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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, November 29, 2010


Making The Most Out of Exotic Hunting In Texas

What happens if I hit an animal but don't get a kill shot?

One of the benefits of hunting from blinds is that you, as the hunter, have time to set up and make sure you have an accurate shot. This is much different than having to stalk or track the game and working around the bushes, deadfall and geographic issues that you have to on the ground. Most hunters hunting from blinds have a good success rate for getting a shot off, perhaps even a second shot, in the even that the first isn't fully successful. If you are hunting in a group other members of the group can also provide that second shot when necessary.
In the event that an animal is wounded or doesn't go down, the professional guide can then work to track the animal and bring it in. In most cases since the game is confined to the space within the ranch, tracking is much more successful than if the animal literally has the entire county to run. However, there are situations where an animal cannot be found, but this is again very rare. The professional guides have years of hunting and tracking experience plus they know every detail of the hunting area of the ranch. They make every effort to track down the animal, especially if there is even a slight trail. Guides want to find the animal and put it down as much as the hunter wants it to be found.

How do game ranches manage their herds?

Escondido Ranch, like other managed game ranches, has to keep a healthy breeding herd in order to continue to operate. The ranch manager or game managers job is therefore twofold, first and foremost to care for the health of the herd and secondly to determine the number of animals that can be harvested per year. Since with both exotics and native species it is important to have more females than males for breeding purposes, the doe or female herd is carefully maintained each year. Not only are existing breeding female numbers maintained but replacement juvenile females must also be kept in the appropriate numbers for future years. Bucks and bulls are typically culled after their first year, ensuring that the grazing area is not overused over the winter months. In addition culling of the smaller bucks and males and the older females helps to keep the herd in top physical condition. Genetic improvements to the herd are also made by infusing new males and females into the herd as necessary.

Are all animals on the ranch hunted from blinds?

Most exotics are hunted from blinds as are the whitetail deer. However, several animals and birds on the ranch are also hunted from the ground using traditional tracking and hunting methods. Elk are typically hunted this way, as are the Rio Grande Turkeys and even the feral hogs in many hunting situations. However, hunting from blinds is a good option and one that ensures that the hunter is in place when the game arrives, while still providing the challenge of getting off a shot and bagging that trophy animal.

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