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View Full Version : Texas Deer Hunting - what went wrong?


butch50
May 23, 2005, 08:44 PM
The average - and I stress average - deer hunter in Texas "hunts" over bait. It has been that way for so long that at least two or three generations have grown up doing it that way and don't see it as, well less than hunting or as unsporting. The feeders used are on timers and click and whir loudly while scattering corn. The deer very quickly learn exactly what time a feeder will go active and they will arrive early and wait for it. The hunters set the timer to go off at the time, or times, of day that they want to be in the nearby blind, generally just after good shooting light, which allows the hunter to arrive at the blind in the dark and get settled in a bit before the deer arrive for their appointment.

This system seems to be based upon the fact that there is very little public land in Texas and if you want to hunt you pretty much have to pay lease rights. The land owner can squeeze in more guns with this methold and therefore make more money. The public land that you can get on is generally crowded and scary.

What the heck happened here? How many people out there consider this to be unsporting? Are there many other states where this is considered normal and sporting?

ahenry
May 23, 2005, 09:25 PM
The only people that consider this unsporting are those that have never tried it before. The reason I say this is because if you have ever sat in a stand over a feeder and seen the deer come in and seen them disappear in the Texas scrub brush you know its not as unsporting as it would seem to the uninitiated. It’s not like the Hank Hill episode, it does require skill. If you take it a step farther and do the feeding yourself, you really understand how much work and knowledge is involved. The reason trophy deer ranches in Texas charge the huge amounts of money they do is because they use experts to manage things. Their use of the experts is what enables them to bring in deer in a consistent manner.

LAK
May 24, 2005, 06:14 AM
I think the main problem in Texas is the lack of pubic land open to hunting. There just isn't sufficient public land for the number of hunters.

Double Naught Spy
May 24, 2005, 07:04 AM
Tried it or not, it is unsporting. Come on. How can you consider it hunting when you are sniping a deer attracted to a feeder location you have baited and you shoot the deer from some vantage point like a tree stand? Just what is needed to accomplish this? You need to be able to shoot, sit quietly and patiently to await arrival of a deer, and you need to have the gun, feeder, and location.

Heck, I have cousins in the country that are hunters like that. They call in the cattle to up by the barn where they are fed grain. They wait for the right one and shoot it in the head from up in the barn (prevents being caught in the mini stampede by that other cattle startled by the shot).

I am not saying that the practice is wrong, only that calling it "hunting" is pretty silly. On one of the hunting shows on OLN, there was a hunter guide that discussed "hunting" of deer and noted that hunters should be respectful of the animals. I found that really silly as well. Killing them is about the least respectful thing that can be done to them.

As for the public lands in Texas, Texas has less than pretty much every other state with the possible exception of Rhode Island. We don't have enough public land for the hunters. In fact, we really don't have much at all for any purpose.

PSE
May 24, 2005, 07:41 AM
do more deer exist w/ the feeders?
if the feeders were banned would the population decrease naturally?

butch50
May 24, 2005, 07:57 AM
The feeders are a double whammy to the deer - first the corn attracts them like heroin attracts a junky and second they spread the corn at precise times which the deer quickly learn. You don't even have to sit there all day, you know what time to be there.

Lack of public land is I believe the original culprit. Now the professional deer lease areas have fenced in their land with deer proof fences to keep the deer inside, and they are managed almost like cattle herds. I have a hard time understanding how we allowed laws that took free ranging deer that belonged to the public and allowed rich land owners to capture them and sell them to the highest bidder, who by the way sits over a timed feeder and just takes his pick.

I have been on a couple of those hunts and sat in the blinds and I have seen as many as 20 to 30 deer show up at times at one feeder. They come spooking up about 20 minutes early and once the corn flies they come right out into the open. The average shot I think from the feeders to the blinds that I have seen is about 50 yards.

I don't believe the feeders have much of an impact on the population density because they more or less act like a candy dispenser, not a main food source. Deer eat about like goats do and here in Texas there is plenty of food year round for them.

Greenfurniture
May 24, 2005, 08:14 AM
IMHO tree stands are the start of where hunting has gone bad. It's not sporting. Neither is hunting over a baited field.

kingudaroad
May 24, 2005, 11:40 AM
The whitetail population is huge in the Texas hill country where I hunt.It is not uncommon to have lots of deer under a feeder,however there are still big mature bucks that will not come to the feeder.Young bucks and does are there every time.Deer hunters in all regions will scout out their land to find feeding and bedding areas and set up to hunt where they know the deer will be.A good deer stand in Texas will not just be set up to hunt the feeder but will have views to many other hunting areas.When you talk about deer population management and the ability to grow and develop your deer herd the feeders certainly let you choose the deer to harvest. Older deer next to younger deer, young 8 point next to 5yr old cull buck...etc. Yes it is different from the way its done in other parts of the country.Is it sniper hunting? YES! Is it enjoyable and fun and a great way to introduce my sons to the brilliance of nature? YES! Is the venison on my table absolutly delicious? HELL YES! This is the hunting opportunity we have here in Texas. If you don't like it,don't participate! Its my freedom within the laws to hunt these deer, and I'm grateful for that freedom.

tyme
May 24, 2005, 01:33 PM
IMHO tree stands are the start of where hunting has gone bad. It's not sporting.
Curious -- Does that go for archery as well? Or do you consider that okay because of the added handicap of limited range?

I don't particularly like the idea of waiting in a stand/blind over an automatic feeder, but where do you draw the line? Are blinds over mechanical feeders okay? What about no blinds, setting up downwind of the feeder and hopefully not being too visible?

If you feel that feeder sniping isn't ethical at all, how do you feel about staking out a watering hole? What about getting up on a cliff where you can cover a long treeline? Is that fair? Do you have to teach the local deer to use rifles and then stalk them through the bush in order for the hunt to be fair?

butch50
May 24, 2005, 07:52 PM
So Tyme, if you cant draw a clear bright line then don't draw any line at all? Is that what you are saying? That logic falls down pretty quickly. If I was hungry and hunting for food to survive on there would be no line. We are not talking survival hunting, we are talking sport hunting. In sport hunting you have to have lines.

Hunting over bait is what Texans do, and that is an unfortunate and unchanging fact. Is it hunting? No, it is not hunting. It is baiting and target shooting. Would you consider it squirrel hunting to hunt over a feeder? Would you hunt rabbits over a head of lettuce while hiding out nearby? Why doesn't anyone do that? This thing called lease hunting has evolved over time into a commericalized industry of huge proportions and it is so successful for two reasons, lack of large areas of public hunting land and natural laziness.

Sport hunting is a set of skills that requires expert woodcraft and a great deal of knowledge of the habits and traits of the game animal, along with patience and a willingness to go for several seasons without taking an animal. Sport hunting is not about the results, it is about the process. In sport hunting when you harvest an animal it is a bonus event, not an expectation every trip to the woods.

A trophy deer taken off of a deer proof fenced in ranch that specializes in breeding and raising trophy deer that are trained to come to bait, and shot over that baited spot from a cushy blind at a pre-set time ain't a trophy gentlemen, it is a consumer paying the market fee for a set of antlers to put on his wall, and that consumer is being taken and skinned as badly as the deer was. Bait shooting appeals to the lazy. How much work is involved in driving within a half mile of a stand, walking the half mile, sitting down and waiting an hour, shooting a deer, going back to get the truck, load the deer in the truck and drive back to the camp? Laziness pure and simple.

I occasionaly hunt on public land, and the way I do it is to find the largest piece of land un-bisected by roads with the roughest terrain. I walk in to the middle as far away from the roads as possible and I rarely see anyone else back in there although I invariably pass a bunch of so called hunters who have stopped near the road to hunt. The rougher the terrain the fewer the hunters in there, especially if there are creeks to wade cross and brush to bust through. Most "hunters" are lazy and won't hunt more than 300 yards from a road. In fact in the years I have been hunting this way I have never seen anyone else more than 30 minutes walk from the nearest road.

Texans started down this bait shooting road because of the nature of Texas not having a lot of public land, and it has sadly evovled into a for profit industry fed by a lot of good people who think they are hunting, and don't have a clue as to the nature of what hunting truly is.

Let me ask one simple question - If the average Texan habituated to hunting over bait was to take his woodcraft and deer knowledge and go to say, Montana or Colorado, and go hunting on public land, do you think he would have a chance at getting a real trophy, or any deer at all?

Art Eatman
May 24, 2005, 08:31 PM
The reason there's little public land in Texas is simple: We retained ownership when we joined the Union. We then set up a homestead system for farmers and ranchers, and sold land (such as for the XIT Ranch) to raise money for public purposes.

Many parts of Texas, particularly in the forest areas of the east and the brush country of the south, pretty much require hunting from a stand or from a high-seat vehicle. You won't otherwise see deer.

Generally, "real" bucks don't go to a feeder. The does and little bucks will, but Ol' Biggie pretty much stays in the brush, just watching. Because of the does, Biggie will hang around and MAYBE offer an opportunity for a shot.

Part of this feeder/stand thing is from two factors: First, with so much of the society living in town, hunting skills (from the standpoint of stalking, etc.) are poor. Second, there is for many a time factor in that guys just can't spend more than a very few days in hunting.

As a generality, the Texas Hill Country is way over-populated with whitetails. Whatever can help reduce the numbers is by definition a Good Thing. Some areas, there oughta be a bounty on'em.

The high-dollar trophy-buck ranches, generally, have spent a ton of money on habitat improvement and herd management--which is why they're expensive and why they have big trophy bucks. By and large, a pasture is several thousand acres, which is fair chase no matter how high the fences. (The high fences are to keep other deer out, more than to keep "their" deer in.)

The State of Texas owns the deer, and sells you the license. What the landowner does is charge you for the right to trespass on his own private property.

Hey, there's no problem anywhere with hunting that cutting the US population by half wouldn't fix. :D

Art

LHB1
May 24, 2005, 08:37 PM
Butch,
If you don't like the way we hunt in Texas, you are free to hunt your way as long as it is safe and legal. If you don't like living here, then be advised that the roads into Texas also lead out of Texas.

Good shooting and be safe.
LB

ahenry
May 24, 2005, 10:26 PM
Art pretty much covered the issue. I could probably toss in a penny or two more worth of info, but why bother? Butch you obviously don't like the way we do things in Texas, which leads me to quote LBH1, If you don't like the way we hunt in Texas, you are free to hunt your way as long as it is safe and legal. If you don't like living here, then be advised that the roads into Texas also lead out of Texas.. Like the old bumper sticker said, "Love New York? Take I35 North".

I personally love the fact that in Texas the overwhelming majority of the land is in private hands. Thats the friggin' way things are supposed to be! Where in the world does somebody get off thinking that they have some need to force the gov't to own land for their own use?

MeekAndMild
May 24, 2005, 10:53 PM
Bad part isn't shooting deer in baited fields. Bad part is that feeding increases population, deer fencing increases population, importing herds increases population and sooner or later you'll get a CWD outbreak.

They just had an outbreak of CWD in New York, outside the core 12 state area of initial infection, spread by similar game management methods? Come to think of it, isn't this the way the north centraql area became the core area in the first place, all because of the same methods, especially fencing and importing exotic herds?

Best way to stop CWD is to stop these practices. They may be legal, but since when was legal necessarily not stupid?

http://www.organicconsumers.org/madcow/texas3902.cfm

tyme
May 24, 2005, 11:57 PM
So Tyme, if you cant draw a clear bright line then don't draw any line at all? Is that what you are saying? That logic falls down pretty quickly.
How exactly does it fall down? Any possible line is just an opinion, and someone cannot claim that their choice places them on the moral high ground unless they provide a good argument -- better than anything anyone's presented yet -- for categorizing all those shades of gray as either "moral" or "immoral."

Just because I don't like the idea of stand hunting doesn't mean I can argue that stand hunting represents moral decay among hunters.

As for whether it's hunting or not, that's semantics disguised beneath an unsupported line you've drawn between the ethical and unethical.

LAK
May 25, 2005, 01:37 AM
Actually, there are some huge patches of public land in Texas that just are not open to hunting; State and National Parks.

ArtAs a generality, the Texas Hill Country is way over-populated with whitetails. Whatever can help reduce the numbers is by definition a Good Thing. Some areas, there oughta be a bounty on'em.
Perhaps a better idea would be to just extend the season in certain areas.

And speaking of seasons, any idea why the pronghorn season is so short in Texas? I think it's a little window of about a week and a half if that. Even several years ago I was talking to a truck driver that said he had driven across west Texas and seen hordes of them - so many in fact that they were all over the roads in places.

Fat White Boy
May 25, 2005, 01:47 AM
I don't mind seeing people hunt from tree stands. We have arms and legs and can climb so, that seems pretty natural. Baiting fields isn't. But, that is the legal system in place in Texas, and it seems to work. I don't like it but, it's their business.

I, do however, disagree strongly that all land should be in private hands. That's the way it is in Europe. Only the rich hunt. I love our BLM land, our National forest land out here in the West. Hunting in most of the states West and North of Texas can be done by anyone, with a hunting license and no fees. I hunt pigs in California on private land, because it is reasonable. I hunt quail, chukar, ducks and deer on Public land and I can hunt Elk, Bear and Antelope, if I am lucky in the draws. All I have to do is buy a license and tags. That's the way it's supposed to be.

Trxxx
May 25, 2005, 06:11 AM
Taking an outside look at this... (and this is not intended to deliberately offend any Texans)

You could argue that it is more humane for the deer. Shots are taken at short range, at standing deer, from a steady rest. So I'd guess that clean, one-shot kills are the norm. And it's probably an efficient way of managing a deer herd - easy to pick out the ones to cull - and of harvesting venison.

But it's not hunting, as I understand it. Where's the skill? Hitting a deer-size target at 50yds? Paying someone a lot of money, climbing a tree stand and pulling the trigger when he says "Shoot that one" does not involve much in the way of talent. And if you happen to shoot a monster buck, so what? Is that trophy going to prove anything other than the ability to write a large cheque?

I can't begin to comprehend the mentality of someone who would consider a trophy taken like that something to be proud of, and not a permanent reminder of their inadequacies.

For me, the hunt is the thing. I truly don't care whether I shoot a buck, doe, stag, hind, or calf. The pleasure and satisfaction comes from having done things myself, finding deer, making a suitable approach to a wild animal so it remains unaware of your presence, then taking it with one clean, well-placed shot. That, for me, is hunting. Harvesting a virtually domesticated animal is shooting. There's a big difference.

Trxxx
May 25, 2005, 07:13 AM
I do however, disagree strongly that all land should be in private hands. That's the way it is in Europe. Only the rich hunt

That seems to be a common misconception in the USA so let's clear it up.

It's certainly true that the vast majority of the land is privately owned, and there is no public hunting as you understand it in the USA.

However, it is not true that only the rich hunt. In the UK, many private landowners have neither the time nor inclination to hunt themselves and will give permission for others to hunt on their land. There is also a lot of shooting available at surprisingly modest cost, particulary for female deer in the winter. (Although you will, of course, pay top dollar for trophy stags.) And if you are good enough, there are some situations where you can actually be paid to shoot deer.

On mainland Europe, there are a lot of local shooting associations and syndicates which allow working people to enjoy hunting. It's just organised on different lines from those you are familiar with in the USA.

butch50
May 25, 2005, 07:15 AM
Butch,
If you don't like the way we hunt in Texas, you are free to hunt your way as long as it is safe and legal. If you don't like living here, then be advised that the roads into Texas also lead out of Texas.

I don't like the way we hunt in Texas, I think that has been fairly obvious from my opening statement on down. And the fact is that it isn't going to change because of my opinion. It is a loss to those who think they are hunting, but do not know the real pleasures of real hunting because they grew up within this deer shooting for profit system, and have no other experiences to compare to. That is the shame of it. What we do in Texas isn't Deer Hunting, it is quite simply "Deer Shooting" which only requires the expenditure of money, not skill or talent or even much luck. By the way, I will continue to hunt my way thank you very much, and any animals that I take will be well and truly taken in a sporting manner. I can tell you for a fact that I will expend 10 times more energy just dragging my deer back to my truck than the combined energy expended by any 100 typical Deer Shooters.

As for those roads leading out of Texas - both sides of my family have been here for 6 generations or longer (from way before Deer Shooting for Profit got started), how about yours? If you don't like Texans with outspoken opinions then maybe you should take that trip up north?

