Austin, Texas Hog Hunt Advice

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

  1. gizmo

    gizmo AH ENABLER SPONSOR Since 2015 AH Ambassador

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    I agree with shootin’m till you run dry but it must be a different world down there. I can’t believe they charge to clean the pigs of their clients. We clean every pig someone wants to take home and eat. Hell it’s part of what your paying for. I guess it goes back to you get what you pay for. I’ve always viewed it that when a client comes to hunt they are on vacation and paying you to show them a good time. When an animal hits the ground it’s the outfitter’s job to take it and clean it, meanwhile the client either goes back for more or gets a cold beer in their hand and visits with friends or enjoys a campfire, meals, etc....
    the heat can be an issue in even late September, we are fortunate in that by then up here the weather is generally cooling off. On those warm spells though we have a nice indoor cleaning facility with a huge walk-in cooler. We get that stuff cleaned, washed down, and hanging in the cooler immediately after it’s down. Bad pork isn’t something to play with.
     

  2. Mr. Zorg

    Mr. Zorg AH Enthusiast

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    Cleaning and roughly butchering hogs was an add-on cost at the ranch I went to in April 2019 in North Texas near, and just below, the Panhandle. I was the only hunter of the 8 present that bagged animals and paid for this service. All the others did this themselves, to their individual preferences / skill sets. The first night one old boy hit the intestines with 2 other people working near him at the designated spot, a concrete pad with galvanized metal roof and a couple of hand winches. My hunting buddy on that trip and I skedaddled to the bunkhouse and stayed there the rest of the evening, the other guts cleaning their kills just had to grit their teeth and finish up what they were doing. The same guy who drove around dropping us off and picking us up twice a day and scattering (a little) corn at sites that didn't have line of sight to a feeder took all the skins & offal from everyone's pigs off to dump in a gut pit on the property without extra costs.


    My hogs cost $50 each to skin and quarter, and this guy used the gutless method. Some ranches east of where I live require hogs to be cleaned by staff, self-serve is not an option, and have a sliding scale from $50 to $150 per hog depending on live weight.

    Yes @gizmo, I would say your approach is certainly "valet" and personalized relative to the typical Texas hog hunt ranch I've seen on the internet. While my experience in 2019 was a significant cut above the experience Zim posted, it's not a spot I plan to return to. The package I was on included 2 hogs per hunter with additional hogs at $150 each, for a 2 night 2 day package. So my typical observe the effects after I take shot still worked for me as I got my 2 hogs just fine that way and I doubt if I personally would have had a good shot lined up before the other hogs scattered after my shot. The two I bagged were along a dirt road firing lane (a little) corn was scattered along after dropping me off so the other hogs had cover extremely close when I took my shots.
    There was zero night hunting allowed, stand hunting only allowed near dawn & dusk, spot and stalk hunting available in between morning pickup and afternoon dropoff, unstructured. We were told to just talk with each other and head out in different directions for spot & stalk. Not a huge property at 625 acres but not tiny either, limit was 8 hunters at a time, so other than midday spot & stalk activity I didn't feel I was at additional risk from the other hunters. So, not terrible, but not exceptional either and I know I can find something that suits me better elsewhere next time.

    There's hog hunting excursions by helicopter using fully automatic weapons (included in the package cost) if just blasting a lot of hogs in the guise of pest eradication. Not my tastes and only barely qualifies to be called hunting IMO, but everyone has individual tastes.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2020
    Dean Macdonald, CoElkHunter and gizmo like this.

  3. flat8

    flat8 AH Enthusiast

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    I’m shocked at reading some of the experiences posted above. I’ve hunted only once in Texas, and that was with @gizmo. At his ranch, three of us had a couple thousand acres to ourselves and Erik and his crew provided an amazing experience. Everything was taken care of.
     
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  4. gizmo

    gizmo AH ENABLER SPONSOR Since 2015 AH Ambassador

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    sheesh. That’s awful.
     

  5. CoElkHunter

    CoElkHunter AH Elite

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    “Fully automatic weapons”! Yahoo!
     

  6. Mr. Zorg

    Mr. Zorg AH Enthusiast

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    One such operation.

    https://www.helibacon.com

    This honestly doesn't fit within my definition of "hunting". It's a (rather entrepreneurial) twist on (token) eradication.
     
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  7. mikecatt13

    mikecatt13 AH Veteran

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    Its 100% not and typically not advertised as such. Its pay for eradication, because it is 100% needed. Hogs in texas (and elsewhere is they spread) are incredibly devastating and no amount of hunting will ever make a dent. The helicopter eradication helps keep the poisoning initiatives at bay, which are horrible for so much of the other wildlife. And its incredibly fun.
     
