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High Fence Hunting

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Unread 08-27-2009, 07:50 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Missoula, MT USA
Posts: 278
Re: High Fence Hunting

My only real problem with high fence is the ignorance it breeds into those who do it with regards to what the meaning of "wild" is. I'm sure that most of the people on this board are true sportsmen but I have had one too many people tell me about all the "hunting" they have done on high fence operations. They make no distinction between the two. I see it trending towards Texas where there isn't but a few spots of public land and everything else is pay to play. Wild animals on public land are everyone's- we all have a chance to kill them for whatever the license costs. There are plenty of people who would love for hunting to be limited to private lands and supporting high fence supports PETA in a way. Keep on harvesting animals in pens, that is fine, but fight for keeping wildlife wild and public land hunting a reality.
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Unread 08-28-2009, 05:57 AM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 58
Re: High Fence Hunting

like i said before, ive hunted all over northamercia, and enjoyed the wilderness areas, and public hunting areas, and i am 100% behind public hunting on public land, in the defense of high fence in texas, i will tell you the hunting on a large high fence property, is the same as the hunting any were else, most of the animals never see the fence in their life time.and there is no doubt they are wild as any where else in the world, im not talking about pen raised critters,and will say im not in favor of the so called canned hunts that take place in texas and else where, the high fence serves a purpose in the property owners just as much as most people have a fence around their yard and home.we are stuwards of this land, and its up to us to care for it until we pass it on to others you never own the land it owns the way we dont sell any hunts.andnever have.
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Unread 08-28-2009, 06:13 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Casper Wy
Posts: 1,377
Re: High Fence Hunting

Buffaloranchers original post brings up a good point. Its his land and within reason he should be allowed to do whatever he wants with it! Think I'll pass on volunteering to help round up old buffalo bulls as they tend to be bad tempered when you get too close (one of my hold my beer and watch this moments!) Shooting one for a meat supply might be interesting though and I doubt a whole lot different than shooting a wild one?
I look at High fence a lot like the no fence property barriers here in Wyoming. I may not like it but its the property owners right. Makes it harder to hunt freely but not impossible!!!
"Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler." -Albert Einstein (1879-1955)
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Unread 08-29-2009, 01:08 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 172
Re: High Fence Hunting

Originally Posted by Fiftydriver View Post
Being from Texas, I assume you know of the YO ranch and the 777 ranch. Would you call hunts on these ranches Canned hunts?

Originally Posted by Fiftydriver View Post
The reason I ask is because they are some of the more famous whitetail ranches in Texas and yes they are confined by high fence.
They are in no way some of the "more famous" white-tail ranches, not even close. To throw out some of the more widely known "famous" white-tail ranches, try the Briscoe Gates or Briscoe Catarina, and King Ranch for some of the largers ones, but there are 100's of smaller ones (2,000 - 10,000 acres is my definition of smaller for this purpose) with no web presence and no high fence. They are mostly leased, not advertised for the public, but are word of mouth and invitation only.

Originally Posted by Fiftydriver View Post
I have driven through TX from the top of the panhandle to the tip in the Gulf. Besides a bit in the panhandle, it was nothing but high fence after high fence.
I'll be the first one to say there is too much high fence and I am increasingly against it anywhere and think that most all of it ought to come down, but your statement is simply incorrect. I do bird surveys in Central and South Texas and have the chance to see lots of the country. There are a few places in Central Texas with ranchettes where it proliferates, and it is spreading in South Texas to fend off poor management practices of adjacent landowners, but it does not even cover a fraction of 1% of the fencelines or roadways of the state.

Originally Posted by Fiftydriver View Post
again, I do not mean to offend but you are really uneducated in what is out there as far as challanges in some of these hunts. If you lump them all into the same catagory like your doing, all of these hunts are unethical.
That is a fair statement. High fence on 10,000 acres is a fundamentally different situation than under 1,000 acres. It is a series of shades of gray.

I did take my wife to a high fence ranch of a few thousand acres once to see. It was pleasant and big deer were not just walking around to pick off a shelf like a grocery store. The owner was very nice, gracious and thoughtful. It was a good experience and he had created an oasis for deer in a place where they were otherwise scarce. Those are all positives and I would not condemn what he has done, but it is not for me. I'm at a point where I will stick to open range ranches. Some selectively put up sections of high fence to cut off uncooperative neighbors and I can live with that, as long as the ranch as a whole is not fenced in. Like I said, it's shade of gray.

