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We have lots of customers from Texas,and I know that you fine folks kill some really nice hogs and deer down there.  My question is this:  Is it all private hunting preserves or leases, or is there actually some public land that yields decent hunting in the Lone Star State?  If so, in what general areas?  (no, I'm not asking for secret hunting areas)

Thanks gentlemen!

God Bless,

Marshall
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Few and far between.  Most of the big tracts of public land are in east Texas, there are a couple of national forests and some timber company land.  A friend actually shot a pretty good buck one year on public land, I have no idea where.  Lots of hunting pressure.

The rest is really scattered out.  The Parks and Wildlife folks (game wardens) hold some hunts by drawing in various state and federal parks and such, just to keep the herds thinned out.  It's by drawing and I've entered a few times and never been selected, although I understand that there is now a place near where I live (Granger WMA) which has some walk-on hog hunting at certain times of the year.

So, that leaves private land.  Ridiculously expensive for the 90-lb. whitetails we have.  However, very reasonable for hogs.  Most places with hogs, have too many hogs and really want them shot out.  For less money per day than you would spend in a good hotel, you can stay in the deer hunter's cabins/trailers in the off-season and shoot pigs for them.  You might even have a 10,000 acre ranch to yourself and your buddies for a few days, fun to just tear around in the brush in your 4x4 and see what there is to see.  The serious deer hunters don't want to mess with pigs, for the most part.

I know guys who have shot 30-50 pigs annually on their deer hunting ranch, just to try and keep them thinned out, without much success.  Generally when you get invited to shoot pigs for free, you are under an obligation to shoot every one you see.  Bring lots of ammo!

My deer hunting in Texas has been shooting does for people who have too darn many deer on their property, and ran out of tags to shoot them with.  Free, and taste just as good.

Shot plenty of javelina also.  They are thick in some parts, and generally considered a pest.  No closed season.  .30-06 will go through ... uh, several, with one shot.  Saves bullets.

There are a lot of exotics (basically anything not native to the state, including elk) but the costs are astronomical.  I'd rather hike around in Colorado for a week and not see any elk than pay thousands and thousands of dollars to shoot one down here.

On the plus side of hunting private land, you don't have to worry about it being overrun with hunters.
 

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Mike G,
Where's the best place to hunt jackalope?
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Golf courses!
 

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Mike is sure right about the cost.
I live North of San Angelo and there is some public land around the lakes there. Shotgun only and there is a lot of pressure. Good bird hunting though, we see lots of dog carriers and high dollar rigs during bird season.
Pigs are a glut. Everyone needs pigs culled.
It is pretty easy to get invited to cull does during the late season. Everyone runs out of available tags
 

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How do the wild piggys compare to the domesticated ones, taste wise?  Pork chops and sauerkraut is one of my favorite meals.  I do prefer quail to chicken, moose to beef and wild sheep to mutton or lamb.  A good bear roast from a bear that has been hiding in the berry patch is really really fine.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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AK, the basic difference is that the wild ones are a little leaner.  In the 75-125 lb. range they are really tastey, and not too hard to load in the truck (you don't know how "heavy" a 100lb pig can be till you try to lift it into the truck by yourself - low to the ground and nothing to hold on to).

Bet you'd love it...
 

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Sounds good.  I'll have put some more cabbage in the ground!!!  Got a friend down in Tennessee helping find a place down there.  I'd love to do a handgun hunt for them.  Bet they good spit roasted over a slow fire...
 

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Hey Mike and William,
Any Coues deer in Texas or are they limited to portions of Arizona and New Mexico?  I've read where David Miller and Jack O'Connor seem to prefer hunting the little desert deer to whitetails.  Do you have any experience with them?
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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None that I am aware of.  Possible that there could be a few in the very western part of the state, but seems unlikely.  The game regulations have no mention of Coues deer so they would not be considered a native animal, but it is possible that some could have been brought in.

As you might guess I have no experience with them, only whitetails and mule deer (in Colorado although Texas has a few mulies).
 

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Not much public hunting here. However you can hunt any of the river beds as they belong to the state.

This may not seem like much but here in West Texas the bottoms are set by the flood stage waters which can be substantial. However, most of the year there is only 3 inches of water 2 feet wide in the channel. These narrow but long waterways provide some good hunting. Usually very brushy. They are hunted pretty hard but not so much during the weekdays. Good hog hunting and whitetail, some turkeys too.

Make darn sure you know where you are though. Step off onto somebody's place and the lead might fly!

Leases can be found for not a lot but it is a lot of work. The good ones are never in the Sunday paper. Don't expect to wait until September to find a lease for $1.00 an acre. Have three good leases right now, very good country, houses on two properties at $2-$3.00 an acre. Took me two years of really looking to find them-and I have them all booked!

