USA: Texas Hill Country Whitetail Deer

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Free-range, low-fence, and trophy managed on massive private ranches in the heart of the Texas Hill Country. Target Texas Whitetails using all techniques during the rut and late season with various other free-range exotic combo options!

TRIP DURATION  3 professionally guided hunting days
PHYSICAL LEVEL Easy
PRIME TIME Season spans early October – late February, & peak rut in December
WILDLIFE STATUS Wild, Free-ranging & Indigenous

Package Highlights

Dodge some winter blues and extend your Whitetail hunting season with these iconic, affordable and action-packed Texas Hill Country Whitetail hunts filled with bonus opportunities and exciting combo options! With a strong deer population, long October to late February season, and a fierce December rut comes excellent odds for a big, trophy Hill Country Whitetail in the 140+ inch range or bigger. Pursue these deer using a variety of proven techniques that range from sitting in strategically placed stands or blinds overlooking feeding areas, watering holes or travel corridors. Or take it up a notch and hunt these deer using classic spot & stalk strategies, as well as employing rattling and calling tactics while still hunting likely areas. There is something for everyone here provided you love chasing free-range Whitetail bucks!

In addition to the bumper crop Whitetail population, this is the heart of the Texas Hill country, and hunters see more than just Whitetails roaming free-range and wild-born. Enjoy spotting and sharing space with other beautiful species such as Axis Deer, Blackbuck, Scimitar-horned Oryx, Catalina…and who knows what else. While in lesser numbers and spottier in population, Fallow Deer, Sika, Red Stag, Aoudad, Corsican Sheep or other such species could also suddenly appear without any warning. Free-ranging exotic species are open year-round, and so can be combined with any Whitetail hunt on a simple trophy fee only due upon harvest. Another bonus is free Wild Hogs, predators such as Coyote, Bobcat or Foxes, and other varmints such as Racoons as targets of opportunity with no additional costs as part of the ranch management program.

Further to management, these huge private, low-fence ranches are 15,000-30,000+ acres in size and remote, seeing very limited hunting pressure, and made exclusive per hunting party. These ranches are also subject to Managed Land Deer Programs (MLDP) providing sound management, enhancement, and stewardship of native and exotic fauna. As such, these special Whitetail tags are provided, and included for each hunter at no charge! Complementary rifle rentals and ammunition are also provided on these iconic Texas Hill Country free-range trophy Whitetail hunts. Come and see, make some new friends and lasting hunting memories!

Typical Day & Tactics

Depending on arrival time to the ranch, either have a nice dinner and settle in for the night prepared to start hunting in the morning. Or, be ready to change and head out hunting shortly after settling in. Climb into the outfitters customized side x side vehicles and head off across the ranch in search of trophy caliber Hill Country Whitetail bucks!

Here, Whitetails can be hunted using any and all methods, situating dictating to provide a good shooting opportunity on a nice mature buck. In addition to more common stand or blind hunting over feeding areas, water or travel corridors, enjoy some other dynamic and exciting strategies. Classic spot and stalk hunting or still hunting with calls or rattling antlers proves very effective, and a different type of hunting experience that many Whitetail hunters have done less of. These more active tactics are especially practiced during the December rut when deer are more aggressive and cruising during daylight hours. Due to the deer density in the Texas Hill country, the rut is competitive and very fierce, making rattling a prime strategy. Pre-rut and late-season sees more hunting from strategically placed blinds or stands, often over bait or in feeding areas, actively monitored and pre-scouted with trail cameras. Archery and gun hunters are both welcome and highly successful. Whitetails in this region of Texas tend to average between 130-140 inches, but 150+ inch bucks are taken annually.

In addition to the vast Whitetail population, other free-ranging exotic species are sure to be encountered during this hunt. Quite plentiful are Axis deer, Blackbuck, Scimitar-horned Oryx or Catalina/Spanish Goats. Open year-round, these species can be added to any Whitetail hunt on a trophy fee basis due only upon successful harvest, or mortal wounding & loss. Same with a Whitetail or Axis doe if looking to take home more venison. In addition, other bonus species such as Wild Hogs, Coyote, Foxes, Raccoons or other “varmints” can all be taken at no additional cost as a ranch management component.

Lunch is usually back at the lodge, and as soon as the sun starts to descend, head back out for the evening hunt employing whichever hunting tactic is preferred or recommended. Continue evaluating bucks looking for something unique or above average. Another advantage here are the Managed Land Deer Programs (MLDP) which continually enhance the deer population and management practices. Many of the ranches hunted are actively engaged in MLDP’s where biologists determine population estimates with quotas set in place. With this program, Whitetail tags are provided to hunters and part of the package at no additional cost.

Once successful, the deer are dressed, caped, quartered and placed in a walk-in cooler until it is time to leave. These deer sport beautiful light-colored capes, dark stained antlers, and excellent venison all at very competitive pricing. With a long and generous open season, these Texas Hill Country Whitetail hunts provide an iconic action-packed experience and a great winter escape extending your Whitetail season!

