Texas, The Land of Opportunity

Show Notes

On this episode of The Nomadic Outdoorsman Dan talks with Texas outfitter and outdoorsman Jason Saldivar about the many hunting and fishing opportunities that Texas has to offer.

Jason Saldivar is a hunter/angler from South Texas. He owns BuckHook, an outfitter that runs thermal hog and nilgai hunts as well as duck hunts. Jason loves to give back to his community and offers a free whitewing dove hunt to the public on opening weekend. He has a network of friends in the guiding business and between them they offer everything from land based shark fishing to hunting nilgai between islands. Dan and Jason talk about many of their opportunities.

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Show Transcript

[00:00:00] All right guys. Welcome to you today's show. And joining me on the show today is Jason Salar out of South Texas. Now Jason is an all around outdoorsman from thermal hunting for hogs and N guy to whitetail deer hunting, waterfowl hunting, catching reds and grouper and I don't know, black grouper snapper maybe, and sharks on the ocean like he does it all.

And I'm really excited because I plan on doing a lot more trips down to Texas here over the next few years. And this is one of those places I've gotta go check out from going from shark hunting or gosh, shark fishing, to being able to hunt other things within 15 minutes of each other. Or in some cases you like turn around and you've got opportunities at game animals.

It sounds like a sweet place. But before we jump into the episode, I wanna make you aware my audio on this is actually coming through my AirPods and I've had a couple issues with my board lately. Which means I wasn't using my headset and my [00:01:00] microphone, so the audio quality is not quite as good. You probably won't notice anything on his end, but definitely on my end you will.

All that said, let's jump into this episode with Jason.

Like he was doing things that were just bad act. That was one of the coolest moments of my life. I was really scared, but knowing that Dan had the gun, I did have the rifle, like we would be okay.

All right guys. Welcome to today's show and joining me on a show today is Jason Salar out of Texas. Jason, what's going on man? What's going on brother? Nice to be on the show with you. Yeah, thanks for joining me. When you sent over the email answers of what all you do, what you're most passionate about, and you started talking about nil guy and duck and thermal hog and I'm like, I just, for [00:02:00] some reason lately I've been infatuated with Texas hunting and you and I both know you more than I, Texas gets a bad rap for hunting, but it's like land of the free.

You can, they really leave it up to you as a landowner or as somebody hunting like what you want to do, how you want to pursue animals and they keep it pretty unrestricted. And for the most part it seems like it's working cuz it doesn't seem like you guys are running out of animals anytime soon.

Exactly. On contrary even, with the hogs how they, a couple years ago they allowed us to, by any means, get rid of hogs. And so that when they say any means, you can literally blow up these hogs if you wanted to. People go put turn taite or whatever it's called, and bait it with a bunch of corn, shoot at it, and just let these hogs just disappear.

But in, in in Texas it's unbelievable the amount of game we have. I think it's just because we have a lot of [00:03:00] open land. We have a lot of open land between all these big cities and these deer are still able to to grow and flourish out there. Down here in south Texas, we do have SpaceX that recently moved in, right?

And that's at about 15 miles from town. We had a. You drive up to this place, it's Boca Chica Village. Okay? Drive up to this road, jump on the sand. You drive about a quarter of a mile. Along the sand, you would literally get off your truck. You walk off to the side, you'd throw your decoys, your truck is right behind you.

Sit out with the, with your decoys, and within 10 to 15 minutes, you'd have your limit of redheads. Now that geez moved in and you as you mature as a hunter, you start seeing this, as land is developed, as things start coming in. I went out there the last two years. I did not see one duck out there.

When I would go out there and see over 10,000 ducks just, when you see cartoons and you see these these swarming [00:04:00] around and moving whatnot. Yeah, that's how the duck is out there. Sometimes you don't see that in those areas where the development's coming, but regardless, we still have a bunch of land that, these animals can just flourish.

A few days, actually about a week ago I was hunting with my buddy Joel from Prodigy fishing. He does land-based shark fishing catches, big old tigers bull sharks, all kinds of sharks. So we were thermal hunting when we were out there. We were scanning with thermals.

All of a sudden, out of the brush, an ocelot comes out. So I don't know if you know an ocelot Oh yeah. Only about estimated, about 60 left in our, in Texas, but they're mainly in our area in Brownsville. When we see that, at first I was like, that a bobcat? No, I see. I see the ears, then I see the tail, and then so I start focusing my thermal and it gets clear and I, it's clearly an ocelot.

So it's crazy the amount of game that we do get to see out here. You don't wanna shoot an [00:05:00] ocelot, you'll go do time for that. But, it's like I said, I I'm a big deer hunter. I'm a big duck hunter. I'm a big knee hunter, but in the last four years I haven't shot a buck.

Just because, we try to go after something that's bigger and better, because if not, then where's the chase? Where is the Yeah. Tribe to want to go out and, put in the time. It's a little bit different when you can just and no hate to this, I you, you pay to go sit in a blind and you know the deer's already named and you shoot 'em if you have that one weekend to go do that.

Amen. Go do it. The more you can get out, the better. But for me personally, I like to drive. I like to, sit out and not see something for two or three days. I like to go fishing and get skunked for, two or three outings and then come back and then get limits. That's what makes the I believe the outdoors such a a pleasure really.

Because if not it, you lose the pleasure in all of that. You, it, you lose the fun, you lose the drive and it just becomes routine. And once, once the outdoors becomes [00:06:00] routine you start you start not doing it. It's crazy. My dad, big time hunter, big time angler, but I haven't gotten him to go out in the woods in the last.

Five years, because he's just, I've killed so many deer before. I've killed all the hogs before. It's become so much, but it's just back then they would shoot, in one city they, if they could shoot three bucks, they'd shoot the three bucks, yeah. Now we go years without shooting a buck.

And but Texas does provide big time. Big time. Yeah. I talk about that exact thing that you just mentioned, going out and getting skunked, and then you get back out there and you have a limit or you shoot a buck. It adds to it, for sure. I get it. If you can go out there and shoot as many bucks as you want every day that you're out there it's gonna get watered down and you're gonna be like, oh man, this isn't, there's no challenge to it.

