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Old 08-10-2017, 03:51 PM   #1
cj_sandman
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Default East TX vs. West TX leases

I'm looking at getting my first lease and have seen some good options in both East and West TX but I understand they can be very different..

What are y'alls opinions on pros/cons of either?
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Old 08-10-2017, 03:54 PM   #2
GarGuy
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If you are used to hunting West,, you will be seriously disappointed in east tx. That said, there are some giants here in East tx and records are falling. It aint easy though..
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Old 08-10-2017, 03:56 PM   #3
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Split the difference
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Old 08-10-2017, 03:56 PM   #4
ultralite09
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Unless the price is right and theres a decent amount of land, im not sure of any pros for an east texas lease. but comparing the two, I would say west wins any day of the week. Larger bodied deer, better population, better opportunities to hunt other game. Of course this is all my opinion so take it with a grain of salt.


If I lived in houston I would be looking at a South Texas lease if you have the budget for it. Next would be hill country area then west.
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Old 08-10-2017, 03:59 PM   #5
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Travel distance and the amount of time I had to hunt would dictate which area I hunted.
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Old 08-10-2017, 03:59 PM   #6
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Are the deer bodies larger in west Texas? I know that most of the racks seem to be. I'd try to find some place that got cold enough to kill mosquitoes during hunting season.
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Old 08-10-2017, 03:59 PM   #7
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East TX can be tough hunting, but rewarding when things come together. Lots of tracts are heavily timbered and add an extra challenge/effort. It's not for everyone.
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Old 08-10-2017, 04:00 PM   #8
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I'm partial to west Texas and south texas , east Texas always felt restrictive to me , being in San Antonio last 20 years driving east just never crossed my mind

Last edited by pilar; 08-10-2017 at 04:07 PM..
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Old 08-10-2017, 04:05 PM   #9
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Raised hunting east Texas and wouldn't have it any other way. Challenging? Yes, but isn't something more challenging also more rewarding in the end? Again, I say yes.

Gar guy has it right- they're very different, and one expecting west tx style hunting in East Texas will be sorely disappointed.
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Old 08-10-2017, 04:07 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krisw View Post
Are the deer bodies larger in west Texas? I know that most of the racks seem to be. I'd try to find some place that got cold enough to kill mosquitoes during hunting season.
No unless you're near the panhandle the bodies are much smaller out west on your average mature buck. Panhandle deer are more similar to a mature east Texas buck
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Old 08-10-2017, 04:08 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ultralite09 View Post
Unless the price is right and theres a decent amount of land, im not sure of any pros for an east texas lease. but comparing the two, I would say west wins any day of the week. Larger bodied deer, better population, better opportunities to hunt other game. Of course this is all my opinion so take it with a grain of salt.


If I lived in houston I would be looking at a South Texas lease if you have the budget for it. Next would be hill country area then west.
I don't know about that part. Maybe bigger bodies in South or North Texas but not so much in West Texas.

If you want to be able to sit over a feeder and see more deer West is the way to go for sure.
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Old 08-10-2017, 04:12 PM   #12
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I don't know about that part. Maybe bigger bodies in South or North Texas but not so much in West Texas.

If you want to be able to sit over a feeder and see more deer West is the way to go for sure.
If fed the same,, Ii feel east t will grow the largest bodies.. Look at Elgatos deer. They are the same east tx blood line and he gets them close to 300lbs by worming and making sure they are well fed.
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Old 08-10-2017, 04:12 PM   #13
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this could be fun. my vote would be for east texas, northeast to be exact.
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Old 08-10-2017, 04:14 PM   #14
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this could be fun. my vote would be for east texas, northeast to be exact.
Are your serious??????
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Old 08-10-2017, 04:16 PM   #15
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Grew up hunting West and Northwest Tx deer. Plentiful and had plenty shooting opportunities. Now live in East Tx and feel as if I'm truly hunting now! I believe there are just as many deer East as there are in the West. The difference is the amount of cover they have here. Tough hunting but very rewarding. As far as body size goes East wins. Killed a 204# a couple yrs ago and this past season a 190#. Hope to break the 200 mark again this year. Antler wise if you let them mature you can kill a 140"+ every year. There are quite a few 160"+ out there as well!

