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Old 12-01-2014, 03:58 PM   #1
Muzzy100
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Default Garner State Park Axis Deer Hunting??

Me and some fellow TBHers got drawn for an Axis deer hunt for three days in mid January. Wondering if anyone has hunted out there, curious to know what to expect. Any tips or suggestions for a garner newbie.

Thanks

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Old 12-02-2014, 04:51 AM   #2
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Ttt
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Old 12-02-2014, 06:51 AM   #3
jdeleon
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i camp there 2 times a year for past 12 years or so i can tell you there are some big big axis there. im not sure how the hunts work because the deer at garner are pretty used to people being around. you cant pet them but we had a big axis come up to our camp to at least 20yrds while we were having breakfast.
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Old 12-03-2014, 06:38 AM   #4
Muzzy100
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I hope the hunt is successful my understanding is you are out in assigned blinds with assigned shooting lanes so not really sure what to expect.
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Old 12-03-2014, 07:14 AM   #5
Palmetto
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My dad and his buddy put in and got drawn a couple years ago. They said they would never go back. His buddy shot an axis, but overall they werent impressed with the "expericence"......if you will. LOL.

One instance I remember them telling me was the park had one of their "snow bird" campers ferrying people around to blinds in the back of a pickup.
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Old 12-04-2014, 08:04 PM   #6
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That is likely what I have heard is something similar to this
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Old 12-05-2014, 07:49 PM   #7
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I would have figured more tbhers had attended this hunt!
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Old 12-05-2014, 10:08 PM   #8
Huntindad
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I hunted there once, but wont do it again. They will take you to your blind(blind is a loose term). You have shooting lanes cause there is other folks close by shooting in a different direction. they will drive by at set intervals. You catch a ride or stay out till the next run.
If you shoot something and it runs off...can not track it. Gotta wait till they come get you. Gut the deer at the makeshift cleaning area full of wood chips. After the hunt they scrape it all up and leave no trace of the hunters. I may have a picture of their blind set up if you would like.
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Old 12-05-2014, 10:46 PM   #9
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I think this is the way a lot of state park hunts go.

I have been on 2 this year and they were similar. I will still go back, my son had a blast and it was good practice for him and he got up close to the deer, even though the are semi tame.

I look at these as a meat hunt.
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Old 12-07-2014, 06:53 AM   #10
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I hunted there once, but wont do it again. They will take you to your blind(blind is a loose term). You have shooting lanes cause there is other folks close by shooting in a different direction. they will drive by at set intervals. You catch a ride or stay out till the next run.
If you shoot something and it runs off...can not track it. Gotta wait till they come get you. Gut the deer at the makeshift cleaning area full of wood chips. After the hunt they scrape it all up and leave no trace of the hunters. I may have a picture of their blind set up if you would like.
Where you successful in the hunt? What did you see?
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Old 12-07-2014, 07:18 PM   #11
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My son did shoot a small axis buck when we there on a youth hunt. Take a comfortable chair to sit in.
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Old 12-08-2014, 12:47 AM   #12
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Cool thx for the info
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Old 12-08-2014, 09:04 AM   #13
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My son won the youth axis hunt a couple of years ago and was Super excited. I have nothing but great things to say about the TPWD public hunt program when people ask and I frequently email TPWD after hunts to let them know what a great program they have. I have been on over 15 youth/adult public hunts in the last 14 years and have enjoyed them immensely, met some great people and been treated to a great experience by TPWD staff. I truly appreciate the time and sacrifice the park staff endures and I love the opportunity to hunt different parts of the staff and IF LUCKY, manage to harvest something.

BUT if I was ranking all the hunts, the Garner hunt would be at the very bottom. Pretty sad because this is an awesome opportunity for some people to harvest their first (and only) exotic. Just a quick summary. The orientation started with the Park Superintendent telling us how HIS park is the highest revenue-grossing park in the state and that they LOSE a lot of money holding these public hunts. Next he spent some time talking about having to use funds to purchase new pop up stands and shooting platforms. Then he mentioned how his "volunteers" are limited to the number of hours they can work and that this hunt cut into projects they could be helping on. Also we were originally told since it was a weekend hunt only, we would be able to hunt Saturday afternoon and ALL day Sunday. Unfortunately during orientation we were told they were ending the hunt on Sunday at noon so they could be ready for visitors first thing Monday morning.

