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Beef prices at all time highs are resulting in problems that would be familiar to Wyatt Earp and Bat Masterson in the Texas of 150 years ago…cattle rustling.

Carmen Fenton of the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association tells 1200 WOAI news that rustling has spiked in the last couple of years, as beef prices have skyrocketed, due largely to the ongoing Texas drought, which has made cattle feed more expensive and has prompted many ranchers to sell their herds and get into another line of work.

Fenton says while you see cattle, rustlers see the animals as ‘ATMs with hooves’

“You can take that cow to the sale barn that same day, and sell it, and get what its worth,” she said.  “And right now, they’re worth a lot.”

She says the result is that ranchers who are already stretched thin by the drought have to invest in new security to protect their herds from rustlers.

“I am branding them, I am watching them, I cannot afford to lose a single one of them to theft,” she said.

Cattle ranching by its very nature requires far-flung pastures, with many of the cows spending a lot of time far from places which are frequented by people.

Cattle ranchers are responding to the surge in rustling with high tech devices, from remote controlled cameras in the pastures to sensors on the fences to detect if they have been cut, to specially adapted cattle guards to deter unwanted vehicles from driving onto the ranch land.

But in Texas, they don’t hang cattle thieves any more.  It is generally third degree theft, based on the value of the cattle stolen, and it will get the rustler 2-10 years in prison.

Read more

Haystack Mtn Quail FeederBobwhite Quail on the Haystack Mountain Ranch – Dickens, TX

 

The mission for Park Cities Quail is clear: Group is committed to increasing quail numbers in Texas

Texas quail may be in decline, but they have a generous ally in Park Cities Quail.

Last week, the volunteer organization wrote checks totaling $770,000 for quail research and conservation. The money is the net proceeds from PCQs 2013 fundraiser held in March.

The group also announced country music legend George Strait as recipient of die 2014 T. Boone Pickens Lifetime Sportsman Award. Details for the event and the organization are at parkcitiesquail.org. Strait is a third-generation landowner, committed conservationist and avid sportsman.

“George Strait shares our passion and commitment to see wild quail restored to historic levels,” said Pickens, who is PCQ chairman emeritus.

In seven years, PCQ has contributed $3.4 million to quail research. One of the grants awarded last week went to Ron Kendall, a professor in Texas Tech’s Department of Environmental Toxicology.

Kendall, a quail hunter and biologist, received a grant to assess toxicology of aflatoxins from deer com and the impact of pestiddiis in quail ecosystems.

Texas deer hunters put out millions of pounds of corn each fall to draw game near their hunting blinds, A lot of birds and other animals eat the corn. Corn is susceptible to aflatoxin, a toxin produced by fungi.

Kendall said the agriculture industry has done a pretty good job of testing and labeling deer com as being good enough for wildlife feed, but it is unclear what happens after the com is bagged and labeled.

“What happens to leftover corn that’s stored in the barn all summer?’’ asked Kendall. “What about corn left in a feeder where it’s exposed to six or seven months of weather extremes, and then the feeder is activated?

“I plan to answer these More…

Haystyack Mtn Ranch Quail Hunt PointersPoint! Haystack Mountain Ranch – Dickens, TX

 

DSC Logo

Fueled by unprecedented growth in its annual convention, Dallas Safari Club (DSC) has allocated a record $1.2 million for 2014 grants to support conservation, education and hunter advocacy efforts worldwide.

DSC has more than doubled its annual grant totals since 2010.

Over the past five years combined, DSC has allocated $4.5 million for projects ranging from researching African lion population dynamics to improving habitat for desert bighorn sheep in west Texas, and from educating youths to lobbying Congress for beneficial legislation.

These figures do not include $350,000 raised in January by auctioning a hunting permit for a black rhinoceros. Those proceeds were not routed through DSC but will go directly from the buyer to Namibia for crucial rhino conservation and anti-poaching initiatives.

“We’re looking forward to selecting worthy projects to fund with this year’s $1.2 million,” said Ben Carter, DSC executive director. He added that specific grant announcements will follow in coming weeks.

Carter said the DSC convention and expo, next slated Jan. 15-18, 2015, at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas, is enjoying a substantial uptrend in attendees, exhibitors, booths, corporate sponsorships and auctions. Membership also is growing steadily.

“The additional revenues translate to additional spending in support of our mission,” he said.

Carter thanked the organization’s supporters, volunteers and staff for their ongoing devotion to DSC, conservation, education and hunter advocacy.

Dallas Safari Club

From weather.com posted May 29, 2014

Roswell, New Mexico:

The first 143 days of 2014 were very dry, with a scant 0.42 inch of rainfall — just 15 percent of the average for that period.

