Helicopters &

High Fence

First and Foremost

The helicopter is not the “end all, be all” to wildlife and land management.  It is simply a tool in the chest, and when deployed correctly, can be a highly expedient and efficient tool.

I, myself, own and manage a high fence ranch.  I do not rely solely upon aerial operations for management decisions.

In surveying, I use all applicable tools.  Aerial, cameras, visual observation and browse stress recognition. All are taken in for an objective overview.

Regarding predator control, I utilize snares & mechanical traps, as well as aerial means.  In patrolling the fence line, commensurate with snaring, I see what is digging in to the property.  Once again, possible oversights from the aircraft.

Despite using an R44 capable of carrying 3 passengers, I never carry more than one gunner for serious aerial management.  Multiple gunners in an aircraft is largely recreational, and typically only effective in open areas such as large fields.

Nothing Is Perfect

Despite having unfettered access to a Helicopter, in calendar year 2017, I failed to conduct a density survey in the winter while the leaves were off the trees.  While the survey in the fall correctly reflected the age structure, fawn recruitment and general animal health, the density of animals per acre was off.  This led to a less aggressive harvest. The result was essentially a “lost year”.

The upward trend desired for 2018 was lost due to elevated stress levels in the environment, which were exacerbated by an overpopulation on a deer per acre basis.

Chess, not Checkers

Land and Wildlife Management represents a rather aggressive blend of Science and Practical Execution.  The utmost base of knowledge and preparation cannot account for environmental factors such as drought and disease.  The progress in management is clearly measured in years, sometimes decades.  As this is the case, the resources directed need to be deployed effectively with cost efficiency.

Due to the per hour cost of a Helicopter mistakes in planning and execution can be expensive.


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Breckenridge, TX
Serving the Cross Timbers, Lubbock, Panhandle and surrounding areas.