You're not pushing yourself to be better at anything. It'd be the same thing if I wa if I was like, oh, I'm gonna go to the gym today, and I'm gonna go and walk on the treadmill for five minutes on the lowest setting, what's the point of it? You're not pushing yourself at [00:07:00] all.

And The nice thing about Texas is it seems like there's unending opportunities to push yourself. You've got the ranches that you can go out and hunt. You've got public land that you can go out and hunt. You've got, I don't even know what the count of species is in that state that you can go and pursue.

Obviously on private land that species are unending. But like the actual wild populations there, you guys have to be up there for the most in the country. I don't know what the exact number is but I can go off and name a bunch of them. It's crazy how we have a base system, about 10 miles from our hometown.

So in that base system it's public land, so you're allowed to hunt ducks for free. You're allowed to hunt Neil Guy for free. Just gotta know how to do it. Yeah there's. Texas is one of the places too, that you can actually drive a truck on the sand along the shoreline.

So you're able to drive out to the jetties, you're able to drive out to[00:08:00] the shore and cast lines. We do shark fishing. We do bird hunting. We do niga hunting, white wing, whitetail hog hunting. It's really whatever you want. You can find it. In Texas, we don't have any elk.

We don't have any bear. Every once in a while a mountain lion will get killed. But we really don't, see mountain lion. We have a bunch of bob bobcats. But it's mainly, hogs, deer, all the birds you can think of all the ducks, you can think of all the geese no Canadian geese, but, all kinds of geese.

And it truly is a paradise. What really makes it a paradise though, is that, All of those species that I talked about. All of those, from bird to big game to small game, you can find them in the same ranch. You don't have to leave ranches back up into the bay. So you can literally duck hunt the salt water for redheads, pintails wedge in then in the afternoon, sit out literally within a hundred yards, sit out and see a new guy [00:09:00] or see a deer or shoot one.

It, it really is, depending on what kind of access you have to land out here, but it's it's really unbelievable the amount of land and game that we're allowed to hunt. South Texas is also one of the destinations for white wing hunting, right? You plant some flowers. We offer a free dove hunt to the public opening weekend.

We get a bunch of sponsors. They donate food. They donate prizes. And so we basically, the shoot the, you're allowed to start hunting at noon and it stops at sunset. So we get every more. Then it's a big old party, basically. You know what I mean? It's a big old Texas party. Drinks everywhere, guns everywhere, birds everywhere with dogs everywhere.

But it's a really good time. And anybody that listens to this, if you're in Texas, if you're in this area, September open weekend, dove hunt you're invited. So come on out and dove hunt for free. There's free food. Free drinks. And growing up I got into hunting through my father.[00:10:00]

Then I moved to San Antonio to go to school. When I was in San Antonio. It was I had nowhere to hunt anymore just because our dear lease was in Raymondville, which was a four hour drive, couldn't afford to be driving every weekend with gas and whatnot. So I started actually bird hunting. When I was five years old.

It was deer hunting till I was about 18 years old. That's when I started actually, shooting a shotgun and getting into bird hunting and duck hunting. So me and my roommates would find these public land here in Texas, you pay $56 for public handbook. And that public handbook will give you everywhere in Texas that's public, that you can go hunt and it'll tell you, okay, so this property, you're allowed to hunt rabbits.

Shotguns. And then this property, you're allowed to shoot deer, antlerless, or antlers let's say with bow only. And they give you all these permission, all these ranches and it only costs you $56. So when you say no place to hunt or it's too expensive to hunt? If you wanna be [00:11:00] and sh and shoot big old game, yeah it's expensive.

But if you wanna get started, you buy that public land access $56, you go out and get yourself a little 22 and start with cocktail rabbits. You find 'em anywhere. You know what I mean? You find 'em anywhere and that gets you, okay, let's, you shoot you, you take a kid, or you learn yourself, you shoot a rabbit, you learn how to skin it.

You learn how to gut it. You learn how to cook it. And then you realize I did that from s from the very start. I I harvested the animal, I cleaned it, I took care of it. I now, now it's in my body. It's crazy. Yeah. So it really works. But you can start with as simple as, pintail rabbits, and they're all over the place.

Down here. You can go to academy and buy a 22 ri long rifle for $110. You really can't say hunting is expensive and it's undoable If you don't have land or if you don't have a place to do it it's truly a place you can do it. Yeah. Yeah. So from, from that point when you were like, man, I don't have a ton of [00:12:00] land that I can hunt close by, you're figuring this stuff out with the public Land's book.

How did that evolve into what you're doing today? Because now you've got Buck Hook, you guys are taking people out, you're helping them experience all of the things that you've grown to love. Where did that come from? What made you decide to do that? Okay I had a passion for hunting since I was five, since my dad took me the first time hunted throughout, elementary, middle school, high school, and then in college, got with my roommates and we started hunting.

So Buck Hook was actually our club, right? Quote unquote public land club. From there we started making stickers, we started making shirts and a bunch of, friends started, following, buying stuff. And we started growing little by little. From in 2019, I moved back down to Brownsville, Texas.

This is where our family ranch is. This is where Paradise is. San Antonio's about a four hour drive from here, but like I was telling you, I didn't have anywhere to go shoot [00:13:00] Whitetail. I didn't have anywhere to go shoot Neil Guy. I didn't have anywhere to go shoot Duck. And if you wanted to go shoot that stuff you would have to pay.

It's the amounts are ridiculous. That is expensive, that kind. All the hype down here in Texas is expensive just because it's a hundred percent success. You are gonna get on the game, you are gonna get your harvest. It's gonna happen. But it's it was more like us friends just hanging out, doing stickers, selling shirts, dune caps and just making a little bit of extra money.

When I moved back down to Brownsville, I have a buddy of mine, his name is Captain Guac. His name is Aaron Rodriguez. He is the one that owns him and his dad own Cap Paws Ranch, which is those 20 acres that I hunt on. He is a captain for the Murphy's Law, which is a hundred, a hundred ton boat takes a hundred people, right?

