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Old October 28, 2005, 11:29 AM   #1
Ian2005
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Who & Where to hunt?

Ok first off Im a city slicker here in Houston, and to make matters worse, I don't know anyone who would either like to hunt or actually hunts. My wife referes to deer as "bambi" so obviously she wont go to make matters worse. So how much fun would it really be to go out by myself to hunt? Not to mention I have no idea where to hunt. I've seen "weekend" places for ~$300+ per day, to many X000's for a lease, but in the end, should I try and join some type of hunting club? What is the best way to jump in for a "young" (mid-thirties) individual such as myself. I've read a lot of forum's and searched a good portion of the net , and after reading half of thefiringline.com's posts, I feel you people are the best to answer my questions honestly being true shooters and hunters. So what can you advise for this "weekend warrior"? Thanks in advance...

-Ian
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Old October 28, 2005, 11:35 AM   #2
Ac1d0v3r1d3
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who...to hunt

good one
Might want to try look into a hunting club, find somebody to show you the ropes. Good Luck
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Old October 28, 2005, 12:04 PM   #3
9mm1033
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I can relate. I'm a cityslicker and took up deer hunting many years ago. Started with a crossbow. Found a wooded area and walked around like a typical novice cityslicker hunter. Stood in the open, hid behind the tree(s) and walked like an elephant down the middle of the pathway. In fact, I actually remember hiding in between some brush (like when we were kids playing Army) hoping a deer would walk by. So, don't feel embarrassed. Most country born kids have a big edge up on we city boy's. I'd suggest reading hunting magazines and locating somewhere in the BIG state of Texas that provides information and hunting grounds. By the way, hunting alone is GREAT! Out with nature. Stalking wildlife is the challenge. However, hauling a dead deer in the woods to your truck alone SUCKS. Good luck...you can do it! Oh, since I have researched the techniques of hunting deer, I've shot some good 8 point bucks.
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Old October 28, 2005, 03:56 PM   #4
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Well once you know how to hunt it can be quite enjoyableto hunt alone. But for a novice with the chance of getting lost or hurt probably not much fun. If you find some one who will take you scouting with them in the preseason And ask alot of ?s about what they're doing and help it with showing them how resposible you are to spend some time in the woods Because thats what makes people nervous about taking some one they dont know that well out into the woods with a loaded weapon
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Old October 28, 2005, 04:17 PM   #5
Ian2005
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The Hunt

Some good suggestions, yes I've found several places to hunt for a reasonable fee. Most look like the "hang out in a blind" and wait for some multi-pointer. There's also some reasonable guided hunts out there as well, I've read a great deal, the only part Im not sure of is the "field dressing" part. Sounds like something either you can do, or something that makes you vomit profusely Im not really sure :-). Or I guess the 3rd options is you haul the whole body to a meat place. But I know full service hunting grounds take care of that anyway which sounds like a better option. There's several water fowl places much closer to home but I can't say that holds any interest as personally the quantity of meat off a bird is disputable, plus to me they smell a little too "gamey". IMHO. Post on...
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Old October 28, 2005, 05:09 PM   #6
mete
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Texas has 2 million feral hogs and 4 million deer . Farmers hate the pigs so you should be able to find land to hunt them without cost. They taste fine.
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Old October 28, 2005, 05:34 PM   #7
butch50
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Texas has a public hunting lands program called the "Annual Public Hunting Permit". The State leases land from private landowners, and individual hunters purchase an annual permit and hunting license - combined cost of both is $71.00 - that allows them to hunt on these properties. The State sends you a book of maps of places you can hunt. It takes a couple of weeks to get the maps after you buy the permit (which can be purchased at most places that sell licenses such as Walmart) - unless you go to a TPWD office and buy your license and permit there in which case they will hand you the book right then.

The largest concentration of public hunting lands is in the SE part of the State, so you are situated just right for that. Then too there are National Forests like Davy Crockett where you can hunt, and in East Texas there are some privately owned forest land that is open to hunters. Also there is land owned by the Corps of Engineers around many of the lakes in Texas that you can hunt with a permit from the Corps of Engineers.

In other words, you don't have to spend a fortune to hunt in Texas, and you do not have to get into a lease.

As for HOW to hunt, if you can not find a mentor, then you will need to do a lot of reading and get field experience. Outdoor life and Field and Stream magazines are good resources. There are many books at your local bookstore/library on the techniques of hunting as well.

