The Importance of Prescribed Burning

January marks the beginning of a new year, mid-winter, and for ranch owners that means that it is time to think about how you can improve the health of your deer and the habitat in which they live. During the first few months of the year, ranch owners, hunters and animal lovers implore several practices that can have a profound impact on their deer herd throughout the year. One of the most popular ways to improve a deer’s health is through their diet. Improving the quantity, as well as the quality, of food that you feed your deer is a great way to beef up your herd and help them remain healthy during the cold winter months.

One method that can be implemented at the beginning of the year is known as prescribed burning.  Prescribed burning manages the natural environment by applying fire to a specific area of land and then carefully and closely watching the area to ensure it does not spread. When managed properly, prescribed burning offers a wide amount of benefits.

Prescribed burns eliminate pests, clear away dead plants, and restore native vegetation by clearing a piece of land for planting and harvesting.  Many ranch owners used the method of prescribed burning to renew the soil that they have on their property.

Before you perform a prescribed burn, it is important to check the weather conditions in your area. Wind speed and humidity are two factors that must be stable during a burn. If the weather is uncontrolled the fire could spread beyond the establish boundaries wreaking havoc on your land. According to the National Weather Service a wind speed anywhere between 6 to 20 miles per hour is preferred.

In addition to checking the weather it is important to notify people of what you are planning to do. That means talking to a state forest agency and fire department. In most states you must obtain a burning permit. It is important to set up a respected time of when you will do the burn that way you can notify the fire department so that they are not alerted by any smoke that may be present. Never be afraid to inform people because the more people you notify the better. No one should be surprised to see smoke from your land.

Once you have checked the weather and notified authority it is time to prepare the burn site. One requirement that is needed at the burn site is the presence of firebreaks. Firebreaks are cleared areas of exposed soil that are designed to stop the fire, keeping it from being uncontrolled. In addition to soil firebreaks, small areas of water such as creeks or rivers can serve as a break as well.

Prescribed burns have a long heritage in the South when it comes to maintaining deer herds and plantations. If you are looking for a healthy herd of deer for a trophy whitetail deer hunt, look no further than Cotton Mesa Whitetail, your go-to ranch for hunting. For more information on our ranch visit


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Cotton Mesa Trophy Whitetail
9066 FM 3194 Richland, TX 76693

Phone: (903) 654-3416
Fax: (903) 874-4399