The Wildlife Exemption in Texas
Landowner: I am interested in a wildlife exemption management plan for my property in Texas. I recently purchased a ranch with an ag exemption, but do not plan on raising livestock. The ranch is high-fenced and I do plan on continuing to manage the whitetail deer population. I would like to discuss with you converting from agriculture exemption to a Wildlife exemption. Look forward to hearing back from you.
WildlifeExemption.com: The process is relatively straight forward, especially since the property you own is already geared towards white-tailed deer management. We can help you develop a comprehensive wildlife management plan for managing the habitat and deer found on your property. Common management practices for deer include deferred grazing/mowing (which works perfectly since you do not plan on grazing), supplemental feeding through either protein feeders or food plots, supplemental water, census surveys, brush management and predator control. Tell me a little about your place so that I can get a better idea of what we are talking about: How many acres is your ranch? In what county is it located? How much of the habitat is wooded versus open?
Landowner: The property is 320 acres and is located in Mason County. It is high fenced. The habitat is about 3/4 or more thick brush with quite a few food plots already cleared out. The previous owner ran cattle on the property, but stopped a few years ago and really has it set up for wildlife management now. There are two water wellls on the property with 3 or 4 nice tanks. There is plenty of water already in place. There are two 2,000 pound protein feeders that we will continue to fill year-round. The fence lines are cleared and the property has been well maintained. I really don’t think much needs to be done but continue what was previously done.
There are even some nesting boxes for birds set up out there. I really have not gotten a chance to look at the wildlife yet since the previous owner has 40 days until he has to be off the property, but just driving through the property, I have seen lots of whitetail deer, turkey, and even a few quail. The previous owner also bought two breeder bucks about five years ago that have been running loose with the native deer. Supposedly, they are nice deer. What do you charge to develop a plan, and do you actually come out to the property to evaluate it? Give me a call if you would like to discuss.
WildlifeExemption.com: It sounds like a great place! I assume there are some water troughs in place since water is abundant, or do you have tanks? The only additional practices that I would recommend from a deer management standpoint would be predator control and possibly deer surveys if you are really interested in tracking your deer population. Coyotes can really make hay inside high fenced properties because they can run and corner deer using the fence lines. Deer surveys can be done several ways and I can give you some possible ways to estimate your numbers.
As for a management plan, we charge a $250 flat fee. We have a good working knowledge of most parts of the state so we do not make site visits. Also, we do not represent you to the appraisal district for filing or correspondence purposes. We develop a detailed management plan for you that will allow you to meet the requirements for the wildlife tax valuation after collecting all the necessary info via email. It is then up to you to file your plan it and file annual reports as they request. This is why the price we charge is only about 20-25% of what other companies charge. We keep the admin way down.
It sounds like your situation will have no problem converting over. In addition, you can easily handle the filing and annual reporting. This is where the other companies make their money—making the process of reporting sound overly difficult. If you want a solid plan and can handle the very minimal annual administration, then we can develop a well-rounded wildlife management plan that will qualify your property for the wildlife exemption. Let me know on the details above and if you are interested in moving forward. Have a good weekend.
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