I also do not suggest that we liberate private lands for the public. I am saying that because we have so little public land that this Deer Shooting system has evolved. It didn't start out to be this way, but the landowners quickly figured out there is a big profit to be made off of city dudes without access to hunting land, and the more guns they could squeeze onto their land the more money they could make. Then they realized that if they fenced the deer in (deer that used to belong to the public but have been pirated by the lease owners, and there must have been some bribery in Austin to make that one legal) that they could harvest even more profit from the city dude herds.

And no one has yet to challenge my assertions of laziness, nor has anyone answered my question about the success rate of a Texan Deer Shooter going to a wild place and actually hunting.

kingudaroad
May 25, 2005, 10:42 AM
Just read a story about a northern California deer hunter who has found a way to see a lot more deer. He uses a fawn in distress call and they all come runnin to save the little baby. Now theres a sporting effort. But I guess thats alright because hes not in Texas.

LHB1
May 25, 2005, 10:51 AM
Butch,
You are the one doing all the griping and complaining.

Good shooting and be safe. Try to be happy too.
LB

taralon
May 25, 2005, 11:08 AM
Butch,

I'll start by saying that I've never lived in Texas. I grew up in Colorado, still live in Colorado and truly can't believe I'll live anywhere else. Still I agree with you about Texas hunting, the 'average' Texas hunter, and the poor experience that anyone hunting over bait has, and in many cases don't realize how poor it is.

Colorado to the west and east of the front range is still only marginally populated. The land is wild and rough, and opening day many areas in Colorado see only 1 hunter for every 2 or 3 square miles, though the deer population is many times that. Especially in the north east sandhills one might spend days hunting on private land (which is basically open to the public as long as you ask the landowner) and not see a single other hunter. Or a deer for that matter.

My former boss owned a several thousand acres of irrigated farmland and much, much more in grassland. He had one year while I was in college an associate up from Texas, one that wished to hunt in Colorado for a 'big mulie' but who had no experience hunting outside of a stand and over bait. I was given the opportunity to guide the associate around for a little bit of money, something that I enjoyed immensely and wish I could do for a full time job. To say that it was an experience for him to truly get out and truly 'hunt' deer for the first time would be an understatement. He couldn't believe the number of deer, and the size we seen even though we weren't glassing as he had seen in a couple hunting programs, it was late in the season, and we were moving more or less at random as far as he could tell. Still there was a method behind our movements. I'm not a 'big' deer hunter myself, but I've seen enough big mulies while out stomping around for pheasant that I know what they like, ie water close to a cornfield and most typically an alfalfa field nearby.

After three days of traipsing around he was beginning to get a little annoyed that I wouldn't let him take a shot at the 'big' deer we were seeing. Little did he know that the six and eights pointers we were seeing were a little on the small side. Day four I was scouting around a water tank for tracks and came across some really massive prints heading up into a really rough set of hills. We decided to follow them and after an hour of scouting, tracking, and humping over some impassible to vehicle sand hills we were looking on a mulie from 75 yards that had an impressive 9 point rack. After what the hunter said was the most adrenaline pumped shot he had ever made, and a beautiful hit, we had the 'pleasure' of carrying the carcass back out, all 375lbs of it. Which was more work than the entire hunt, luckily plastic tarps drag well over stand and grass.

I'm told that that hunter has refused to hunt anything over bait, including during one Canadian black bear hunt, because he had decided after that one experience that he trully wanted to experience 'fair chase' on each and every hunt.

Now determining what 'fair chase' truly is, is another question. There needs to be a line, but like most ethical lines it is not a clear cut one.

Is setting decoys and using calls to draw in game birds like doves, turkey, ducks and geese included in 'fair chase' in my mind? Yes. Conversely is groundshooting birds 'fair chase'? In the case of running pheasant (because in a given year I may never actually see a flying bird in my area) and turkey, I'd say yes.

Using scent and calls for deer and elk? Sure, since you aren't 'training' the game to come to the same place every day, at the same time, I'd say that this is in the spirit of 'fair chase'. Now hunting over bait that is spread every day at precisely 9AM or over a block of salt that you placed and you know the deer use? Gray area here. Hunting a watering hole or a bedding area? Once again gray, depending on the conditions in the area I may or may not do this.

If the only big game 'hunting' you have ever done is over bait, then you've never really hunted. A person IMHO doesn't really know what hunting is until you've tracked the animal down, slowly stalked within firing range, and taken the game. There is a sense of satisfaction that comes from knowning that 'I did this' that one doesn't get from sitting in a stand, waiting for something to walk up so you can shoot it.

YMMV

KKirk
May 25, 2005, 11:12 AM
My opinion on it is that a trained chimp could do the hunting over bait in a stand. I prefer the traditional way of hunting from the ground, with no baiting. But if people want to hunt over bait, so be it. It's their right as long as its allow.

UT_Air_Assault
May 25, 2005, 11:25 AM
My family owns two 500 acre cattle ranches in Live Oak County in South Texas so I have hunted extensively in the above described manner. I must say that it is rather unsporting. I get in my truck, wearing jeans & a T-shirt, with my coffee, drive to about 1/4 miles away, get into one of my blinds about 75 yards away, pull out a book or my lap-top and start doing my homework as I wait for Bambi to come strolling out. When he comes out, I have an easy shot on a stationary target and they never usually make it more than a few yards after being shot. While this may not be overly sporting, it is still hunting and I see no ethical problems with it.
I believe most people's problems are with the "mall-ninjas" or "chairbrone rangers" who roll up all decked out head to toe with camo, the latest wiz bang gadets & optics and all this other unnesicary crap to sit in a blind and they think they are some hotsh*t hunters when they shoot Bambi at 50 yards with a scope rifle as he eats from a feeder. Than they usually want to boast about what a challange/accomplishment it was :rolleyes: It's not much of challenge or a much of skill required aside from being able to shoot and keep your mouth shut in the blind. As someone else said, if you dropped off a Texas hunter such as myself in Alaska, Colorado or somewhere else where real hunting skill is required we'd have little idea on how to hunt, except strolling around with a rifle hopping to see something.

kingudaroad
May 25, 2005, 12:22 PM
i have not had the chance to still hunt in colorado or montana or alaska but I would love to someday and some day I certainly will. But to even consider still hunting the Texas hill country would be impossible unless you were absolutley certain there were no other hunters around. I have the opportunity to drve 1 1/2 hours to my deer camp to be with friends and hunt in blinds over feeders.Spend one day and back to work. I guess until that lotto ticket hits I'll continue to hunt Texas style. Or better yet let's all move to Colorado!

butch50
May 25, 2005, 01:17 PM
You are the one doing all the griping and complaining.

I am well aware that I am making statements that are unpopular with the people who shoot deer over bait, but I don't believe I am griping or complaining. Maybe I am though, and if I am, then so what? That doesn't change the contents of my statements one iota.

Facts are stubborn things and will remain facts regardless of who delivers them or how. I would be unahppy if someone pointed out to me that what I thought was a sporting hunt was in fact about as sporting as shooting fish in a barrel. I would resent it a whole lot more if my Father had taught me to hunt over bait and that I was following family tradition.

It would be great if we had the open country that some other states have, and it would be great if everyone could experience hunting at some point in their lives, but it won't happen here. The deer lease ninjas will continue to pour out of the cities every fall and set up feeders and shoot deer and go home feeling all pumped up that they have really had an outdoor experience. The lease owners will continue to run to the banks with wads of cash that is derived from the lease ninjas hunting captive deer trained to come to feeders.

Too bad because there are fair chase opportunities here in Texas, and all it takes to enjoy it is to understand what it is and to expend the energy to do it. Doubly too bad because fair chase hunting is a heck of a lot less expensive than leasing. Too bad because when you take a deer in fair chase, you have truly done something unique and difficult, and there is a real sense of accomplishment.

I suspect that almost everyone who has ever taken a deer over an automated feeder from a cushy stand 1/2 mile from his truck hears a deep down little voice telling them that they really didn't do much after all......

MeekAndMild
May 25, 2005, 06:27 PM
The lease owners will continue to run to the banks with wads of cash that is derived from the lease ninjas hunting captive deer trained to come to feeders. Until CWD wipes them all out and ruins the hunting for everyone.

butch50
May 25, 2005, 06:44 PM
I was at Half-Price books this afternoon and stopped by the hunting section. I scanned thru all of the books on Deer Hunting, and of all the varied hunting techniques explained in all of the books they had, not one explained how to hunt over a feeder. Isn't that curious.

locked'n'cocked
May 25, 2005, 07:22 PM
yea that doesnt really sound like hunting. i hear its legal to shoot from a vehicle in TX too.

UT_Air_Assault
May 25, 2005, 08:46 PM
i hear its legal to shoot from a vehicle in TX too

IIRC you can as long as the engine isn't running for "game animals" (deer, dove etc). But for "non-game" animals (hogs, coyotes etc) you can hunt them from anything with anything (including Machine Guns :eek: ).

locked'n'cocked
May 25, 2005, 09:05 PM
thanks for the clarification. shootin a hog with a machine gun out of a truck at a hog sounds very sporting to me. :rolleyes:

CastleBravo
May 26, 2005, 10:01 AM
If you don't like the way we hunt in Texas, you are free to hunt your way as long as it is safe and legal. If you don't like living here, then be advised that the roads into Texas also lead out of Texas.

That's a pretty sad response. Can't present a cogent argument? No problem! Just tell the guy to leave the sate because of a disagreement over hunting techniques!

:rolleyes:

20cows
May 26, 2005, 12:23 PM
Not all of us hunt from a blind over a feeder. Though I have hunted from a blind, I've never hunted deer over bait. I found the skill most necessary other than being able to hit a target, was patience. Yep, I brought a book. No, some might not call this "hunting" (I would call it finding, though :D ). But was it unsporting to make a one-shot kill at 125 yds with an open sighted 94 in 38-55?

Is it more of a hunt to step out of the blind late in the day, scope the open field one more time and land one at 276 yds with a Japenese service rifle? (Surely that's hunting, I wasn't in the blind anymore).

These days, I just don't have time to arrange a "hunting trip" and dedicate several days for the purpose. My "hunting" now consists of checking out my pastures in the evening on my way out to check the livestock. On two separate occasions this past season, I hit pay dirt. On the first, I was able to stop, get out of the truck, step over my fence and take one that was curious and turned to look back (Lot's wife kinda' thing) at about 150 yds. The second, I spotted a herd at quite a distance, stalked 200 yds to make a heart shot at 175 yds (come on, surely that counts as "hunting").

My point is that we all have to make accommodations to fit our circumstances. I'm talking about both physical realities and local customs of acceptability. I'll be the first to admit that I'm way more a shooter than a hunter, but hunting does provide interesting opportunities to shoot.

Can't we all just get along? :rolleyes:

Long Path
May 26, 2005, 05:10 PM
There aren't any bright lines to this.

In the desert, a water hole is as good or better than a feeder.

Scents and calls bring in animals without "skill," too.

How many waterfowlers use decoys? How many use their own skills to make their OWN decoys? Most just buy plastic ones.

Art, as usual, covered it pretty well.

BTW, there ARE public lands in Texas-- about 1 million acres of Type I and Type II public lands.

MassHunter2190
May 26, 2005, 08:48 PM
On the first, I was able to stop, get out of the truck, step over my fence and take one that was curious and turned to look back (Lot's wife kinda' thing) at about 150 yds. The second, I spotted a herd at quite a distance, stalked 200 yds to make a heart shot at 175 yds (come on, surely that counts as "hunting").

Well, maybe in Texas it is, but around here we call that "road hunting/shooting/spotting/cheating"

If anyone wants to actually hunt, come up here and we'll organize a couple pushes. I'd reccomend you bring a couple pairs of good boots, lots of layers, and your 12 gauge.

locked'n'cocked
May 26, 2005, 09:06 PM
thank you masshunter2190. i agree 100 percent.

butch50
May 26, 2005, 09:15 PM
My point is that we all have to make accommodations to fit our circumstances.

I agree with that. We all have to work with what we have. As pointed out though, there are public lands in Texas and if you are willing to walk/climb/wade/etc you can get away from the crowd and find good hunting of the fair chase style. I know seveal people who have shot a deer over a feeder once and will never do it again. They have found other ways to hunt.

Maybe part of the "problem" is video games. Kids grow up playing video games and it is an easy transition to sit in a blind and wait for a deer to present itself. Maybe. Maybe it is just plain laziness. People want to kill a deer and they want antlers to hang on the wall and they don't mind paying for it, they just don't want to work at it. Maybe.

I am really disgusted by the tall fencing thing on top of the feeders. With fencing the deer are turned into domestic livestock that pretty much take care of themselves. Plus it is theft of public property, in my opinion, to pen deer up and not let the public have access to them if they don't pay. I have seen where some states allowed the fencing, but the land owner had to pay the state $250 for each deer inside. That is not much money for a deer, but at least they paid for it.

artsmom
May 27, 2005, 11:11 AM
Some people who hunt only consider those animals that can easily injure or kill the hunter to be "sporting".

Some only hunt with the most primitive weapons, such as a handcrafted long bow and wooden arrows, or even a boar spear and knife.

Some only enjoy a hunt if they can use a pointer or pack of hounds that they train and feed and exercise. (I always thought that those who state that hounds made bear hunting "too easy" should have to care for and train a pack, and see how much hard work is really avoided by using them!)

Some won't kill a turkey unless it came expressly to there call. I heard tell that they will break up a flock in easy shotgun range, eschewing to kill one then, to give them an opportunity to call one in and kill it.

I know one guy who normally won't shoot at geese until they land and he can check them over for tags or bands, since he collects them. Is this more or less sporting?

Hunting will always have those who look to make it easier and more effective, and those who make it harder and more challenging. Neither way inhernetly kills off the fun and enjoyment.

The hard feelings come only when people start to grade results and/or efforts put forth to get those results. Then the guy who shot a big 4x4 over a feeder on private land feels superior to the guy with a forkhorn shot while still hunting on private land, and this guy holds the feeder hunter as a butcher in blaze orange because he didn't "earn" his deer, he bought it.

In each case, they are hunting for an imaginary audience, instead of themselves. Someone will always get a bigger deer or have a harder hunt, (or in the case of legendary bowhunter Chuck Adams, both), so by voluntarily ranking yourself above others, you also put yourself below others, instead of treating each hunt as a never to be duplicated challenge that you took.

butch50
May 27, 2005, 12:56 PM
Artsmom: Intelligent and well reasoned response. I differ with you though where you take the reasoning fork in the road that the differences come when comparing results between a large buck taken over bait vs a small buck taken by fair chase.

I don't believe it is about comparisons. I think the difference comes from people who do understand sportsmanship observing the acts of people who do not understand sportsmanship.

I agree that there are all kinds of lines that can be drawn as to what is and what isn't sporting, for each and every game animal, in each and every environment. Tree stands are anathema to some while necessary to others, depending on terrain, for instance. The reason that I don't believe that hunting over a mechanical feeder is sporting inside land that is deer fenced is because the hunter has changed the deers habitat and habits to improve his success ratio, and to suit his inherent laziness.

Deer should not be "trained" to come to a specific spot at a specific time so that they can be "conveniently" shot. That is not hunting by any definition that I can think of. That is behavior modification of the deer. That is training an animal to do what you want, where you want it and when you want it.

I have to believe that reasonable people can see that it is unsporting and unethical to train wild deer to be easily shot, and then to shoot them. I have to believe that the people who do so, don't do it out of some kind of maliciousness, but more out of some sort of an unthinking mass herd instinct that everyone else does it so it must be ok for me to do it too, plus because it is real easy and most people are lazy by nature - so it all flows together. It is what they have always seen and done and it is easy and everyone else who does it approves of it and congratulates them for doing it when they do it too, so it must be "right."

I suspect that most Texans have absolutely no idea that the majority of America's hunters would be shocked to see how the deer are typically hunted down here in Texas. Or maybe they do realize it and it is a secret shame that they try to keep buried in their subconcious, after all I don't ever recall seeing a hunting show on TV where the hunters were hunting over a mechanical feeder. I can't recall ever seeing an article in Field and Stream or Outdoor Life on how to hunt over a mechanical feeder either; although they may have and I missed it.

I have to believe that reasonable people will not understand how it can be legal to fence in deer, that are public property, and then sell them to the highest bidder and keep the profits either.

20cows
May 28, 2005, 08:12 AM
As I read over these posts I get the disinct impression that some people like games with standardized "rules." They want us to use the same play book they use and all follow the rules as they know them. (Can you imagine a national game warden as the play official, blowing a whistle and assessing a 100 yard penalty for setting up too close to the water hole?)

Hunting is more like poker. House rules and many ways to play the game, but all with the same ultimate goal. If you're more comfortable with your rules, fine, play your game. Just don't belittle someone else that had a different daddy, grew up in a different part of the country, has a completely different set of field conditions and a different set of game laws.

