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Planning a hunt - Texas


fletchny11

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So I owe my boy a special hunt. He graduated during Covid and of course shit got messed up for years in travel. Then he started a new job and well.....I think we can finally get something planned for 2024.

This hunt is for him and he hates cold weather. He barely hunts up here but loved our NC deer trips, FL hog and GA gator trips. So there will be no Saskatchewan or Caribou in Canada etc lol.

With that said I am thinking Texas as we can maybe do a combo whitetail and an exotic. Maybe a day fishing or upland birds. 

Looking at semi guided, nice lodge, meals etc. as it is a special trip not a roughing it. And free range is a must. And with not breaking the bank. We would drive as that is the easiest to move gear, coolers etc and have a great road trip.

I'm looking for some ideas, input and it does not need to be Texas even though leaning that way now. Anybody have any experience on this type of trip? There are about 5000 outfitters down there and man some are crazy expensive! I am having an issue on where to start. Should I focus on certain areas? But anyway looking for input. Thanks in advance!!

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Good luck and do tons of research. I went to texas once to hunt back in 2000 with my Dad. Free-range hunt. It was us and 9 guys from Georgia. A full week of 11 guys hunting and only 2 bucks killed. My Dad shot a beauty 130" and 1 GA guy shot a very small 9pt. The food was awesome, the weather too (mid November), but not much buck action. It was pretty cheap and sometimes you get what you pay for.

Prices for hunts the last few years have skyrocketed. One example, i went a mountain lion hunt in arizona for $3K in 2012. That hunt is $9,500 now.

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Can’t recommend an outfitter(the one I used isn’t guiding anymore) but look into a free range aoudad hunt.   They are not much more expensive than a quality whitetail hunt. We hunted along the Devil’s River in southwest Texas.  Cool animal and the spot and stalk was a lot of fun. We went in January and the weather was comfortable.

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Edited by hvny
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Hunting aoudad is fun! Meat is not that great. 

Nilgai is very good meat. Limited to South Texas. I've heard of nilgai hunts on King Ranch, HP El Sauz, and Yturria.

Axis is very good meat. Mostly in the hill country, I think. Not sure how many axis deer operations are low fence.

Deer is $$$ with many options available. You'll have to figure out exactly what you want to narrow down the pool.

Not sure if you consider feral pigs to be exotics but I'm sure most outfitters will let you shoot one for a nominal fee. 

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He only hunts with muzzleloader so there is that and I was leaning something in the antelope strain for exotic maybe impala or gazelle. But i can be persuaded to better tasting critters!

 

It may be cheaper to go to Africa that Texas! hmmmmm

Edited by fletchny11
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1 minute ago, fletchny11 said:

He only hunts with muzzleloader so there is that and I was leaning something in the antelope strain for exotic maybe impala or gazelle. But i can be persuaded to better tasting critters!

 

It may be cheaper to go to Africa that Texas! hmmmmm

antelope/mule deer combo in wyoming?

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20 minutes ago, fletchny11 said:

He only hunts with muzzleloader so there is that and I was leaning something in the antelope strain for exotic maybe impala or gazelle. But i can be persuaded to better tasting critters!

 

It may be cheaper to go to Africa that Texas! hmmmmm

Nephew and his wife just returned from Africa ,the required vaccines alone cost them $4200 . Who knows what the two week trip totaled , no hunting just idk site seeing stuff I guess .

He's killed deer in Texas on canned hunts , one was ten grand for the 170 with drop tine ten or so,years ago ,but he had a free afternoon to kill lol .

Good luck in your journey.

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15 minutes ago, fletchny11 said:

What's the weather like that season in WY? I got no idea....

Both times I went to WY I hunted 10/1 rifle opener that week to 10/5. It can 70 degrees and sunny one day and 25 and snow the next. It's always windy. wacky weather changes.

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53 minutes ago, fletchny11 said:

What's the weather like that season in WY? I got no idea....

Took my son and daughter to Wyoming on pronghorn hunt on Columbus Day weekend.  All three of us got our bucks by 2:30 pm the first day.  Reasonable priced hunt and none of us needed long underwear.   Trophy Ridge Outfitters in Carlile.   Flew into Rapid City SD, visited Custer State Park, deadwood, Devils Tower, Mt Rushmore,Crazy Horse, etc.   my wife was ready to move there until the outfitter told her that with in the next month they would be getting heavy snow, wind, and cold.  Ruined my plan.  🤨

You can go earlier in the season and I believe they bow hunt pronghorn over water holes in August with a bow. 

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Mike Mckinney is a well known poster on several larger forums and has a wide variety of hunts and costs for west Texas, from self guided to fully guided.

https://www.westtexashunt.com

I had a multiple axis hunt scheduled and corvid screwed the works, so I put the funds into another Zimbabwe elephant hunt and need to maybe refigure something in the future. I know several folks who have had a great experience with his guides on properties he represents.

 

This is a terrific deal with who I consider in the top three outfits I have ever booked with; making this 2 on 1 and splitting the management quota and maybe adding a few at trophy fees that are very reasonable would make a hell of a hunt. Management hunts can build a little confidence and get some trigger time in and trophy on some free range land can be a challenge in a unique ecosystem where this takes place.

https://www.africahunting.com/threads/2024-cull-hunt-packages-kmg-hunting-safaris.78802/

 

Be aware that you cannot fly with black powder or substitutes, so you have to ground ship propellants ahead of time or source them at the destination (bit of a challenge for some places)

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How about pronghorn?  It would be something unique that you obviously can't hunt in NY but yet a species native to where you'd hunt them.  

Then as a side hunt you can go for sandhill cranes which would also be super unique and can setup one day hunts for them and all you do is show up and shoot for like $300.  And also something very unique and great eating from all I see.  "Ribeye from the sky".  

Both of these are also in the same areas of the panhandle by Texas/Oklahoma and probably wouldn't break the bank.  And you can bring meat with you home unlike going to Africa.  

Edited by Robhuntandfish

"it's pointless for humans to paint scenes of nature when they can go outside and stand in it"- Ron Swanson

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