Field dressing is relatively easy to do, and is necessary in all but the coldest weather. You want to field dress the deer to cool the body, if you leave the body intact for any period of time the intestines will go bad and will start to ruin the meat. I have never seen anyone throw up while field dressing, not even with a gut shot deer - which is an unpleasant task to field dress. There are plenty of articles on how to do it - a google search will likely get you tons of information on it.

Hunting isn't brain surgery; and it can most definitely be learned by anyone with the energy to follow a recipe of a combination of reading and trial and error. Just don't expect to get a deer every time you step into the woods and you will do fine. The successful hunt is the hunt where you feel like you had a great day outdoors.
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Old October 28, 2005, 10:32 PM   #8
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+1 for whut butch50 sez 'bout public huntin' lands.

Particularly after opening weekend(s), the $48 public hunting package (and Fed. lands) can be a great way to enjoy a variety of the great outdoors - without necessarily spending a lot of $.
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Old October 29, 2005, 03:16 AM   #9
impact
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Yah I think the Davy Crockett national forest is one of the better places to hunt. I love to bow hunt the Davy Crockett. There is a place on HWY 7 where bow hunters meat each year. Some of the hunters stay the whole month. These guys are a good group of people. I'm sure they would lend you a hand.

If you put the word out that you are looking for a lease in time you will find one. The lease I have now is about 600 acres and I have to drive along side the Davy Crockett to get to my gate. I pay $400 a year. My lease is a family lease and these people treat me like I'm one of there own. If you keep your eyes and ears open you will find a nice lease. I know it took me a long time for these people to ask if I wanted to be on there lease.
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Old October 29, 2005, 08:10 PM   #10
T. O'Heir
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Join a shooting club. Doesn't have to be a hunting club. A handgun target shooting club will do nicely. Most target shooters hunt too.
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Old October 30, 2005, 08:28 PM   #11
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It is tough to find a place to hunt when you have no family or other support folks to help you get started. I am always looking for places to hunt where I live, pretty much year around. Public hunting areas, check them out first.

The problem is that what you want and need is for someone to tell you to drive 10.4 miles north of xyz town on FM 99 and take a right turn on whitetail road where you will see a certain recognizable gate. Park and go inside the fenced property and you can hunt anywhere you want and there are lots of deer. The reality is that associates will talk about how they can hunt on uncle Bob's property and there are lots of deer, but never are willing to take the chance to let you hunt there because you might be a maniac and they would feel responsible. So, you're on your own for the most part at least to start out.

With all things considered, I would look at an inexpensive lease to start out with. That way you will feel like you belong there. Texas has really strict trespassing laws. Go there and begin learning the ropes. Be safe and respect the property. Leave nothing but tracks... and a deer gut pile. Better hurry. Deer season starts in a week!

Dressing a deer is fairly easy. I know that there are diagrams at the tennessee state (TWRA) web site on what to do. You just have to dig in with a sharp knife and do it. It gets easier with experience.
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Old October 31, 2005, 06:54 PM   #12
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Ian, I can completely relate to your situation right now. In fact, I have spent most of this afternoon (not working like I'm supposed to be) researching the whole Texas hunt situation. So far, I've gone deer hunting the past 2 muzzleloader seasons in Oklahoma because 1) it's pretty much cheaper, even with non-resident fees, than hunting in Texas and 2) I have no one around me that is into hunting, so I have no one to guide me on where to go (I go with my friends in OK). Unfortunately, considering I live right next to Dallas, I'm not finding very many local areas that I might be able to go hunting without getting into a lease (and it seems like most of those aren't around here either). This is one of the things that I find highly disappointing about living in Texas. The other is the lack of public shooting areas. I'm from OK, and I'm used to being able to go to the WMA and find a place to shoot. I can't seem to find anything like that around here.

Good luck in your search, hopefully yours will turn out better than mine so far.
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Old November 1, 2005, 08:44 AM   #13
butch50
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Beardking: There is public land available to permit holders at Lake Aquilla, which is just outside of Hillsboro - which is straight down I-35 and takes about 1 hour to reach and another half hour to the lake.

There is a lot of area down there, especially if you are willing to walk. If you have a boat, that is a bonus cause you can reach some of the more remote areas by boat, and walk in from there.

