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Easy to access Hunting in Texas #8853865 05/17/23 06:03 PM
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Johnny1976 Offline OP
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Hi everybody,

I'm originally from BC, Canada I'm looking into moving to the US in the coming year. I hunt a lot in BC where it's 95% public land and you mostly hunt hiking in the mountains, spot and stalk Black Bear and Mule Deer and Sheep.
I'd love to move to Texas,probably Houston, but i'm a bit in the dark about the hunting opportunities here in Texas.
From my understanding it's mostly private land hunting, where you have to book your hunt in a ranch for well over $1,000's or try to hunt on public land where you have to camp to designated spot, and hunt in smaller area.

I'm trying to get a sens of everybody's experience here on what's the reality of hunting in Texas?

- Can you do spot and stalk style of hunting on public land easily a la "MeatEater"?
- What's are the lowest cost options for hunting on private land?
- Is it common to hunt in the neighbouring state like LA, NM, AZ


Thank you all!! I really hope i can find some answer, as I'm really sold on Texas, but I can't live without hunting.

Re: Easy to access Hunting in Texas [Re: Johnny1976] #8853877 05/17/23 06:15 PM
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95% of the state is privately owned with very little public ground. Most hunters belong to a hunting lease where they lease land from land owners for hunting only. There are lots of outfitters where you can book hunts, but this gets expensive quickly.

Unless it's for a job I'd stay away from Houston unless you like traffic, crime, congestion, hurricanes and it Rains alot, just saying.

Re: Easy to access Hunting in Texas [Re: Johnny1976] #8853886 05/17/23 06:27 PM
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Will you need to work after you move to Texas and if yes, is that the reason you are looking at Houston?


An unethical shot is one you take, that you know you shouldn't.
Re: Easy to access Hunting in Texas [Re: onlysmith&wesson] #8853890 05/17/23 06:29 PM
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I've registered my company in Texas already smile I'm looking at Houston because of its proximity to the sea and fishing, but I could move anywhere really.

Re: Easy to access Hunting in Texas [Re: Johnny1976] #8853891 05/17/23 06:30 PM
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Your best bet is to become best friends with or marry someone with deep local roots.

Re: Easy to access Hunting in Texas [Re: angus1956] #8853894 05/17/23 06:32 PM
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I hear you, could it be worst than Seattle though...lol

Re: Easy to access Hunting in Texas [Re: Johnny1976] #8853899 05/17/23 07:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Johnny1976
I've registered my company in Texas already smile I'm looking at Houston because of its proximity to the sea and fishing, but I could move anywhere really.

For the type of hunting you're accustomed to, that part of Texas may let you down. Think about the Texas Panhandle. You're close to Colorado for public land similar to what you have in Canada. In the Panhandle, you'll pay for a lease but worth it. You could also pay to hunt in Kansas.


An unethical shot is one you take, that you know you shouldn't.
Re: Easy to access Hunting in Texas [Re: Johnny1976] #8853902 05/17/23 07:10 PM
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welcome

there are lots of national forest lands that are public, also check out the TPWD as they also have public hunts available around the state as well. Since that is not in my wheelhouse, I can't help you anything past that without doing more research that you should be able to do just as easily as I can ...


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Re: Easy to access Hunting in Texas [Re: Johnny1976] #8853925 05/17/23 08:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Johnny1976
I hear you, could it be worst than Seattle though...lol

Just stay away from Austin!



Re: Easy to access Hunting in Texas [Re: Johnny1976] #8853932 05/17/23 08:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Johnny1976
I hear you, could it be worst than Seattle though...lol


no. Only thing worse seattle is portland

First thing you learn about Texas is every thing is commute hours not miles. Also several ecological areas in Texas from coastal prairies to brush country, desert and rolling pines.

I hunt Okla, NM and CO pretty much every year. Leases are as cheap or as expensive as you want to spend. Public is better then most will allude too it being.


Bottom line, never trust a man whose uncle was eaten by cannibals.-Sen Joni Ernst
Re: Easy to access Hunting in Texas [Re: Johnny1976] #8853991 05/17/23 09:55 PM
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If you're headed to Houston (I grew up there), in addition to the National Forests mentioned earlier, there are lots of good Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) in the piney woods of East Texas, just a few hours north of Houston. Bannister WMA near Sam Rayburn is one of my favorites and I've had good success there. Best of luck.


