La Paloma Sola

“La Paloma Sola has been a special place for our family for the last 25 years.  It has been a place to escape, spend time with friends, create lasting memories, and enjoy the wildlife.  The ranch is located in the rugged and wild brush country of Webb County, Texas.

South Texas is famous for producing incredible white tail deer.  Over the last 30 years there has been a transition in land use from cattle ranches to wildlife ranches.  The state helped this transition by introducing the Wildlife Tax Exemption, which recognizes wildlife management as an agricultural use.

After deciding to pursue wildlife management, we were fortunate to be able to hire a wildlife biologist to help us put together a plan.  We learned about maintaining the size of the herd, sex ratio and age structure.  With the help of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department we also put together a land improvement plan.  After strategic locations were selected throughout the ranch for food plots, we cleared a total of 125 acres to make 6 food plots which we plant each fall and spring.

Because of the improvements we continue to maintain, we have qualified for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Managed Land Deer Permit.  This permit allows us to take advantage of a longer season and gives us the ability to have knowledgeable hunters harvest more animals by using “ranch tags” instead of their normal allotment of 5.

Survey information allows us to determine how many deer need to harvested, how many does versus bucks, and gives us an opportunity to identify undesirable bucks.  In any given year we need to harvest 70-80 deer, and it is generally 1:1 bucks to does.

It might seem like a lot of work, because it is.  But the work at La Paloma Sola is some of the most enjoyable time we spend with friends and family.  When we aren’t messing with the deer, we are fiddling with the large-mouth bass or wandering around looking for arrowheads.  La Paloma Sola may not be the most beautiful landscape you have ever seen, but it is my favorite place on earth.”

Before we left Texas to return to Virginia, I had the pleasure of meeting David Braun and Ken Thigpen of Plateau Land and Wildlife Management.  Plateau is a resource for those who embrace the field sport concept that wildlife management, land and waterway conservation, and the economic vitality of rural property are all essential for the long-term health of the planet.  David was also instrumental in drafting and encouraging the passage of the Texas wildlife management tax bill.  Please read the article written by his associate about the importance of this bill as well as the management of land for both wildlife and agriculture/cattle.

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