Austin, Texas Hog Hunt Advice

Discussion in 'Hunting USA & Canada' started by Dean Macdonald, Feb 9, 2020.

  1. Dean Macdonald

    Dean Macdonald AH Veteran

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2016
    Messages:
    105
    Video/Photo:
    23
    Likes Received:
    134
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Hunted:
    Canada, U.S.A., Namibia, England
    Hello to all the Texans out there, specifically those in and around Austin.
    Some work mates and I, 4 in total, are looking for a hog hunt around Austin this September. I am the only serious hunter/traveler in the bunch, the other 3 are near retirement, and more serious about eating BBQ and having fun. Was wondering if anyone could recommend an outfitter that could set us up in some blinds, and provide us with accommodation as well. Not too serious about trophies, but want to at least see some pigs to keep it interesting for them.
    Any and all advice from those who know is welcome!
    Thanks
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 9, 2020

  2. Mr. Zorg

    Mr. Zorg AH Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2019
    Messages:
    329
    Video/Photo:
    2
    Likes Received:
    231
    Location:
    San Antonio, TX
    I don't know any outfiters, but here's my advice FWIW.

    Texas scrub has thorny stuff like prickly pear cactus and members of the acacia family, mesquite being notable. Dress accordingly and my advice is include gloves. There's lots of oak and cedar as well in the Texas Hill Country.

    Tracking squirmy critters that run low to the ground through such scrub can make memories. Anchor your pig as much as possible. I prefer skull or neck CNS shots which have two other benefits. Most meat yield, and least stress / fatigue on the animal for meat quality. If you're hunting for trophies instead of meat, still try to anchor your hog as best possible.

    I used a .25-06 Remington with Federal factory ammo on a hog hunt April 2019. I was more impressed with the performance of the 110 grain Nosler Accubond than I was with the 120 grain Fusion, but both of these and other options that are a step up above traditional cup and core bullets are what I'd recommend especially with high velocity cartridges as range can be rather close or 100+ yards.

    Rattlesnakes are part of the landscape to be aware of, but the worst nuisance wildlife you're likely to encounter are the invasive South American fire ants. Do not trod in any ant mounds, and if you do don't just stand in one. Watch your step. Mosquito and tick repellent is prudent to have on hand.

    September is generally still quite warm in Central and South Texas. It's also still hurricane season so the potential for some tropical system soaking rains inland is still likely enough to be prepared for, but nothing that can ever be planned around.

    Beef rules Central and South Texas BBQ, with brisket the top choice most joints are judged by. Chicken has always been part of the scene, and pork has made great inroads since I was a youngster. There's now an official Texas BBQ Trail in Central Texas.

    Austin traffic is horrible with poor planning in that area as the city grew. The current airport was originally Bergstrom AFB.
     
    gesch and Dean Macdonald like this.

  3. Shootist43

    Shootist43 AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2015
    Messages:
    4,959
    Video/Photo:
    22
    Likes Received:
    4,145
    Location:
    Grosse Ile, Michigan
    Member of:
    NRA
    Hunted:
    Michigan, Texas, Missouri, Limpopo Province South Africa
    Why September, December and January would be a lot more comfortable plus there are a lot fewer pests. IMHO one outfitter to avoid is the Four Amigos Ranch, although it is a long way from Austin. From memory the area around San Antonio had more outfitters.
     
    Dean Macdonald likes this.

  4. crs

    crs AH Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2009
    Messages:
    770
    Video/Photo:
    6
    Likes Received:
    771
    Location:
    Republic of Texas
    Member of:
    CRS, NRA Patron Member, TSRA, DWWC, DRSS
    Hunted:
    RSA
    What Mr Zorg said +1. And make that +1 this; be sure your gloves are not cotton, but have leather palms. Why? Take a look at this picture of my grandson trying to figure out how to retrieve his turkey gobbler from a patch of prickly pear cactus:
    [​IMG]
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 10, 2020
    CoElkHunter and Dean Macdonald like this.