That changed dramatically on May 24, when 4.44 inches of rain fell. Most of that fell in a five-hour period before sunrise. There were five different non-overlapping periods (shown on the graphic above), ranging in length from 31 minutes to as little as 11 minutes, that each brought more rain than the entire year had brought before May 24.

San Angelo, Texas:

Through May 22, this had been the driest year to date in San Angelo, with just 0.85 inch of rainfall. Even a generous 0.80-inch rain on May 23 still left the city’s rainfall total dead last in the historical record.

But the torrents kept coming, with over 2 inches of rain on both May 24 and 25, and nearly 2 inches again on May 26. By the time the large-scale storm system finally moved out, San Angelo had logged 8.7 times more rain in one week than in the previous 20 weeks put together.

Including minor rainfalls earlier in the month, San Angelo’s May 2014 total of 7.75 inches (as of May 28) stands as the second-wettest May on record, behind 1987; in fact, no month on the calendar since May 1987 has been wetter than this one there.

Lubbock, Texas:

On May 21, Lubbock was suffering its third-driest year to date on record, with just 0.90 inch of rain — and it was dealing with yet another round of blowing dust as showers fell apart before reaching the city.

Fortunately, that failure wasn’t repeated in the following days; drenching downpours finally arrived, bringing the city just under 6 times as much rain in one week as it had in the first 20 weeks of 2014 combined.

Amarillo, Texas

The largest city in the Texas Panhandle had seen barely one-fifth of its average precipitation during the first 20 weeks of the year.

The week of May 21-27 was far more generous, with a pair of one-inch daily rainfalls boosting the week’s total to 3.55 inches, just over triple the amount that had fallen all year through May 20.

Clayton, New Mexico

This northeast New Mexico city, like many others on the High Plains, was suffering its driest year to date through May 20.

Then, three days of rain brought a total of 1.22 inches to the city. While this was about 2.6 times more than the entire year-to-date total previously, it still leaves Clayton with less than half its average annual rainfall as of May 28.

Hobart, Oklahoma

The dry start to 2014 in Hobart led to some wild weather early in May, with temperatures see-sawing from a record low of 33 degrees on May 1 to a record high of 103 on May 6 — the latter becoming the hottest temperature on record so early in the spring for Hobart. (Dry air and soil heat up and cool down faster than moist air and soil do.)

This southwest Oklahoma town finally got a good soaking May 23 with exactly 3 inches of rain, followed by additional periods of rain and thunderstorms in subsequent days.

In all, Hobart saw 74 percent more rain May 21-27 than it had in all of 2014 through May 20, but a 2-inch rainfall deficit remains as of May 28.

Midland, Texas

This West Texas city, well known for its oil, wasn’t doing so well with water through May 20. Only 1.32 inches had fallen, little more than one-third of average.

A torrential downpour on Sunday morning, May 25, more than doubled that total in just 79 minutes. For the first time in months, standing water was seen around the Midland-Odessa area.

Wichita, Kansas

Wichita, situated farther east than the other cities on this list, normally gets more rainfall than cities on the High Plains to its west. Its more easterly location allows it to more frequently sit in the path of moist Gulf of Mexico air as it comes north.

As a result, the 2.56 inches it had seen through May 20 — while generous compared to its western neighbors — was Wichita’s driest year to date on record.

Four consecutive days of rain May 22-25, and another shower on May 27, have boosted Wichita’s May rainfall to near average – but it’s still 5 inches behind the normal pace for the year to date.

Albuquerque, New Mexico

Albuquerque’s climate is a very dry one — in fact, the 2.56 inches that had made it the driest year to date on record in Wichita would have been a wetter-than-average figure for Albuquerque.

In any case, Albuquerque had only had 0.46 inch of rain through May 20 — dry even by New Mexico standards — so the 0.55 inch of rain May 21-27 was enough to double the city’s annual total.

However, New Mexico’s largest city still has less than half its average rainfall so far this year.

Garden City, Kansas

This western Kansas city of 27,000 saw 0.68 inch of rain in the first 20 weeks of 2014, making it the driest such period on record there.

The 21st week of the year — May 21-27 — also brought 0.68 inch of rain to the city, exactly doubling the city’s annual total to 1.36 inches.

Unfortunately, even that welcome rain still leaves Garden City with its driest year to date on record. The city averages 6.50 inches of rain during the first 21 weeks of the year.

 

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Memorial Day Weekend throughout much of Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Oklahoma and other Central US States was met with much needed beneficial rainfall. The recent rains have come just in time for area farmers and ranchers.

Much of the region reports over 3″ of rains over the weekend with some areas receiving much more.

Farmers throughout the region have been gearing up to plant cotton under less than desirable conditions and ranchers received this at a crucial point in the growing season.

