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What's wrong with Texas?

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Hey All,
Catchy title, right? Here's the deal: I've thought about moving to Texas for work. I like to hunt/fish and live where there is an abundance of publicly available ground. I've heard that Texas has no federal forests, little state ground, and is only 2% public land. In other words, it's a deal breaker for me if I can't go hunt on public ground. FIshing, I've heard is good especially in the salt water.
I don't like the thought of having to pay to hunt whitetail on a high fence operation.

So for those of you that live in Texas and hunt/fish, what's your take? Am I way the heck off or close or spot on with regard to access? I would think that with 2% public land, it'd be crowded like a Walmart on black Friday.
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I fish more than I hunt and my hunting has primarily been dove but I have a ton of friends that are big hunters. Most of the ones that do not own their own land get on a deer lease. Just move out to the country and buy a few acres......you can hunt from the back porch.

If you are close to the coast you should be able to find some public lands to duck hunt back in the marshes and flats as well on some of the lakes. The north side of Conroe I know has duck blinds that are in a protected area so they must be public. Check into the areas along I10 near Wallisville on Google and you will see the kind of area I am talking about. Just follow I10 East and you will run into it, Trinity River area.

North of Houston in the Huntsville there are public hunting areas. I have not used them but know people who have. They never complained to me about it. I really can not speak for other parts of Texas. Maybe @jwfuchs1 can add some good info for you.

As for fishing it is easy. Plenty of places to go and fish(salt and fresh) for free and plenty even have public boat ramps. Then there are a ton of places you can fish that you do have to pay but it is usually $5-7 a person and goes towards the camp and bathroom amenities. One example: Gibbons Creek::Park Amenities
 

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Public Hunting in Texas & Access to TPWD Lands

"Find a place to hunt on over 1 million acres of publicly accessible land located throughout Texas.
Hunt areas include property owned by TPWD, acreage leased by the department from other state and federal agencies, forest products industries, and other cooperating private landowners."

Map of the areas.
ArcGIS Web Application
 

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My wife is from Texas and her family has 4200 acres that we can hunt on! Plenty of wild boar and deer and snakes!
 

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The State has enough public land to make up for the lack of Federal land. Keep the Feds out....they'll just F... it up or give it to some "deprived" group.
There are also thousands of game managed private ranches and very large privately owned land tracts available for hunting if you know someone or willing to pay a fee. I have a Contractor friend with a 400 Acre ranch in Leakey, TX. I can go there when ever I want, just need to follow his rules about hunting since it is game managed and has exotics on the it as well as native game.
 

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Thanks, fellas. What do you big game hunters consider a long shot v. regular shot?
That depends on where you're hunting. Down in my neck of the woods around Houston most shots are under 200 yards. Even finding a range beyond that is kinda difficult down here. Out West and North it opens up and you can get some farther shots.
 

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Jerry Jones. Sorry, I just had too
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Living out west, I've gotten used to (and spoiled by) an abundance of public land. Lots of federal land where I am. Hunting is competitive (and seems like we're getting squeezed into fewer places), lots of excellent dirt bike riding on trails through the mountains, too.

I've heard that property taxes are high in Texas. True or not? I live in a rural area, but pay ~3500/year (which I think is too much given what I believe is returned for the cost).
 

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That depends on where you're hunting. Down in my neck of the woods around Houston most shots are under 200 yards. Even finding a range beyond that is kinda difficult down here. Out West and North it opens up and you can get some farther shots.
I agree with @VicVisionBulldog 200 yards and under.

If you're hunting on a bigger ranch then I'd say 500 yard shot would be far. Also depending on the terrain be ready to workout to get your kill.
 

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Cool, I like it! Take home message for me is, "Don't believe everything you hear on the Meateater podcast."
Now, what about property taxes?
Check out the links I posted a few back. One is the link for the map uploaded by JW and the other is information on how to hunt those lands.

As for taxes it depends on where you move. Here is a link that allows you to put in the city or county you are looking at for an idea. Also some areas have MUD taxes which really can make it jump. I purposely bought in an area without that.

Texas Property Tax Calculator - SmartAsset
 
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I moved back to Texas two years ago from Iowa. While the property taxes feel high sometimes, they were comparable to living in Iowa. Don't forget, that you will not pay state income taxes in Texas, so that helps to make up the difference. Cost of living across the entire state is hard to beat. I am currently paying around $4200 p/year on a 300k home. The only exemptions that I have are disabled vet and homestead.
 

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Watching some tv show a while ago there was a program that went into the problems with feral hogs in the southern States and the efforts to get rid of most. Judging by the reactions of farmers and ranchers I'd think many would welcome people to help reduce the numbers. Yes, no?
 

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Watching some tv show a while ago there was a program that went into the problems with feral hogs in the southern States and the efforts to get rid of most. Judging by the reactions of farmers and ranchers I'd think many would welcome people to help reduce the numbers. Yes, no?
Yea if you're willing to pay to take care if their problem. You'd the think the ranchers would at least let you shoot them for free or even better pay you to shoot them or trap them.
 

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Vehicle insurance can be high in Texas Too. And yes Property taxes are on the high side if the value of property is high
 
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