  5. sgt_zim

    sgt_zim AH Elite

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2017
    Messages:
    1,186
    Video/Photo:
    14
    Likes Received:
    1,361
    Location:
    Sugar Land, Texas
    Member of:
    NRA, Houston Safari Club Foundation, NWTF
    Hunted:
    Texas, Louisiana
    September in Texas is still generally brutally hot, though less humid around Austin than it is around Gonzalez or Columbus. Rattlesnakes, mosquitoes, and ticks are an issue that time of year.

    Plus, the pigs REALLY stink when it's warm out. Even sucklings and shoats can induce a gag reflex, let alone mature sows and boars. Even in the cooler months, unless I see Hogzilla, the pigs I shoot won't generally weigh more than about 125 lbs. They're the most edible ones.
     
    Marty Brown and Dean Macdonald like this.

  6. wesheltonj

    wesheltonj AH Elite

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2015
    Messages:
    1,950
    Video/Photo:
    15
    Likes Received:
    1,705
    Location:
    South Texas
    Member of:
    Benefactor-Life NRA, DSC, SCI
    Hunted:
    USA, RSA
    During the summer months, the hogs hit the feeders during daylight hours at my place. In the fall and winter the camera only shows them at night. Of course, I still see them in daylight hours too, rarely at the feeder, but when I do, the fire stick goes bang.
     
    Dean Macdonald likes this.

  7. Red Leg

    Red Leg AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

    Joined:
    May 19, 2009
    Messages:
    4,448
    Video/Photo:
    242
    Likes Received:
    9,651
    Location:
    Texas Hill Country
    Member of:
    SCI DSC life memberships / NRA Patron Life
    Hunted:
    Mexico, Namibia, RSA, Germany, Austria, Argentina, Canada, Mozambique, Spain, US (15 states)
    Ours are more nocturnal than the deer once hunting season kicks off. Google up Indpendence Ranch. I know of no one who has hunted there, but they advert pigs a lot.
     
    Dean Macdonald likes this.

  8. sgt_zim

    sgt_zim AH Elite

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2017
    Messages:
    1,186
    Video/Photo:
    14
    Likes Received:
    1,361
    Location:
    Sugar Land, Texas
    Member of:
    NRA, Houston Safari Club Foundation, NWTF
    Hunted:
    Texas, Louisiana
    Considering the amount of night hunting we do for hogs, you'll either want a powerful flashlight (red or green lens) that can mount on your rifle, or thermal/starlight scope.
     
    Dean Macdonald likes this.

  9. mikecatt13

    mikecatt13 AH Veteran

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2011
    Messages:
    196
    Video/Photo:
    9
    Likes Received:
    172
    I would highly recommend High Plains Hunts. They do mostly thermal at night, which is an experience you will never forget, but are very accommodating. Hunted with them 3 years in a row, make the drive from Michigan to do so, and will continue to for the foreseeable future. Tell them mike from Michigan sent you.

    They work hard, know pigs, and are great people.
     
    gesch and Dean Macdonald like this.

  10. chashardy

    chashardy AH Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2018
    Messages:
    85
    Video/Photo:
    7
    Likes Received:
    126
    Can't recommend any outfitters in the Austin area, but if you do a google search for hog hunting in Central Texas, you should get quite a few options. The post above about Independence Ranch is one to consider. If you get the Outdoor Channel and are familiar with the show "Pigman", I think he has an episode from Independence Ranch, but I think it's more toward the Houston area. YouTube also has a lot of the Pigman videos.
    Unless you have night vision scopes and binoculars, you will likely be hunting from a blind over a feeder and as posted above, late afternoon toward sundown and early morning sunrise are best times to catch pigs at a feeder--depending on when the timer sets the feeder off.
     
    Dean Macdonald likes this.

  11. sgt_zim

    sgt_zim AH Elite

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2017
    Messages:
    1,186
    Video/Photo:
    14
    Likes Received:
    1,361
    Location:
    Sugar Land, Texas
    Member of:
    NRA, Houston Safari Club Foundation, NWTF
    Hunted:
    Texas, Louisiana
    Now you know somebody who's hunted there. I would not recommend hunting with them. The ranch is small, maybe 350 acres of high fence. Accommodations are quite rustic, food is so-so, but the ranch boss...we'll just say I don't care for him much.

