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Critter Cam

The Cen-Tex SmokerThe Cen-Tex Smoker Posts: 22,771
edited August 30 in EggHead Forum
I'm doing a camera survey and count of the critters we have (friend and foe alike). Thought I would share a few pics we have gotten so far:

Dinner Time for the boys:



a few of our Axis bucks. Axis deer keep their spots. They grow quite a bit larger than native whitetail and grow antlers more like an elk that a deer. They are invasive to the area but hugely popular and very prolific. They have been running wild around here since the late 1800's (native to India). It is the best meat you will ever eat in your life:





Blackbuck Antelope- father and Son scrapping it up to see who gets the girls. Dad always wins but it's getting more feisty by the day- will probably have to take him out so they don't kill each other this fall. The girls seem super interested lol. Blackbuck are also invasive and from India. They are everywhere out here. They are fun to look at but the meat is not as prized as whitetail or Axis. Along with Axis, they mate all year instead of just in the fall like whitetail. They can take over a place very quickly if you don't manage the herd:



Cooler heads prevail at feeding time:



Gobble Gobble! Lots of Turkeys on the property. They are so fun to watch dance around during mating season. Lots of "shakin dat a$$" going on trying to impress the ladies. They are like little dinosaurs when they hunt. They love to eat grasshoppers and chase them down like little velocaraptors


This is our white Fallow deer. He just showed up one day last year. I think he just walked right in the front gate while it was open for a couple of days while being repaired. He seems to like it here (free food and we will never shoot this one).  I thought he was a goat as he only had to little spikes on his head.


This is what he looked like when we first saw him:





This is what he will look like next year. Super cool looking deer. This one is a pet:




And... The dreaded feral hog has made it through the fence. I think I found where they were getting in but it looks like 5 of them are now either locked in or they are getting in somewhere else. This is a menace that will be addressed starting tonight. Fortunately, the camera has a time stamp and they hit the feeders starting at 9-ish every night. These are some nasty critters who destroy everything they touch. They will kill fawns, chase deer off the feeders, rut up the roads and create mud wallows all over the place. Plus, one sow can have several litters of 10-12 piglets a year.



I'll keep checking in to see if any more fun critters show up. We have porcupine, Ring Tails (relative of the Raccoon), and more raccoons that we need for sure. Armadillos to spare, a stray fox every now and again and tons of cool birds (Bald Eagles, Caracara (sometime called Mexican Eagles), all kinds of owls and hawks and a ton of migratory birds as well.

Never a dull moment out here! (Now I'm off to set up my hog blind for tonight's festivities)

Keepin' It Weird in The ATX FBTX
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Comments

  • BotchBotch Posts: 13,706
    That's really cool, thanks for posting.  I've never heard of either of those invasive deer.  
    ____________________________________________

    What do we want?!?  Time Travel!!

    When do we want it?!?  Doesn't really matter.  

     

    Ogden, Utard  
  • EzraBrooksEzraBrooks Posts: 332
    Pretty cool setup you have there. Must be a lot of work to keep up with everything but definitely worth it for the property and enjoyment of the animals.
  • The Cen-Tex SmokerThe Cen-Tex Smoker Posts: 22,771
    edited August 30
    As soon as I posted this I saw this little guy sunning himself
    on the porch by the flower bed (perfect spot for this little guy) Juvenile Checkered Garter snake:


     It’s amazingly non-snakey out here. No rattle snakes (which is odd for this area). Haven’t seen any venomous  snakes in the year that we have lived here but I saw a 6+ foot rat snake in a container where we store feed (that’s where the mice are). I have never seen a rat snake that big in my life. He was chonky  too. Eating good in the hood. I closed the door and let him do his thing. 
    Keepin' It Weird in The ATX FBTX
  • Pretty cool setup you have there. Must be a lot of work to keep up with everything but definitely worth it for the property and enjoyment of the animals.
    It’s definitely some work but it’s fun. Keeps
    me off the couch ha ha. 
    Keepin' It Weird in The ATX FBTX
  • The Cen-Tex SmokerThe Cen-Tex Smoker Posts: 22,771
    edited August 30
    Botch said:
    That's really cool, thanks for posting.  I've never heard of either of those invasive deer.  
    They were both brought here from India In The late 1800’s. The climate, food sources, and landscape are almost identical so once they got into the wild, they thrived right away. . They are everywhere in this area and nowhere else in the state. 
    Keepin' It Weird in The ATX FBTX
  • northGAcocknorthGAcock Posts: 15,076
    That’s really cool……cept the snake. 
    Ellijay GA with a Medium & MiniMax

