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Old 08-23-2019, 07:23 AM   #1
AntlerCollector
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Default Hunting Exotics on high fenced game ranches. Is it really hunting?

I'm curious as to what your opinion really is about hunting exotics here in Texas. Specifically the ones behind 200-600 acre, high fenced operations that buy the animals, and turn them out to be shot. I've been to, and hunted on several day leases/weekend game ranches/ etc.. I enjoy doing it, and also the time spent with friends, family, and fellow hunters. That being said, when I have the guide drop me off at a blind with a feeder out front and see 10-20 different animals as soon as it goes off, am I really hunting? There are some animals that in my mind I'm fine with hunting like this. I've killed Blackbuck, Fallow, and Rams before. I plan on getting an Axis buck the same way. For me personally, some other animals, native to Africa for example, I can't see killing at a day ranch here in Texas. Kudu, Zebra, Gemsbok, are just a few. It just doesn't seem like an accomplishment. I know I'm rambling. I also know there are several sponsors on here that make a living selling these hunts. I've been to several of these places, and will continue to do so. I've enjoyed all my hunting trips to these places, but there's a little part of me that knows it's not truly hunting. Just my opinion of course. What are your thoughts?
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Old 08-23-2019, 07:33 AM   #2
jshouse
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My step dad took me to one of those places for an "Auodad" when I was a young teenager, neither of us knew anything about HF/LF BS and had a good enough time for the morning we were there��. He got a big hog and I got the biggest "Auodad" they had on the place, the rub came when we walked up to my dead "Auodad" and the other 20 or so that were with him stood there about 15y from us and never ran off. We also came across another big ram of some type that was tied up in the middle of the woods.

It was an interesting experience.
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Old 08-23-2019, 07:35 AM   #3
DJM
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The only person you have to please when hunting is yourself.Do it however you want.

DJ
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Old 08-23-2019, 07:35 AM   #4
Radar
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Boy, you had to rattle the cage early this morning.
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Old 08-23-2019, 07:35 AM   #5
louieagarcia
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Go back to sleep AC....too early to be rambling
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Old 08-23-2019, 07:36 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by louieagarcia View Post
Go back to sleep AC....too early to be rambling
Lol
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Old 08-23-2019, 07:38 AM   #7
SHSU18
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Im in on this thread lol
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Old 08-23-2019, 07:41 AM   #8
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I've never done it so I can't say for sure, but that type of hunting sounds really boring to me, guess I enjoy the chase too much. I will say though, I've got no problem with people doing it.
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Old 08-23-2019, 07:47 AM   #9
Cstat_hunter
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I think if you're outside enjoying God's creation and using the meat of then animal you harvest then its hunting to me. Some hunts are MUCH easier than others though.
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Old 08-23-2019, 07:47 AM   #10
Patton
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I don't think it's for me but to each his own.
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Old 08-23-2019, 07:52 AM   #11
Buff
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There are so many different places ran by so many different people that it is hard to lump them all together.

I owned a small heavily wooded place up until a couple of years ago.
If someone came wanting just to shoot anything that showed up, it was a silly easy hunt.
If they were after one particular animal things got tough.

We had a really good Axis one year. I had a local doctor that hunted him a dozen times and several groups that came multipe times hoping to get him in bow range with no success.
I finally killed him myself one afternoon while setting on a trail hunting hogs.

This happened several times throughout the years with other animals.

The easiest hunting I have ever done was on a deer lease in Mason. 20 deer at every feeder, every time they went off. Folks would shoot at deer and have them come right back to the feeder.

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Old 08-23-2019, 07:53 AM   #12
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In my opinion no it's not but if it makes someone else happy go for it. There are those that think setting at a deer feeder is not really hunting and I kind of agree but I still do it.
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Old 08-23-2019, 07:54 AM   #13
Radar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buff View Post
There are so many different places ran by so many different people that it is hard to lump them all together.

I owned a small heavily wooded place up until a couple of years ago.
If someone came wanting just to shoot anything that showed up, it was a silly easy hunt.
If they were after one particular animal things got tough.

We had a really good Axis one year. I had a local doctor that hunted him a dozen times and several groups that came multipe times hoping to get him in bow range with no success.
I finally killed him myself one afternoon while setting on a trail hunting hogs.

