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Calguns Expatriates For members who have left California but remain Calgunners

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  #1  
Old 10-04-2021, 5:00 PM
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Default Hunting and shooting in TX?

Iíve lived my entire life out West, where wide open spaces and BLM land are the norm (the fact that Iíve been in OC for 20 years makes them a little harder to come by, but still available). Now that weíre probably going to become medical refugees, TX is high on the list. Either the DFW area or Hill Country drivable to Austin, for work.

If Iím going to trade my SoCal cracker box 20 minutes from the beach with perfect weather for a life in TX, Iím going to want some upside on the deal. Not much of a Hunter today but thatís governed by the difficulties of hunting in SoCal.

Iíve heard thereís virtually no public land in TX, and everything is fenced off. Thatís weird to me. How do yíall handle hunting and shooting out there with no public land to do it on?


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  #2  
Old 10-04-2021, 5:21 PM
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Texans hunt on private land, through leases or paid hunts. More information Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife.

https://tpwd.texas.gov/

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  #3  
Old 10-05-2021, 2:10 PM
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Hunting is very different here, especially for anyone coming from the West. For example, in many areas deer hunting means sitting in an elevated blind over a bait station and taking animals that have been attracted by the food and observed with trail cams. Some may view this as unsportsman like but this is ho it’s done in the South. Most hog hunting is done at night with night vision optics.

On the flip side, no one looks at you like a Bambi killer if you talk deer hunting in the grocery check lane.

Depending on how far you are willing to travel, lease deals can be great with year round access to multiple species with hundreds of acres open to only you or a small group
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Old 10-09-2021, 11:29 PM
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I hear coyote hunting is a free for all.
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  #5  
Old 10-10-2021, 12:44 AM
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As mentioned, leases are the norm unless you know someone with land. Leases are usually paid for on a "per gun" basis and you can buy in alone or as part of a group. There are some BLM/public lands near DFW, these are usually found near lakes that are managed by the army corp of engineers and info can be found via their web site.

Lease cost depends on how big the lease is in terms of acreage, where and how productive it is, etc. I paid $150 this season for my son and I to hunt dove on 400 acres 20 minutes from my house. Includes both the September and January seasons. I live a 1/2 hour out of Fort Worth. A friend owns land about an hour away that we hunt as well if there are no birds flying on the lease on a given day.

We will occasionally bow and pistol hunt for pigs there, too, and set up a trail cam, feeder, and blind on the side of an arroyo that dumps into a stock pond a couple of hundred yards away. We only share the lease with the owner and 2 other guns and we don't hunt any deer there so there isn't any real pressure on game. The owner charges a higher lease rate for deer, but I don't have any interest in those. All that is to say that landowners are often flexible with how you hunt the lease.

Hunting here is different than in California for sure, but even though more expensive, it's a LOT more controlled and mellow. Just wait until you go pig hunting after dark with night vision and drones with infrared cameras. Now THAT is fun.

Edit to add: That I've found, most publicly accessible land that's available for hunting usually does NOT allow target shooting. Your best bet there is to join a club or get to know people with land. Even though I can shoot rim fire and pistols in my backyard, we joined a club for other kinds of shooting. The one we belong to has everything from sporting clays to 5 stand to pistol lanes with moving target stands and a 200 yard rifle range, to trap and skeet to Cowboy action. They're working on a 3-gun range right now. I know of two ranges near the Metroplex where you can target shoot out past 1000 yards and I'm sure there are more. The club costs me $90 a year for me, my kid, and my wife.
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Old 10-10-2021, 3:40 AM
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You have to get permission= or pay to access private land in Texas. Trespass is misdemeanor if shooting and trespassing it is jail time arrest class A misdemeanor iff you shoot game anumal it is afelony. They take it it seriouslydown there. Tooks us couple years to become friends with rancher. Helped on property. I put solar on well. My brother just bought 30 acres nearby.
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Old 10-10-2021, 2:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diveRN View Post
As mentioned, leases are the norm unless you know someone with land. Leases are usually paid for on a "per gun" basis and you can buy in alone or as part of a group. There are some BLM/public lands near DFW, these are usually found near lakes that are managed by the army corp of engineers and info can be found via their web site.

Lease cost depends on how big the lease is in terms of acreage, where and how productive it is, etc. I paid $150 this season for my son and I to hunt dove on 400 acres 20 minutes from my house. Includes both the September and January seasons. I live a 1/2 hour out of Fort Worth. A friend owns land about an hour away that we hunt as well if there are no birds flying on the lease on a given day.