    Well, I married me a wife, she's been trouble all my life,
    Run me out in the cold rain and snow
  • kl8tonkl8ton Posts: 4,540
    @The Cen-Tex Smoker you are a regular Brian Fellows


    Large, Medium, MiniMax, & 22, and 36" Blackstone
    Grand Rapids MI
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 27,667
    Thanks for that.  Great pics and commentary.  My next brisket bender will have a Fredricksburg detour on the agenda.  Forewarned is forearmed.  No worries as that is a ways downstream.  
    Louisville; "indeterminate Jim" here.  Rolling smoke in the neighbourhood. # 38 for the win.  Life is too short for light/lite beer!
  • RRPRRP Posts: 24,980
    I bot my first trail camera 4 years ago.

    Though I am not a hunter our property is adjacent to a 240 acre guarded wild life park plus thousands - yes I said thousands of acres of Illinois River bluff land where 4 legged wildlife have lived for a kazillion years!

    unfortunately I took my camera down since all I got were HUNDREDS of pictures of squirrels and raccoons! But yes, some occasional deer pictures
    Re-gasketing America one yard at a time.
  • RRP said:
    I bot my first trail camera 4 years ago.

    Though I am not a hunter our property is adjacent to a 240 acre guarded wild life park plus thousands - yes I said thousands of acres of Illinois River bluff land where 4 legged wildlife have lived for a kazillion years!

    unfortunately I took my camera down since all I got were HUNDREDS of pictures of squirrels and raccoons! But yes, some occasional deer pictures
    There are a lot of raccoon pics mixed in too. They sit below the deer and wait for them to knock protein pellets out of the feeder. They are all fat AF. 
    Keepin' It Weird in The ATX FBTX
  • lousubcap said:
    Thanks for that.  Great pics and commentary.  My next brisket bender will have a Fredricksburg detour on the agenda.  Forewarned is forearmed.  No worries as that is a ways downstream.  
    Nothing would make me happier. And we have a legit brisket joint here in town (Eaker Barbecue). He made the top 50 list last year and I’m telling you, his brisket is right up there with most of the great ones. His wife is Korean and she does gochujang pork belly and ribs that are fantastic. But the brisket…it’s all you need. 
    Keepin' It Weird in The ATX FBTX
  • That’s really cool……cept the snake. 
    He was tiny and they are bug eaters at that age. They will take down little frogs and lizards later but they are fairly small, very docile and totally harmless (unless you are a slug) 
    Keepin' It Weird in The ATX FBTX
  • calikingcaliking Posts: 17,395
    So cool. Like your own personal safari!

    #1 LBGE December 2012 • #2 SBGE February  2013 • #3 Mini May 2013
    A happy BGE family in Houston, TX.
  • shtgunal3shtgunal3 Posts: 5,162
    Awesome pics and write up. Thanks for sharing.

    ___________________________________

     

     LBGE,SBGE, and a Mini makes three......Sweet home Alabama........ Stay thirsty my friends .

  • RRPRRP Posts: 24,980
    I’ve never been the least bit afraid of snakes and as a kid I had 3 water moccasins over 3 summers that I kept in a fish bowl…in spite of a cover at nighttime all 3 became nighttime snacks for our big old yellow tom cat!

    Then later in my childhood I learned how to quickly grab a snake behind its head and it would “cooly” wrap its full body around my arm! The largest I recall was a 4 foot black snake. That grab method has always worked even for all snakes here, but I never had to tangle with a rattler nor an aggressive cobra!

