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OUTFITTER REVIEW ON:

North Texas
Outfitters


Part 1:THE HUNT

Texas & Oklahoma Waterfowl & Hog Hunt
With North Texas Outfitters

By Joe Mahler
Hunters generally envision large Whitetail Bucks and booming Wild Hog populations when thinking about Texas. While this may be true, northern Texas and southern Oklahoma are both big “sleeper states” for waterfowl hunting. Every year by the middle of November the northern states start to freeze up and the birds push down to North Texas Outfitters.
When Outfitter Dakota Stowers of North Texas Outfitters invited me down the week after Christmas he said we were in for a real treat! Growing up in Texas, Dakota always had a passion as a kid for chasing big Whitetails as well as Ducks and Turkeys. At the age of 15, Dakota started guiding and his desire to put smiles on clients faces continued to grow! Dakota’s greatest mentor was the late JJ Kent of Kent Outdoors, a world-renowned guide and spokesperson in the waterfowl industry. Learning and guiding for Kent Outdoors for over 5 years has given Dakota the professionalism and business ethics to run a 5-star operation. While Dakota’s passion and proficiency in the business have grown, so has his track of land. North Texas Outfitters has access to over 100,000 acres for Ducks, Turkeys, Pigs, Deer and Doves!

As we arrived in Waurika, Oklahoma, we pulled into the lodge and were greeted by Dakota to help us unpack and settle in. The lodge is nestled into the Oklahoma wilderness overlooking a creek with an outstanding view of the Whitetail and Wild Hog country. The Lodge made us feel right at home with a bunk room that slept 6 comfortably and a master bedroom adjacent to it. The kitchen has new appliances with a big table perfect for the enormous meals, drinks, and the nightly card games! Now for the juicy details – “What do you have in store for us tomorrow Dakota?”  Dakota and guide Trent Jones began to tell us about a pond chucked full of Mallards and Widgeon that they intended to set us on for the morning.



We Enjoyed Many Great
Home Cooked Meals
By Summer Stowers
This Was One Of Our
Favorite Meals,
The Chicken Dinner
The next morning, we woke up at 4:45 a.m. sharp and we were greeted by the sweet smell of coffee and breakfast sandwiches made by the one and only Summer Stowers, Dakota’s wife. We scarfed down the fantastic breakfast and headed down the road to meet Dakota at a gas station in Waurika, Oklahoma at 5:30. After a 15-minute drive we arrived at the water hole where we were hunting that morning. Upon arrival, it didn’t take us long to set up, hunting out of Avian-X A-Frame blinds. No need to wear waders today, which was a big plus! While Dakota set the decoys we assembled the blind that was pre-brushed in for the day’s hunt.
With a slight overcast the sky was darker than normal, but 20 minutes before shooting light big Drake Mallards were buzzing into the decoys while we chattered with excitement like little school girls. There is something about a Drake whistle that will always make my blood boil! The clock struck 7:07 and shooting time was upon us! Right off the bat ducks started to cup up and set their wings into the decoys and the action got hot and heavy! Dakota let the birds work to 15 yards for a picture-perfect shot making it easy to pick out big greenheads! As the morning went on the shooting remained very consistent. We didn’t see a ton of birds but the ones we did responded very well to calling and committed to the decoys every time! With the comfort of the A-Frame blind it was very easy to shoot, quickly becoming the first day of a true gentlemen’s hunt!
The morning was concluding with 5 of 6 limits filled but not before we sailed a big Drake Mallard over 350 yards with a lot of life in it. Dakota sent his exceptionally well trained dog (Slider) on the line, and after 15 minutes and a 300-yard swim with only a few corrections, Slider was on the scent of the bird. The bird had walked another 100 yards to our amazement, but Slider caught up with it making his best retrieve of the morning.

As Slider returned to the blind a flock of teal came zooming in to ten yards and we dropped all four, ending morning number one with 31 ducks ranging from Mallard, Widgeon, Gadwall, Teal, and a Shoveler! North Texas Outfitters is known for providing mixed bag hunts and we sure were on one!