Landscape & Climate

Gently rolling Hill Country mixed Savannah type terrain. It is generally brushy with patches of live Oak montes, dense juniper thickets or mesquite trees in the bottoms, while the valleys are interspersed with small grassy meadows. The ground is also littered with colonies of prickly pear cactus, clumps of Yuccas and seasonal native wild flowers. The fauna in this region is equally diverse and coexists incredibly well. In additional to Whitetails, hunters will also likely encounter wild, free-ranging Axis Deer, Blackbuck, Scimitar Horned Oryx, Catalina, Hogs, Raccoons, Ringtail Cats, Armadillos, Skunks, Grey Foxes, Jackrabbits, Emus, Turkey Vultures, Rio Grande Wild Turkeys, Cardinals, Hummingbirds, Road Runners and the occasional Tarantulas, Scorpions, Western Diamondback Rattlesnakes! In low fence Hill Country, anything from Kudu to Red Stag to Mouflon could also randomly just step into view! It’s an amazing unique place!

With the Whitetail season spanning from early October to late February, the weather can vary greatly. During the early season and pre-rut, weather can get quite warm when the sun is high in the sky, making midday the perfect time for a siesta. It’s not uncommon to hunt in long sleeve T-shirts and light pants this time of year. During the rut and late-season, Texas winters begin to cool the land but frost is still uncommon in the mornings and it generally heats up enough during the day that nothing aside from a sweater or light jacket is required to stay comfortable.

Meals & Accommodations

The outfitter bases these hunts from several private ranch style homes on active working ranches in the remote Texas Hill Country. AC, private bedrooms and bathrooms, a common lounge and dining areas, fire pits, a swimming pool, full kitchen, fridges, freezers, and catered meals provides every comfort for guests. Also pleasant is the quiet, remote private setting directly in the hunting area. Cell phone service or wifi is available at most locations.

Fresh home-made tortilla chips and salsa are available round the clock. Aside from quick coffee, toast, juice or fruit in the pre-dawn, a big brunch is normally served once everyone returns from the morning hunt. Breakfast burritos, waffles or western omelets are classic fare. Lunch is usually sandwiches, chips and salsa and other snacks. For dinner enjoy some classic Tex-Mex favorites such as BBQ Brisket, Cowboy Steaks, Axis Enchiladas or Fajitas! Cold drinks are always available.

Key Equipment Suggestions

This hunt only requires basic equipment. A small day pack, 10x binoculars, rangefinder, suitable layered clothing, warm comfortable walking boots, headlamp and flashlight, ballcap, sunglasses, sunscreen, some rattling antlers (bag), and a digital camera covers the essentials. Personal shooting sticks, rifle/bow can be recommended. Hunter orange is not required.

Pricing

Trophy Free-Range Whitetail Hunts: 3 full days – 2×1 guided – x1 Whitetail Deer – Oct – Feb = $3650

Included

  • All meals and accommodations during the hunt
  • Tag & fees for x1 trophy free-range Whitetail buck with no size restrictions
  • Professional 2×1 guiding
  • Rifle rental & ammo for the duration of the hunt if desired
  • All vehicles & ground transportation while hunting
  • Free bonus Hogs, Coyote, Foxes, Raccoons etc.
  • Basic meat, trophy skull & hide preparations for the taxidermist

Not Included

  • Travel to the ranch and to either San Antonio/San Angelo Texas airports if flying
  • Any pre and post-hunt meals or hotel accommodations
  • Airport pick-up and drop-off shuttles – personal or rental vehicle required
  • Licensing or Texas state exotic hunting license (approx. $50)
  • Trophy fees for any additional game animals harvested
  • Gratuities to guides and staff
  • Taxidermy and custom meat orders or trophy shipping
  • Personal side ventures, vacationing or tourism
  • purchases of a personal nature, alcohol, souvenirs etc.

Additions

  • Extra hunting days: $350/day (if possible)
  • Non-hunting observer days: $150/day

Trophy fees for additional game species;

  • Trophy Axis Deer (no size restrictions) = $2950
  • Trophy Blackbuck = $2950
  • Trophy Scimitar Horned Oryx = $4250
  • Catalina/Spanish Goat (no size restrictions) = $1500
  • Management Whitetail/Axis/Blackbuck (Guides choice) = $1000
  • Doe Whitetail Deer/Axis Deer = $500

Destination City

Unless driving from home, hunters are asked to arrive at either the San Antonio or San Angelo airports, which are each less than 2 hours drive to the various ranches and hunting areas south of Sonora Texas.

Travel Suggestions

The various ranches are scattered south of Sonora. The San Angelo airport is closest, roughly 1 hour north. While San Antonio offers better connections and is roughly 2 hours southeast of the hunting areas. Airport shuttles are not included and so a rental vehicle will be required unless driving from home. Detailed directions to an easy meeting spot near the ranch are provided by the outfitter shortly before the hunt.

Airport Shuttles

Round trip airport shuttles between the hunting areas are NOT included and hunters will need a personal or rental vehicle.

Special Info

Passport required for all international travel.

Richard – Texas Hill Country Whitetail 

My name is Richard from Northwest Colorado where I am a professional hunting guide and hunter. I have had the opportunity to hunt many places around the world and experience hunts, hunters and guides of all persuasions.

I recently booked a Texas Hill Country Whitetail hunt through Adrian Skok at Taiga International Outfitters and was joined by my two sons. I have hunted several times in Texas over the last twenty years and I must say this specific ranch and outfitter exceeded all expectations. Wonderful job. All three of us took great free-range Whitetail bucks! The ranch owners were warm and hospitable hosts, almost like going home to see relatives you like! The hunting was exceptional and the experience was one that we will always look back on wonderfully.

I highly recommend Taiga as your resource for mitigating risk associated with booking into the “unknown”. Adrian has vast international connections and first-hand experiences on the hunts he recommends. Thank you!