Tag: Elk Removals

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Texas Elk and the North American Wildlife Conservation Model

For 150-years American conservationists have followed the the North American Wildlife Conservation Model. It has been beneficial for waterfowl and iconic big game species across the continent with the exception of elk in far-West Texas. Here on state-managed lands Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) bighorn sheep managers kill all elk in the scientifically unsupported

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Are Elk Native to Texas–Historical and Archaeological Evidence for the Natural Occurence of Elk in Texas

This paper began as an effort to persuade Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) to cease its efforts to eradicate elk on the state lands which it manages in far-West Texas. Our assumption was that TPWD was acting out of a sincere misunderstanding of science, which could be corrected. As of October 2017, TPWD says

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Circle Ranch Wildlife Cameras – Summer 2017

Every month we review 5,000 pictures and post a few of the most interesting. What is pictured here is biodiversity. Multiple species are complimentary – not competitive. Ranges need keystone grazers like bison or cattle, lots of predators and lots of prey species. Without all these, the systems come apart. Our habitat is in excellent condition and

Desert Mule Deer “Management”: Does Culling Low-Point Desert Mule Deer Bucks Help or Harm the Herd and Its Genetics?

Culling Mule Deer – or whitetail – is scientifically unjustifiable, and does not improve herd genetics. Note: This post originally appeared on this blog in November 2014 Approach #1: Remove Cull Bucks to Improve Herd Genetics …Jerad Wayne Zachary, Deer Guide Dear Mr. Gill, I hope you are doing well. I just wanted to throw in

Legislation Reclassifying Elk as ‘Exotic’

Here is the legislation that changed Texas’ native elk from treasured, protected game animals to vermin that are shot on sight at all state-managed lands in far-West Texas. The legislative declaration that elk are not native is scientifically incorrect and meaningless. This legislation was introduced under the normal “radar,” declaring an “emergency,” thereby avoiding the

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Drought Busters 101

“Drought Busters” is an inexpensive, quick, physiologically and economically sustainable method of habitat and wildlife restoration. We call it Drought Busters because it increases effective rainfall by rebuilding soil fertility and the soil’s ability to absorb and store water. This video explains Drought Busters, and our experience on how wild and domestic animals, Keyline sub-soiling,

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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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Reds on Shrimp, Gulls on Reds

On May 21, 2011 we were fly fishing for redfish in the lower Laguna Madre.  Here’s a wonderful photograph of a redfish pod feeding on shrimp, and gulls trailing the redfish to pick up their leavings. You might wonder why this picture has been entered on a blog dedicated to West Texas wildlife and habitat management.  It

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Wildlife in the High-Desert Mountains of Far-West Texas

Desert Mountain Wildlife #3 – part of a series on wildlife pictures was taken in Winter 2017, at Circle Ranch in the Sierra Diablo Mountains of far-West Texas. The series contains many wildlife photos, and, discusses holistic wildlife management practices. Desert Mountain Wildlife #3 from Christopher Gill on Vimeo.

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Big Bend Still Breathtaking After All These Years

Big Bend and far-West Texas is the most overlooked part of the West.