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Re: Easy to access Hunting in Texas [Re: Johnny1976] #8854046 05/18/23 12:28 AM
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I hunt public land for mule deer in the TX Panhandle. That is a long ways from Houston. The deer are there but you will have to work for them. I grew up in CO hunting the Rockies for elk, deer and bear so I am used to putting in the leg work. As others have noted most of TX is private land so it will cost to hunt. But if all you want is meat it is easy and cheap to get into whitetail does and hogs.


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Re: Easy to access Hunting in Texas [Re: Johnny1976] #8854047 05/18/23 12:30 AM
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Nothing in Texas is as bad as Seattle. But Austin can come close.


Without a sense of urgency, nothing ever happens.

Boy, if I say "sic em", you'd better look for something to bite. Sam Shelley, Rancher Muleshoe Texas 1892-1985 RIP
Re: Easy to access Hunting in Texas [Re: Johnny1976] #8854252 05/18/23 02:59 PM
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Welcome to our forum. Its a great source of all kinds of knowledge. Your question is a perfect example. You should get a lot of good information. I can echo a lot of whats already been said but it would help to know more about your budget and what you want to hunt and any more details you can offer. TONS of good answers to questions on this forum but you need to ask the question in a good way. Dont get me wrong, your post was very helpful but these guys can get specific with help if you offer more. Also, dont be bashful about sending a PM(private message) to members on here and see if they will get on phone with you. You DO need to be picky about which members you listen to more than others.
I understand the love for spot and stalk type hunting but you may find a more traditional way of hunting in Texas isnt so bad so keep an open mind. Panhandle and Trans Pecos areas of Texas are more suited for spot stalk but its remote out there as far as bigger(or littler) cities goes.
As far as more information from you goes, tell us what your interest level is on non deer animals. Everyone assumes deer but if you want to hunt hogs, varmits, small game, birds etc then you can do that almost anywhere and a lot cheaper.
If this thread slows down just start another one later on thats more pointed as you learn. Just stay engaged in the forum. Good luck.

Last edited by freerange; 05/18/23 03:00 PM.

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Re: Easy to access Hunting in Texas [Re: Johnny1976] #8854262 05/18/23 03:18 PM
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Ill go back and try to answer the specific questions you asked.
-Public land...I dont hunt public land but I think a lot of it is ok to spot stalk. Some of it like Panhadle and Trans Pecos are probably very suited for that. If anyone corrects me then go with what they say...
-Private land pricing...I can help you on this one but I pay at the very high end and you are asking about the lowest. Im estimating so Ill yield to others if they chime in. I think its rare to lease private land to hunt and not include deer but if you did I would think it would be <1000 a year. When you lease for deer you almost always can also hunt hogs and varmits and small game. Even the sorriest deer lease is usually gonna be 1000 to 2000 a year. If you want decent chance at decent quality bucks with enough acreage to enjoy and have a stab at decent people to hunt with then expect 3000 to 4000 a year range. Once you get into the 5000/6000 a year range you can have a real quality place that checks most boxes of what most would want. Its pretty easy to pay double, triple or 4 times that much if your goal is a really big Trophy whitetail.
-Neighbor states...Im not sure how common that is but some certainly do. Tons of people from LA hunt Texas and im pretty sure it doesnt go the other way often. I never hear much about Arkansas but I assume its similar to East Tx. Texas is huge and diverse so something for everybody. Okla and NM would be good hunting opportunities if it was practical for you to do that.
Once again, good luck and stay engaged cause this forum is great.


At some point in life its time to quit chasing the pot of gold and just enjoy the rainbow. FR
Keep your gratitude higher than your expectations. RWH
Re: Easy to access Hunting in Texas [Re: BOBO the Clown] #8854531 05/19/23 12:39 AM
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Re: Seattle. My Granddaughter and great grandkids live there. Her husband is a Sr. CPO on nuclear Subs. I’ve visited there often. Not unusual to see 2 women with a small child who calls both of them mommy. When I’ve gone in a public toilet, I scoot up real close to the urinal. Nuff said.

You couldn’t get me to live there but it’s never hot in the summer and is about like East Texas re terrain. Well, there is an ocean.

Driving there in a month or so to see family.


Without a sense of urgency, nothing ever happens.

