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Old 07-12-2018, 04:33 PM   #1
Kirby86
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Default Protecting Public Land Hunting Rights in Texas - a Corp of Engineer land discussion

What issues are prohibiting or inhibiting your access to hunt Corp of Engineer managed properties near you?

Last year I posted asking questions about what exactly protected our public land hunting rights in Texas. That post and the discussions involved can be found here
http://discussions.texasbowhunter.co...d.php?t=632493

But with that said, there are many different types of management going on in the state of Texas currently, those mostly being national forest service, Texas Parks and wildlife and Corp of Engineers. Iím sure there are others such as BLM.


Thankfully, Backcountry Hunters and Anglers has a Texas chapter that has taken an active role in stepping up to help address some of these challenges. I can directly link my first Public land turkey this May to some of their efforts because without BHA, a spring turkey hunt never wouldíve been allowed in one particular area.

I have had the chance to talk to a few people involved with BHA and one of the strategies they want to focus on (for the time being) is what exactly is inhibiting access to hunting on the Corp of Engineer properties you hunt.

So in the interest of this post, please keep this discussion centered on Corp of Engineer properties.

I know for example some of the ones I have mentioned are:

- Lake Lavon deer hunting/cancelling hog hunting during deer season
- limiting or closing off certain CoE areas to hunting (IE: hog only areas, areas near new development)
- Outdated practices for picking up permits in person or via mail rather than electronically when they have inconvenient weekly hours

Please post the issues facing your areas, ESPECIALLY if you feel that they have not been addressed. The main focus for BHA is access to hunting land, especially when you consider that lack of access is the number one reason for people not hunting or preventing new hunter recruitment.

Thank you for all your comments and questions!
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Old 07-12-2018, 05:45 PM   #2
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Iíve never understood why parts of stillhouse lake under COE control that had hog problems and tons of deer were not open to selective hunting instead of birds only.


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Old 07-12-2018, 09:40 PM   #3
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Can you bowhunt the area around lake Texoma on the OK line?


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Old 07-12-2018, 09:40 PM   #4
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If so, are any permits needed?


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Old 07-12-2018, 10:02 PM   #5
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Can you bowhunt the area around lake Texoma on the OK line?


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No permits needed. Just be aware of your county regulations as they can be differ by county.

Any other areas that donít allow hunting? I forgot to mention Lewisville only allowing a wounded warrior hunt and Ray Roberts being hog only.
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Old 07-12-2018, 10:18 PM   #6
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Lake Somerville. There are some waterfowl opportunities, Nails Creek and Yegua are accessible by APH. But they control a lot of additional land with deer and pigs that is closed to public hunting.

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Old 07-12-2018, 10:19 PM   #7
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No permits needed. Just be aware of your county regulations as they can be differ by county.

Any other areas that donít allow hunting? I forgot to mention Lewisville only allowing a wounded warrior hunt and Ray Roberts being hog only.


So if I wanted to drive up and bowhunt what county would be most accessible?


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Old 07-13-2018, 12:12 AM   #8
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I’ve never understood why parts of stillhouse lake under COE control that had hog problems and tons of deer were not open to selective hunting instead of birds only.


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Its the people that live on the land bordering the corp land, they don't want deer hunters, it has nothing to do about the biologist saying the deer population can't sustain it, same reason grangers draw is limited more than it has to be. You can throw Belton in there too, there is corp land that deer hunting is not allowed but you can hunt the fort hood property that borders belton. Anyone who drives through morgan point can tell they have a deer overpopulation issue.

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Old 07-13-2018, 12:13 AM   #9
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Default Protecting Public Land Hunting Rights in Texas - a Corp of Engineer land discussion

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So if I wanted to drive up and bowhunt what county would be most accessible?


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No offense but telling folks where to go hunting is not really the intent of this post. There is a lot of information readily available if youíre willing to do the research. I would highly recommend looking at OnX maps which will give you public land areas and boundaries to private.

The focus is more on places that are restricted, specifically those being Corp of Engineer property. Corp of Engineer property can choose to allow or not allow hunting solely based on the sentiments of the Corp office manager, be they pro or anti-hunting.

Hopefully this can help to compile a list of properties and increase overall access to places that are currently closed to public land hunting.

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Old 07-13-2018, 06:21 AM   #10
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No offense but telling folks where to go hunting is not really the intent of this post. There is a lot of information readily available if youíre willing to do the research. I would highly recommend looking at OnX maps which will give you public land areas and boundaries to private.

