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Focusing on managing Texas wildlife habitat and natural resources for native and exotic wild game species, for this and future generation of hunters and outdoor enthusiasts.

Monday, June 22, 2009


Why don't you need a license for exotic game hunting in Texas?

Exotic game hunting is not regulated by the state government since the animals considered "exotic" are not native to the state or even to the United States. Only imported animals can be considered exotic, and therefore are under the control of the owners, not of the government. The same is not true for native species such as Whitetail deer, even if they are born and raised on a confined Texas hunting ranch or game lease. Elk, originally a native species but then reintroduced, are under the same regulation.

Basically as far as the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is concerned, management with regards hunting of these exotics is based on the decision of the management of the exotic game hunting ranch. Game managers have to determine what is a reasonable number of males and females of each species to allow to be harvested each year. Incorrect management of the herds can result in low numbers for years to come or overcrowding of the grazing ranges within the given area. Most game managers are very good at what they do, ensuring that mature males and females in the right numbers are maintained to keep the herds at the appropriate levels for the hunters as well as the food supply.

What happens to wounded animals in exotic game hunting situations that don't result in a kill?

All the guides and staff at exotic game hunting ranches are conservationists and managers by job description. As such they are responsible for ensuring, whenever possible, that all wounded animals are tracked down and killed as quickly as can occur. In reality there are very few seriously wounded animals that are not located and killed since they will leave a considerable trail for an experienced tracker.

Animals that are just grazed or have a slight flesh wound are often very quick to recover on their own. Of course guides watch the condition of the animals when they come to feed and any injured animals can be harvested as required. Ensuring that all hunters on the ranch work with guides also helps to cut down on any injured animals being left behind on the hunt.

Where can I go to get the meat properly processed?

Not all exotic game hunting ranches are going to provide field dressing and quartering of your kill, but this is a service offered by the staff at Escondido Ranch. After the meat is quartered and packed, you then have the option to take it to a wild meat processor in your area for further processing. Many hunters also butcher the animal themselves, there are several guides and charts available online that are simple to follow and give you the basic cuts. Making hamburger, sausage or even jerky with the meat is a simple and delicious way to make short work of butchering as well.

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