Since 1995 I have been hunting hogs in Texas in March. For me this is a way to make the Colorado winter a little more bearable since I don't ski. Until 2008 I'd always hunted about a 100 miles south of San Antonio. While I have had some great hunts in S. Texas none compared to the hunts we have had in N. Texas.
In 2008 we started hunting 28 miles west of Claredon, TX. Claredon is 60 miles south of Amarillo. We hunt on a portion of the JA Ranch located on the east side of the Palo Duro canyon. As the pictures show this is broken ground with cedars and mesquite, deep canyons and rocky outcroppings. Water comes from springs and windmills. Ponds on the ranch hold water also. Ranch roads crisscross the entire area and make the use of ATV's a perfect way to get around on this 15,000 acres.
There are no tower blinds on the ranch, but there are some deer feeders. We use postholes filled with corn to bait the hogs and we bait roads also. Both of these methods work very well. The nice thing about this ranch is that we can hunt all day and then concentrate on the bait sites in the evening and early mornings.
Hunters can kill as many hogs as they like but all of the meat must be taken out. Hunters field dress and skin their own hogs. Usually in March it is cool enough to be able to hang the meat for a couple of days. There is limited space in a chest freezer for cold storage. Hunters bring coolers to transport their meat home. Power saws are available to split hogs and water is available to clean them.
Hunters are housed in a camp house and a rec.room and we can handle 8 hunters at a time. We feed our hunters and supply soda and bottled water and snacks. We also provide limited guide service. For all practical purposes the hunt is structured the same way as all the previous hunts I've been on. It is a 2 day hunt spread over 3 days. Price of the hunt is the same or a bit less than in S. Texas.
It is the differences that make this hunt superb. S. Texas is a jungle: you shoot from tower blinds, down sendero's that have been corned with a feeder at about 100yds. You hunt early morning and again in the evening. In S.Texas you try not to move away from the tower because of the rattlesnakes. On the ranch we hunt now there is heavy mesquite, cactus, creek bottoms, deep canyons, lots of pastures, big rattlesnakes, and more hogs than I have ever seen before in Texas. We hunt all day if we want to, and we were able to use our ATV's. For those who didn't have an ATV we put them out by a baited hole or a water tank, or on a windmill. The owner feels that the use of a tower blind negates your ability to work the wind, and this is important when hunting hogs. There are some feeders. We see hogs from 5lbs. to 400 lbs. We see them all day, we see them in the roads, we see them by the camp house, we see them in the pastures, and we see them in the creeks. They were everywhere. N. Texas in March is generally cooler than this same time period in S. Texas and I think the hogs are more active when it is cool or cold. March in N. Texas means you could also be hunting in snow, but probably not in rain. In 2010 we had snow and rain between our hunts and the county roads were a bitch, you had to have a 4wh drive to use them. The ranch roads were fine and no problem to get around on. It was colder and hotter in 2014 than previous years, I doubt if it ever got above 80 while we were there or colder than 25. We saw only one rattlesnake in 2014. Still everybody had snake boots or snake chaps. Cowboys that wear Russell snake boots ought to tell you something. If there is a downside to the hunt it was that in 2014 the wind blew very hard (like 60mph) and there was terrible dust. In 2015 it was dry and dirty, hogs were tough to find as water was very limited. After we left N. Texas got lots of rain. Most of the roads on the ranch washed out Some of the creeks are still running. The broom grass is waist high and the cover is very thick. According to aerial counts the number of hogs is way up. Between now and when we go down the snow, and ice should flatten some of this growth down. The cattle that will be in here should also help to reduce the cover. The ranch has been rebuilding roads for the past several months and are working on this portion of the ranch now. Price for this hunt is $725 per hunter. Sorry but there will be no price break for a non-hunting observer. You may bring and use your own ATV, UTV, or 4 wheel drive vehicle. All vehicles must remain on the two tracks. No smoking is allowed on the ranch lands or in the lodge. You may smoke inside your vehicle or in the rec. room.
RESERVATIONS FOR 2016 WILL CLOSE ON FEB. 18
For 2016 we will take a maximum of 8 hunters per hunt. Hunts will typically begin on Friday at noon and end at noon on Sunday, or begin at noon on Tuesday and end end at noon on Thursday We will hunt archery and rifle together as we have found that the ranch is large enough to allow this with no concerns for either . Of course the perfect solutions is to have eight hunters of either or for the hunt.
Hunt fees ($725) are $400 down (non-refundable) with your reservation and last $325 due on or before February 20, 2016 if you want to pay by check, or by cash when you arrive in camp. The fee includes food and lodging. Each hunter will need to bring his own sleeping bag,pillow, towels and wash cloth. We will skin our own hogs and all of the meat has to be taken from the ranch. ATV'S are fine if you want to bring them, but I would suggest you slime the tires before you come down. The hunt fee DOES NOT cover the cost of a 5 day TX hunting license. This is a Type 157 license and in 2015 was $48. Hunters will need to pick these licenses up on the way to the ranch. Weekend hunts sell out fast and first so keep that in mind. Call or email us for reservations.
Number of Hunts still available
|March 8--10, 2016 hunts available||8|
|March 11--13, hunts avaiable||SOLD OUT|
|March 15--17, hunts available||8|
|March 18--20, hunts avaiable||SOLD OUT|
The last hunt March 22--24 will only be used if we sell out all of the previous hunts.
I love these hog hunts, you will see hogs. Come join us for a great hunt in the great state of Texas and get out of the snow for a while.