    BTW I have never killed a snake, since YES they keep my yard clean!
    Re-gasketing America one yard at a time.
  • saluki2007saluki2007 Posts: 6,233
    Thanks for sharing. Would you say it’s been harder to keep up with everything than you thought it would be?  Do you have any agricultural on the land?
    Large and Small BGE
    Central, IL

  • The Cen-Tex SmokerThe Cen-Tex Smoker Posts: 22,771
    edited August 30
    Thanks for sharing. Would you say it’s been harder to keep up with everything than you thought it would be?  Do you have any agricultural on the land?
    It hasnt been harder than anticipated but there have been some serious asswhip days for sure. We feed about 1.5 tons a week and I do it all myself by hand from 50lb bags. There are a lot of large projects that are strenuous but it’s not too bad. I probably spend 3-4 hours a week out there during the week and most weekends have a several hour project. Having a Bobcat and lots of attachments helps and it has AC. That is the job you want in the summer lol. 

    The worst part about the whole time we have been here has been the weather this summer. Just blistering hot and brutally humid for months straight. I could not get out early enough to not be miserable. You get used to that to some degree but there were several weeks we just fed the critters and hid inside. Cant wait for fall! 
    Keepin' It Weird in The ATX FBTX
  • Thanks for sharing. Would you say it’s been harder to keep up with everything than you thought it would be?  Do you have any agricultural on the land?
    No ag on this land but we do have room to run some crops if we choose to. The deer eat all that before it even comes up though so we would have to fence them out of that area if we did. 
    Keepin' It Weird in The ATX FBTX
  • johnmitchelljohnmitchell Posts: 6,150
    Super cool post. Looking forward to seeing more. Thanks for posting 
    Greensboro North Carolina
    When in doubt Accelerate....
  • ColbyLangColbyLang Posts: 2,448
    Looks like you have an awesome herd. That whitetail buck population……beautiful white fallow as well

    Good luck with the hogs. Hopefully your fence contains what you already have and doesn’t let more in. We kill 100+ a year on my lease, we don’t even dent the population. The little ones with the watermelon stripes are the good ones to eat! 
  • ksmyrlksmyrl Posts: 932
    How much land do you have @The Cen-Tex Smoker. It sounds like a lot.

    We moved about a year ago from a neighborhood to 4 acres. The good news is it's mostly wooded and has very little manicured grass. I have a lifetime supply of firewood and the shade is awesome. The good/bad news there is ALWAYS something that needs to be done in the "yard". Adding an entrance gate/fence is my fall project after the kid's sports seasons wrap up. 
    Fish, Hunt, Cook....anything else?

    1LBGE, 1MMBGE, somewhere near Athens GA
  • TechsasJimTechsasJim Posts: 827
    @The Cen-Tex Smoker fantastic thanks for sharing!   

    Axis are my favorite to eat, have a hunt at a buddy’s ranch in Bracketville soon.  

    The hogs have to go - but doesn’t sound like you have many and can hopefully rid them quickly.  
    LBGE, HCI 9.4, SE Texas
  • RyanStlRyanStl Posts: 1,045
    Do you need tags and/or a hunting season for the deer? I assume the feral hogs are always in season and unlimited 
  • dbCooperdbCooper Posts: 1,549
    Cool post, thanks for sharing.
    LBGE, LBGE-PTR, 22" Weber, Coleman 413G
    Great Plains, USA
  • ColbyLang said:
    Looks like you have an awesome herd. That whitetail buck population……beautiful white fallow as well

    Good luck with the hogs. Hopefully your fence contains what you already have and doesn’t let more in. We kill 100+ a year on my lease, we don’t even dent the population. The little ones with the watermelon stripes are the good ones to eat! 
    The guy we bought it from out a lit into the whitetail herd out here. We still have way too many for the land we have (100 acres) but we are working toward a more sustainable sized herd. We should get there this year. We had 130 last year. We have about 80 with fawns right now. Probably need to take it to 20-30. Maybe less to get the land to recover enough to sustain them. Working with biologist to get it all balanced out. 

