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Old 11-21-2016, 12:27 PM   #1
Jibby
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Default Balcones Canyonlands Hunt Nov. 18-20 '16

I enjoyed my time in Unit #1. There were some issues, but they didn't involve me. One of the hunters had set up a pop-up blind on the scouting day Nov.17 and they found it missing/stolen when they came back on Friday afternoon. I am wondering if people wait for these public hunts and the gates are unlocked.

I didn't see that many deer while hunting and when I did, they were moving. You need to be ready to shoot standing up. I ended up harvesting a doe right after I packed up my pop-up. Then right after I field dressed her a small 6 point came about 30 yards away. I chose to hunt in an open area where I had several lanes of view. It worked out pretty well, but you need to be prepared for deer to pop up pretty quick due to the trees and tall grass. An elevated stand would be ideal for this area. There's plenty of hogs moving through the area, but I imagine it's all during the night time.
by cellphone
My stand was:3038' 46.6" N 98 05' 30.7" W

I never went down in the canyon area, too rough for this old guy and I can't imagine getting a deer out without major exhaustion. There's plenty of areas to look down in the canyon, it's a nice view and may be able to see something below in some of the meadows.

Here are two spots for views into the canyon:

3038' 44.8" N 98 05' 36.8" W
3038' 43.5" N 98 05' 35.4" W

I walked the fence line on the south side near the canyon. it looks like a good spot, but really too close to the fence line to be confident.

I thought it was a good hunt for the amount of time allowed to find the deer. I always enjoyed walking through the trails, finding out where the animals are headed.

I think most if not all the standby positions got filled. Not sure how the other Units fared. Hoping to hear any news.
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Old 11-22-2016, 09:38 AM   #2
texmet
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Thanks for the report. I'm on Unit 8 Dec. 9-11 for a long overdue first-hunt with my father (his 66th birthday) so this feedback is invaluable for an area I've never set foot on.

I think the theft is interesting, especially considering that I keep hearing that some of the roads are difficult to access. Seems like a lot of effort to stumble upon and steal a pop-up blind.
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Old 11-22-2016, 09:58 AM   #3
141edge
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Thanks for the in depth info in your post, I drive by this place at least once a week for work. Always looks like it would be a perfect spot for some nice game to hide, have put in for draw for last 2 years.. no luck.
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Old 11-22-2016, 11:39 AM   #4
Jibby
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To 141edge, I think all the standby hunters got to hunt. That might be a possibility if you don't get drawn...just make sure you have a cashier's check or money order to pay the $80
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Old 11-22-2016, 12:18 PM   #5
cy100
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@texmet, I hunted unit 8 many years ago. I hunted at spot A which is the far end of the unit. The road there was ok, but rocky. There were lots of deer and pig signs. I even spooked a doe in 3 yards while I was scouting. My buddy chased a pig on the way in. It was not the legal time, so he could not stop and shoot. While I was walking in the wood, I can even smell the deer and hear their movement, but cannot see them through the dense cedar. I didn't harvest any due to weather and lacking of experience (it was my first gun hunt). Spot A has a flat and widen view. So, you will see very far if you can be elevated. Hope this helps. Enjoy the hunt with your dad. Nothing can be worth than that.
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Old 11-22-2016, 01:03 PM   #6
141edge
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Greatly appreciated Jibby. Please keep us posted on your hunt.
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Old 11-22-2016, 01:08 PM   #7
texmet
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@cy100 - Thanks for the suggestions. Sounds like a promising spot. I've been assigned spot B, so in the general vicinity of A. Did you stay on the open area on the top of the or did you get into some of the draws on the northwest side of 8?

I spoke with the park office today and they confirmed that - unlike 2015 - the earn a buck rule is not in effect this year, so no need to first take a doe or pig before going after a buck. That seems like it would be a positive development even if the antler restriction is still in place.
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Old 11-22-2016, 02:17 PM   #8
cy100
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@texmet, I didn't have much hunting experience at that time, so I didn't setup "right". If I hunt there today, I would have much more chances.

I mainly stay around parking spot, about 100-150 yards. The deer I saw and "felt" were from east side of spot A. Even, I found lots of bedding areas on the open. I sit at one of deer bedding (so stupid) I did check the northwest by cross a fence, but it had very dense cedar, no good lane for shooting. I did find a stool in a bunch of cedar tree about 100 yards from parking, which left by another hunter, they also focused on east side of spot A. There were wood connected to the open area.
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Old 11-22-2016, 09:50 PM   #9
texmet
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For those that have been out to Balcones already, I see some of the maps have trails marked as "Closed to vehicles" - does this include ATVs? I've read a number of posts about people flying around on ATVs and disturbing other hunters so I'm wondering if his was in response to those complaints.
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Old 11-23-2016, 01:49 AM   #10
Jibby
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In the orientation, they said all vehicles. If the main road was muddy and you were likely to get stuck, they asked that you get out and walk. They did say however that you could use them to help retrieve game.
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Old 11-24-2016, 07:26 AM   #11
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The main closed roads in unit 4 were clearly marked with signs that said "Foot Traffic Only". Secondary road travel will get u a fine. They explain all at orientation.
The roads marked on maps gathered online such as google, TerraServer ect. are very inaccurate compared to the maps that the will handout at orientation. Remember your hunting in a closed zone of a federal run national wildlife refuge--just respect it and youll be fine--Good Luck!
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Old 11-24-2016, 11:16 PM   #12
texmet
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Thanks for the feedback BuckAuger. Guess I'll look forward to the orientation for more specifics.
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Old 11-29-2016, 09:34 AM   #13
bojack
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Default Balcones Canyonlands Area 11 Nov 9-11

Hi Everyone, brother and I received permits for Balcones CH Area 11. Has anyone hunted this area before? Any help would be most awesome! We have maps and all the general information online. We are hoping to scout Dec 1 and 8. Not sure what part of 11 to look first, its a big area.

