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How times have changed.

JerryBobCoJerryBobCo Senior MemberPosts: 8,227 Senior Member
One of the other threads got me to thinking about this.

I grew up in the oil patch of the Permian Basin of west Texas, in the Odessa/Midland area. That was in the 60s. Where I lived, the dove and quail hunting (blue quail, not bobwhites) was very good, and there were times when the jackrabbits were thick. That was about it, though. And, we never payed to hunt.

When I was in high school, we got on a family deer lease about 140 miles away. It was near a little podunk town named Pandale, about halfway between the small towns of Ozona and Del Rio. As I recall, the lease was about 5500 acres in size, and accomodated 10 families. The lease price was $100/family, and was good for the entire season, which typically ran from mid November through the end of the year.

At that time, and probably still now, you could buy a hunting license for a few bucks, and each license had at least 2 deer tags with it. In the area we hunted, only bucks were allowed. My dad would buy licenses for him, my mother, me, and my two sisters, which allowed us 10 deer tags.

The first year we took 6 deer, and the second we took 10. It was where I killed my first deer. I don't think I've ever hunted a place with so many deer. Even though the terrain was mostly dry, canyon country, the deer we took from there were very good eating. For the money, it was a pretty good deal. Unfortunately, the man who owned the property decided that too many deer had been taken, and decided to not renew the lease. I only got to hunt it for two years.

Now, there's no telling what a place like that would cost to hunt. I've seen ads offering season leases for $1500/gun for that area.

Back then, $100 was a lot of money, and my dad had to scramble to come up with it. I even chipped in $50 I made from a summer job one year. But, it was still a whole lot better deal then than now.

Anyone else have stories like this?
Jerry

Gun control laws make about as much sense as taking ex-lax to cure a cough.

Replies

  • RazorbackerRazorbacker Senior Member Posts: 4,646 Senior Member
    I got to go deer hunting the first time when I was 12. They loaned me someone's .308. Don't ask me what it was. All I remember was it was a .308, semi-auto, with a scope.
    This was 1972. Anyway, I never took a single practice shot with that thing and missed one the first morning. I was in camp for two days and nights. Don't think I slept the whole time because I was so excited.
    Others killed deer though and I saw more and between that and the whole camp thing I had a grand time. But to get to what I think the gist of your post is, the second night a guy asked me if I was having fun. I said, "Yessir, I sure am!" He said, "Then you better grow up to make a good living because this is turning into a rich man's game." He was a wise man.

    But unlike Texas we have tons of public land. I recently lost access to a place I've hunted for many years. So I've been scrambling. My girl and I have hiked all over Hell's half acre of planted pine thickets and clear cuts that look like an atomic bomb went off. And this is national forest. Also it's mostly very steep, rugged terrain.
    Finally found a good spot last weekend and will hang a stand this coming weekend. Then the weekend of the 15th the season opens. (Bow)
    That's the good news. The bad news is, there's a good possibility some pilgrim will beat me to it, steal my stand, or show up opening morning and start some sort of hassle. It happens on public land.

    I'll tell ya though, while I'm nostalgic for the good ol' days as much as anyone you'll ever meet, things are the way they are and I deal with them on that level and do the best I can.
    Teach your children to love guns, they'll never be able to afford drugs
  • FisheadgibFisheadgib Senior Member Posts: 5,797 Senior Member
    In some aspects, things have gotten better, and in others they haven't. I grew up hunting in Wisconsin in the late sixties with a nine day deer season. Although public land was abundant, so were hunters. Almost all manner of game was abundant back then except for deer. With all the competition on public land, it was tough to get your deer in one or two weekends. When I look at the costs of driving up north and renting a cabin, and all the preparation involved, I figure it really wasn't that cheap to deer hunt back then. We used to hunt lots of birds also and grouse, ducks, partridge, geese, and phesant were all abundant back then. Now ducks and geese are still thick because most of Wisconsin is in various migration paths but my friends up there claim it's rare to pick up a phesant or grouse anymore. When I hunted in Texas about 20 years ago I used to dove hunt on a friends land near Tolar and we always expected to limit out. We even picked up a resectable number of quail around there. We also quail hunted near Abiline and would be disappointed if everyone didn't limit out. I've heard that the quail are nowhere as abundant as they used to be either. Fast forward to now and although I pay quite a bit for my hunting membership, it's worth every penny to me. We have in the neighborhood of 3000 acres and eight families are the limit. Everyone has their own private room that they can use year round and all the rooms are heated and air conditioned. The membership covers all utilities also. We have probably 30 miles of four wheeler trails, a little over 40 food plots, eighty some club stands, a lake, a river, a shooting range, a nice cleaning station, and plenty of equipment to maintain the place. (four tractors, two bulldozers, an excavator, grader, and all the attachments to bushog, disc, plow, plant, drag, grade, dig, clear, or do anything we want to the property) An the thing that really makes it worth it is that the place is covered with game. We have an amazing number of deer, (to the point that you can almost guarantee a doe in certain area's), ton's of turkey that hardly anyone hunts, lots of rabbits that only I hunt, lot's of squirrels that only a couple of us hunt, a fair amount of doves that nobody hunts, and lots of wood ducks that nobody hunts. The point is, other places that I've lived and hunted in have deteriorated, but I'm currently in the best hunting environment that I've ever been in. And it's only a two hour drive from where I live.
    snake284 wrote: »
    For my point of view, cpj is a lot like me
    .
  • snake284-1snake284-1 Senior Member Posts: 2,500 Senior Member
    JerryBobCo wrote: »
    One of the other threads got me to thinking about this.