Wait....... There are no deer in East Tx. Move along
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Old 08-10-2017, 04:16 PM   #16
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I have hunted both for over 35 years. Size and racks are about the same both directions. Many times deer in East Texas don't repond to feeders as good as West Texas. You will see more deer in West Texas, but more likely to see a very large buck in East Texas. You may go 3 or more hunts in East Texas and never see a deer. I probably see deer 30% of the hunts in ET. I see deer 90+% of the time out west. You can get better deer country with less land in ET. WT you need more land because it is more open.
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Old 08-10-2017, 04:17 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by texashunter56 View Post
Are your serious??????
I wouldn't have it any other way sir

plus, I live here, and travel time is important, as SOMEONE said above...
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Old 08-10-2017, 04:17 PM   #18
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West Texas- see lots of deer

East Texas- will not see lots of deer


Seems like a easy choice to me.

West Texas proud 12 years now.


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Old 08-10-2017, 04:18 PM   #19
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If fed the same,, Ii feel east t will grow the largest bodies.. Look at Elgatos deer. They are the same east tx blood line and he gets them close to 300lbs by worming and making sure they are well fed.
While I can agree to an extent with that, Ive seen 275lb on the hoof 8-10 yr old deer come from Rattler7696's place near catarina. Watch the heaviest bodied deer in los casadores each year, they are big bastages. Apples to apples as far as the feed dept goes they will top end body weight near the same in a well managed deep south and far east Texas herd imo fwiw.

To the op, if you want to see higher deer numbers west is the west to go, if you don't mind hunting the black timber where you cant see the Indians coming go deep east Texas.

Last edited by MASTERS; 08-10-2017 at 04:24 PM..
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Old 08-10-2017, 04:22 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by ultralite09 View Post
Unless the price is right and theres a decent amount of land, im not sure of any pros for an east texas lease. but comparing the two, I would say west wins any day of the week. Larger bodied deer, better population, better opportunities to hunt other game. Of course this is all my opinion so take it with a grain of salt.


If I lived in houston I would be looking at a South Texas lease if you have the budget for it. Next would be hill country area then west.
The ETX lease definitely has some appeal to it, price is right, acreage is pretty low per hunter unfortunately. I've got a coworker over here that is in agreement with those of y'all saying ETX is good if you know how to hunt it, but its definitely a tougher hunt.

I've found WTX to be considerably more expensive.
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Old 08-10-2017, 04:33 PM   #21
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If fed the same,, Ii feel east t will grow the largest bodies.. Look at Elgatos deer. They are the same east tx blood line and he gets them close to 300lbs by worming and making sure they are well fed.
I agree 100%. If I ever start playing and win the powerball we will find out!
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Old 08-10-2017, 04:41 PM   #22
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Also depends on how you want to hunt and what your expectations are. If you want to sit in a box blind and see 30 deer come to a feeder every day - go west. If you want to sit in a pop up blind or a tree stand and watch trails or some hand corn in hopes of catching the right deer, east texas is a good place to do it.
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Old 08-10-2017, 04:44 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by shaft_slinger00 View Post
West Texas- see lots of deer

East Texas- will not see lots of deer


Seems like a easy choice to me.

West Texas proud 12 years now.


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Yeah, I am leaning hard towards the West. Problem is the lease I want in WTX I won't be able to officially get on until they open up another pasture (hopefully next year).. so I guess I'll be hunting over at my buddy's property nearby for the time being.

The ETX lease is available now, but there's a list of things needing to get done before hunting season. . apart from small acres per hunter, no mgmt plan, no blinds/feeders set up currently..
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Old 08-10-2017, 04:45 PM   #24
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Im from west texas and hunted lost of areas and for the most part your average buck will be a 120 to 125in 8 point that weighs 130 to 150ish with a few exceptions. Theres nothing special about most of the deer out here. East texas isnt my idea of a good time mostly due to the over hunting and small properties but I do know it can produce monsters.
Needless to say theres a reason I drive straight though west tx to get to my place.
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Old 08-10-2017, 04:46 PM   #25
cj_sandman
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Originally Posted by Antlers86 View Post

Wait....... There are no deer in East Tx. Move along

Funny! Have heard this one before
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Old 08-10-2017, 04:47 PM   #26
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While I can agree to an extent with that, Ive seen 275lb on the hoof 8-10 yr old deer come from Rattler7696's place near catarina. Watch the heaviest bodied deer in los casadores each year, they are big bastages. Apples to apples as far as the feed dept goes they will top end body weight near the same in a well managed deep south and far east Texas herd imo fwiw.