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  8. Mr. Zorg

    Mr. Zorg AH Enthusiast

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    If you click on the link in my most recent prior post in this thread you will clearly see the words "hog hunting". I disagree this activity is not typically advertised as such. Here's more examples that pop up using a simple Google search. The letters "hunt" are even incorporated in these web address names.

    https://sky-hunters.com

    https://www.helicopterpighunting.com

    https://www.texasspecialtyhunts.com

    https://www.helihoghunt.com

    I've lived in Texas from 1966 to 2000, and now from 2016 to present. I'm well aware of issues with feral hogs in Texas, including fatalities as I mentioned earlier in this thread. Here's a web link to that news report.

    https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-new...tack-outside-texas-home-sheriff-says-n1091216

    One of the primary differences I see vs my concept of hunting is zero inclusion of any tenet of providing a rapid death to any animal shot. No concern for any prolonged suffering by any animal shot during this activity.
     

  9. mikecatt13

    mikecatt13 AH Veteran

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    I guess the hunt thing can be debated, what is an anti-hunger going to exploit more a "helicopter hog hunt" or a "helicopter hog shoot". I'm sure the key term hunt brings in business based on google searches. But that's quite a tangent for the thread.

    I'm sure operations differ but I do have to disagree with the concern for the animals suffering. They cant get away when you're in the air. Many times when hunting on foot you may get one shot and they run off. From the air, I had 3-5 into them in a matter of 1 or 2 seconds, there was zero suffering and marginal shot happen due to the movement however you can follow up instantly and make sure it's as quick as possible.
     

  10. Mr. Zorg

    Mr. Zorg AH Enthusiast

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    I personally don't think anyone irrational enough to be an anti-hunter to pay to personally undertake these activities regardless of whether the word " hunt" appears in the description. Personally, I'd expect an anti-hunter to press for the rights of the feral hogs to do whatever they please as poor descendants of hogs turned into the unfamiliar Americas by cruel European explorers.

    Use of fully automatic weapons, and / or the words "machine gun" carry an implication that "shoot" is part of the activity.

    How many people who self-identify as anti-hunters have participated in these activities alongside you? And how much did the word "hunt" or "shoot" did they say influenced them to pay money to deliberately partake in these activities alongside you?

    How many carcasses were brought back, or caped, for butchering for meat consumption and / or trophy mounting?

    How much, quantitatively, does helicopter hunting of hogs keep dropping of poison bait as a control method at bay? I well remember dropping of poison bait for coyote eradication, it's effects on other wildlife, and change to dropping bait with rabies reduction instead. I don't recall shooting of coyotes from helicopter ever posited as a statistically significant method of coyote eradication. So I'm honestly interested in seeing the mat on feral hog eradication by shooting from helicopter.

    I agree this is absolutely a sidetrack someone threw in without a simple Google search, as something to debate. Somehow I don't envision the majority of customers to be interested in anything but spraying down the hogs any other effects being tough luck. How many hogs did you put down with first hit skull CNS hits with no twitching?
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2020

  11. deewayne2003

    deewayne2003 AH Member

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    I live in Austin and honestly the Hunting culture here is fairly small/elitist; be weary of outfitters as there are lots of "fly by night" operations - Stick to well known outfitters that have been in business for years.

    As for BBQ - Go to Terry Black's off of Barton Springs road Sunday morning @ 11am; you won't have to wait in line - but by the time your done eating there will be a line out the door.

    Another option that is popular for tourists - Lockhart, there is a gun range there that will let you rent guns and you can always eat BBQ in Lockhart either before or after shooting.

    I mention this because it might be a good time for you guys....

    https://www.lonestargunrange.com/

    On the other hand I will not be going back to this range if I can avoid it - I asked the owner if it would be possible to shoot my new .470 Nitro Express from a standing position with shooting sticks to sight it in at 50m(60yd)......

    "NO you can use my pistol range at 25yds standing OR you MUST shooting SITTING from the bench with sandbags!"

    I explained that wouldn't help me sight in my rifle for hunitng, but I would be willing to make the 45min drive to the range if he would like to shoot my .470 seated from the bench first to show me how it's done......

    He then got rather mouthy and wished me good luck finding a range that would allow me to shoot standing up.... Which took all of 5 minutes https://www.redsguns.com/


    But this man is more than willing to let tourists who have NEVER held a gun before line up next to you on a rifle lane and call "Cease FIRE" every 3 mintues so he can charge them $10 per round, then watch them run down range and get the target from where they shot a 50BMG for 1 round to tell their friend back home.....
     
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