Question: I have the opportunity to get on a whitetail deer hunting lease in Palo Pinto County, Texas, but I don’t know anything about the area. For the price, I don’t expect to shoot a monster buck other there, but I also don’t want to shoot yearling bucks every year either. Do you know anyone that has hunted for deer in this area? Any information on deer, feral hogs, and wild turkeys would be greatly appreciated.
Answer: Deer hunting in Palo Pinto County can be as good as any place in Texas, but it will take management minded hunters to produce good bucks. This is true of any property in Texas. One of my good friends shot a 146 inch buck from the Graford area in 2006, and any buck in the 140’s is a pretty good deer. The hunters on his lease regularly taken bucks in the high 120’s and 130’s, which is not bad for a 450 acre place.
I also had a cousin that hunted in Palo Pinto County. As I recall, he loved the area but one year the price for the lease jumped from $800 a year to $1,800. The place offered good habitat and had some great deer hunting, but the big price jump and the landowner’s attitude pushed him out of the area. Prior to that whole fiasco, he regularly shot solid bucks every year.
I saw some reports coming out of Palo Pinto County this past hunting season and they all said about the same thing: deer hunting was slow. The same was true of turkey and hogs. However, do not let these reports discourage you from jumping on a lease up there. Just about every hunter in Texas was reporting seeing fewer than expected deer this year, lending me to believe there were some weather or environmental related influences on deer movements this year.
I think Palo Pinto County can offer good deer hunting, but make sure the property offers good habitat and find out what you can about the past and current hunters, as well as the neighboring lands. Often times, hunters of adjacent problems have a huge impact on management of deer herds. All you can do is evaluate the cost of the lease with the perceived quality of the land. If nothing else, give it a shot for the first year and have fun in the process.
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