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Old 09-16-2017, 04:33 PM   #1
Fishxbones
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Default Lower Rio Grande NWR east lake

Hey ya'll, son is on a roll this year and drew for east lake section of the nwr. Any one been out there before? Just lookin for advice on what we should bring,sit or spot/stalk,etc. Ive been going through older posts and reports but mostly on teniente. Be nice to hear some pointers for east lake. Thanks again!
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Old 09-16-2017, 07:16 PM   #2
Old Arrow
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Grandson also drawn. I also have never been.
Would greatly appreciate some kind of help.
Thanks. Old Arrow
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Old 09-16-2017, 09:29 PM   #3
Old Arrow
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Saw an old post of lower rio grande valley nwr in 2010, maybe it will help. Hope your son has great luck, maybe I'll run into you. If you need some help getting one out. Let me know. Glad to help.
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Old 09-17-2017, 10:45 AM   #4
BOW BANDIT
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Default East Lake Youth Hunt

Bring Snake protection, Full leg if possible for the young man. The place is infested by rattle snakes and there are lots of cacti hidden in the tall grass and and the snake chaps sure would help to prevent a Stick by them. I would not do Spot and Stalk, the brush is to thick and you dont want to end up in someones cross hairs plus it is not very smart to disturb someone else hunt. Be ready to spend the day out there as the only parking area is on the main gate and you will have to walk from there, a lot more walking will be needed if you want to get away from the crowd as most of the hunters will set up close to the main gate. so bring lots of water and snacks to take with you as it will be lots of walking if you want to get back to the vehicle for lunch.... Ticks and mosquitos will be the biggest issues like most of the years... Some hunts have been a total failure due to mosquitos as all hunters and parents have decided that it is not worth the truble to walk so much and take the punishisment from the bugs. Lets hope that this year is not like most of the other years. Game carts are great. so think of a way to bring out a kill if you dont have one, I used to work for the refuge so I have of info to share....
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Old 09-17-2017, 09:30 PM   #5
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Thanks Old Arrow,what date did yall get?

Thanks Bow Bandit, pm sent.
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Old 09-18-2017, 06:40 PM   #6
Quacksmacker84
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Default Also got drawn for East Lake

My son also got picked to hunt Lower Rio Grande.
Our dates are 11/10-11/12
I've been looking all over for anyone with info or tips about hunting this NWR.
What are your dates fishxbones?
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Old 09-18-2017, 09:54 PM   #7
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We got Dec 15-17
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Old 09-18-2017, 10:02 PM   #8
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My boy killed a nilgai and buck on same hunt last year. My recommendation is to get there a day early and scope out the place. We found 3 potential places to hunt and only hunted the one hunt. We rode bikes with a cart. I would start working out now to make sure your in good shape. Took about 5 hours to quarter them both up and get them about 2 miles back to the truck. I was hurting the next day. Luckily it was 28 degrees that morning. Bring extra tubes, patches, and an air pump.... you will need them. There was no one there with the refuge to greet us and never saw any officials. I will never forget that hunt!
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Old 09-18-2017, 10:04 PM   #9
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http://discussions.texasbowhunter.co...d.php?t=627831
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Old 09-18-2017, 10:27 PM   #10
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Thanks for the info Chad! Unfortunately I cant get there until prob 5pm or so the day before the hunt. We are bringing bikes and a trailer as well. Plan on trying to get a couple hrs scouting in that thursday evening and go from there. Looked at the map and some topo and have some rough ideas. We're both excited for sure! Hopefully its that cold or at least cool while we're there.
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Old 09-19-2017, 09:28 AM   #11
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well since I'm a new member I cant send any PM's yet. I was curious chad where did yall stay while yall were down there last year? and do you about know how many hunters where down there on that tract? and FISHXBONES any tips I have after the hunt ill send your way.
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Old 09-19-2017, 10:42 AM   #12
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Much appreciated quacksmacker!
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Old 09-19-2017, 07:10 PM   #13
Chadhender
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We rented a house off of VRBO on delta lake since I brought my wife, mother and law and smaller kids. (They went to visit family in the area) I think they give 10 permits out for this hunt. I didn't see anyone close to where we were. Most people where close to the parking lot.
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Old 09-21-2017, 11:45 AM   #14
Quacksmacker84
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Last question Chad do we use our tags if we kill something or are tags given out?
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Old 09-21-2017, 12:21 PM   #15
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We use our tags quack
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Old 09-26-2017, 10:33 AM   #16
Dlove
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Fishxbones both my sons drew the 12/15-17 east lake hunt. I would like to keep in touch and maybe we can help each other out down there.
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Old 10-05-2017, 09:48 PM   #17
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Quack I will be at the east lake hunt11-10. If you need some help let me know. I'd be happy to do it
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Old 10-24-2017, 10:11 AM   #18
Old Arrow
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Once again I owe a special member great gratitude for helping me out with some hunting locations. You know who you are! Again much Thanks
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Old 11-09-2017, 05:36 AM   #19
Quacksmacker84
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Old arrow we are headed south right now, will y'all be out there scouting today? My number is 4097954611give me a shout my name is Brant
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Old 11-09-2017, 08:57 AM   #20
Fishxbones
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Good luck quack and arrow. Look forward to some great reports!
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Old 11-09-2017, 04:32 PM   #21
lordvader
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Hope there is plenty of game, and shots are less than 100 yards. LOL.
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Old 11-12-2017, 02:50 PM   #22
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How's the hunt out there? Any luck?

