Open Season: Clayton Sustala shares the Lone Star State’s best hunting spots

Texas provides some of the most well-rounded hunting in the country

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There are few places in the country that offer more quality hunting opportunities than the state of Texas. No matter what type of game you prefer, there are many prime locations around the state to choose from — both in ranches and on public land.

Here are the best spots for specific game according to avid outdoorsman Clayton Sustala. Remember: wherever you decide to explore, just make sure you follow the hunting season guidelines, have a hunting license and tag your kills.


Texas has a bountiful amount of deer in the state, up to four million to be more precise. Many of them can be found outside ranches that charge a fee, which makes them even more appealing.

If you’re looking for a high concentration of deer, Clayton Sustala suggests trying Hill Country in Central and South Texas. While the deer in this treed and rocky region aren’t the biggest you’ll find, the success rate for hunters here more than makes up for it.

If you’re looking for quality over quantity, Brush Country offers up the most prize-winning whitetails in the state. If mule deer are what you’re after, then head to Lubbock — you’ll be sure to enjoy your surroundings as you wait patiently for your prize.


Texas is one of the favorite states in the U.S. to hunt this game bird. In fact, about 25 percent of dove hunters in the country flock to the Lone Star state for prime shooting.

Of the 50 million or so dove in the state, you can find about a million of them outside San Antonio. According to Sustala, Austin and its surrounding area is another favorite spot for dove hunters.

Brown and Callahan counties are popular as the birds are attracted to the dove weed and sunflowers there.


You might automatically gravitate towards the wettest places in the state for waterfowl, but Amarillo is a favorite duck hunting spot due to abundance that doesn’t really follow this rule.

Generally, Clayton Sustala says you’ll have luck finding duck in marshes in Southeast Texas as well as in the grain fields of North Texas. Keep an eye on duck migration patterns to help you plan your hunts.

Feral Hogs

These animals can get as large as 400 pounds, with the added bonus that there are no season or bag limitations on them. In fact, you don’t even need a hunting license if you’re stalking these big pigs on private land. Farmers might even thank you as hog populations are out of control.

While you can find them across the state, one of the best spots is the Edwards Plateau (West-Central region). They are abundant in Central, South and East Texas, less so in North and West Texas.

Take Your Best Shot in Texas

As Clayton Sustala can tell you, the state offers up many exciting adventures for avid hunters. Another Texas favorite is to head to the panhandle for pheasant hunting in December. Whether you’re accessing private land or trying your luck on public lands, you’ll be sure to bag a trophy or at least have a story worth sharing!

Clay Sustala is an avid outdoorsman, family man, medical sales professional, and proud Texas Tech alumni.

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