So he is a captain that can captain for a hundred people and he takes some, deep sea fishing. He takes some dolphin watching. All, everything that you can do, on the Bayside and offshore with. [00:14:00] Head votes. I get down and he's such a people person that I was like, Hey, I need help, moving this brand.

Me personally, I don't like having a camera out while I'm hunting. I don't like, gimme my stuff and let me disappear into the woods personally. So he's the one that kind of taught me like, dude, you have to make more content. You have to start recording and you have to start rec, recording yourself and doing a bunch of stuff so that you can actually get this out.

Because if you don't, if you don't put this out yourself, how are you gonna get recognized? So he's we teamed up and he's been helping me out, push the Buck Hook brand. And so I hunt on his ranch and I, we have our own ranch over here, which is 600 acres in old Mito, Texas, where we do the hog hunting.

That's where we saw that ocelot recently. But it's it's slowly but surely, we just have been consistent. We hunt. If you follow us on Instagram, you're gonna see that five days out of the week we're either hunting or fishing. We're either on the water, on the rocks on the woods, but we're doing something ev it seems like almost [00:15:00] every single day.

Two days ago I was out in, took a drive out to East Coast, which is, you get on South Padre Island, once the road runs out, you have to drive 26 miles along the shoreline on sand. You get to the Port Mansfield Jet's. Out there we just caught our personal best redfish at 44 inches. The thing was massive, right?

And People are like, dude, you're so lucky. You're n nah, it's not that I'm lucky. I think it's just, you don't realize the amount of work I put in, the amount of time that I spent out in the woods by myself, or the amount of times I spent out in the water, with the group, just looking for the fish, making sure that we find it because you'll see that, for the one picture or the one video that I posted, it took me two or three days to, to finally get that.

You know what I mean? It's not happening every single day. It's not happening. I'm not killing Neil guy every single day. I'm not killing ducks every single day. Sometimes we do have those slow days, but it's just, we keep working and it's we try to find [00:16:00] consistency. But from there, the merch, I moved back down to Brownsville started doing more merch and had the opportunity to start doing hog hunts, the thermal hog hunts.

Just because we would go out there and we were using those green lights before we would go out there with my buddies. Just drive around really just to waste time. And we started running into a bunch of hogs out on the property. And then from there we're like, let's buy a thermal. We invested in the thermal, and once we got the thermal, it was unbelievable.

You won't see a hog during the day out there. You turn on the thermal at night and you're gonna see groups of 30, 40, 50. It's clean. You don't understand it because there's houses, not even 200 yards, a full new developed neighborhood, 200 yards from those 600 acres that we hunt. And you think like, how the hell are they not being pushed back out or pushed out?

But they're just, they all that area has gone nocturnal that you just don't see anything from the day. But at night there is a bunch of hogs. [00:17:00] Geez, I it's so wild to think that pigs as destructive as they are, as close to civilization as they're living, can just disappear like that. And I try to tell people when I go hog hunting especially when we're just like on foot daytime hog hunting.

Cuz I, I went and did that this year down in Georgia. I did it last year on some public land in Texas. And everyone's man, you'd think they you'd see 'em right there. We're walking through the woods. If there's a pig in here, we're gonna see it, right? I'm like, you don't understand. We used to raise pigs and these things would be three, 400 pounds in a five acre enclosure and almost all the ground vegetations wiped out cuz they eat everything.

And I'm like, sometimes you go out there and you still can't find them and they're in there. And there were a couple times where I was like, man, I gotta walk the perimeter and make sure the fence didn't come down because I couldn't see 'em. And they would just dig out a little wallow and they'd all just be, [00:18:00] just below ground level to where you can't see 'em when you're looking through the woods.

Yeah. Yeah. And you can, at least with us at night when we're stalking them or we're trying to find them you'll, down here we call 'em Ceros, which are, the roads between all these brush lines. You'll be driving down this little road and we're scanning and you'll see 'em just about five yards in the brush line.

Better down not spooked with the truck not moving. Not that they're not spooked, but they just, they'll completely stay still and not move until you either shoot at 'em or until you drive off and you, yeah. They've gotten pretty, pretty smart. And it's because of all the development that's going around in this area.

We have. We sold it was 210 acres in two years. In 210 acres. About 40 houses went up in US two in those acreage, and it's like in two years. Geez the development is ridiculous in our area. And it's just because we have SpaceX. [00:19:00] Everybody wants to move down here. About four years ago, an acre was costing you about 7,000.

Right now, that same acre is costing you close to 20 per. This is farmland. This is, ranchland. This is not your neighborhoods. This is something for you to go out and actually have some kind of hunting land, which is for us that's extremely expensive. Extremely expensive to what it was because, you, when you could buy 20 acres or, even 50 acres.

That's 7,000 acre, $7,000 an acre. That's pretty good. Now jumping to 1520 that's more than double in, less than three years. But it's just because SpaceX has come into our area and has started having a bunch of people move in. It's crazy. Dang. Yeah, that'd be rough. I know we've seen that here in the Midwest also, land prices have gone through the roof and it's not because of a big business specifically moved in, but I think a lot of the [00:20:00] coast, like west coast, east Coast, they're all pushing inland, and I feel like that Nashville, Atlanta, like that whole line all the way down the country, they got a bunch of people from the east coast, they're selling their land or their property for cash, and then they're like, oh, I can move to the Midwest and buy something huge compared to where I lived.

And it's just everybody just keeps moving mo and moving closer to the center of the country and. That's where in talking with my wife this year, I was like, we have to get land. They're not making any more land and they're developing like crazy around here. And yeah, it's interesting to see, but also I look at it and I'm like, man, it's heartbreaking because you see these people that live out in the country, or at one point they did and now they've got a 200 home subdivision butting up against their land.

And I'm like, can you imagine growing up here? And then all of a sudden now you're part of the city? Not by choice, it's because it [00:21:00] moved to you. And I think here in the next, depending on how the economy goes, depending on how real estate goes, if they're gonna continue building, I know right now it's slowing down a little bit in some places, but, It's gonna be interesting to see how many people like us outdoorsmen are fighting over the same property, to get access to it if it's private, or just the hunting pressure side of it, if it's public.

