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How To Hunt Texas

Barney Desroches, Assistant Editor

Barney Desroches, Editor

 

Hunting javelina in Texas is an affordable experience that will reward you with great times in the field, happy moments at camp and memories to last a lifetime. A javelina hunt is affordable, so it’s something you might consider doing more than once. If you’re like me, you’ll have so much fun you’ll want to go back and re-experience those exciting stalks.

 

Listed below are the “logistics” for planning a javelina hunt of your own. The information includes costs, transportation suggestions, essential equipment and gear, and other tips and recommendations to make your javelina hunt a success.

 

Budget: $1,500

The hunt I experienced cost about $1,500 per person — for everything. Here’s a rough breakdown of the expenses. Remember, prices will vary with time and other factors, so your hunt could end up costing more or less.

  • Hunting guide fee, in our case it was fee $650 for a 2.5 day hunt.
  • Guide tip (bring cash from the ATM: $100 – $200 is typical for tipping at the end of the hunt — based on your satisfaction & service)
  • Texas Type 157 Non-Resident 5-Day Special Hunting license (about $50). It can be purchased over the counter in Texas if you have time. Otherwise, I recommend purchasing it ahead of time online and have it mailed to you. It takes about one to two weeks to arrive. For more information go to: http://tpwd.texas.gov/regulations/outdoor-annual/licenses/hunting-licenses-and-permits  To purchase the license go to: https://www.txfgsales.com/
  • Roundtrip airfare: $350
  • Rental car & gas: $300 (in our case this expense was divided between three hunters, so about $95 each)
  • Food & incidentals: $100

 

Planning / Travel / Transportation

In Texas, hunting seasons for javelina very depending upon the county, especially in the northern and southern regions. For more information, go to this online resource: http://tpwd.texas.gov/regulations/outdoor-annual/regs/animal_listing or consult your hunting guide. February is the month we went to Texas and the hunting and weather were extremely favorable.

 

If possible, plan your hunt six months to a year ahead. Start by choosing a reputable hunting guide. In our case, we chose Wayne Wiemers of Alamito Hunting and Guide Service (432) 556-6133 out of Marfa, Texas. Once I set a date with Wayne for a six-man, 2.5 day hunt, it was time to get five other buddies onboard. Remember that some guides will want a certain number of hunters in the party for a discounted group rate, and will likely charge more for only one or two hunters. I wanted the best bargain I could find, with multiple hunting days, and one that included lodging, so I picked the six-man option (more guys means the guide earns more, so more perks can be included). Probably the hardest part of this kind of hunt is getting enough of your friends to commit and send in their deposit to the guide. Once that has been accomplished, and the right number of guys are locked in, things get easier and there is lots to look forward to.

 

If you’re flying to Texas:

Choose an air carrier that allows 1 or 2 free checked bags (in our case Southwest Airlines allowed two checked bags for free) which saved us from extra fees, since archery and hunting equipment must be checked. It cannot be included with carry-on luggage.

For the traditional archer, a take-down bow is ideal for this kind of out-of-state hunt. My take-down recurve fit inside my large suitcase, nested in with clothing, hunting pack, etc. Personally, I prefer a plain suitcase over luggage made specifically for archery equipment. Such luggage often suggests what’s inside, and cries out “valuable hunting equipment contained within.” It could catch the eye of someone who’d love to walk off with your prized bow and sell it for profit on Ebay. Instead I like a plan old suitcase that “flies” under the radar.

 

Arrows need to be checked too, so invest in durable arrow tube or make one out of PVC pipe.

 

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Rental car:

We flew from northern California to El Paso — since it’s the closest major airport to Marfa, and then rented a car to make the final three-hour drive to the hunting ranch. Remember to select a car that will accommodate the number of hunters traveling and all their luggage. A 4WD probably isn’t necessary, so save money by avoiding this upgrade.  Most of the roads we traversed were paved or flat and graveled, so a 2WD Toyota Rav-4 was ample for three of us. When it’s time for actual hunting, your guide most likely will drive you around in their 4WD vehicles.

 

Gear / Equipment

Recurves, longbows or compounds are excellent choices for javelina. Personally, I feel peccary are the perfect quarry for traditional archery equipment because you can sneak well within bow range (10 – 20 yards) and sometimes closer when the wind is in your favor! You also will likely have opportunity to make multiple stalks on the same herd, and take numerous shots, so put your stick-bow skills to the test! No long-range 40 – 60 yard shooting required! On this hunt, I used a 62-inch Stalker Wolverine recurve (a take-down model made by South Cox). Some folks might consider a 62” bow a bit long and awkward to manage, but that wasn’t the case for the areas we hunted. The peccary tended to be in open spaces, dotted with mesquite trees, catclaw acacia scrub and sometimes thigh-high grass. When hunting cottontail rabbits in thicker brush however, a shorter bow of 52 – 58 inches, would have been handier weaving in and out of thickets and taking shots in close quarters, but I managed just fine. I prefer a longer, more forgiving and accurate bow over maneuverability.

