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How much public land is actually in Texas? #7679462 12/04/19 02:11 PM
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I'm curious, with National Grassland, the Public Hunting Permit, Corps lakes, etc., how much public land is actually in Texas and open to hunting?

Does the "over 1 million acres" the TPWD website promotes include the footprint of SHNF and the like?

What about Draw only WMA regions? (I certainly hope not.)


Almost more importantly, does OnX or a similar map show all the different potential hunting areas clearly?

I'm thinking of this because of a recent article in the Houston Chronicle linked below. Opinions on the article aside, the subject is focused on 1.9 million acres of national forest and grasslands in Texas, much more than the 1 million acres open to public hunting.

Is there a reason why TPWD doesn't provide at least some level of information on these other opportunities?

P.S. Thank you to the forum for providing the links pinned at the top of this section. It makes finding alternative hunting opportunities easier!


https://www.houstonchronicle.com/bu...pen-national-14867890.php#photo-18677730

Re: How much public land is actually in Texas? [Re: DFWpublichunter] #7679789 12/04/19 06:58 PM
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State shows you state managed wmas. It does not show you federal lands like Sam Houston, or corps land that surrounds most lakes which is open to a lot of hunting.

I actually prefer it that way myself

Re: How much public land is actually in Texas? [Re: DFWpublichunter] #7679848 12/04/19 08:47 PM
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Originally Posted by DFWpublichunter
I'm curious, with National Grassland, the Public Hunting Permit, Corps lakes, etc., how much public land is actually in Texas and open to hunting?

Does the "over 1 million acres" the TPWD website promotes include the footprint of SHNF and the like?

What about Draw only WMA regions? (I certainly hope not.)


Almost more importantly, does OnX or a similar map show all the different potential hunting areas clearly?

I'm thinking of this because of a recent article in the Houston Chronicle linked below. Opinions on the article aside, the subject is focused on 1.9 million acres of national forest and grasslands in Texas, much more than the 1 million acres open to public hunting.

Is there a reason why TPWD doesn't provide at least some level of information on these other opportunities?

P.S. Thank you to the forum for providing the links pinned at the top of this section. It makes finding alternative hunting opportunities easier!


https://www.houstonchronicle.com/bu...pen-national-14867890.php#photo-18677730


There is almost 900k acres of a Federal National Parks in Texas that do not allow hunting


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

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Re: How much public land is actually in Texas? [Re: DFWpublichunter] #7680221 12/05/19 03:46 AM
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Some of those "Acres" include the water of the lakes, so can be very misleading. look at Tawakoni WM for instance.

Re: How much public land is actually in Texas? [Re: DFWpublichunter] #7681906 12/06/19 09:50 PM
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The APH pamphlet IIRC said something like 94% of Texas is privately owned, but that remainder still comes to 16k-ish square miles.

Re: How much public land is actually in Texas? [Re: DFWpublichunter] #7681962 12/06/19 10:50 PM
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Shouldn't be that hard to quantify.Might take a few hours but its doable. First you would need to break down what species you are interested in:

Deer
Hogs
Small game
Waterfowl
Quail
etc.


Then assemble your list of all public hunting areas and how many acres are on each of those,and which species are allowed to be hunted there. Good examples would be Ray Roberts and Lavon hunting areas. Probably over 15,000 acres for hog hunting but 0 acres for deer hunting between the two of those places. Davy Crockett NF 160,000 acres for deer and hogs. Personally I wouldn't even count those WMAs that are almost impossible to draw a permit for,Black Gap,Elephant Mtn,etc. You would of course never get the exact amount of acres for each species but I bet you could get pretty close.

Re: How much public land is actually in Texas? [Re: DFWpublichunter] #7683891 12/09/19 02:57 AM
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Originally Posted by DFWpublichunter
How much public land is actually in Texas and open to hunting?


Not nearly enough.

Last edited by Whiptail; 12/09/19 02:57 AM.
Re: How much public land is actually in Texas? [Re: DFWpublichunter] #7683959 12/09/19 05:16 AM
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I have been pursuing that information myself. Here is a pretty good link, I think sums it up in regards to acreage. Pretty good article that covers all 50 states. Broken down by total acreage of the state, and the blm, federal, and state controlled hunting lands.

Does not cover species or etc. but gives you a pretty good idea where we stand. Texas being by far the largest in the contiguous 48, only has 0.1 acres per person of public hunting grounds. For reference, it is 2.1 acres per person nationwide.

To top it off, the vast majority of our State hunting grounds seem to be dove and small game only, and in my linited experience they are very crowded.

I would look into the national forests. We have some good size national forests in East Texas including some federal designated "wilderness areas" that you can hunt.

They are not as large as wilderness in idaho or montana etc, not even close. But East Texas is almost all country in it's entirety, so the wilderness held within I can imagine is a sight to behold.


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Re: How much public land is actually in Texas? [Re: DFWpublichunter] #7684034 12/09/19 01:08 PM
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OnX does a good job with the wma and private land boundaries, especially if you're on a big lake trying to find public walk in access.


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Re: How much public land is actually in Texas? [Re: DFWpublichunter] #7684141 12/09/19 03:02 PM
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The thing is, yes, the lack of public hunting acces is a bummer. But the upside is most of our public land is surrounded by rural private property, and most Texas landowners are hunter/conservationist types. So there is plenty of habitat and there are plenty of animals.

I have not hunted the Angelina yet but let me share with you my experience hunting the military reservation of Fort Bragg, NC. I have signed out for pieces small enough to walk clear across in under an hour that had well over a dozen trucks parked on it. It does not get more crowded than that.