(I still think having to stalk a deer through 200 yards of broken cover is hunting and not CHEATING. Are you saying it doesn't count because I wasn't in the field for two hours and freezing my tail off prior to making the shoot?)

butch50
May 28, 2005, 08:25 AM
20cows, no I am saying it definitely "doesn't count" if you train the deer to arrive at specific spot at a specific time and you are there in a blind to shoot them when they show up as trained. Deer can resist corn about the way a junkie can resist his next fix. It especially "doesn't count" if the deer are captive inside a pen, regardless of how many acres in size the pen is, they are no longer free to leave the entire area if and when the hunting pressure becomes intense. One of the deers most effective and natural defenses is to move away from hunting pressure to areas with less pressure. That makes it more of a fair chase because the hunter knows that and does everything he can to minimize his "presence" in the area. When the deer can't leave then you have a herd of livestock.

The tall fence leases generally try to place as many hunters on stands as possible, it is about money after all. That means that the deer can not find a place of lower pressure to move to, not the way they could before the tall fencers "legally" stole public property.

Stalking a deer through 200 yards of broken cover is fair chase, if you found the deer by scouting and understanding his habitat and habits. Anyone who has tried it knows that stalking a deer on his turf is a very difficult thing that takes a lot of skill and a good measure of luck. If you stalk a deer through 200 yards of broken cover because it was eating corn at a mechanical feeder though, that isn't fair chase.

It isn't about rules and umpires, it is about using your brain and skill against the deers senses and awareness; to get close enough to the deer, on its own ground, to make a clean one shot kill. But it is not about turning wild deer into junkies so that they can be trained to conveniently appear for you at a specific time and place. It isn't about rules so much as it is about ethics and respect.

20cows
May 28, 2005, 12:38 PM
As per my original post, there was no feeder. I spotted the herd about 400 yds from the road in a wheat field, where I had seen them on previous occasions (Oh, no! Scouting from a VEHICLE!). They were between 25 and 100 yards from the brush line and escape. There are no game fences, just grass, mesquite, cattle and regular stock fences.

I'm sorry this does not come up to some folk's standards of "fair chase," but for me, it's the only game in town.

It isn't about rules and umpires, it is about using your brain and skill against the deers senses and awareness; to get close enough to the deer, on its own ground, to make a clean one shot kill.

Yeah, I did that too.

Jseime
May 28, 2005, 02:15 PM
we may consider hunting feeders unethical or not sporting but at the same time its how its done. With little public land you have to adapt to whats available to you.

We can bash these hunters for the way they hunt or we can be happy that theyre not out there with the brady bunch trying to ban guns. It seems to me that Texas isnt about to run out of white tails either.

kingudaroad
May 28, 2005, 05:28 PM
We can bash these hunters for the way they hunt or we can be happy that theyre not out there with the brady bunch trying to ban guns.......My next door neighbors your talking about. An open minded post from a true still hunting region..Refreshing!

butch50
May 28, 2005, 05:33 PM
We can bash these hunters for the way they hunt or we can be happy that theyre not out there with the brady bunch trying to ban guns. It seems to me that Texas isnt about to run out of white tails either.

I guess that I am bashing at them. They are doing what they were taught and what they think is normal, and what danger is there in that?

How about the danger of not thinking for yourself and acting in an unethical manner because it is the norm? There is public land in Texas, lots of it. If people realized that training deer to come to the gun isn't right, then maybe they would quit doing it and find a better way.

Texas is in absolutely no danger of running out of deer, but this isn't about deer population, it is about men and ethics.

impact
May 28, 2005, 07:29 PM
Butch from your post I get the idea that you have not hunted texas very long?

The people I know that hunt the national forest get around on mountain bikes. hard for me to belive you can outwalk a mountain bike!

Feeders work well out in west Texas. In east Texas they may not work at all and most of the time they don't. If there was a good acorn crop you can forget about a feeder. Seems like there is a good acorn crop every year. Feeders will work in east Texas when the acorns are gone at the end of the year. I have found in east texas that deer don't run to corn like candy. They will only eat corn when there is nothing else to eat and don't come running when they hear the sound of the feeder. I have found that most deer that feed at a feeder feed at night.

All that being said I don't rely on a feeder to get a deer. And all the people that ground hunt north of Texas must not know what fireants are :D

Butch you being from DFW I would think you know this if you hunt much at all. I just hope you are not a troll with some kind of political liberal ajenda

20cows
May 28, 2005, 08:02 PM
So to be an ethical hunter, I need to drive to the nearest public land to hunt. The nearest I know about that allows deer hunting is the Black Gap Wildlife Management Area in the Big Bend, 300 miles away where the deer are mule deer and the season is ~2 weeks long and in the middle of the school year - no white tail to speak of, I believe. This is a VERY large area with VERY limited road access and the only supplies available within 100 miles are those you brought. I would probably need 3 or 4 days of scouting to figure out where the deer are moving and all that, then maybe have a chance to take one.

Or I can be unethical and notice the behavior of the white tail deer I see regularly when taking care of my livestock on MY place. Yeah, I live in town and often see them off the county road as I get to MY place. I usually do this after school, you know in the early evening, when the deer are actively moving around. Before the season starts, I kinda' notice a pattern of movement and make sure I've got my rifle with me as soon as the TWO MONTH long white tail season starts in a county in which I can legally take two bucks and four antlerless. Sure enough, some days I see the deer doing what I'm expecting them to do. Sometimes they are out in the field and I have an opportunity to make a stalk. Sometimes they are crossing the road in front of my truck into MY open pasture and give me the chance to get out of the truck, cross the fence (no, I dont shoot from the public road, that's illegal) and take a shot.

Now, am I "road hunting/shooting/spotting/cheating", or have I been hunting by studying the habits of my quarry all season long and put myself in a position to exploit what I have learned (Is this not what ALL hunters do other than just trusting in blind luck)?

butch50
May 28, 2005, 08:12 PM
Hi Impact! I have been hunting in Texas for going on 45 years now. I did quit hunting in the National Forests a long time ago because A: they are bisected at fairly regular intervals by roads and it is hard to get away from the crowd, and B: There are some real nut jobs that hunt in there.

Texas has a program that costs about $40 per year to buy an annual hunting permit that allows you to hunt on a wide variety of lands that the state leases from private land owners. These lands tend to be far less crowded and not bisected by roads the way National Forests or Timber lands are. The places that I have been hunting can not be reached with a dirt bike, you gotta walk/wade/climb/bustbrush to get in there.

You know, if everyone who hunted on leases with feeders listened to me then they would ruin my hunting, but I know they won't listen so I can keep on with my opinions. I have personally seen feeders on four or five occasions and watched how the deer show up, and brother they showed up. As far as feeders go my experience is somewhat limited in scope, but there is no doubt in my mind that training deer to come to your gun is wrong, unsporting and unethical. Fencing in deer that are public property should be criminal, and I do not understand why it is not.

Do I have a trolls political agenda? No, but I do have an opinion, and a very unpopular opinion here at home. So far no one has made a convincing argument (at least to me) why it is sporting and ethical to hunt over bait. I grew up out in the country and was taught to hunt in the old school manner. Taught to be a conservationist. I was a grown man the first time that I saw a game warden in the field, but we obeyed all the laws without being monitored anyway. In fact we didn't hunt at certain times of the year even though it was legal, because it was poor conservation to hunt then. Different world than it is now.

It's all about hunting in a sporting manner. We hunt for sport, we do not hunt for food. We should not hunt just for the killing alone. If all I wanted to accomplish was to kill deer, then I too would hunt over bait. Think about it.

20cows - what you describe is far better than hunting over bait given that you don't have the tall fences to keep the deer in. The land you describe in the Big Bend area really sounds interesting though and I would like to hear more about it.

impact
May 28, 2005, 08:12 PM
20cows don't you need to put in for a permit and hope to get a permit to hunt mule deer at Black Gap

impact
May 28, 2005, 08:29 PM
Butch I'm fixen to tell you one of my hunting secrets :D I like to get in a tree with my tree lounge not to far from a oak tree dropping acorns. A oak tree with lots of cover. The deer feel safe with the cover. I think the sound of the falling acorns brings in the deer. Works better than a feeder I think! But in some crazy way is a oak tree that drops it 's acorns is the same thing as a feeder?

butch50
May 28, 2005, 08:35 PM
Impact: Sport hunting is about knowing and understanding the deer so well that you can find them. What you describe is knowing the deer so well that you found them. In some crazy way is the oak tree like a feeder? Only if you planted it and waited 100 years for it to mautre :D

In any sport hunting scenario, other than just luck, you are taking advantage of what nature has to offer, whether it is acorn mast or a downed tree to take cover behind.

I am against two things primarily. Training deer, and fencing them in. Am I that far off base in thinking those two things are wrong? OK three things, I am against laziness too, but then I make my living in the construction world and laziness is just plain not tolerated.

20cows
May 28, 2005, 10:25 PM
20cows don't you need to put in for a permit and hope to get a permit to hunt mule deer at Black Gap

To be honest, I don't know. It is not even close to being practical enough to look into it in that much detail. It' just too far and at the wrong time for me as a teacher to consider seriously. With what litle I did find out, that if you pay the $40 permit fee you can hunt most any game animal in season or varments year round. There may be a special permit for mule deer there, but if there is I am unaware of it. A special permit is not required for mule deer on the private land in the area.

I know there is other public land in Texas, but not West Texas. Guess where I am. BTW, most of the places that sell hunting liscenses have the brochure with the details on public land available for hunting across the state.

Remember, I HAVE a place of my own to hunt, and until my character has been impugned here, I never realized I had an urgent need. I realize that I am not the subject of the strongest criticism being offered here (I'm not hunting over bait nor from a blind), but, "Well, maybe in Texas it is, but around here we call that "road hunting/shooting/spotting/cheating" is not quite the way I see it.

siotwo
May 28, 2005, 10:31 PM
OK, I'll chime in.....

Hunting over feeders......ever have NO DEER show up at sunrise when the feeder goes off? I have more times than not. It is not a sure thing. Wind blows, spreads your sent, spooks the deer. Sounds like hunting to me.

Ever sit at the corner of a pasture and not see deer? I have. The "other" pasture always has the deer.

Ever hunt antelope in Wyoming....most I've seen drive around..jump out and shoot. If you want a bow shot, you sit at a water hole, in a box.

Do you use a depth finder when fishing? I do. Ever bait a catfish hole? Is this different than baiting deer? The fish fillets taste just as sweet don't they :rolleyes:

I'm at the top of the food chain, so I will use any legal means. I enjoy the hunt, whether stalking, sitting in a blind near a feeder, or 20ft up a tree over some acorns and deer sign. Either way, I want to KILL the animal and eat it. Thats the point.

High fence is a money maker, I agree. But if I had a 3-500+ acres and the neighbors shoot anything with 4 legs, I'd put up a fence (after bringing all the deer I could onto the property using feeders, food plots and waterholes) :eek: Of course, after all that work, the deer would probably stay without the fence, but why do the work for the neighbors.

(hiya impact, how've you been)

Ron

DAVID NANCARROW
May 28, 2005, 10:42 PM
"We hunt for sport, we do not hunt for food."

Who put you in charge of how people are "supposed" to hunt and where they should hunt, anyway?

I hunt for food. I don't care how big of a rack they sport. In fact, I like shooting does better than bucks. Easier to clean, and because the other folks I hunt with won't take does, I do to help keep some kind of balance.

My lease does not have high fences, nor do any of the properties around it that I have seen. The place is known locally as rattlesnake hill, and you better believe it!

I don't pay high fees-I'll pay more in gasoline and wear/tear on my truck for the round trip this year.

Feeders are generally misunderstood. As some have mentioned, deer are most certainly not "addicted" to corn as you have frequently stated. They will eat it sure enough, but it is not a food source for them. They seem to like grasses/alfalfa and clover much better.

I lease hunt primarily because it is safer-been to the public hunting grounds and there have been too many instances of people taking "sound" shots rather than checking the target.

As for hunting styles, I have still hunted in 20 degree weather in snow, have driven, have stand hunted, and stalked. All of them have their advantages and disadvantages, but to pound on your chest and talk down to people seems rather silly.

butch50
May 29, 2005, 10:36 AM
Who put you in charge of how people are "supposed" to hunt and where they should hunt, anyway?

Hello David, apparently my opnions have caused you offense. The hunters that I have seen hunt over feeders are not sportsmen, they are shooters - not the same thing at all. Fencing in deer on your land, in my humble opinion, is theft of public property regardless of how your neighbors may act. They neither belong to you or your neighbors.



To say that we do hunt for food is an over-generalization. Deer meat is very tasty, and anyone who shoots a deer but doesn't eat it has a lot more problems than we are discussing here.

Deer meat is very good, but that is not to say that we depend on deer meat for our survival is it? Hence we don't hunt for food, we hunt for sport and eat what we kill.

but to pound on your chest and talk down to people seems rather silly.

Again you are singularly offended to have used these terms; Expressing my opinion on an open forum isn't chest pounding - it is using the forum as it was intended to be used. There is no doubt that my opinion on this subject is unpopular, but so what? It is an opinion and it carries no authority to change your behavior, so why are you upset?

Ever bait a catfish hole? Is this different than baiting deer? The fish fillets taste just as sweet don't they

Baiting out a catfish hole and setting a timed deer feeder do not strike me as a resonable comparison.

Hunting over feeders......ever have NO DEER show up at sunrise when the feeder goes off? I have more times than not.

The feeders that I had some limited experience with drew lots of deer and drew them every time. As stated before though I do not have a whole lot of experience with them, but what I did see leads me to believe that the deer consider corn to be a very tasty treat, like candy. My experience with ranch stock also reinforces that, all domestic grazing animals that I have seen absolutely love corn.

MassHunter2190
May 29, 2005, 01:20 PM
20cows, just telling ya what we call it up here.

20cows
May 29, 2005, 02:13 PM
The hunters that I have seen hunt over feeders are not sportsmen, they are shooters - not the same thing at all.

...so people that shoot targets are just shooters , not sportsmen?

Deer meat is very good, but that is not to say that we depend on deer meat for our survival is it?

I have relatives that the only meat they ever have at home is meat from their own kills. (That can be quite alot of meat between 6 deer a year and feral hogs).


Baiting out a catfish hole and setting a timed deer feeder do not strike me as a resonable comparison.

His analogy is actually quite comparable, virtually the same.

Expressing my opinion on an open forum isn't chest pounding - it is using the forum as it was intended to be used. There is no doubt that my opinion on this subject is unpopular, but so what? It is an opinion and it carries no authority to change your behavior, so why are you upset?

When stating your opinion in an open forum, you have basically stated the legal means of hunting that others use is morally inferior to what you do. You have place yourself on a high horse, looking down on others. Yeah, the insult is there.

MassHunter2190, so if your driving on your own land and happen upon a deer, you would not get out of your vehicle and take the shot, because that's cheating?

butch50
May 29, 2005, 02:49 PM
20 Cows:

If you have relatives that truly depend upon deer meat for survival, then they should do whatever it takes to survive. But if they can afford a mechanical deer feeder and corn and a lease and a vehicle and gasoline to get there, then maybe it isn't really survival huntig? If it is truly survival hunting then the only rules are, kill to eat any way that you can. No quandries there at all.

Baiting out a catfish hole and mechanically feeding deer are not comparable in my mind. The deer are a vastly higher order of species, and deserve far more respect than the catfish. I just do not see the two as within the same realm of ethics. Are we starting to split some fine hairs here? I hope so, as I am more than willing to talk this idea through... why exactly do you see them as comparable?

Come on 20Cows, People who shoot targets are sportsmen in a different sport - no comparison. You can come up with better ones than that. :) Also when it comes to being insulted, you can't insult someone without their permission, so if someone feels insulted by my opinion, it is because they have allowed themselves to be insulted, which tends to indicate that they are already feeling low about what they do.

20cows
May 29, 2005, 03:34 PM
Also when it comes to being insulted, you can't insult someone without their permission, so if someone feels insulted by my opinion, it is because they have allowed themselves to be insulted, which tends to indicate that they are already feeling low about what they do.

Nope, sorry, gotta call BS on that one. As a school teacher, I don't recall ever giving a student "permission" to insult me, but as a person in charge of a small portion of their lives pushing them to go in a direction they'd like to avoid (ignorance is bliss, you know), it happens.