This happened several times throughout the years with other animals.

The easiest hunting I have ever done was on a deer lease in Mason. 20 deer at every feeder, every time they went off. Folks would shoot at deer and have them come right back to the feeder.

Attachment 969364
I believe this is the best answer.
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Old 08-23-2019, 07:55 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by DJM View Post
The only person you have to please when hunting is yourself.Do it however you want.

DJ
Bingo
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Old 08-23-2019, 07:56 AM   #15
gscout01
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I've hunted many high and low fence ranches and I feel it all depends on the place. I've hunted low fence places and It was kind of like grocery shopping. I've also hunted high fence operations that were the toughest hunts I'd been on because the animals were so pressured. But if it's one of those places that the animals will stand there and eat out of your hand.... yeah not so much a "hunt" in my mind
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Old 08-23-2019, 07:57 AM   #16
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Default Hunting Exotics on high fenced game ranches. Is it really hunting?

RiverRat......rollover and hand AC back his phone!!..
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Old 08-23-2019, 07:58 AM   #17
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its ok to do it, just don't brag about it LOL
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Old 08-23-2019, 07:59 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AntlerCollector View Post
I'm curious as to what your opinion really is about hunting exotics here in Texas. Specifically the ones behind 200-600 acre, high fenced operations that buy the animals, and turn them out to be shot. I've been to, and hunted on several day leases/weekend game ranches/ etc.. I enjoy doing it, and also the time spent with friends, family, and fellow hunters. That being said, when I have the guide drop me off at a blind with a feeder out front and see 10-20 different animals as soon as it goes off, am I really hunting? There are some animals that in my mind I'm fine with hunting like this. I've killed Blackbuck, Fallow, and Rams before. I plan on getting an Axis buck the same way. For me personally, some other animals, native to Africa for example, I can't see killing at a day ranch here in Texas. Kudu, Zebra, Gemsbok, are just a few. It just doesn't seem like an accomplishment. I know I'm rambling. I also know there are several sponsors on here that make a living selling these hunts. I've been to several of these places, and will continue to do so. I've enjoyed all my hunting trips to these places, but there's a little part of me that knows it's not truly hunting. Just my opinion of course. What are your thoughts?
Without reading any replies I will say that I feel exactly like you do. Itís not hunting like I have hunted all my life, but itís still an adventure. Mine has been a grocery shopping expedition with some friends or just my wife and I. I love axis meat, and T-4 Exotics is where I shop. Itís a nice getaway with some very good eating at the end.
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Old 08-23-2019, 08:05 AM   #19
WItoTX
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No it's not hunting. Plain and simple. Cows come running to the feed trough much the same. I guess I would consider it harvesting more than anything.

But there is more to it. You mention all the other aspects, the getting together with friends, being outside, travelling to different area's, getting to see animals from other continents interact with one another, meat in your freezer, and most of all, your money you spend goes to conserve species half way across the planet. I don't recall what animals specifically, but Texas has a greater population of multiple African species than Africa does (Tigers too, but that's a different continent). That's pretty cool and all because you are willing to pay for it. All those things are great, and beneficial to hunting, and conservation in general.