Have been known to lease large tracts for the $2-3 dollar rate. I then carve out a really good piece for myself and rent the rest to some Big D yahoos right before season at $5 an acre. They think they died and went to heaven (beats 6-7 an acre their buddies paid&#33<!--emo&;)--><img src="http://beartoothbullets.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif" border="0" valign="absmiddle" alt=';)'><!--endemo-->.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Where ya at?  Any good hog hunting up your way?
 

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I'm in Amarillo. Texas Panhandle. We don't have hog hunting out my back door but within an hours drive it's pretty good. If you are willing to drive 2 hours we have what is without a doubt the best hog hunting in Texas, dare I say the world? Too, the hogs are expanding their territory and within 10 years the country right here will be much better also.

Lots of pigs and quite a few big ones.  Quite a bit of agricultural land with peanuts and winter wheat. They love rooting out those peanuts. Most often the ag land is surrounded by big ranches with vast tracts of very rough country. Hogs live in the canyons and mesquite flats and raid the crop fields for food. We have good luck there. Not unusual to see 20-30 pigs in a field at a time. Have had as many as 9 on the ground at once.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Yup, that sounds like hog hunting.  What direction from Amarillo?  I'm near Austin so I hope your answer is "South", if I have to drive north of Amarillo to hunt, might keep going into the national grasslands to shoot prairie dogs!

Are these guided hunts or just on your deer lease or something else?
 

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South and east of Amarillo. To my knowledge there are no pigs north of us excluding some parts of Oklahoma of course.

Generally talking Hall, Motley and Cottle counties. Childress and Briscoe aren't bad either but I have nothing there and haven't hunted a lot of ground there.

South toward Abilene in King, Knox and Foard counties is pretty good, used to hunt there quite a bit. If you can find a place in any of these areas you will have pigs. The further north you go though the fewer they are.

My hunting is on my leases and on those of friends. Some owned land as well. There are a few outfitters though in those areas. It's getting pricey fast. Bunch of East Coasters coming in and buying up large tracts of land for Quail hunting.

I have heard of some pigs as far north as Canadian in the eastern Panhandle. Of course they have a lot more timber on that side of the Panhandle than on my side. The public hunts on Matador Wildlife Area are pretty good if you can get drawn. Good Luck.
 

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Last time I drove up through that area, going to Kansas, saw several pigs that had been run over on the side of the road.  If I recall, it was near the Canadian river(s).  Seems like it was not far from OK.  This was definitely near a river bottom.  One of the pigs was very large, I thought it was a small cow or calf at first.  Would hate to have been the person who hit it.  So they're definitely in the panhandle.

Hmmmm... may have to get back with you regarding shooting some pigs.  Let me know if you ever need help, have quite a few friends who are dedicated pig hunters and we have hunted them in all sorts of conditions, day/night, various forms of bait, etc.  Just finished a batch of wild pig sausage and came out really good if I do say so myself.
 

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They are my favorite game animal. I hunt them every chance I get. Close to home, no bag limits, no equipment restrictions, year round season...what's not to like? As a bonus they are great to eat.  My second freezer is full!

I know that some were killed on the golf course in Canadian so they run much further north on the eastern side of the Panhandle. Know what you mean about hitting one. Had one run into the side of the suburban one night, staggered him for a second and he took off-$900 worth of damage!
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Seems like Abiline is about 5 hours from here, so that's not too bad of a drive.  May have to see about doing some hog hunting in your area.  Thanks for letting us know about the opportunities.  South Texas is just getting out of hand for hunting, waaaaay to expensive.  Pigs are still cheap, though, as everyone has too many.

With the hot dry weather this year they should be easy to hunt if there is water nearby.  Do you bait them or just drive around looking for them on the edges of crop fields?  Ever do any spotlighting?
 

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Most of our hunting is done by spotlighting or by spot and stalk. It's too far to drive to keep feeders full. Hogs eat a lot!

And, what would we put in them? It's the peanuts they want. In some areas corn would draw them in but again, too far to drive to keep the feeders full all the time.

We run probably 90% successful on our trips. When we do have success it's usually multiple kills. When they're out they're out, if not......
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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I'm imagining trying to fill a feeder with peanuts, LOL.  Sounds like it would clog up easily.  I once found a feeder 'stopped up' with an expired squirrel!  I guess you could say that the problem solved itself....

I've got just the vehicle for hunting hogs.  '68 Bronco, you can take the top off, fold the winshield down, even take off the tops of the doors.  Nothing sticks up over the fenders except the roll bar and steering wheel ... very nice shooting platform.  At night, driver runs the spotlight and of course the vehicle headlights.  Passenger shoots.  In moonlight, sometimes you don't need a spotlight and both guys can shoot.  Lotsa fun....
 
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