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Writer: Robert Burns, (903) 834-6191,
Contact: Ken Cearley, (325) 653 4576,
Dr. Billy Higginbotham, (903) 834-6191,

AMARILLO – By making small changes in management, landowners can have a positive instead of a negative effect on their pheasant population.

The brilliantly colored birds depend on adequate cover for nesting, brood rearing, and wintering. Without cover, populations suffer, said Ken Cearley, Texas Cooperative Extension wildlife specialist based in Canyon. The same holds true for turkey, quail and dove.

An upcoming Wildlife Workshop for Absentee Landowners, set for the evenings of Sept. 28-29 in Amarillo, will include presentations on a host of wildlife issues, including how to foster game bird habitats.

Absentee landowners – those living in urban areas but retreating rural land on the weekends – are a relatively new demographic of land ownership, but an important one. According to the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, by 1999 urban consumers were purchasing 60 percent of rural land in Texas.

However, the workshop has not been designed solely for absentee landowners, but for established Panhandle agricultural producers too, Cearley said.

For example, changes to improve pheasant populations include leaving adequate stubble height when harvesting wheat, avoiding overgrazing and protecting playa lakes – temporary wetland areas – from cattle. A session on marketing wildlife resources will show the ins and outs of hunting leases.

Hunting leases can add thousands of dollars to a rancher or grower's annual income. But there are tricks to managing it so that it doesn't interfere with the operation's primary business of producing food and fiber.

"And with the new caps on liability established by the legislature, liability insurance is now very affordable," Cearley said.

The first evening's programming will include presentations on:

– Land Management Impacts on Rangeland Health;

– White-Tailed and Mule Deer Management;

– Marketing of Wildlife Resources; and

– Stock Tank/Pond Management.

The second evening's presentations will include:

– Quail Management;

– Pheasant Management;

– Turkey Management; and

– Feral Hogs and Overview of the Extension Wildlife Damage Management Service.

Private pesticide applicator license holders can earn two continuing education units toward renewal.

Pre-registration by Sept. 21 is $50. Registration after the deadline and at the door will be $75 per person. The fee includes break refreshments and a workshop handbook.

Beginning at 5:30 p.m., the workshop will be held at the Texas A&M University System Agricultural Research and Extension Center,at 6500 W. Amarillo Blvd.

Registration can be paid on-line by credit card at or by mailing a check to: Jacque Hand, Conference Registration, Drawer H-1, College Station, TX 77844.

Make checks payable to "Wildlife Management Workshop– Amarillo." Include the attendee's name, address and phone number."

For more information, contact Cearley at (325) 653-4576 or e-mail

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