The short story is, HF hunting is very nuanced. There is good and bad, the key is recognizing both sides.
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Old 08-23-2019, 08:08 AM   #20
denimdeerslayer
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I'm there for meat not a lot of walking around. And you dont always come back with what you were after either.
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Old 08-23-2019, 08:09 AM   #21
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RiverRat......rollover and hand AC back his phone!!..
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Old 08-23-2019, 08:11 AM   #22
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I have hunted alot of high fence places. Some were easy, some were tough. As Buff said, when you pinpoint one animal and hunt them exclusively, that changes all the diameters of the hunt. I think you do what you want and quit worrying about what every body else thinks!
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Old 08-23-2019, 08:12 AM   #23
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I went on an axis doe hunt last year with a vendor of mine. My intention was that it was a canned hunt type deal, and I just wanted the meat. 200 acres in rock springs supposedly full of axis. Well this place was thick as all get out and it took me a day and a half to get one in the open long enough to shoot her. I saw plenty, but they knew the drill by the time I was out there in February which made it fun! My dad also took me on some canned deals when I was little and didn't know any better. It lit the hunting fire inside me when he did that. I really have no interest in going trophy hunting on a 200 acre place where they stock it like a pond anymore, but I sure don't judge anyone who does it. If you like it then do it! I'd also like to note, that just because it has a high fence around it does not mean its a canned hunt. I've been to several high fence places that were no different than the low fence neighbors. The only difference was they let them get older and bigger inside that fence.
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Old 08-23-2019, 08:14 AM   #24
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Often asked myself, because i'm such a tightwad, whats the difference between killing here in Texas out of a blind under a feeder or out of a blind watching over a waterhole in Africa ?
I can save some serious coin by not having to travel all the way to Africa.
Like mentioned above if they eat out of your hand, not so much.
Would love to go to Africa though even if its just to see the wildlife.
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Old 08-23-2019, 08:28 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J.B. View Post
its ok to do it, just don't brag about it LOL
x1,000,000
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Old 08-23-2019, 08:29 AM   #26
Jared4111
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I have 400 acres high fence. axis aoudad fallow blackbuck kudu oryx elk red deer nilgai rams and a few others. I enjoy watching them. its something different and I enjoy doing it. I do sell hunts on the place and its no cake walk. I know some outfitters say the same thing but it truly is a hunt. I have multiple customers that have came for axis does and left empty handed or with a different species animal. I have around 70+ head of axis and youd think youd see them everywhere but you don't. ive told a few people that id cut the feeders off and they could go hunt the ranch with their bows for free if they killed a 32"+ axis but if they didn't kill in two days, they pay me double. no takers.

if you don't like high fence, don't hunt it. if you do, then hunt it. hf and lf arguments will never be resolved. people are always going to disagree.
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Old 08-23-2019, 08:29 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple 000 Buck View Post
Often asked myself, because i'm such a tightwad, whats the difference between killing here in Texas out of a blind under a feeder or out of a blind watching over a waterhole in Africa ?
I can save some serious coin by not having to travel all the way to Africa.
Like mentioned above if they eat out of your hand, not so much.
Would love to go to Africa though even if its just to see the wildlife.
I think this is actually false. If you go to Africa, you're going to come home with 5+ animals. If you go shoot those same 5+ animals at the same time in Texas I bet the difference is significant. Especially if you have Kudu, Sable, or something along those lines on your list.
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Old 08-23-2019, 08:30 AM   #28
Txhuntr2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Radar View Post
Boy, you had to rattle the cage early this morning.
This
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Old 08-23-2019, 08:32 AM   #29
KX500
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I've been to a few. For some ranches/animals it has been hunting. For some ranches/animals it really wasn't. A lot of variety.

I think the biggest variable is the animals - where did they come from & how were they raised?

In general, it seems like rams/goats at these ranches are not the lease bit challenging - except maybe Aoudad. I've seen very wild Aoudad behind fences - but it seems like others have seen just the opposite.

Aside from hogs, I have mostly hunted deer (Red Stag, Sika, Fallow) with a bow, at these places. I enjoyed these hunts and it felt like hunting to me.

I have yet to see a blackbuck that didn't act pretty wild. These are on my list.

I try to get down there about every year for a hog hunt. I go to Texas because hogs are so plentiful, that I haven't found an outfitter that is trying to raise them - all wild animals trapped & released. In other states, some places do raise them and they end up much more l like a domestic pig.

One of the ranches I went to was trying to raise about every type of exotic they could. And they all seemed pretty tame. Whitetail deer wouldn't leave the feeder when you got down out of the tree stand. An example of a ranch that was good for hogs, but nothing else (in my opinion).

My first trip to Texas though was for a Red Stag. I got him the first evening out. The ranch owner was cool and said 'well you just got here - keep hunting and take a fallow doe for free (or of course anything else, not for free))". Little did I know that he had about a dozen fallow does that all ran together. Hunting them was pretty much the same as hunting whitetails - with that many sets of eyes, you simply were not going to get very close, chances of a bow shot slim to nil. I was glad to keep hunting, but later I realized that his offer was more for him than it was for me, as he know I wasn't taking home a 'free' fallow doe!