Insult ocurrs when someone you respect, or would like to, calls your honor into question. If this goes unchallenged, then one appears to admit truth to the dishonor.

butch50
May 29, 2005, 03:49 PM
Nope, sorry, gotta call BS on that one. As a school teacher, I don't recall ever giving a student "permission" to insult me, but as a person in charge of a small portion of their lives pushing them to go in a direction they'd like to avoid (ignorance is bliss, you know), it happens.

Excellent! But I disagree: You can not insult me, unless I participate in the exercise or have a guilt that you have discovered.. An insult occurs when I feel that I have been damaged in some way. If what you say to me is either inconsequential, or untrue, then I have not been damaged, and thus not insulted.

Accuse me of something untrue and I do not feel any pain. Criticize me for a belief that I am firmly committed to and I feel no angst. You can not insult me unless I am guilty of what you accuse, or unless I give you permission to make me feel bad.

kingudaroad
May 29, 2005, 03:52 PM
What do you thinK TPWD is thinking allowing baited deer hunting.Do you think they have succumbed to all the lazy rednecks who are too lazy to stalk? Do you think they are not concerned with herd quality or population problems or hunter safety? Maybe the problem lies in Texas that the deer no longer have any natural predators because all the mtn lions, bears , coyotes etc...were killed off by cunning old stalk hunters, poachers, rednecks , farmers,ranchers or whomever wanted those predators dead. I am concerned about hunting in Texas. I'm concerned about antis, poachers, and those hunters around my lease who will shoot 2 1/2 year old deer. Although I respect your opinion and do not feel the least bit offended, IMHO you are not knowledgable enough about the entire situation to make a valid argument.

20cows
May 29, 2005, 04:13 PM
An insult occurs when I feel that I have been damaged in some way.

Maybe this is an old southern gentleman thing. (I'm not saying you are no gentleman, but we apparently don't see this the same way). When my reputation is sullied or my honor is called to question, I am damaged.

A teacher's effectiveness can be destroyed by a bad reputation.

butch50
May 29, 2005, 04:21 PM
What do you thinK TPWD is thinking allowing baited deer hunting.Do you think they have succumbed to all the lazy rednecks who are too lazy to stalk? .

Good questions, very good. What I think of TPWD is that they are a political arm of the government, and that some high political office holders above the TPWD hierarchy in the government of Texas were bought off by some land/lease owners in some manner - whether legal or not. It is the only way that I can understand why high fencing was allowed to become "legal" - containing public propertry for private profit - thus TPWD does not carry very much in the way of what I consider "moral authority". Frankly they allow things that should not be allowed.

I also think that the whole thing of allowing hunting over bait just crept up on them, and us. It's not like it was a sudden thing, it just slowly evolved from landowerns figuring out what the market would let them do to maximize profits off of their lands. Additionally I don't recall ever using the term "rednecks" :eek: , but hey you can call them as you see them!

I don't think that the deer in Texas ever had much pressure from natural predators and certainly don't these days. Automobiles probably kill more deer per annum than hunters, but I have no statistics on that to back me up. I don't think historically that there have been enough predators to ever keep up with Texas deer, or probably deer in any state - they are far more subject to environmental impacts, as in starving when there are too many.

Fire ants and Killer bees and even armadillos are all recent immigrants to Texas and have had some or no impact on deer. Fire ants have practically destroyed quail hunting in many areas though. I have no idea what to do about them.

I do think though that as reasoning and civlilized people that we can hunt deer in a sporting and ethical manner, and I believe that this does not include the use of mechanical feedes and deer fencing. Poachers are beneath contempt, unless they are struggling for survival, and I have no tolerance for them.

Am I knowledgeable enough about the entire situation? Doubtlessly not - but let me ask you to do some research - how many states make it expressly illegal to hunt deer over bait? In how many states is hunting deer over bait considered unethical by the general population of deer hunters? Is Texas fairly alone in this? And IF Texas is fairly alone in this, what does that mean?

impact
May 29, 2005, 04:42 PM
Butch are you from Texas? You almost sound like someone how hates the idea of having to get a lease. I personally love the idea of leases. and after reading some of your replys I get the idea you need to research more on your topic. I'm still thinking you are a troll :D

butch50
May 29, 2005, 05:02 PM
Impact: I am 6th generation Texan on both sides of my family. I have been hunting for going on 45 years now, primarily in Texas, but some elsehwere also. I have seen hunting when it was a non-profit activity, all the way to the abysmal unethical and unsporting mess it is now.

I am so politically conservative that you are probably a flaming liberal by comparison, which is what my "rantings" should probably have shown by now. How anyone could read what I have written on this thread so far, and think that I am some kind of liberal just floors me. I am so conservative that I think people should actually think and act for themselves and if they do think and act for themsleves, and think and act without morals or ethics, then they should be shunned if not outright punished. Shunned if what they do is technically legal but still immoral or unethical, such as hunting over bait - here at home in Texas it is legal, but it is (in my opinion) unethical and usporting.

JohnKSa
May 29, 2005, 05:48 PM
I used to know a guy who had a sense of ethics that was so over-developed that he wouldn't allow his company to supply him with a computer. He bought his own and brought it to work to use. That's fine with me...

But then he accused me of stealing from the company because I would get on the internet at lunch and browse--even though that was allowed by company policy.

I can't look into his mind and know for certain what he was thinking, but I have to think it's something like what's going on in your mind.

I'm glad you have a personal moral code that transcends what the law holds you to. That's commendable. But imposing it on others or denigrating others for engaging in legal activities that don't fit within your own personal moral code is pure snobbery.

BTW, I don't hunt deer and never have, before anyone asks.

butch50
May 29, 2005, 05:55 PM
I'm glad you have a personal moral code that transcends what the law holds you to. That's commendable. But imposing it on others or denigrating others for engaging in legal activities that don't fit within your own personal moral code is pure snobbery, and the worst kind of elitism.

All you have explained so far is that you diagree with me, perhaps you could be more specific? I am not imposing anything on anyone, I do not have the power to do that, and I am sure everyone is quite happy that I do not :) . Do I denigrate people who shoot deer over mechanical feeders inside tall fences? Yes I do. Am I an elitist of the worst kind? Is it elitist to have ethics? I thought an elitist was someone who believes in rule by an elite group. Since I haven't visited my extremely individualistic poitical views on you, yet, I don't see how you can call me an elitist :) .

But I am willing to listen and learn....... :confused:

JohnKSa
May 29, 2005, 06:06 PM
I edited my post to remove the "elitism" comment less than a minute after I posted it, so I'm not going to debate that issue except to say that an elitist is someone who thinks they're better than other people are. There is, however, within the concept of elitism, the "flavor" that the state of being better is intrinsic--that doesn't apply strictly in this case which is why I deleted that particular comment.

The fact that you can not ENFORCE your moral code on others doesn't mean you're not IMPOSING it on others. By saying that people who don't abide by it are unethical, you're saying that your personal moral code applies to them--in effect, you're imposing your personal code on them. Your inability to enforce it is irrelevant.

Actually, if you read my post, you will see that I did NOT say I disagree with you. In fact, I didn't say anything at all about hunting or hunting methods except to say that I don't and haven't hunted deer. I only commented on the idea of an individual trying to apply his personal moral code to the behavior of others.

butch50
May 29, 2005, 06:20 PM
JohnKSa: My mistake. You did not say that you disagree with me. Let me ask you then, do you agree or not? This is certainly a topic you are allowed to have an opinon on whether you hunt or not. You are clearly well educated and intelligent, your opinion is worth hearing....

As far as imposing my personal ethics on others, I strongly disagree with you, I can not impose on others as imposing requires some authority to make people act in a way they do not want to act - and since hunting over a mechanical feeder inside a tall fence is legal then I can not possibly make them stop. I can only state what I think. By stating what I think, I do not change anything within the universe physically, therefore there is no imposition. Am I a snob? Maybe, I will have to mull that one over for awhile as I have never considered myself a snob, but that doesn't mean I am not does it? I suppose nearly all snobs never consider themselves to be one..... :eek:

However that still begs the question of "Am I wrong?' which you have not answered..... :)

Maybe this is an old southern gentleman thing. (I'm not saying you are no gentleman, but we apparently don't see this the same way). When my reputation is sullied or my honor is called to question, I am damaged.

20Cows: I certainly hope you are not about to challenge me to a duel? :) I think if you re-read my posts you will see that I have not challenged your ethics at all. As I recall you do not hunt on a tall fence lease with mechanized corn feeders. You do however hunt just inside the road after spotting deer from your truck, but on your own land. Your land may not be large enough to enjoy a full fair chase hunt. Have you ever considered it? It is the ultimate in deer hunting to take a deer on it's home grounds because you were careful enough and able enough to get close enough to make a one shot sure kill. If you are interested I will give you a very good idea of where you can do so, within 1.5 hours of Dallas and at a cost of about $40.00 .....

JohnKSa
May 29, 2005, 06:36 PM
The fact that you are saying they're doing wrong and using your personal moral code as the basis for that statement is, by definition, imposing your own moral code on their behavior.

The fact that you do not have the authority to ENFORCE your personal moral code has nothing to do with it.

Having and stating an opinion is one thing. There's nothing wrong with that. The snobbery begins when you insist that anyone who doesn't live up to your personal standard is unethical.

Even if I were to agree that the practice is distasteful to me, that would be different from my saying that those who do it are unethical.

butch50
May 29, 2005, 06:50 PM
JohnKSa:

If I understand you correctly then no one may publicly proclaim a negative opinion of the behavior of others without imposing upon them? Is your definition of imposing: stating a negative opinion of the acts of others?

I think you and I have a significantly different opinion on the definition of imposition. Here is a quote from Websters definiton of the word impose.

"enforce:compel to behave in a certain way"

Do you mean to say that I should not express a negative opinion of the acts of people engaged in legal activities? If that is your belief, then an abyss opens before your feet my friend. :)

Acting legally and acting ethically are not always the same thing. I do believe that I can state that my opinion is that certain individuals engaged in certain behavior are acting unethically, even though legally, and still not be imposing anything upon them or being a snob myself. If not for statements and opinions that differ from the majority and take exception to the norm then what kind of society would we be bound up in?

20cows
May 29, 2005, 06:56 PM
within 1.5 hours of Dallas and at a cost of about $40.00 .....
I'm 3 hours west of Dallas. This may not be much closer than the Black Gap area. Texas covers quite bit of ground. :D

20cows
May 29, 2005, 06:58 PM
Maybe judgemental is the word we're looking for.

butch50
May 29, 2005, 07:11 PM
20Cows - Maybe there is some public land closer to you then, not sure.

"Judgemental" is probably a better word than "imposing" when it comes to my opinions on this subject....

JohnKSa
May 29, 2005, 07:31 PM
If I understand you correctly then no one may publicly proclaim a negative opinion of the behavior of others without imposing upon them?Not at all.Acting legally and acting ethically are not always the same thing.Agreed.

It is commendable to live by a personal moral code. It is quite another thing to expect everyone else to also live by the same personal moral code that you employ.

It is a good thing for a person to set and abide by a strict personal sense of ethics. It is quite another thing for that person to say that everyone who doesn't live up to that person's own personal sense of ethics is unethical.

"Imposing your moral code on other's behavior" ISN'T the same as "imposing on them" or "enforcing your moral code" or "having the authority to enforce your moral code". There's a difference between applying your personal standard to the world and forcing the world to comply. Clearly you're not trying to force the world to comply, nor am I suggesting anything of the sort. (Although you have come very close to saying that you WOULD force them to comply if you could--or punish them if they did not.) However, you certainly are saying that anyone who does not live up to your personal standard is "unethical", "unsporting", or "immoral".

In the beginning, you were stating your opinion. Different points of view are always interesting and the discussion was educating and thought-provoking. When you started flat out saying that anyone not practicing your views was immoral and unethical, that's where it stopped being simply a matter of stating opinion and began to be snobbery. That's also where the thread pretty much began to turn from a discussion of hunting to a debate on what constitutes immoral or unethical or insulting.

DAVID NANCARROW
May 29, 2005, 07:49 PM
"When you started flat out saying that anyone not practicing your views was immoral and unethical, that's where it stopped being simply a matter of stating opinion and began to be snobbery"

Thank you, John KSa. Couldn't have spelled it out more succinctly myself.

butch50
May 29, 2005, 08:58 PM
David and JohnKsa

"When you started flat out saying that anyone not practicing your views was immoral and unethical, that's where it stopped being simply a matter of stating opinion and began to be snobbery"

Well OK, the thread has kind of wandered off I admit. Let me stipulate to my being a snob of the worst kind and let that go at that. I don't mind.

But to return to the origin of this thread, it is my opinion, humble as it is, that hunting deer over a mechanical feeder - especially inside a high fence enclosure - is unsporting and unethical (synonymous with amoral in my book). Unethtical pretty much being the same thing as unsporting in this context - so to simply things let me cleary make on simple statement:

"Shooting deer over a mechanical feeder is the least sporting method of legally harvesting deer, in my opinion."

Now, gentlemen my snobbery aside, what is your opinion of that statement?

22-rimfire
May 29, 2005, 09:03 PM
My 2 cents.... I believe that the lease situation in Texas is the likely evolution of almost all private hunting property in the US where some money will exchange hands prior to hunting. I personally don't like it much.

Is hunting over (near) a feeder legal in Texas? Yes. Is it ethical? Ethics usually follow the state or federal laws and society mores or vice versa. Folks feel it's okay, so I am not going to condemn someone for hunting in a legal manner. Frankly, I'm just jealous that I can't afford to hunt on those big ranches (deer factories) in South Texas and the Hill Country.

butch50
May 29, 2005, 09:05 PM
22:

Don't be jealous. If you are used to fair chase huntng and you ever shot a deer over a feeder you wouldn't feel much; except a pinch in the wallet. I don't agree though that ethics follow laws. My opinion is that what has happened to Texas hunting has followed economics regardless of sportsmanship.

Do you recall the entrepeneur that recently set up hunting by remote controlled guns over a website? It didn't take long for the Texas legislature to shut him down. Why? Because he didn't have a lobbyist filling up politicians pockets....in my opinion. The difference between hunting by a remote controlled internet website, and hunting over a mechanical feeder isn't all that vast, ethically speaking.

JohnKSa
May 29, 2005, 09:23 PM
Let me stipulate to my being a snob of the worst kind and let that go at that.There are worse things. I'm something of snob myself but I generally try to hide the fact from others. ;)"Shooting deer over a mechanical feeder is the least sporting method of legally harvesting deer, in my opinion."Disagree. But I'll go so far as to say it's not anywhere near the top of the list of sporting methods.The difference between hunting by a remote controlled internet website, and hunting over a mechanical feeder isn't all that vastNow, THAT, I'll agree with. To be frank, I can't understand why people who have no problem with one would be perturbed by the other.

22-rimfire
May 29, 2005, 09:27 PM
I don't mean to sound overly negative, but deer hunting in Texas is a business for the most part. People or companies spend large sums of money to lease property to allow the land owner the financial ability to improve his resouce (deer) and set up permanent deer stands etc. Companies want to take their clients out on a hunt, show them a good time for a day or two, and conduct business. Not all employees have access to these corporate deer leases. The leases provide for a high success rate and that is what is desired.

When I lived in Texas, I spent a lot of time working on the big ranches in South Texas. I saw some of the biggest whitetail racks that I have ever seen. I was invited to hunt on a number of these BIG ranches for whitetail, exotics, javelina, wild boars, and turkey and declined because I had no way to deal with the meat at the time. I regret that now. But, that does not change the fact that hunting in the better areas is a business. It is not about sportsmenship, it is about trophies and success rates. You can whitewash it any way you want to, but it is business-deer business.

butch50
May 29, 2005, 09:39 PM
22:

If I understand you correctly you are in agreement with me then?

Good for you for not killing game when you had no way of dealing with the meat. I did the same thing when I was in the Army and stationed in Alaska - lots of great hunting was available, but I lived in the barracks and had no way to deal with the meat of anything more than small game (or fish) which I could cook and eat right there in the field. Large game was completely out of the question.

I will never have the proximate opportunity to hunt such gorgeous country for such marvelous animals again in my life, and I wish it had been otherwise. But I was raised that you eat what you kill, period.

JohnKsa: What is the least sporting legal harvest technique that you know of that is less sporting than shooting deer over a mechanical feeder? I am curious...

22-rimfire
May 29, 2005, 10:20 PM
Butch: We are general agreement on sportsmanship. But, it is not an automatic that you shoot that big 10 or 12-point whitetail buck just because there are mechanical feeders around. If you can shoot half way decently, the mechanical feeder probably gives you an edge to shoot A buck.