    You have to bring your own corn/feed, which he ends up feeding all his exotics with (he's got a bunch of Watusi cattle on the place, among other things). He'll also send you into town to buy your own ice. The hogs are all trapped some place else, then trucked in. The shooting for pigs is actually pretty good, except you REALLY have to mind your shooting lanes. There were easily 20 other people hunting there when I went. Twenty rifle hunters stuffed into 350 acres gets kind of cozy.
     
    Marty Brown and Dean Macdonald like this.

  12. Red Leg

    Red Leg AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

    Joined:
    May 19, 2009
    Messages:
    4,448
    Video/Photo:
    242
    Likes Received:
    9,651
    Location:
    Texas Hill Country
    Member of:
    SCI DSC life memberships / NRA Patron Life
    Hunted:
    Mexico, Namibia, RSA, Germany, Austria, Argentina, Canada, Mozambique, Spain, US (15 states)
    Uh! :(
     

  13. chashardy

    chashardy AH Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2018
    Messages:
    85
    Video/Photo:
    7
    Likes Received:
    126
    Wow! thanks for the heads up! I would not want to hunt under those conditions.
     
    sgt_zim likes this.

  14. Mr. Zorg

    Mr. Zorg AH Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2019
    Messages:
    329
    Video/Photo:
    2
    Likes Received:
    231
    Location:
    San Antonio, TX
    Dean,

    There's a piece of highway just east of Austin that runs roughly north-south named Texas 130 that has the distinction of having the highest legal speed limit in the USA at 85 MPH (137 kph). You might utilize a section of this if y'all go on the official Texas BBQ trail. It's a toll road, if y'all are flying down and renting a vehicle talk with the rental agent on how billing for any tolls are handled with their rental fleet.

    The hog hunt I went on in April 2019 was about halfway between Sweetwater and Abilene, not near Austin. Although I won't book another trip at that ranch, my trip experience was considerably better than the trip Zim described! Research, research, research whatever outfitters / ranches make y'all's short list, and ask every possible question y'all can think of. There's numerous good operators, board member @gizmo runs a spot I've only seen positive reviews about (but also not near Austin), but as Zim's saga shows there's plenty of yahoos out there as well.

    Academy Sports and Outdoors is a Texas based family owned sporting goods chain of stores with decent prices and reasonable variety of things like ammunition to choose from. There are big national chains like Cabelas and Bass Pro Shop also, but those would personally be at the bottom of my list. A typical locally / family owned gun store will serve you much better than those big name national chains IMO / IME.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2020
    Dean Macdonald likes this.

  15. wesheltonj

    wesheltonj AH Elite

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2015
    Messages:
    1,950
    Video/Photo:
    15
    Likes Received:
    1,705
    Location:
    South Texas
    Member of:
    Benefactor-Life NRA, DSC, SCI
    Hunted:
    USA, RSA
    The only road I know where one minute you can drive 110 and the next have to slow down to 15. That road also has the great honor of having the highest wild hog kills by auto.
     
    Marty Brown, crs and Mr. Zorg like this.

