Of Mule Deer and Paradigms

I wrote this for Holistic Management International’s semi-monthly publication In Practice, discussing the Mule Deer Working Group’s unwillingness to amend its conclusions which misstated the scientific basis for their advice against planned grazing.

Mule Deer Working Group Response to Chris Gill

This is the response I received from Dr. Heffelfinger on behalf of the Authors and Sponsors of Habitat Guidelines for Mule Deer.

Circle Ranch - Mule Deer

TPWD Mule Deer Habitat Advice

I was surprised to learn at a TPWD mule deer seminar that the way we graze cattle at Circle Ranch harms plants and water function. So I read all the studies on which these conclusions were based and found they did not study what they claimed to study. I wrote this letter to the authors…

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A Study of Elk Movements in The Glass Mountains

This recent study shows that elk are very mobile. The shooting of elk from one WMA will effect elk numbers across almost 1.8 million acres.

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Circle Cave Dwelling, November 22, 2008

This large cave is about 80′ x 80′, head-height, and was used by indians for thousands of years.  We are excavating in an archaeology project with University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP).

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Predator Grand Slam, October 2008

Coyote, fox, bobcat and cougar.  Middle Well.  These look really cool, but guess what was nesting in the trees directly above: our turkey which we had spent a really large sum to reintroduce.

Big Bend Ranch State Park Bighorn Sheep Restoration Plan

The document below was provided to Circle Ranch by the Texas Department of Wildlife in August, 2008 in response to concerns about the culling of elk in the vicinity of our ranch.

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Sierra Diablo WMA Waterer, June 2008

We advocate water additions.  Here is one which will not help quail. There is no way for baby or mature quail to drink from a water level they cannot reach.  Babies cannot walk up to the lip.  They will try, and some will fall in, be trapped and drown.  Rotting birds can foul the water

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Briske et al. Synthesis Paper

In this paper, highly-respected Texas A&M range scientists Dr. David Briske et al. conclude that planned grazing has been disproved, and that low-density set-stocking is the best grazing protocol.  The paper reaches seven basic conclusions:

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Elephant Mountain WMA Management Plan

Elephant Mountain WMA was given to, and accepted by, the Department for the purpose of increasing big game animals which at that time included elk, page 10.   The WMA’s primary goal is stated to be the restoration of native species”, page 29.

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