Predator Hunting Along the New Border Wall

The southern border of the U.S. is a great place to visit, especially with a predator rifle in hand. Hunters must consider a few safety factors, though.
Predator Hunting Along the New Border Wall

Wildlife Systems guide Gabe Price scans a serendero while hunting in Texas. Hunters along the southern border have myriad things to consider while on a trip there. (Photo: Mark Kayser)

“Build that wall!” That chant from supporters follows President Trump wherever he goes across the country. While most conservatives and a few independent thinkers want the wall built a couple of you may have reservations. I’m talking about the handful of you who routinely call coyotes across the southern border and waylay them on the U.S. side.

That may sound humorous, but hunting along the border is such a concern to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection they actually have a link detailing what you should do while trailing a wounded animal that crosses the border into Mexico. In the excitement of the moment you may simply go after the animal without realizing that you’re crossing onto foreign soil and likely with a firearm. That’s a no-no, but a scenario that may happen.

Prickly pear cactus in the desert is just one thing hunters have to watch out for when hunting in south Texas. (Photo: Mark Kayser)

What is more likely than you crossing the border illegally while tracking a wounded coyote is a run-in in the wilderness areas of the border while you’re predator hunting. Whether you hunt routinely along the southern border or simply visit, it might be helpful to educate yourself on the possibilities, dangers and procedures if you happen to meet up with illegal visitors from across the border.

How common is it?

Ask Karl Rove, former advisor to President George W. Bush. While on a quail hunting trip in 2016 Rove, along with a few friends, ran across men hiding out in some trees along the Southern border. One of the suspects gave up immediately and begged for water and food while the other needed additional persuasion. Realizing there was no escape, the man also gave up. The Border Patrol was called in and indicated the simple fact that the illegals were dressed in black showed they knew what they were doing.

What's the Takeaway?

The most important lesson from this story is Rove and his friends called for professional help. That ranks at the top of your lesson. It’s better to let the pros handle the situation as opposed to you. They understand the culture of most illegal aliens and have the resources, plus training for a safe ending.

Despite all the bad news you hear of what comes across the border, most of the people are simply looking for a better life. They’re likely as scared of you as you might be of them. That viewpoint comes from a personal experience. Several years back a hunting guide and I jumped an illegal in the brush of South Texas while turkey hunting. The guy was wide-eyed when he saw us standing there dressed in camouflage and toting a shotgun. I was a bit wide-eyed myself, but breathed easier as the guy exploded back toward the border in a blur. My friend knew Spanish and did yell a few sentences saying basically we were hunters and did not mean any harm.

Following the advice of calling in experts is to learn a few basic Spanish sentences to communicate you are hunting and are not going to shoot them. On another South Texas deer hunt I was taught a phrase to be used when I approached an enclosed, elevated blind. It was meant to calm any illegal crossers using the blinds to stay warm overnight.

Lastly, be aware there are bad guys out there. Drugs cross the border every day with or without cartel assistance. Human trafficking is big business and desperate people pay lots to get clandestine help to cross the border. The people who run these sorts of operations could be armed and dangerous. Always report anything suspect to the Border Patrol and keep your distance.

Hopefully this doesn’t scare you too much as the southern border of the U.S. is a great place to visit, especially with a predator rifle in hand.

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