 

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Cut on contact broadheads are advised for traditional bow hunting, and I recommend bringing twice the number you’d normally take on a hunt.  If your experience is like mine, when you stalk into a herd of javelina, you’ll likely be taking numerous shots … and dulling blades in a hurry in the sandy, rocky soil if you miss. Save broadhead re-sharpening for after the hunt if you can, and thread fresh heads on in a jiffy — if you use ’em. Otherwise, a file can help put a rough edge back on a wooden arrow’s glued on head). If you use screw-on heads, I suggest carrying a few extra sharp ones in small plastic container DSC_3923DSC_3927DSC_3932

 

in your hunting pack. It makes it easy to have a fresh arrow ready to go after a miss.

Judo points are essential for stump shooting and I always keep one on an arrow in my hunting quiver. When it’s time to hunt rabbits, grab more judos! You’ll want at least three judo-tipped arrows ready to go since you’ll be taking multiple shots as the rabbits move around you. Otherwise, you’ll be slowed down retrieving the one judo-equipped arrow each time. In the photo above (arranged from 9 o’clock to 3 o’clock) are some of the small game heads I like to use.

Wind detector powder is essential. Javelina have a keen sense of smell so don’t let the breeze blow your stalk. I find it helpful to attach the wind detector to my belt with a DIY lanyard (stretchy line or thin bungee from REI, the hardware store, etc) for easy one hand usage.

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Quality binoculars are always helpful when hunting. We were glassing distances of 50 to 1,000 yards, so 8 x 42 or 10 x 42 optics work just fine for javelina spotting.

I hunt with Lowa Renegade GXT boots, which performed well in Texas. There were times stalking close to javelina however, when I wished my boots were quieter on the rocky, gravely surfaces. Wearing something like the Sneek Boots by Sneek EZ https://sneektec.com/ would be helpful and I might bring some next time.

Sun screen with a high SPF rating should be used on exposed skin. It only takes an hour in the Texas sun to get a nasty sunburn.

 

Clothing 

  • Camo or wool plaid tops work fine. Javelina do not have keen eyesight, so a Ghillie suit isn’t required, though wearing something that helps you blend in is helpful.
  • Merino wool base layers are great for the early mornings and late afternoons when the temperature can drop. Check the online 5-day weather forecast ahead of time to determine how much worm clothing is needed.
  • Merino wool gloves, especially one to wear on your bow hand can make the chilly morning hunt more pleasant.
  • A boonie hat for neck, face and ear sun protection is ideal.
  • Rain gear? It’s usually not needed but prior to departure for Texas it’s best to check with the hunting guide and/or online 5-day weather forecast.

 

Make it Happen!

As you can see, bowhunting javelina in Texas isn’t all that complicated. In fact, it’s well worth the effort — not just for the memories, but for the thrill of sneaking within yards of your quarry with a stick and string. I hope you’ll give it a try!

 

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free Bow fishing clinic

 

“FREE Bow Fishing Clinic”

 

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Bill with his first Carp of the day

Saturday – April 23rd, 2016 @ 10:00AM

Archery Only Inc.
(37300 Cedar Blvd. Unit D, Newark 94560)

Proudly Presents the “How To’s Of Bow Fishing”

Receive information and instructions on what you need to know
to be successful when fishing with your bow.
This one hour clinic will be filled with insider tips on proper equipment & setup,

how to train for underwater shooting,
how to hunt and hit an underwater target. Speakers: Ron VanderHeiden & Wayne PiersolDSC_0521

Here is a link to the official flyer

Bow Fishing Clinic V3

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Bill with another one

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Top ten free RV camping tips part 2

 

Top ten free RV camping tips part 2

 

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South Dakota

#5 & #6 Cabelas & Bass Pro

Cabela’s  not only  allows  RVs  overnight opportunities  many of them offer  water  as well as septic dumps  free of charge.  To sportsmen these places are like  Disneyland for adults.

#7  Camping world

Camping world  advertises  the same overnight  courtesies  knowing if you’re on the road  you may need  some parts

for your camper  or possibly a new amenity.  Either way they are a good resource.

#8 rest stops

 

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rest stops  are an obvious choice  for your overnight stop.  There are apps  that show you how close you are  to your next  rest stop and even rate them.  many of them  will advertise  they are patrolled witch my wife prefers.

#9 truck  stops

 

Copyright: Terry VanderHeiden, 2016

Copyright: Terry VanderHeiden, 2016

Truck stops are normally  open 24 hours  provide clean bathrooms and showers  as well as dining.

#10 Private property

 

© Terry VanderHeiden, 2016

© Terry VanderHeiden, 2016

Private property  can be one of the best  for a sportsman.  I cannot remember the last time  I got turned down to spend the night and even get access  to hunt.  Most landowners  seem to be  blown away  that you have the courtesy  and respect to ask.   I know for fact landowners are tired  of people  jumping their property  without permission, which is illegal by the way.