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And it's funny how you say that because we had a little scenario last year with a hunter. So on those 20 acres that were on somebody. 10 acres next to us. And on those [00:23:00] 10 acres, there's an easement that you know is for three ranches. The guy goes out and puts a blind on the easement, right?

On the easement. And th that, that easement on where he put it is actually on, on, on our property, right? So we call the game warden. Game warden comes and tells us, Hey we need we need all the mapping done and whatever. So we get on the mapping and sure enough, the blind is on his side.

The guy, took a whole year and, like you're going back to, he fighting over the same land. He never hunted it. It took him a whole year to get that blind out. We never hunted it because we didn't want us, you. The blind, my blind was literally about 50 yards from his blind.

So we didn't want any kind of shooting, accident or anything like that, or get mad because, hey, I'm already in the blind. You show up at seven o'clock in the morning, spook everything, or whatever it is. Yeah. So it's fighting over the same land. It's the dumbest thing ever. But, we as hunters we gotta remember that [00:24:00] we're the ones that are being attacked.

So we gotta stick together and not be one against each other. Try to figure it out and get things done as one not against each other. Yeah. And I think what we're gonna see a lot of is almost, I'm trying to think of how you would put it, almost like an alliance or a group that gets together and they go, okay, hey look, this area in the south you see it a lot especially like Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia.

Where they've got these hunting leases, right? Where a bunch of guys will go in on a property together. And I think we're gonna start seeing that more in different parts of the country. But then on public land, I think we're gonna see a lot more draw hunt opportunities where we already see it here in Missouri with waterfowl specifically, you go on certain public land, not all, but like the really good public hunting spots for waterfowl, and you gotta show up at 5:00 AM you gotta draw a pill and whatever [00:25:00] number of pill you get, that's what order you're in for drawing a blind.

And it, sometimes it sucks. This last time we went up there, we drove a couple hours, we got up super early, all met up, loaded our gear up, drove up a couple hours, get there, and they only had, I wanna say they had 18 blinds open for waterfowl that day. And we drew pill like 26. Oh. So it's oh, sorry guys.

You're not hunting today. And I'm like, man, this is a bummer. But hopefully with different conservation organization efforts, there's more opportunity in the future. And it's not just Hey, there's no more of it. Sorry. Like now your odds go down and down every year as more and more people start hunting these areas, hopefully, the conservation organizations and departments within the state will start creating more public land opportunities or places that have a significant amount of game enough to gain the attention of hunters.

And that's what I mean [00:26:00] with me. Doing that free dove hunt. I wanna network with all the people that hunt and all the people that fishing there. Yeah. You know what I mean? I wanna be friends with all of 'em. I wanna I'm not here to steal your fishing spot. I'm not here. I wanna hear your stories, man.

I wanna learn from you. I wanna, hopefully get opportunities to hunt different game and, Basically like what I said, learn from you and hopefully you learn from me. And that's what I do with that dove hunt. I want, the first year we had 150 people come out. Second year we had close to 500 people come out.

This'll be the third year. So it's growing. And back to, getting that I want, at least locally, I want our community to all be one. Yeah. All hunt together. All hunt together. The more, there's another company down here yellow, they're called Yellow Tail.

They do Wade Fishes, and they'll get, 50 people to go out and wade fish together in one spot. And then all that meat that they catch is donated to somebody locally or something locally. That, that's the kind of groups that I want to, bring out to the community. I want to [00:27:00] grow.

I want to grow in the sense of Children, the elderly women get everybody involved in hunting and like I told you, it doesn't have to be big old game. It can start with rabbits. For us, we're lucky that we have that land where we can, it's dove hunting prime, so we don't have to plant any sunflowers.

You just wait there and sure enough, about an hour and a half before sunset, doves start flying and you'll get your limit. And if I can offer it to, and I offer, I sell hunts after that, but the opening weekend when it's the best hunt of the year, I offer it free because I want to give back to the community.

I want them to know Hey, this guy's a hunter. This guy can share with us. Let's share our knowledge with him, or let's share it to the next person. There's a lot of people down here that are very stingy with with just. I don't wanna say their land because it's not their land, they're fishing spots or their neo guys hunting lands or whatever the case may be.

And I understand it because there's so many people that do come down to South [00:28:00] Texas to chase Neo guy or to chase whatever the case may be that you can, you can run out of resources. But Texas is, very smart. The Texas Parks and Wildlife and the game wardens are very smart in, in what they do in trying to keep these populations up.

We started off in the fifties with three Neo guy and now there's over 30,000 of them. They have to go out in our area, they go out. This last year was the first year. They hadn't done it in years, but they hire this company. They come in and shoot these Neil guy because these Neil guy carried this tick.

This. It doesn't do any harm to them, but if it gets on cattle, it can kill the cattle. So what they do is they hire this these companies to come in with helicopters and for the last couple years, besides last year, they were shooting about a thousand to 1,500 Neil Guy from helicopters. They would go pick up the meat and then they'd ship it off to New York, ship it off to Seattle, and then to these high end restaurants.

A lot of people down here [00:29:00] were like hey, that's, these ticks aren't really a problem. I haven't done my research on 'em. But the, a lot of people talk about these ticks not being that big of a problem, that it was more like a scheme to make money and, with these neo guy, but there is so many that they.

They create these scenarios of why they need to be taken out because they're considered an invasive species. They're not, from here. So to go shoot 'em, you don't need a, you don't need a there's no season. It's year round. It can be daylight, nighttime. It's open. And these animals get to about seven, 800 pounds.

So you're talking about a massive animal. I didn't realize they were that big. Seven to 800 pounds. A fully grown neo guy is anywhere from seven to 800 pounds. Holy cow. Yeah. I'm gonna have to come check those things out, man. That sounds insane. And I get what you're saying about hey, not being sendy about your spot.

I also [00:30:00] think, I view it from the point of if you're gonna give up your spot, Bring someone with you, teach them how to do it because it's not gonna be benefit anybody if the general public knows where you're hunting where you're killing all of this stuff. They come in, they blow all the animals out, they have irresponsible hunting practices, whatever that looks like.