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Old 11-20-2017, 04:45 PM   #23
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Bump....oldarrow,quacksmacker, how did y'all do?
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Old 11-21-2017, 10:50 AM   #24
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I guess it wasn't too exciting, no reports.

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Old 11-21-2017, 11:18 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JackRyan View Post
I guess it wasn't too exciting, no reports.

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It doesn't sound like the east lake or teniente hunts are even worth putting in for. Sad. They ought to just open them up completely for deer season.
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Old 12-13-2017, 08:17 AM   #26
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My son and I will be heading down early tomorrow morning. Hopefully will have a good report but will post regardless.
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Old 12-13-2017, 10:43 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fishxbones View Post
My son and I will be heading down early tomorrow morning. Hopefully will have a good report but will post regardless.
Good luck!

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Old 12-13-2017, 07:32 PM   #28
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Hey fellas new to the texasbowhunter.com as far as posting but have been creeping on here for years, I got drawn for the Feb.9th rifle on east lake and I know this is specifically bowhunting but does anyone have any advice on shooting sticks/bi-pods? Much appreciated!
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Old 12-15-2017, 08:26 PM   #29
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Today was rough. We sat in the rain and wind all day. Nilgai-1/Us-0. Gonna hit it hard again tomorrow. Hoping this rain blows off. We're still havin a good time regardless!
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Old 12-17-2017, 06:37 PM   #30
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Well we hunted hard this weekend and unfortunately didn't bag a nilgai. Still had a great time and got to meet a couple fellow tbh'ers. Dlove's kid did however bag a really nice bull but that is his story to tell. Thanks again for the helpful information shared and learned a lot from this trip. Hopefully my son will be drawn next year and we can try again!
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Old 12-18-2017, 11:38 AM   #31
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Fun hunt. We got lucky and got a nice bull down. Saw a ton of deer could have definitely filled both boys tags on bucks but held out for a bull and it paid off. Sunday morning on our way back in to finish the meat haul we saw a really nice buck but he would not give us a shot. I will say Nilgai are bigger than I thought I weighed a hind quarter when I got home last night 75 lbs on the button. I'm sore from head to toe but had a blast with my family.
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Old 12-18-2017, 12:01 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dlove View Post
Fun hunt. We got lucky and got a nice bull down. Saw a ton of deer could have definitely filled both boys tags on bucks but held out for a bull and it paid off. Sunday morning on our way back in to finish the meat haul we saw a really nice buck but he would not give us a shot. I will say Nilgai are bigger than I thought I weighed a hind quarter when I got home last night 75 lbs on the button. I'm sore from head to toe but had a blast with my family.
Awesome job, that's great stuff! Curious, what round did your son use for the Nilgai?

