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I'm a relatively new hunter. I grew up in chicago and never had the opportunity to hunt. (dad never did) I moved to Texas and got hooked at age 27. Been hunting hard for the last 3 yrs. While this has been a wonderful experience I have seen some attitudes in the hunting world that will kill the sport. I was reading an article in Traditional bowhunter magazine and I just have to vent a little. Also being relatively new I wanted everyone's input on my thoughts. There was an editorial going nuts about hunting on ranches with high fences. I don't this guy has ever been to Texas. It's just different than other states. For one, if hunting is going to exist more young hunters will have to be brought into the sport. I can't get my kids to love it if they have to choose between a fall sport and hunting. (coaches love commitments to the team.) I can however, go to a bowhunting ranch and for a relatively cheap price hunt a huge ranch for exotics anytime of year. My oldest boy loves it and is hooked for life. He couldn't go any other time (must be offseason because of sports in the fall). These ranches provide tremendous opportunities in a state that has very little public land. I just don't think a hunter in montana should be working with anti-hunter environmentalists to affect a change in my state. Many of these ranches are larger than some of the areas people hunt in the midwest. Anyway the editor was going on about antis hating high fence hunting. I understand if it's 50 acres. What about 2,000 to 27,000? Secondly, anti-hunters hate hunting no matter what. You can't give them an inch. I know I lived around them for the first 2 decades of my life. Hunters must have opportunities to go hunting and young hunters must have the opportunity to get hooked. I find it odd that a hunter from a state with more beautiful forests and mountains to hunt in than my state could ever have with a population slightly larger that one of our cities metro areas would even feel free to comment on our opportunities. Our situations are different. If anyone thinks these are canned hunts then go on one. Going to a new area for three days and trying to bowhunt is as challenging as being able to scout out a non-fenced area for months in advance and set a few stands and then hunt for the next couple of months there. By the way, when will bowhunters understand that if guns go bye bye, bows will then follow soon after. Join the NRA. I'm new to this whole hunting thing, and I obviously don't have a lifetime of experience, but I also don't have preconcieve notions about hunting because my uncle and dad have told me how it should be for the last 40 yrs. Nuff said. Look forward to your comments.
 

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I am in MT, and I support you Texans 100%! 94% of Texas is private, so hunting would not exist without private land hunts. I also agree with joining the NRA and that bows will go as well as guns. Don't kid yourself about MT, we have alot of public land, but the majority of WT deer hunted in my region are on private land too. As well as many Elk and Buffalo. Keep the kids involved!:) Happy Huntin'
 

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I think those ranches are B.S. IMO
i'll tell you why, hunting isn't a convienance thing it's a state of mind, body, and soul, if you don't have the time to scout and chase that elusive game animal, you are missing the whole point of hunting, next you'll be telling me you don't have the three days to scout, so why don't we just tie them up to a stake you can get out of the pick up and shoot it. I've been tracking this mammoth(for our area) 12 point whitetail for 2.5 years now, every year i think "this year i know exactly where he is going" then he changes his pattern a few weeks before the season, and the cycle continues, it is an awesome feeling. and if I never get em oh well it was still the thrill of the hunt. These ranches let someone else do the work, and you reap the benefits, how is this hunting?

now remeber this is my opinion.
 

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RazorFan;

I grant you your opinion, but I ask this..... If PA was 94% privately owned and you had to pay trasspass fees to hunt any property, and you owned no acreage, where would you hunt?
Where would do all this pre-hunt scouting?
Where would you take your kids to teach them about hunting?
By the way would you drive 300 miles one way to do all of this hunting. In Texas we very often must to get to property that we can hunt.

These ranches are all Texas has.... Been that way since 1836, its all private, what isn't private is state parks and federal parks which comprise less than 5% of the state.


Where do YOU SUGGEST WE HUNT??????

And don't be flippiant, tell us straight.... Where????
 

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BS

If your not breaking any game laws. I say go for it. I dont perfer to hunt that way but we have several wild hog operations like that here in our state and seems like fun hunt to all that do go. Everyone has a opionion and as long as voters dont make it illegal, then do it.
 