Then the hunt began and we were loaded in a truck and driven to our stands. We actually drew a very desirable stand near the entrance road where I had seen a lot of axis in the past. Well, we are walked to our blind and shown 2 trees directly in front of the stand with flagging tape on them. Told we could ONLY shoot between those 2 trees. I understood the reasoning but they basically gave us about a 35 degree window to shoot through. Of course, my son and I saw about a dozen different axis (some within 40 yds) but naturally, none went through our shooting window even though we threw out corn and chaffee (sp?) hay. I believe only 1 axis was harvested that hunt.

Don't mean to put a "downer" on your upcoming hunt. The park is loaded with axis and you may be successful. It is a beautiful park and I got to spend a weekend with my teenage son (which is huge) but the experience was much different than what I usually experience on TPWD hunts. It's funny because last year I hunted at Inks Lake and the Superintendent asked me if I had hunted anywhere else and I mentioned Garner. He made a funny face, mentioned the Park Supers name and wondered how my "experience" was there. I guess word gets around

Best of luck and hopefully your experience is better.
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Old 12-08-2014, 03:48 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by WinslowBoy View Post
My son won the youth axis hunt a couple of years ago and was Super excited. I have nothing but great things to say about the TPWD public hunt program when people ask and I frequently email TPWD after hunts to let them know what a great program they have. I have been on over 15 youth/adult public hunts in the last 14 years and have enjoyed them immensely, met some great people and been treated to a great experience by TPWD staff. I truly appreciate the time and sacrifice the park staff endures and I love the opportunity to hunt different parts of the staff and IF LUCKY, manage to harvest something.

BUT if I was ranking all the hunts, the Garner hunt would be at the very bottom. Pretty sad because this is an awesome opportunity for some people to harvest their first (and only) exotic. Just a quick summary. The orientation started with the Park Superintendent telling us how HIS park is the highest revenue-grossing park in the state and that they LOSE a lot of money holding these public hunts. Next he spent some time talking about having to use funds to purchase new pop up stands and shooting platforms. Then he mentioned how his "volunteers" are limited to the number of hours they can work and that this hunt cut into projects they could be helping on. Also we were originally told since it was a weekend hunt only, we would be able to hunt Saturday afternoon and ALL day Sunday. Unfortunately during orientation we were told they were ending the hunt on Sunday at noon so they could be ready for visitors first thing Monday morning.

Then the hunt began and we were loaded in a truck and driven to our stands. We actually drew a very desirable stand near the entrance road where I had seen a lot of axis in the past. Well, we are walked to our blind and shown 2 trees directly in front of the stand with flagging tape on them. Told we could ONLY shoot between those 2 trees. I understood the reasoning but they basically gave us about a 35 degree window to shoot through. Of course, my son and I saw about a dozen different axis (some within 40 yds) but naturally, none went through our shooting window even though we threw out corn and chaffee (sp?) hay. I believe only 1 axis was harvested that hunt.

Don't mean to put a "downer" on your upcoming hunt. The park is loaded with axis and you may be successful. It is a beautiful park and I got to spend a weekend with my teenage son (which is huge) but the experience was much different than what I usually experience on TPWD hunts. It's funny because last year I hunted at Inks Lake and the Superintendent asked me if I had hunted anywhere else and I mentioned Garner. He made a funny face, mentioned the Park Supers name and wondered how my "experience" was there. I guess word gets around