Hands down THE WORST experience I have ever had hunting was on the one time I spent lots of money to hunt on a large open range ranch. The owner was piling hunters in without any regard to the amount of pressure being put on the land or animals. In comparison, the smaller high fence operation where I took my wife was extraordinarily well managed, and ethically run. As a consequence of these two extremes, I will not condemn all high fence or endorse all open range operations - it depends on the particular landowner or leaseholders.

The economic driver underlying this whole problem is men willing to spend dollars to have a big rack on a wall. The big rack does not make someone a big man. It is a reflection of a landowner's years and decades of hard work.

What is making me absolutely sick and is in no way acceptable is a practice that so far as I have encountered is happening in the Mid-West and Central Canada, where pen raised deer are released into enclosures of a few hundred acres. It is ought to banned with no exceptions.

Now, just to finish the spectrum of here is an add from EBAY for a hunt in Wisconsin, is there anyone on here that thinks this is ok?

"One of the big reasons hunters hunt with us is you can hunt by yourself without having someone look over your shoulder telling you what deer to shoot. We trust our hunters and want them to have a great experience. We take the extra effort to score our deer prior to putting them in the preserve and prior to you hunting. When we score them we put a small colored tag in the ear that coorelates to the size of the animal. We have done this the last 2 years and everyone has loved it. No more mistakes in scoring, no extra fees because the animal is a little larger. You can still shoot a larger size animal if you like and you will know what it costs when you pull the trigger, release the arrow, etc. You will find the deer at our ranch as challenging to hunt as anywhere inside or outside of a preserve. The tags are for ease in scoring and only allows our hunters to have the hunt of their dreams without interference. There is a guide that is there to take care of your needs at all times. He takes you to the stand, picks you up whenever you like. We transport, dress, and cape your animal. We take your deer for meat processing if requested and take care of your cape and horns as requested, whether it is to ship home or send them to our reccommended taxidermist. It is your hunt and we do whatever you want to do. You set the time you want to go hunting, come in, etc"

Last edited by jeffbird; 08-30-2009 at 09:21 PM.
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Unread 08-29-2009, 03:11 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Michigan
Posts: 2,232
Re: High Fence Hunting

I've hunted public land and been successful in 4 different states. I've also hunted private land. I've never hunted on a HF ranch, I would love to do it if I ever get the chance though.

I've hunted near alfalfa fields in Colorado, I've hunted over water in Arizona, I've hunted over a baitpile in Michigan. I've also bugled bull elk, tracked Muley's in the high country and jump shot Javelina. I've rattled whitetails and 'still hunted' them all.

There is NO DIFFERENCE whether any of those hunts would have been inside a HF ranch or on public land.

You could be the most skillful hunter in Texas and unless you have access to private land, you are going to need to be VERY lucky to get a trophy. Unless you have access to private land in Southern Michigan, you may not SEE a deer all season.

To each his own, I just don't see how sitting over a waterhole in Arizona, over an alfalfa field in Colorado or over a baitpile (or scrape line) in Michigan is more sporting than stalking an animal in a HF situation. Private land is private land, it's great if/when you have access to it.

If some is good and more is better, then too much is just right.

My mind is a raging torrent, flooded with rivulets of thought, cascading into a waterfall of creative alternatives

Last edited by AJ Peacock; 08-29-2009 at 03:20 PM.
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Unread 08-31-2009, 03:00 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Billings, Montana
Posts: 149

Originally Posted by badaboom View Post
I am looking forward to the migration of the Wolf to push the big game animals around and get alot of the animals off pivate property ranches that are making money off public animals and many of these ranches are NOT allowing enough or any public access. Also to be able to hunt one of them critters.
This statement is kinda funny...In fact the opposite is happening. There has been an increase in the number of animals staying around ranches and houses (aka private land) because they aren't pressured by the wolves as it seems the wolves are a little more shy than the big game. So, in effect the wolves are pushing big game toward private ground, not away from for the public animals on private land, you won't get much argument from me on that topic.

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Unread 08-31-2009, 07:46 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Sparks, Nevada
Posts: 163
Re: High Fence Hunting

Here is an interesting twist to the HF story. Oregon has an expieremental area that is 40 square miles of HF and regulated by the ODFW and an open draw unit for hunting, It does have a buffer zone where your not allowed to hunt within a 1/4 mile of the fence. Welcome to the Starkey Project
Now I have never hunted inside the fence however we do hunt on the side of the fence. I have hunted the area since before the fence went up and can say it did masivley change the way the elk move and migrate. Early on the elk would bunch up against the fence and you could count on seeing a sizeable heard running down the fenceline every year. Now you barely ever see elk around the fence. Early on the elk would run toward the fence when jumped and now they act like its a natural barrier and just live with it. They rarely live near the fence during hunting season, I just thought it was interesting and had to do with the HF subject.
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