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For most of the last century, range management meant managing land for livestock. How well a landowner grew the grass that cattle ate was the best measure of success. In this century, landowners look to hunting and wildlife viewing for income; rangeland is now also wildlife habitat, and they are managing their land not just for cattle but also for wildlife, most notably deer and quail.
Unlike other books on white-tailed deer in places where rainfall is relatively high and the environment stable, this book takes an ecological approach to deer management in the semiarid lands of Oklahoma, Texas, and northern Mexico. These are the least productive of white-tail habitats, where periodic drought punctuates long-term weather patterns. The bookâ€™s focus on this landscape across political borders is one of its original and lasting contributions. Another is its contention that good management is based on ecological principles that guide the managerâ€™s thinking about: