Texas Lease Hunting

Lease hunting in Texas is a pasttime thousands of hunters look forward to each year. Starting in September with opening dove season, the long wait is finally over. It's all about camaraderie with hunting buddies and the thrill of the big buck out your blind window. It's also about a productive, responsible and enjoyable hunting tradition that will last long after we've pulled a trigger for the last time. Enjoy the Texas lease hunting experience as a steward of the land and as a protector for the next generation of hunters.


From the Hill Country to the Brush Country of South Texas. the enjoyment of hunting in the Lone Star State is not an activity available to only the priveleged few. We firmly believe that hunting, fishing and outdoor recreational activities contribute to the well-being of adults and children alike. Hunt Texas and enjoy Texas.

Hunting Lease Questions - What To Ask


Most hunters know which parts of Texas have the potential to hold trophy deer but the quality of deer can vary greatly from one pasture to the next. Especially if the wildlife has been over hunted and overgrazed. Here is a basic guideline to help you start, and then customize to what is important to have on your hunting lease.

Investigating a Hunting Lease

Do all of this homework and more and you will greatly increase your chances of finding a hunting lease the will meet your expectations.  At the end of the day you will not know exactly what you have until you go through one hunting season.  So once your gut feels right, then pull the trigger figuratively and literally. 

  1. Ask for the land owners and / or prior lease groups management program (if they do not have one it may be the perfect opportunity to establish a program that fits your groups goals but on the down side it could also mean the land has been treated with disrespect and as a result overharvesting of animals has occurred. Though the later is not advantageous do not write off a place if you feel you have the right natural cover and food to build a great program. Letting a place rest a year or two while only harvesting older bucks and does can produce noticeable results in short order.
  2. Ask for photos of the full body of the deer harvested – this will help you determine if the prior hunters were sensitive to deer aging (an essential component to ensuring trophy Whitetails reach their potential).  The land owner should have organized photos of each prior year if he or she was serious about the deer harvested on their land.
  3. Get to know the owner of the land.  You can typically tell if they are good stewards of the land by how they talk about the land.  When you find the owner to be “salt of the earth” then you have probably found a good steward of the land.  That is good news in the sense that they probably protect the wildlife like a hawk therefore the land is not over hunted or over grazed.  But this type of land owner can also have strict rules that seem to over regulate the lease and can take away from your hunting experience.  Typically the positives from this type of this land owner personality outweighs the negative.  Make sure the lease contract spells out the rules clearly to make avoid potential conflict.  Also strong communication and transparency between the lease group and land owner typically builds a strong relationship that will result in a great long term lease. 
  4. Get to know the owner of the land.  You can typically tell if they are good stewards of the land by how they talk about the land.  When you find the owner to be “salt of the earth” then you have probably found a good steward of the land.  That is good news in the sense that they probably protect the wildlife like a hawk therefore the land is not over hunted or over grazed.  But this type of land owner can also have strict rules that seem to over regulate the lease and can take away from your hunting experience.  Typically the positives from this type of this land owner personality outweighs the negative.  Make sure the lease contract spells out the rules clearly to make avoid potential conflict.  Also strong communication and transparency between the lease group and land owner typically builds a strong relationship that will result in a great long term lease. 
  5. Ask the land owner about other agricultural uses of the land and if there are any changes to the use during hunting season or during drought periods.  Overgrazed land is devastating to Whitetail fawns and quail populations.  Good stands of grasses and forbs are essential to holding critical moisture and protection from predators.
  6. Ask the owner if you can walk the land versus driving.  You will get to know the land better by walking the pasture.  Also look for tracks and major game trails to get a sense of wildlife diversity.  Look for fresh and old buck scraps and dropped horns.
  7. Call the local game warden and ask him or her about the area you are interested in, they will have many insights about the wildlife in the area and can typically give you additional information on land owners and neighbors. 
  8. On the note of neighboring ranches and leases.  Try and find out who is leasing or hunting next door and their game management goals.  Unless your lease is high fenced your neighbor can have tremendous influence on your management program.
  9. Water sources are the most important factor to sustaining strong Whitetail herds and supporting other essential wildlife in the area.  Make sure there is plenty of natural water and or cattle troughs every 600 acres to ensure sufficient water availability for wildlife. 
  10. Food sources are the next most important factor to building a strong herd of Whitetail and supporting a diverse mix of wildlife.  First see if you notice a browse line when walking the property where the deer are consuming their groceries.  If a browse line is noticeable then the property is probably over populated with Whitetail.  This is very common in the Hill Country especially where natural predators have been wiped out.  This over population of deer means you have too much competition for food and deer can never reach their potential without having enough food and nutrients.  This can be overcome with an aggressive management program as mentioned above that will put the land back in balance.
  11. Identification of natural food sources.  Building on number 10. use Texas Parks & Wildlife books (for example – A Field Guide to Common South Texas Shrubs) to identify native food sources.  These books will also assist you identify source of natural proteins for antler development.