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JAVELINA
The one thing I have learned from this site is that some hunters in other states have no idea how big of hunting propertys that we hunt or lease.
When they talk about the back 40 they mean it. The problem is that when they hear high fence they think of where they are hunting and emagine it with a 12' fence around it they have no concept of having private access to hunting land as big as 10,000 ackers.

RAZORFAN
Most of the high fence ranches that offer deer hunting are big extreamly big more land than you could cover in one day driving in a truck you have no idea what your talking about.

And as far as scouting I have private access along with three other bow hunters to 3,000 ackers yea we scout put up stands but the deer we see in the spring and summer are not the ones we will be hunting when the rut starts.
 

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Fences,

As long as it is legal in your area, I respect your right to hunt the way you want. I know how I like to hunt, but I am not going to force it down anyones throat. While I will never hunt a fenced ranch, you'll never hear me belittle those who do.

BTW - I like the idea of fences . . .not to keep game in . . . but to keep outlaw trespassing hunters out! Trespassing IS an illegal way to hunt.
 

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i hunt public land every year usually share 200 acres with 30+ hunters it's the homework, it's the dedication, not some lame excuse where do i hunt, go find it, if you love it you'll take the time, i've watched the hunting shows on these ranches guys set up couple hours later here comes 2-3 massive bucks, "oh i'll let that one go, and wait for another" what? yeah that's hunting.
i don't seem to have a problem shooting deer, now w/ archery that's a different story, i've been archery hunting for 2 years and am still new to it, but general hunting, i think the more time you put in the more reward you get, texas may all be private but the land in pa the public lands are over hunted you have to be wise and set up just right, don't wait for someone to push it to you, know that game animal and what it's doing, i would say 50% of the hunters plop there a$$e$ down the day of opening season, and they wonder why don't i ever see deer? i was set up 50 yards from a guy last year, i got the 9 point, he got zip, was it just luck, maybe, but i hunted and scouted hard, and i bagged him. no i've never been to texas no i probably will never get the chance to go, the hunts are pretty expensive i've heard. i can go up to maine and hunt public land for $800.00 a week, if i could ever get the time off from work, with my father in law he's been going for many years, he scouts two or three days, boom he bagged 2 records is this luck, no he put in the time, the other guys in the camp never came close to his deer, he is an awesome hunter and has taught me everything i know, he would tell you the same thing, put in the time he has killed a buck every year for the last 25 years, is this luck ,no, where does he hunt public land 150 acres shared with 25 hunters on average. this is not luck this is dedication. why is it he comes out of those woods every year with a deer, and the others maybe 3-4 of them will, he always does. my wife scouted and did the work 2 years ago same set of woods, tracked a big ten pointer, came last day of rifle who do think shot it she did , biggest deer ever taken off the mountain, luck, again i don't think so, nowhere to hunt my ass. there is only 150 acres, if it's true you don't have 150 acre parcel of public land to hunt near you, then i agree with you 100% but if you do there is no excuse.

wow i kind of rambled on there
 
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I'm talkin' Big Ranches

I don’t think people from other parts of the country realize the size of some of these ranches. The Pope and Young rules state that you can’t record anything that was taken inside of a ‘high’ fence. They, like others have never seen a ranch that takes over an hour to drive across on a paved road. You can start at one fence line and walk hard ALL day and never get to the other fence line. Some of these South Texas ranches exceed 100,000-150,000 acres. If you are hunting a deer on 150,000 + acres, how could this not be considered ‘Fair Chase’ ? The Ranches used to be larger until they were divided up between the heirs. :D

It’s considered ‘Fair’ though to put down a bucket of corn and kick back in a lounge chair until a deer happens to come by. Now that’s some serious Pope and Young hunting. :)
 

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i am just wondering what size are these public lands in texas? are they bigger than 150 acres? i understand the size of these ranches. texas is massive? but my point is , that if you have 30+ hunters on 150 and you consistantly get a buck, than why wouldn't you be able to get one with say a 1000+ acre with maybe less hunters if you put in the time to scout, i think i would like that challenge very much. sounds like a great place to hunt
 