Best of luck and hopefully your experience is better.
Wow, that's crazy. I went on a hunt at Enchanted Rock and it was great, the staff was awsome.
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Old 12-08-2014, 04:06 PM   #15
JHR_OBU13
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good luck!
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Old 12-08-2014, 07:43 PM   #16
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Wow, that's crazy. I went on a hunt at Enchanted Rock and it was great, the staff was awsome.
Ungawa, I've been on a bunch of Public Hunts over the years and every one was outstanding. This was the only hunt where the staff seemed a little more interested in park revenues and less about hunter satisfaction. Almost got the feeling we were an "inconvenience". I've been on 3 youth hunts this year with my boys and they were great. Great staff, had 2 of the hunts where they even cooked lunch for the kids.
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Old 12-08-2014, 07:51 PM   #17
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when are apps taken for these state park bow hunts? on;ine or by mail?
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Old 12-08-2014, 09:12 PM   #18
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when are apps taken for these state park bow hunts? on;ine or by mail?
These are part of the TP&W draw hunts that start in the summer. Everything is online.

You can go online and see all of the hunts that were available and the stats. It's under the Public Hunting area on their website
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Old 12-10-2014, 10:31 PM   #19
Muzzy100
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WinslowBoy View Post
My son won the youth axis hunt a couple of years ago and was Super excited. I have nothing but great things to say about the TPWD public hunt program when people ask and I frequently email TPWD after hunts to let them know what a great program they have. I have been on over 15 youth/adult public hunts in the last 14 years and have enjoyed them immensely, met some great people and been treated to a great experience by TPWD staff. I truly appreciate the time and sacrifice the park staff endures and I love the opportunity to hunt different parts of the staff and IF LUCKY, manage to harvest something.

BUT if I was ranking all the hunts, the Garner hunt would be at the very bottom. Pretty sad because this is an awesome opportunity for some people to harvest their first (and only) exotic. Just a quick summary. The orientation started with the Park Superintendent telling us how HIS park is the highest revenue-grossing park in the state and that they LOSE a lot of money holding these public hunts. Next he spent some time talking about having to use funds to purchase new pop up stands and shooting platforms. Then he mentioned how his "volunteers" are limited to the number of hours they can work and that this hunt cut into projects they could be helping on. Also we were originally told since it was a weekend hunt only, we would be able to hunt Saturday afternoon and ALL day Sunday. Unfortunately during orientation we were told they were ending the hunt on Sunday at noon so they could be ready for visitors first thing Monday morning.

Then the hunt began and we were loaded in a truck and driven to our stands. We actually drew a very desirable stand near the entrance road where I had seen a lot of axis in the past. Well, we are walked to our blind and shown 2 trees directly in front of the stand with flagging tape on them. Told we could ONLY shoot between those 2 trees. I understood the reasoning but they basically gave us about a 35 degree window to shoot through. Of course, my son and I saw about a dozen different axis (some within 40 yds) but naturally, none went through our shooting window even though we threw out corn and chaffee (sp?) hay. I believe only 1 axis was harvested that hunt.

Don't mean to put a "downer" on your upcoming hunt. The park is loaded with axis and you may be successful. It is a beautiful park and I got to spend a weekend with my teenage son (which is huge) but the experience was much different than what I usually experience on TPWD hunts. It's funny because last year I hunted at Inks Lake and the Superintendent asked me if I had hunted anywhere else and I mentioned Garner. He made a funny face, mentioned the Park Supers name and wondered how my "experience" was there. I guess word gets around

Best of luck and hopefully your experience is better.
Thanks for the write up I appreciate your time
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Old 12-10-2014, 10:54 PM   #20
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My son got drawn the first weekend in January on a youth hunt. I will give you a report when we get back if you want?
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Old 12-11-2014, 12:02 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WinslowBoy View Post
My son won the youth axis hunt a couple of years ago and was Super excited. I have nothing but great things to say about the TPWD public hunt program when people ask and I frequently email TPWD after hunts to let them know what a great program they have. I have been on over 15 youth/adult public hunts in the last 14 years and have enjoyed them immensely, met some great people and been treated to a great experience by TPWD staff. I truly appreciate the time and sacrifice the park staff endures and I love the opportunity to hunt different parts of the staff and IF LUCKY, manage to harvest something.