 

Copyright: Terry VanderHeiden, 2016

Copyright: Terry VanderHeiden, 2016

I also  offer  to patrol the property  while I’m hunting  and let them know  if I see others  not behaving.  This can develop  long-term  friendships.

 

Copyright Terry VanderHeiden, 2016

Copyright Terry VanderHeiden, 2016

If some of these  free camping  opportunities sound good for you And you like the idea of the mobility of a pop up camper click  the four-wheel camper  link  to see what I’m using.

 

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Take the bite out of your dog walks.

 

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Hundreds of dogs are bitten by rattlesnakes every year many right here in the Bay Area.

If you are an outdoorsman and a dog enthusiast like myself you will want to protect your dog.

There are many ways to protect your dogs from being bitten a leash can help but it is no guarantee.

I vaccinate my dogs every year for rattlesnakes talk to your vet and learn the benefits.

There is an additional and very cool way to protect your dogs as well. It is called rattlesnake avoidance training.

The training is being conducted by Get Rattled your answer for the unprotected dog.

Willie J Stevens accomplished dog trainer for over 20 years as well as John Potash’s reptile a authority have combined their skills to bring people a unique way of protecting their dogs ( rattlesnake avoidance ).

DSC_0147I have put my dogs through avoidance classes for years and found get rattled to be the top of the Mark.

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The training for the Bay Area and Northern California is being conducted at Olive Hill Kennels. 5235 lesser Rd. Knights landing.

 

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Appointments are scheduled first come first serve basis to register contact Bruce Lyon (707) 290-5320.

About the training:

Experience dog trainers and license snake handlers will conduct the training. Your dog will be trained to avoid snaks through site sound and smell, to avoid the rattlers.

I have heard stories about the success of this type of training. I once heard a story about an owner that has put his lab through this training and on a hike the dog literally pushed the owner off the trail

The owner thought what the heck and almost started to scold his dog when he realized there was a rattlesnake smack in their trail and that the dog not only avoided the snake but pushed the owner to safety as well.

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One of the most famous Dog trainers in the world and a friend of mine Rick Smith trains dog owners and future trainers every year across the US. Rick runs clinics every year at quill point mid-March.

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I once asked Rick what he thought a rattlesnake avoidance is first comment was Ron I don’t conduct that training myself I’m not a reptile guy but if you’re asking me should you do it.

He paused and looked me dead in the eye and said “why wouldn’t you”.

I currently put my dogs through this training every year and plan to continue.

I will be attending Rick Smith clinics starting March 18 at quill point and get rattled May 1 hope to see you there.

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Top ten free RV camping tips part 1

Top ten free RV camping tips

 

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Maine

Everybody loves a buy one get one free offer, how about buy one get them all free; sounds good right let me explain.  When I first purchased my four-wheel  pop-up camper I envisioned that I would have some opportunities to camp in some secluded areas for free, but I had no idea  what was truly available.

The US is arguably  one of the most beautiful  places on the planet.  hopefully  some of the photos you will see can support that.

The tips I am about to share and work with most RVs  but some  will definitely  favor  a pop-up camper, like my Four wheel.

#1 national Forest.

 

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Maine

national Forest  can be spectacular and normally free.  sometimes  you are  on mountain roads  by streams or lakes  and the set up like my four wheel pop-up camper  is worth its weight in gold.  Some of the prettiest  campsites I have used  would be remote  at best.  There is no chance  you’re going to  roll in with a 33 foot motorhome.

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New Hampshire

I many times tease my good friend  who has a big  30 foot plus motorhome  saying you hike up from your campsite to see that beautiful view  by a lake or stream where I am already  camped.

 

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New Hampshire

#2 BLM land

BLM land (  Bureau of land management )  manages land  for logging and paper companies

 

© David L. Bozsik, 2016

© David L. Bozsik, 2016

BLM public lands are located in many western states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming to name a few.

Most require a fire permit which I normally forgo because my four wheel pop-up camper has a great stove. In addition being a hunter  having myself or my clothes  smell like  an extinguished campfire  is not my idea of going unnoticed by animals  in the woods.

#3 private logging companies

Private logging companies throughout the US have secured some of the most beautiful land imaginable and often allow free camping. In most cases  campfires are not permitted  for obvious reasons.  For them Camp Fires  is like giving a kid  a hammer in a  shop  that specializes in glass figurines  and fine china,  Not a great combination.

#4  Walmart

 

© David L. Bozsik, 2016

© David L. Bozsik, 2016

if you just  want a place to spend the night with access to clean bathrooms,  groceries, and other supplies you might need,  Walmart can be a great choice. Most Walmart super centers and many of their stores  allow this overnight  courtesy.

 

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