Someday you'll be able to do the Alaska hunt. You just have to set your priorities and work toward that goal. My dream is for a guided elk hunt in Colorado or Wyoming. It is an achievable dream if I want it.

Now, we are back to sportsmanship? My guided elk hunt.. sporting? I think it is. But hiring a guide certainly increases the success rate. Wouldn't you agree? Guides cost money as do most of the better lease areas in Texas. You don't need a guide in Texas for whitetails. But, you might want one if you're hunting elk.

This is a geneal question that I don' really want to attack head on. I am just not that set in my attitudes about sportsmanship and what defines sportsmanship. I abide by the game laws and usually that means it's legal and sporting. You can always hunt somewhere else that more closely matches your ideas about ethics and so forth.

Example: In Wyoming, you draw a buffalo tag.... you have permission to hunt on private property..... is it sporting to shoot (harvest) a buffalo at 200 yards chewing his cud? Many would say that it is very sporting.

impact
May 29, 2005, 10:32 PM
Butch you have such a negative out look on life or hunting at least. Thats a sad thing. Non of the things you mention I find to be true about hunting in Texas. I can't help it! I still have you pegged as a liberal with an political agenda. Maybe it's because I listen to Rush :D

JohnKSa
May 29, 2005, 10:54 PM
I have some friends who live in the country and often see deer from their house. Assuming that effort expended and skill required are the measure of the level of "sportingness", I'd think that shooting a deer out the back window would score pretty low.

MassHunter2190
May 30, 2005, 12:04 AM
MassHunter2190, so if your driving on your own land and happen upon a deer, you would not get out of your vehicle and take the shot, because that's cheating?
Of course I would, but I wouldn't call it hunting.

butch50
May 30, 2005, 08:38 AM
Butch you have such a negative out look on life or hunting at least. Thats a sad thing. Non of the things you mention I find to be true about hunting in Texas. I can't help it! I still have you pegged as a liberal with an political agenda. Maybe it's because I listen to Rush

Rush is too liberal for me, but let's don't go down that road: I am way to conservative for most folks inclinations and they tend to get a bit angry with me when we talk politics.

My guided elk hunt.. sporting?

I think hiring a guide does not diminish the sportsmanship of fair chase hunting. Heck if you hire a bad guide you actually increase the elks chances. :) If you hire a good guide then you are still pursing the game by fair chase, and even with a great guide that won't come easy.

I'd think that shooting a deer out the back window would score pretty low.

That is worse than shooting over a feeder, but isn't it also illegal? Maybe not, I don't recall ever seeing it written in the game laws that you can not shoot a deer from inside your house.

22-rimfire
May 30, 2005, 11:55 AM
"I'd think that shooting a deer out the back window would score pretty low." Heck, you have to at least open the back door a crack. I shot a crow out the back window of the house with a 243... first and last time I will EVER fire a gun indoors unless it is a self-defense situation or at an indoor range with hearing protection. The whole house rocked.

In many states you have to be 100 yards from a house to legally hunt. If it is your own house and on your own property.... probably doesn't apply.

Interesting thought. Didn't the term "HARVEST" originate with Texas deer hunting? To say you kill a deer doesn't seem to fit into our present society vocabulary.

butch50
May 30, 2005, 12:51 PM
I guess "harvest" is a PC term and there I was using it with abandon and I have never been called politically correct :) - Let's go back to using the word kill instead. So much cleaner and has no euphimistic value at all.

MeekAndMild
May 30, 2005, 01:28 PM
Next logical question is whether it is ethical to use an atlatl when spear hunting for deer. :rolleyes:

cuate
May 30, 2005, 02:58 PM
On my place there are deer, When the first shot of the season is fired they disappear. I don't hunt them but let a couple of brothers who can't afford hunting fees in. In three years they have killed one deer and two turkeys from a stand. Deer Hunting has become bid business in Texas for the Ranch Owners, last I hears it was $1500 for the season, may have gone up.

A lot of Texas deer hunters come out to play poker, drink a lot of whisky and sometimes bring their girlfrinds and or secretaries, mostly big city hunters. Sometimes the Ranch forman will kill them a deer to take home which generaly will never be eaten. For a lot of bigshots, its just an an excuse to get away and have a ball. Apologies to the real hunters.

Not infrequently they see something in the cedars moving and send a bullet that way, not knowing it may be another hunter.

There is nothing as tasty as backstrap prepared and cooked properly but I wopuld be damned careful hunting where the town boys hunt if not in a deer stand.

Again apologies to real deer hunters!

butch50
May 30, 2005, 03:25 PM
Next logical question is whether it is ethical to use an atlatl when spear hunting for deer.

At the other extreme would be using trip wires and claymores at the feeder. Anything can be carried too far in either direction, but that doesn't actually make a point does it?

22-rimfire
May 30, 2005, 05:07 PM
Back during pre-historic times, I doubt if the idea of whether or not taking a whitetail with an atlatl ever came up. Nor did it come up when using bows & arrows or black powder weapons when the purpose of hunting was subsistence. I doubt if they would have any adversion to shooting near a mechanical feeder since they just want to eat venison. I bet they would think the feeder a pretty cool deal!

This whole business of sportsmanship is a relatively recent phenomena, although I feel sure that this came up on fox or raccoon hunts in Great Brittain back in the old days. Why? Because the discussion was between wealthy people who did not "need" the meat for survival. It was all about sport, the thrill of the chase, and hunting was a social affair frequently.

Now we have state game laws that define what is and is not appropriate when hunting. They set seasons, minimum caliber requirements, sometimes the type of rifle action (self-loading vs mechanical), maximum number of rounds in a magazine, minimum number of "points" on a deer, using dogs, and then the legality of baiting. Many states do not allow direct baiting during deer hunting season. Even a salt lick is considered baiting.

It is nice to live in a society that has the luxury to have sporting standards. My idea of sportsmanship pretty much follows the state requirements. Texas was one of the early states to employ a scientific approach to deer herd management. It was actually done on a private basis in Texas. Why? Because it was a business and the ranch owner was trying to maximize his resource which has a value. I have no problem with this as it just makes sense.

butch50
May 30, 2005, 06:37 PM
When it comes to hunting for survival, there are no rules at all. Any way that you can kill a deer is OK, even stealing deer from some other hunter that killed it is just fine; If I was truly hungry and the best way to eat was to kill a deer there wouldn't be anything remotely sportsmanlike in the way I would go about it. :)

But that isn't what we were talking about and I think the spearchucker didn't read through the posts.

impact
May 30, 2005, 10:14 PM
So Butch! Why are you so upset about deer leases in Texas? I get the idea that you are not telling the whole story.

butch50
May 31, 2005, 07:04 AM
Simply that it bothers me that we have tall fences fencing in deer that are public property, and the landowner who has caputred those deer sell them off to the highest bidder, which seem to me to be illegal. And that the method of shooting those deer relies upon training the captive deer to come to a specific spot at a specific time, which isn't really hunting.

Why doesn't that bother you? :)

taralon
May 31, 2005, 08:33 AM
One of the things that hasn't been brought up about Texas feeder "hunting" so far in this discussion that I've seen is the impression that it has upon upon the non-hunting part of the public.

About 60% when you turn to a hunting show on the outdoor channel, you see someone either a) hunting deer over bait or b) hunting bear over bait. I've lost track of how many times I've had friends who know I am a hunter come up and tell me, "I saw show X on TV today and that's just wrong". Trying to convince them that baiting is done by a minority of hunters in a minority of states when so many shows feature it is near impossible.

I think that if you went out an polled the non-hunting public, that part of the public who doesn't really get why we do what we do, I think you'd be hard pressed to find one that agrees that 'bait hunting' is really hunting at all. It hurts the publics image of hunters being responsible sportsmen and conservationist. An image that groups like Ducks Unlimited, Elks Unlimited have been working decades to build. Is endangering hunting as a whole for the 'convenience' of shooting an animal over bait really worth it? I think not. You may think otherwise.

artsmom
May 31, 2005, 04:24 PM
butch50, I don't like enclosed fences for hunting, even if it would be 100,000 acres.

I am more ambivalent on the feeders, as I am just starting to compare their feeder with me sitting in the corner of a picked cornfield, and haven't come up with an answer. I guess I could say I am just taking advantage of what I find, and every hunter does that, whether it is a trail, a track, or the wind. I am also not trying on my own to influence that deer, but isn't that what people do when they make mock scrapes? How about planting food plots?

One writer summed it up pretty well when he said, "If you think Davey Crockett or Daniel Boone would look silly using a (fill in the blank), then it isn't 100% okay."

I am 102% against deerstands, because I have had a couple of run ins with the laws, specifically, the laws of gravity. I hate laws that enforce themselves:-)

butch50
May 31, 2005, 04:37 PM
ArtsMom:

There is a difference between a feeder and a field of corn. While it may not seem to be a big difference at first consider the following:

Feeder - brings deer to a specific spot not much bigger than 30 feet in diameter. Field of Corn will likely be several acres.

Feeder - uses a timer device to train deer to come at a specific time. Field of Corn is there 24/7, the deer will show up when they feel like it. The feeder doesn't take any skill or even a lot of waiting while the corn field requires that you either sit there forever, or that you know enough about the deers habits to know when they are "likely" to show.

Feeder - is placed there for one purpose, specifically to draw in deer. Corn field was placed there specifically for one purpose and that is to grow a crop.

Davy Crocket and Daniel Boone were from another era altogether and hunter for different reasons;to compare with them is comparing apples to oranges I think.

Mock scrapes and food plots are fuzzier for me, they don't exactly fit in with fair chase hunting but on the other hand they don't appear to me to be using behavior modification techniques to actually train the deer either. I personally wouldn't use them, but don't see them as being all that bad either. I also don't see anything particulary wrong with tree stands assuming they aren't set up over a mechanical feeder.

artsmom
May 31, 2005, 04:38 PM
taralon, bear baiting is more work than you probably think. You don't just throw out a half dozen day old donuts on your way to the stand and then take your pick of the bears.

As I understand it, bait has to be put out long before the season, and constantly refreshed. (Carrying the bait out to an area that has heavy bear traffic could be slightly exhilirating in itself.) If you put out a half dozen bait stations, you have given yourself an 84% chance the biggest bear will be somewhere else, and if the other hunters in the area each put out six stations, well, you get the point.

I camped for years in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, and I don't know how I would even begin to still hunt them in that area. I am sure it is possible, but it would be MUCH harder (by a factor of ten, maybe?) than collecting a deer in the same way. I would say the chances of wounding a black bear in a snap shot would be great, as bears seem (from the ones in the wild I have saw) don't advertise a classic aiming point such as the front leg of a deer. Sometimes it is even hard to tell which end is which, especially in lowlight conditions. They look like black blobs, and of course, to we paranoid campers, all black blobs look like bears:-)

butch50
May 31, 2005, 04:44 PM
As far as hunting bear over bait, I don't have an opinion. Believe it or not, and most won't :), I try not to have opinions on things that I don't know anything about. Bear hunting just isn't a very productive sport here in Texas ;). I leave that discussion to those of you who are knowledgeable.

MeekAndMild
May 31, 2005, 06:57 PM
But that isn't what we were talking about and I think the spearchucker didn't read through the posts That is called reduction ad absurdum, dewd.

But I do agree with you that the fences are the problem and not the bait, for reasons I've already explained...if you read the posts.

butch50
May 31, 2005, 07:19 PM
Next logical question is whether it is ethical to use an atlatl when spear hunting for deer.

MeekandMild - I am always willing to learn: Please explain what reduction ad absurdum means; and how it does not apply to the comment about using spears and atlatls?

I am glad you are against fences :), it is a good start.

impact
May 31, 2005, 07:59 PM
Butch what did you just say! "I am always willing to learn" I have a lease in Crockett and come deer season I'm going to plant your unhappy ass in a stand near a fedder. Then I will go to the woods and hunt and we will see who gets a nice buck first. I will bet if you are lucky you may see a small doe and if you are real lucky you will see a spike buck. Thats just the way it is most of the time hunting around here in east Texas and I told you why! I guess you forgot :D

I don't have a problem with a large fenced in lease where ranch hands grow big bucks. Remember there are deer on the other side of the fence as well and god knows how much money these people spent to grow nice bucks. This is a free country and if they want to do it thats fine with me. Also I think in Texas if a ranch has exotics you by law have to have a high fence.

Also I don't where some people get the idea you need to spend thousands for a lease? My first lease was in La Grange and only cost me $250 a year. The one I now have in crockett is $500 a year and is a nice place with a house. I just don't have servents taking care of my every need.

Oh yes! I also forgot to mention that my feeders not only feed rabbits, coons, crows and squirrels! They also feed birds. That is if you like to bird watch :D

butch50
May 31, 2005, 08:16 PM
I have a lease in Crockett and come deer season I'm going to plant your unhappy ass in a stand near a fedder. Then I will go to the woods and hunt and we will see who gets a nice buck first. I will bet if you are lucky you may see a small doe and if you are real lucky you will see a spike buck

Shoot Impact, if if doesn't work why do you bother? I used to hunt East Texas a lot, back about 20 years ago, and in the piney woods the deer feeders never did seem to work the way they do in the hard timber and scrub timber and scrub country of Central and West and South Texas. I don't know why but no one really had a lot of luck with them, I know your theory, my theory is just that a theory but I think it could be because the deer density isn't very high (compared to the other areas mentioned) but the food density is very high. I couldn't tell you about North Texas, have no idea if they work up there or not. Back in the day though there weren't any high fences anywhere and there weren't a lot of mechanical feeders either.

Quite the contrary my derierre is a very happy one! I would much rather wander the woods still hunting than sitting on a feeder anyway. Just don't tell me you are shootin rabbits off of a feeder please - I couldn't take it! :) I would rather wander the woods and not get a deer at all as to sit in a chair all day and get one. But hey, that's just me - I enjoy the process far more than the result.

Oh, and don't get me started on "Exotic Game Ranches" :barf:

impact
May 31, 2005, 08:58 PM
Most of the time when deer come to a feeder it's at night. I have seen deer tracks that went right next to a feeder and the deer never even stopped to eat. But sometimes they do. mostly it's younger deer and at the end of the year. I have never seen a big buck come to a feeder to eat! The only way a feeder might work and why I set one up is that a nice buck might come check out a doe if there is a doe at the feeder. As you can see here there are alot of ifs. What I can't stand is that new guy that never hunted before in his life. goes out to a stand lites a cigarette and see a nice 10 point and makes a good clean shot and kills a deer. Then says that was easy! I don't smoke and never have that kind of luck :rolleyes:

I love to be out in the woods! in a stand or not.

butch50
May 31, 2005, 09:08 PM
I have seen 20 to 30 deer come to a feeder before, over near Lampassas on a lease my Uncle had and invited me to when I was 17 (1970) - no high fences though. But, like I said East Texas is a whole nother place. I had a lease over near Woodville, way back in the pines back in the late 80s. We had deer, hogs and even a wolf that we saw a couple of times. Deer were there but they were scarce during the day, lots of tracks, so looked to be moving mostly at night. We bow hunted and didn't "improve" the lease by building stands or feeders or a shack or anything. Just camped out and had a blast....Course I was a lot younger then and didn't mind sleeping on the ground at all. Now if I have to camp out I like a nice air mattress....Eventually we gave it up because the fire ants got so bad that you couldn't hardly walk around them.

Art Eatman
June 3, 2005, 12:28 PM
butch, listen up a minute: Those high fences AREN'T to keep deer in; they're to keep deer OUT!

Take a several-thousand-acre pasture. Reduce the amount of phreatophytes--not free. Improve water supplies--not free. Plant native vegetation, with some fertilizer as per the USDA--not free.

You've created a truly nice wildlife habitat. Deer from other ranches would dearly love to enjoy this smorgasbord. Next? Over-population with habitat destruction.

You've spent all this money. You've done the paperwork with TP&WD to reduce the herd to the carrying capacity of the land. You've achieved a proper buck-doe ratio.

Do you really want to, essentially, start over? Duh?

You build high fences--not cheap.

So, you charge high prices for the privilege of trespassing.

Now, back to the issue of how the hunting is done: Isn't that up to the hunter and the land-owner? Some folks need to pick a spot and sit; sometimes a tree-stand lets you watch probable territory that's not possible from the ground. Others like to walk/stalk and hunt that way, which is my preference.

In the brasada are many ranches where you either ride in a high-seat vehicle or sit in a stand--or you physically cannot see deer. The brush is just way too high and thick. I've hunted the 3,000-acre East Pasture of the Vanham Ranch, north of Uvalde. My father described it the best: "You walk and walk until you get somewhere, and when you get there, you aren't anywhere." It's very gently rolling country with too much mesquite. But, you climb a windmill tower, or sit up on top of "something"--maybe a truck--and you have a chance of catching something besides a cold.