We arrived back at the lodge around 11:30 to take pictures of the birds and clean them before lunch. Hot chili was made for us by Summer which was exactly what the doctor ordered after a cold day in the blind. We sat around the kitchen table reminiscing about the great morning hunt while eating second and third helpings before finishing the outstanding chili.
With a hog hunt on the radar for the afternoon, we quickly switched gears to get ready for the hunt. Hogs tend to feed around the last half hour of light and into the night. We set out around 2 pm to get in the blinds a bit early to give the area time to settle down, hunting in raised 7x7’ box blinds sitting in office chairs. The blinds were comfortable and easy to see and shoot out of. Our group of five sat in three separate locations, two groups of two and one solo. Each blind was set up next to thick bedding areas for the pigs along with a feeder about 120 yards away. As the night progressed the hogs didn’t want to feed in the daylight. Dakota had trail cameras over each feeder and consistently had hog pictures from 8-11 pm each night. We decided around 6:30 to pull the rip cord on the night’s hunt and head back for dinner. Of course, Dakota was right as three pigs were shot at 7 P.M. the very next night in the stands we had been in!
That night we had a fantastic chicken dinner served with mashed potatoes, green beans and cookies to top it off! We asked Dakota if it would be possible to shoot some Shovelers on our trip and he smiled and said it would be no problem. The next morning, Dakota had us lined up for a Shoveler beat down in Texas. Dakota was so confident he said we would have a 6-man limit by 8 a.m. We drove the hour drive down to Texas and hunted a small dairy pond and the birds did it perfect! They came from the heavens and decoyed flawlessly, making for some fantastic wing shooting! True to his word, we had a six-man limit and were picked up by 8:30.
Following the Spoonbill beat down Dakota had something special in store for us, Hog Dogging!! North Texas Outfitters is partnered with Casey Hoff and Chris Scott who have some of the best hog dogs in the south. Boy oh boy was this an adventure for the ages…

We met up with Casey and Chris at 10 am after a quick bit to eat after our duck shoot. Pulling into Casey’s house it was evident that this wasn’t his first rodeo; 10 Dogs were armored up with Kevlar vests and GPS collars and ready for battle. Casey gave us the run down, saying he would first release the Bay Dogs. Their job is to find the pigs and corner them. When they have a pig cornered, they bark to let Casey know they have one. Once the Bay dogs have a pig cornered, Casey sends in the Catch Dogs. The Catch dogs look like the meanest dogs on the block, as they would go in and attack the cornered pigs.
Our excitement was through the roof! We piled into two trucks and headed down the road to the 35,000-acre ranch that Casey manages. After driving 10 minutes or so we stopped at a well-known pig crossing and Casey let the Bay Dogs go to work! It wasn’t 5 minutes and the dogs were in hot pursuit of a big boar that was only 80 yards from where we had parked!! The dogs chased the boar for about a mile before baying him up! The indescribable bark of the dogs heard from miles away poured through my veins and I was hooked. We hopped into the truck and hustled toward the dogs, getting about 300 yards away. We all got out and got the Catch dogs ready to take the pig down. As we eased in on the Boar we released the Catch dogs and it wasn’t 30 seconds until we heard the pig squealing and Casey handed me the 10” buck knife. As we ran toward the pig the Catch dogs had the big boar pinned down by the ears and Casey went in to wrestle the pig into position. The boar was thrashing back and forth while I had to make a calculated move to jump on it and stab it right behind the shoulder! Talk about an adrenaline rush!! With a quick cut to the heart and the lungs the pig expired quickly as if it was shot with a bow and arrow.
Hog dogging was the greatest adrenaline rush I’ve experienced to date! There are not many things cooler seeing the fleet of dogs, each one with a specific job, work together like a well-oiled machine. We ended the day with 7 pigs, three of which tipped the scales at over 200 pounds! Each pig was different in its own unique way; we caught one in a switch grass field that had an eerie feeling to it as we approached. You could not see the pig until getting right on top of it! Other pigs were caught in wooded areas as well as scrub brush fields, full of cactus and sandburs. With each different scenario, it didn’t even matter to me whether I was the one doing the stabbing or videoing, it was an absolute RIOT that everyone needs to experience!

Returning to the lodge that night we couldn’t put our phones down watching reruns from the day of hog dogging with smiles filling the truck. We pulled into the lodge which conveniently has a hanging and cleaning station for the pigs. An outdoor faucet made washing out your pigs easy and being able to hang them for the night was a great relief as we were all exhausted and burned out from the day’s events. We put on 8-miles by foot hog dogging alone!  Dinner was hot and ready when we walked in and we enjoyed yet another fantastic home cooked meal by Summer!
That night we had a few drinks and reminisced about the fun day we had. I asked Dakota if he had any good spots to shoot a canvasback for the morning and he lined us up in a great spot!