Not too far away I found a spot with little access for motorized vehicles, and walked all the way back into a holler in the northeast corner and literally snuck right up on my first buck. There were no vehicles out there.

On a military post with a well maintained grid system of firebreaks and trails that are constantly being renewed with fresh sand, I have found lots of places with no other hunters or fishermen to compete with. Beaver ponds not even on the maps, etc.

I would bet you can find stuff like that in the national forests in East Texas. If I knew any I darn sure wouldnt post it on the internet!

If you find the deepest, thickest stuff with the least amount of road access, you can find spots that are practically yours.


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Re: How much public land is actually in Texas? [Re: Bryan C. Heimann] #7684762 12/10/19 02:09 AM
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Originally Posted by laid over
The thing is, yes, the lack of public hunting acces is a bummer. But the upside is most of our public land is surrounded by rural private property, and most Texas landowners are hunter/conservationist types. So there is plenty of habitat and there are plenty of animals.

I have not hunted the Angelina yet but let me share with you my experience hunting the military reservation of Fort Bragg, NC. I have signed out for pieces small enough to walk clear across in under an hour that had well over a dozen trucks parked on it. It does not get more crowded than that.

Not too far away I found a spot with little access for motorized vehicles, and walked all the way back into a holler in the northeast corner and literally snuck right up on my first buck. There were no vehicles out there.

On a military post with a well maintained grid system of firebreaks and trails that are constantly being renewed with fresh sand, I have found lots of places with no other hunters or fishermen to compete with. Beaver ponds not even on the maps, etc.

I would bet you can find stuff like that in the national forests in East Texas. If I knew any I darn sure wouldnt post it on the internet!

If you find the deepest, thickest stuff with the least amount of road access, you can find spots that are practically yours.


Bragg sounds like Fort Riley was. You could literally walk on treestands through most of the open training areas. Luckily, I was able to get on some good deer simply because it was Kansas and they're a dime a dozen.

Like you said, find nasty looking stuff with little road access and you can get away from most guys. Sometimes it's easier to find land that foots that bill (like in Arkansas) than in other places like Texas.


"If you want to catch beasts you don't see every day, you have to go places quite out of the way. You have to go places no others can get to. You have to get cold, and you have to get wet, too." --Dr. Seuss
Re: How much public land is actually in Texas? [Re: DFWpublichunter] #7684912 12/10/19 06:20 AM
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East Texas is pretty thick.

Speaking of Fort Riley, i drove past it today. I like driving through Kansas. I saw a buck chasing a doe in circles right out in the open off 70.

I bet those Kansas wind storms make things interesting on the airfield...


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Re: How much public land is actually in Texas? [Re: Bryan C. Heimann] #7690091 12/16/19 06:09 AM
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Compared to the west, very little.
Texas has some public land, the majority appears to be opened for small game, and limited draw/access big game.
In Oregon, I could pick from a half dozen hunt national forest hundreds of thousands to over a million of acres in size, and have an entire draw/canyon to myself.
I could get in my boat on the columbia river and over 16 years of hunting it have less than a handful of cases where someone else approached a blind I already had.


Last edited by SirDukeOfLor; 12/16/19 06:13 AM.
Re: How much public land is actually in Texas? [Re: DFWpublichunter] #7722924 01/20/20 02:49 AM
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Keep in mind, TPWD boasts over 1 million acres of public hunting grounds. But alot of it is only for dove hunting.


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Re: How much public land is actually in Texas? [Re: DFWpublichunter] #7745295 02/13/20 11:00 PM
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Learned a lot of different public lands when I got my type 2 permit they mailed a book with all the land it marks where and what you can hunt and the methods they allow.

Re: How much public land is actually in Texas? [Re: Whiptail] #7778432 03/20/20 02:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Whiptail
Originally Posted by DFWpublichunter
How much public land is actually in Texas and open to hunting?


Not nearly enough.

Re: How much public land is actually in Texas? [Re: MikeU] #7779278 03/20/20 09:58 PM
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Originally Posted by MikeU
Originally Posted by Whiptail
Originally Posted by DFWpublichunter
How much public land is actually in Texas and open to hunting?


Not nearly enough.



Did the leasing thing, majority of the leases were over an hour away.
OSBWMA was just a few minutes, 5,627acres, thar was roughly 4, couning the three small ones combined as 1 at Lake Tawakani, Whote oak tis bigger than OSBWMA, Several others went to that were 3hour drive...
Lot eepends on area, ya live... Thar was over 1,000,000 acres, bang tis small compared ta size of texas but huge comparied ta other states... All on how ya look at it. & many have great hog hunts, just Not execative hunts...
It could be worse. .
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Re: How much public land is actually in Texas? [Re: DFWpublichunter] #7780006 03/21/20 12:35 PM
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How much public land in Texas? Could be A LOT more that is already owned by the public but not open to hunting or managed well for hunting. I recently found out about a beautiful ranch of around 6000 acres just west of DFW that we have owned for many years now. The TPWD manager "hasn't gotten around to opening it up for hunting yet....he is too busy playing on it with his (that we the taxpayer bought him) new bulldozer". This was told to me by another public land property manager, not as an insult but just matter of fact. He didn't even recognize that this is a basic failure to do what our public land owning should be doing for us, giving us access. Well managed of course, but I think you can take more than 0 deer off of a Palo Pinto area ranch, no matter how "hard it was hunted" before the state bought it (for us), many years ago. There are at least dozens of places like this, if not many, many more.


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