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Old September 20, 2000, 12:32 PM   #1
TAZ
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Join Date: October 29, 1998
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How does someone go hunting here in the US? I know its a stupid question if there was ever one. My only experiences are going with my uncle in Romania where he seemed to just head out into the woods and shoot stuff. I know, I know; rather simplified, but to an 8 year old that is what it seemed like. I know you have to bribe the local officials (pay for hunter license) and maybe take a course, but then what?? I cant just go into the woods and start shooting. Well I could, but the end result might be a bit different from my intent. Anyway I'd like to try some deer hunting, and not the tree stand variety so where does one start. I live near Austin TX if that is of any help.
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Old September 20, 2000, 12:42 PM   #2
dZ
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Join Date: May 31, 1999
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In Pa where i hunt the system is managed by the Game commission. They set the seasons and limits and rules.

There is public land available for hunting in season, that the commision stocks with pheasants. The deer, squirrels and bunnies are self stocking.

If you want to hunt elsewhere you need to forge an alliance with a landowner.

My Dad & i hunted many different farms in central PA. If you are polite, close gates behind you, don't litter and don't molest the livestock you are allowed back.

dZ
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Old September 20, 2000, 02:10 PM   #3
LoneStar
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Join Date: March 10, 1999
Location: Houston, Texas USA
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Well, you've got quite a few deer in your neck of the woods, but to get after them, here's what you'll need to do.

First, get in contact with the folks at Texas Parks and Wildlife to make sure I didn't skip anything, and to keep it legal. They'll also be able to direct you on how to get your Hunter's Safety certificate - It's manditory if you were born after the grandfather date, which I don't know off hand. check http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/

Second, go to Walmart or Academy, or just about anywhere out there really, and buy a hunting license

Third, if there's public land to hunt near Austin I haven't run across it. Most likely you'll have to either get on a deer lease, or go on a day hunt. A deer lease is ussually for the hunting season, or whole year, depending on the land owner, and will run in the neighborhood of $1000 per gun, some a little less, many a lot more. a Day Hunt can run $75-$150 a day, more or less.
Generally, on a day hunt in your area, a "guide" will drop you off at a deer stand, ussually overlooking a feeder (don't want to argue the ethics of this, that's just how it ussually happens), and instruct you not to leave the stand. This is probably to limit their liability, but I've only found one day lease that would let me walk, and he doesn't do hunts anymore. Anyway, you'll sit and wait, and in all probability see several deer.
You'll have a pretty hard time finding a Deer lease available this time of year, but day hunts are pretty easy to find, especially if you can work it on a week day. Anywhere to the west of Austin should be great, especially around Kerrvile, Llano, and Junction. They aren't huge, but plentifull. Personally, I hunt outside of Eden, west of Brady, but unfortunately our lease doesn't allow guests. There are TONS of deer in your area (drive out to Llano one night when the moon is full -slow down, and use highbeams!).

Now the best way to hunt out there is to be invited to hunt on someones ranch, and if you figure out how to do this often, tell me how.

Anyway, If you are wanting to get your feet wet, for the smallest investment, the day hunt is the way to go, but you'll have more rules to follow, and won't know as much about the crowd hunting with you as you will on a full-time lease.

Also, don't discount stand hunting. I enjoy getting out and walking around, and have gotten a real nice buck and couple of does this way, but I always see more when I sit down, be quiet, and wait. My personal hunting style(when I have the room to do it) is to walk, sit for an hour, walk, sit, walk, sit.... you get the picture.

Anyway, if you have more questions, put 'em here, There's several other Texas hunter's about
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Old September 20, 2000, 03:41 PM   #4
Art Eatman
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Join Date: November 13, 1998
Location: Terlingua, TX, USA
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You could drive out to TP&WD Hq on Smith School Road (off Burleson Road) and get a whole package of info along with your license. I always get the combination dealie which combines most hunting and fishing, plus the whitewing dove stamp and turkey stamp...

There's info on the bulletin board at McBride's Guns at 30th & Lamar Blvd. Tell Joe (the bald guy) and the crowd I said, "Hi!". Oliver in the reloading room is a good and knowledgeable guy...

You'll see some ads in the American-Statesman for folks looking for lease-partners, and for day-hunt ranches.

For info on the more high-end hunts, contact Texas Wildlife Associates in San Antonio. It's a worthwhile outfit to join, too. They have a list of hunting ranches.

Hope this helps,

Art
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Old September 20, 2000, 04:05 PM   #5
TAZ
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Join Date: October 29, 1998
Posts: 511
Thanks for the answers to the silly question. Just got done perusing the TXP&W site. never thought hunting would be such a beurocratic sport. Scary what happens when gov gets involved in something.
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Old September 20, 2000, 07:27 PM   #6
Art Eatman
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Join Date: November 13, 1998
Location: Terlingua, TX, USA
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I grant you the language is very bureaucratic. However, TP&WD has done a pretty good job managing all us prima donnas and our favorite choice of chase. Their public-hunt system is an in-house development which is quite beneficial to those without the big fat billfolds.

The Director, Andy Sansom, is a good man. Several of the Commissioners are hunters. All in all, it's a good outfit.

Always remember that no other state agency deals with as strong emotions as they have to, and on the other side from the hot-heads is the Legislature.

Regards, Art
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Old September 21, 2000, 07:13 PM   #7
jbgood
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Join Date: March 22, 2000
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TAZ, you might like to request TPWD's booklet, "Applications for Drawings on Public Hunting Lands". It has a lot of info regarding public hunts, criteria for hunting in Texas, and so forth.

The booklet lists hunts for everything from alligators to exotics, as well as how to apply for opportunities for hunting them. The folks at TPWD are friendly, helpful and might be able to steer you toward something that will help you get started.

Also, it might seem that there are a lot of rules (too many?) in Texas, but remember, over 90% of the land in our state is privately owned and hunting is BIG business. Without a good agency like TPWD to assist us, I'm afraid that we would be at each other's throats constantly.
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Old September 21, 2000, 09:57 PM   #8
TAZ
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Join Date: October 29, 1998
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I'm sorry for making it sound like I think TPWD are bunch of buttholes. I have yet to make any contact so I wouldnt make that kind of judgment without first hand experience. It seemed funny how many laws, regulations, fees... we have for doing most things in our lives. Thanks for the help.
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Old September 22, 2000, 11:25 AM   #9
internetfish
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TAZ,

There is some public hunting land on the other side of San Antonio, near Uvalde....that would be a couple of hours drive for you, but very worth it if you truly want to hunt. Ask the guys at Wal-Mart or at the local gun stores about that public land. also call the Wildlife Commission. They will know since they manage that land.
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