Owning Land

Tips and resources for the land owner and property improvement, plus advice and information about wildlife and habitat management, property taxes and more

Greg with a deer he shot

COVID-19 Challenges & Silver Linings

Landowner Liability, A Real but Manageable Threat

New Opportunity for Forest Landowners

Seeking the Balanced Ranch

Greg with a deer he shot
COVID-19 Challenges & Silver Linings
Landowner Liability, A Real but Manageable Threat
New Opportunity for Forest Landowners
Seeking the Balanced Ranch

Agriculture & Wildlife Tax Appraisal in Texas

If you’re a Texas landowner, you’re in good company; 97 percent of our state is privately owned and managed. Accompanying the thrill of owning property in Texas, though, is that all-too-familiar sting of the state’s high property taxes, which begs the question—how can landowners maximize the use of their property?

Stock pond surrounded by bluebonnets and Indian paintbrushes

Just Add Water to Increase Your Land Value

In Texas, nothing attracts wildlife and birds to your property—and keeps them coming back—like water. And few property improvements are as likely to increase your land value as a pond, lake or stock tank.

Wildlife Management 101

I’m extremely fortunate to own, manage and control a respectable tract of leased and deeded ground in the Pacific Northwest. Taken with a laugh, my personal experience hasn’t been learned easily, nor done inexpensively via traditional venues. Private land wildlife management practices are commonly dominated by whitetail deer, a little waterfowl and an occasional fish or upland bird topic.

Concerning Cannabis

Cannabis reform is sweeping the nation. Thirty-three states and the District of Columbia currently have passed laws broadly legalizing marijuana in some form. This movement will continue, and the Federal Government will catch up or be forced to approve and adapt in time as reform states lead the way.

Chasing Blues Through the Texas Chaparral

Blue quail do not observe the finer gamebird principles as bobwhites; rather, they are more rogue and prone to run like members of a gang who are scattering from law dogs.

8 Tools & Accessories That Every Farmer Needs When Working in Harsh Weather Conditions

Preparing for severe weather sooner than later will pay off in spades. To boost productivity and safety, anyone working in the agricultural industry should have the following farm tools and accessories.

Farmers’ Guide to Preparing for & Enduring Winter Weather

When Old Man Winter hits, farmers must take certain precautions during the cold season. From sporting the right cold weather gear in subzero temperatures to ensuring that crops and livestock are able to withstand the brutal cold, a little preparation can make all the difference to your safety, productivity, and crop yield.

“Mi Casa Es Su Casa”: 5 Keys to Managing Wildlife in Backyard Habitats

When we think of wildlife management in Texas, we tend to think of large areas, such as ranches and state parks, generally involving charismatic game species such as whitetails, wild turkey, bobwhites and mule deer. However, for those folks who live in the concrete jungles of urban Texas, and even for those who have homes in the more open landscapes of rural Texas, managing wildlife on a micro-scale basis in the backyard of a house ...

cranes flying over water

Looking Out For Our Fine-Feathered Flyers

Every August, Nancy and John Merrill flood a hay field on their ranch so that flocks of Rocky Mountain Greater Sandhill cranes can eat and rest during their staging season.

Cowboy with rifle caressing horse

The Wild Side of Business: Cross-Pollinating Ranches & Recreation

The ranching community has been forced to adapt to changing market pressures in recent years, often creating a blend between traditional livestock and farming practices and fee-based wildlife programs.

image of deer in field

Black Beauty

“When I look at the mount of Black Beauty on the wall, I see all the hard work we’ve put into the ranch and all the ways we have improved the habitat for wildlife.”

young couple riding quad bike

Hidden Talent: Property Value from Untapped Sources

Whether your property can swish an over-the-shoulder three-pointer or do a double back flip off the diving board, it’s got something valuable that isn’t obvious. Take some time to find that value for yourself or your client for maximum property benefit.

Mule deer at trough

Drought-Proofing Mule Deer Herds In Texas

Is it actually possible to insulate mule deer herds in arid environments, such as the Chihuahuan Desert of West Texas, against the extreme pressures that can be delivered by harsh droughts? The answer is yes, to an extent.

image of tractor on farm

Should You Purchase or Lease Farm and Ranch Equipment?

Before you go shopping for a shiny new tractor or pickup truck, consider two things—whether to buy new or used, and whether to finance or lease.

how to tame your backyard space

How to Create a Tame Backyard Space

Mother Nature is already an excellent designer, making it easy to choose plants for your land, besides what nature already offers. Here are some suggestions on how to choose plants for your land.

how to choose plants for your land

How to Choose Plants for Your Land

Mother Nature is already an excellent designer, making it easy to choose plants for your land, besides what nature already offers. Here are some suggestions on how to choose plants for your land.

image of wildfire ablaze

Living with Wildfire

If you’re a landowner in a wildfire-prone area, it’s important to be aware of what you can do to reduce the risk of catastrophic loss and promote natural resource recovery in the event a fire does strike.

Black-footed ferret learning to hunt prairie dogs

Backyard Conservation: Endangered Species & the Role Landowners Play

About half the species listed as endangered or threatened have the majority of their habitat on private lands, giving landowners an essential role in their conservation. Here's a look at some of the federal programs in place to assist and incent landowners to contribute to species preservation.

picture of hunters in discussion

The Wild Side of Business: Dealing With Difficult Clients

As part of Greg Simons’ regular quarterly column, he takes a look at strategies, conflict resolution, expectation setting and more when it comes to the difficult guest or client in your hunting party.