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Free Range vs. High Fence

Old 08-26-2018, 08:10 AM
  #21  
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I never hunted behind a fence and don't plan on doing so ever. If it is legal then I could care less what other people do. I will add however that here in Vermont our fish and wildlife people learned early on that having a captive deer facility will increase the odds of CWD showing up. They banned all future facilities and allowed the 2 last grandfathered places to close down. Most modern day spread of CWD to the wild are attributed to captive deer/ elk escaping the enclosure and infecting the wild herd. That fact in itself would make me not like anything to do with a canned hunting operation.
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Old 08-26-2018, 11:29 AM
  #22  
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The last lease I hunted, we shared between four of us, was huge 3300 hectares. It had a resident Deer population and there was less crossover at the borders than you'd think. Food was abundant, water was plentiful, snow and or a hard freezes were usually only a problem a few weeks a year. The Deer really didn't migrate much. In fact the Deer population was so stable we could keep the best Bucks or Doe and cull the inferior. We were almost breeding our own stock. The difference between what we had and a fenced operation is pretty minor. We paid some of the lease costs with visiting hunters, we didn't advertise, it was all referrals, we could tell them what to shoot.

The lease I have now is a lot smaller and at a higher altitude, more woods and less agriculture. Much of my hunting is migratory, the resident population is a lot smaller. Much closer to real hunting than what I used to hunt. I still let the best Buck and Doe go their own ways.
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Old 08-26-2018, 01:19 PM
  #23  
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I am not as down on high fence operations as I used to be.

I never understood people who fish for stocked trout or hunt farm raised pheasants & chukars, but beat their chest about baiting or high fence. And yes, hunting food plots & apple orchards is no different than baiting, in my eyes.

Most of what you see on the East Coast is canned, I wouldn't pay for that.

SOME of the high fence ranches you see in Texas are quite impressive. I've sat in high fence ranches twice after killing my buck at a low fence ranch. Both times I smelled a setup to "upgrade" once I was there, and neither time I bit. But I did kill a hog once and I did kill an axis doe, I didn't feel bad about it but didn't feel especially proud, the outfitter asked me both times if I didn't mind taking them there. The animals are pretty skittish, and live mostly on the same corn & supplements they were fed on the low fence ranch.

I also killed a bison a number of years ago on a ranch in Wyoming, I wouldn't really consider that a hunt, since they are as big as an auto and travel in groups of 100; it wasn't high fence, but there were cattle grids in the roads, and they weren't getting out. I feel like I got my money's worth on that deal, it was around $1,000 at the time.

Last edited by Uncle Nicky; 08-26-2018 at 01:21 PM.
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Old 08-26-2018, 01:46 PM
  #24  
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The price per pound was probably good. I hope it was somewhat tender. I know the flavor must have been good.
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Old 08-26-2018, 03:45 PM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by Champlain Islander
The price per pound was probably good. I hope it was somewhat tender. I know the flavor must have been good.
It was as good as any grass-fed beef I've ever had, and there was about 200# to take home, I shot a young bull. Along with a nifty hide & bison skull.
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Old 08-26-2018, 07:08 PM
  #26  
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Kind of like the OP said--to each their own. Apparently a lot of game hunting in Africa (I've never been) is high fence. But the ranches in Africa are huge, thousands of acres, etc. I don't bag on people who go to Africa and pay the big bucks to do so. I don't bag on people whop go to high fences here in America and pay the big bucks. If you go far enough back (Genesis) the whole world has essentially functioned as a high fence or at least a water fence between continents at times. As long as somebody hunting on a high fence ranch (especially in something televised) doesn't pass it off as free range and it's legal, I guess I don't care much. I'm actually glad that certain Texas ranches are able to restock other countries with game like black buck. Somebody had to pay for that. Like hunters willing to pay the big bucks for high fence hunting.
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Old 08-26-2018, 08:02 PM
  #27  
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Maybe hunts on preservers (any preserve....deer, birds, or whatever) might be more accurately described as a "Shoot" rather than a "Hunt". That's what they do in Great Britain with their driven pheasant shoots....they're not called a hunt.