BUT if I was ranking all the hunts, the Garner hunt would be at the very bottom. Pretty sad because this is an awesome opportunity for some people to harvest their first (and only) exotic. Just a quick summary. The orientation started with the Park Superintendent telling us how HIS park is the highest revenue-grossing park in the state and that they LOSE a lot of money holding these public hunts. Next he spent some time talking about having to use funds to purchase new pop up stands and shooting platforms. Then he mentioned how his "volunteers" are limited to the number of hours they can work and that this hunt cut into projects they could be helping on. Also we were originally told since it was a weekend hunt only, we would be able to hunt Saturday afternoon and ALL day Sunday. Unfortunately during orientation we were told they were ending the hunt on Sunday at noon so they could be ready for visitors first thing Monday morning.

Then the hunt began and we were loaded in a truck and driven to our stands. We actually drew a very desirable stand near the entrance road where I had seen a lot of axis in the past. Well, we are walked to our blind and shown 2 trees directly in front of the stand with flagging tape on them. Told we could ONLY shoot between those 2 trees. I understood the reasoning but they basically gave us about a 35 degree window to shoot through. Of course, my son and I saw about a dozen different axis (some within 40 yds) but naturally, none went through our shooting window even though we threw out corn and chaffee (sp?) hay. I believe only 1 axis was harvested that hunt.

Don't mean to put a "downer" on your upcoming hunt. The park is loaded with axis and you may be successful. It is a beautiful park and I got to spend a weekend with my teenage son (which is huge) but the experience was much different than what I usually experience on TPWD hunts. It's funny because last year I hunted at Inks Lake and the Superintendent asked me if I had hunted anywhere else and I mentioned Garner. He made a funny face, mentioned the Park Supers name and wondered how my "experience" was there. I guess word gets around

Best of luck and hopefully your experience is better.
There has got to be a way to call that in. I wouldn't let that **** poor treatment slide, it is their job to ensure all visitors to the park enjoy their stay.
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Old 12-11-2014, 05:04 AM   #22
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My son got drawn the first weekend in January on a youth hunt. I will give you a report when we get back if you want?
yea absolutely any advise or tips you learn along the way just curious what to expect from the whole ordeal.
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Old 12-11-2014, 05:09 AM   #23
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There has got to be a way to call that in. I wouldn't let that **** poor treatment slide, it is their job to ensure all visitors to the park enjoy their stay.
I certainly agree that if there are major issues I would voice my concern to TPWD because at the end of the day tax money and the purchase of license and such funds this and everyone should get to enjoy it. I will attend the hunt and write up a report on how it goes.
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Old 12-11-2014, 10:25 AM   #24
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There has got to be a way to call that in. I wouldn't let that **** poor treatment slide, it is their job to ensure all visitors to the park enjoy their stay.
First off, I don't want you to think we had a TERRIBLE experience. It was just much different than we experienced on other TPWD hunts. Axis are plentiful and they try to group the stands in the areas where they hang out. In doing so, they limit your shooting areas/options. Also had a great weekend in the stand with my teenager. I understand it is their park and their rules so I am thankful for the opportunity.

I did send an email to the TPWD Public Hunt program after this hunt. Was very PC but did mention the fact that it seemed like the Superintendent was NOT real excited about holding the hunts at his park. A little disheartening especially for the kids to hear. Maybe things have changed a little in the last 2 years.

I think this overall program is awesome and generally share that opinion with TPWD after each hunt we've been drawn for. My FIL lives in Illinois around Chicago and the County pays a sharpshooter ($100K) to cull deer from the county preserve lands. The local bowhunting groups are frustrated but the county won't budge because of perceived liability and "cruelty" issues. Glad I live in Texas where they let ethical hunters do the management for them. I truly hope they continue to keep this as a successful and affordable option for Texas hunters. I am on a deer lease but love "playing the lottery" every year to see if myself or kids can get drawn to hunt different parts of the state.

