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Old 10-25-2017, 10:21 PM   #51
RifleBowPistol
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Old 10-30-2017, 08:04 PM   #52
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Good luck this weekend to those of you who got first season! Be sure to let us know how you do!
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Old 10-30-2017, 11:43 PM   #53
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We've used Thermacells when bow hunting down there. They work good if you're sitting on a tripod, ground blind, etc. not going to help much if walking.
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Old 10-31-2017, 09:32 AM   #54
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Leave in two days, guess I meet to start getting stuff together.
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Old 10-31-2017, 09:22 PM   #55
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Let us know what the place looks like, maybe some pictures. Would like to see the place after the storm, hope it's not too bad.

Good luck.
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Old 11-01-2017, 12:01 AM   #56
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Got drawn for this weekends hunt and headed down early Friday morning to scout. Hope I donít get eaten alive by the bird sized mosquitos..


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Old 11-02-2017, 03:19 PM   #57
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Let us know what the place looks like, maybe some pictures. Would like to see the place after the storm, hope it's not too bad.

Good luck.
I Will, I am headed down this evening to scout in the am! Still haven't packed a thing yet....oops.
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Old 11-02-2017, 05:09 PM   #58
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Good luck!
In for reports. Going in December.
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Old 11-03-2017, 04:33 PM   #59
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Skeeters, skeeters, skeeters
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Old 11-03-2017, 11:59 PM   #60
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Skeeters, skeeters, skeeters
Yep. No pictures? So what does the place look like, what do the trees look like.
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Old 11-04-2017, 03:38 PM   #61
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Few trees busted up, mostly everything is intact. I've seen 7 hogs and 3 javis, saw one pig while hunting this morning but I forgot to chamber a round and she heard the "click" and took off. Heard one deer blow but that's all. One doe and a spike killed this morning. It's hot like really really hot. Makes for some hard hunting with the full moon, hopefully the afternoon will be better.
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Old 11-04-2017, 10:28 PM   #62
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Few trees busted up, mostly everything is intact. I've seen 7 hogs and 3 javis, saw one pig while hunting this morning but I forgot to chamber a round and she heard the "click" and took off. Heard one deer blow but that's all. One doe and a spike killed this morning. It's hot like really really hot. Makes for some hard hunting with the full moon, hopefully the afternoon will be better.
The hunting is never easy, 90% of the time you can hunt out there, it will be hot and humid. It is definitely a very hard place to hunt. Not so hard to kill doe, not that hard to kill hogs. But decent bucks are hard to kill out there, always.
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Old 11-04-2017, 10:30 PM   #63
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Good luck. Look for areas with lots of short scrub oaks, covered with acorns.
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Old 11-05-2017, 11:12 AM   #64
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Few trees busted up, mostly everything is intact. I've seen 7 hogs and 3 javis, saw one pig while hunting this morning but I forgot to chamber a round and she heard the "click" and took off. Heard one deer blow but that's all. One doe and a spike killed this morning. It's hot like really really hot. Makes for some hard hunting with the full moon, hopefully the afternoon will be better.
Thats good to hear that things arenít too busted up. Better luck to you today. It seems that things were slow everywhere yesterday. Turns out mid-70s isntít proper deer weather.
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Old 11-09-2017, 07:34 AM   #65
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1st rifle hunt pretty much a bust, how were the mosquitos?
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Old 11-14-2017, 06:41 AM   #66
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No one has anymore details about season one???
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Old 11-14-2017, 08:10 AM   #67
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Couple 8pts, couple 6pts, couple spikes, couple doe, couple hogs... not bad, but not great for 90 hunters? Challenges included full moons, morning fog, warm weather, and that tall grass... mosquitoes were manageable. I'd hunt there again
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Old 11-14-2017, 12:07 PM   #68
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That's 10 critters down for 90 hunters, roughly 12% success rate. Normally for the opening gun hunt its 35% to 45%.
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Old 11-14-2017, 08:36 PM   #69
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Couple 8pts, couple 6pts, couple spikes, couple doe, couple hogs... not bad, but not great for 90 hunters? Challenges included full moons, morning fog, warm weather, and that tall grass... mosquitoes were manageable. I'd hunt there again
Thanks for the info. Iíve been brainstorming about how to get above the grass but havenít really come up with anything. There is no way Iím hauling a tripod out there... guess Iíll have to keep on thinking.
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Old 11-14-2017, 08:56 PM   #70
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Need to be in a tripod, I tried stalking/still hunting and couldn't see jack unless I was in a fire break, grass is to darn tall. If I was on a fire break I would have to react quickly to get a shot as there is no reason for deer to stop in them. Mesquitos were bad but manageable with good spray and thermocell. I had to leave early due to a family emergency but for sure could have atleast killed pigs pretty easily. They love to root in the fire breaks and are easy Pickens there. Like said before the fog,heat, and full moon were challenges. I tried rattling a bit with no luck. All the bucks that I saw brought in were not wet on their haucks and didn't smell rutted up at all. Saw very few acorns as well.
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Old 11-14-2017, 09:00 PM   #71
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Thanks for the info. Iíve been brainstorming about how to get above the grass but havenít really come up with anything. There is no way Iím hauling a tripod out there... guess Iíll have to keep on thinking.
You will struggle if you don't get in the air. Get a light one it will make the hunt much more enjoyable. It's worth spending to coin. Don't climb the trees lol I got a bad case of poison oak on my scout day. Good luck.
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Old 11-14-2017, 09:07 PM   #72
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Need to be in a tripod, I tried stalking/still hunting and couldn't see jack unless I was in a fire break, grass is to darn tall. If I was on a fire break I would have to react quickly to get a shot as there is no reason for deer to stop in them. Mesquitos were bad but manageable with good spray and thermocell. I had to leave early due to a family emergency but for sure could have atleast killed pigs pretty easily. They love to root in the fire breaks and are easy Pickens there. Like said before the fog,heat, and full moon were challenges. I tried rattling a bit with no luck. All the bucks that I saw brought in were not wet on their haucks and didn't smell rutted up at all. Saw very few acorns as well.
Those things you are calling fire breaks, are probably old senderos created either for pipe lines, or seismograph work. They will cut trails and run a line of thumper trucks across the place. Many times we have been out there, they were run the seismograph tumper trucks, across the place, every time they did so, they cut new senderos.
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Old 11-14-2017, 09:15 PM   #73
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Thanks for the info. Iíve been brainstorming about how to get above the grass but havenít really come up with anything. There is no way Iím hauling a tripod out there... guess Iíll have to keep on thinking.

