Going Green

Thursday, October 11, 2007

South Texas Hunting Prospects

Hunting has long been a significant contributor to the South Texas economy. This year's rains have boosted the potential through abundant browse for the deer and excellent food sources for game birds.

Oct. 11, 2007

Extension Economist: South Texas Hunting Prospects Best in Years

Writer: Blair Fannin, 979-845-2259,b-fannin@tamu.edu
Contact: Jose Pena, 830-278-9151,jg-pena@tamu.edu

UVALDE – Though crop losses from record rainfall earlier this year reached $200 million, hunting prospects across South Texas are excellent and the money spent on related activities throughout the region will be welcomed, according to a Texas Cooperative Extension economist.

"This is one of the most important economic activities of the year," said Jose Pena, Extension economist at the Texas A&M University Agricultural Research and Extension Center at Uvalde.

"When you factor in dove hunting with the upcoming deer and quail season, these activities can boost cattle ranching activities during the year. A lot of ranchers have been taking advantage of hunting lease opportunities or have gone exclusively to hunting operations in lieu of cattle production the past decade."

In the early 1990s, cattle production was the predominant use of range resources, Pena said. However, for the past several years, change has been taking place as more Texans have taken interest in outdoor activities, such hunting, fishing and bird watching.

"Wildlife is now the primary resource on most South Texas ranges," he said. "You're seeing $10-$20 (per acre) gross revenue...(complete article here).

For years hunting has been a bigger source of revenue for many of the ranches than is livestock. Fee income from hunting leases is huge.

Management of the land for hunting has significantly boosted wildlife in the region. In spite of the introduction of exotic species, native game has flourished.

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