Free-Range Elk Hunting Opportunities in Texas


Published: August - 2009

How about a trophy hunt for free-range elk in Texas? It's on private land. With no set season and no tag to draw. There are even additional opportunities for mule deer, javelina, feral hogs and predators, including mountain lion and bobcat. And, by the way, there's also the chance to take a free-ranging trophy aoudad. Subscriber Lew Miller checks in this month with a report on just such an opportunity in West Texas. Miller hunted with Jim Roche of Magnum Guide Service and gives him an across-the-board excellent rating.

In a note Miller included with his report, he writes: "I've hunted this ranch with Roche three times now. It's near Marathon and has lots of water, so it holds quantities of animals, even in a drought. Whitetails inhabit the lowlands; the mountains hold large mule deer (5-1/2 years old and up) that are hunted once only each year; and there are free-ranging aoudad and a herd of free-ranging elk. Roche takes only one bull elk each year from this ranch, so the trophy quality is excellent. Elk are not considered game animals in Texas, so there are no seasons. That means you don't have to draw a permit, and you can hunt the bugle without interference from other hunters. They have huge elk, 6 x 6 and better.

"Last year I took an elk 6 x 5 on the last day of my hunt. I went back this past season to hunt the mulies. The rut was very late. We saw many young bucks with the good mature bucks appearing only on the last day. Bucks taken were mostly 5½-year-olds with one 7½-year-old buck in the group.

"The aoudad on this ranch are of superior quality, and the hunting is challenging and fun, all spotting and stalking. The three other hunters with me stalked and took mature free-ranging aoudad from a herd of hundreds. I'd taken a 32-inch aoudad the previous year. The access is on good roads."

"I have hunted over 20 years with Roche. He is always........(continued)

 
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