Where are you located?

I've been bowhunting the refuge for over 45yrs. You need at least a 6' tripod for the rifle hunt. I've got a light weight one you can borrow.
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Old 11-14-2017, 09:15 PM   #74
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Those things you are calling fire breaks, are probably old senderos created either for pipe lines, or seismograph work. They will cut trails and run a line of thumper trucks across the place. Many times we have been out there, they were run the seismograph tumper trucks, across the place, every time they did so, they cut new senderos.
That is what the federal game warden/ranger called them.
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Old 11-14-2017, 09:26 PM   #75
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That is what the federal game warden/ranger called them.

Actually they are a good many fire breaks that are cut and maintained by the refuge for their burn program. Each pasture along the shore line gets burned once every three years or so. Well unless the wind picks up or changes then the whole **** thing burns.
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Old 11-14-2017, 09:45 PM   #76
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Actually they are a good many fire breaks that are cut and maintained by the refuge for their burn program. Each pasture along the shore line gets burned once every three years or so. Well unless the wind picks up or changes then the whole **** thing burns.
I know they burn areas out there often. But I also know they do a lot of seismograph work out there, or at least used to often. Many times we hunted there years ago, there were fires smoldering. I have read there stories about how the Indians used to do burns to clear out the thick brush and create more grassy areas. Then the white setters did not do so when they took over and the areas along the cost that like the refuge, became over grown and very dense.
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Old 11-14-2017, 10:12 PM   #77
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I know they burn areas out there often. But I also know they do a lot of seismograph work out there, or at least used to often. Many times we hunted there years ago, there were fires smoldering. I have read there stories about how the Indians used to do burns to clear out the thick brush and create more grassy areas. Then the white setters did not do so when they took over and the areas along the cost that like the refuge, became over grown and very dense.
For 100's of thousands of years grass fires from lightening strikes on the TX coastal plains would burn for weeks because there were no fire breaks(highways/roads) and no one was there to put them out. I'm pretty sure the Indians burned to control the mosquitoes.
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Old 11-15-2017, 07:15 AM   #78
MetalMan2004
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You will struggle if you don't get in the air. Get a light one it will make the hunt much more enjoyable. It's worth spending to coin. Don't climb the trees lol I got a bad case of poison oak on my scout day. Good luck.
Yikes! Last time I got poison oak it was so bad that my wife (girlfriend at the time) bought one of everything in the rash section at CVS. Tried each one in a different spot to see what worked best. Interestingly enough I found it helped to rotate between topical medicines as they seemed to lose their effectiveness after a day or two. Also cold showers.

