How Do I Find a Place to Hunt?

First, do your research at your state agency’s website, looking for public lands, also known as Wildlife Management Areas. Federal lands are also available, if you buy the appropriate permit.

If you are new to hunting or the area, you can try hunting with a guide. Use sites like www.outfittersrating.com, www.wheretohunt.org, and www.hunter-ed.com/places-to-hunt to find trustworthy and reliable guides who can, well, guide your hunt.

Another increasingly common option is to purchase a hunting lease. A hunting lease is an agreement between a private landowner and a hunter (or group of hunters) that lays down the rules and times for hunting on that land. A lease has some advantages, in that it can limit the number of hunters on one piece of land, may result in bigger game, and may offer other perks, like semi-permanent campsites and facilities. However, leases can get expensive and hard to find, and these areas are not always well-managed.

Arguably the best-case scenario for any hunter is private property. The good old days of hunting on a handshake are gone in many states, but there’s still no replacement for purchasing your own property or knowing someone who will allow you access to their land. If you take this approach, please know that “free access” is anything but free. Be ready to offer to help with managing the property, with fencing, maintenance, anything you can do to pitch in to the overall quality of the property. The property owner will appreciate the gesture.

Remember, be a respectful hunter, no matter where you hunt. If using private property, let the owner know when and where you will be hunting. When on public land, keep a watchful eye out for other hunters, don’t intrude upon another’s hunting spot, and leave the public property as you found it (don’t litter!).

There is private land next to my house. Can I hunt there if I contact the owner?

Maybe. You will have to ask permission from the landowner. When contacting a landowner, wear street clothes (not hunting gear), don’t bring a crowd, and make contact well before hunting season. Be polite, even if permission is denied: Your courtesy may affect the outcome of future requests.

In some states, written permission may be required. Be sure to check the regulations before you talk to a landowner.

Congratulations Texas, which added hunting and fishing to the state constitution.

Congratulations to Texas, which just officially enshrined hunting and fishing in the state constitution with the passage of Proposition 6 in yesterday’s election!

Texans have always valued their rights to hunt and fish, particularly on private property, which makes up 95 percent of Texas hunting lands. This change to the state constitution makes that a permanent part of Texas law.

“To me, it is a better guarantee; [hunting, fishing, and the taking of wildlife] goes from a privilege to a right,” said Steve Hall, Hunter Education Coordinator with Texas Parks and Wildlife. “We can put away our privileges, but we can’t put away our rights.”

Texas has the highest hunting population in the United States, and is also near the top for fishing, with 1.1 million hunting licenses and 2.3 million fishing licenses bought per year, Hall said. That means hunting and fishing are also big business, creating an economic impact of $87 billion and supporting more than 700,000 jobs nationwide.

By passing Proposition 6 and the other constitutional amendments, Texas residents “are creating an even better place for future generations to live, work, and raise a family,” according to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.

Due to the passage of Proposition 6, Texas now joins the 18 other states that have added the importance of hunting and fishing to state constitutions.

 

Venison Chili Con Carne

from Taste of Home

Though beef is often used for chili, venison chili also tastes great. This easy chili con carne recipe will keep you toasty on a cold night.

Preparation time: 20 minutes. Cook time: 1 hour. Serves 6.

Ingredients:

1 lb. hot Italian sausage
1 large onion, diced
1 medium sweet red pepper, diced
2 lbs. venison steak, cut into 1½-inch cubes
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 (28-oz.) can crushed tomatoes
1 (14½-oz.) can beef broth
1/4 c. tomato paste
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
2 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. dried oregano
½ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste
¼ c. minced fresh parsley
hot cooked rice (optional)

In a Dutch oven, cook the sausage, onion, and red pepper over medium heat until the meat is no longer pink; drain and set aside.

In the same pan, brown the venison in oil. Drain. Add tomatoes, broth, tomato paste, brown sugar, cumin, chili powder, oregano, pepper flakes, salt, pepper, and sausage mix. Simmer, uncovered, for 1 to 1½ hours or until venison is tender. Stir in parsley. Serve over rice, if desired.