In Texas, the schnauzer-size deer that pass as “trophies” are directly the result of not permitting the Game Dept. to do the job of management correctly for many years; and this is the result of lease hunting. There are lot of deer in Texas, and hardly any of them are worth shooting. Landowners who sell deer to hunters aren’t interested in herd quality; all they care about is numbers. Abolish lease hunting, for the betterment of all hunting.
I stand by what I said, and as for “facts” they are based on five years’ residence in Texas and first-hand experience with lease hunting. Your arguments against my stand are based on the blind attitude that the game belongs to the landowner individually, not to all hunters collectively. This is so firmly ingrained into the Texas consciousness that nothing seems to eradicate it, but it’s completely untrue. You speak of “adding value” to the game, and of the landowner “losing income” which is exactly what I am talking about:
The concept that the landowner owns the game and is entitled to a) its value, and b) its use for his personal benefit. As for not buying the cow when the milk is free, there’s no such thing as a free deer; EVRYONE who buys a hunting license is entitled to a try at one, landowners included; but NOBODY, especially landowners has any more right than any other license holder to those deer. I don’t dispute the right of the landowner to control access to his property. That’s a given, and I absolutely would defend the concept to the death; the catch is that the deer and other native species AREN’T HIS PROPERTY, and by permitting him to charge people to hunt them, he’s stealing the value of those deer from them as really owns it, i.e., hunters collectively.
WRT the numbers of deer in Texas, yes, it’s at an all time high; so are deer here in Virginia. The problem is that this has, as you say, come about as a result of years of not shooting does. Do you know any landowners who tell lease hunters “Don’t shoot MY does” even if the game laws say they can? I bet you do; I sure did. The landowner thinks in terms of numbers of deer at so many dollars per head, just like cattle. The game departments (who are properly placed in charge of deer herds) are concerned with management for quality of the herd, maximum health, and improvement of the stock in general.