The focus is more on places that are restricted, specifically those being Corp of Engineer property. Corp of Engineer property can choose to allow or not allow hunting solely based on the sentiments of the Corp office manager, be they pro or anti-hunting.

Hopefully this can help to compile a list of properties and increase overall access to places that are currently closed to public land hunting.


Yeah I did some research thatís how I reached the point of even being able to hunt up there. I can tell from the vague wording of what I read Iíll have to make thirty phone calls to have a five minutes conversation about hunting on those properties in what counties. This county to county change up on the same tract of public land is ridiculous.


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Old 07-13-2018, 07:55 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kirby86 View Post
No offense but telling folks where to go hunting is not really the intent of this post. There is a lot of information readily available if you’re willing to do the research. I would highly recommend looking at OnX maps which will give you public land areas and boundaries to private.

The focus is more on places that are restricted, specifically those being Corp of Engineer property. Corp of Engineer property can choose to allow or not allow hunting solely based on the sentiments of the Corp office manager, be they pro or anti-hunting.

Hopefully this can help to compile a list of properties and increase overall access to places that are currently closed to public land hunting.
I think the elephant in the room here is Lavon, they don't have to open it all season but there is no reason not to have a hagerman style archery hunt there. The hunting coordinator there is either anti hunting or the bordering landowners have him in their pocket. Richland Creek WMA is a similiar situation on size vs opportunity but it's not corp land so doesn't apply here.

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Old 07-13-2018, 08:14 AM   #12
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No permits needed. Just be aware of your county regulations as they can be differ by county.

Any other areas that donít allow hunting? I forgot to mention Lewisville only allowing a wounded warrior hunt and Ray Roberts being hog only.


Lewisville used to allow deer hunting, Iím not sure why they stopped.

One comment I have with the way TPWD does the hog hunts on Ray Roberts is that they close the season from September 1st to the middle of January. I assume this is in response to the possibility of someone trying to poach deer and not giving them the excuse of ďI was just hunting hogsĒ. If thatís the case I think itís silly to make an activity doubly illegal.

Personally, Iím usually chasing other critters during that time, but itís still a limitation that could be rolled back.


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Old 07-13-2018, 08:16 AM   #13
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In Houston, we have Addicks Reservoir, and George Bush Park. These area's were created to hold back water, and release in a controlled manner in order to keep the ship channel full year round. The entire area is off limits to hunting, even though between the two of them, I think they are over 140 square miles. 90% of the year its bone dry in there, and perfectly accessible.

What is holding us back is we are not allowed to hunt them at all. I am a member of BHA, and am going to see what can be done in the Houston area. But until I read your post yesterday, I had never thought about it. There are some big bucks in there, and zero homes.

Thanks for starting this thread.

Last edited by WItoTX; 07-13-2018 at 08:18 AM. Reason: Corrected area
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Old 07-13-2018, 08:21 AM   #14
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Default Protecting Public Land Hunting Rights in Texas - a Corp of Engineer land discussion

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I think the elephant in the room here is Lavon...

Agreed. But the argument for many of the lakes that do not allow bowhunting at all is that a) there isnít a huntable population or b) theyíre worried about some sort of negative interaction between hunters and non-hunters/landowners.

Unfortunately the squeaky wheel gets the oil with a lot of these offices, and a homeowner raising a complaint is going to get more consideration in some places rather than some a hunter asking questions. But thatís the entire reason for things like BHA who give us actual representation. Because whether landowners or non-hunters realize it or not, itís public land and it belongs to all of us.

There are too many studies and examples of public places such as universities and neighborhoods allowing bowhunting with little to no negative interactions or impact to use it as an excuse. Many of the lakes only allow piecemeal opportunities because they have to give a nod to the idea that bowhunting can be a viable management tool. Bowhunters arenít ever going to decimate a deer population as many of yíall know!

But at the same time, while many places do a good job of managing the land their responsible for, some Corp of Engineer places put wildlife management very far down on their list of priorities.

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Old 07-13-2018, 08:25 AM   #15
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Agreed. But the argument for many of the lakes that do not allow bowhunting at all is that a) there isnít a huntable population or b) theyíre worried about some sort of negative interaction between hunters and non-hunters/landowners.

Unfortunately the squeaky wheel gets the oil with a lot of these offices, and a homeowner raising a complaint is going to get more consideration in some places rather than some a hunter asking questions. But thatís the entire reason for things like BHA who give us actual representation. Because whether landowners or non-hunters realize it or not, itís public land and it belongs to all of us.

