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Your take land opportunity vs quality for brand new hunters that want to DIY #7809818 04/17/20 11:46 PM
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Bryan C. Heimann Offline OP
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Our discussion in the thread on three types of hunters got me thinking. Very specifically, BOBO the Clown's contributions to that thread. I thought long and hard on it, and somehow managed to resist my awful impulse control issues for a few days. Here is what I come up with.

The opportunity is definitely there to at least get out and try to shoot some doves. I think doves are a great place to start for a new hunter, breasting out a dove is less labor intensive than cleaning fish and birdshot is not likely to injure someone or damage property at range.

The quality though?

On to the quality- we have a good thing going in the way that it's there but only for serious huntersthat will do their homework. Not a bad thing- if everyone in this country decided to start hunting and got a deer- do we have enough deer? Serious question. Apply it to the state- if everyone in Texas got a deer this year it could be a disaster. Thank God for the merry few deer hunters and the prevailing attitude towards managemet and conservation.

Fortunately public land baiting is illegal, and to find the deer you gotta take it very seriously.

So with all that said, the problem as I see it is that the places nearby to the most populous areas are pretty much a free for all with access and too much human traffic.

I think access to these areas should be more strictly controlled- not like the drawn hunts but something like the way it is limited on Fort Bragg with ISportsman. Where only a certain number of people are allowed to access the property, and you have to do it on Isportsman, sign in and sign out every day, and give data on what you took that day.

If I recall correctly it was set up so you could not sign out the day in advance, must wait until 2 or 3 am the day of to sign out a given area on a first come first serve basis.

Ths would limit the number of hunters out there every day and provide harvest data for all species to biologists daily, and they could close the WMA/dove field based on sustainable harvest levels.

Which would improve the quality of all these little spots all around the metro area.

Maintain the current lottery system as well, keep the access to those places limited as they are so we keep getting the money for conservation.

But for the first timers in the city, they will have easy access to better habitat and more game. Vs walking up to s dove field where the grass has been trampled flat.

Could possibly also include urban area air rifle hunts with power restricted guns, given the hunter has insurance, similar to the UK? I have seen suburbsn places with tons of pigeons I would have gladly even paid a couple hundred bucks to shoot pigeons with a pellet gun for a day.

What ya'll think about that? You think I am at least on paper? Or missing completely?

Last edited by laid over; 04/17/20 11:50 PM.

Regular Guy/regularguy11B/ laid over
Re: Your take land opportunity vs quality for brand new hunters that want to DIY [Re: Bryan C. Heimann] #7810205 04/18/20 12:34 PM
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Man, the [censored] that city hunters think about.........

Re: Your take land opportunity vs quality for brand new hunters that want to DIY [Re: Bryan C. Heimann] #7810309 04/18/20 02:18 PM
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I think you are thinking about some great things there Bryan. There has to be a balance to access quantity with quality. It is not enough just to have places to go where the local expert can take game, or catch fish. The common guy with limited time has to have some semblance of success with actual harvest or take to stay in the game. Your suggestions for access are used in lots of places, and not just in consumptive outdoor use, like Yellowstone or rafting the Colorado River. Texas is experimenting with this a little, with some public areas having a limited sign up, and we will likely implement more of it. I hope doing so will open up more areas. One that comes to mind, upland birds are always on my mind, is quail hunting. The few public areas often have too many people and remote places have no people, not because they can't get there but because its restricted. Sierra Diablo comes to mind. That is a huge place that we own that we can't use for anything but the few mule deer hunts. They could easily have a draw for a few quail hunts. Of course, this is a somewhat self serving example but that is how we will get some access for all who want it.

Some sort of accountability to the public land managers and public land system is also needed. The dove hunting areas I have seen just suck, wouldn't matter if there were a hundred hunters or just one, they ain't gonna have many doves. And, as I have said elsewhere, we'd spread more hunters out and be able to have more hunters is the places we already own as the public were simply open. We've owned Palo Pinto Mountains WMA, to be state park, for years and they just recently opened it up, and very limited, as an example.

Anyhow, the conversation you've brought up is essential to the future of hunting, so thanks for posting! And not only hunting but for society at large because on the whole, hunters make all aspects of the world a better place!


We are all in this together.
Re: Your take land opportunity vs quality for brand new hunters that want to DIY [Re: maximus_flavius] #7810414 04/18/20 04:25 PM
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Originally Posted by maximus_flavius
Man, the [censored] that city hunters think about.........

Max, are you trying to be funny or just mean? Youre throwing a blanket over all "city hunters" and an ugly one. Surely the vast majority of hunters from Texas are from the city.
More importantly,it appears all the OP is trying to do is help out new hunters that often are young and cant afford high dollar leases but still want to hunt. I think, sadly, that hunting has become a rich mans game and what he is proposing will be difficult to fix. I commend him for trying. If we don't do something to get more new hunters then hunting over the long haul will be in serious danger.