If you can get somebody out there, that's how I am on the private land that I've got access to. I'm inviting people all the time, Hey, come Turkey hunt with me. Hey, come squirrel, come rabbit come duck hunt. Whatever it is. Like I enjoy the camaraderie of it, the community of it, and hopefully I can play a small part in somebody getting hooked on.

Even if they've hunted their whole lives, they might have been a whitetailed deer hunter their whole life, but if they come out and they're like, dude, scroll hunting's a ton of fun. I'm gonna start doing this. Hey, that's more investment into hunting as a whole. And eventually that money makes its way to conservation.

Exactly. Yeah. And yeah, [00:31:00] you're right on that. I don't mean to say like stingy in the sense that they don't want to tell us. It's just being more open to talking to hunters, being more open to Oh yeah. A lot of these people get in the sense of just, you're gonna steal information from them and the less they talk the better it is for them.

And it's no, I wanna spread the word. I wanna, I wanna spread my hunting and my fishing with the community. The more people I have, the better. My goal this year is to have over a thousand hunters out on the dove hunt. You know what I mean? If that comes to life, then hey, we're doing progress.

More people are hearing about it, more people wanna join it, more people wanna be involved. And it's the more, the first year I had three sponsors. Last year I had seven sponsors. This year I'm already at 13 sponsors. So it's growing. It's little by little the community's getting involved and that's my whole thing with Buck Cook.

You asked me what's, what, how did you get started and what's your thing? My thing with Buck Cook is I want it to be a community organization. Somewhere where people have, one hunt, [00:32:00] I'm not saying always a place to hunt, but at least one hunt a year. Maybe one guy can fishing a year that, we keep these people alive, in the sport because, Like my dad, he doesn't hunt anymore.

And it's it sucks because, dude, you showed me how to hunt. You showed me how to walk through these woods and how to do all this stuff in the water. And that's I do it by myself. You don't want to come out and Oh, it's like a crying little thing, but no, I, it, I wanna spend time with the person that showed me how to do it.

Yeah. And so the more people show the, the more friends you're gonna have out in the woods, the more friends you're gonna have out in the water. Especially out in the water when something goes wrong with a boat. Boats are breaking down constantly. The more people you know, the better you off you are, especially out in the bay.

Yeah. I'm curious one thing you had mentioned briefly a little bit, Was, the invasive species, how a lot of people understand hey, with invasive species there's not really limits. Some of 'em don't even have tag [00:33:00] requirements or timeframes or whatever, like you can just go and shoot 'em.

However, whenever. Do you think that's gonna come to an end at some point? Like when nil guy have been on the landscape for 30 years, are they gonna start regulating it more now that it's, there's been a whole generation of people that have got to experience having the resource on the landscape.

And then take advantage of that by selling tags or does that make sense? Does that question frame right? Yes. So in that sense I don't have enough knowledge to know, if, let's say Texas Parks and Wild or Yeah, Texas Parks and Wildlife will say, Hey we're gonna start offering tags for Neil Guy.

They do offer a neo guy hunt a public, you a draw hunt. But other than that, there's no, no season. But in the sense of hunting, I don't know. I have noticed that. A lot of the farming community do complain about neo guy just because, and not farming, sorry, ranching community complain about neo [00:34:00] guy because they say that the neo guy will go and eat the same thing the cow does.

Does. So if you have these ranches that are holding all these cattle and you have the same amount of neoga in there roaming through there it's, it could become a problem since where they can start maybe tagging up, maybe start doing some kind of some kind of season to where they get, all this public land.

Because in South Texas, I believe only 3% is public. 97% of land is private. So only 3% of, yeah. And I, off topic a little bit. You were talking about duck hunting inland. We don't have that down here. Texas Really? Unless it's private, you do not have public. Places to go Duck hunt, the only public places you have to go.

Duck hunt is along the coast, which is great. It's, if you've never coastal duck hunted, I recommend it. There is an abundance of ducks. But it's, we don't have that freshwater duck hunting. It's, and if you do, it's, like I said, it's on public land [00:35:00] because there's not gonna be anywhere where you can go out and it's first one to the hole gets the spot.

No, you don't have anything like that in Texas. But you do have the coast where in the coast you go find any little island, spoiled bank with mangroves on it. You hide in those mangroves, throw out, two dozen decoys and you're gonna get your limit. It's, you're gonna get on them. But those, going back to the Neo guy, I I don't know.

I could see there be there becoming some kind of season and some kind of Program to maybe expand them throughout Texas, but I don't know if they do survive. They, when we had that freeze two years ago, we had a bunch of 'em die. But they do not do with cold at all.

At all. So that's why they tend to stay from Corpus down. It's rare to see 'em, anywhere above Corpus Christi. Yeah, that's it. It's, that's one thing that with invasives or non-natives. Like it has to be the right environment for them. Unless they're just [00:36:00] a hearty animal like pigs, obviously they can survive in just about anything.

They're some of the most prolific animals out there. But with nil guy, I guess I didn't think about that. When you guys do have the severe winter weather down there, that's gotta be very brutal on them. Walk me through though. What nga? What do you do as far as NGA hunting goes?

Because obviously a seven to 800 pound animal, that's a big animal. I don't know what they, how tall they stand at the head, they're probably looking over a lot of brush. I would imagine they've got similar senses to a deer. When you guys hunt them, are you guys spot in stock hunting him?

Are you doing it with thermals at night? How do you go about chasing after one of. So there's different ways that we actually harvest them. I'll start with the day hunting. Okay. The day hunting is during hunting season, white till hunting season. We sit in blinds. Our sits are from about five in the morning till, nine in the morning.

[00:37:00] And then we'll go back out in the afternoon from about two or three, so it gets dark. Neo guy loved to move around 10 o'clock in the morning. They get up and they go explore around that time. So if you're sitting in the blind and you want to sit out a little bit longer, chances are that.

If you're gonna see a nail guy, I'm not saying you are, but if you were to see a nail guy, the best chances to see him moving around is during the day and around 10 o'clock in the morning. Okay. So you'll sit out there, they come out, they don't need anything that we might throw out. They only eat hay.

They eat leaves from the grass, I mean from the trees. They don't need anything that really humans touch. They're very smart animals. But you'll see 'em cross the road and you just, you'll yell, try to get 'em to stop and get your rifle out and get a shot off. That's the only really way to hunt them in our area.

