The Habitat

A longtime ago we learned that it is not the acres the club leases that counts, it is the quality of the habitat that counts most. Quality habitat attracts large numbers of waterfowl that both feed, grit, rest, and roost throughout the entire season. Good waterfowl habitat is not just a flooded field; it is much more than that. Starting in late summer and going through the end of January waterfowl habitat is in a constant “state of flux.” Think of it as a garden, if you do not tend to it obnoxious weeds will grow, plants will die due to drought or flooding. In addition the water levels need to be maintained at the right levels for feeding and roosting fowl. If the water is too deep the birds both cannot feed—because the aquatic plant growth is too deep to reach—and the birds cannot rest / roost—because they cannot put their feed on the ground.

Droughts on the other hand present another problem. Aquatic plants shrivel up and die if proper water levels are not maintained during the season. Repumping on dead aquatic plants late in the season will not bring them back as the growing season is over. Thunderbird fosters the waterfowl food grown early in the season through pumping water from deep-water wells as needed, sometimes multiple pumps. All of our properties have deep-water wells; we are not reliant on District Water Authorities that pump water only once.

Our properties and lodge are located southwest of Houston between El Campo and Palacios, a historic and important migratory corridor of waterfowl. Approximately 50% of our properties are located to the north of the lodging headquarters and 50% to the south. Drive time from the lodge to our numerous ponds range between 5-40 minutes. We have a number of ponds surrounding the lodge that members can literally walk to.

Through discing, shredding, planting of food, aerial spraying of selective herbicides, continuous water pumping throughout the season, water level manipulation through intermediary levees and water control structures our waterfowl habitat is constantly “gardened” throughout the season for optimum results. It takes a lot of time and is certainly is not cheap to do, but it pays big dividends with full straps for the members and their guests. Season after season our habitat management experience allows us to adapt to the conditions of Mother Nature and produce excellent results for the membership.

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