View Full Version : Hunting on public lands in Texas

November 17, 2001, 02:40 PM
I would like to go but some folks I spoke to said not to because too many uninformed people hunt on public land and the chance of getting hit by a stray shot or inexperienced hunter is high.

Anyone care to share experiences? or thoughts on hunting on public lands?

Thanks all.

Art Eatman
November 17, 2001, 08:46 PM
TP&WD does a pretty good job of controlling who and where on public lands hunting.

I've yet to read of a problem.

The increase in Hunter Education classes during the past decades, plus the requirement for the Blaze Orange, has reduced hunting accidents dramatically on a nationwide basis.

It's pretty much a "used to be" sort of problem.


November 18, 2001, 09:42 PM
I've tried them two separate times and gave up on them. the first time I was sitting under a tree and heard a guy coming at least 300 yards away.I think he thought he was daniel boone. He was stepping on sticks and making all kind of noise. I sat real still and didn't make a sound. He came within 100 yards of me and never saw me.When he passed,I left because any deer would be long gone by then. The 2nd time I was sleeping in my truck when a carload of drunks came by yelling and shooting their guns and raising hell. I didn't feel safe so I came on home.One man was turkey hunting and was sitting at the base of a tree and working a turkey caller and was shot and killed by some idiot.Those hunting lands are all in east and north east texas and has to service hunters from houston,dallas,fortworth,you are looking at a look ing at a lot of peiple that know nothing about hunting and will shoot at anything that moves. sj

Art Eatman
November 19, 2001, 12:09 AM
sj, about when was this? I was looking into applying, a few years back. Talked to a local game warden (west Texas) about this very problem, and got "good words" about how much patrolling they did...

FWIW, the Black Gap WMA is usually open to some very good quail and javelina hunting, and it's easier to get on when you're not fighting the numbers who apply for mule deer. 106,000 acres and few people. Also, the 17,000-acre Elephant Mountain WMA, south of Alpine, is good quail country.


November 19, 2001, 12:32 AM
it was around 92 or 93,back in that time frame. I was talking about deer hunting. I have used them for doves,duck,and quail with no problems. sj

Art Eatman
November 19, 2001, 09:58 AM
Getting a group of known, safe gun-handlers together for a private-ranch lease is probably about the safest way to have fun. Maybe it's Old Age talking, but I tend to compare the cost of a lease with the hospital cost of being "rebuilt" if I do survive some idiot's mistake.

But I'd try for Black Gap's mule deer hunting, if I didn't already have a place...


Double Naught Spy
November 19, 2001, 10:47 AM
What public lands? I think RI has more public lands than Texas.

November 19, 2001, 04:44 PM
I would like to hear some personal experiences from hunting the national forrests in east Texas. How crowded is it later in the season?

November 19, 2001, 09:45 PM
the national forrests are pretty crowded the first couple of weeks. If you wait till later in the season they aren't too bad,but you still have to watch out for yourself. sj

Art Eatman
November 19, 2001, 09:48 PM
DoubleNaughtSpy, TP&WD has worked out arrangements with such entities as paper companies, for public hunting. It's not the same as western states publicly-owned lands...

Read your TP&WD "Outdoor Annual" Hunting And Fishing Regulations. They're available at any gun store, TruValue Hardware, etc.


November 20, 2001, 09:55 AM
I have hunted "public" land almost exclusively for the last ten years and both love and hate it.

I have hunted both type II (mostly paper co land leased to tpw and wma's in various parks and national forests) and the last two years in Davy Crockett National Forest.

Pros: More like the hunting I grew up with in Ohio and New York, lots of room to still/stalk if the mood hit's you, greater challenge, cheap.

Cons: Lot's of hunter pressure early weeks of the season, can't take a doe (unless you enter drawing (my 10 year got drawn this year but not me)), I sometimes have trouble getting a good camp site.

I have heard lot's of stories about the idiots on public land, and in fact my brother was shot by a hunter in national forest (flesh wound to leg) but I prefer to hike way back into the swamps/boonies and rarely actually see other hunters.

I you would like to give it a try, I would be willing to arrange to meet in groveton and show you some of what I have learned. One thing, some sort of tree stand, preferably a climber is almost manditory.

November 20, 2001, 10:42 AM
What public lands? I think RI has more public lands than Texas.

Uh, Texas has more than 1 million acres of public hunting land.

September 15, 2002, 01:36 PM

I have a hunting license, do I need a permit for hunting public land? Also, what are good public lands to hunt duck? I am in the Plano/Allen/McKinney area.



Art Eatman
September 15, 2002, 06:06 PM
newbirdhunter: There is a ton of info in the annual TP&WD hunting/fishing rulebook. These are available anywhere hunting and fishing licenses are sold. You need to have and to read one of the booklets, even if you're a millionaire hunting on your own big ranch. :)

TP&WD also has a Website. http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us


September 15, 2002, 11:06 PM
A Texas Hunter Instructor here, so I get a lot of feedback. As a whole, the $40 public hunting packet is a very good deal. I had a 17 year old student in class this past week who got dove limit with first hour on properties depicted in special "Dove Hunting Suppliment".

Packet can be ordered anywhere licenses are sold. Maps will be mailed within a few days. However, it is like the name implies - very "public" and obtainable by just about anyone who buys a hunting license and who has an extra $40, whether or not the individual has ever had a hunter education course.

At least here in north Texas, a different animal is Corps of Engineers properties. Free hunting permits are issued, primarily for waterfowl hunting at local lakes such as Lewisville and Grapevine. But ... the Feds frequently require written proof of a hunter ed. class, regardless of age. Coincidently, altho only a few miles apart, different rules regarding blaze orange at Lake Lewsville vs. Grapevine. I understand some other area Corps lakes such as Lavon and Whitnew also sometimes provide some inexpensive opportunities for duck/deer. Each Lake typically has an on site office where specifics can be obtained.

Be advised that many of these types of properties have "designated parking areas" and, especially during dove season, they make an excellent place for game wardens to ;) hang out as hunters return to their vehicles ... :D

September 16, 2002, 12:39 AM
Don't Bother, Go to Colorado or New Mexico.

September 16, 2002, 07:57 AM
Art has a "place!"

Chili and whitetail and javelina.

Ronnie waits patiently for the invite. :D