Much of our east Texas forests were described by the early settlers (some of your ancestors) as "forested grasslands"....You could ride your horse through it with the grass up to the stirrups. Consider that the historic fire regime favored the herbaceous under story and kept down the invasive woody underbrush. That fire sustained a diverse ground cover of grasses and flowering herbs. That "lost" open condition that favored abundant wildlife such as quail, can be seen in many of the historic 1890-1920 photographs. Lots of that historic, diverse under story was visible 100 years ago.......frequent fire is the reason you do not see yaupon thickets in those old photos!
Someday, Turkey Creek Timber will be a "forested grassland", someday.