There are too many studies and examples of public places such as universities and neighborhoods allowing bowhunting with little to no negative interactions or impact to use it as an excuse. Many of the lakes only allow piecemeal opportunities because they have to give a nod to the idea that bowhunting can be a viable management tool. Bowhunters arenít ever going to decimate a deer population as many of yíall know!


Bringing up neighborhoods reminds me. It might help if some of these properties that are slow to allow access required IBEP certification. That may help smooth the decision with managers and adjoining landowners.

I know thatís another step, but if one is serious about hunting and wants opportunity in a major metro area they are probably going to need to do some ďextraĒ work...


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Old 07-13-2018, 09:07 AM   #16
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Bringing up neighborhoods reminds me. It might help if some of these properties that are slow to allow access required IBEP certification. That may help smooth the decision with managers and adjoining landowners.

I know thatís another step, but if one is serious about hunting and wants opportunity in a major metro area they are probably going to need to do some ďextraĒ work...


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Great idea, definitely might ease some concern
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Old 07-13-2018, 07:39 PM   #17
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I would be careful complaining about having to pick up permits in person or draw processes. The people willing to put in the effort are the ones that get the permits. They could go to an online draw system that any smo with 3 dollars can put in and have a less than 1% chance of drawing like other hunts have...
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Old 07-13-2018, 07:56 PM   #18
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I would be careful complaining about having to pick up permits in person or draw processes. The people willing to put in the effort are the ones that get the permits. They could go to an online draw system that any smo with 3 dollars can put in and have a less than 1% chance of drawing like other hunts have...


The major focus is to increase access and you canít honestly say that the hours that the Corp of Engineers operates on is convenient for the average working man. Especially when you consider how far some of these areas are from major metropolitan areas.

Iím well aware that the ďaverage shmoĒ could be drawing permits because I saw the exact thing happen last year with a draw hunt area I frequent. I ran into the guy at a work event and he informed me he had gotten drawn and didnít even own a bow 🤦*♂️.

You can eliminate a lot of that via requiring Bowhunterís Education.

And if you saw draw hunts go electronic in that manner it would require a lot more coordination between the Corp of Engineers and TPWD on a large scale. I know Hagerman is a big example of this and a lot of folks donít like it.

But at some point you have to pick your poison and realize that if we donít have new hunters coming along. Weíre a minority as it is. Petersenís Bowhunting quoted U.S. Fish and Wildlife a few months back showing that over 2 million hunters quit hunting. Bowhunting went from 4.47 million to 3.63 million.

Just because Iím more dedicated and willing to take off work to go by the office doesnít mean Iím any more deserving of getting the opportunity to hunt than some other guy starting out for the first time who works an 8-5 and canít afford to take off work or afford a lease.
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Old 07-13-2018, 08:03 PM   #19
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What about Canyon Lake? I called the office there and they said they don't allow hunting.

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Old 07-13-2018, 08:13 PM   #20
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The major focus is to increase access and you canít honestly say that the hours that the Corp of Engineers operates on is convenient for the average working man. Especially when you consider how far some of these areas are from major metropolitan areas.

Iím well aware that the ďaverage shmoĒ could be drawing permits because I saw the exact thing happen last year with a draw hunt area I frequent. I ran into the guy at a work event and he informed me he had gotten drawn and didnít even own a bow 🤦*♂️.

You can eliminate a lot of that via requiring Bowhunterís Education.

And if you saw draw hunts go electronic in that manner it would require a lot more coordination between the Corp of Engineers and TPWD on a large scale. I know Hagerman is a big example of this and a lot of folks donít like it.

But at some point you have to pick your poison and realize that if we donít have new hunters coming along. Weíre a minority as it is. Petersenís Bowhunting quoted U.S. Fish and Wildlife a few months back showing that over 2 million hunters quit hunting. Bowhunting went from 4.47 million to 3.63 million.

Just because Iím more dedicated and willing to take off work to go by the office doesnít mean Iím any more deserving of getting the opportunity to hunt than some other guy starting out for the first time who works an 8-5 and canít afford to take off work or afford a lease.

I see what youíre saying but, Iíd rather have some barriers to entry. The big thing is having access at all. If thereís no access/opportunity then thereís no way anyone gets in.

While Iím obviously in the more dedicated/willing to make it work once or twice a year to get permits camp I think there are some real benefits to having some hurdles.

First and foremost the more dedicated a hunter has to be to get the access the greater the likelihood they will be good representatives of our community while using that permit. Of course thatís not an absolute. Even with good intentions and careful observation of the rules and best practices something like a wounded animal dying on a PETA loverís lawn is still possible.


