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#6560302 - 11/27/16 06:48 AM Does public land now offer the lowest hunter density?
Texas Dan Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 07/28/08
Posts: 11274
The discussion in another thread got me thinking about the growing trend of people buying small tracts of land just for hunting reasons. The end result can be a much higher hunter density with lots of hunters taking lots of deer over areas that cannot support such a high harvest rate.

On the other hand, the inability to use feeders and food plots continues to drive hunters away from public land. As the numbers of these small, private tracts increase, it would seem likely that deer numbers are sure to increase on public land as hunter densities and harvest rates increase in private land areas.
_________________________
Dan,

Spring, Texas

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#6560369 - 11/27/16 07:54 AM Re: Does public land now offer the lowest hunter density? [Re: Texas Dan]
LandPirate Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 08/18/09
Posts: 10919
Loc: Buda
Public lands in Texas are so few and far between that they aren't accessible to many hunters. And they're heavily regulated with very limited access. So I'd say that your theory is probably correct.
_________________________
Mike
Buda, Tx
Hunt near Freer

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#6560500 - 11/27/16 10:23 AM Re: Does public land now offer the lowest hunter density? [Re: Texas Dan]
royd2500 Offline
Light Foot

Registered: 05/28/12
Posts: 49
Loc: Ft Worth, Texas
A hunter I work with took a huge buck off the LBJ Grasslands two weeks ago and saw another while walking out. I think it's definitely something to think about. I may loose my lease in the next couple years to windmills. So I'm very interested in Public Land.

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#6560693 - 11/27/16 01:25 PM Re: Does public land now offer the lowest hunter density? [Re: Texas Dan]
Deerhunter61 Offline
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 08/27/08
Posts: 5555
Loc: DFW
As for how crowded...I believe the first two weeks and Thanksgiving it's extremely crowded in the areas that are easily accessible. Otherwise it's probably not too bad.

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#6561374 - 11/27/16 08:50 PM Re: Does public land now offer the lowest hunter density? [Re: Texas Dan]
maximus_flavius Offline
Bird Dog

Registered: 04/24/13
Posts: 386
The only time I hunted on public land, you could not pack any more people into the hunting areas. it roughly had the same human density as downtown Dallas, only everyone was wearing orange & toting rifles.

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#6561921 - 11/28/16 09:14 AM Re: Does public land now offer the lowest hunter density? [Re: Texas Dan]
Ranch Dog Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 07/15/05
Posts: 1089
Loc: Cuero
I suspect the OP's theory is a pretty good one. If you throw in the TPWD hunts, they definitely have lower hunter densities than what we read about here on the average private lands; owned or leased.

I hunt the Aransas NWR and these permits are about as easy to get as any I've seen. They have been first come first served through Kinsail. 100 permits per hunt, for three hunts. The hunt area is 19,665 acres and that does not include any tidal flats or navigable waters. Durn near 200 acres/hunter. Permits were available for weeks, when I bought mine all three weeks were available and there is no restrictions on how many weeks you buy. I tired to talk my neighbor into getting all three permits, he doesn't have any other place to hunt. 15 days of hunting for $405. That is dirt cheap. Now he is wishing he did as he killed a buck and hog on the first day.

Of course, good old TPWD is going to change this next year as they pull the Aransas NWR into the public draw hunt system. Hunters will be picked and leave after the first mornings hunt. You got'ta be local to understand and deal with it.

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#6562078 - 11/28/16 10:41 AM Re: Does public land now offer the lowest hunter density? [Re: Texas Dan]
Palehorse Offline
Extreme Tracker

Registered: 10/22/07
Posts: 4034
Loc: Surfside Beach, TX
Depends on where you go. I've been on hunts where there was no one else for miles. I have also hunted the Sam Houston NF on days where you couldn't swing a dead cat over your head without hitting someone in an orange hat.
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That which does not kill me only makes me more irritable.

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#6562898 - 11/28/16 06:54 PM Re: Does public land now offer the lowest hunter density? [Re: Texas Dan]
sar67 Offline
Light Foot

Registered: 08/31/16
Posts: 14
Loc: Waco
I think the important thing to get out of this post is the idea of so many people buying small tracts of land to hunt on. I agree that this is effectively changing the hunter density in Texas. Public hunting is very crowded. But this trend towards hunting small tracts is making private lands more crowded too in the big picture. The result will be more deer harvested per square mile than there otherwise would be. I wonder what this will do to the overall herd.
_________________________
"It's a small world. But I wouldn't want to paint it." ~Steven Wright.

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