IIRC there is also Corps of Engineers land around Lake Whitney, and probably around most of the large COE lakes as well.
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Old November 1, 2005, 08:58 AM   #14
NB4ZOT
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Take the Texas Hunter Ed course. Its only $10 and it is a 10+hr course. Wildlife Rangers come and talk and you can ask them any question you want about what and where to hunt. They are a wealth of info plus it doesnt' hurt to learn safety stuff. I wish more yahoos would take this course. Plus if you were born after '77(?) you have to take it anyway I think. You can use your certification for other states that require it. Its a well spent 10 dollars.
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Old November 1, 2005, 12:44 PM   #15
Ian2005
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Hunter's Ed

Well I actually took a wildlife management course in college 10+ years ago, and it was a lot tougher than expected. I've spent time going to various state websites and read all about "field dressing", it look like a pain, but small penance for taking a beautiful creature's life. However, I think I could do it.
I even picked up a new- don't laugh - Hunting video game to give me some basics. Not nearly the same so don't trash me completely but it's at least a ~feal~ for what it might be like to be out there anyway. Realistically, I won't be ready this season but word around the office must be out because a coworker came up to me who turns out to be a big hunter and has done, seen, and hunted it all, even worked for the USGS for four years, he's going duck hunting on a lease, which as I stated earlier holds no interest but it might be a decent start to the basics of the hunt and survival. He said that several people have gone with him have never gone back simply because of the pain involved of putting out the hundreds of decoys, being up to your waist in the mud, freezing, etc., LoL I can see why some did not return. I've shot clays before off the back of a ~cough~ cruise ship... again I know, not the same, but I hit every one of em’.
I digress, Thank You all for your great input, I have enjoyed reading all the articles and have followed up with online searches that have given me at least a solid starting point to go by. I have found several public area lands somewhat close to home (N. of Conroe / SW of Sugarland) that perhaps I'll start visiting to become familiar with; practicing with my soon to own rifle, and learning everything I can from scents to tracking. There’s a whole lot to learn but I have the rest of me life.

Good Luck in all your hunts & may your bag limit’s always be reached.

-Ian

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Old November 2, 2005, 08:16 AM   #16
Jack O'Conner
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You should consider a Texas hunt for exotics, this are animals not native to North america. Right there in Texas you can hunt several antelope species from Africa, deer from Ceylon, India, Manchuria, red stag from Europe, etc. The hunting is quite good and guides are usually helpful and patient.

The smaller ranches should be nixed as these places offer penned animals. But the larger ranches offer quality hunts for free ranging animals. A rifle can be rented for about $25. per day.

I met a guy who filmed Sportsmen on Film series. Ken something. He can help you book a hunt. Try a google search for Sportsmen on Film.

Welcome to our sport and good hunting to you.
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Old November 2, 2005, 08:19 PM   #17
impact
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jack has a good point. I hunted game ranches before. Sometimes they will let you take doe for around $100 to $150 a deer. It a good way to go out and bag your first deer. Just to get an idea what it is like. They will clean the deer for you.
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Old November 2, 2005, 09:20 PM   #18
bugmantrap
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+1 For butch he seems to know what he is talking about. I have a cousin in San Antonio whos been there just a few yrs. Met a fellow in a VFW and they took a liken to each other seems the guy owed a 35,000 acre ranch you can take the story from there. I will be there next dec at rut time. moral is never give up and once you start hunting on public lands or with a permit like butch says, you will meet other guys who will be glad to help a newbie along.
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Old November 2, 2005, 10:04 PM   #19
impact
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Ian2005 a forum member contacted me and wanted to know if I wanted to go goose hunting the year. There is some great goose hunting in the katy area. I see the birds are high in the sky. The season is about to start. If this is something you want to do? let me know. It's great fun! It's a guided hunt. The last time I went it was $125 a day.
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Old November 2, 2005, 10:49 PM   #20
shureshot0471
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Man if there was ever a suject for me to talk about. The state has great hunting places Type 2 land is fun but sometimes can be hunted too much there is a assocation in Texas called the Texas Trophy Hunters Assocation and just your they are based out of San Aninto Texas great club they have a monthly magizne that will help you in the back there are adds that just are looking for folks like you pick one up and check it out read lots of feild and stream they also help but only in the season they give great pointers but a down fall to your needs are that Texas is known for their excellent deer hunting and unfortantlly the rates will be higher but sometimes you can talk to the land owner and they might come off their rates

Good Luck and Good Huntin
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