Managing Ranches for Big Game and Trout Habitat
Many ranch properties now are managed with a focus on improving wildlife habitat. This wildlife enhancement approach is a great way to conserve land, promote healthy game management, provide enjoyment to the landowner and guests, and increase land value.
From a fisheries standpoint, there is much that can be done to improve your ranch. A ranch owner can improve a live stream by reinforcing banks, adding structure, planting vegetation, increasing flows, and stocking. Stream enhancement and restoration is a very technical practice and needs to be done properly. If not done properly, stream work can actually have a negative effect on the fishery. For this reason, we recommend hiring a reputable company specializing in stream enhancement and restoration. A good company will do a detailed survey of the water including, limiting factors, aquatic life, fish population, structure, spawning ground, etc. Once this is done, many companies will give the ranch owner a report on their stream, its potential, and what can be done to optimize fishery potential.
From a big game hunting standpoint, there is also a lot a landowner can do to maximize their ranch’s potential. Some management tactics include, monitoring male to female ratios, controlling harvests, planting food plots, and enhancing water resources. These factors along with many others are important factors in maximizing wildlife genetics on your ranch. Other factors such as controlling hunting pressure, minimizing activity, and providing wildlife sanctuaries are ways to ensure that the wildlife you have enhanced stays on your ranch, especially during hunting season.