You can spot and stock, but our area's very wooded, so there's no, it's not open fields like the King Ranch has and things like that. The [00:38:00] other way we do it, and this is how we sell hunts, is at night with thermal imaging in the Laguna Madre, the lower Laguna Madre. I'll walk you through a scenario of how we do it.

It we'll meet out at the boat ramp around eight 30 in the afternoon at night. Sorry. Get everybody on the boat and then we'll take off into the bay. We'll go along the shoreline where I was ta talking about these these canals and these spoiled banks that they did so to get water back into these ranches back in the fifties.

So you get on Onyx and you're looking at where you are within the map, and you're trying to see if you can, you have, you're scanning out to the wa out to the land while you're on the water, on the boat, and you're looking at your phone at the same time seeing, okay, what I see over there, is it on public or is it on private land?

So before anything, you gotta make sure that animal is on public land, right? The whole time that we're scanning, we're on public land because as long as you are on water, as long as there is a splash of water, [00:39:00] You are on public land, and actually they consider it the high tide line. So if the water goes up, 50 yards up, high tide, but while we're scanning, the water ca came down 50 yards off the shoreline that's still considered private, public land.

So we're scanning. Yeah, we're scanning, we're making sure that we're, we find we're scanning on public land once we find a neo guy. And you can tell by the silhouette of the animal. Once we find the neo guy, we'll basically stop everything we're doing, turn off the engine or get on neutral.

And then we'll plan our way to, to get the animal. A lot of the times it is first, first. How can we get the boat to, to work the wind right? A lot of the times we're at about a foot of water, so shallow water is, that's all we're around. It's not deep water where we're at. It's very shallow.

So if you don't have an airboat, we're on shallow boats, you don't have an airboat. We're getting stuck a lot, right? We're getting off and having to push. So we try to figure out the route to work, the wind the best.[00:40:00] Once we figure that out, we'll move to where we need to, again, making sure we're on public land.

And then we'll start our stock. We'll get off the boat, we'll get tripods for the rifles and the thermals, and then we'll try to get as close as possible. Normally we're at about 200 to 300 yards. We're shooting a 5 56 3 300 blackout, or a a 6.5 Creo. All of 'em on thermal. So depending on how far it is the rifle that we're gonna use.

So we'll just work the wind we'll work our way in and once we we basically wait till the last second to to take the shot. They tend, the way they works down here is we have a bunch of spoil banks or spoil islands where they dug up these canals through the sand off to the side. Mangroves grow all in that area.

And these neo guy will walk from island to island, looking for food. But what they do is they bed down or they'll walk, along the mangrove, the brush line, and then they'll have a bay system off to one side. So the, [00:41:00] anything that re bounce, wave sound waves that bounce off the bay, they hear that they'll get up and then they'll walk into the mangroves and they basically d.

So as soon as one, once we spot one, we start working our way to him. As soon as we see that, he starts making movement to get up. It's okay, set the tripod, put the rifle on it. Okay? As soon as you get up, take your shot. You need to take another shot. Take, and you keep shooting until you drop him.

Because these animals are extremely tough extremely tough. We shoot 'em with seven millimeter mag, sometimes it'll hit solid hit and you'll still have to chase 'em, 2, 3, 400 yards. And it's when you're having to do that, it's a pain in the butt. But okay, so let's say, the shot is a success.

The animal fell from there. We're still in water, right? We're about a foot water. So we're walking through the marsh. Getting to these neo guy. Once we get to the neo guy is we butcher. We do everything out there on the water. That way we can carry a leg at a time back to the boat. Once we do [00:42:00] harvest an animal, it takes about.

Two to three hours to get, to and not, we don't skin it, we just quarter, each leg, take the back straps off take the head off and then we'll take, leave the rest out there and Start our hike back to the water. But it's a process. It's, a lot of the time it's just, you're scanning, you're scanning and looking at your phone, making sure you are on public land.

Last thing you wanna do is get caught, shooting an animal on private land and having, or the refuge, because a lot of it is national refuge. You don't want them game wardens knocking on your door. That's the last thing you want. And that's it's a team effort. There, there's usually one person that makes the shot, but it usually takes about three to four guys to make this happen.

Two, two guys, two to three guys to, to make it happen. And then a fourth guy to be maneuvering the boat and maneuvering the shallow waters. A lot of the time, man, we, sometimes it, the hunts that we do offer is a three day hunt, just because. We have to work the tides, right?

High tide, low tide. When it's high tide we'll get lucky and have a foot and a half of water. When it's low [00:43:00] tide, we're like on eight or nine inches of water. And it's man we can go here, but then we might not be able to get out until the morning, so we might have to stay there all night, but, we'll be able to get it here.

And so we just, we work with what we got. It's really I can't say we're not blessed. We're truly blessed, but it's sometimes it's a struggle, but it's, it, like I said, it's the chase, it's the chase. It's different if we were just, had 'em in a high fence ranch and we knew the name to every meal guy.

We, but no we actually have to go out there, work, work our butts off. And even just walking through the marsh, you're sometimes thinking like, why the hell am I doing this to myself? But it's it's a passion. It truly is a passion. All right, guys. If you've been listening to the podcast, I'm sure you've heard me talk about the helicopter hog hunt that I did down in Texas.

Now, I went down there with rope Texan Outfitters and Landon and Brandon, the owners put us on the animals. We killed 150 pigs in 19 coyotes, just from the air. On top of that. We went out thermal hunting at night and got up close and personal [00:44:00] to more hogs. I didn't have to worry about bringing guns or ammunition because all of that was provided for me, and it is to this day, the most action packed day of hunting I've ever had.

I stand by what I've said in the past, and that's that helicopter hog hunting is the funnest thing that you can do with pants on. In addition, they offer Sandhill crane hunts, and predator calling. So if you're looking for the most exciting hunt of your life in something that you're gonna want to come back and do year after year, go check out rogue texan.com and book your hunt today.