We will occasionally bow and pistol hunt for pigs there, too, and set up a trail cam, feeder, and blind on the side of an arroyo that dumps into a stock pond a couple of hundred yards away. We only share the lease with the owner and 2 other guns and we don't hunt any deer there so there isn't any real pressure on game. The owner charges a higher lease rate for deer, but I don't have any interest in those. All that is to say that landowners are often flexible with how you hunt the lease.

Hunting here is different than in California for sure, but even though more expensive, it's a LOT more controlled and mellow. Just wait until you go pig hunting after dark with night vision and drones with infrared cameras. Now THAT is fun.

Edit to add: That I've found, most publicly accessible land that's available for hunting usually does NOT allow target shooting. Your best bet there is to join a club or get to know people with land. Even though I can shoot rim fire and pistols in my backyard, we joined a club for other kinds of shooting. The one we belong to has everything from sporting clays to 5 stand to pistol lanes with moving target stands and a 200 yard rifle range, to trap and skeet to Cowboy action. They're working on a 3-gun range right now. I know of two ranges near the Metroplex where you can target shoot out past 1000 yards and I'm sure there are more. The club costs me $90 a year for me, my kid, and my wife.

Thanks for this. $150/season and $90/yr doesnít sound bad actually, particularly if the hunting land is close enough to home for a day trip. Thatís one night in a hotel, or one large tank of gas, to put it in perspective.

The way I understand your post, a ďhunting leaseĒ is basically just a fee you pay to the landowner for the right to hunt their land? Not like ďIím leasing this 1000 acres for the yearĒ. Does that usually give you unfettered access (tag limits aside), or do you have to schedule with the other hunters, or both?


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Old 10-10-2021, 9:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gdr_11 View Post
Hunting is very different here, especially for anyone coming from the West. For example, in many areas deer hunting means sitting in an elevated blind over a bait station and taking animals that have been attracted by the food and observed with trail cams. Some may view this as unsportsman like but this is ho itís done in the South. Most hog hunting is done at night with night vision optics.

On the flip side, no one looks at you like a Bambi killer if you talk deer hunting in the grocery check lane.

Depending on how far you are willing to travel, lease deals can be great with year round access to multiple species with hundreds of acres open to only you or a small group
It's actually illegal where I'm from.
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Old 10-10-2021, 11:18 PM
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It's actually illegal where I'm from.

Sitting in a blind waiting for a deer to wander on to a food plot so you can shoot him from up above sounds like an efficient method of harvesting meat, but it also sounds boring as hell. Spot and stalk is more difficult for sure, but pretty rewarding. There I go thinking like a Westerner again.

ETA - not to mention, hunting over bait is illegal in Idaho too, where Iím from. Probably why I think the way I do about it. Not disparaging Texans, but it just doesnít seem like the way it oughtta be done.

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  #10  
Old 10-11-2021, 4:15 AM
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Thanks for this. $150/season and $90/yr doesn’t sound bad actually, particularly if the hunting land is close enough to home for a day trip. That’s one night in a hotel, or one large tank of gas, to put it in perspective.
Your perspective is in line with mine, but I have a relatively cheap lease for a small piece of property. It's a mile and a half, square. I only hunt dove so my "wants" are likely different than yours. For a variety of reasons, I don't deer hunt any more.

While there are a number of animals in the more rural areas around DFW, to really get onto a good deer lease, you should consider going towards Hill Country, which is about 3-4 hours from DFW depending on where you end up. It's a bit more than a day trip to hunt that area from here.

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Originally Posted by steadyrock View Post
The way I understand your post, a “hunting lease” is basically just a fee you pay to the landowner for the right to hunt their land? Not like “I’m leasing this 1000 acres for the year”. Does that usually give you unfettered access (tag limits aside), or do you have to schedule with the other hunters, or both?

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Yeah, it's a fee, but there are conditions in most leases you'll want to be aware of. In the those I've been involved in, I've "leased" the land for the season in which I'm hunting. Some with year around access, others with only seasonal access. Clean up after yourself, fire safety measures with us, have been conditions to hunt.

Currently, I can shoot pigs (nuisance) and target shoot in designated areas on my lease all year around, but I can't take any regulated game but dove while in season and as a condition I negotiated to lower my costs some, I help the owner with a work day twice a year, which includes some dirt work, tree trimming, fixing storm damage near his creeks, etc. We make a day of it and fish, plink, work, etc. My 17 year old kid gets to drive his tractor and push dirt around so it's worth the time right there. As I mentioned in the other post, we have equipment set up that stays up 8 months of the year. Expect to pay more for year around access.

Every lease is different and costs vary widely depending on what game you're after. Hunting exotic game here is a big thing, too, but those leases are outside of my budget. You can go after Axis deer, red sheep, Aoudads, etc. Some of those leases will cost north of $10k a year, others are cheap like mine. IMO, even to pay a couple of thousand dollars a year to hunt deer and have access to land that I don't pay taxes on isn't that crazy.