To the op, if you want to see higher deer numbers west is the west to go, if you don't mind hunting the black timber where you cant see the Indians coming go deep east Texas.
Totally agree. If you havent read YEAR IN THE LIFE OF A FARM thread by Elgato. Go read it. That will show you what East Tx can do..
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Old 08-10-2017, 04:56 PM   #27
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I've read through it several times and every time it pops up I hope he's the one updating it. The more results like that are publicized the better both states deer will get as hunters and landowners become more diligent in their land and herd management practices. The older generations of meat hunters left will realize there is more meat to run through the grinder on a 6-10 yr old deer than on a 18 month old buck.
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Old 08-10-2017, 05:03 PM   #28
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Also depends on how you want to hunt and what your expectations are. If you want to sit in a box blind and see 30 deer come to a feeder every day - go west. If you want to sit in a pop up blind or a tree stand and watch trails or some hand corn in hopes of catching the right deer, east texas is a good place to do it.
Perhaps not to this exact extreme, but I agree with the above. I used to lease some river bottom property not too far out of Houston as well as, I've hunted a few a East TX properties as a guest. The bottom line, you typically just don't see many deer hunting these properties. Don't get me wrong, the deer are there. Often you will get tons on camera, just not many in a sit. I don't know if it's because there is so much more cover or if these places are just pressured more, or a combination. Feeders also aren't nearly as effective. Get ready to be more versatile; i.e. get away from the feeder, hand corn trails, etc. Ladder stands, lock-ons and pop-ups are the way to go.

Not saying you won't have a reasonable amount of success in East TX. However, you will no question have more dry hunts and will need to be ready to rethink your strategy.

Obviously, this is in general. Regardless of region, some areas just have more deer than others. More deer = more opportunities
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Old 08-10-2017, 05:11 PM   #29
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True West Texas PANHANDLE deer are going to be fewer and farther between than most places, but can be bigger bodies and bigger horns and an absolutely different color than most deer in Texas. I, and this is my opinion, are they are more related to the OK, KS strain of deer, especially in the far North and North East part of the Panhandle.
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Old 08-10-2017, 05:15 PM   #30
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Ask yourself a series of Questions.

Are you the kind of hunter that needs to see deer every sit? Yes=West No=East

Are you going to be badly disappointed if you don't kill your target deer every year? Yes=West No=East

Is a challenging deer season going to ruin your season? Yes=West No=East

It's night and day different hunting and I have spent quite a bit of time hunting both areas. The things I really didn't like about West was how badly the deer heard could be affected by droughts. I didn't like being limited to bowhunting out of a ground blind most of the time. I didn't like the fact that almost every place I ever hunted out west had cattle or some form of livestock to contend with.

All that said, it's fun knowing you're going to see multiple deer just about every sit when the feeder spins. Deer were much easier to pattern and hunt. I just about knew that if I located a target buck that I was going to get an opportunity to kill him if I put my time in.

The things I hate about East... PIGS! I hate them, they ruin my life! The deer are much harder to hunt in most cases. You may make multiple hunts without seeing a deer at all, especially if you're expecting to camp out and guard a feeder.

I love the hunting more in East Tx. It's a challenge and you really need to put some thought into every hunt. I love the sound of oak leaves crunching under a steady gait coming your way. I love when it all comes together and you get an arrow or bullet in a mature buck.

For me I pick East every single time but I'm also not going to choose the first place that comes available that has a pine tree on it. If you're fortunate enough to get on a well managed lease in E. Tx the sky is truly the limit on what you might shoot.


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Old 08-10-2017, 05:23 PM   #31
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Head West young man.



I'll stay right here.
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Old 08-10-2017, 05:26 PM   #32
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What are you calling west tx ???
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Old 08-10-2017, 05:28 PM   #33
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I have hunted both for over 35 years. Size and racks are about the same both directions. Many times deer in East Texas don't repond to feeders as good as West Texas. You will see more deer in West Texas, but more likely to see a very large buck in East Texas. You may go 3 or more hunts in East Texas and never see a deer. I probably see deer 30% of the hunts in ET. I see deer 90+% of the time out west. You can get better deer country with less land in ET. WT you need more land because it is more open.
I have had a couple years with streaks of 10+ hunts without seeing a deer while in the stand....
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Old 08-10-2017, 05:30 PM   #34
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I vote West. Being from West Texas and living in East Texas now for 20 years.
I REALLY REALLY hate the HUMIDITY!
I dislike all the wet weather hunting you have to do here in East Texas.
I ve been hunting in North central west Texas now for 12 years. You get all the season changes. The deer are bigger body wise. You can hunt thick mesquite stuff or wheat fields. Pretty much spoiled here.
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Old 08-10-2017, 05:38 PM   #35
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I vote West. Being from West Texas and living in East Texas now for 20 years.
I REALLY REALLY hate the HUMIDITY!
I dislike all the wet weather hunting you have to do here in East Texas.
I ve been hunting in North central west Texas now for 12 years. You get all the season changes. The deer are bigger body wise. You can hunt thick mesquite stuff or wheat fields. Pretty much spoiled here.
Do you hunt around Paris? It seems like it rains up that way a lot more than where I am at.

