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Thread: Hunting in Texas

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    Hunting in Texas

    Three years ago my daughters husband accepted a transfer to the Houston area. My Granddaughter was 9 yrs. old at the time and prior to the move had just became interested in shooting and hunting. She saved her money and purchased her own Cricket .22 rifle. She is now 12 and has graduated to shooting my .22 mag and .17 HMR rimfires at 100 yards and has just began shooting my Vanguard .223. Unfortunately she only shoots when they visit. They were here visiting for the past three weeks. Now her 10 year old brother has taken an interest and we had him out to the range during their visit. He caught on quickly and had a blast.

    Both have friends who are hunting. Granddaughter has been wanting to hunt for a while now and upon learning her friends are, is more eager to begin. I would like to introduce her to the sport by observing me during few hunts then begin with squirrel and prairie dogs or ground hogs. I reside in Maryland. She would have to go through a lot more here than in Texas to obtain a hunting license. I did some checking and it seems Texas will accept my Maryland Hunter Safety certification and prior hunting experience to allow me to purchase an out of state license. I am willing to obtain one. My daughter has been checking around and located the Sam Houston Recreational area about 45 mins north of Houston. That seems to be the closest to their residence in the Humble area.

    I am looking for some local insight on who I can speak to about:

    1. Where to go to obtain information? Dept. Natural Resources Office? Ranger Station? etc.
    2. Information on Ranges where we could shoot.
    3. Recommendations for decent hunting land that we could use. My wife and I visit a few time times a year, so I would like to physically check some areas.
    4. Where would I find the closest area to locate ground hogs/prairie dogs.

    Many thanks.

    Isaac
    Last edited by Isaac; 07-12-2017 at 08:09 AM.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master

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    http://tpwd.texas.gov/huntwild/hunt/season/

    You can start here. Most of the hunting land in TX is private and leased for hunting.

  3. #3
    Moderator Emeritus

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    I'm far away from TX, but I'd recommend the ubiquitous squirrel for her first hunts. They're usually plentiful, and that provides for more excitement, and a good bit of shooting. More shooting = more chances to score. So that's a big part of it.

    Also, squirrels are pretty cagy little critters, and REQUIRE some real stealth and shooting skills to bring to basket. So she'll have to EARN every meal of squirrels she gets, and THAT is a GOOD thing! She'll need to develop her "woods eyes" to see them well, and her woods skills in order to achieve good success on them. This is why squirrel hunting it THE most excellent primer for learning how to hunt deer. You just don't casually walk about, tramping and making noise, and get many squirrels. You have to learn to be stealthy, and blend into the woods if you want to ever really be any kind of GOOD hunter, and squirrel hunting is excellent training for any kind of hunting, except "bird hunting" which hass own separate and not very "equal" set of parameters for success. It also teaches responsibility and cause-and-effect, and that's a VERY good thing for the young to learn. Teach 'em young, and when they get older, they'll remember. Good luck to you and her and the grandboy. It matters.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master & Generous Contributor

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    There is at least one refuge here that can be hunted by the public but I've never been to it. I have a buddy that hunts deer on it every year.
    Most of my hunting here is on private owned land as mentioned above. I get invitations to hunt on one or two of the ranches close to here every year.
    If ever a time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin.
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  5. #5
    Boolit Master


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    Been years since I hunted in Texas, used to have a lot of Aunts & Uncles, Cousins, etc.. that farmed and ranched I could hunt on their land. Also; hunted a lot of the River areas as they were "Public", river bed back then was defined as from cut bank to cut bank; which could be miles wide in places due to shallow rivers expanding significantly due to flooding. Seems that there were a lot of law suits back in the 1980's over ranches moving fences in to the low water areas of the rivers because of dams upstream limiting the "Flood Stages" resulting in less distance between "Cut Banks"; not sure how that all worked out - but Rivers may still be an opportunity.
    Mustang

    "In the beginning... the patriot is a scarce man, and brave and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." - Mark Twain.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master

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    Issac, Carter's Country in the Humble/Spring area will be your closest public shooting range. Here's the information and a map. Sorry, but there are no prairie dogs or groundhogs in or near SE Texas, plenty of squirrels though, both Fox and Cat Squirrels. Treetop

    https://www.google.com/search?q=cart...,lf:1,lf_ui:10
    "Treetop"
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    “The Second Amendment was not written to protect your right to shoot deer.
    It was written to protect your right to shoot tyrants…”
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  7. #7
    Boolit Master & Generous Contributor

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    I ran into my buddy this morning that hunts the public land around Houston.
    Looks like the place he is hunting is just north of Houston. The Sam Houston National Forest.
    https://www.google.com/search?q=sam+...0!2i749!4f13.1

    He told me he was there this past weekend and saw 9 deer riding around on the roads and had several blow at him while he was wandering around in the woods.