Last edited by bojack; 11-29-2016 at 09:41 AM. Reason: better description of info
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Old 11-30-2016, 11:22 AM   #14
MikeW_Conroe
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Default Balcones Canyonlands Hunt 12/9 to 12/11 Unit 14

Hi,
Anyone ever hunted Unit 14? Any information would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 12-01-2016, 09:14 AM   #15
doeboy11
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I hunted on top by the windmill on 11. Both times I shot a doe.
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Old 12-02-2016, 04:11 PM   #16
Freight Mover
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeW_Conroe View Post
Hi,

Anyone ever hunted Unit 14? Any information would be greatly appreciated.


I'm sitting in Unit 14 right now
Will let you know how it goes


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Old 12-03-2016, 04:30 PM   #17
MikeW_Conroe
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Freight Mover,
Thanks so much for responding. Looking forward to any information you can provide.
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Old 12-05-2016, 09:20 AM   #18
bojack
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Thanks for the tip on 11, doeboy11


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Old 12-05-2016, 01:52 PM   #19
Freight Mover
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeW_Conroe View Post
Freight Mover,

Thanks so much for responding. Looking forward to any information you can provide.


Unit 14 is a good spot
You will be the only hunter. You have a nice tower blind that has shots over 200 yds

There is a creek bed just over a 100 yards that the deer travel. There is a small area where you can see the deer crossing so you need to be scanning with your binoculars.

The first first night I shot at a nice 8 pt at 100 yds and missed with my 30/30. The next morning I shot at the same deer twice at 150 yards and missed again

Sun morning I took my 243 and shot a 5 point 10 min after legal shooting. It would have been an 8 point but his antlers were broken. 10 min later the nice buck I had been after came out

I only saw bucks, no does or pigs

You are only allowed 1 multi point buck 3 pts or greater

Good luck




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Old 12-06-2016, 10:45 AM   #20
MikeW_Conroe
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I really appreciate the information especially about the 30/30 and blind. I had planned on hunting with an older 30.06 but think will leave this home and take my .270 instead. Sounds like the unit has good activity. I will drop you a note next week and let you know how I did.
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Old 12-06-2016, 09:39 PM   #21
Freight Mover
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeW_Conroe View Post
I really appreciate the information especially about the 30/30 and blind. I had planned on hunting with an older 30.06 but think will leave this home and take my .270 instead. Sounds like the unit has good activity. I will drop you a note next week and let you know how I did.


Good luck in your hunt
Send me a message if you have any other questions


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Old 12-10-2016, 08:36 AM   #22
MikeW_Conroe
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Default Balcones Unit 14 question

Freight Mover. Quick question. If you are standing at bottom of stairs to blind, looking up at door is the creek bed you refer to to your left or right ? If I look right I see a creek bed about 150 straight ahead bordered by a large dead oak and couple other bushes. If I look left I see the start of a creek bed which runs about 150 yards to a grove of trees, there is a large burned mesquite about 60 yards. Which creek bed did you see the deer while you were here ? Thanks, mike
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Old 12-10-2016, 09:56 PM   #23
texmet
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Unit 8 has been pretty quiet so far. I've not heard any shots and the one other hunter I've spoken with said they had not seen anything. My father and I have seen some doe / fawn activity on trail cam the last two nights but no bucks yet. Things picked up for us late Saturday as we saw a hog come out of the brush and a doe walked near our blind a few minutes before shutdown.
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Old 12-10-2016, 10:31 PM   #24
Squattingcoyote
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cy100 View Post
@texmet, I didn't have much hunting experience at that time, so I didn't setup "right". If I hunt there today, I would have much more chances.

I mainly stay around parking spot, about 100-150 yards. The deer I saw and "felt" were from east side of spot A. Even, I found lots of bedding areas on the open. I sit at one of deer bedding (so stupid) I did check the northwest by cross a fence, but it had very dense cedar, no good lane for shooting. I did find a stool in a bunch of cedar tree about 100 yards from parking, which left by another hunter, they also focused on east side of spot A. There were wood connected to the open area.

When you say you found "stool" "left by another hunter".......what exactly do you mean?
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Old 12-11-2016, 10:08 AM   #25
Freight Mover
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeW_Conroe View Post
Freight Mover. Quick question. If you are standing at bottom of stairs to blind, looking up at door is the creek bed you refer to to your left or right ? If I look right I see a creek bed about 150 straight ahead bordered by a large dead oak and couple other bushes. If I look left I see the start of a creek bed which runs about 150 yards to a grove of trees, there is a large burned mesquite about 60 yards. Which creek bed did you see the deer while you were here ? Thanks, mike
Sorry just seeing this

It would be to the right.

If you are sitting in the stand facing the door and look to the field to your left the creek is about 120 yards out. The low part you can see them crossing will be to the far right of that field just a the tree line
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Old 12-13-2016, 12:50 PM   #26
MikeW_Conroe
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Hi. I appreciate you responding. Over the three days I only saw one doe (no bucks , no pigs) , which I killed at about 85 yard by the grove of trees to the right of the blind.
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Old 12-14-2016, 12:24 AM   #27
Economizer
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Me and my brother hunted unit 7 on cones E and F. We didn't see anything from the blind but saw a Doe near F and we saw two hogs south of E. I got a Jake along the back fence at F.
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