Wish you the best with the family emergency.

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Old 11-15-2017, 07:17 AM   #79
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Where are you located?

I've been bowhunting the refuge for over 45yrs. You need at least a 6' tripod for the rifle hunt. I've got a light weight one you can borrow.
Thats very generous of you. PM sent. Thats a way better deal than trying to climb a try (my original plan) where I hear there is poison oak waiting for me

This is supposed to be a budget hunt and Iím trying to walk the line beteween new equipment I need to make this hunt successful and spending too much dough to make it worth it.
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Old 11-15-2017, 07:59 AM   #80
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The Aransas hunt is never a budget hunt, not unless you live near the refuge.

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Old 11-17-2017, 05:02 PM   #81
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The Aransas hunt is never a budget hunt, not unless you live near the refuge.
Hunting is an expensive sport anyways so I guess its all relative.

Nice chatting with you on the phone. I'll touch base with you again soon.
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Old 11-24-2017, 10:01 PM   #82
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Any update from the first day of scouting for rifle 2?
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Old 11-25-2017, 01:54 PM   #83
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Deer should be moving.
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Old 11-28-2017, 05:30 AM   #84
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My two boys and I got drawn for Dec. 9-13.
We have 2 pop up blinds. Hoping to find a fresh burnt area, or sendero to set up near. Taking the thermacells and spray, rubber boots, ect. Any other tips on this hunt this is our first public land hunt. Any info on places to stay down there. I have been working alot lately and haven't looked into hotels or camping yet. I have downloaded the rifle hunting area map from the refuge website, and looked at Google earth, but no ideas yet guess i will have to wait until scouting day. Any TBHers gonna be down there for the December hunt? Weather is looking to be cool with a chance of rain.
Any tips or info is greatly appreciated.

Mike
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Old 11-28-2017, 02:43 PM   #85
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Ok after my first experience on the Aransas NWR on Rifle Hunt 2, I have the following findings:

1. If you didn't bring a Thermacell, I feel bad for you! With that and 25% DEET I still lost blood.
2. If you didn't bring a tripod stand you will be limited on good spots. I didn't have one.
3. Be prepared for wind shifts. on Sunday and Monday it swung from north to south depending on time of day.
4. Get as far from the road as possible. See item 2.

After all that I managed to get a smaller male hog. I am very happy to get that. I should've noted the status board but on the first day there were 67 hunters and only 5 deer taken, 2 bucks. I saw a massive hog trotting down the road near Cow Camp and a bobcat on scouting day. That was cool. All in all a cool experience but I won't go back until I get a tripod.
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Old 12-01-2017, 10:34 AM   #86
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Ok after my first experience on the Aransas NWR on Rifle Hunt 2, I have the following findings:

1. If you didn't bring a Thermacell, I feel bad for you! With that and 25% DEET I still lost blood.
2. If you didn't bring a tripod stand you will be limited on good spots. I didn't have one.
3. Be prepared for wind shifts. on Sunday and Monday it swung from north to south depending on time of day.
4. Get as far from the road as possible. See item 2.

After all that I managed to get a smaller male hog. I am very happy to get that. I should've noted the status board but on the first day there were 67 hunters and only 5 deer taken, 2 bucks. I saw a massive hog trotting down the road near Cow Camp and a bobcat on scouting day. That was cool. All in all a cool experience but I won't go back until I get a tripod.
Different kind of hunting, ain't it? If you have never been there, your first trip, will basically be a scouting trip. Except for hogs, they can pop out anywhere any time. You might see some mosquitos also, some big enough to take down with your bow.
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Old 12-01-2017, 09:31 PM   #87
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One week away from rifle 3 and I’m getting excited!
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Old 12-05-2017, 08:34 PM   #88
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I’ll be camping at Hopper’s. I think I’m going to bring my mini Weber (its like 14” across) and cook a steak Friday night. Anyone that wants to join for dinner is welcome to bring some meat to throw on the coals. Just pm me your number if you’d like to do that or have an evening drink. I’m planning on being there for the whole hunt (unless I wuss out).
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Old 12-06-2017, 12:59 PM   #89
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Did you ever hear about anyone having their tripod stolen from the hunt area? I'm bringing one but this is by far my biggest concern. Also, do I truly need the entire day to scout on scouting day? I'm doing some pre-scouting with OnX Hunt.
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Old 12-06-2017, 08:44 PM   #90
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Did you ever hear about anyone having their tripod stolen from the hunt area? I'm bringing one but this is by far my biggest concern. Also, do I truly need the entire day to scout on scouting day? I'm doing some pre-scouting with OnX Hunt.
Iíd think the risk is lower than with most public land simply because there will be a max 100 people out there (probably less on some days) but it would still be a risk.