    I grew up in the oil patch of the Permian Basin of west Texas, in the Odessa/Midland area. That was in the 60s. Where I lived, the dove and quail hunting (blue quail, not bobwhites) was very good, and there were times when the jackrabbits were thick. That was about it, though. And, we never payed to hunt.

    When I was in high school, we got on a family deer lease about 140 miles away. It was near a little podunk town named Pandale, about halfway between the small towns of Ozona and Del Rio. As I recall, the lease was about 5500 acres in size, and accomodated 10 families. The lease price was $100/family, and was good for the entire season, which typically ran from mid November through the end of the year.

    At that time, and probably still now, you could buy a hunting license for a few bucks, and each license had at least 2 deer tags with it. In the area we hunted, only bucks were allowed. My dad would buy licenses for him, my mother, me, and my two sisters, which allowed us 10 deer tags.

    The first year we took 6 deer, and the second we took 10. It was where I killed my first deer. I don't think I've ever hunted a place with so many deer. Even though the terrain was mostly dry, canyon country, the deer we took from there were very good eating. For the money, it was a pretty good deal. Unfortunately, the man who owned the property decided that too many deer had been taken, and decided to not renew the lease. I only got to hunt it for two years. Now, there's no telling what a place like that would cost to hunt. I've seen ads offering season leases for $1500/gun for that area.

    Back then, $100 was a lot of money, and my dad had to scramble to come up with it. I even chipped in $50 I made from a summer job one year. But, it was still a whole lot better deal then than now.

    Anyone else have stories like this?

    Yes, the greed has put us little guys out of the hunting business in many cases here in Texas. A good lease will go from $1000 up just about anywhere. Even hogs are ridiculous to hunt. Like I keep saying, I can go to McDonalds or Whataburger early in the morning and listen to the local farmers and ranchers drinking coffee there complain about the hogs tearing up their land. Then when you ask them if you can shoot the hogs off it, they want to charge you a thousand dollars a year. That sucks!!! There's still two or three around here that will welcome you to shoot as many hogs as you can, but most have gotten so greedy they will bite their nose off to spite their face.
    I'm Just a Radical Right Wing Nutt Job, Trying to Help Save My Country!
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,813 Senior Member
    My very first deer hunt was in Colorado (Montrose/Gunnison) vicinity, on a sheep ranch at age 15. Didn't get a shot at a deer, but I saw a few, and my Dad and uncle both killed deer. It was a big deal for me, because I had my new (to me) Model 88 Winchester, in .308 that I bought with money I earned, and the out of state license cost $50 - an outrageous sum for 1966.

    When I moved to East Texas (from the Panhandle) in 1972, I thought the deer hunting opportunities would be great. They were better than where I came from, but still skimpy. It was all 'stalk' hunting, for the most part, because while I could occasionally get a landowner to let me hunt, I never got one to let me put up a blind or come and go as I pleased. It was pretty much of a hassle, and mighty slim pickings, for the most part. Stalk hunting for whitetail in this area is never going to put a lot of meat on the table. I did eventually learn to find the game trails, and sit down in a shady spot, with the wind in my face, but mostly failed to bring anything home. I stopped trying after a few years, when my house got burglarized, and I was too poor to replace my rifle. I continued to hunt squirrels, ducks and upland birds for a few years, and finally even quit that.

    Three years ago, I got on a year round lease with my SIL and grandsons, for $1500 (just my part of it). Deer and hogs and every other kind of critter abounded, and we all shot good deer and I probably had more fun than I ever had, hunting. I considered it money well spent, after all those lean years. We lost the lease after one year, and now I hunt a spot on some land that the company I work for owns. The area I can use is just a few acres, but it's near the intersection of two game trails, and I shot a beautiful nine point on it last year. But I can't take anybody with me, so it's less fun. I'll happily shell out, again, for a good year-round lease, but it's hard to find one the whole family can afford.
  • JasonMPDJasonMPD Senior Member Posts: 6,577 Senior Member
    snake284-1 wrote: »
    Yes, the greed has put us little guys out of the hunting business in many cases here in Texas. A good lease will go from $1000 up just about anywhere. Even hogs are ridiculous to hunt. Like I keep saying, I can go to McDonalds or Whataburger early in the morning and listen to the local farmers and ranchers drinking coffee there complain about the hogs tearing up their land. Then when you ask them if you can shoot the hogs off it, they want to charge you a thousand dollars a year. That sucks!!! There's still two or three around here that will welcome you to shoot as many hogs as you can, but most have gotten so greedy they will bite their nose off to spite their face.

