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#7217460 - 07/06/18 04:32 PM High Fence vs. Free Range Hunts
okokmoon Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 12/30/17
Posts: 72
Now I know this will probably create some controversy and I know it's been a topic discussed previously, but I thought I throw out some food for thought.

First of all, I don't have the money or the interest in a high fence hunt but some people do or high fence operations wouldn't be around. They made them illegal a few years ago here in Montana.

I'd never thought too much about them and like most people my impression was that it would be like shooting a prize bull in a pasture, but I happened to be on a caribou hunt a few years back with a wonderful old fellow who had hunted all over the world. He'd hunted caribou 9 times and his trophy room was 16,000 square feet (to give you an idea of his experience). He was 80 years old at the time and over the course of the hunt we visited a lot about the different hunts he'd been on and somehow or another the topic of high fence hunts came up. He said he'd been on a few and here's what he said he'd learned about whitetail High Fence Hunts. Keep in mind that they are not all the same, but this is what he told me about the ones he's researched.

In the high fence operations he researched, the fawns are separated at birth. The doe fawns are bottle fed and raised up so that they are relatively tame so they can be handled more easily. All are artificially inseminated. The buck fawns are put in separate pastures based on age....1.5 year old are together, 2.5 year olds are kept together, etc. As soon as the antlers are fully developed they are sawed off the first two years so that the bucks do not injure each other fighting, etc.. Human contact with the bucks is kept at a minimum so that they do not become tame. When they are 3 years old, they are released into the preserve several months before they are hunted. Within a couple of weeks, they revert back to how a buck in the wild behaves.

By fall, they act like any normal buck in the wild. Many are never seen during daylight hours and many are not even caught on trail cams. Some preserves use corn, etc. to lure the bucks out but others do not.

Some high fence operations are several thousand acres in size, while others are much smaller. One operation in Texas has 30 miles of fencing to maintain. Deer do escape... Many in the south have hogs and the hogs are continually rooting around and breaking the fences created holes were deer can escape also.

The gentleman who was telling me all of this said he hunted one high fence preserve for a specific buck they knew was on the property, but he never laid eyes on it.

As we all know, these hunts are not cheap. Most charge according to the size of the buck killed but some do not... Some charge a flat rate and you can shoot any size buck you find... Prices range from about $7,500 on up...

So, the question is why would anyone pay to hunt a high fence preserve? Other than the gentleman I have mentioned, I've never talked with anyone who has hunted a high fence preserve, so I'm not sure. This gentleman said he was curious about how a preserve hunt would be compared to a free range hunt. He obviously had the money!!! He said it was fun...much different than he'd envisioned it would be. I asked him if he'd done others and he said a couple, but he much preferred hunting free range game. When I met him he had 16 hunts scheduled around the world that year..5 of them in Manitoba. After our Caribou hunt we dropped him off at another camp for moose and then he was hunting whitetails there later in the fall and geese and he had a spring bear hunt planned!!!! What a life!!!

Most hunters frown on High Fence operations, but my guess is that 99,9% have never even visited one say nothing about hunt on one. Leasing and buying land specifically for hunting has become the big thing these days.... Is leasing or buying land, planting food plots in the middle specifically designed to grow large bucks and keep them on the property really that much different than a high fence operation? Bucks are basically grown up until they are fully mature until they are on the "Hit List". I'm just tossing that out there for food for thought...

Hunters these days travel all over the country, Canada, etc. in search of a large buck. Everyone seems to want to kill something bigger, and bigger, and bigger......Probably the reason high fence operations exist. I know a guy back east who traveled to Saskatchewan 4 times looking for "the big one" and never shot anything bigger than a 130" buck and he probably spent well over $20,000 by the time it was all said and done. Did he have fun trying? I really don't think so.. He sat in a ground blind from daylight till dark every day and froze his butt off... Not my idea of fun!!!

For me, I'll continue to hunt right here around home. I may travel to another state or to Canada to hunt deer, but probably not. We have good bucks, but generally speaking we don't have huge bucks. I don't have much interest in hunting Muleys because quite frankly they are no challenge at all... Many will disagree, but I see thousands of them each year and they just aren't anything that I find to be much of a challenge. For those who choose to hunt a high fence area, lease land and plant food plots, etc., go for it...... Any kind of hunting is better than watching tv, playing video games, etc. It's all about getting outdoors and enjoying ourselves and NOT judging each other.

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#7217468 - 07/06/18 04:43 PM Re: High Fence vs. Free Range Hunts [Re: okokmoon]
stxranchman Online   content
Obie Juan Kenobi

Registered: 08/04/10
Posts: 53373
How is the hog hunting in Montana claiming to have killed 40 over them over a baited hole? Since you started another thread on it in the exotic section.....
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#7217469 - 07/06/18 04:43 PM Re: High Fence vs. Free Range Hunts [Re: okokmoon]
SapperTitan Offline
Taking Requests

Registered: 11/17/10
Posts: 26309
Loc: Killeen/Ft Hood, TX
There has been approx 5000 threads about this. There are those that like it, those that hate it, and those that will belittle you for liking it like NogulusPraire.

All of these threads go a few pages until the attacks get to bad from fellow hunters then they get locked and shut down.
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Originally Posted By: bill oxner
I plowed mules.



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#7217511 - 07/06/18 05:26 PM Re: High Fence vs. Free Range Hunts [Re: okokmoon]
Txduckman Online   content
THF Celebrity

Registered: 08/30/04
Posts: 14117
Loc: Big D
And every HF place is different. Many are just native deer they let get to 6 to 7 years old.