Your views and mine don't really matter, anyway. In many parts of Texas there are just way too many deer for the habitat. Instead of bucks dressing out at a common weight above 125 pounds, they'll run 70 to 90. The CenTex deer herd was dramatically reduced in body size from 1960 onward, due to too many deer for the habitat. (A large part of it was the reduction in hunting via ranch breakup upon inheritance. The heirs sold to non- or anti-hunters...) Build more stands, kill more deer, let the other deer migrate off the over-browsed land of the non-hunters. I'm more concerned--in this sort of situation--about the health of the herd and much less about the how-to of the hunter.

Again, many people do not have any possible way to back up 30 years and grow up in the country. There is little they can do beyond read Field & Stream et al to learn anything about deer hunting. They do the best they can with what they have. And have time for. Some fortunate few are able to progress to the sort of true "serious hunting" that you and I prefer.

Regardless, even if some dude, Mr. Billfold, sleeps in a luxury suite and is driven to a stand to shoot some deer near a feeder, he's still doing a lot better than watching the Outdoor Channel and never leaving home. There's always a chance for the upslope of the learning curve.

Art

butch50
June 3, 2005, 07:13 PM
butch, listen up a minute: Those high fences AREN'T to keep deer in; they're to keep deer OUT!

Art Eatman:

In the end you are correct, the fences are to keep deer out. BUT they start off with a herd of deer that are public property, and to my knowledge they don't pay the State a dime for those deer. Some states allow high fencing, but they also make the landowner pay for the deer that are trapped on the property by the fence. Plus, the progeny of those trapped deer are the progeny of public property and since their parents weren't paid for neither are they. Would it not be fair to you and me and all of the other tax payers that support TPWD and wildlife that we be paid for those deer trapped on that rich mans private property by his expensive high fences? No doubt he spends a lot of money improving the habitat into a virtual shagri-la for deer, but why does he spend the money? Altruism? Probably for cold hard cash. If he owns a 3,000 acre ranch, and has the wherewithal to buy and install high fences and to build improvements, then he has the money to pay us (the State) for the deer, as he should.

Whether they pay for the deer or not, you end up with a captive herd of deer. I personally, and I stress that this is my opinion only, don't care to hunt captive deer regardless of how big the pen is. That violates the entire ehtos of "hunting".

My other rant was about mechanical feeders and I note that you really didn't tread that path. You did though talk about hunting from elevated positions, and in my opinion that is just fine if the terrain is of a nature that it is the most reasonable way to hunt. I have no qualms with tree stands, not my thing, but not unsporting either - as long as they aren't set up over a mechanized feeder.

Now, back to the issue of how the hunting is done: Isn't that up to the hunter and the land-owner?

It most definitely is between the hunter and the land owner assuming it is within the laws of the land, and frankly once you have established high fences and penned deer it probably ought to be totally outside the TPWD rules anyway because you now have a pay for shooting business that is not a whit different than an exotic game ranch. To my knowledge TPWD doesn't regulate exotic game ranches.

But in the wee small hours of the night, I don't want to wake up and think that I shot a deer that was trained to come to bait inside a fence. What honor is there in that? Even if it is the most accessible and reliable method of hunting for the city dwellers (of which I have been one now for over 20 years), there is no honor in shooting a trained deer, in my opinion. And if I can't hunt with honor then I won't hunt.

Why do I even bring it up? Because I am curious to see if there are others that think like me, and to enjoy reasonable and rational discussions with intellegent hunters such as yourself. Heck I can solve all of the worlds problems if given half a chance :)

MEDDAC19
June 6, 2005, 03:14 AM
Seeing how this is a gun forum, I see a similar pattern developing here. Hunting over bait, using hounds, hunting from a vehicle, bow not rifle, inline vs flintlock, and so on, divide and conquer. Whether you think high fencing is ethical or not, it is currently a legal form of hunting in Texas. Get the practice banned and the most likely scenario will be that many thousands of acres, of Texas, will be permanently closed to hunting. If you are a hunter you should support all forms of hunting. How about the use of snares or trapping, should we stop the use of one method or the other? This is the same way we are losing our RKBA! Why do you need an assault rifle? The Barrett 50 BMG is too dangerous and will be used by terrorists. There is no sporting use for that weapon or round. There are many, who will use are personal likes and dislikes as a wedge to turn one against the other. Can you see a thread like this, except now it's semiauto's against wheelguns. Accept the fact of highfencing, it is profitable, legal and here to stay.

Butch
It seems to me that you are really hung up on the use of public deer for private benefit. What expense do you think is higher, the cost of a fawn or the cost of feeding a deer for 8-10 years?

butch50
June 6, 2005, 08:19 AM
It seems to me that you are really hung up on the use of public deer for private benefit. What expense do you think is higher, the cost of a fawn or the cost of feeding a deer for 8-10 years?

Actually I am "hung up" on training deer to show up at a specific time and place for the covenience of the "hunter". The other issues about high fencing and private acquistion of public property are side issues, but I think interesting ones. Are you a large landowner that has acquired deer this way? If not why defend it?

As I stated in prevous post - As far as I am concerned it someone wants to fence in deer, they should pay for the deer and after they have paid for the deer they should not even be under TPWD regulation - they have to my mind become the same operations as an exotic wildlife ranch. I have nothing particular agains that from a commerce point of view, I just wouldn't hunt in one myself and I don't think it is "hunting".

As for the rest of your response, I am not clear on what you are trying to say. It almost sounds like you think anyone with a differing opinion is an enemy of yours? The worst thing that can happen to us either as a group of sportsmen or as Americans is to think that everyone has to march in lock-step.

cuate
June 6, 2005, 09:52 AM
The good old days when we knew all of the neighbors and they knew us and we were welcome to cross fences and gates to hunt with all knowing that we wouldn't leave a gate open or shoot at cows and windmills and their water
tanks of galvanized steel.........Gone forever! We moved to cities and the good paying jobs, our former neighbors grew old and died and the land was bought by wealthy outsiders with a tax writeoff in mind. Whom quickly learned that raising and properly tending livestock and farming was not an every year paying proposition like selling deer leases which just about became big business.

The rural population declined and the city population grew by the millions. Not all the would be hunters were raised with shotguns, .22s, and rifles and began hunting rabbots at six or seven years of age. A good many had no experience with hunting or firearms but felt the desire to be part of man's oldest game, hunting. Some shot at everything that moved, some things that didn't, shot each other occasionally........But due to the NRA and other groups, hunters today are a lot better than years ago, some have military firearms experience and others firearm hobbies so in whatever manner they hunt, it is safer for other hunters. However method you use to hunt, do it safely!

kingudaroad
June 6, 2005, 11:40 AM
It almost sounds like you think anyone with a differing opinion is an enemy of yours? The worst thing that can happen to us either as a group of sportsmen or as Americans is to think that everyone has to march in lock-step. Take some of your own advice Butch. Thats the smartest thing you've said in this entire thread :)

butch50
June 6, 2005, 11:49 AM
King: If I have personally insulted you in some way, allow me to apologize, you sound as though you have taken my comments as personally offensive.. I certainly did not mean them to be. It is difficult to tell someones real tone from a written message sometimes isn't it?

I have tried to point out a hunting system that a lot of people do not question, and I wonder why they don't question it? It does seem questionable to me. Should you call into question any of my habits or activities, in a rational manner, I will not take offense nor will I expect you to act like me and have my same opinion; and then get upset if you don't.

Eghad
June 6, 2005, 05:55 PM
Bah..whats all the fuss about. As long as you do something with the meat from the deer whats wrong with it? There is some work involved with a deer stand. Each to his own...

If you want to stalk around the woods.....go fer it.

both ways serve a useful purpose by harvesting deer and keeping the population to a safe level.

22-rimfire
June 6, 2005, 07:02 PM
Some people might say "What went right with deer hunting in Texas?" Everything. There is a lot to be said for the herd management philosphies that have developed in South Texas where many of the big ranchs are located as well as the BIG bucks. These principles are being applied all over the US, but especially in the South. Art Eatman brought out a lot of the truth to the deer business in Texas. Good for the sport? Personally, I just follow the game laws and consider most of the legal methods of hunting as sporting.

I don't think deer are put in the same catagory as water rights and water resources in Texas (which cross property lines). Meaning... if it is on your property, you probably "own" them or at least have the right to restrict access to your private property whether for fun or profit.

What ya think, Butch?

butch50
June 6, 2005, 08:11 PM
22:

I think that we Texans spend a lot of tax money on deer in one way or another. If the deer belong to the landowner when standing on that owners land, then we are wasting our tax money, with the exception of tax money spent on public lands that is. You know we could save a lot of money here....

Say, come to think of it, what does TPWD do anyway? Write a few tickets here and there? They must do more than that, but what? I know they have some biologists that do some field studies, but why waste that effort on private land where the owner is making a fortune off of selling the deer to the public?

This thread didn't really start out about high fencing, but it is part of what has gone wrong. What is wrong with the idea of taking high fenced ranches out of the public hunting law domain? Why can't they act as private enterprises the way that exotic game ranches do? What benefit do they dervie from TPWD? Why waste tax money on them?

Maybe, just maybe we should ask the question: What right does a landowner have making a profit off of a public resource? That's an interesting one to dig into. Certainly a landowner has the right to sell trespass rights on his property, but does he have the right to sell deer hunting when the deer are not his?

impact
June 6, 2005, 09:47 PM
Butch how do you figure that the state is wasting money or tax dollars on game ranches? I was reading at one time or another that the TPWD studied game ranches to find out how game ranches managed there deer so well. last year was the first year that you could take a doe in my county. The doe to buck ratio was to high. So the state said there could be some does shot in my county. They got that information from game ranches. Now if we could only keep people from shooting little 4 points we could have some nice bucks.
I always let the little guys pass.

And whats wrong with making money? I know some people that have some nice cattle ranches BUT! They have lots of money! and not from cattle ranching. They have cattle because it's something they like to do plus they get a tax break! This one rancher is worried that when he passes that the land will go to developers. he said that the money he makes from the cattle won't even pay the land taxes. Well! you should see his house :D

I know I called you a liberal. It's because you sound like you have an axe to grind with people who make money. People who make lots of money give other people like me jobs.

butch50
June 6, 2005, 10:02 PM
Impact: I don't have a problem with people making money, I just have a problem with people stealing public property and selling it to make money. When you put up high fences and sell the deer to the highest bidder you have stolen public property to make a profit. How much different is that from stealing aluminum guard rails off the highway and selling them at the scrap yard? Or am I missing something fundamental here? North Carolina allows tall fences, or used to, but they also took a census on all the deer trapped inside and the landowner had to pay the state $250 for each deer. That sounds fair and that makes sense to me.

Taking it one step further though, once you have trapped them and paid for them I think they are now your private property, and that what you do with them is no more business of TPWD than what you do with your cows. You own them, you get to decide how to treat them. Why should TPWD be involved in that? I would imagine that you would act in your best interest which would mean that you would be a super conservationist!

But I really started out talking about hunting over mechanical feeders - or in other words training deer to arrive at a specific spot at a specific time day after day, as not being "sporting" - which I maintain it is not.

I know that you think that I am some kind of subversive closet liberal just getting on this forum to bait people (no pun intended) but the truth is that politically I am a rabid radical conservative, way too far to the right for most people. I think Republicans are pure wobbly kneed weak sister sissys and only vote Republican because the democrats are even worse. I do question things from a logical standpoint which causes no end of turmoil in my life :D

22-rimfire
June 6, 2005, 10:17 PM
Butch: I wasn't trying to set you up with my last post for the "anticipated" response from you. I thought it an interesting twist of your opening title as many have commented about essentially what went right. I personally don't like mechanical deer feeders... maybe just restrict them during the season like other states? Feed crops are also planted as well for deer and this is done all over the US now. Even some of the Eastern states (agencies) are planting food crops for deer on their own lands these days (example PA which has state game lands).

To be honest, I don't know if the land owner "owns" the deer in Texas or where I currently live (TN). [We have something in common, both states have UT's that have great football teams!] Anyway, certainly some act like they own the deer at times. If someone here knows the answer to that question, it would be an interesting addition to this discussion on deer management and what is sporting and so forth.

butch50
June 6, 2005, 10:26 PM
Now there is a new thought for me. Allow mechanical feeders off-season but ban them during the hunting season? That sounds like a good idea. Where do they do that? Kudos to them! Feed crops don't train deer to show up at a certain time - the hunter is still faced with having to know enough about the deer to have a guess as to when they will show up, which is sporting in my mind. The hunter has to study the deer, scout them out, and know their habits and habitat - things that aren't necessary with a mechanical feeder.

impact
June 6, 2005, 10:55 PM
In most of the east you can only take a buck. If they did away with feeders maybe the state could let the people in the east take a doe as well? Kinda sounds like a good trade off.

22-rimfire
June 6, 2005, 11:15 PM
I grew up in PA. Lived in Texas (10+ yrs) and currently reside in Tennessee. Yeah, I'm a damn Yankee. Since Impact brought it up, I thought I would add a few details... PA does not allow any baiting of deer during deer season including salt licks. With archery coming in at the end of September, that is a long stretch of time when baiting is not allowed. It is very common to feed deer over the winter there. Used to be in PA, they had a Buck season (opening monday after turkey day with rifles) and there was a set couple of days when a single doe could be taken. Now, they have changed all that to allowing does (more than one by wildlife management area) to be taken during the regular gun season in order that the weather does not have an undue influence over the number of does that are taken for the year. You could always take a doe in archery season there. The state also limits the minimum size (number of points) to at least a 6pt in some areas of PA. This is part of their relatively new controversial herd management policy. Go to HuntingPA.com for long long discussions on the topic.

In Tennessee, they do not allow baiting of deer during the season. The state is divided in wildlife management areas and in the high deer population areas, you may take a doe during "buck" season. In fact, it is possible to take as many as 200+ does if you work it right (so I have read). Who would want all the meat?

I see nothing wrong with limiting the feeding time to before deer season only. Some would argue that planting corn, maze, or soybeans strictly for deer is the same thing. But it isn't really.

Art Eatman
June 7, 2005, 06:03 PM
Butch50, according to the wildlife biologists, a whitetail deer rarely ventures much over a half-mile to a mile from where he was born, absent being chased by dogs or being affected by drouth.

A one mile radius gives you Pi square miles of area, or about 1,900 acres. That ain't a big pasture, in the high-fence high-dollar deer hunting world.

The argument about public/private in Texas has gone on since back when I first came back home to Austin in 1963. The state's attitude is that it owns the deer and only set up the rules and regulations about the HowTo of the whole deal; seasons, bag limits, etc.

Whether or not a rancher lets you on his land is his business. What sort of fence he erects is his business--and only his business.

I note that in the session before last of the Legislature, there was some discussion of how big (or how small) is a "pen". How few acres can you enclose before you're creating a truly captive herd of deer? Envision hands being thrown into the air, because no real agreement is possible. So far, about the only answer is biological: Anything too small to provide habitat for some number of deer, without supplemental feeding. From what I have read, I'm sorta guessing that if you're talking about pastures over a thousand or so acres and trying to call that a "pen", you're gonna find a lot of serious MEGO in the audience.

Howsomever: Say that rancher I talked about earlier has done all that improvement to the land but doesn't do a high fence. You won't get to shoot any deer on his place, anyway, unless you pay his trespass fee. Further, those deer aren't gonna leave his place to go to poorer pasture on a neighboring unimproved ranch; Bambi ain't stupid.

Call Bambi self-penned. :D

Art

butch50
June 7, 2005, 07:04 PM
Art:

I am not a biologist so what I say here has to be taken with a dose of salts.. :) What I know about deer is that they will change their range if the hunting pressure is intense enough and there is a place to get to that has less pressure. They will flow to the area of safety quite naturally. They will also move for food, but here in Texas it seems that food is not often a problem for them. A large pen jammed full up of hunters doesn't leave the deer any place to move to.

Defining a pen would be a definite tough one. Good luck to the politicians on that endeavor. For me the "idea" of being inside a tall fence that is there for one purpose - to keep the managed deer in and the wild deer out - doesn't sound like hunting and while I know that the larger a ranch is the larger the pen is, I also know that the larger the pen is the more hunters there will be crammed inside of it.