Keep your gratitude higher than your expectations. RWH
Re: Your take land opportunity vs quality for brand new hunters that want to DIY [Re: Bryan C. Heimann] #7810460 04/18/20 05:06 PM
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I don't think max sees all "city hunters" in the same light. I think he probably carries a grudge against me from some of my posts in the forum from the past year, rightfully so I suppose and I am sorry for that.

I commend you freerange, and mickeyhft, that you can see past that.

What should these land managers be doing to bolster the habitat and number of birds on the property?

I would suggest trapping eurasians and rock doves in the city and neaby farms and feed stores for put and shoot but that puts other landowners at risk of crop damage from the pest birds.

That is why I suggest opening areas to "city hunters" with good air rifles and insurance, to shoot them.

Honest truth- a city pigeon eats as good as a country pigeon. No worse than eating cats and crappies from Lake Ray Hubbard as far as I am concerned.

Same for cottontail and squirrels. I have lost count how many times we lost power because a squirrel blew our transformer. Be good if we could just let people hunt squirrels with air rifles in the parks of the greater metro area, of course restricting the numbers and amount of access.


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Re: Your take land opportunity vs quality for brand new hunters that want to DIY [Re: Bryan C. Heimann] #7810490 04/18/20 05:35 PM
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I don't know about all that history but its big of you to be humble about it!

As far what the managers should be doing, I mean, they are likely all good folks doing good stuff. But they, like all, need some accountability. They and the system have too much leeway in what they are required to do. I believe ALL public lands should have a hunting feasibility study done that if from the how to make it happen versus should it happen standpoint. When its from the latter the answer too often seems to be no, for some usually legitimate but overcome-able reason. Then most if not all public lands would be open to some form of public hunting. That's quantity.

Then for quality, again they are doing lots of good, but often too much for too long that is too detrimental. For example, we the people own a gem of a ranch just two hours west of DFW, owned it for 20 years. They are still working on habitat restoration and roads so they can get it open for hunting. That's ridiculous, it was ready for deer hunting the day they bought it. How can every public land with a good creek on it not abound with turkeys? But they have paved roads leading to the spots where someone might turkey hunt, someday, somehow.

Those are just but a few examples. How they choose public dove leases must have some deep systemic problem, because, having guided and outfitted dove hunts, no field I have ever seen them lease would have even gotten more than a glance. Its hard to think they are doing anything more than just leasing up cheap easy places so they can say they are providing public land. See, I hate how that sounds of me to say, I hate that kind of conspiracy thinking, and here I am doing it. But it just baffles me to no end.

So I will end by saying, I had an absolutely epic and amazing public land hunt on Black Gap WMA in Feb. Got a few quail, saw some amazing country, and I was the only, registered anyway, quail hunter out there. I also saw a true mega monster of a mule deer buck! I just want more of that for more folks!


We are all in this together.
Re: Your take land opportunity vs quality for brand new hunters that want to DIY [Re: Bryan C. Heimann] #7810653 04/18/20 08:41 PM
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Originally Posted by laid over
Our discussion in the thread on three types of hunters got me thinking. Very specifically, BOBO the Clown's contributions to that thread. I thought long and hard on it, and somehow managed to resist my awful impulse control issues for a few days. Here is what I come up with.

The opportunity is definitely there to at least get out and try to shoot some doves. I think doves are a great place to start for a new hunter, breasting out a dove is less labor intensive than cleaning fish and birdshot is not likely to injure someone or damage property at range.

The quality though?

On to the quality- we have a good thing going in the way that it's there but only for serious huntersthat will do their homework. Not a bad thing- if everyone in this country decided to start hunting and got a deer- do we have enough deer? Serious question. Apply it to the state- if everyone in Texas got a deer this year it could be a disaster. Thank God for the merry few deer hunters and the prevailing attitude towards managemet and conservation.

Fortunately public land baiting is illegal, and to find the deer you gotta take it very seriously.

So with all that said, the problem as I see it is that the places nearby to the most populous areas are pretty much a free for all with access and too much human traffic.

I think access to these areas should be more strictly controlled- not like the drawn hunts but something like the way it is limited on Fort Bragg with ISportsman. Where only a certain number of people are allowed to access the property, and you have to do it on Isportsman, sign in and sign out every day, and give data on what you took that day.

If I recall correctly it was set up so you could not sign out the day in advance, must wait until 2 or 3 am the day of to sign out a given area on a first come first serve basis.

Ths would limit the number of hunters out there every day and provide harvest data for all species to biologists daily, and they could close the WMA/dove field based on sustainable harvest levels.

Which would improve the quality of all these little spots all around the metro area.

Maintain the current lottery system as well, keep the access to those places limited as they are so we keep getting the money for conservation.