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Razorfan

Don't let your idea of big get in the way of reality. I understand what you are saying but you really have no idea.
I am from Nebraska, Used to hunting private land with permission. NO MORE!!!!!! Cabelas, and all the big stores are leasing up the land and there is NO hunting with out paying BIG bucks.
10 Years ago I went to Texas to live. Was there for 6 years. Got 5 deer and 3 turkeys on my license for $20. WOW What an opportunity to hunt, Only all the land is private and leased. if you can afford $400 a gun or bow you Might get to hunt on 40 acres with a feeder. I used to come home to Nebr just to get a place to shoot at a bird and deer was out of the question(not enough money available).
My point is that in order for guys in texas to hunt they have to pay BIG bucks. And most of the ranches making their living from hunting are BIG, I MEAN BIG. It is nothing to have 20,000 acres under fence. And they manage for quality,qauntity comes natural. If you are basing you ideas of Texas hunting on T.V, shows you are just wrong.
I am not bashing you, trying to educate. I was always against feeders,but after seeing the situation I changed my outlook.
I listen to people praise Cabelas, but after loosing all my land to hunt to them leasing I no longer shop in their stores.

Sorry for the rant,and you have no idea how it hurts to stand up for Texas but the truth is just that.
Hunt but Hunt LEGAL

JMHO
ROB B
 

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Razorfan
To be honest with you I dont know the total ackerage avalible to the public in texas most of it is in the eastern part of the state but I dont think any are less than 1,000 ackers. There is W,M,A where the state draws names for the privlage to hunt that is realy inexpensive that offer a good opertunity to take a trophy buck.

As far as sharing 200 ackers with 30 people I couldnt even imagine but the type of cover that you hunt is a lot diferant than where I do. In the area that I hunt if I was rifel hunting I would be in a tower stand 20' tall and would be able to see the intire 200 ackers. You are probably hunting big wooded areas with limited visability but could travel any where in that area.

The brush in my area is not tall but it is unpenatrable every thing here has thorns what dont stick you will bite you it provides you with limited ground access we prefer to try to draw the deer out of the brush if at all posible we realy dont go in the brush unless we have to and then your crawling.

As far as cost you would think I was crazy if I told you what I pay each year for the privlage to bow hunt year round on 3,000 ackers with three close friends with year round access.

Let me put it this way you could go on your Maine hunting trip for the next three years.
 

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High Fences

Will be and never should be considered fair chase.
 

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fences

I think we have gotten off the subject. I was born and raised in Texas. I hunted on a lease in Texas. I hunted 10,000 acres and paid $1500. That was cheap. This property was not fenced. If it were fenced the hunting would have been the same. We managed the game on this land and saw results. Other ranches did not manage their herd and saw no results. So regardless of the fence, the hunting remained the same.

On TV this hunting seems almost too easy. Let me lay this out for you. You can see 700 yards in all directions and the only vegetation is mesquite ( which might get head high) and cactus. The deer travel patterns are almost undetectable due to the ground being rock. The only way to successfully hunt these animals is to use feeders.

I now hunt in Louisiana which is a vastly different game. I hunt on my own land that is 400 acres in size. The game easily travel off my property and deer sign is easily detected. Scouting plays a huge role in 100 acres tracts of thick southern pine.

Razorfan. Don't give us that Ted Nuggent spirit of the wild crap. The hunting is just different. I would like to see you scout a 5,000 acre tract of land, that is comprised or rock, mesquite, cactus and rattlesnakes, for a tree to hang your stand on. First of all no trees so leave your stand at the house. Second, put on your walking shoes. 5,000 acres is huge. Fences are a nonissue.

I am with Daniel Boone. If it is legal.....GET AFTER IT!!! And when they tell me hunting is illegal...I WILL STILL BE HUTING!!!!!:D
 

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I would agree that a "canned" hunt on a 20 acre parcel of land under high fence is B.S. Unfortunately there are some outfitters that have made a living off of this rediculous method of "hunting".