  16. gizmo

    gizmo AH ENABLER SPONSOR Since 2015 AH Ambassador

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2014
    Messages:
    6,365
    Video/Photo:
    1,350
    Likes Received:
    8,810
    Location:
    Texas
    Member of:
    NRA Life Member, DSC Life Member, SCI Life Member, Exotic Wildlife Association, Texas Taxidermy Association Life Member, National Taxidermy Association, TTHA,DUCKS UNLIMITED
    Hunted:
    Romania, South Africa- Kalahari , Eastern Cape, USA, Fished Brazil, Mexico, USA
    We would love to have you although we a a ways from Austin. Those in your group that are serious about hunting we can hunt 24/7. Those that want to relax, well we can handle that too! We also have sporting clays and fishing as well as photo safaris during times someone doesn’t want to hunt. We also have the market cornered in the most beautiful sunsets you’ve ever seen. We are located in Turkey Tx and have top shelf lodging and food. We also provide all of your beer and hootch.
    Those that want to hunt out of blinds will be super comfortable as we have all MB Ranch King Blinds with big fluffy office chairs.
    While it is a bit of a drive from Austin, I can assure you y’all will have the absolute best trip of yalls life. 1EC00211-932C-4485-9DAA-17CEBF6596EE.jpeg 2C094450-296B-4561-AD17-D35272964FCB.jpeg 0943C273-EE9C-4F35-BCA9-1890C115809A.jpeg 3D3B1747-8123-4B99-83E7-EECD5B604455.jpeg 1AC6DEFF-55F4-4B01-98D0-5D7B3C1E10DE.jpeg 736471C3-CD3C-4E3C-B03C-4C4C2843C75E.jpeg 19811B51-C46D-4FBC-8556-BD9CCA91082C.jpeg 1B9FAE84-0007-4516-A769-3F28BADA0A65.jpeg A7194DA0-361C-4C87-937D-41C85D508CC6.jpeg F0D298AA-2ECB-4EDE-82C9-B10ED4CD9BC3.jpeg 74AD5866-E837-4589-9FDC-3213171EE571.jpeg 1F04404B-02AA-49DB-A146-FCA9FB83D9F3.jpeg 64BAC4F6-1544-47E4-AF66-DFDE115510EA.jpeg 06B5AEBF-77FB-4082-AB98-64CA8217A0AC.jpeg CFFEE30D-3241-40B6-B2BE-BD7B6C6357D2.jpeg 0B7D68AC-A530-4FEA-B5C2-D201B0D18452.jpeg
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 11, 2020

  17. Mr. Zorg

    Mr. Zorg AH Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2019
    Messages:
    329
    Video/Photo:
    2
    Likes Received:
    231
    Location:
    San Antonio, TX
    @gizmo, I'm hoping to take one of my nieces that's interested in hunting on a trip with me this Fall or Winter, depending on when her college break days best fit. I've earmarked your place as the place to go if / when we can put all the pieces together. Not looking for trophies, some good quality meat and baptism into hunting. I'm hoping you can tailor something for us when we have more firm numbers in place.
     
    gizmo likes this.

  18. gizmo

    gizmo AH ENABLER SPONSOR Since 2015 AH Ambassador

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2014
    Messages:
    6,365
    Video/Photo:
    1,350
    Likes Received:
    8,810
    Location:
    Texas
    Member of:
    NRA Life Member, DSC Life Member, SCI Life Member, Exotic Wildlife Association, Texas Taxidermy Association Life Member, National Taxidermy Association, TTHA,DUCKS UNLIMITED
    Hunted:
    Romania, South Africa- Kalahari , Eastern Cape, USA, Fished Brazil, Mexico, USA
    yessir absolutely. My biggest deal is dates. I tend to book up pretty quick sometimes so if I know you’ve got certain dates in mind in advance I can block them off for you. I’ll pm you and we can discuss what y’all are looking for.
     
    Mr. Zorg likes this.

  19. flat8

    flat8 AH Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2017
    Messages:
    478
    Video/Photo:
    125
    Likes Received:
    618
    Location:
    Phoenix, Arizona
    Member of:
    DSC, NRA
    Hunted:
    USA, RSA
    Dean - Turkey, Texas is a bit of a trek from Austin, but you’ll find exactly what you are looking for with @gizmo. He’s got a great place. I’m going back in a few weeks for my second trip to Rockin’ G.
     
    BWH, Dean Macdonald and gizmo like this.

  20. gizmo

    gizmo AH ENABLER SPONSOR Since 2015 AH Ambassador

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2014
    Messages:
    6,365
    Video/Photo:
    1,350
    Likes Received:
    8,810
    Location:
    Texas
    Member of:
    NRA Life Member, DSC Life Member, SCI Life Member, Exotic Wildlife Association, Texas Taxidermy Association Life Member, National Taxidermy Association, TTHA,DUCKS UNLIMITED
    Hunted:
    Romania, South Africa- Kalahari , Eastern Cape, USA, Fished Brazil, Mexico, USA
    Thanks buddy. I can’t wait to see y’all again.
     

Share This Page

 
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice