"Outfitter Robert Hodges runs a relatively small but quality hunting operation on his 2,500-acre farm near Memphis, Texas, in Hall County. That's about 20 miles from the mouth of the Palo Duro Canyon, which is a stronghold for Texas mule deer. Hodges says mule deer have moved down the canyon through the years and established themselves in the farm country around his home, where they often attain the size of their Rocky Mountain cousins. Thanks to an abundance of agricultural crops such as corn, milo and peanuts, both the mule deer and whitetail in this area are known for their big antlers and bodies. Hodges says shot opportunities at whitetail and mule deer in the 130- to 160-class are a very real possibility here, and mature bucks of both species often tip the scales at 250 pounds.
"Because Hodges lives and works on the farm year-round, he has the deer herd well patterned. There is plenty of CRP land here for the deer to use as bedding areas, as well as abundant areas covered with salt cedars to provide cover. Hunting methods vary from spot-and-stalk to stand hunting over feeders or winter green fields. Many of the whitetail bucks are taken from ladder stands along the timbered belts or from box blinds, but pop-up blinds and lock-on stands are also employed when needed.
"Combo hunts for whitetail and mule deer are available during the period when both seasons overlap. Mule deer can be hunted November 20 through December 5; whitetail season runs November 6 to January 2, 2005. Hodges' hunts include lodging and guiding. The basic cost of a four-day hunt is $1,000, if hunters do their own cooking; $1,500 if meals are provided. Trophy fees are added only if you take a deer. The fee schedule is: $500 for bucks that score less than 135........(continued)