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Old 12-18-2017, 12:21 PM   #33
Dlove
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7mmSTW stopped him in his tracks. My other son was going to shoot a .284 Win.
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Old 12-19-2017, 08:19 AM   #34
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Nice looking bull
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Old 12-19-2017, 08:27 AM   #35
locknload
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that is one big bull Nilgai
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Old 01-03-2018, 09:58 AM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dlove View Post
Fun hunt. We got lucky and got a nice bull down. Saw a ton of deer could have definitely filled both boys tags on bucks but held out for a bull and it paid off. Sunday morning on our way back in to finish the meat haul we saw a really nice buck but he would not give us a shot. I will say Nilgai are bigger than I thought I weighed a hind quarter when I got home last night 75 lbs on the button. I'm sore from head to toe but had a blast with my family.
Hey man we are going to hunt East Lake this weekend. Any advice you can give us on areas to hunt would be awesome? Congrats on the kill!
Thanks
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Old 01-23-2018, 12:43 PM   #37
ninemile
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dlove View Post
Fun hunt. We got lucky and got a nice bull down. Saw a ton of deer could have definitely filled both boys tags on bucks but held out for a bull and it paid off. Sunday morning on our way back in to finish the meat haul we saw a really nice buck but he would not give us a shot. I will say Nilgai are bigger than I thought I weighed a hind quarter when I got home last night 75 lbs on the button. I'm sore from head to toe but had a blast with my family.
Great job! Beautiful bull
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Old 02-08-2018, 07:20 PM   #38
txhushlife
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Anyone down here hunting for the feb.9th-11th hunt? Hunt starts tomorrow morning bright and early!
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Old 02-12-2018, 02:44 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by txhushlife View Post
Anyone down here hunting for the feb.9th-11th hunt? Hunt starts tomorrow morning bright and early!
How was your hunt?

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Old 02-13-2018, 10:30 AM   #40
Texas_Aggie
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New member here. Just joined yesterday to post on this topic.

I'm heading down Thursday morning for the hunt on 2/16-18. Was wondering if anyone else on here was drawn for this slot.

Would also be interested to hear about txhushlife's experience this past weekend.

Thanks!
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Old 02-14-2018, 09:17 PM   #41
txhushlife
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Ok this will be a long read to bare with me......
I arrived on a Thursday evening and stayed at the holiday inn express in raymondsville. There is absolutely no tent camping anywhere at all. The hotel was nice bout $80 a night which adds up by yourself but within 20 min drive to the refuge and the free breakfast/location was nice. Very weird staying in a hotel and going hunting...

Day 1-I went in with only the knowledge of researching the onxhunt/googlemaps images and planning from there. Very difficult to do because right as you step foot onto the unit and see signs of nilgai on every corner your whole game plan will change. Trust me, lots of sign. Had a very awesome group of hunters draw for the that weekend as everyone was very polite courteous and helpful as well. My first day consisted of trekking around the outside perimeter looking to the inside of the unit trying to get my feel for the place and see what the unit had to offer. I started walking up the east side of the unit working north towards the point running into a few hunters and hearing their morning stories of running into a herd of nilgai towards the point which would be spooked off at 500yds and jump the far fence. I would hang out around the point for an hour to see not as much sign as you would hope and then continue my way on the west side of the unit moving south back towards the lake which there is LOTS of sign of nilgai jumping the fence along that road. Very solid area i would say. I would come about halfway down that road and spook up a cow and bull bedded down and did not have the time to pull off a shot since they immediately ran off into the brush and once these animals take off, there's no stopping them or slowing them down. I would walk about another 500yds towards the end of the road where it would continue back towards the east. Before i get within 200yds of the road i had 2 boars run out in front of me and i would stalk up to within 80yds, i shot one 100lb+ in the high grass that didn't know i was there and after shooting him 2 more boars came charging out onto the road to see what was going on where i would take another down that was easily 150lb+. The 3rd would run off into the brush and kept making charges on the other side of the fence which got nerve racking for about 10 minutes until he finally went a different direction. I would've shot had he been on the right side of the fence...! I also heard a lot of other pigs off in the distance but seeing as i only had to 2 more bullets....i would turn around and head back north on the same west side of the unit. Walked about 200yds behind a lynx which came out on the road and did not know i was walking behind it. Very cool to see and yes it was a lynx...white bushy tail, black tips on ears, solid grey, and very big! I would walk all the way back around the unit and on the east side i came up behind a group of 3 hunters. Which were not at the most talkative moment as they were packing out 2...yes 2 huge nilgai at one time. Very impressive. They looked absolutely beat and i offered the help, but these guys were going to take it all the way. I would head to the parking lot for a lunch break and saw the 3 hunters come walking into the lot with their trophy prize and the laughter and smiles were only something every hunter would love to experience with the relief of the pack out being over and the accomplishment they had just finished. Little did i know until day 3 of where they packed it out from....it was very deep in there. I continued back out going to the west side of the unit starting from the lot and wanted to take myself to the ''salt lake,'' and see what that was all about. I would run into lots more sign of scat piles and some very larger more fresh piles which was very tempting not to sit that road. I finally get to the lake on the calmest day which the lake was glassed over, very surreal moment and awesome memory. I spend about an hour out there taking pictures and taking in the view and across the lake towards the east i can see bull nilgai running along the beach. I put my scope on them to realize there were 7 very nice looking bulls almost playing along the lake. And as i move around to think they might come my way they suddenly stop and as if all of them are looking at me at least 600-700yds away. Very remarkable and this isn't the first time this has happened to me with these animals. The bulls would then run east towards the tree line and disappear. I slowly make my way back to the truck on the same route i came in on to see no more action for the day. The first day was very exciting, while the next 2 days become very slow and no so much excitement. I trekked 11.02 miles that day on foot.

