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The state of Texas hunting #8405749 10/03/21 08:57 PM
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TDK Offline OP
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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.

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