South Texas Questions

Andrewdk

FNG
Joined
Jun 16, 2022
Messages
36
Hey all,

Weighing my options for 2025 when I have to move again for work. Currently living in SE Alaska, I absolutely love living here but I need to get some career variety for future opportunities, and frankly its time to thaw out for a bit as I've been consistently living in cold places for the last 8 years.

South Texas has crossed my mind, specifically the South Padre Island area. I know that Texas is limited on public land access compared to where I live now, but Im interested in finding out what to expect in terms of access/opportunity for big game, waterfowl, etc. I also enjoy saltwater fishing, scuba diving and spearfishing. I enjoy horseback riding too.
I have plans for hunts in Wyoming with a family member in the next few years so moving back to the lower 48 would alleviate some of the logistics involved with that.

Besides hunting/outdoors, also curious what the culture/area is like for a mid 30's single guy. Id be leaning towards buying my first house vs renting. Give me all the advantages and disadvantages for the area. I have time to think about it but I'm trying to do research now to set myself up better and make an informed decision on where I move to next.
 

S-3 ranch

WKR
Joined
Jan 18, 2022
Messages
970
Location
Sisterdale Texas / Hillcounrty
The duck hunting and fishing are awsome !
the beach life and hot women amazing!
the hunting is amazing but very expensive and hard to find , except for packaged hunts finding a hunting lease is hard
the area around SPI is Mexican heritage
disadvantage
some areas are kinda run down and anti white
SPI is a major tourist destination during the spring
 
OP
Andrewdk

Andrewdk

FNG
Joined
Jun 16, 2022
Messages
36
The duck hunting and fishing are awsome !
the beach life and hot women amazing!
the hunting is amazing but very expensive and hard to find , except for packaged hunts finding a hunting lease is hard
the area around SPI is Mexican heritage
Thank you. I know Texas is massive, is it reasonable to plan hunts in other parts of the state that may have easier public access? Not opposed to travel.
 
Joined
Oct 8, 2019
Messages
2,956
Texas is a "pay to play" state as there is very little public land.

You will pony up to hunt there whether it is buying your own land to hunt or paying others to hunt game on their land.

Check out Texas Hunting Forum as it is a great resource for Texas-specific land ownership, hunting, etc.
 

Mt Al

WKR
Joined
Dec 16, 2017
Messages
1,201
Location
Montana
I've never lived there but fish off the coast now and again and it's plain awesome! Can't wait to get back. If I lived there, would do the whole waterfowl/saltwater/surf casting thing and might not miss hunting much - who knows? You'll definitely thaw out, wicked hot much of the time.
 

Bryan_R

FNG
Joined
Nov 27, 2016
Messages
20
Location
Texas
Are you talking about living on South Padre Island? Or just somewhere near?

Fishing and diving are top notch and is great all year long, but you will need a boat (or a friend with a boat) to make it worth while.

I’ve lived down here my whole life and if you have any questions you want to bounce off of me, shoot me a pm. It’s a great place to live for an outdoorsman, but can definitely be a culture shock for people who have never lived in a border town.


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OP
Andrewdk

Andrewdk

FNG
Joined
Jun 16, 2022
Messages
36
Are you talking about living on South Padre Island? Or just somewhere near?

Fishing and diving are top notch and is great all year long, but you will need a boat (or a friend with a boat) to make it worth while.

I’ve lived down here my whole life and if you have any questions you want to bounce off of me, shoot me a pm. It’s a great place to live for an outdoorsman, but can definitely be a culture shock for people who have never lived in a border town.


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Somewhere in that general vicinity for living, work would be near south padre.
 

thegrouse

Lil-Rokslider
Joined
Feb 11, 2021
Messages
207
Location
Texas
You will sweat every year from April to Thanksgiving. Your AC will run every month of the year. There is incredible Mexican food. Homeowners Insurance and property tax are very expensive. The Valley is growing like crazy and should have everything you would want from a city. Waterfowl and fishing are great. I do not duck hunt, but I see them when I am out. There is good deer hunting close, but it is all private. There are areas to hunt deer on public land, but they are not close to the Valley. TPWD does have draw hunts in some of the South Texas areas. Border culture is what we call "Land of Mañana", meaning nobody gets in a hurry to do anything. I do not think it will ever change.
 
Joined
Oct 14, 2023
Messages
982
Location
Houston (adjacent) TX
There is a National Forest north of Houston that affords public land hunting but it can be the Wild West. You will probably see some things you have never seen before!

Fishing and single guy life is gonna be great around Padre. Definitely look into accessing a boat (either owning or finding a friend with one) as that really expands places to fish. You can also wade fish some places and definitely catch fish.

One of the best dives on the US coast is off Galveston in the Flower Gardens and would be worth the trip for most divers.

I’m north of Padre between there and Houston. Feel free to reach out if you want any more info.
 

Jaker_cc

WKR
Joined
Feb 24, 2016
Messages
609
Location
San Antonio, TX
If you like wide open spaces then stick to duck hunting and saltwater fishing. You’re not going to find any public access to hunt unless you draw one of the few draw hunts the state puts out. Drunk college women used to sound like the happy hunting grounds, but in my mid thirties I’ve also come to see that as a huge negative. I wouldn’t live on SPI during spring break for anything. The fishing down there is great with a great flats fishery and also great offshore opportunities.

