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Managing Small Recreational Hunting Properties Through Wildlife Management Co-Ops

February 15, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 137

Wildlife management on smaller recreational hunting properties can present a special challenge for the landowner. The home range of many species of wildlife can cover one square mile or more. As a result, the wildlife present on a smaller tract of land will likely spend part of it's time on neighboring properties as well. If wildlife management is a low priority of the neighboring landowners or there is discontinuity in their management practices due to lack of knowledge or hunter values, the goals and objectives on your smaller hunting property may never be fully achieved.

One of the best strategies for successfully managing wildlife on smaller tracts of land is through the development of a local Wildlife Management Association, or Conservation Co-op, as they are commonly referred to. A conservation co-op is an organization made up of neighboring landowners who collectively develop and implement mutually beneficial management goals and objectives to improve the quality and quantity of local wildlife populations. In addition to providing wildlife management continuity among all the members, a co-op can also help alleviate trespassing and poaching problems.

The first step is to organize a meeting with the local landowners in your area to discuss your mutual interests in wildlife. Your local County Tax Appraisal District is a good resource for obtaining maps and contact information. In addition to encouraging wildlife management cooperation from your neighbors, this meeting is also a great opportunity to meet new neighbors or re-establish relationships with longtime neighbors and friends. The most important function of the initial meeting is to develop friendship, trust, and a sense of shared purpose.

The formation of a co-op typically entails the development of a landowner agreement between all parties involved. This landowner agreement is not legally binding. It is simply an agreement in good faith that all members will abide by the rules and initiate management practices beneficial to the goals and objectives of the co-op. In addition, a wildlife management plan is typically developed by a certified wildlife biologist to help guide the conservation co-op towards achieving the stated goals and objectives of the co-op.

Regardless of whether you are managing your hunting property for deer, turkey, quail, waterfowl, or any other species of wildlife, a conservation co-op is a step in the right direction. A conservation co-op can turn your small scale wildlife management efforts into a large scale effort encompassing thousands of acres. Most often the greatest success stories are achieved through commitment, trust, and cooperation.

Ed Ritter is a Certified Wildlife Biologist, Licensed Real Estate Broker, and owner of Wildlife Management Enterprises, LLC (WME). WME is an exclusive real estate brokerage, consulting, wildlife habitat development, and wildlife management company specializing in farm, ranch, and recreational hunting properties in Texas. Ed has over 20 years of real estate and wildlife management experience and provides both seller and buyer representation with a distinct clear cut advantage over other competitors in the market place. Visit WME's website at and contact us today to turn your dream of owning your own Texas farm, ranch, or recreational hunting property into a reality.

Source: EzineArticles
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