JLA's Playground land tour


New Member
Quick intro, I'm Chase, 5 kids, 4 girls and got a boy on the 5th one (actually got twins, 1 of each). We live in TX, about 20 miles from the beach, and an hour or so from the TX/LA border. I'm ate up with bowhunting whitetails and habitat work. About a year and a half ago I lucked into a decent chunk of land that butts up to some land my dad already had, I've done some work out there, and figured it's time to at least try to document some of it somewhere. No better place than here, where likeminded and more experienced people can have some input on the goings on.

The property. It has no name. All 5 of my kids have the same initials, JLA. So for the thread title, that is what I came up with. It is a 55 acre tract, that butts up to 120ish that my dad and step mom own and live on. Their property is horseshoe shaped around another land owner (50ish acres) who doesnt hunt. It feels more like 225ish acres than 55. We plan on building on ours next year hopefully, but in the not to distant future anyway. As the property is laid out, our houses will be close to a 1/2 mile apart as the crow flies, and a bit further by vehicle or buggy, so we will still have our privacy.

The Layout is a long narrow rectangle, (150 yards X 1500 yards) running east to west longways. the gate is on the southeast corner of the property, but I can access it from several places on the south border of property. There is a canal running north and south that separates the most easterly 5 acres of the place from the rest. that 5 acres, plus the next 15ish across the canal are all "native pasture" with growth as old as I've owned the place. it was freshly mowed when I got it, but hasn't been since. west of the pasture is a mature stand of mixed hardwoods and pines. in the center of the woods about 4 acres is low enough that it floods with the winter rains and absolutely fills up with wood ducks. there is a good mixture of red and white oaks, some pine, hickory, elm, hackberry, and way too many sweet gum and chinese tallow. As soon as I got the property I stumbled upon a guy with a pile of leftover bareroot white oaks from a forestry project, and picked up 100 from him for a cool $25. I planted 66 of them in the pasture in 5 groups of 15-25 trees. This summers drought did a number on some of them but quite a few are still standing. Before they go dormant this year I will pick out the best 3 or 4 of each group and cage them, if the rest survive, good for them, if not, I'm not too worried about them. i have released several white oaks through the year, but not near enough. I did put a skid steer in the duck hole this summer and open it up a bit to make for a bit easier shooting, and the deer have been hammering the new growth. There is a lot of button brush coming up, and what looks like some sort of wild millet maybe, either way when the winter rains come the ducks should have plenty to eat in there. Not to mention the water oaks that are dumping like crazy. I have mineral stumped several small oaks and a few red maples throughout the woods that show a lot of browse pressure, a lot more of that to come. As of now, thats sort of where we stand. I've been pretty slow moving with the twins being born just a few months before we got the property, but as they get older, so does my ability to get away to work on the place a little. I had a biologist out Thursday of last week, and he sort of gave me a plan of action to attack what needs done, and an order of priority. mostly right now I need sunlight on the ground in the woods. we talked about a few places in particular to focus on first, so I have my work cut out for me in the early months of the year. But for now, it's bow season, and the bucks are running stupid.

more to come, im tired of typing.
A few pictures to keep it interesting.

1. First picture was yesterday, you can see me in the tree and a nice buck sneaking in the bottom right of picture.
2/3/4 just random deer at that scrape
5. A big swamp chestnut oak that I opened up. There are now 2 scrapes under the canopy of that tree where I left vines hanging.
6. Duckhole a weeek or two after the skidsteer was in it.
7. My 55 and 55 of dad's outlined in blue.
8. Buck I killed there last year.

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