What does hunting look like 100 years in the future? No public land, all managed deer herds on fenced in hunting reserves, and you pay more for shooting deer out of the herds that have better genetics. Genes that have been manipulated to create "super deer". Perhaps there be a computerized system that evaluates the primary genetic code of the different deer herds and you have to bid against other "hunters" based on the value of the genetic code?

Will the average Texas buck that is shot 100 years from now weigh 200 pounds and have a 12 point rack and cost the hunter $10,000? Will the super deer carry imbedded micro-chips to guard against theft and to track them with?

Will that be called hunting? Sounds ridiculous I know, but just look at what changes that have come about in the past 50 years here. What was hunting like in Texas 50 years ago?

If I was still around 100 years from now I would probably be hunting in the small unfenced areas between the high fence ranches for those rare and tiny little 100 pound 6 point bucks that were the last of the direct descendants of the original wild Texas deer.

20cows
June 9, 2005, 07:55 AM
but here in Texas it seems that food is not often a problem for them.

It was in the drought that just ended for us (for some, it still hasn,t) two years ago. Along a 21 mile stretch of road near here there were 26 deer carcasses, each representing a deer eating the only grass it could find (in the bar ditch)and meeting up with a car along the way (one of them being mine).

Art Eatman
June 12, 2005, 02:15 PM
I note sorta casually that the only money for wildlife comes from license fees and the taxes on guns'n'such. TP&WD has the game wardens, of course. It has biological research going on in many locations around the state in the various wildlife reserves such as Black Gap and Elephant Mountain and others. It collates information collected by interested landowners. For deer, this information is then disseminated via seminars held regularly around the state. The overall purpose is that there be a healthy deer herd throughout all suitable habitat, statewide.

I don't know how much of the habitat is behind a high fence. I'd bet from my travels around the state that it's miniscule and not worth worrying about.

Given how many areas in central Texas are way overpopulated, I don't want to see any legislation or rule that makes it more difficult for Joe Dumbhunt to "catch a deer".

IMO, the overall system has worked fairly well for a heckuva long time. It's nowhere near broke.

I've watched TP&WD fairly closely for some 30 years. They're not the fastest moving bunch in the world about changes in approaches to game management, but overall they do a pretty good job. I appreciate their efforts to rely more on science and less on politics as they set seasons and bag limits.

One thing for sure, in my own opinion: I'd rather see a high-fenced ranch make a ton of money off feeder-hunters than to see it broken up into "ranchettes" and have a bunch of rooftops where once was a large area of legally-hunted wildlife. The big problem for all wildlife is that the landowner can make a lot more money off of condos than cows.

Art

20cows
June 12, 2005, 06:15 PM
The big problem for all wildlife is that the landowner can make a lot more money off of condos than cows.

That is the scary truth! So far, my place is far enough from the urban sprawl, that there has not been any "development" too near. I just hope it stays that way.

Art Eatman
June 13, 2005, 11:39 AM
20cows, I grew up at what's now 9000 Manchaca Road in Austin. In WW II the area was 5 miles out from the city limits on a narrow county road. All small ranches and farms, mostly in the low hundreds of acres.

I moved back there in 1967, and ran some cows on the "old family place" as well as working in town--at that time a 13-minute commute.

The last deer I killed there was in 1973. We were "attacked" by Castlewood Forest subdivision, with cars killing more deer than I.

School taxes of $34/acre/year sez to me, "Sell!" and not being stupid, in 1979 I did. (My grandfather had paid $24/acre in 1939 to buy the place. A bit of irony, there.)

Nowadays, the intersection of Manchaca Road and Slaughter Lane is totally surrounded by all manner of houses and shopping centers...

I voted with my feet and moved to Terlingua.

:), Art

20cows
June 14, 2005, 01:03 PM
Art,

Do you think you moved far enough out to avoid the coming urban sprall from Lajitas? :D

Our "old family place" has been ours since 1889. I really want it to stay that way.

20c

Art Eatman
June 14, 2005, 06:18 PM
Well, if you hunt up how long ago the Pridgens started farming/ranching around Thomaston (south of Cuero), 1899 is sorta new. :) I guess I'm starting my own "old family place". What the heck, I'm old, anyhow.

La-hideous sorta keeps to itself, over there. All those millionaires ain't interested in us Plebes. Hard to believe anybody is dumb enough to stick $75 million into a hole-in-the-wall right on the Rio. http://www.lajitas.com is the URL if you want to see stupidity in action...

Most of the "newbies" stay fairly close to the pavement and the electricity, so I still have my back-country to rat around in for my huntin'. Or I can get lazy and stake out my trash pit. :)

Art

20cows
June 15, 2005, 09:03 AM
1889 was when this place was acquired (great grandpa had just arrived from Alabama). Other multiple-greats were here in 1835. I think you and I are both proud of deep Texas roots.

Your assessment of Lajitas matches my observations. We spend a lot of time between Marfa and Alpine and venture into your neighborhood periodically.

20c

jim walker
June 15, 2005, 05:54 PM
I hunt over feeders in the Texas hill country but I have also shot deer and elk in Colorado. I really don't see alot of difference. Whether in a blind or sitting on a ridge, I was shooting an animal that didn't know I was there and they end up the same way in Colorado or Texas... in the freezer, on the wall, ect....

butch50
June 15, 2005, 07:17 PM
Jim - the difference is in the chase. If you are happy shooting deer that have been trained to come to you, then so be it. Lots of folks are happy doing that.

I can't see it myself though. Might as well go shoot goats in a pen.

Just my humble, if irritating, opinion.

Art Eatman
June 15, 2005, 09:38 PM
Well, Butch, I reckon a lot of us like cross-country hunting, or playing sneaky-snake in suitable country. To me, though, the deal is the proverbial "different strokes for different folks", and what others do never has seemed to me to be any of my business.

As far as type of fencing, or private/public property, or who owns the wildlife, I just don't see it as being important. So far, the Texas system has worked to let lots of people kill lots of deer.

Really, I see two problems: For a lot of western Texas, the mule deer herd is too water-limited while there seems to be adequate food in their habitat. A lactating doe generally remains within a mile of a water source, which limits her territory. The other problem is in CenTex, where my observations have been that there are just too many deer for the habitat, mostly due to under-hunting by whatever means. As near as I can tell, it's purely a private-sector and sociological solution--if anything ever does happen...

FWIW, Art

butch50
June 16, 2005, 12:15 PM
I do realize that there are many different ways to hunt, and most of them are legitimate. But there are ways to hunt that are legitimate that aren't truly sporting, which is all that I am trying to say. If you hunt over a mechanical feeder and shoot deer that have been conditioned to show up at that spot at a specific time it just doesn't fall in the category of hunting as I see it. But if you do shoot deer that way and feel good about it, then more power to you I guess. It is definitely legal and even customary here in Texas.

Hypothetically speaking: I guess if spotlighting deer at night was legal and customary I would get much the same arguments from the people who had grown used to doing that too.

I have no knowledge of mule deer so won't speak to that at all - never hunted them but would like to some day. They look to be a challenge.

I know what you mean about the abundance of deer in the hill country, I have seen herds of them down there. I saw deer well inside the city limits of Kerrville during daylight hours eating out of flowerbeds. But doesn't it seem reasonable that if the deer were over-populated in those counties, that TPWD would open up the bag limit and expand the season to reduce the herds? Have they ever done that?

Art Eatman
June 17, 2005, 10:06 PM
Butch, don't know if you've read about the infestation of deer at Lakeway, but it's a good object lesson about the politics of Bambi. TP&WD tries to liberalize the limits and other regs in some areas, but the big problem in places like Kerrville is access to any hunting grounds at all. Bambi-lovers won't allow hunting: "Shoot them? No! I like to *watch* MY deer!"

A lot of this over-population stems from the chopping up of the land into ranchettes. Elk and mule deer aren't nearly as sociable as the white tail when it comes to living around people.

The Legislature authorized County Commissioners to outlaw firing any gun on tracts of ten acres or less. Bandera County has done this, along with a few others. With no predators besides people, you can imagine what this sort of thing does to the deer herd.

Art

butch50
June 17, 2005, 10:08 PM
That's a scary thought. That could lead to mass deer starvations before long.

Art Eatman
June 18, 2005, 11:04 AM
I moved back to Austin in 1963 after booming around the world for a dozen years or so. 1963 was one of the drier years on record, other than 1956. The winter was rather cold, comparatively, as well as dry.

TP&WD estimated that in Llano, Mason and Brady Counties, the hunter deer kill for the '63 season was some 15,000 deer. The winter kill was some 17,000.

Art

desert-cat
June 26, 2005, 01:32 AM
This argument about regional hunting techniques is as byzantine as arguing that rice should be eaten only in China and using the sticks.

Please correct me if I am wrong, but I still remember that the former U.S.S.R. and the satellite countries walked away from communism over ten years ago, after their economies collapsed. I have known quite a few emigres from those countries, and they all recall the nightmare it was surviving (starving) in the largest experiment of non-private - i.e., public - property of land.

Closer to home, the large influx of immigrants from Mexico - as well as the desperate attempts of Cuban people to leave their "no private property" paradise - are also consequences of an ideological and political commitment against private property of land.

Here in Arizona, over 75% is public land, but the best hunting is precisely in those areas with restricted access: Indian reservations, the few private ranches with large tracts of deeded land, wilderness areas where no vehicles are allowed and public lands with access controlled by private landowners,.

Hunting is NOT for bringing food to the table anymore. Nowadays, there are cheaper foods than venison, so nobody has to hunt to feed a family; worst case, Uncle Sam will provide food stamps and charitable organizations will take care of those unable - or unwilling - to work.

Absolutely nobody has to travel to hunt in Texas - or in any other particular State. Let the Texas people do things their way and those who don't like it, go - or move - elsewhere

butch50
June 26, 2005, 09:33 AM
Hunting is NOT for bringing food to the table anymore. Nowadays, there are cheaper foods than venison, so nobody has to hunt to feed a family;

For 99.99999999% of us that is true, although there are still some few people who hunt for food. For food hunting anything goes in my opinion.

For sport hunting though: It doesn't matter if you are on public or private property - shooting deer that you have trained to show up at a specific spot at a specific time isn't hunting - Hell just think of the definition of Hunt - it means to look for something that you don't know where it is -

If the folks who shoot deer over a mechanized timed feeder would call it deer shooting instead I would leave it alone.

Please correct me if I am wrong, but I still remember that the former U.S.S.R. and the satellite countries walked away from communism over ten years ago, after their economies collapsed. I have known quite a few emigres from those countries, and they all recall the nightmare it was surviving (starving) in the largest experiment of non-private - i.e., public - property of land.

Never once have I suggested that we change the method of land ownership in Texas - why did you throw this out then?

desert-cat
June 26, 2005, 06:30 PM
Because deer - and other wildlife - do not live in an abstract realm. They are to be found either on government-owned land or in private property.

Just for the sake of the analogy, let's assume that instead of deer we were talking about a feral dog that went away from home. This dog gets killed after eating deer, rabbits, javelinas, chicken, calves, goats, etc. Through the tag we can trace back who the owner is. It is only fair that the dog owner reimburses the livestock owner for the livestock killed. Should the owner of the game species look the other way and not demand a monetary compensation for the wildlife the dog ate?

From a different perspective, let's agree that animals - livestock and wildlife - sharing the open range harvest the regrowth of vegetation and drink the same water. Cattle produce steaks and deer produce antlers; both steaks and antlers are goods sought by consumers in a free market economy.

If the cattle is pushed or lured into a neighbor's pasture - and even if they went there by themselves - to eat the grass and drink the water, it is an accepted legal and commercial practice to make the cattle owner pay for his/her livestock helping themselves to the neighbor's resources. Uncle Sam charges for grazing livestock in public lands, the same way that a private rancher would charge you to keep a cow or a horse in his/her ranch.

Then, reason dictates that the only logical conclusion is that it is only fair that the owner of the wildlife - i.e., the public at large - reimburses the landowner for the very same resources - water and the regrowth of vegetation - consumed by the both game and non-game species.

butch50
June 26, 2005, 06:38 PM
Desert Cat: If you have a point in there somewhere I couldn't find it.

What, exactly, are you trying to say?

PinnedAndRecessed
June 26, 2005, 06:49 PM
My .02: It (hunting with feeders) is no less ethical than paying someone else to kill for us. I go to the store and buy meat. Someone else has killed that meat. People claim such is unethical. I say the animal is going to die, anyway. Who cares who does the killing.

Same with the above. If hunting with feeders floats your boat then fine. It's not like hunting in the old days but who has time for that?

If ethics is an issue in killing animals then to be consistent we all should go vegetarian. I doubt we're going vegetarian so the issue of hunting over feeders becomes moot. As long as the animal is harvested in the most humane fashion possible I don't see the problem.

I wonder what the bow and arrow crowd said when hunters showed up with guns? I wonder what the iron sight crowd said when hunters showed up with scopes? It becomes a never-ending conundrum.

However, given the above parameters, viz., avg. shot within 50 yards, my guess is the animal is harvested cleanly, quickly, and relatively painlessly.
I probably wouldn't do it but have no objection to those who do.

But then again, that's just my .02.

butch50
June 27, 2005, 06:52 AM
I go to the store and buy meat. Someone else has killed that meat. People claim such is unethical. I say the animal is going to die, anyway. Who cares who does the killing.

My point is not that it is more humane or inhumane to hunt over a feeder. It's that you are training wild animals to arrive at a specific place at a specific time so that you don't have to bother going looking for them.

What I am saying is that the timed feeder takes something vital and important away from the sport of hunting. It relegates hunting down to something far less.

PinnedAndRecessed
June 27, 2005, 01:22 PM
Yes, Butch, I understand your concern. It is not a "hunt" in the traditional sense. It's not even a "hunt" since the term itself implies the "hunter" actually goes out into the wilds and finds the game. That's why it's called a "hunt."

But if shooters want to shoot quasi-domesticated game over a feeder, as long as they dispatch the animal humanely, I have no objections. You're right. It is not "hunting." But that's a matter of semantics.

So we maybe need to call it something else. Shooting semi-domesticated animals over a feeder will now be in a whole different category. Maybe we could place it into the same category as a rancher who kills a beef cow with a well-placed 22?

Or, since it's baiting, maybe we should call it "bait." "Where are you going today?" "I'm going baiting." "What's that?" "That's where you bait the deer to come to you. It's easier than hunting."

Then folks have a choice. They can go on a hunt. Or they can go on a bait.

butch50
June 27, 2005, 07:50 PM
Or, since it's baiting, maybe we should call it "bait." "Where are you going today?" "I'm going baiting." "What's that?" "That's where you bait the deer to come to you. It's easier than hunting."

That would at least be semantically honest. :)

Eghad
June 27, 2005, 09:19 PM
I would actually be afraid to walk out in the woods tracking game these days........

1stSSPZ
June 27, 2005, 09:33 PM
Well, I grew up hunting deer down around San Angelo, Texas. Thicker than rabbits, always have been. Even then, I guess we were to poor to pay to hunt on someone elses land, and we ate deer meat ALL the time! Never have hunted around a feeder though. Hell, I thought the only way to shoot deer was out of the back of a moving '70 F-100 Ford pickup! :p

desert-cat
June 27, 2005, 10:08 PM
Butch:

Are you familiar with Jack O'Connor's hunting experiences in Southern Arizona and Northern Sonora? Well, the Arizona-Sonora border is where I had the privilege to learn what hunting is from old timers: WWII and Korean War veterans, ranchers, cow-boys, miners, small-town guys who never saw a lightbulb before they were 14, etc. In these semi-desertic areas of uncertain rainfall and wide open spaces you soon learn to hunt the paths leading to the water: a windmill, a seasonal spring, a "tinaja" (a natural water reservoir in solid rock) and, in exceptional years, a running "arroyo" (a stream that may be anything between 2 and 200 feet wide and between 1 inch or 5 feet deep, carrying water between one hour and one week a year).

Do you what the conventional wisdom of the experienced hunters was/is?

"The deer always comes down to the water"

The older, wiser men would send us the young kids up to the hills "to find the nice ones" while they would rest under a mesquite or an oak, because some ailment would keep them from going up and down the thorny hillsides. While we were working up a sweat and straining our eyes to find a fresh track . . . BANG!THUD. When we returned to the camp we would see a beautiful deer that had - yes - come down to the water. I don't recall having seen a scope before the 1970s. Most of the shots were under 100 yards. Later, around the campfire, we would learn that we the kids had driven the deer to the lowest part, where it would have to go anyway, to drink the water they need for the day.

It was not a feeder with a timer, just the closest available water.

Was / is it ethical?