Day-2 Waking up to day 2 sore as could be and legs stiff as a board would hinder me on success that day as i chose to sit the lake on the south side in a spot where i saw the 7 bulls the evening before running across. Very great set up as i had 140yd shot across and could see up and down the tree line and there were tracks everywhere! I sat for roughly 5 hours only seeing 2 coyotes and couldn't stand to sit any longer. I would pack up and march north across the opening and along the east side of the lake seeing even more sign of tracks and scat! I walked all the way down until i got to the road that runs east to west that leads from the perimeter to the lake. The wind picked up heavily and so did the temperature as it rose to 82 degrees and windy. I would go down the road slowly taking my time and being as quiet as possible not to spook anything out of the bushes in front of me. No luck. I get to the end of the road and head north and go about halfway between the point and the lake road to where the trees open up more and sit an area with positive sign but no nilgai would show face that day at all. I get back to the parking lot and hear the news from the other hunters as everyone had a rough day of no siting's except whitetail. One hunter told of the only encounter anyone had all day where he stepped out amongst the brush line and looked to his right to see a whole herd of nilgai jumping and running away that he spooked, which he tried to run and cut off which was a failed but worthy attempt. These animals run like Forrest Gump once their spooked. Another set of hunters which would be 2 brothers, one brother would sit the large watering hole on the unit on the east side for 2 days straight and see nothing but whitetail. Day 2 would be a dud overall. I would trek 8.75 miles that day.


Day-3 The last chance of chances, the day was predicting %80 rain all week and a cold front moving in which we lucked out and got 0 rain but the cold front would move in around 10:30am. The mindset i had going into day 3 was no matter what i have to find out where they were bedding down as day 3 was going to be a windy day as well! I start off just like day 1 moving north on the east side of the perimeter and catching the wind picking up i decide to move into the brush and try to stir one up that might be bedded down. I would have walked over coals barefoot to find out where they were bedding down. I turn around just before entering the bush to see one of the 3 hunters from day 1 pushing a game cart. They would slam a 3rd! Another bull down for the group of 3 which story goes, they were going to walk down the lake road and there was a bull 330yds away which they would successfully take down and completely make the pack out look much easier to the 2 bull day they had. One of the hunters would call me over and give me some advice on where he would suggest they might be bedding up along the lake road which of course...im going to take that advice...who wouldn't when these guys were slaying nilgai like Beowulf slayed dragons. I feel embarrassed i cant remember their names but i know they are TBH accounts and were very kind and gracious enough to attempt to help out another hunter. I wish them all the best of luck even though it seems they don't any!! I continued down the lake road taking my time again and ending up on the lake where i would go north along the beach and checking everyonce in awhile along the high dune walls to see what the area looked like. I would trek all over the lake area seeing signs, trails, and scat and end up in the cove along the north east side of the lake. Inside the cove on the more northern side you will see a cut in it which has a very small watering hole with a lot of tracks over a little hill. You would have to walk in there to see the watering hole. I went through every little cut in that cove looking for tracks or anything to draw me in further. I sat for about 20 minutes on the east side of the cove looking at maps to figure a plan or possibility of where they could be bedded as it was getting colder and more windy as the day drew on. I decided to cut right through the middle of the unit heading north and eventually curving out to the NE/E. Spooked up a lot of whitetail and came across good game trails and some fresh scat and wanted to sit on the trail. Well that sit last around 45 minutes as the temperature dropped to around 50 degrees and i had no jacket or beanie and it started misting. Turned into a race to get back to the truck and get some warm clothes on as i wasn't going to give up that easy. I make it back to the truck, warm clothes, lunch, lighten pack, and plan to push towards the west side of the unit along the south fence line which i had not gone down that road and man would i be shocked. The wind was blowing from the north and the temperature dropped to around 45 degrees, the south side of the unit along the fence line would have the freshest sign of nilgai i had seen within all 3 days. The wind would be mostly blocked by the trees and heavy brush. The nilgai sign was showing they would jump back and forth over the south side fence to hang out on the oil well lands. I walked down the whole south side just gawking at all the sign i had missed out on all up until 3pm on the last day of hunting which i felt i had no time to sit. I made my way all the way down and coming to a creek which turned north and had some really cool area in there i loved stalking around in, really wish i had come across a nilgai in that area, lots and lots and lots of sign. I made my way through that area to the another road which ran east to west and had a lot of good sign on it as well! Fresh, very fresh sign. I took a left and hooked back around to the south end of road i was originally on and looked down it to see what i thought at first was a small cow nilgai. I ripped my orange off behind a tree, tripped over a stick, and had my gopro beeping of low battery. I was a mess but was so exciting to see this in my sight. As i started stalking the tree line hugging it as tight as i could the ''cow,'' did not know i was coming! I got within 300yds of it and put my scope to my eye to realize...it was just a really heavy South Texas buck. The disappointment was hard but the excitement running through me that whole time was well worth it. I started back on the road running east to west, heading towards the west i took that road all the way back around nearly to the parking lot. Ran into a father and son hunting that evening and explained the adventures of the day as i thought i was out there all alone since roughly 11am that day. I would then out of desperation just bulldoze through the brush and tall grass and thinking of possibly even checking under rocks to see where in the hell they were!!! Made my way back to the lake and looked around the area for fresh sign, and would go up to another road leading to the lake which ties in to the huge cut on the east side of the lake. Still no sightings. I slowly, very slowly make my way back to the truck rethinking my every move over the last 3 days, questioning regretful decisions, sits i should've made vs sits i shouldn't have done. Very frustrating, yet humbling experience. These animals are very, very smart and their abilities to see, smell, hear, and have the awareness is what makes them so difficult and yet rewarding to hunt. This day i would hike a whopping 17.15 miles in 45 degree weather. Desperate times calls for desperate measures. My onx maps tracking looks ridiculous as i say i covered every square inch of that unit yet could not find them out there. They are out there, and there is a herd of them, as well as a bachelor party of bulls running around. I am very excited for the hunters getting the chance to go out there and hopefully the knowledge of the unit i told will help someone be successful. If anyone has any more specific questions feel free to ask and i will tell. I love seeing hunters success over failure even though failure in a lot of situations only leads to future success! Keep hammering and don't give up out there.