Muzzy, hope you knock em down on this hunt!!!! That park is covered up in them.
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Old 12-12-2014, 01:53 PM   #25
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Thanks ill let y'all know how it goes
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Old 12-14-2014, 09:47 AM   #26
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As always good information.
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Old 01-03-2015, 11:09 AM   #27
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My son got drawn the first weekend in January on a youth hunt. I will give you a report when we get back if you want?
Good luck this weekend! Looking forward to your report.
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Old 01-03-2015, 04:41 PM   #28
BVM
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We will be there. My daughter and myself. Will let ya'll know how it goes after that hunt. It is the last hunt I believe of the season. Leave a few for us.
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Old 01-03-2015, 04:43 PM   #29
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Lucky dogs. Good luck and keep us posted.
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Old 01-05-2015, 11:31 AM   #30
daved270
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Well me and my son got back from hunting Garner. We had a great time! We stayed in the park in a screened in shelter. It had a picnic table and fire ring at every campsite. (bring firewood if you want a fire) They have a bathroom and shower facility in between all the campsites. It is different from any of the hunts we have been on. The park staff do load you up in trucks and take you to your assigned blind ( which are popup blinds so bring some shooting sticks and a different chair if you want). They have put out corn feeders at every blind this year which is the first time for this. Bring some alfalfa hay to keep the Axis around a little longer because they clean out the feeders quick. This was a Whitetail and Axis hunt but really wanted you just to shoot the Axis because the Whitetail numbers are low.( I'm guessing do to the Axis running them out). We only saw four Whitetail the whole time we were there. My son ended up taking 5 axis on the hunt 4 doe and 1 spike. That being said he could have shot many more if we had freezer space! All in all it was a successful hunt with a lot of memories that me and my son will never forget! If anyone has any questions just ask me and i will try and answer them.
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Old 01-05-2015, 04:06 PM   #31
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Wow awesome! Congrats!
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Old 01-05-2015, 05:14 PM   #32
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There has got to be a way to call that in. I wouldn't let that **** poor treatment slide, it is their job to ensure all visitors to the park enjoy their stay.
I agree. Most of the feedback I hear about these hunts are very positive. Sounds like Garner has a knucklehead running the show.
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Old 01-05-2015, 05:15 PM   #33
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Well me and my son got back from hunting Garner. We had a great time! We stayed in the park in a screened in shelter. It had a picnic table and fire ring at every campsite. (bring firewood if you want a fire) They have a bathroom and shower facility in between all the campsites. It is different from any of the hunts we have been on. The park staff do load you up in trucks and take you to your assigned blind ( which are popup blinds so bring some shooting sticks and a different chair if you want). They have put out corn feeders at every blind this year which is the first time for this. Bring some alfalfa hay to keep the Axis around a little longer because they clean out the feeders quick. This was a Whitetail and Axis hunt but really wanted you just to shoot the Axis because the Whitetail numbers are low.( I'm guessing do to the Axis running them out). We only saw four Whitetail the whole time we were there. My son ended up taking 5 axis on the hunt 4 doe and 1 spike. That being said he could have shot many more if we had freezer space! All in all it was a successful hunt with a lot of memories that me and my son will never forget! If anyone has any questions just ask me and i will try and answer them.
Thats awesome!! Sounds like you on the boy had a blast, glad to hear!!
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Old 01-05-2015, 07:43 PM   #34
tazhunter0
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Was this a gun or archery hunt? Might want to put in next year with my daughter.
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Old 01-05-2015, 07:46 PM   #35
Msgreenga
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Sounds like a good hunt
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Old 01-08-2015, 01:46 PM   #36
BVM
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Default Axis Alfalfa

Is there a place in the area to get alfalfa or do you need to bring it along with you?
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Old 01-08-2015, 06:38 PM   #37
daved270
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Not to sure we brought ours. Should be a place in Leakey to get it.
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Old 01-09-2015, 01:41 AM   #38
Muzzy100
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Sweet I am going next week super excited
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Old 01-09-2015, 08:08 AM   #39
WinslowBoy
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Location: The Woodlands, TX
Hunt In: Trinity County, TPWD Public Hunts
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Originally Posted by BVM View Post
Is there a place in the area to get alfalfa or do you need to bring it along with you?
Can't remember the name but there is a feed store in Leakey that has it. On the south side of town right as you get to town. On west side of road. When we hunted there, the staff recommended the "chaff" hay which has molasses. SAid they axis really like that.
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Old 01-09-2015, 09:11 AM   #40
daved270
Four Point
 