Op, ask yourself this. Do you want to hunt or shoot? That's kind of what it sounds like people are getting at.
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Old 08-10-2017, 05:44 PM   #36
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What are you calling west tx ???
uh oh......
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Old 08-10-2017, 05:51 PM   #37
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I would hunt whichever particular lease had the biggest deer regardless of where it was at.
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Old 08-10-2017, 05:57 PM   #38
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As MASTERS said we grow them pretty big at our low fence Ranch in South Texas. They go thru feed like it is a buffet, especially cottonseed. Our average is up to about 250 on the hoof. Biggest last year was 276. Big old buck we called the Crab Claw 8. He was 9 last year when we finally got the opportunity for one of our guest to put him down. He looked like a Brahma bull on the geound


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Old 08-10-2017, 06:20 PM   #39
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After growing up in east texas and now living back here again, and hunting a very good lease in the matador/Paducah area, this is the best way that I can describe it

It like the difference between Shiat and Ice Cream.

There are big deer in east texas but they are smart and you have to put in the work. And yes you may go a while without seeing a deer.

West texas, you can have your regular deer who you can't run off a feeder, and then you can have a good smart deer that you can't pattern. But the abundance of quality deer that you can see vs seeing a few quality deer but only once in a while can you get them on camera.
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Old 08-10-2017, 06:26 PM   #40
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"No Deer In East Texas"
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Old 08-10-2017, 06:30 PM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krisw View Post
Are the deer bodies larger in west Texas? I know that most of the racks seem to be. I'd try to find some place that got cold enough to kill mosquitoes during hunting season.


Deer bodies and racks are typically bigger in east Texas in my opinion. Also think about this smaller body (west Texas) makes the rack appear bigger than it is.
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Old 08-10-2017, 06:49 PM   #42
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East Texas is the only place in Texas they have rules on how many inches a buck must be before harvest, if it is brown it's going down country, same thing with Duvall county in south Texas horrible but true
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Old 08-10-2017, 06:57 PM   #43
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Deer bodies and racks are typically bigger in east Texas in my opinion. Also think about this smaller body (west Texas) makes the rack appear bigger than it is.
Thanks for the laugh.

West Texas deer....north of Abilene are as big bodied as East Texas deer with bigger and wider racks and they are waaaaaay more plentiful. It can be just as hard hunting as East Tx, well not really but harder than the Hill Country. Now by West as in San Angelo they are like Hill Country deer........but a bit larger.
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Old 08-10-2017, 06:59 PM   #44
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West of I35 would be my preference but i have come to enjoy east Tx hunting
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Old 08-10-2017, 07:01 PM   #45
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"No Deer In East Texas"
So go West
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Old 08-10-2017, 07:07 PM   #46
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for me, if I had the chance to drive 5 hours vs 1.5 from Houston I make the drive. nothing like pulling up to your campsite to find some of the locals have been there mid week and helped themselves to almost all of your stuff. or cut a tree down across the road to stop you from getting to your stand. lets say 10,000 acres. two camp sites. 55 people each. well that's a good nights sleep for sure. hill country has what I want.
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Old 08-10-2017, 07:09 PM   #47
Drycreek3189
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Poor old ETex hunters !
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Old 08-10-2017, 07:11 PM   #48
Drycreek3189
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Ain't it a shame !
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Old 08-10-2017, 07:16 PM   #49
d_e_smith
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Quote:
Originally Posted by texashunter56 View Post
Are your serious??????


Why not? You have a guy pampering them for the neighbors...might as well get in on that like everyone else.
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Old 08-10-2017, 07:27 PM   #50
d_e_smith
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drycreek3189 View Post
Poor old ETex hunters !
Let's be a little more realistic.
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