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Old 12-07-2016, 03:41 PM   #21
Eight Point
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Aledo
Hunt In: Erath County

I can't say enough good things about the park, the staff, and the hunt. It doesn't hurt to have had both of my boys score a buck. We are all still pumped from our experience. Short of each of their first deer kills/hunts; this is the best hunt I can remember. I know these were state park deer. but it was a challenging and rewarding hunt. We were the last to leave sunday night and when we checked out they were 1 deer shy of 100%; their best record for a youth hunt. Looks like unit 1 picked up some slack.

First off, the park was huge. It took 15 minutes to drive from the front gate down to the river and campground areas. We drew unit 5 along with two other youth and their dads. We were told it was 1,000 acres. The cover was thick with quite a few elevation changes. We are already planning for a trip back in the summer to explore the trails and caves and fish. Will definitely apply for draw again next year.

The staff was top notch - friendly and very accommodating. They answered questions helped us with some directions and even provided chili for everyone on Saturday evening after the hunt. We were able to visit with the staff and make some new friends.

The hunt - It was great to scout and set-up over some hand thrown corn as opposed to permanent blinds and feeders like we do normally. Great educational experience for my boys on the art of hunting. We found trails rubs, and two scrapes jumped a buck bedded down. Well they show you the compartment from the main road and give you a couple starting/parking spots to consider. Looking at the satellite map they gave us I picked two open looking areas for us to hit. We followed a trail for a half a mile and then went uphill into the thick and boy was it thick. No good place to really set up and definitely no lanes. We never found that open area I was looking for. By now it was 1600 hrs and no staked out spot until we junped a buck. A little further in and we found a nice area with some sign and trails and two small shooting lanes. It was still thick. Set up a pop up, threw out some corn, and flagged a way back down to the trail. My oldest boy got this spot. While my youngest and I went back down to pick up the trail. With daylight fading quickly we setup along the trail close to some crossings and tracks we had seen walking in. We saw two deer out of this spot that darted across the trail that evening and nothing the next morning. Nothing had touched our corn along the trail the entire time we were there. My oldest shot a 10 pt the first evening. Told me he never gave the buck a chance at getting away. The next morning he saw three more bucks and a doe at that spot and the doe never presented a clean shot. After the morning hunt we packed up the blind on the trail and searched for a better spot at the second open area I was looking for. We found a spot with great sign for both deer and hogs. Set up and corned to prep for the evening. My youngest decided to hunt his brothers spot and with some intel and advice from older brother took an 8 pt. At the new spot, my oldest saw a massive 10 pt., spike, doe and a hog. He could hear more hogs rooting in the brush but never saw them. Had a 25 min stare down with the 10pt that knew that pop up wasn't supposed to be there. Said he didn't feel like gutting the spike at dark and the doe and hog were briskly skirting the brush.

Big Steve, It was nice to meet you and to put a face with a name.

Sea dog & DXT, sorry we missed each other.

Last edited by mooney_ag; 12-07-2016 at 03:55 PM.
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