from your land, investment and deer hunting. Now what?

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Posted by David Morris on 08/06 at 02:21 PM
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Wednesday, July 25, 2018
My Summer Food Plot System for the Deep South

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170! This is the gross score of a buck that every hunter dreams of harvesting in a lifetime. So every year around this time hunters start preparing for the up coming season by hanging stands, fine tuning their bow, shooting their rifle, along with many other things. As hunters, we hope all of these efforts will lead to posing for a picture of that 170-inch whitetail. Preparing for the hunt is always more important than the hunt itself.  So I guess the question is, “Have you done all the necessary preparation on your hunting property?”

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Posted by Mark Newell on 07/25 at 02:21 PM
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Monday, June 11, 2018
Importance of Nutrition in Summer

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While the temperature climbs and climbs through the summer and many of our minds are fixated on spending time in the water keeping cool, we often forget about those animals which we hunt each winter.  Summer is one of the toughest times for deer, especially with hot summers and scarce rainfall.  Tough environmental conditions are further complicated by the peaking nutritional requirements by deer in the spring and summer months.  Metabolic rate for deer can double during the spring and summer months.  As is such, deer need to consume more digestible forage and more of it during the summer months.  Deer enjoy the new growth of the spring and summer months, but the production of natural vegetation can always use a little help.  Warm season food plots are a great way to introduce additional food for deer for a reasonable cost.

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Posted by Tecomate Wildlife Systems on 06/11 at 05:28 PM
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Wednesday, April 11, 2018
Shed Antlers or Shed Horns?

Finding sheds can be great way to get outside after a long winter when cabin fever starts to set in, get some exercise due to holiday meals, or do some preseason scouting.  Maybe there is that target buck you’re after or simply wanting to add to your growing shed collection.  Whatever the reason, here’s a few tips to help you find your next shed!

1. Take it easy!  Trying to walk too fast will often make you walk right past a shed.  I like to cover trails, fence lines, and open fields, but when I get in the timber…  its best to scan the area.  Maybe walk a few steps and look 360 degrees with your eyes.  That shed could be on the other side of some blow down and if you don’t look behind you, you will never see it.  Bring a set of binos with you.  Pick a spot to sit and scan a cut bean field, or pond dam.  Too many times when I first got into shed hunting that I walked right past a shed only to have a buddy scoop it up that was slowly bringing up the rear. 

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Posted by Tecomate Wildlife Systems on 04/11 at 05:06 PM
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