    Do they make the Terminix guy pay THEM to kill ants?
    “There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.” – Will Rogers
  • JerryBobCoJerryBobCo Senior Member Posts: 8,227 Senior Member
    JasonMPD wrote: »
    Do they make the Terminix guy pay THEM to kill ants?

    Probably. :roll2:

    In a way, I can't blame the landowners for charging folks to hunt and kill pests that are damaging their property. As long as there are buyers, they will supply the product. If the balance shifts, maybe it will be different.

    FWIW, I've talked to ranchers in Colorado who have problems with depredation from wintering elk herds. The elk will form large herds, come into their fields, eat whatever is there, tear down fences, etc. The ranchers are usually mad at the DOW for not doing something about it, but are loathe to let a hunter in to help them thin the herd. I've even encountered that mindset on the eastern plains regarding antelope.

    I don't pretend to know the ins and outs of making a living off of the land, but I doubt that these ranchers are anywhere close to being rich. I've seen the houses that some of them live in, and they're by no means palacial. So, anything they can do to make a buck is what they do.

    It's a two way street, and a darn shame that something can't be worked out to the benefit of both sides of the debate.
    Jerry

    Gun control laws make about as much sense as taking ex-lax to cure a cough.
  • bullsi1911bullsi1911 Moderator Posts: 12,134 Senior Member
    snake284-1 wrote: »
    Yes, the greed has put us little guys out of the hunting business in many cases here in Texas. A good lease will go from $1000 up just about anywhere. Even hogs are ridiculous to hunt. Like I keep saying, I can go to McDonalds or Whataburger early in the morning and listen to the local farmers and ranchers drinking coffee there complain about the hogs tearing up their land. Then when you ask them if you can shoot the hogs off it, they want to charge you a thousand dollars a year. That sucks!!! There's still two or three around here that will welcome you to shoot as many hogs as you can, but most have gotten so greedy they will bite their nose off to spite their face.

    Don't forget that if the TPWD catches them letting people hunt on their land for pay without paying the appropriate tax they get in big trouble.

    I hold nothing against someone who owns the land charging people to hunt there. It is their land, and they need to recoup the costs of maintaining it, and repairing the damage that Hogs and slob hunters do. Also, if they charge hunters, the hunters will take better care of the land. Trust me, it is a well known psychological fact that (for the most part) if it's free people do not respect it or take care of it. Also- if they are doing the business of managing the land- feeding the deer, growing a better herd, and charging hunters $1000 a year to hunt deer, what do you think the current customers would do if the owner started letting ANYONE on the land to shoot hogs, and use what they are paying a LOT of money for? They would leave. It's business, and the land owner HAS to treat it that way.

    Yeah, times have changed and it costs more to use land. The TPWD taxes people who have leases. Property taxes have skyrocketed, lawyers are in everything... and all those costs are passed down to the end user.
    To make something simple is a thousand times more difficult than to make something complex.
    -Mikhail Kalashnikov
  • timctimc Senior Member Posts: 6,684 Senior Member
    I guess I am one of the exceptions to how things have become. We still have it pretty good where we hunt, we pay the property taxes for the place we hunt on which comes to $250 a piece and we throw in a little extra for the A/C we use. We do pay to have the roads bladed about every 4-5 years and do general upkeep on the place. The owner did not ask us to we just do it because it is the right thing to do and the price hasn't really changed in 22 years of hunting there. There are no trophies there although I have taken a couple of nice bucks off the place over the years and deer are few and far between but I always get a deer and I get bust all the hogs I ever want to.
    timc - formerly known as timc on the last G&A forum and timc on the G&A forum before that and the G&A forum before that.....
    AKA: Former Founding Member
  • snake284-1snake284-1 Senior Member Posts: 2,500 Senior Member
    Yes, I know about that stuff. And slob hunters are a scourge to us who give a hoot. But if I were a land owner with a problem and I knew of some ethical hunters in the area who would treet my land well, I'd probably let them shoot hogs for a $100 a year plus the price of the tax.

    However, I can't argue with you about the psychological fact about people not respecting things free. But there are a few of us out here that have respect for the land and the land owner no matter what the price. I think that most on this forum meet that standard. In a county this small, most of those land owners are people I went to school with and know me. There are several of us like me. But you do make a very valid argument.
    I'm Just a Radical Right Wing Nutt Job, Trying to Help Save My Country!
  • CaliFFLCaliFFL Senior Member Posts: 5,486 Senior Member
    When I was a teen, (mid 80’s) I traded labor for hunting privileges with a handful of local farmers. As they got to know me better and understood that there was never ruts in fields, garbage, empty shotgun shells, and most importantly, no dead livestock. I was given keys to gates, allowed to leave decoys in ponds to be retrieved at my own convenience, and I could bring family/friends to hunt with me. By my junior and senior year, I had access to thousands of acres along the Texas gulf coast.


    Snake, did you know Donald Kopnicky? He lived in Bay City, but had farm land all over the coast.
    When our governing officials dismiss due process as mere semantics, when they exercise powers they don’t have and ignore duties they actually bear, and when we let them get away with it, we have ceased to be our own rulers.

    Adam J. McCleod


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