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Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Wichita Falls
Hunt In: Throckmorton
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Originally Posted by WinslowBoy View Post
Can't remember the name but there is a feed store in Leakey that has it. On the south side of town right as you get to town. On west side of road. When we hunted there, the staff recommended the "chaff" hay which has molasses. SAid they axis really like that.
A lot of people had this.
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Old 01-09-2015, 09:13 AM   #41
JMcCullough
Eight Point
 
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Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Deweyville
Hunt In: Texas, Kansas
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Sounds like it worked out very well. Congrats to you and your son on the successful harvest.
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Old 01-09-2015, 03:10 PM   #42
daved270
Four Point
 
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Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Wichita Falls
Hunt In: Throckmorton
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Thank you! It was a great time!
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Old 01-09-2015, 03:13 PM   #43
npe001
Ten Point
 
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Join Date: May 2012
Location: Tomball, Texas
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Well me and my son got back from hunting Garner. We had a great time! We stayed in the park in a screened in shelter. It had a picnic table and fire ring at every campsite. (bring firewood if you want a fire) They have a bathroom and shower facility in between all the campsites. It is different from any of the hunts we have been on. The park staff do load you up in trucks and take you to your assigned blind ( which are popup blinds so bring some shooting sticks and a different chair if you want). They have put out corn feeders at every blind this year which is the first time for this. Bring some alfalfa hay to keep the Axis around a little longer because they clean out the feeders quick. This was a Whitetail and Axis hunt but really wanted you just to shoot the Axis because the Whitetail numbers are low.( I'm guessing do to the Axis running them out). We only saw four Whitetail the whole time we were there. My son ended up taking 5 axis on the hunt 4 doe and 1 spike. That being said he could have shot many more if we had freezer space! All in all it was a successful hunt with a lot of memories that me and my son will never forget! If anyone has any questions just ask me and i will try and answer them.
Wow that is awesome! Great to hear
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Old 01-12-2015, 12:29 AM   #44
TXFireFighter
Ten Point
 
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Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Round Rock
Hunt In: TX HillCountry, Granger WMA
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Do the screened shelters have electricity/water?
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Old 01-12-2015, 11:20 AM   #45
daved270
Four Point
 
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Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Wichita Falls
Hunt In: Throckmorton
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Do the screened shelters have electricity/water?

Yes
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Old 01-12-2015, 11:38 AM   #46
ShawnG
Ten Point
 
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Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Abilene
Hunt In: Callahan County
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Congrats and good to hear!!
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Old 01-12-2015, 04:49 PM   #47
Muzzy100
Ten Point
 
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Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Texas
Hunt In: All Over All The Time
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We are here sitting in the blinds now ill post up how it's going. So far orientation was clear they are only doing the hunts because they have to dosnt seem like the staff is to thrilled to put on the hunt. With that being said the view is awesome and I am out with a good group of friends so I am having a good time. As others have stated you draw blinds and are taken to them you must stay in your blind and shoot only within preset shooting lanes. I can see and shoot out of three sides front being at 66 yds, immediate right being a max of 200 and to the left being max of 300. More updates to follow.
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Old 01-12-2015, 04:57 PM   #48
flynavy22
Four Point
 
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Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Denton, TX
Hunt In: Ohio,Buffalo, TX;Childress, TX;Freer, Tx
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following
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Old 01-12-2015, 05:18 PM   #49
Mr. Whiskers
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Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Magnolia, Tx
Hunt In: South Texas
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Best of luck
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Old 01-12-2015, 05:37 PM   #50
Dan T
Six Point
 
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Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Round Rock
Hunt In: Burnet County (Joppa)
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Following
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