But for the first timers in the city, they will have easy access to better habitat and more game. Vs walking up to s dove field where the grass has been trampled flat.

Could possibly also include urban area air rifle hunts with power restricted guns, given the hunter has insurance, similar to the UK? I have seen suburbsn places with tons of pigeons I would have gladly even paid a couple hundred bucks to shoot pigeons with a pellet gun for a day.

What ya'll think about that? You think I am at least on paper? Or missing completely?


My comments are more deer or big game related. Doves is a migratory species, no such thing as premium doves spots out side of Ag and water, and even then it’s migration dependent

Every state has two types of public land quality and quantity. Texas is no different, except the quantity tends to actually be better quality then most think. Even our some of our quality hunts are pretty easy draws(WT’s). Me and another hunter on this form both chased a 190in public land deer, that deer got killed by another public land hunter, that’s not an isolated incident, I can think of bunch over 170 killed in last 6 years on public land, thats just what I know of.

I get a lot of PM’s about bringing to much attention to our public land secrets. I don’t give out spots but I’m an open book by PM to any one that wants insight to public land I’ve hunted.

If ever deer hunter in Texas decided to take a deer it would actually help the quality and health of our deer herd.

At same stand point, hunter recruitment is going down, not up. We should look to help each other out in showing everyone a little bit of the cheaper public land secrets.



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

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Re: Your take land opportunity vs quality for brand new hunters that want to DIY [Re: Bryan C. Heimann] #7810671 04/18/20 09:07 PM
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This debate has happened multiple times in multiple ways. Texas had a high percentage of land owned by citizens (think its excess of 95%) whereas other states are a lot less. Being one of the more populous states we will always have less opportunities compared to other states but there is more opportunity to buy land and own it.

If you want, it will be an excuse for you to not hunt. There are a lot of opportunities on public land and get out. Meet and talk to as many people as possible. Bobo has been a help to me, especially on the gear front, and I have tried to pass the favor along to others.

If you are in either Dallas or Houston metroplex I think duck and doves is the way to get started. Lots of opportunities, some overcrowding, but you can get out at it. The main thing is to find your goals. Do you want meat, do you want to get out, do you want adventure, etc. that should help guide your path forward.

Re: Your take land opportunity vs quality for brand new hunters that want to DIY [Re: Bryan C. Heimann] #7810714 04/18/20 10:13 PM
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Re: Your take land opportunity vs quality for brand new hunters that want to DIY [Re: mickeyhft] #7812744 04/20/20 04:36 PM
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Originally Posted by mickeyhft
I think you are thinking about some great things there Bryan. There has to be a balance to access quantity with quality. It is not enough just to have places to go where the local expert can take game, or catch fish. The common guy with limited time has to have some semblance of success with actual harvest or take to stay in the game. Your suggestions for access are used in lots of places, and not just in consumptive outdoor use, like Yellowstone or rafting the Colorado River. Texas is experimenting with this a little, with some public areas having a limited sign up, and we will likely implement more of it. I hope doing so will open up more areas. One that comes to mind, upland birds are always on my mind, is quail hunting. The few public areas often have too many people and remote places have no people, not because they can't get there but because its restricted. Sierra Diablo comes to mind. That is a huge place that we own that we can't use for anything but the few mule deer hunts. They could easily have a draw for a few quail hunts. Of course, this is a somewhat self serving example but that is how we will get some access for all who want it.

Some sort of accountability to the public land managers and public land system is also needed. The dove hunting areas I have seen just suck, wouldn't matter if there were a hundred hunters or just one, they ain't gonna have many doves. And, as I have said elsewhere, we'd spread more hunters out and be able to have more hunters is the places we already own as the public were simply open. We've owned Palo Pinto Mountains WMA, to be state park, for years and they just recently opened it up, and very limited, as an example.

Anyhow, the conversation you've brought up is essential to the future of hunting, so thanks for posting! And not only hunting but for society at large because on the whole, hunters make all aspects of the world a better place!


In some ways hunting has changed a great deal in the last 3 decades. I'm not at all saying that these are bad things as I do it both ways, but since the early 1980's we've gotten much smarter about creating/improving habitat, controlling pressure whether through a high fence or just restricting access to a piece of property, letting deer mature, supplemental feed and minerals. All of this has lead to an almost "artificial" number and size of animals on a heavily managed place which is a good thing but has created some unrealistic expectations.

The problem is when people expect the same type/size/number of animals on a public piece of property which even when it's "managed" isn't managed as extensively or as heavily. They want to go out and see 20 deer a day and 2-3 wall hangers like they would on a heavily managed private place and that just isn't going to happen. Hunting public land isn't a bad thing but it's much more like hunting was pre-1980 in most of the state, a limited number of animals with low success rates. .

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