Anyway, like about anything in life some (ranches) good, some not so much and for some it'll vary according to what you want to hunt.

I like simple explanations as much as the next. But with this question the answer will sometimes be Yes & sometimes No.

It is up to you to find the places that make it hunting.
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Old 08-23-2019, 08:35 AM   #30
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I have never been a fan, but depends on how its being paid for.

I'm taking 5 clients in 2 weeks to 10-2-4 Ranch and dropping 40k. I'm not shooting anything....

I see it as an easy entertainment hunt with almost guaranteed success and opportunity to hang with friends.

Sean
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Old 08-23-2019, 08:40 AM   #31
jjaimes
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The Day hunt high fence ranches are tougher than a lot of low fence places.
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Old 08-23-2019, 08:45 AM   #32
Larryf250
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I have hunted large high fence and very small. To me the smaller places are more about the experience with friends and family. Look at Thompson temples place. Can be about the easiest hunt ever but stay in the A frame with your friends throwing something at the one that snores too loud. Sit outside listening to Thompson telling stories around the fire pit and drinking an adult beverage while doing so... you almost canít beat it. Yes it was more kill than hunt but I will never forget that trip and neither will my friends that went.
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Old 08-23-2019, 08:49 AM   #33
HoustonHunter94
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Freezer filling or collecting wall art. Nothing wrong with either of them. I wouldn't exactly call it hunting.
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Old 08-23-2019, 08:53 AM   #34
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Everyone has a different life style and grow up a certain way. I started climbing up trees with a recurve 40 years ago and ground stalking deer and elk. I still stalk and shoot and 55 and did that this morning to kill some hogs. It is just the way I grew up. I will sit in a blind but that is not hunting it is shooting, but I am fine with it. Everything has it's place and purpose. Someone that has little time and money to spend...go do what you like, if you have more time than money you probably are going to spend more time playing out there in the woods.
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Old 08-23-2019, 08:53 AM   #35
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Like has been said above it depends on the place but as a general rule if someone shoots something on a small high fence place I equate it to shooting a cow. I am not mad about it but you don't really earn any respect for it either. You shot a big animal on a low fence "true" hunting situation then you earn some respect in my book.

-john
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Old 08-23-2019, 08:56 AM   #36
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I've been to quite a few of these but only one where the animals were pretty much tame. Once I figured that out I decided to just hang out and not shoot anything.

The last few I've been on I'm the guy in the group who only hunts pigs while everyone else is after axis, blackbuck, etc.
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Old 08-23-2019, 08:59 AM   #37
JONES45LC
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my low fence deer in Rocksprings are way more tame than any of my high fence exotics and deer, ask my hunters if they just show up and shoot!
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Old 08-23-2019, 09:00 AM   #38
BrandonA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buff View Post
There are so many different places ran by so many different people that it is hard to lump them all together.

I owned a small heavily wooded place up until a couple of years ago.
If someone came wanting just to shoot anything that showed up, it was a silly easy hunt.
If they were after one particular animal things got tough.

We had a really good Axis one year. I had a local doctor that hunted him a dozen times and several groups that came multipe times hoping to get him in bow range with no success.
I finally killed him myself one afternoon while setting on a trail hunting hogs.

This happened several times throughout the years with other animals.

The easiest hunting I have ever done was on a deer lease in Mason. 20 deer at every feeder, every time they went off. Folks would shoot at deer and have them come right back to the feeder.

Attachment 969364
Very well said. I have hunted a high fence only once and it was for one particular deer. It was 4 days and all day sits. Finally killed him on the last morning around lunch time. Didn't see all that many deer either. Easiest hunt was ex inlaws ranch in S. Texas. Deer weren't scared of any ranch truck and you literally could hit the feed horn and they would to you.
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Old 08-23-2019, 09:08 AM   #39
Bryan2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple 000 Buck View Post
Often asked myself, because i'm such a tightwad, whats the difference between killing here in Texas out of a blind under a feeder or out of a blind watching over a waterhole in Africa ?
I can save some serious coin by not having to travel all the way to Africa.
Like mentioned above if they eat out of your hand, not so much.
Would love to go to Africa though even if its just to see the wildlife.
Once you price it all out you get a lot more bang for your buck in Africa. I killed an impala and a kudu and with all expenses included spent around $8000. A kudu hunt in Texas will run you $12,000 at least.
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Old 08-23-2019, 09:09 AM   #40
SHSU18
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Ive hunted 250 acre place that had a separate 2000 acres. The 250 acre place had 25-30 axis on it. Only saw them once at 300 plus yards. It wasn't even very wooded. They knew the drill when some pulled in the gate, they would go in to hiding.
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Old 08-23-2019, 09:11 AM   #41
ColinR
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I've hunted some high fence places that were much tougher hunts than some low fence places and visa versa. As others said it just depends on the ranch.