The bottom line is regardless of how we hunt, where we hunt, what equipment we use, etc., we all do it because we enjoy it. We enjoy behind outdoor, being with friends and family, etc. Hunts away from home allow us to meet new people and see new places. The meat is wonderful and the antlers, skulls, hides, etc. are there to remind of us of the fun and the memories. Most of my racks are in my garage... I can look at any rack there and tell you pretty much every detail of the hunt and some of those go back nearly 60 years now. But I can't tell you the score of the football game I watched last week (say nothing about last year or five years ago). We hunt because it's fun. If a person is hunting and sees a deer (whether it's behind a high fence or not), I'm willing to bet they are thinking of nothing else...all their daily problems disappear instantly....
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Old 08-27-2018, 07:12 AM
  #28  
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Hunting deer in a fence is nothing like hunting wild deer and not even close to hunting free range private land.

I don't care how big the fence is you have complete control of the effects people have on the land.

People can't get in and deer can't get out. People wouldn't fence in thousands of acres if it didn't make any difference.

I'm not against it and I'm 100% for it when it helps replenish natural/native animals but its just not the same at all.

Even if you fence in 2000 acres your going to have a ton of animals that can't leave your control that otherwise would. Sure there will be some with core areas near the middle that might not ever leave anyway but there will be tons of deer that would leave your control if they could and specially bucks during the rut when hunters are out in full force.

You can makes mistake after mistake after mistake and while a deer might get smarter and harder to hunt he simply cannot get away and he cannot be hunted outside of your property.

Last edited by rockport; 08-27-2018 at 07:16 AM.
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Old 08-27-2018, 08:51 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by rockport
Hunting deer in a fence is nothing like hunting wild deer and not even close to hunting free range private land.

I don't care how big the fence is you have complete control of the effects people have on the land.

People can't get in and deer can't get out. People wouldn't fence in thousands of acres if it didn't make any difference.

I'm not against it and I'm 100% for it when it helps replenish natural/native animals but its just not the same at all.

Even if you fence in 2000 acres your going to have a ton of animals that can't leave your control that otherwise would. Sure there will be some with core areas near the middle that might not ever leave anyway but there will be tons of deer that would leave your control if they could and specially bucks during the rut when hunters are out in full force.

You can makes mistake after mistake after mistake and while a deer might get smarter and harder to hunt he simply cannot get away and he cannot be hunted outside of your property.
Have you ever hunted a high fence operation? Just curious.. I never have and only know one person who has. We can guess and speculate what a high fence "Hunt" or "Shoot" (take your pick) might be like, but if we have never done it we're just guessing. I suspect most of us here don't know anyone who has ever even seen a high fence operation.

Yup...you're absolutely correct....people wouldn't do it if it didn't make a difference (and if it wasn't profitable). Money talks. It would be interesting to know how many people book hunts on these high fence places... I'm guessing a lot as it can't be cheap to raise the deer, etc.. I bet we would be floored if we knew just how many bucks are killed in these places (and the amount of money that is made).
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Old 08-28-2018, 04:31 AM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by tatonka
Have you ever hunted a high fence operation? Just curious.. I never have and only know one person who has. We can guess and speculate what a high fence "Hunt" or "Shoot" (take your pick) might be like, but if we have never done it we're just guessing. I suspect most of us here don't know anyone who has ever even seen a high fence operation.

Yup...you're absolutely correct....people wouldn't do it if it didn't make a difference (and if it wasn't profitable). Money talks. It would be interesting to know how many people book hunts on these high fence places... I'm guessing a lot as it can't be cheap to raise the deer, etc.. I bet we would be floored if we knew just how many bucks are killed in these places (and the amount of money that is made).
No I have not ever hunted deer in a high fence but I did grow up near one that was probably around 1000 acres and one just needs to drive by to see it is VERY different. I'm also trying to just use common sense facts because Ive never tried it. I mean having 100% control of the age structure outside natural cause is different than not having that control and that is obviously a huge difference. Also they can run and hide but they CANNOT leave or be shot by outside hunters and that is also very different. You just have complete control of the effects of hunting and that makes things very different.

I suppose you could over hunt it and make it worse than free range private land as well.

Last edited by rockport; 08-28-2018 at 04:34 AM.
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