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#7217512 - 07/06/18 05:26 PM Re: High Fence vs. Free Range Hunts [Re: okokmoon]
Creekrunner Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 10/19/12
Posts: 10794
Loc: Bexar/Gillespie, hunt Terrell
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...and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. Gen. 1:28

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#7217513 - 07/06/18 05:26 PM Re: High Fence vs. Free Range Hunts [Re: okokmoon]
spg Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 08/11/13
Posts: 1615
I think most are just envious of what can be achieved with management or high fence, the negative outlook is just an excuse for them not to except someone else's logic works better than theirs.

As far as travelling to hunt, I've hunted the mid west, Texas hill country, swamps, river bottoms, and South Texas. Never have I found local people with the same outlook on hunting as in South Texas which is where I'll hunt for the rest of my time. Just good ole hard working country people. I don't miss the hard woods but I do kind of miss the hill country, I love South Texas if my kids weren't so rooted in sports and school I'd move in a heart beat.

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#7217518 - 07/06/18 05:30 PM Re: High Fence vs. Free Range Hunts [Re: okokmoon]
don k Online   content
THF Celebrity

Registered: 08/27/08
Posts: 10979
Loc: Bandera, Tx
I have a HF and it is only around 350 acres. I do not do any of the things that the person who told you this BS does. I raise Ibex and I have WT and sometimes Axis that get in. A while back someone was running off his mouth about hunting a HF was like "Shooting Fish In A Barrel". I made him a deal. I will let you in the gate at daylight. You give me $1500 and you have all day to hunt. I will pick you up at the gate at dark. If you have killed the Axis Buck he was mouthing about I would give him the $1500 back. If not I kept it. I never heard from him again. I guess he was not that sure of his actual hunting ability.

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#7217542 - 07/06/18 05:57 PM Re: High Fence vs. Free Range Hunts [Re: okokmoon]
maximus_flavius Offline
Tracker

Registered: 04/24/13
Posts: 938
Originally Posted By: okokmoon
Now I know this will probably create some controversy.......


No way.......


The best thing about HF hunting is, you know there are big deer inside. As opposed to many LF places, where the fence line hunting neighbors (& their buddies) shoot all the bucks at 2 years old, & all the doe, so thereís not much chance for nice deer.


Edited by maximus_flavius (07/06/18 05:58 PM)

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#7217545 - 07/06/18 06:01 PM Re: High Fence vs. Free Range Hunts [Re: okokmoon]
scalebuster Offline
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 11/25/10
Posts: 3367
Iíve guided and hunted on both. Anyone who tells you there is no difference is lying to you. I think it all comes down to what the hunter wants. I havenít guided on high fenced properties bigger than 5 sections. Anyplace you have captive deer is going to be different and the customers are different.

Iím not envious of anyone who wants to kill a giant deer on a high fence place. I enjoy deer hunting because I like hanging out with old freinds around the campfire. I donít give a chit if I ever kill another whitetail as long as I live. Iím a Quail hunter and the difference is almost the same as hunting wild bird Vs. planted bird. Theyíre both fun but thereís a big difference.

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#7217547 - 07/06/18 06:02 PM Re: High Fence vs. Free Range Hunts [Re: okokmoon]
Creekrunner Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 10/19/12
Posts: 10794
Loc: Bexar/Gillespie, hunt Terrell
If I had a dime for every time I've heard "no challenge at all", or something similar...
_________________________
...and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. Gen. 1:28

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#7217586 - 07/06/18 06:31 PM Re: High Fence vs. Free Range Hunts [Re: Creekrunner]
scalebuster Offline
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 11/25/10
Posts: 3367
Originally Posted By: Creekrunner
If I had a dime for every time I've heard "no challenge at all", or something similar...



Iíll toss out no challenge again. I have a buddies ranch ( three section high fence). If you canít get a shot at a 170Ē buck while weíre riding around drinking cold beer somethingís wrong. The only challenge is trigger squeeze. I saw a guy kill a 350Ē elk out there a few years ago after I guided a clusterfk planted bird hunt. We saw the bull while riding around in a Jeep relaxing. The bull was standing in the middle of the dirt road. We circled around a hill and called the rancher to dicker over price. After negotiations the guy walked over the hill and killed him at 200 yards. Perfect shot and he fell right in the middle of the road. Thatís just the same as hunting in the Rockies? The bull did make a fine looking mount and is a conversation piece in his office Iím sure.

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#7217643 - 07/06/18 07:17 PM Re: High Fence vs. Free Range Hunts [Re: okokmoon]
dogcatcher Online   content
THF Celebrity

Registered: 07/17/06
Posts: 89147
Loc: Abilene or on the road...
popcorn
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_____________"Illegitimus non carborundum est"_______________




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#7217649 - 07/06/18 07:20 PM Re: High Fence vs. Free Range Hunts [Re: okokmoon]
spg Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 08/11/13
Posts: 1615
For the record I'm on both sides of the fence, I like both, dislike neither.

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#7217651 - 07/06/18 07:21 PM Re: High Fence vs. Free Range Hunts [Re: okokmoon]
FiremanJG Online   content
THF Celebrity

Registered: 12/16/08
Posts: 26109
Loc: Wolfe City, TX
The first 1/4 of ten miles of bad road...
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#7217652 - 07/06/18 07:21 PM Re: High Fence vs. Free Range Hunts [Re: okokmoon]
Simple Searcher Offline
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 12/30/12
Posts: 6343
Loc: Helotes, Hext
This never ends well.
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"Man is still a hunter, still a simple searcher after meat..." Robert C. Ruark

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