    I think the pig situation is manageable as it sits. I think I locked those 5 in here when I fixed the fence. I do think there is a prettier sow though. Either that or a super fat pig. Either way, they gotta go. 

    Keepin' It Weird in The ATX FBTX
  • RyanStl said:
    Do you need tags and/or a hunting season for the deer? I assume the feral hogs are always in season and unlimited 
    We have management tags to where we can shoot as many whitetails as we need to and we can start early and go a little later than the general season. 

    It is open season for the Axis, blackbuck, fallow, and definitely the pigs. We are mainly focused on getting the whitetails in balance with the land we have and eradicating  the pigs. I need to take an axis buck or 2 as well. Too many alphas and they are starting to fight. 
    Keepin' It Weird in The ATX FBTX
  • TechsasJimTechsasJim Posts: 827
    @The Cen-Tex Smoker

    Is your fence high or low?

    Also for the snakes, do you have any Blue Indigo out there?   I ask b/c I used to help manage a ranch out in Mason and they had very few rattlesnakes b/c there were a ton of Blue Indigos.

    Anyway, thanks again for the post, one of my favorite threads on the board!
    LBGE, HCI 9.4, SE Texas
  • RyanStlRyanStl Posts: 1,045
    RyanStl said:
    Do you need tags and/or a hunting season for the deer? I assume the feral hogs are always in season and unlimited 
    We have management tags to where we can shoot as many whitetails as we need to and we can start early and go a little later than the general season. 

    It is open season for the Axis, blackbuck, fallow, and definitely the pigs. We are mainly focused on getting the whitetails in balance with the land we have and eradicating  the pigs. I need to take an axis buck or 2 as well. Too many alphas and they are starting to fight. 
    Cool, especially if the Axis are good eating 
  • @The Cen-Tex Smoker

    Is your fence high or low?

    Also for the snakes, do you have any Blue Indigo out there?   I ask b/c I used to help manage a ranch out in Mason and they had very few rattlesnakes b/c there were a ton of Blue Indigos.

    Anyway, thanks again for the post, one of my favorite threads on the board!

    Currently high-fenced but I think we are going to take it back to low and cultivate a natural herd. I'm not a fan of maintaining a high fence herd but I'm torn on when and how to do it. When/If we take it back to natural, the state has to come in and kill off all the deer we have left becasue they were not born in the wild. I'm not super excited about that for a lot of reasons. We do it all by the book but I don't need those guys crawling around out here. They like to find issues where none exist. Kind of like inviting the food inspector into your restaurant for no reason lol.

    Odd thing about Texas is that the state owns the whitetail herd, whether you bred them or not. They have 100% control over the deer population in the entire state. You would be in a heap of trouble if you just took the fences down or opened the gates to release a captive herd and they found out about it. And they would find out.

    The guy we bought it from was a breeder and trophy hunt guy. He thought he was better at it than he was but he did produce some beautiful deer. He had way too many deer and way too few quality hunts toward the end. I think it just got to be too much for him (he was 70 and not in great health). We love the land, but I'm no deer breeder. Totally not my thing. I have more than a little disdain for guys who would pay $5000-$10000 to shoot a deer from 50 yards becasue it has a huge rack so they could post it on social media. You could walk up and hit them with a rock when we got here. Half the older does would eat out of your hand. We cleared out 60 last year and will probably do the same this year. They don't eat out of our hand anymore and they have a healthy fear of humans after that...that is a good start.

    No indigos here either but I have been around a lot of them. Awesome snakes. We are just in a bubble that is not super snaky. I like snakes so I would prefer to see a few more. Would love to have a lot of indigos but that means you have a lot of rattle snakes. I'm fine with that too but not having a lot of venomous snakes does take some of the concern out of having airbnb out here. There are kids and dogs out here at times as well.
    Keepin' It Weird in The ATX FBTX
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