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The state of Texas hunting #8405749 10/03/21 08:57 PM
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THE STATE OF TEXAS HUNTING

How do you envision hunting public or private lands in Texas to progress in the next 25yrs?

Access to private lands is getting to be difficult for the general middle class guy. He either has to be born into it, just be extremely lucky, or have a vast network. The probability of just getting permission decreases every year due to growing anti-hunting ideology, or fear of litigation despite liability waivers. People with leases are holding onto them, despite increasing costs. When a lease does become available the costs just don’t warrant it, or the terms are so ridiculous it’s hard to look past the possible headaches of just partnering with others to buy land in a lower property tax/lower land value state. For the general middle class guy that does happen to own land that’s of any substance, he may find himself in a situation where the increasing $$$ signs shine brighter than his ability to hunt on his property, especially as living costs continue to increase.

Many of these big properties are now in there 2nd or 3rd generations; the current owners could care less about hunting it, but they damn sure aren’t going to let others hunt it. All they care about is trying to move it along and cash in. This is especially evident by how much land in East TX is owned by large corporations, or people that don’t even live in East TX.

The result of this is decreasing public lands will continue to have increased pressure. Success rates will plummet, and all but the truly diehard hunters will cease hunting. Awesome for the diehard hunters right? Not exactly when you consider funds that the state receives through current means will decrease. Thus, public lands will continue to decrease.

I’m not anti wealth or success but this poses quite the moral conundrum. I believe that govt ducks up everything is and everything should be privately held as humanly possible, land use and land access brings me to an incredible dilemma. I obviously love nature and the opportunities public lands provide. I don't know the perfect mix of public vs private. I am glad we have the public lands we have, I believe more land should be in state control/management vs Federal. The concept of public land is contrarian to my beliefs that Private enterprise is superior in all things, but there is a place for public lands for the enjoyment of all who choose. On the other side, foreign and domestic corporations/investment groups are gobbling up lands at an alarming rate.

Unfortunately, I have no answer to turn the train around. I see things going the way of the UK; maybe my interpretation of hunting in the UK is off, but I generally believe it’s something left to upper class. Middle class or lower class people basically have to hope for an invite, break laws, or pay fees so high it’s something they can only do on rare occasions.

Your thoughts?

Last edited by TDK; 10/03/21 09:01 PM.
Re: The state of Texas hunting [Re: TDK] #8405771 10/03/21 09:39 PM
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Generally speaking, I see hunting in Texas following the European model too. There will always be a public draw, and I think cull hunts, meaning mostly does and spikes, will remain reasonably priced, but the days of doing your own thing for a reasonable cost are vanishing.


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Re: The state of Texas hunting [Re: TDK] #8406092 10/04/21 04:09 AM
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Someone just listed 10 acres I drive by to get to our gate for $160,000. Hope our landowner doesn't get any ideas but it feels like we hunt in future subdivisions even though we are 2 hours away from Dallas. Our west fenceline property was 300 acres broken up into 10 to 20 acre ranchettes by investors that sold for $5 to $6k an acre then covid hit and prices skyrocketed. We are on 1,100 acres with nothing this size for many miles so our landowner is on a goldmine. We'll enjoy it as long as we can. Been 20+ years so far.

Re: The state of Texas hunting [Re: TDK] #8406404 10/04/21 04:25 PM
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I don,t believe you can look to the state to aquire much more public land than it has now. I think that access to what is available depends greatly on location. We have plenty of water to hunt on the coast but you have to be willing to invest in a good boat and put the time in scouting. Also, 2 AM wake up calls to get to the ramp and a long boat ride can be a tough proposition. It,s there if you want it bad enough.

On the prairies east, west and on down the coast from Houston waterfowl hunting land is getting harder to come by. Many landowners don,t need the lease money and/or just let family and friends hunt it. Property that is leased is getting expensive. When I stated in the 80,s there were plenty of clubs and small leases that you could join for a low price. Now there only a handful of clubs and they,re all in the same price range except the high dollar ones.
Outfitters hold a good percentage of the best properties and are constantly trying to get more.

I think think there will always be a way for the average guy to get out and chase some ducks but it will get harder and probably more crowded.


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Re: The state of Texas hunting [Re: TDK] #8407588 10/05/21 06:37 PM
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Be nice. Make friends. Be someone people enjoying being around. And some hope and prayer. But more than likely you will end up with some opportunities that way. Otherwise, it can be an uphill battle, and getting steeper.

Re: The state of Texas hunting [Re: TDK] #8599512 05/17/22 05:29 PM
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Another one bites the dust.

Recent victim is right here in Mineola, a 1200 acre property on the Sabine River that is now becoming an off-road park. Prime hardwood river bottom land. The place had been leased for duck hunting to the same family for close to 40yrs, three generations. Doesn’t effect me and mine I guess. Owners will make a killing, can’t blame them!

Next on the chopping block…

Re: The state of Texas hunting [Re: TDK] #8602342 05/21/22 04:59 PM
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I wish the federal government would buy as much land as possible for outdoors use. States also. What were seeing in the the USA is a population problem. Percentage wise its not bad....hell getting better. But the problem is 10% of 350 million puts the same amount people in the outdoors as 20% of 175 million. And with shrinking land usage its getting more crowded. We need more land and better management of that land.

