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Introduction #7227157 07/17/18 05:40 PM
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davebda Offline OP
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Hi! Just joined. I am presently living in California. Please do not go hating on me until you read my story. I grew up hunting and fishing in Michigan and joined the service right out of high school. After 12 years of service, I met and married a California girl and have been here ever since. In the 80's and early 90's, this was a great place to be. Lots of hunting and fishing opportunities. That has changed drastically. The Democrats have ruined this state with their laws and taxes among other things.

I am a year and a half from retirement and looking for a new home. Texas laws and taxes puts it on my list of possibilities but I am looking for some feedback on the hunting and fishing. One of the advantages of this state that I have made great use of is the abundance of public land. Millions of acres of National Forests and BLM properties. Looking at Texas, I do not see that much public land. Do you folks hunt private land, public land or ???? I was looking at a web page that was talking about the changes in your draw programs and it really looks complicated.

The girl I married 30+ years ago is born and raised California so what I am looking for is someplace where I can buy a place outside of city limits where I can retire in peace, hunting and fishing and yet be close enough to a active city that she can drive to. Thinking about the Austin area right now.

So, any input you could give me would be greatly appreciated.


A veteran is someone who, at one point in their life, wrote out a blank check made payable to "The United States of America" for the sum of 'up to and including my life'.
Re: Introduction [Re: davebda] #7227162 07/17/18 05:48 PM
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SherpaPhil Offline
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Texas is a pay to play model. Most folks either lease private land for the season, or pay a guide for hunting trips. DIY hunting on public land is very limited. The draw system isn't too bad once you get used to it, but the odds, across the board, aren't very good. There just aren't enough public land opportunities to go around.

Coming from California, you won't believe how cheap housing and land is here. Depending on your needs, you could either buy a place and hunt right from your back door, or find a place to live, and lease hunting access out a little farther.

To be honest, if you are looking for a place you can retire and hunt public land reasonably close to a city, I'd be looking outside Denver.

Re: Introduction [Re: davebda] #7227175 07/17/18 06:09 PM
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ducknbass Online Content
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Wyoming or Montana is where I would head.

Re: Introduction [Re: davebda] #7227180 07/17/18 06:14 PM
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kk66 Offline
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Most of Texas private land will be leased to hunt. As with anything else leases will vary with price depending on what else comes with it. Most of the higher dollar places you're going to see advertised will have really nice lodges, record book level deer or exotics. A spot on a no frills place with average deer and primitive camping can be can be found for under $2,000.

There is a good bit of public land, several national forests in the eastern 1/3rd of the state, most of the public hunting in the western 2/3rds is going to be by draw only. Very little public hunting near Austin and given how fast urban sprawl is spreading there a "place out in the country" may be surrounded by subdivisions in 5-10 years. If you're set on Texas I would probably look near Houston, Dallas or Corpus. Land costs will be cheaper and there a lot more hunting and fishing opportunity.

Re: Introduction [Re: davebda] #7227182 07/17/18 06:15 PM
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There is still a big chunk of Public Land in Texas with over a million huntable acres not including coastal.

In Texas three types of public hunting:

National Forrest/grass lands(need public use permit, its online)

Corps of Engineers and Federal WMA(most have thier own drawing or get free permit at office hdq)

State managed draw hunts(online- hogs, alligators, Axis, Sambar, elk, aoudad, turkeys, pronghorn, whitetails, muledeer, gemsbok and scimitar oryx, Ducks, Nilgai, pheasants, Desert Big Horn sheep....etc )


Donate to TX Youth hunting program.... better to donate then to waste it in taxes

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Re: Introduction [Re: davebda] #7227279 07/17/18 07:46 PM
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welcome Sell that $2Mil dollar California beach house and turn it into a small ranch in North Texas. Then hunt off your back porch!


To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target.

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Re: Introduction [Re: davebda] #7227312 07/17/18 08:06 PM
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When I moved to Dallas from SoCal in 2005, my standard of living went up by about 40%. No kidding.

Texas is largely "pay for play", but hunting meat animals is usually inexpensive. It's also worth noting that Texas is in the center of the country, so a retired guy can drive to many places that offer public land hunting.

When describing Texas to people who've never been here I offer the following cultural guideline:
  • Dallas is the mid-west.
  • Houston is the south.
  • San Antonio is the south-west.
  • Austin is San Francisco.

Funny, but pretty much true.


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Re: Introduction [Re: davebda] #7227319 07/17/18 08:18 PM
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What's our budget? Knowing this will help us get you pointed in the right direction. The Austin area is some of the highest $ land in the state. I know some pockets in Texas that are poor, not much on the attraction or cultural side but land is cheap and hunting is some of the best in the state.


An unethical shot is one you take, that you know you shouldn't.
Re: Introduction [Re: onlysmith&wesson] #7227494 07/17/18 10:51 PM
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davebda Offline OP
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My house lists on Zillo as $600 K. Will probably be higher in a year. We have savings to live on. Sale of the house will be for purchasing another wherever we end up.


A veteran is someone who, at one point in their life, wrote out a blank check made payable to "The United States of America" for the sum of 'up to and including my life'.
Re: Introduction [Re: davebda] #7227520 07/17/18 11:19 PM
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Might be eye opening to get on either Lands of Texas or Country homes of Texas web sites to see what can be bought for $600k or so.
Some of the listings may ease y'alls concerns.

Some areas are really expensive others cheap as dirt...

Re: Introduction [Re: davebda] #7227958 07/18/18 10:00 AM
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Look at Colorado. Lots of public land and your wife will like the weather

Re: Introduction [Re: dkershen] #7227959 07/18/18 10:07 AM
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Originally Posted By: dkershen
welcome Sell that $2Mil dollar California beach house and turn it into a small ranch in North Texas. Then hunt off your back porch!


Originally Posted By: skinnerback
Milf does the trick.

"You're statistically more likely to be killed by Hillary Clinton than an NRA member. - PolitiDiva

"You Cannot Simultaneously Be Politically Correct And Intellectually Honest!"
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