So the, this all is crazy to me. The idea of, boating in shooting animals as they're trying to get from one island to another and having to process everything out and a foot of water. That's all pretty wild to me. But are these, like when you're out there with your thermal imaging stuff, what is the terrain like?

Is it tall brush to where you're having a hard time spotting them? Or if they're [00:45:00] out there you're seeing 'em playing as day? And then also, are they solitary animals or are you seeing them in like groups of two, three, half a dozen? What is that like? So you'll see 'em in herds. Okay. You'll see the cause in herds, and then you'll, they'll, let's say a herd of 1213, and they'll have about one or two big bulls with them.

And then the big bulls will roam by themselves as well, looking for females when they're in heat. But usually you'll see 'em in Hertz and the mangroves. The mangroves here, the problem is there's a lot of spoiled banks, and then there's a lot of these spoiled banks are, some of 'em are about 14, 15 foot high.

So they grow these mangroves and they grow mesquite out there. Believe it or not, they'll grow mesquite trees out there. And it's just from the birds going out and pooping up, pooping the seeds out there and they just, just eventually have trees, but the mangroves are pretty tall. And then just the way when you're looking at the terrain, let's [00:46:00] say, you're looking behind, you is all open bay, right?

In front of you, you're looking at islands, maybe, a hundred acre islands, 400 acre islands. And then further back is the mainland. So all those little islands are just spoiled banks of, the intercoastal, all the dirt, all the sand and mud and everything that they took off from the intercostal.

They go throw it on there, but the animals go out and live out there. You it's ridiculous to see some of the whitetail that's out there. We've tried hunting the whitetail out there on the public land. It's just, it, those are extremely hard because during the day you cannot get close.

Not to neo guide, not to whitetail. The only way you can get close to him is at night and it's, it's Neil guy and just because it's legal to shoot, if other than that you would have no success out there during the day. Geez. I man. The different, just the different types of hunts that you have for the same species blows my [00:47:00] mind.

On top of that, you're hunting multiple exotics, so there's no season you can do this year round. And then you're hunting the native species which have their seasons, which, are pretty, a lot more locked down. Out of all of this, like what is your favorite, maybe, why don't we do it two ways?

What is your favorite to hunt and what is your favorite to guide? Okay, so my favorite. Hunt is duck hunting. Definitely duck hunting. I like the process of, waking up at three, four in the morning, getting the boat ready, getting decoys ready, going out to the dock everybody on the dock putting on their waiters, getting all the camel on, and then heading out on the boat.

I love being on the bay, man. It's I love hunting and I love fishing, but if I love hunting more than I love fishing, but I like being in the water more than I like being in the woods, if that makes sense. Yeah. So with neoga hunting and with duck hunting, where we fish is [00:48:00] where we do in our neoga hunts.

Where we fish is where, we do not duck hunting. So we have, we do cast and blast as well, the same blind. We duck hunt is the same blind. We can sit and catch redfish or trout or sheep head or flounder. It's unbelievable. You gotta come out here one time with us, man.

Dude, I have to, man. Even just looking at the, It's on us. Come out and enjoy we can get you on a meal guy and do some hog hunting and then do some fishing, some saltwater fishing is definitely is an adventure as well. Hey, I was looking right before we hopped on the call. I've been looking over the past several days at the website and even looking at like that shark fishing, that land-based shark fishing.

I can't believe how big a sharks I've seen a guy catch a couple sharks, like down in Florida. Me and my kids and my wife, we were at the beach and this guy caught like a black tip shark. I think that's what they're called. I don't, yeah, I'm not, I don't know a lot about saltwater fishing period, but he caught a couple and they were like three or four [00:49:00] feet and I was like, oh my gosh, this is insane.

Like you're catching sharks like this right here where we're swimming and hanging out. And then I see the pictures on Buck Hook website and I'm like, Holy cow man. Some of those bull sharks and tiger sharks are giant. Yes. What do you, so what do you do with those? Is it catch and release?

Yeah, so with the shark fishing and I'm going back to, I like to network with my community. The shark fishing is done by a buddy of mine, captain Joel Ivara, right? He's a little guy. He is about five seven skinny little guy, but catches these noster sharks. He, what he does is he basically, on, on Texas coast, you're able to drive on the sand, right?

So he pulls his jets ski out to the sand, and then from the shoreline drive he'll take his bates out anywhere from about 400 to 800 yards out and he'll drop these bates of, it could. I mean anything from drum to mullet to widening to a lot of stingray.[00:50:00] And so he'll drop 'em and then come back into jet ski, and then it's just a waiting game, right?

He has this big old tower that he has on his truck. He actu a couple years ago he actually won the Texas shark fishing to tournament. So he won a $20,000 prize a truck rack, a shark truck rack, a bunch of rods that were like, extremely expensive. Yeah, the way he does his charters and how we help each other is I get 'em all the shark and, I send over shark fishing customers and he sends all his shark fishing customers that wanna do hog hunting, right?

So we just work with each other and help each other out. But what he does is he basically does morning trips or afternoon trip. Gets, if you want to go out there, he'll tell you to come out with the whole family. And while you're out there, he'll, he'll take out the bait, he'll set up for you, he'll cook out for you.

And once you're out there, it's it's just a waiting game. It's about 98% success rate. It's a very rare when he doesn't catch a shark. And the only reason he, he doesn't catch, when it doesn't happen is just because there's [00:51:00] not an, there's not any bait in the area to, fresh bait to get.

But other than that it's unbelievable the amount of sharks that are in our area and how close they are to us. I mean it how close they are swimming to people, and people have no clue that, they're in the waters. But it's that charter itself is one that I recommend for anybody that wants to get a family group out together.

There's, you're out on the beach. The kids can be playing, making their sandcastle, doing whatnot while you're, the dad and the mom are out actually trying to get, a big old seven foot, eight foot shark. Down here we have tiger sharks, we have bull sharks, we have black tips we have hammerheads.

My, you know that my buddy Joel, this past winter, he was on day. Okay. Day six of charter. He's sleeping out on the beach for six consecutive days because he would have a trip in the morning, a trip in the afternoon, a trip in the morning, a trip in the afternoon for six consecutive days with a hundred percent success [00:52:00] rate, getting each customer a shark that he was his guides were over.

