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Focusing on managing Texas wildlife habitat and natural resources for native and exotic wild game species, for this and future generation of hunters and outdoor enthusiasts.

Sunday, December 7, 2008


What makes Texas a good location for Black Buck Antelope?

Texas is very similar in many ways to the native range areas of the Black buck Antelope in India and Pakistan. While these locations are not close geographically to each other they still have the same warm summer climates, moderate winter climates and the dryer, lower level rainfalls. In addition the types of grasses and forage is remarkably similar, making an easy transition for the species.

It is interesting to note that in India hunting of the wild native Black bucks is now completely prohibited because of the low numbers. Increasing expansion of agricultural and urban areas is destroying much of their range and only isolated pockets of wild herds still exist in the country. Managed Texas areas such as the Escondido Ranch carefully control the numbers hunted per year, ensuring a good population and protection for the species in the state.

How fertile is the species and how hard is it to keep a good sized herd?

The Black buck antelope is a species that breeds year round, although most of the young are born in the spring through fall seasons. With the warmer, milder climates in central Texas even winter born fawns are very healthy and typically survive without any human intervention. Females begin to breed at approximately a year and a half of age, depending on grazing conditions and overall health issues. In managed herds it is possible for females to actually come into season at just over one year.

Black buck antelope fawns are almost always born as single offspring, with a five month gestation period. Since females will breed again typically one to two months after they have the first fawn it is possible for each mature female to produce two offspring per year. Herd managers have to constantly monitor the number of bucks and does within the herd as well as the number of offspring produced. Through good record keeping and monitoring the numbers hunted off any game ranch a standard sized herd the has the best trophy type animals can be maintained year round and from season to season.

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