Boy, if I say "sic em", you'd better look for something to bite. Sam Shelley, Rancher Muleshoe Texas 1892-1985 RIP
Re: Easy to access Hunting in Texas [Re: Johnny1976] #8855153 05/20/23 12:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Johnny1976

I'd love to move to Houston,


I’d reconsider my life choices

Re: Easy to access Hunting in Texas [Re: Johnny1976] #8856224 05/22/23 05:55 PM
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Just north of Houston is a long stretch of public land through 2 distinct National Forests. The Sam Houston National Forest and the Davy Crockett north of it. It is very typical East Texas terrain dense, thick woods that would make spot and stalk at the least impractical and worst impossible. The Sam is close enough to Houston that you can easily stumble over pot grows or meth labs on the accesses closer to I-45. I lived in Huntsville while I was in college and hunted it as a poor college student with fair success


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Re: Easy to access Hunting in Texas [Re: Johnny1976] #8856328 05/22/23 10:01 PM
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25 year Transplant from the northeast. I will never leave here and Will die in this amazing state,

Hunted the Adirondacks, Maine, NH, NY Catskills, Pa and NJ also was blessed to hunt and live in Colorado 10 years. The mountains and the hunting there is what the outdoors is all about but you know that hunting BC..

I have hunted the National forests near Houston " Sam Houston" specifically!!! Lots of space with limited competition at the time,. Harvested venison each time in 4 years. Agree spot and stalk a non issue but if you know how still hunting in that thick stuff it gets you game and a real sense of accomplishment,

I am blessed now to have my own place which this amazing state provides all kinds of opportunities.

Hope you come and find this amazing state and it's people as wonderful as I have.

Last edited by Flashprism; 05/22/23 10:04 PM.
Re: Easy to access Hunting in Texas [Re: maximus_flavius] #8856352 05/22/23 11:09 PM
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Originally Posted by maximus_flavius
Originally Posted by Johnny1976

I'd love to move to Houston,


I’d reconsider my life choices


Agreed. I live in the Houston area, and if it wasn't for my job, I'd be out of here ASAP. I ask myself every day why anyone would want to live here. It's hot, EXTREMELY humid, lots of traffic, very ugly (no zoning, etc.), and basically just a crappy place to live.

The only thing Houston has going for it is good restaurants, but lots of places have good restaurants.

Re: Easy to access Hunting in Texas [Re: Johnny1976] #8856365 05/22/23 11:53 PM
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I moved to Texas 12 years ago and while there are a ton of things I love about it, I did not move here for the hunting. I'm not a hunting lease kinda guy. I hunt public here and do out of state hunts every year. I'm happy with how much I get to hunt, but it isn't like I can just run out to the local BLM and hike around.

BTW, you may have noticed, but every part of Texas sucks except for where the poster lives roflmao

Re: Easy to access Hunting in Texas [Re: tgltexas] #8856544 05/23/23 01:12 PM
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Originally Posted by tgltexas


Agreed. I live in the Houston area, and if it wasn't for my job, I'd be out of here ASAP. I ask myself every day why anyone would want to live here. It's hot, EXTREMELY humid, lots of traffic, very ugly (no zoning, etc.), and basically just a crappy place to live.

The only thing Houston has going for it is good restaurants, but lots of places have good restaurants.


I forgot to add that it floods all the time. Serious flooding, because it's flat as a pancake and it's overdeveloped with the concrete jungle. Or it's a drought.

But, in all seriousness, if you're thinking about moving here, you really need to do yourself a favor and come spend a good amount of time here in July and August. The heat and humidity is brutal. If you can live with that, then you've at least overcome one of the biggest problems with this area.

Last edited by tgltexas; 05/23/23 01:12 PM.
Re: Easy to access Hunting in Texas [Re: SherpaPhil] #8856550 05/23/23 01:23 PM
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Originally Posted by SherpaPhil
I moved to Texas 12 years ago and while there are a ton of things I love about it, I did not move here for the hunting. I'm not a hunting lease kinda guy. I hunt public here and do out of state hunts every year. I'm happy with how much I get to hunt, but it isn't like I can just run out to the local BLM and hike around.

BTW, you may have noticed, but every part of Texas sucks except for where the poster lives roflmao

I live in Frisco. Frisco sucks and is getting suckier.


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Re: Easy to access Hunting in Texas [Re: unclebubba] #8856551 05/23/23 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by unclebubba
I live in Frisco. Frisco sucks and is getting suckier.

Don't you dare let RedRanger hear you say that.

Re: Easy to access Hunting in Texas [Re: Johnny1976] #8856776 05/23/23 07:33 PM
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Houston is the armpit of Texas. And Odessa is the a-hole.

Lots of people have told me the coldest they've ever been was Amarillo in the winter. Wind speeds "down to" 10 mph is a gift.


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