And he's you know what, it's six days. I'm gonna stay seven day for myself. He ends up catching the biggest bullshit, the biggest tire shark he's ever caught, right? Being at 12 inches, seven, 12 feet, seven inches, solo. This little kid, oh my gosh, about five seven. It's really an ex it's really an experience.

And so if you come down, we'll try that as well. This summer I was able to put my girlfriend, we were able to put my girlfriend on a seven, seven foot, 10 inch bull shark. So we were out. It was, sunset had already happened. It was around 11:00 PM. And we're all sitting around the campfire.

We're out on the beach, big old bonfire, and all of a sudden you just hear the real goobs. And it's funny, when it goes off, there's usually about anywhere from five to. And the 15 guys out there on the beach, everybody has their shark racks out. Lines out, right? But as soon as one goes off, everybody ju, figures [00:53:00] out which line it is, and they all go, help each other out to make, catch that shark tag it measure it, get everything they need to report it, and then release it as soon as possible so it doesn't die, right?

We don't keep these sharks. So we're out there and it's 1130 o'clock, almost midnight, and everybody's already going down. Some people are already asleep, and all of a sudden we just hear that drag start going off. And my girlfriend's out there and we're like, who wants it? You want it?

And she's yeah, sure. So she climbs up on a tower and her friend climb up on a tower. And so she's fighting the shark on the actual tower rack on the fish holder. And so she's cranking and she's cranking and she's cranking, and it seems like she's only gained about an inch from all that cranking.

So we're like, Hey, do you wanna put on the strap? And she's sure. She's still cranking. So us around her, strapping her into the shark, the belt and whatnot. So we get the rod off the rod holder and we put it on her belt and she's holding it. And so we're still holding onto it. At this time, we're like, okay, are [00:54:00] you ready?

Yes. We're gonna let go. Are you sure you're ready? Yes, I'm ready. I'm, she's leaning back, squatting down, holding on the thing. As soon as we let go, she gets slammed into the real, the force of these. You're on land and these things are on water, but the force of these sharks is, you just gotta experience it.

There's no way of describing what it is until you experience it. She starts yelling because she was leaning on the backside of the tower and she just got slammed into the front part of the tower. And it's just you gotta keep going because if not, you can't say that she got this.

It took us about an hour and a half to, and it was just her and her friend, and I, and there's a video on Instagram of it, but she's holding the rod on one side, cranking with the belt and her friends on the other side holding the rod as well, but from the other side. And they just take turns just cranking that rodt and it took them.

About an hour and a half before we were able to get it in, tag it, and then, release it again. But all that success is from my buddy Joelle. He is the ultimate shark, fishing guy down here because he puts in the [00:55:00] work. There's no other guy staying on the beach seven consecutive days.

And it's, it seems like it's a gift from God. You work, so hard those six days. It's like you want to reward yourself, here you go. Here's the best shark of your life basically. And it's I if you do come down we'll definitely go out. Two nights or a night and a half and get you out on a big old shark like that because they're out there.

They're definitely out there, man. It's it's a cool experience and like I was saying it's something that you can do with the whole family. It's, you bring the kids, you bring the newborns, it doesn't matter, it's the lines are set, they're way out there. The kids can even be in the water.

There's not gonna be any, any harm in the near vicinity. So it's it's definitely a good time. And we know dad and mom get to catch a big old shark, so it's not Yeah. That people get to do often and a lot, that's an easy, a lot of people do it, a lot of people try it, but not having the knowledge, not having the equipment, those jet skis, you don't have that jet ski.

Who's gonna, who's gonna take out a bait? 800 jars? Who's gonna kayak a bait? Yeah. [00:56:00] Not gonna do that. And then again, surf, you're not gonna do that. So it's, the work equals success. It truly does. That's a, that's an easy sell for me to sell to my wife. Hey babe, we're gonna go down to Texas.

We're gonna do some hunting and fishing, but when we're fishing, you get to just hang out on the beach she's in. She's oh, we'll go do that for two weeks. I'm fine with it. And what's cool, if you guys do come all our ladies also love to hunt and fish and so she'll, they'll get her involved as well and maybe make us babysit one night, that way they, yeah. Get a girl's night hunt or girl, get a something with the girls. But it's you do gotta make it out to Texas because it's at least to our, the tip of Texas down south. Anything that, you wanna the hunt, lemme know and we'll take care of you, man.

We will, we'll get that set up for sure after we're done recording. We'll chat off air and get some plans going, but, Dude, I appreciate you hopping on and chatting with me. And I'm telling you, I'm [00:57:00] so pumped. Like every time I go down to Texas, I get more and more hooked on Texas hunting and fishing and every time I've got a guest on and I just hear, I mean it, I feel like with every podcast that I've done, with every conversation I've had about Texas hunting, we've still only scratched the surface of what all you can do down there.

And yeah man, I appreciate it. Before we hop off, why don't you share with the listeners you had mentioned, the Instagram mentioned the website. Where specifically can they find you? What's those, what are those handles and the website? So with Instagram it's literally just buck hook B u c k h o K.

And then we have a website@buckhook.com through the website. You can order some caps, order some shirts, order some hoodies. We're constantly changing the merch, so whatever we make, we make and then we run out. The next thing that comes up is gonna be completely different. So whatever on the.

Only last on the website for, a few months. But as well, on that [00:58:00] website you can also look at some of the hunts that we offer, the main hunts that we offer, which is the hog hunting, and then the, we call it the shark hunting, right? You can see some of the pictures that are on there.

And then check out our Instagram. You can see a lot of our Rios and a lot of our pictures. And if you follow us on there, you'll see that we're out on the woods or in the water. Ev it's almost like every single day. And any questions you may have or any anybody has any questions in regards to the shark fishing or the, any kind of hunting down here, reach out to me.

I'd love to chat with You'all as well and get you familiarized with some Texas outdoors. Yeah, man. Jason, what a good episode. I encourage everybody go check it out. If you want just the best week of your life, every type of hunt and fish that you can imagine. Go hang out Jason and some of the guys down in Texas, so thanks man.

Yeah, man, I appreciate you having me on.[00:59:00]