But......

Now, I'd say that the majority of ranches that are under high fence(95+%) in Texas span anywhere from 3,000-100,000+ acres. Some of these ranches approach 700,000 to almost 1,000,000 acres in size making them only slightly smaller than the State of Rhode Island. So take an average size high fence property of 64,000. That is 100 sq miles. I just don't agree with the concerns of "penned" deer when there is a perimeter high fence surrounding 100 sq miles of land. There are deer that will die of natural causes that will never see a human. Has anybody actually tried to walk that far?

There are just over 1,000,000 acres of State owned public access land in Texas. The purchase of a $48 Public Hunting Lands permit will gain you entry to a fair portion of it. However, as earlier mentioned, much of it is accessable via lottery type draw systems and the State will only give you access to these areas for limited time frames. Not all of the public land can be hunted on and is restricted to other outdoor recreations(camping, fishing, etc..). The vast majority of people all face the same problem...Time. Personally, it would take me approx 3 hours of pounding the pavement to reach the nearest State owned public access land that isn't restricted by drawings and hunt deadlines. That eats up a considerable amount of my available free time.

Videos give a deceptive view of hunting regardless of which state the video footage was obtained. The same argument of passing up deer after deer could be made just about anywhere. Nobody wants to see 60+ hours of footage effectively making a 1 week hunting trip into a National Geographic documentary.
 

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i would love to have that much area to scout i think you guys don't know how lucky you are , yes there is very thick woods, but to be able to see 700 acres it's sounds to me like a blast, picking out a buck in thick woods is a major pain in the ***, as far as the the spirit of the wild comment , i think you've lost track of what hunting is all about.

as far as the cost holy mother of god, you guys should fly up here and hunt it would be cheaper.
 

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I listen to people praise Cabelas, but after loosing all my land to hunt to them leasing I no longer shop in their stores.


rich get richer etc etc.
i can't stand supporting companies like this
basspro wal-mart cabelas..for reasons just like this it is always the behind the scenes stuff that never gets found out that always shows up when it is too late.
sorry if i offended anyone but i prefer to shop where i know where my money goes. usually back in to your town with tax dollars to support local schools municipals etc etc.


i can't see how hunting 10,000 acres behind a fence is any easier than hunting 150 of public land. you still have to hunt track pattern be scent free etc etc, if that is all you have to hunt and YOU did the WORK then to me it is a legit hunt.

man everyone is so up in arms about this or that all the antis definately love it! we really should try to not bash each other and everything everyone does so quickly. who cares what kind of bow arrows etc you shoot if it works for you great!
if private fenced land is all you can hunt great go hunting, at least you are supporting the industry and exercising your rights to go.

take your children and teach them something besides what is on tv, computers nintendo playstation skateboards rap music pierced ears etc etc.
it is a big world and what we teach our kids is what we have in the future when they are senators governors lawyers police teachers etc.

everyone has an opinion this is mine. what is worse, getting to hunt and be with friends and family or not getting to???

think
;)
 

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my intention is absolutely not to bash anyone, please do not take it that way, i love to learn anything i can about different places to hunt and one person hunts to another, but you're right if that's all you have to hunt, then by all means get out there and enjoy!! i'm gonna have to get out to the great state of texas sometime, i can't imagine anything that big, maybe someday....
 

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i hunt public land every year usually share 200 acres with 30+ hunters
I have to say that sounds little like hunting to me. I am not bashing, as I know that is what you have to work with, but I prefer the peace and solitude I can get while spending a day walking miles, to not see another hunter.
 

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IMO Hunting is a very personal thing. What hunting means to one person may not make sense to another. And thats fine. To say that a hunt in a high fence area with no time for scouting misses the whole meaning of the hunt is not fair to say, unless you're only speaking for yourself. But if you tell someone else that they missed the meaning of the hunt is just wrong. How do you know what the meaning of the hunt is for that person?? To each his/her own.
 
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