ps- i saw no rattlesnakes thank god.

Last edited by txhushlife; 02-14-2018 at 09:28 PM.
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Old 02-14-2018, 11:10 PM   #42
Texas_Aggie
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Thanks for the update. Heading down tomorrow morning and will do a bit of scouting tomorrow afternoon. Iíd be lying if I told you I wasnít excited! Hope I have the good luck of not seeing any snakes either. With the weather warming up Iím not so sure...

Any idea how many hunters were out there with you?
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Old 02-15-2018, 08:23 AM   #43
Brown E
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I am heading to Teniente tomorrow. I spent a few days walking around it and checking cameras. Excited.
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Old 02-15-2018, 08:32 AM   #44
Texantax
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brown E View Post
I am heading to Teniente tomorrow. I spent a few days walking around it and checking cameras. Excited.
Let is know how you do! We are on the hunt next week
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Old 02-15-2018, 07:51 PM   #45
Texas_Aggie
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Hiked about 5 miles through East Lake this afternoon. Saw some feral hogs, javelinas, and lots of deer. Didnít see any Nilgai, but saw lots of Nilgai poop. Found 3-4 spots that could be promising based on how fresh we estimated it to be.
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Old 02-15-2018, 08:38 PM   #46
txhushlife
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Best advice I could give is, if it's a really windy day go into the brush, if it's super calm and cool they'll be on the move
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Old 02-24-2018, 11:43 AM   #47
txhushlife
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How did everyone do last weekend?
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Old 02-24-2018, 11:51 AM   #48
Bryan2014
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You sure it wasn't a bobcat? Lynx aren't that far south
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Old 02-24-2018, 12:19 PM   #49
txhushlife
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Pretty positive, it dwfinetly wasn't an ocelot and it was pretty solid colored...I've never seen a bobcat that was that solid and BIG! Not saying it couldn't have been but I was definetly interested and stalked it for as long as i could. Wish I had a phone skope and couldve had a good picture to share.
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Old 02-24-2018, 12:22 PM   #50
Brown E
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I would never say the person is wrong because anything is possible. I have seen some pretty big bobcats down here even with pointy ears.
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