The Mexican culture is my culture being a white boy from South Texas. Other white friends fought it and were miserable. It’s truly the land of Mañana sometimes, but the food and the music are amazing.

I’m from that general area so if you would like to shoot me a message I’ll help any way I can.
 

GClyde28

FNG
Joined
Dec 7, 2017
Messages
42
Location
Austin, TX
Thank you. I know Texas is massive, is it reasonable to plan hunts in other parts of the state that may have easier public access? Not opposed to travel.
If you are considering Texas, take public big game hunting out of your expectations. Also, you can drive 12 hours and still be in Texas, especially from down in South Padre, not sure if that fits within the “not opposed to travel” part of your post.

Private deer leases are hard to find and getting more expensive by the year, but south Texas does have some world class whitetail hunting if you’re willing to pony up the dollars.

Inshore saltwater fishing and duck hunting will be awesome down that way though.
 
Joined
Mar 14, 2020
Messages
33
Location
Port Aransas, TX
I’ve lived in South Texas for 12 years now. I used to hunt all the time when I lived in Indiana. I have never bought a license in TX, let alone hunted. It is cheaper for me to drive back to Indiana or buy an elk tag in Colorado… or both. Deer can be confused with jackelopes as they are all rack and little meat. You'll either pay a lot to hunt or you will have to know someone with land. Fishing is pretty good though. Especially shark fishing on the beach. And i never thought i would take up surfing but here i am. You will just have to get used to always having sweaty clothes. Ninety five degrees is usually a cool down.


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Andrewdk

Andrewdk

FNG
Joined
Jun 16, 2022
Messages
36
I appreciate all the insight so far, great feedback here. Thanks guys.
 

TX_hunter

Lil-Rokslider
Joined
Nov 6, 2021
Messages
203
I'm a little north of south padre, but have been down there.

Fishing is awesome, offshore is my favorite. Spearfishing and diving opportunities. Duck hunting can be good as well.

I don't surf/kiteboard etc but a lot of people do.

Public land for hunting is almost non existent. Tpwd does drawn hunts, this is the first year I didn't draw anything.

If you can get access to private land, leased or a friend's place etc, the hunting can be awesome. Long seasons, 5 whitetail tags with your license, year round exotics and hogs. And you can obviously travel for 1 or 2 western tags as well.
 
Joined
Apr 1, 2013
Messages
2,621
The duck hunting and fishing are awsome !
the beach life and hot women amazing!
the hunting is amazing but very expensive and hard to find , except for packaged hunts finding a hunting lease is hard
the area around SPI is Mexican heritage
disadvantage
some areas are kinda run down and anti white
SPI is a major tourist destination during the spring
pretty much sums it up.

There are a few easy draw areas close like Aransas, and the LM WMA’s, also the local tidal land hunting.

Problem with SPI is bottom of the Us. 1200 mile 18 hr drive to Denver, 14hr 988mile drive to santa fe, and 29hr and 1900 miles to central Idaho, etc.
 

TXCO

WKR
Joined
Aug 18, 2012
Messages
846
Life is all about tradeoffs. Texas has lots of pros and fewer cons though it just depends on what matters most to you. One thing I like about Texas compared to when I lived in CO or MT, its a target rich year round hunting environment when you consider pigs, exotics, long bird and deer seasons, salt water fishing, etc. There's no state income taxes but higher property taxes. The economy is thriving. Great food and people for the most part.

The only real public opportunities outside the limited draw hunts are the coast for birds and fishing and the piney woods national forest. You'd probably feel chlostraphobic compared to the views in alaska in the piney woods.

As far as the weather, much more daylight in the winter than Alaska. Most places except California you dont want to spend much time outside 3-4 months/year whether its heat or cold.

I would definitely go visit first. I have family that lives in Corpus just north of Padre. They love it and feel its a proper sized town compared to the sprawling cities.
 

Jackk66

FNG
Joined
Dec 6, 2023
Messages
19
Location
The very southernmost tip of Texas
Thank you. I know Texas is massive, is it reasonable to plan hunts in other parts of the state that may have easier public access? Not opposed to travel.
I love south Texas. I live 20 miles from the Gulf and fifteen minutes from Mexico. Dove, quail, javalina, whitetails, nilgai, and an inexhaustible supply of wild hogs. Also this is the only place in US where you can hunt chachalacas. The coast has duck hunting that will probably surpass 95% of the US. Almost all private land so hunting leases are tough to find and you get what you pay for. Most dduck honting is free. Flats fishing for speckled trout redfish, and flounder are as good as anywhere in the Atlantic or Gulf including Florida. Have a few snook but not a lot. There are a number of National Wildlife Refuges and other federal lands that have draw hunts every year. Costs about $80 if you get drawn. Border counties are at least 95% Hispanic so if you go in a mall you may be the only person speaking English. But overall, hispanic people are great, and the food is even better. Avoid SPI during spring break at all costs.
 

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