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Old May 5, 2013, 06:23 PM   #1
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Exotic Hunt in Texas - your thoughts and suggestions

I have never been hunting on a "High Fence" ranch or other commercial hunting area. But I think that within the next year I am going to take the plunge and do it.

Ideally what I would like to hunt is some sort of medium to large African Plains game here in the US. Texas seems like the place that has a lot of places that offer this kind of option.

To give you some kind of an idea of the type of animal I would ideally like to hunt: Nyala, Kudu, Gemsbock, Wildebeast, Zebra, actually any of the big Antelope, etc. Not sure if any or all of these animals are available to hunt here but that is the general idea of what I am looking for.

Besides the usual caveats such as get referrals. Use only places that have been in operation for a while and have a good track record. etc. Is there anything else I should be concerned about?

I know this is going to cost several thousands of dollars, relatively inexpensive in comparison to traveling to Africa to do the hunt. But I still want to have a great experience and not waste the money.

All thoughts and suggestions appreciated.

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Old May 5, 2013, 07:12 PM   #2
Sure Shot Mc Gee
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It's your money. Spend as you wish. I prefer to hunt native North American game. You perhaps prefer Exotic. Private Game Preserve or Public Free Range? Where? It just comes down to a matter choice between the individuals.

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Old May 5, 2013, 07:15 PM   #3
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No offense intended but my thoughts are it is kinda like fishing in a barrel.
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Old May 5, 2013, 07:29 PM   #4
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This link to Texas Hunting Forums(exotic section) might help ya get the info you are looking for...

Hope this helps!
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Old May 5, 2013, 07:32 PM   #5
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Down in South Texas there are many very large ranches, like 10,000+ acre, that provide true hunting. True, they are High fenced but you still have to find them and stalk them. If you go to Africa you just follow the guide anyway. I don't see a whole lot of difference.
Just google around, you'll be suprised what you can find. I believe it's pretty expensive but it's not "fish in a barrel". Of course I'm sure you can find that too.
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Old May 5, 2013, 09:03 PM   #6
Art Eatman
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There are somewhere near 10,000 nilghai on the King Ranch. It's around 800,000 acres, if that's big enough.

I've lost track of the situation on the YO ranch near Kerrville. I know that they used to have hunts for exotics.

You might try these folks: Good organization.

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Old May 5, 2013, 09:10 PM   #7
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It will be a real hunt. I have visited many of these ranches in South Texas years ago and the number of high fence ranches has been increasing every year in Texas. Not cheap.

You might be able to add a boar hunt at the same time.

I was hunting a place in TN and the owner asked if I wanted to take one of his exotics. I declined. It literally would have been like sticking a pickel in a barrel. Not my thing.
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Old May 6, 2013, 01:36 AM   #8
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Rob..there are free range exotics in the hill country....
Hog Hunters never die........They just reload.........
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Old May 6, 2013, 09:12 AM   #9
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I never really considered killing captive animal "hunting".

A while back their was a rancher that would let you "hunt" buffalo in his field for $1100.I was thinking about getting one because the price of the meat was a good deal.
I called the guy up and told him I was interested I told him I didn't want to kill way out in the field he said he would bring it in the front of the place. The deal breaker was that I wanted all the meat.
Why else would I give him $1100? for a head and skin that cost another $1100 to get turned into a wall hanging? No thanks.
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Old May 6, 2013, 09:36 AM   #10
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I don't know if going to TX will save a lot of money over Africa, it will save you time. I had to back down from my Africa trip because I won't have the vacvacation time since I started a new job and going to Africa would require at least 16 days for a 10 day hunt. I had a six species plains game 10 day hunt planned for $7K, with plane tickets, lodging, tips, dip & ship budgeted liberally at $12K or more simply $2K per animal. I'm not sure you'll get it done that cheaply in TX.

I would love to chase free range aoudad and nilgai in TX though. You can't hunt nilgai in India and I'm not sure I want to hunt Barbary sheep in their native lands. However I'd love to find an old bull Eland in my sights in Africa.
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Old May 6, 2013, 11:19 AM   #11
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My understand was that Africa was cheaper than both exotic Texas hunts and Alaska hunts but taylor brings up a good point about the time factor.

As for the hunts themselves...... They run the gambit, even on the same ranches. Basically they will do whatever you want. Even the ones up here are plenty big for fair chase hunting while still being able to control the quality of their herds. It's hunting hands down. But I recall a story from a guide I was hunting with about a handicap fellow who wanted to shoot a zebra or two. They called around a found a couple from a drive thru zoo or something of the nature that was closing down, had em shipped in, turn em loose and went hunting a day or two later. He said that critters never strayed far from their release point and were like shooting fish in a barrel. All that seemed very pointless, only redeeming part was that the shooter was handicap. Cost was thru the roof though, talkin 10's of 1000's.
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Old May 21, 2013, 03:20 AM   #12
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Somehow hunting Africa and hunting texas for the same game just dosn't seem to be quite the same. "Hey Bob, come take a look at this grand Impala I bagged in texas".
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Old May 21, 2013, 11:11 AM   #13
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do it!! its not hunting in a barrel if u don't hunt over a feeder! put your abilities against the game in their environment, stalk them! with a handgun or a bow so u gotta get close!!! plus when its 100 degrees out, Africa or south tx, in the thick brush, its all bout the same except less lions and hyenas but more rattlesnakes and pigs!!
I lived in south tx for 2 yrs! would of loved to hunt any ranch! but couldn't afford it at the time. texas is 95% privately owned and there really isn't many public hunting areas. best would be to find a yr lease so u can go every free chance. still lots cheaper than flying to half way round the world and if u do it right youll be eating real good!!!
!!they say the nilghie is better than elk!!!
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Old May 21, 2013, 04:51 PM   #14
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For what its worth.....

I went to South Africa in 2010. The total trip was 13 days and I was in country for 10 days. I can tell you that the cost of the trip and taking 5 nice plains game animals was less than (including the taxidermy work) $12500. I can't vouch for the number of exotics in Texas but I can tell you, a hunter will see more game in 4 hours of hunting in South Africa than you will see in a lifetime of hunting in the states.

As to the 'high fenced' concerns, many of the places in South Africa are also fenced. When you are hunting thousands of acres of land, you seldom (if ever get near the fences) and it isn't anything like 'shooting fish in a barrel'.

Based on some of the prices I have seen for exotic animal hunts in the states, I really doubt you will be saving any real money over an African hunt and you will miss the opportunity to experience the Southern Hemisphere, the millions of animals, the beautiful scenery, and a chance to get to know people from another nation.
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Old May 21, 2013, 05:39 PM   #15
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People come through our general aviation airport down here (between Del Rio and San Antonio) that easily drop $100,000 on local exotic hunts. I know some of the workers for those ranches and $10,000 to $100,000 hunt packages are routine.

Also I once saw a Citation (twin engine private jet) land here once and a man, that was waiting for it, got out of a Suburban,went on board, walked a German Short haired Pointer off the plane. He put the dog in the Surburban and drove off. The plane then refueled and took off again without any people getting on or off the plane. I'm imagining the phone call that led up to that was something like " We're down here at the ranch and have decided to do some quail hunting. Do use a favor and put the dog on the plane and fly her down, will ya. Dave will be waiting at the airport for her." The plane's round trip cost to fly the dog was about $8,000 just in fuel from Houston and back. Some people have too much money. It was, however, a very nice looking bird dog.
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