Regarding scheduling with other hunters, the only days I've ever done that was opening day and I just gave the owner a head's up that we would be there. He told me to expect to see other hunters. I'm not sure how it works on bigger properties, but I imagine communication with the owner is the norm.

Strictly in my opinion, I would make your first hunt here a guided one or go with someone who really knows the land they're hunting. It'll give you some idea of how to hunt the land, what equipment you might need, etc. For example, side by sides are HUGE here. People here take deer hunting pretty seriously and I've seen some awesome camping/hunting rigs. When it comes to hunting and shooting, most Texans do not halfass anything.
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Old 10-11-2021, 4:42 AM
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Originally Posted by steadyrock View Post
Sitting in a blind waiting for a deer to wander on to a food plot so you can shoot him from up above sounds like an efficient method of harvesting meat, but it also sounds boring as hell. Spot and stalk is more difficult for sure, but pretty rewarding. There I go thinking like a Westerner again.

ETA - not to mention, hunting over bait is illegal in Idaho too, where I’m from. Probably why I think the way I do about it. Not disparaging Texans, but it just doesn’t seem like the way it oughtta be done.

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The problem with spot and stalk methods here is that you can track an animal for miles sometimes... which may lead you onto someone else's property. Further, if you shoot a deer near a property line and it crosses that line before it expires, you either lose the game or trespass to find it. Neither are good options.

With proximity to Texas, Montana and Wyoming are good places for that. ETA: Arkansas, too. There is some GREAT deer hunting there.
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Old 10-11-2021, 5:46 AM
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Originally Posted by steadyrock View Post
Sitting in a blind waiting for a deer to wander on to a food plot so you can shoot him from up above sounds like an efficient method of harvesting meat, but it also sounds boring as hell. Spot and stalk is more difficult for sure, but pretty rewarding. There I go thinking like a Westerner again.

ETA - not to mention, hunting over bait is illegal in Idaho too, where Iím from. Probably why I think the way I do about it. Not disparaging Texans, but it just doesnít seem like the way it oughtta be done.

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Soon after I moved here, my BIL asked me if I wanted to go hunting with him. Got my license (hunting & fishing is $32/yr for seniors!). Met him at his house where he has 640 acres. Took his atv to a deer stand and sat for 3 hours and farted a lot. Didn't see anything. Not my cup of tea, I'll stick to fishing.
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Old 10-11-2021, 6:10 AM
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Soon after I moved here, my BIL asked me if I wanted to go hunting with him. Got my license (hunting & fishing is $32/yr for seniors!). Met him at his house where he has 640 acres. Took his atv to a deer stand and sat for 3 hours and farted a lot. Didn't see anything. Not my cup of tea, I'll stick to fishing.
I'm gonna go out on a limb and say deer can prolly smell farts for miles

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Old 10-11-2021, 8:52 AM
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Originally Posted by steadyrock View Post
Sitting in a blind waiting for a deer to wander on to a food plot so you can shoot him from up above sounds like an efficient method of harvesting meat, but it also sounds boring as hell. Spot and stalk is more difficult for sure, but pretty rewarding. There I go thinking like a Westerner again.

ETA - not to mention, hunting over bait is illegal in Idaho too, where Iím from. Probably why I think the way I do about it. Not disparaging Texans, but it just doesnít seem like the way it oughtta be done.

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True for deer and elk, but you can hunt bear over bait in Idaho if you wish.
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Old 10-11-2021, 10:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Aldemar View Post
Soon after I moved here, my BIL asked me if I wanted to go hunting with him. Got my license (hunting & fishing is $32/yr for seniors!). Met him at his house where he has 640 acres. Took his atv to a deer stand and sat for 3 hours and farted a lot. Didn't see anything. Not my cup of tea, I'll stick to fishing.
I did a tree stand archery hunt in Maryland once. It is cold as f*ck sitting up in a tree for hours on end, in the wintertime. It's a whole different deal than hunting in the west.
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Old 10-11-2021, 10:53 AM
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I'm gonna go out on a limb and say deer can prolly smell farts for miles

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Old 10-13-2021, 7:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aldemar View Post
Soon after I moved here, my BIL asked me if I wanted to go hunting with him. Got my license (hunting & fishing is $32/yr for seniors!). Met him at his house where he has 640 acres. Took his atv to a deer stand and sat for 3 hours and farted a lot. Didn't see anything. Not my cup of tea, I'll stick to fishing.
And your BIL never spoke to you again.
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Old 10-13-2021, 8:23 PM
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I was raised to not kill animals after getting them close with food. The first and only one I killed was via camo gilley (sp?) suit and hiding in brush around a plowed hayfield.
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