LAK
June 28, 2005, 03:08 AM
I think some people are missing Butch50's point; the difference between hunting animals and shooting animals. And I fully agree. Not that shooting animals over artificially placed food is inherently wrong; only that it is not hunting.

Lt. Col. C. H. Stockley in his work, "Stalking in the Himalayas and Northern India" (1936), opens with a chapter entitled, "What is Stalking?". He covers about all the bases and goes on ....

"What is "stalking"?
Stalking is getting on foot within shooting or photographing distance of an animal first discovered by eye, making use only of natural cover, and without artificial aid. "Shooting distance" meaning such distance that will almost certainly ensure a clean kill.

This, it will be seen, excludes the use of motor car, elephant, cart or boat, or dressing up in native clothes; the employment of such adventitious aids destroying a true conception of sport, as making the approach too easy by abusing the confidence of the game.

Herein lies the essence of sport, in the means employed to gain one's end. It must not be too easy and the game must have a fair chance. Equally, to gain real sport, the vigour, nerve and intelligence used must be one's own: by merely following at the heels of a hired ghillie or shikari no man can experience the joy of achievement which comes from defeating a wary old beast on his own ground. Not that a fair partnership with the ghillie or shikari is to be despised, far from it; for few can learn the lessons of the wild from books, and it is from such men that one aquires the knowledge which eventually leads to sole conquest of a worthy antagonist, by means worthy of the trophy." [he then discusses "trophies"] ......

"I would place tracking on an equal plane of sport with stalking, but beating and sitting-up are not in the same category. To take the analogy of fishing; tracking and stalking may be graded with fair methods of rod and line, while beating is equivalent to netting, and sitting up to night-lining." [he then dissects "beating" or "driving" game] ....

"Sitting-up at night is hardly ever sport: only where a maneater is concerned, and even then it may be mere destruction."

I have used ferret and a shotgun to take rabbits - and I have actually stalked them even with a .22 pistol; but the former could not be accurately described as hunting.

I am also in agreement on the issue of game fenced in on private land. Unless it is a truly expansive piece of real estate. But a few hundred - or even thousand - acres of fenced in land with deer or other large game becomes a safari park and they can not be accurately described as unconfined.

On the issue of ownership (and hence regulation) there are two cases in Texas that directly apply. According to Jones v. State, 45 SW2d 612, as long as indigenous wild animals remain wild and unconfined in their natural setting they are the property of the State. However, a legally captured wild animal becomes the private property of the individual, according to State v. Bartee, 894 SW2d 34, and it looks like that might at some time include those "captured" by fencing on private land.

butch50
June 28, 2005, 06:04 PM
Are you familiar with Jack O'Connor's hunting experiences in Southern Arizona and Northern Sonora?

No, but it sounds like it was a great time and place to be at. I envy your memories and experiences, they sound great and you should write them up as short stories, I would love to read them. The brief description you provided shows that you have no small talent for story telling.

In my mind what you describe - hunting over a well traveled pathway is hunting. It is basically stand hunting that you describe.

Let me ask you this, did any of those gentlemen take a stand over a mechanized feeder and shoot deer that had become trained to come to it? If so then I would say that at that time and place they weren't hunting. Just my humble opinion.

I am also in agreement on the issue of game fenced in on private land. Unless it is a truly expansive piece of real estate. But a few hundred - or even thousand - acres of fenced in land with deer or other large game becomes a safari park and they can not be accurately described as unconfined.

Lak: I think Stockley was dead spot on. I am going to buy and read that book, it sounds terrific.

I had not given much thought to high fencing until this thread. But it does occur to me that if you high fence an area that you are creating nothing more than an amusement park for the wealthy. I just don't see it as being anything more than that. I don't even think it should fall under the normal hunting regulations - since it is a commercial enterprise they should be able to set their own seasons and limits. Nothing that happens inside the high fence is going to affect the wild herd anyway.

In fact, maybe I should start up a business selling artifical trophy deer heads for the elite that just want a big rack on the wall. With todays technology a really fine artificial deer head could be made that would look 100% real.

Let me throw out this idea. In my mind a "Trophy" deer taken inside a high fence doesn't count. It should never be compared to a trophy wild deer. They are not the same animals and they are not taken under comparable conditions.

LAK
June 29, 2005, 02:55 AM
Butch50,

Author: Stockley
Title: Stalking in the Himalayas and Northern India
on .....
http://www.bookfinder.com
... shows a number of copies from $75 to about $250 depending on condition. You might find a satisfactory copy cheaper using other book searches. I bought mine a couple of years ago for about £50 (A "very good" reading copy) from a seller in the U.K. I really like these early 20th century works; I'd have a whole library of them if I had the room and wallet!
Let me throw out this idea. In my mind a "Trophy" deer taken inside a high fence doesn't count. It should never be compared to a trophy wild deer. They are not the same animals and they are not taken under comparable conditions.
I agree; depending on the size of the piece of land in question. It would be difficult however to establish just how extensive a tract of land should be to be considered equal to the "normal" free range of any particular species of big game animal, and that is probably fuel for a separate topic in itself.

butch50
June 29, 2005, 07:17 AM
I hadn't really thought about this before but a managed herd vs wild animals would seem be the deviding line. Comparing the take from a managed herd against the take from a wild herd doesn't seem to me to be apples to apples.

desert-cat
June 29, 2005, 08:57 AM
Butch-50,

Thanks. Whatever story-telling talent I may have is the result of sitting around ranch house tables and around campfires. I only wish that my children had the same opportunity.

In these corner of the world (Southern Arizona / Northern Sonora) we have two kinds of deer: "Coues" whitetail (max. 100 pounds, 3 1/2 ft. tall and O'Connor's favorite game) and mulies (max. 300 pounds, 4 1/2 ft tall). They are found in three different kinds of habitat: desert mule deer mostly in the plains not unlike those just around Van Horn, whitetails primarily in rolling hills areas like those around Alpine, and both, though in lower densities, in areas like those around Uvalde, Del Rio and Laredo.

In Sonora, the typical ranch is a cow-and-calf operation between 5,000 and 50,000 acres. In Arizona, the rancher more often than not only owns a few hundred acres and leases as much public land as available. In hundreds of square miles the "desert" the cover is a continuum of thorny plants of any kind (about 10 feet high), thick enough that not even from horseback you see farther than 50 yards. In more open areas the deer hide in the mezquite, paloverde and ironwood thickets along the washes. The ground is often so hard that tracks are hard to follow. If the rancher has put some salt blocks, deer will lick them too.

Here comes the issue: any livestock operation results in game herd management, and in these deserts, water is ranching, because it is WATER, not food what defines survival of both game and cattle. Whether it is a spring or a depression on the ground holding rainfall or a windmill, it is around the watering hole (the same that with cowboys, hunters and golfers) where eventually everyone gathers, mingles and fights.

Most of the hunters growing up through the depression years were incredible stalkers / drivers. They would locate a deer and, if the location was not an easy one to drag him out of, throw rocks, yell, etc., to make him move out to a more convenient location before shooting. The privileged ones would use a 30-30, a few a 30-06 and many a 22. One guy I hunted with through the 80s dropped even bighorn sheep with an open-sighted 25-20.

Old-timers, some of them who knew O'Connor and guided him through these deserts, would never use a scope but they instead waited around the rancher-made watering facility. They knew that the deer would never be far from the water.

Were they really hunting or just shooting a self-trained managed herd too?

butch50
June 29, 2005, 07:55 PM
That is a really really good question.

Partly it was hunting and partly it was taking advantage. If they were hunting for sport and not so much for subsistence then they were taking advantage of something that probably they shouldn't have taken advantage of - a man made source of water. I have heard of other hunters who hunt in similar circumstances (desert area water) who refuse to hunt within 1/4 mile radius of the water itself.

If they were hunting for subsistence then its all about eating and anything goes.

But perhaps the real distinction is - were they leasing hunting rights over the water hole? And even if they were, was the water dispensed only at certain times of the day?

desert-cat
June 29, 2005, 10:52 PM
Leasing a waterhole? :confused: This may sound like a WC :barf: answer, but both NO and YES.

NO: With exceptions, there was/is not an exchange of money

YES: The hunter(s) - myself included - depend(ed) on the landowners' goodwill to access the hunting areas; access could / can be gained by
a) marrying the rancher's daughter;
b) being the bank's loan officer;
c) having some skill / virtue / atribute that the rancher perceives as an advantage to his business (attorney, veterinarian, heavy machinery owner/operator, groceries warehouese owner, mechanic, family practice doctor, etc.);
d) being brought in by one of the above; and
e) sheer intimidation ("I have this government-issued hunting permit" and/or "I work for the xyz government agency and you better let me in or else")

It is not my intention bothering you or other participants with multiple examples of the above listed situations. When I began hunting in the mid 60s, many ranchers were thankful to my grandfather (a hunter, too) because he had given then credit for basic stuff (groceries, ranch supplies, etc.) in bad years. So, in a way, my grandfather bought his and my access to the same areas O'Connor liked so much to hunt, in a 50-mile radius around Nogales. Later on, I joined senior hunters from Central Sonora and I also dealt with many cattlemen in the course of my profession. The cattlemen would give me the keys to enter their ranches "but you only bring your buddy, Mr. X's son and nobody else". No money was involved, just the right relation. My buddy - an exrancher - and I had as a rule to give one roll of barbed wire to the rancher each time we went to hunt; that kept many others from joining our team. In Arizona, for several years the Arizona Game & Fish Department has fostered the Adopt-a-Ranch program, to alleviate antagonisms and create lasting relations between hunters and ranchers.

Do these non-monetary leases bother you?

Water: Save for those with sun-powered pumps, I have never been to a ranch where water is turned on/off per a schedule, not the springs, not the windmills, not the water tanks. When no rain is falling, cattle and deer come down to the only available water at about the same time everyday. Actually, in the areas where I have hunted, since mid-October to late February, you'll seldom see a wild animal coming to drink after 9 A.M. or before 4 P.M. Depending on the temperature, cattle tend to come to water later and they return to their current grazing and sleeping spot just before sunset.

Come and see by yourself!

butch50
June 30, 2005, 07:40 PM
Sounds like great country. Right now it is hot enough here to not want to visit a desert. Maybe in the winter though it would be a great experience.

I think I agree with those that will not hunt next to a water hole in the desert. I would want to stay some reasonable distance away from it. When the water source is rare and a requirement for the animals survival - in other words they have not choice but to come to it - then sitting right next to it "sounds" like shooting fish in a barrel. OK for subsistence hunting but not much in the way of "sport".

Or am I missing something?

Art Eatman
July 3, 2005, 04:36 PM
I guess that as far as the high-fence stuff, there's no "one size fits all" in judging. Some of that south Texas brush country, a high fence around very few acres will hold deer that you'll never see. Some of it's just way too thick. Moving east, with the trees and undergrowth in the river bottom behind my wife's house in Georgia, a deer would have to rear up on his hind legs and wave before you could see him. Sit in a stand or else go hungry.

Sorta in the same vein, I know country where a high fence around a couple of thousand acres is a "pen"--little brush, gently rolling, no real concealment for anything bigger than a rabbit. But, add in some brush and have a bit steeper slopes and such and it's hard hunting to stalk, high fence or no.

My legs are about gone for my favorite style: Head out across my desert mule deer country, working ridges. Bucky lays up on the downwind military crest near a saddle, so you go kick him out of bed and if his horns stick out well past his ears, bust him. Or, work a long draw, making lots of racket while staying as best you can where you can see out ahead.

Nowadays, I'm more prone to hang out where I can watch a likely route to water. I gotta admit I'm getting to that stage where I'll see Bucky, think, "Gotcha!" and go on home. I can't really eat a whole deer...

:), Art

butch50
July 3, 2005, 05:06 PM
I think there are phases that hunters go through as they mature.

Stage 1. Young hunter - kill anything and everything that moves or sits still - quantity over quality.

Stage 2. Middle age hunter - quality over quantity - hunts for trophies mostly, and hunts for only two or three different game animals based on the type of hunting he enjoys most. Enjoys teaching the younger hunters.

Stage 3. Older hunters - killed so much game that killing more is no longer very interesting, enjoys the process of hunting, and will take very few animals and trophies aren't necessarily the goal either. Enjoys the company and the camping more than the actual hunting.

Of course these are generalizations, some hunters never mature and some mature a lot younger than others.

butch50
July 10, 2005, 03:45 PM
FAIR CHASE STATEMENT as defined by the Boone and Crockett Club, is the ethical, sportsmanlike, and lawful pursuit and taking of any free-ranging wild, native North American big game animal in a manner that does not give the hunter an improper advantage over such animals.

Copied directly from the Boone and Crocket Club: Couldn't have said it better myself.

KKirk
July 18, 2005, 03:45 AM
Seen this and it reminded me of this thread.

Yes, it's in Texas. (http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&rd=1,1&item=4561988037&sspagename=STRK%3AMEWA%3AIT)
:)

butch50
July 18, 2005, 07:51 PM
Certainly does seem to be a "Texas Toy".

Art Eatman
July 18, 2005, 10:24 PM
Yeah, a brush-country special...

Some south Texas rancher built a hunting car from a Caddy convertible. Rifle scabbards built into the back of the front fenders, among other doo-dads. All-leather interior, built-in bar for the back seat. :) Dunno how much actual hunting got done.

Anybody ever see LBJ's "hunt cabin"? I haven't, but have heard stories. It was an elevated large room with all the creature comforts. It overlooked a small oat patch which was surrounded with a high fence and a powered gate. The gate would get closed around sunup, and the Mighty Hunters would ascend to the "deer stand", open a window, and Blast Bambi. :barf:

Art

JustinNC
August 17, 2005, 07:36 PM
Havent read the whole post but how many of you tree hugging anti baiting yuppies have tried to draw a bow with 30 does feeding below you and been successful multiple times?....Case Closed

Hamhawk96R
August 17, 2005, 08:02 PM
I get in my truck, wearing jeans & a T-shirt, with my coffee, drive to about 1/4 miles away, get into one of my blinds about 75 yards away, pull out a book or my lap-top and start doing my homework as I wait for Bambi to come strolling out. When he comes out, I have an easy shot on a stationary target and they never usually make it more than a few yards after being shot. While this may not be overly sporting, it is still hunting and I see no ethical problems with it.
U T Air Assault

I agree...I don't think using a feeder and a stand is immoral. If you use what you kill and do it leagally, you're fine in my book. I am going on my FIRST deer hunt this October in the Southern Sierra's of California...I have to scout it first...hump my ass up a moutain and into a forest, find a site with traces of deer (recent tracks droppings, etc) and wait. Now, i probably won't get anything. But that, at least in my novice experience, is hunting. I think maybe we're dealing with an issue of symantics here. Let's call things what they are. HUNTING deer as opposed to HARVESTING deer. Both are fine if done leagally and humanely.

22-rimfire
August 17, 2005, 11:25 PM
Treednc: "Havent read the whole post but how many of you tree hugging anti baiting yuppies have tried to draw a bow with 30 does feeding below you and been successful multiple times?....Case Closed"

I have no earthly idea what in the heck you are talking about?? What is your point or are you just trying to be insulting? Great post for No. 2.

JustinNC
August 20, 2005, 09:10 PM
Not trying to be insulting. Actually my first two posts were within the first hour I that I found this sight. I just hate hearing how easy hunting is with baiting. If you are relatively consistant in bow hunting under an automatic feeder in Texas or anywhere else for that matter when you may have 30 sets of eyes under you at once feeding at that feeder, then I appologize with the upmost respect for your opinion of baiting.

butch50
August 21, 2005, 07:57 AM
If you are having that much difficulty "hunting" deer over an automatic bait feeder, and getting a good shot off with 30 deer under you - then apparently "the baiting and shooting method" is acceptable for your level of skill, and perhaps the skilled bow-hunters out there will enjoy better hunting since you have decided to stay in one place.

Not trying to be insulting or anything. :)

2rugers
August 22, 2005, 12:59 PM
although getting "A" deer over your bait station may not be that hard, try and get "THE" deer and let's see if there is a difference. we feed protein year round on our small place here in texas and i thought getting that big buck i had been seeing at the feeder during the summer was a given. not so. opening morning of bow season i was on a branch in a tree 40 yds from the feeder. no big buck. it was almost like he had read about the opener in the paper. i took one shot at him two weeks into the season, but nowhwhere near the feeder. watching through my spotting scope i finally recognized him coming to the feeder one night well after dark. the last morning on the last day i finally scored him, but only after watching him continuously change his pattern, if you can call it that, all month. here in texas they learn to be wary of feeders during season quick and you will only find the really young or old there once the season opens.