Many areas were under flash flood warnings and rivers that recently were dry are now running over the banks. Municipal lakes that were near dry have benefited from the heavy rains saving many rural communities that were on the brink of running out of water.

A rancher who lives on Pecan Creek, south of San Angelo, measured 7 inches of rainfall by Sunday morning and watched Pecan Creek climb to a 7-foot rise before going to church. “We will have water gaps to fix, and that will be a rare treat we will look forward to with the exchange for a good rain” he said.

Farmers in the Texas Panhandle agree this time of year they’ll take any amount of rain there is. Since Thursday land surrounding one farmers home has received nearly 6 inches of rain. Rain, crops have needed for nearly four years. “It’s been nice and slow, and none of it has run off”.

Lubbock area farmer Eric Lincecum says the rains late last week and over the weekend (totaling about 5″) are a game changer for their farm operation.

TX Windmill Rain Memorial Weekend

TX NM Rain Rainbow Memorial Weekend

NM Ranch Rain Memorial Weekend

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New Mexico is in line to become the next state to take aim at the use of drones for hunting big game animals.

Alaska, Colorado and Montana already have outlawed the use of drones in hunting, but some sportsmen groups and animal advocates are pushing to see that regulations are passed in every state to protect the concept of fair chase.

They argue the art of hunting should be based on skills and traditions that have been honed and passed down over generations, not technological advancements such as drones.

“Hunting an animal with your physical senses, with your eyes and your ears and even to a lesser extent your sense of smell, that puts you on fairly even ground with these animals that can see far better, hear far better and smell far better than we can,” said Joel Gay, a spokesman for the New Mexico Wildlife Federation.

Drones would simply take the challenge out of hunting and could lead to the sport becoming more exclusive, Gay and others said.

There’s only anecdotal evidence of drones being used for hunting, but the national group Backcountry Hunters and Anglers and the Humane Society of the United States both say they want to get ahead of the issue before it becomes a problem.

In New Mexico, the state Game Commission is set to vote this month on a proposal that would make it illegal to use drones to signal an animal’s location, to harass a game animal or to hunt a protected species observed from a drone within 48 hours.

All of that is already illegal if done from an aircraft. The proposal calls for redefining aircraft to include unmanned, remote-controlled drones.

Vermont is also considering changes to its hunting rules, while Idaho and Wisconsin have included prohibitions on the use of aircraft to hunt wildlife in existing regulations.

But there are some groups that don’t see the need to act quickly to regulate drone-assisted hunting.

Blake Henning, vice president of lands and conservation with the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, said he has yet to hear from the group’s more than 200,000 members about drone concerns.

“We’ve got all kinds of other things we’re trying to address,” he said.

Like helicopters and airplanes, Henning said drone-assisted hunting will undoubtedly have to be regulated at some point, but he noted that wildlife research could benefit from the technology.

From Nepal to South Africa, scientists are already using drones to monitor endangered species and to track poachers.

In the U.S., federal aviation regulators do not yet allow for the commercial use of drones, but the government is working on operational guidelines and has said that as many as 7,500 small commercial drones could be flying within five years of getting widespread access to U.S. skies.

By Susan Montoya Bryan Associated Press

Are you tired of leasing a ranch for hunting only to continuously improve the property and be penalized by the landowner for it by increasing lease rates every year?

Did you go another year without taking that trophy buck because the quality genetics aren’t on your leased hunting ground?

Have you ever passed on a young trophy buck only to have one of the guys on the lease hang him on the wall two years too early?

QUIT LEASING HUNTING LAND AND BUY YOUR OWN RANCH!

Let us show you a quality hunting and recreation ranch property. Owning land is a great investment!

Work with a broker who understands and will take the time to find you your dream property. Whether you are looking for a trophy whitetail hunting ranch in the South Texas Brush Country, a quail paradise in the Texas Rolling Plains, wide open spaces in West Texas to hunt big mule deer, clear flowing rivers in Central Texas or a mountain ranch with elk bugling in the meadows of Northern New Mexico – we can help.

Call Sam or Charlie Middleton
Chas. S. Middleton and Son
www.chassmiddleton.com
(806)763-5331
In business for four generations
Since 1920

We specialize in selling quality ranches.

 

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New Mexico Hunting Ranch For Sale

This exceptional ranch is located in the heart of northern New Mexico, just west of Chama, in beautiful Rio Arriba County. The property is positioned along a major migration route for elk and mule deer heading out of the Colorado high-country toward wintering grounds in Northern New Mexico. The northern boundary of the ranch is less than one-half mile from the Colorado State Line.

For more information visit: www.chassmiddleton.com/listman/listings/l0015.html

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Northern NM Ranch WMA Aerial Map

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