As for scouting, thats for you to decide. I plan in being out there as early as I can, which is mid-late morning to start the scouting. I may not need the whole day but if I end up needing it Iíll have it.

Do the OnX maps have more detail than Google? I realize OnX offers more in the way of gps features but was curious about the actual maps.
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Old 12-06-2017, 09:22 PM   #91
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Did you ever hear about anyone having their tripod stolen from the hunt area? I'm bringing one but this is by far my biggest concern. Also, do I truly need the entire day to scout on scouting day? I'm doing some pre-scouting with OnX Hunt.
Years ago, it happened every once in a while. That was back when it was a $1 a day to archery hunt and the place had a lot of hunters.
Since the Park service has started charging $120 or $160, I don't remember, for a weekend hunt, the number of people went way down. I never heard of anyone having problems. Now the state has taken over the hunting out there and only doing the drawings. I would bet you won't have any problems, but it is possible. It could be a whole new group of people hunting out there for the drawn hunt.
I always took a long cable and a lock and would lock my tripod to a tree, if I did not set it up where I knew it would not be found. During bow season, I know of places to hunt, where I can set up a tripod, I would not worry about anyone ever finding my tripod. During the rifle season, it's a different story, I did lock my tripod to a tree.
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Old 12-06-2017, 09:24 PM   #92
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You guys in rifle 3 this weekend should luck out with the cooler weather. Deer should be moving. Enjoy it. Rifle 2 was tough.
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Old 12-07-2017, 08:24 AM   #93
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Probably a lot of rain as well there.
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Old 12-07-2017, 10:07 AM   #94
fish4food
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Looks like it's going to be cold and wet. Passed through there last night and the ground was soaked.

Hopefully the mosquitoes won't be so bad.

Tried getting a tripod but not in the budget. Just gonna wing it.

I'll be out there Friday morning trying scouting.
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Old 12-07-2017, 08:44 PM   #95
L C
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It's snowing in San Antonio.

Take your rubber boots and rain gear.

Mosquitos should not be a problem.
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Old 12-07-2017, 11:39 PM   #96
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Yeah, Iím in San Antonio. This snow is definitely going to delay my departure tomorrow. Oh well, should still be fun.
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Old 12-08-2017, 07:39 AM   #97
fish4food
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Cold, wet, and snow here in Calhoun County. Headed to Aransas in a bit.
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Old 12-09-2017, 09:57 AM   #98
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This morning's hunt should be the best rifle hunt on the refuge in the last 10 years because of the weather. Bucks will be moving during the day. Lets see some LDP'S and pictures of the kill board.

I've never had any tri-pods or ladder stands stolen, but did have a couple of them repositioned and hunted. Lost several stands due to the refuge closing the hunt due to weather and the govt being shut down, I'm guessing they were picked up by the refuge, had a well built tripod and heard two refuge personnel got into a pretty heavy fist fight over it.

When Brent took over in 1987 after Frank Johnson passed away he raised the then current $20 bow hunt fee to $65, he said the funds were needed to keep the hunt going if the govt ever shut down, just another bs lie. This year with TPWD taking over just the drawing mind you, they raised the bow hunt fee to what $130/$160 ????. Wouldn't suprise if they cancelled the bowhunt because so few put in for it...
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Old 12-10-2017, 08:51 AM   #99
Lordnorvelli
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12/9 -57 hunters, 1 buck, 1 doe, 3 hogs

Nobody saw anything all day. Pretty miserable so far. Iíll keep yíall updated.
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Old 12-10-2017, 09:49 AM   #100
fish4food
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My group saw 1 buck, tall, heavy horns, around noon. No shot opportunity.
1 hog in the evening. No shot opportunity.



Just heard a shot a few minutes ago.
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