Date of Award:

1991

Document Type:

Dissertation

Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department:

Wildland Resources

Advisor/Chair:

James Teer

Abstract

Recently, hunting and associated recreation have become an important business for Texas landowners. Most ranchers want to realize maximum net return from their investments. This study's objectives were to develop white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) and livestock enterprise budgets and to determine optimal economic combinations and levels of deer and livestock enterprises to maximize net returns. Questionnaires were mailed to landowners in the Edwards Plateau and South Texas Plains who purchased shooting preserve licenses in 1985. Five hundred and twenty-four ranchers responded {23.4%). Respondents were segregated by enterprises (deer, cattle, sheep, and Angora and Spanish goats) and a 5% random sample Has chosen from each group for personal interviews. Forty-two and eighteen ranchers in the Edwards Plateau and South Texas Plains, respectively, provided operational and financial information about their ranch enterprises.

Typical ranch enterprise budgets were developed for four types of deer enterprises, three cattle enterprises, one sheep enterprise, two Angora goat enterprises, and one Spanish goat enterprise in the Edwards Plateau. In the South Texas Plains, enterprise budgets were developed for four types of deer enterprises and two cattle enterprises. Available resources, such as hectarage, labor, forage, and capital, were determined for typical ranches in both regions.

The year deer enterprise was the most profitable deer enterprise in both regions, followed by the season, short-term/season, and short-term deer enterprises. The nanny-mutton-kid-breeding-mohair Angora goat enterprise was the most profitable livestock enterprise in the Edwards Plateau, while the cow-calf enterprise was the most profitable in the South Texas Plains.

Linear programming was used to determine optimal combinations and levels of deer and livestock enterprises on typical Edwards Plateau and South Texas Plains ranches. The most profitable combination (in this case only one activity) in the Edwards Plateau was the nanny-mutton-kid- breeding Angora goat enterprise, which had an extremely high gross income due to high mohair prices and government subsidies. The year deer and cow-calf enterprises were the most profitable combination in the South Texas Plains. The most binding constraints on enterprise combination and level were labor, livestock investment, and spring and summer forage.

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