Our North Texas operation began in 1999 on a fourth generation Ranch in Collingsworth County, eight miles from Wellington Texas. The ranch is spread out through the county with primary hunting areas along the River. Approximately 17,000 acres have been prepared for whitetail deer hunting.
The hunting areas have a one-whitetail buck and two doe limit with no buck to be taken with less than 8 points. Regulations and hunting quotas are set by the State of Texas and by the ranch owner. Some of the areas also have a few mule deer that may be hunted during a much shorter season. The Hunts can be contacted for details concerning combined hunting experiences. Hunters are encouraged to help us control predators such as coyotes, bobcats and feral hogs. We do not hunt quail or turkeys during our fall hunting operations to minimize the disturbance to the deer population.
Whitetail deer are our only passion and we do have large animals. The average weight last season increased to 210 pounds (live weight). The points ranged from 11 to 8 since we asked our hunters not to shoot bucks unless they could count over eight points. The best deer killed was a large main frame 8 point with a forked eye guard that has LOTS of trash around the bases that has been scored 147 B&C. We do a herd census count every third season and urge hunters to help us maintain an optimal buck to doe ratio. We do not harvest any deer less than 8 points with a $200 penalty imposed per point if a deer is shot which does not meet to the 8 point standard. For example: A six point buck would have a $400 penalty at $200 per point and being 2 points shy of the 8 point requirement. This insures that we have ample quality bucks in the future years.
Weekly Deer Success Rates
100% Opportunity all 6 weeks for a Harvestable 8 Point or Larger
Week 1 100 %
Week 2 100 %
Week 3 100 %
Week 4 100%
Week 5 50%
Week 6 100%
Our hunting areas are equipped with tripods, ground blinds and an occasional tree stand. Trees in this area of Texas do not lend themselves to climbing stands since they are often small, crooked or so large that climbers do not fit. The average shooting ranges for most stand locations are from 100 to 200 yards, and we recommend that rifles be sighted in with 200 yard zeros. We do have locations that require very long shots, up to and exceeding 500 yards. The hunts has a 100-yard shooting range to verify zeros in the event that airlines have "blessed" your rifle. We require that all hunters test fire at least 3 rounds at the range prior to hunting. We require that all rifles must be at least a 25 caliber with a minimum bullet weight of 100 grains. We retrieve and field dress your deer for you after each A.M. and P.M. hunt with our own ATV's and do not allow other four wheelers to be used on the property. There is a meat processor in Wellington who will cape your deer and prepares the meat in any manner you like. All deer killed will be weighed, aged and photographed. Guides will assist hunters in locating stands, and retrieving deer in order to insure a quality hunting experience. Guides do not go with each hunter. Salt Fork Hunts offers a free range, fair chase experience as we have restricted use of corn feeders and do not have high fence areas that limit deer travel.
The cost of the hunt is $2000.00 per hunter for a five-day hunt. A non-refundable deposit of $1000.00 is required to reserve your hunting date. All deposits are due at the time of booking. We ask hunters to arrive around noon on the day before they are booked to hunt. With the exception of opening week, all hunts will start on Mondays and continue through Friday evening. That afternoon guides assist in verifying rifle zeros, locating stands and orienting hunters to the terrain and operation. Hunters start hunting on the following morning. Lodging is obtained in Wellington. We have motels that have agreed to set aside rooms for our guestsThere is a park near Wellington for campers and recreational vehicle units. The nearest airport is in Amarillo (90 miles) or in Oklahoma City (160 miles). Both airports have vehicle rentals available. The cost of an out of state license is $315.00.
Texas River Bottom Whitetail Deer Hunt
The River hunting areas have a one buck and two doe limit with no buck to be taken with less than 8 points that extend beyond the ears. Regulations and hunting quotas are set by the State of Texas and by the ranch owner. Some of our areas have a few mule deer but we do not have enough to justify offering a mule deer hunt at this time. Hunters are encouraged to help us control predators such as coyotes, bobcats and feral hogs. We do not hunt turkey or quail during our fall deer hunting season in order to minimize the disturbance to the deer population. The Hunts do not offer hunting after mid December so that the secondary rut can take place with the deer under no hunting stress.
Guides will assist hunters in locating stands and blinds as well as retrieving and field dressing harvested deer. Guides do not accompany hunters during the hunt or restrict the selection of which 8 point mature buck to shoot. We offer a free range, fair chase hunting experience as we have restricted use of corn feeders and do not employ high fence areas that limit deer travel.
The cost of a five day River Bottom hunt is $2000 with a non refundable $1000 deposit due at the time of booking. The maximum number of hunters per week for the River hunt will be set at ten; this will create the best possible chance for every hunter to harvest a prime Texas Whitetail. Hunters will be scheduled to arrive a day prior to the actual hunt so that guides can familiarize them with the ranch terrain and the procedures for the hunt. All hunts start at first legal shooting light the following morning. All hunts will begin on Monday and end on Friday with the exception of opening week.
A GPS would be a good item to include for your hunt as it will help you find stand locations with a high degree of accuracy. Other helpful items include a range finder and waterproof boots of at least knee length. Weather is variable at this time of year in the panhandle so check the forecast for your hunting week by using Wellington, Texas as your weather point.
Motel Lodging can be arranged. There is a RV park available and Camper parking with some rooms that can be arranged at the Baptist camp across from the Ranch. The nearest airports are in Amarillo (90 miles) and Oklahoma City (160 miles). Both airports offer rental vehicles but are aware of the need to get one with good ground clearance. The current cost of an out-of- state Deer license is $315.00 covering your buck, does and turkey if you choose to hunt them all.
Texas Turkey Hunting, Rio Grande Turkey Hunting
Spring 2010 Texas Turkey Hunting
We are taking reservations for the Spring 2010 Turkey Hunting season. The fee for 2010 is $600.00 per hunter booking a three day hunt on the main River Ranch and $180 per additional day if needed. We offer three or four day hunts only on the River properties. The ranch will impose a two bird limit on all hunts; only one mature Rio gobbler may be harvested per day and of the two bird limit, a young hunter will be allowed one Jake. The ranch provides an ideal habitat for the Rio Grande Wild Turkey species, as there are ample roosting areas, a river, multiple creeks and miles of rolling prairies covered with sage and mesquite. We have alfalfa, peanut, rye, millet and winter wheat plots throughout the ranch. The ranch area is covered with scrub oak and produces millions of acorns each season. There are numerous corn feeders throughout the ranch to hold birds close to hunting areas. We do not hunt over our turkey feeders; they are used only to keep birds circulating on the ranch. We have developed a number of new food plots for turkeys that will enhance hunting throughout the ranch.
The following stipulations apply to each respective turkey hunt:
1. Only National Wild Turkey Federation Members will be booked
2. Only two Del Rio gobblers can be taken per hunter and they must be long beards
3. No rifle hunting will be allowed, all turkeys must be taken with a shotgun or bow
4. No more than 6 persons may be booked on the same section of the ranch at the same time period
5. All hunts will be a 3-day minimum.
Our reduction of bag limits will insure a higher proportion of mature long bearded gobblers each spring season. Our Hunts haves the philosophy that it is the hunting experience, not just the kill that is of prime interest. The challenge is in the hunt—the calling of that mature Rio gobbler and the visual and auditory memories that remain long after the season has been concluded.
Additional hunts in the Oklahoma section of our operation may be arranged upon request. This will require an Oklahoma hunting license, the season is almost exactly the same as the Texas season however Oklahoma state law stipulates a 2-bird season limit.
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