    He told me that folks hunt deer, squirrel, hogs, ducks and other game there.
    If ever a time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin.
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  8. #8
    Boolit Master


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    I've hunted East Texas for all my life, rabbit, squirrel, ducks, geese, deer and feral hogs. East Texas is pretty hard hunting, as it is thicket hunting and shots of 50 yards are typical, unless you are on a road or pipeline. Tracking wounded game is thru some pretty dense stuff and many times I have found myself crawling on my stomach for a good distance to get thru a thicket. Central Texas is semi prairie, broken up with patches of forest. More open shots, but not guaranteed. South Texas is pretty dry with tons of mesquite, chaparral and thorns. Small deer with big racks. Key to any of it is scouting the area and knowing where the deer move, takes a lot of time. I'm on a lease right now that I have been on for 9 years. Around 1100/year. Has big bucks and plenty of deer, plus nice helpful members, for the most part. Sometimes you get lucky, sometimes you don't.
    For public land hunting, go here. http://tpwd.maps.arcgis.com/apps/One...676c21a336fe32 I'm not sure of the cost currently. Used to be around $40 for 17 and over, 16 and under free, accompanied by a permit holder. You can get te Texas Parks and Wildlife handbook on your smartphone. Here's the link: http://tpwd.texas.gov/regulations/outdoor-annual/app/ That's for Android, they also have one thru the Iphone store.
    One of my father's favorite statements: "If I say a chicken dips snuff, look under his wing for the snuffbox" How I was raised, who I am.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    Thanks everyone for the useful information. Much insight in your words. My wife is down there at the moment. She and my daughter are going to check out Carter Country and try to get some local info. I'm planning a trip down in early November.

    Many thanks, again.

    Issac

  10. #10
    Boolit Master


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    You can also apply for draw hunts with TPWD although the odds are long. Youth hunts have a better chance of drawing. Those draw applications are going on right now for the fall/winter and will soon be over. Costs very little to try.
    "Is all this REALLY necessary?"

  11. #11
    Boolit Master


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    There are a number of indoor and outdoor ranges around Houston. You should be able to find one reasonably close. Driving in the area isn't much fun these days. Good luck with your granddaughter.
    Sometimes life taps you on the shoulder and reminds you it's a one way street. Jim Morris

  12. #12
    Boolit Man
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    Carters country is a nice range. I went there in 90 91 when I lived in porter. Porter tx is just north of humble.I thank there longest range was 200 yards. If your trying to find a good hunting spot in the area good luck. Most charge 1000$ On up a year to hunt on private land per person.that was more than I could afford. there is a lot of small dear in the area but shots are usually 25 to 50 yards.the hunting is hard do to the very thick swampy piny woods along the rivers. Good luck the swamp rabbits are extreamly smart and eaven faster and harder to hit. But they are fun

  13. #13
    Boolit Man LeadPoisonTX's Avatar
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    Isaac,

    The links already provided to Texas Parks & Wildlife are great. I would add to check out the Outdoor Annual http://tpwd.texas.gov/regulations/outdoor-annual there is also an app for your phone. The Outdoor Guide will provide all the information regarding season dates for all species, license & permits, regulations, etc. For Hunting opportunities close to Humble, I recommend Sam Houston National Forrest, which is a Public Hunting Land and you will need the Annual Public Hunting Permit ($48) added to your license: http://tpwd.texas.gov/huntwild/hunt/public/annual_public_hunting. In my opinion, this is one of the best values in hunting in Texas. You get a booklet with maps to the hunting areas in the whole state. Sam Houston National Forrest is very large and spans from Conroe/Hunstville to Cleveland/Cold Springs. Cleveland is close to Humble and a good place to start scouting. Youth Squirrel Hunting in Sam Houston State Park might be worth checking out. For shooting ranges, Carter's Country in Treaschwig Rd has up to 100 yrd range, where Thunder Range off FM 1314 has a 200 yrd range.
    Good luck and let us know how it goes.
    LeadPoisonTX

  14. #14
    Boolit Man LeadPoisonTX's Avatar
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    Forgot to mention that you can get printed copies of the The Outdoor Annual from Walmart or Academy Sports, and since your wife is in Houston, she could pick one up for you. The new edition comes out in August for the 2017-2018 season.
    LeadPoisonTX

  15. #15
    Boolit Master popper's Avatar
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    Youth hunts have a better chance of drawing according to the people that run these, there are many openings, I chaperoned one of the GKs. They are very good and productive, basically cull hunts. We had ~ 20 youth, 2 didn't score and IIRC 5 BIG pigs also.
    Whatever!

  16. #16
    Boolit Man LeadPoisonTX's Avatar
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    Yet another option is the upcoming Texas Hunter's Extravaganza events all throughout August: https://www.ttha.com/hunters-extravaganza. I enjoy these and lots of activities for the young ones.
    LeadPoisonTX

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    LeadPoisonTX: Thanks very much for the info. I have forwarded a text to the Mrs. with the information you provided. She and my daughter plan to visit Carter Country this week.

    Good info everyone. Many thanks to everyone.

    Isaac

  18. #18
    Boolit Master





    SSGOldfart's Avatar
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    I didn't read it all www Texas Parks and Wildlife
    APH permit gives you all the land and map for hunting public lands,Texas leases land for public hunting,yep Texas is 98% privately owned but there's about 1.2 million acres in the annual public hunting program check out www.TPWD.com
    I started out with nothing and I still have most of it left.
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  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    SSGOldfart: Many thanks for the info. I spent some time on that site yesterday and learned a great deal. I think I have a working understanding of what it's going to take to begin hunting as an out of state residence. I have asked my daughter to look into a hunter safety course for the grandchildren. Depending on when and where that may occur, I may be able to fly down and attend as well. That would also give me an opportunity to scout around.

    By the way, as listed, that link is to an engineering, consulting company. The TPWD needs a ".Texas.gov" after. No worries. I appreciate the assistance.

    Isaac

  20. #20
    Boolit Master popper's Avatar
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    http://www.tyhp.org/ Youth hunt plans and schedules.
    Whatever!

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