I have no problem with either. To me its all about getting outside and enjoying the time with family and friends. i could care less what the fence is made of. I will also say my experience has been most people that I come across personally that talk bad about high fence hunts have never actually done it themselves.

Last edited by ColinR; 08-23-2019 at 09:14 AM.
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Old 08-23-2019, 09:11 AM   #42
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I own 50 ac that I raise exotics on and sell to bigger operations. I have several people wanting to come “hunt” I tell them it’s not really a hunt but if you want to come kill come on. To each there own it’s not for me at all but if it makes them happy then good for them.
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Old 08-23-2019, 09:12 AM   #43
BackwoodzHank
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I don't think it is, but that being said if some one gave me a hunt or if I won it in a raffle for a good cause I wouldnt turn it down. Don't have anything against the guys that do it. Its just kinda like Barry Bonds(*).
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Old 08-23-2019, 09:12 AM   #44
Mexico
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Location: Clear Lake Tx
Hunt In: Old Mexico, Centerville Tx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zztex View Post
x1,000,000
Kinda like croaker fishing
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Old 08-23-2019, 09:13 AM   #45
critter69
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Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Colorado
Hunt In: CO and Texas when I can
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I have absolutely no interest in shooting any thing behind a high fence. I don’t care if others enjoy it, but it does bug me when they act like they are the greatest hunter in world after shooting an animal that way tough. To each his own.
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Old 08-23-2019, 09:25 AM   #46
walker1983
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Midland
Hunt In: Old Mexico - Shackelford - Callahan
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different strokes for different folks...

For me - my interest level in places goes way down if it has a lot of non pasture born animals... I think a ranch is much cooler if it has sustainable herds.

I know the economics don't always make sense to do that on small HF hunting operations - cheaper to buy animals from elsewhere - avoid the feed bills - and collect the kill fees.

Also, if hunting a HF, ranch size is important to the hunting experience for me.

I wouldn't have much interest hunting a HF place that wasn't at least a section, and carried a minimum herd of say 50 -/+ animals. Less than that, and you would know every deer on the place if you wanted to.
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Old 08-23-2019, 09:25 AM   #47
DeadEyeB
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Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Tejas
Hunt In: LaSalle/Frio
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My opinion is that if they are basically tame and you just drive up and shoot one it's not hunting. If there is a chase though and they are actually wild then yeah sure it's same as any other type of hunting.

I have a buddy that has a HF that has some exotics that are very wild and not easy to get on. Then I see these HF places where the oryx just stand by the fence line without a care in the world.
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Old 08-23-2019, 09:31 AM   #48
wellingtontx
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Join Date: Feb 2009
Hunt In: Collingsworth County, Texas
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For me, Not at all.


But if that is what someone wants to do, then I certainly have no problem with it.
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Old 08-23-2019, 09:34 AM   #49
Hoss163
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Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Abilene tx
Hunt In: Oklahoma
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Spot and stalk a blackbuck are Axis are oryx in a high fence. That is some fun and tough hunting I promise you . You can even make some ram hunts pretty exciting if you do it right. I shot a red deer at 56 yards with my bow spot and stalk hunting. And two black bucks by doing the same . And a oryx . A mouflon Ram now thatís a tough hunt as well .
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Old 08-23-2019, 09:40 AM   #50
Pushbutton2
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Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Van,TX
Hunt In: Mc Culloch County since 2015 Van Zandt County since 2017
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I've been to a high fence ranch 2X.

I enjoyed it but not sure I'd do it again.

The last time the weekend cost me what my lease costs me for a year.....
$2500
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