Nine Bar Ranch Blog
Best Places to Hunt in North Texas
As we approach the fall hunting season, Texas hunters around the state are getting their permits, scheduling their hunting trips, and entering the public drawing system. If you don’t want to travel far west to the Edwards Plateau or down to the South Plains, what are your options? We’re here to talk about a few of the more accessible hunting spots in the North Texas area that you can knock off your bucket list this season.
The Post Oak Savannah is a long stretch of land that spans from North Texas to parts of South Texas, creating a border between the prairie land to the east and the forest to the west. While much of it consists of private land, there is one WMA bordering North and East Texas that hunters can enjoy, and that’s Engeling.
For small game, Engeling is open to all who have their Annual Public Hunting permit. For deer hunting opportunities, hunters can enter the public drawing system with a better chance of winning, as typically only a few hundred people (as opposed to thousands) try to snag Engeling each year.
The Piney Woods are North Texas’s claim to fame when it comes to both big and small game hunting. However, much of the Piney Woods have been divided up into lots that are controlled by private owners. If you’re looking for a public hunting opportunity not too far from Dallas, it’s time to head to Lake O’ the Pines.
Lake O’ the Pines is home to hogs, ducks, squirrels, and deer. For best luck sighting deer, head to areas that are flush with oak trees, including the lake’s upper floodplain.
Nine Bar Ranch
If you’re planning a weekend hunting trip in North Texas, check out Nine Bar Ranch. Located just east of Decatur, we offer some of the best hunting opportunities North Texas has to offer—with lodging to boot. Nine Bar Ranch is comprised of over 12,000 acres of land, offering diverse topography that supports wildlife ranging from whitetail to sika to hogs and more.
The fall hunting season is right around the corner, kicking off with dove hunting and moving swiftly into deer and whitetail season. To book your trip, contact us today.
Dogs are some of the best companions when you’re on the hunt, especially those that were bred to track, retrieve, or expose game. However, even hunting breeds will need training before you bring them out in the field. Let’s look at the signs that your dog could be trained to be a hunting dog, regardless of breed.
Fitness and Obedience
A hunting dog needs to be quick, agile, and adaptive. If your dog isn’t in good physical shape, she’s at risk of getting injured during a hunt, especially if you’re hunting big game. In addition to physical fitness, a suitable hunting dog is going to listen to commands and respect your authority. If you can’t get your dog to hold a simple sit-and-stay, it’s more likely that she’ll scare animals away than help you bag them.
A Sharp Nose
Dogs have a much sharper sense of smell than we do and can smell a wild animal long before you’ll ever see or hear it. Take your dog on a walk through the woods and see where she guides you—if she’s immediately treeing squirrels and pointing at birds, her sense of smell is well-attuned to game. Unfortunately, not all dogs have the gift of sharp smell. Breeds with short airways, like pugs and bull dogs, aren’t quite as powerful in the olfactory department.
Toy-driven puppies tend to excel at retrieval. If your dog takes naturally to the game of fetch, you can train her to retrieve your fallen game. To graduate from tennis balls to fowl, practice a no-throw game of fetch using decoys, rewarding her when she locates and returns each one. Not only can this develop her recall, but it can also prepare her for blind retrieval.
Limited Reactivity to Sound
If you haven’t tested your dog’s sound reactivity and desensitized her to gunshots, she may take off the second you aim and fire. With the help of another hunter positioned at least fifty yards away, toss something for her to fetch seconds before your training partner fires a gun. Continue this process, closing the gap and rewarding her until she’s no longer scared of the sound.
At Nine Bar Ranch, we welcome experienced hunting dogs and their owners. Contact us to learn more about our packages or schedule your next trip.