And that will insure the average Joe of having decent public land opportunities.

Re: The state of Texas hunting [Re: TDK] #8602487 05/21/22 10:29 PM
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Read an article about rural Texas is disappearing at the fastest rate in the nation. It also stated texas population will double by 2060. Im afraid very few will be able to afford to hunt in this state in as little as 25 years.


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Re: The state of Texas hunting [Re: TDK] #8603371 05/23/22 01:28 PM
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I grew up in a state with a lot of public land. I much prefer the way Texas is when it comes to hunting though I guess I am biased because I have the means to have a place to go. My experience with public land is it is an overcrowded circus. Texas has always had very little public land nothing has changed there. If someone wants an area with more public hunting opportunities they should move to a state that has them. I don’t mean that in a rude way but don’t move to west texas and then complain about there not being a beach close by.

Re: The state of Texas hunting [Re: 2flyfish4] #8603446 05/23/22 02:53 PM
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Originally Posted by 2flyfish4
Read an article about rural Texas is disappearing at the fastest rate in the nation. It also stated texas population will double by 2060. Im afraid very few will be able to afford to hunt in this state in as little as 25 years.

This planet is over populating, it is really creepy. I turned 60 this year, and it is really crazy to see how things have changed. It’s becoming harder and harder just to take your dog out for a piss. Went to Pencicola Florida couple years ago, drove one end of the island to the other, not one place to let your dog piss, other than 2 really small dog parks.

Re: The state of Texas hunting [Re: TDK] #8616186 06/09/22 02:08 PM
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I'd like the state to try to acquire more land. Just because there used to be huge land grants, etc. doesn't mean now a days there are few places to hunt. As others have said, it is becoming a rich man's game.

Re: The state of Texas hunting [Re: Sewer rat] #8616252 06/09/22 03:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Sewer rat
I grew up in a state with a lot of public land. I much prefer the way Texas is when it comes to hunting though I guess I am biased because I have the means to have a place to go. My experience with public land is it is an overcrowded circus. Texas has always had very little public land nothing has changed there. If someone wants an area with more public hunting opportunities they should move to a state that has them. I don’t mean that in a rude way but don’t move to west texas and then complain about there not being a beach close by.


You didn't grow up here. Many did and no longer have a place to hunt. So it isn't like they moved here and are complaining. Rather things have changed and obtaining hunting land has gotten very difficult.

Re: The state of Texas hunting [Re: TDK] #8616989 06/10/22 02:57 PM
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Not to date myself but many years ago you could just ask and get permission to hunt on private land. Current taxes, etc. have made ranch owners charge/lease in order to pay their bills, so I get it, But it has changed things.

Re: The state of Texas hunting [Re: TDK] #8619503 06/13/22 08:46 PM
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There are 10s of thousands of acres in Texas owned by the state that aren't open to the public. There are probably over 1,000 acres just between Tawakoni and Fork that would be prime public hunting lands below each dam that you can't hunt. Technically you can fish below Tawakoni - but Fork is off limits.

Opening up these lands would be an excellent start.

Re: The state of Texas hunting [Re: TDK] #8620131 06/14/22 03:40 PM
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I hunted the Katy Prairie long before Steel, aggregate amount limits and Butch Gore Outfitters. Not one time as kids were we turned down to hunt Rice Fields. We were polite, asked permission and promised no shells or trash and gets open or shut, according to how we found it. Gore came in and leased it all. That changed the game forever. Then we made it through the steel shot change. Now population.

Re: The state of Texas hunting [Re: TDK] #8620159 06/14/22 04:14 PM
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Might want to research if Texas Public opportunity (state /federal ownership ) is actually decreasing or increasing

State of hunting depends on what happens with federal inheritance tax


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

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Re: The state of Texas hunting [Re: BOBO the Clown] #8620316 06/14/22 08:28 PM
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Originally Posted by BOBO the Clown
Might want to research if Texas Public opportunity (state /federal ownership ) is actually decreasing or increasing

State of hunting depends on what happens with federal inheritance tax


I think that's a tricky question. On one hand I do believe it is increasing, on the other hand it is decreasing. Example being they have opened up some federal refuges for pig, deer and squirel hunting. But not waterfowl hunting. They have opened up other land for hunting on the basis ofdraw hunts, but the odds of drawing are slim and it can take years to draw.

Example, I have put in for turkey draw hunts in texas for 8 years now and still haven't drawn. Thankfully I have some private land access to chase turkey in. But texas has a very strong turkey population and it should never take 8 years for a resident to draw a public land tag on the few wmas that offer turkey hunts.


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Re: The state of Texas hunting [Re: TDK] #8620372 06/14/22 10:08 PM
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Texas is one of the few states growing in public land ownership, which increases opportunity. Now is at a rate to meet demand that’s debatable but nonetheless it is growing


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

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Re: The state of Texas hunting [Re: TDK] #8621749 06/16/22 04:38 PM
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My entire life I've hunted, trapped, fished etc for free.

I've hunted just about everything you can hunt in this state. I can hunt dove, ducks, deer, varmints, pigs all for free.

I don't see it changing any time soon. There are always land owners out there that don't lease. Be kind, be respectfull, build relationships, keep your ears and eyes open, don't eff it up when you do get in with someone.


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