Wildlife Brush Sculpting Through Brush Control

Quail on Cleared Land West Texas

Wildlife Sculpting Provides Benefits for Wildlife and Livestock

The objective with brush sculpting is to enhance the benefit of your pastureland for wildlife, but continue to be consistent with livestock production. An excellent method to selectively thin brush-infested land, this technique is called “sculpting” and it is very effective in protecting wildlife habitat while providing cleared areas for grazing.

Goals of a Sculpting Plan:
– Removing 50-70% of the invasive species such as mesquite and cedar.
– Leaving desirable brush plants intact
– Creating a pattern of clearings beneficial to wildlife

Before Beginning a Brush Sculpting Plan, You Will Need to Know:
– The types and density of the species of vegetation on your land
– The vegetation’s value to wildlife such as deer and quail
– Your ultimate use for the land whether it be hunting or grazing

The goal of Brush Sculpting is never to eliminate any species of plant from a tract of land but it is to maintain or increase the diversity of plants and animals.

General Guidelines for (from http://texnat.tamu.edu/about/brush-sculptors/)
White-tailed deer
Clear small (about 20 acres) irregularly shaped areas of land scattered throughout your pasture. The total acreage of these clearings should total less than or equal to 40% of the entire area.
You want to plan for and leave relatively wide corridors of brush that separate these irregularly shaped areas.  The corridor acreage should total greater than or equal to 60% of the landscape.
Leave areas of tall, dense, diverse brush with canopy cover greater than or equal to 85% s interspersed though out the landscape in order to provide cover for mature bucks.
Avoid disturbing brush in and along natural drainage areas.
When manipulating brush, leave large, single-stemmed mesquites intact.
Use the brush control method best suited to the habitat. Root plowing is not recommended.

Bobwhite Quail
No point in the pasture is further than 25 yards from woody cover,
No more than 90% of the pasture is treated, and
No woody cover object is less than 75 square feet in area.