That morning we hunted with his other guides, Paul and Layne. It was a brisk morning with a 25-degree temp change from the day before accompanied by 20 mph winds. As sunrise approached the action was fast and furious! The Gadwall and Widgeon decoyed like it was the first day of the season making shots easy even with the wind gusting. In the first 15 minutes of shooting we had 16 birds down! As 8 am rolled around we were all hunkered in the blind to get out of the win. Layne peeked over the blind side and whispered,
“Joe, there’s a Bull Can in the decoys!” Before he could finish his sentence I was up in the shooting position, harvesting a gorgeous Canvasback! I was one bird closer to completing my North American Waterfowl Grand Slam and Dakota came through again on his promise! We ended the morning on a four pack of Gadwall decoying to a perfect 15 yards and the guys made quick work of them putting us at 24 on the day and 91 ducks on the trip!

Part 2: THE REVIEW

OUTFITTER KNOWLEDGE / PERSONALITY:                    Score5 / 5
This was my second-year hunting with Dakota and it sure will not be my last. It is transparent from the time you arrive in camp that Dakota and his professional staff are extremely passionate about what they do. Even though there were 5 other groups in camp, Dakota made sure our hunt was personalized. Chatting with us on what birds we wanted to harvest and asking how he can make this better for us. The crew scouted until dark every night to give us great quality hunting and boy did it pay off! 5/5!
QUALITY OF
EQUIPMENT USED:
Score5 / 5
Each morning we hunted out of the luxurious Avian-X A-Frame blinds in comfort and concealment. These blinds hunt 4 comfortably and easily are clipped together to make 2 blinds, one big one for groups. Hunting in the A-Frame you can see the birds work through the peep holes and hunters have excellent comfort in shooting. Each day Dakota would set a spread of high quality Avian-X decoys that looked realistic enough to fool a few of our shotguns a couple times. 5/5!

OPPORTUNITY TO
TAKE GAME:

Score5 / 5
In my two trips, down to visit Dakota in 6 days of duck hunting we have limited out with 6 man limits 5 of the 6 days we were in camp, the day we didn’t limit we shot 28 of our 36 bird limit. The birds are plentiful! Dakota and the guides know how to put you on them. They have access to over 100,000 acres spanning 60 square miles from Northern Texas to Southern Oklahoma. The same spots are never hunted twice and birds are always given time to rest in the afternoon to ensure the highest quality morning shoot. Our day hog dogging was nothing short of pigs and lots of them! We harvested 7 pigs in 4 hours each of us taking a pig! If you’re looking for an adrenalin rush, GO HOG DOGGING!! The morning duck and afternoon pig combo makes this hunt a BLAST! 5/5!
QUALITY OF MEALS
AND LODGING:
Score4 / 5
At North Texas Outfitters, you can choose to have meals included in your package for only $35 per day or use their facilities to make your own food. We opted for the meal package since there aren’t many restaurants in close proximity to the lodge. Each day we woke to a warm homemade breakfast hot and ready before the morning hunt. It consisted of eggs, biscuits, pancakes, juice, coffee and more. Lunches were packed for us if we hunted all day or if you choose to return for a nap and kick back a warm lunch can be made at the lodge. Dinner each night will not leave you hungry… High quality chicken dinners, pasta night, and steaks in camp. The lodge we stayed in had two bedrooms, one bunk room with 6 beds and one master room with a king size bed, our group was 5 hunters so it fit us perfectly. Dakota runs three different lodges all within a few miles so we had the place to ourselves. 4/5!

HUNT PACKAGES AND
ADDITONAL FEES:

Score5 / 5
This is my favorite part about this trip, its inexpensive for the quality of hunt you get. Duck hunting is only $200 per day and hog hunting runs $150 per day! It is an absolute deal to hunt here for the value you get back. Meals run $35 per day… Where in the world can you get a great breakfast, lunch and dinner for that! All in all for three days of duck hunting, 4 nights of lodging with meals, and three days of hog hunting our trip is around $1,200. I highly recommend this trip to all my friends because when you get home the stories you tell will be priceless. 5/5!
OVERALL QUALITY
OF THE TRIP:
Score5 / 5
This was truly a Texas duck and pig beat down to remember. Everything about this hunt is first class. From the time we arrived to the time we left, Dakota and his staff made us feel like family with their southern charm. In addition to Dakota’s world class duck hunts, he also offers trophy deer and turkey hunts. This man is nonstop and his passion is easily seen. Customer service is a number one priority and friendship is number two, we left NTO with both in hand.  I look forward to making this an annual trip!! 5/5!
Overall North Texas Outfitters scored a 29/30 giving then an A rating! We would not hesitate to reefer Dakota as one of the premier waterfowl outfitters in the state of Texas!

Final
Score

29 / 30

Part 3: Booking Information


Contact Information For: North Texas Outfitters

Outfitter: Dakota Stowers
Phone: 1.877.456.1922
Email: northtexasoutfitters@huntthenorth.com
Website: northtexasoutfitters.com

more photos from the hunt...




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