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Old 07-13-2018, 08:31 PM   #21
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I see what youíre saying but, Iíd rather have some barriers to entry. The big thing is having access at all. If thereís no access/opportunity then thereís no way anyone gets in.

While Iím obviously in the more dedicated/willing to make it work once or twice a year to get permits camp I think there are some real benefits to having some hurdles.

First and foremost the more dedicated a hunter has to be to get the access the greater the likelihood they will be good representatives of our community while using that permit. Of course thatís not an absolute. Even with good intentions and careful observation of the rules and best practices something like a wounded animal dying on a PETA loverís lawn is still possible.


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Exactly. Making it easier isnít increasing access. Many people will apply because itís easy then complain or not go because they figure out the actual hunt isnít easy.
But, besides for the permit issue I agree with backcountry hunters and anglers increasing access where there currently is none. Seems like a great organization!
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Old 07-13-2018, 08:57 PM   #22
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Exactly. Making it easier isnít increasing access. Many people will apply because itís easy then complain or not go because they figure out the actual hunt isnít easy.

But, besides for the permit issue I agree with backcountry hunters and anglers increasing access where there currently is none. Seems like a great organization!


Oh I agree. Yet I guess my biggest issue is more with places that expect surveys to be mailed via snail mail, or in person post season. Of the lakes I hunt, I think (and I recommended it) Lake Whitney has the best permit system in place.

You have to pick up your permit in person the very first time, and after that as long as you submit your hunterís survey on time you can get a new permit online the following year.

I know it hasnít been mentioned much, but be sure to mention if your local area lake has seen a reduction in the size of duck hunting areas. I know Lavon has some areas that are restricted now, and Benbrook has closed some of its areas, like Rocky Creek for example. I understand some it is due to concern over housing additions and firearms, but Grapevine in the past few years went to a hunting til 12pm policy. Not exactly sure why on that one!

I know there a lot of lakes with odd hunting restrictions, but if you can think of specifics that curtail hunting areas, please post em up.
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Old 07-13-2018, 10:08 PM   #23
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Very important and interesting thread, thank you for posting... Where can a list of Corp of engineer land for Texas be found?? I tried Google and get a list of about 6 places. All of them are quite far from me but regardless of that, I am interested in assisting in increasing access for hunters/anglers. I plan on joining BHA ASAP.

I realize you said keep it to CoE lands but I have a question as to the BHA and National Park Service land. are they actively seeking to open or enlarge access to NPS lands here in Texas??
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Old 07-13-2018, 10:11 PM   #24
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Very important and interesting thread, thank you for posting... Where can a list of Corp of engineer land for Texas be found?? I tried Google and get a list of about 6 places. All of them are quite far from me but regardless of that, I am interested in assisting in increasing access for hunters/anglers. I plan on joining BHA ASAP.

I realize you said keep it to CoE lands but I have a question as to the BHA and National Park Service land. are they actively seeking to open or enlarge access to NPS lands here in Texas??

Hmm, youíre pretty far south, Iíve never looked up any lakes outside of the Fort Worth district.


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Old 07-13-2018, 10:51 PM   #25
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Very important and interesting thread, thank you for posting... Where can a list of Corp of engineer land for Texas be found?? I tried Google and get a list of about 6 places. All of them are quite far from me but regardless of that, I am interested in assisting in increasing access for hunters/anglers. I plan on joining BHA ASAP.

I realize you said keep it to CoE lands but I have a question as to the BHA and National Park Service land. are they actively seeking to open or enlarge access to NPS lands here in Texas??
here are fort worth district lakes
https://www.swf.usace.army.mil/About...n-Information/



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Old 07-14-2018, 05:41 PM   #26
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TTT for the weekend crew
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Old 07-14-2018, 11:45 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Army of Dad View Post
I see what you’re saying but, I’d rather have some barriers to entry. The big thing is having access at all. If there’s no access/opportunity then there’s no way anyone gets in.

While I’m obviously in the more dedicated/willing to make it work once or twice a year to get permits camp I think there are some real benefits to having some hurdles.

First and foremost the more dedicated a hunter has to be to get the access the greater the likelihood they will be good representatives of our community while using that permit. Of course that’s not an absolute. Even with good intentions and careful observation of the rules and best practices something like a wounded animal dying on a PETA lover’s lawn is still possible.


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I totally agree, I'm all about having hoops to jump through, been doing that for years at Hagerman, just give me the opportunity, but some of these corp projects won't.
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Old 07-15-2018, 03:35 AM   #28
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CORPS LAKES

https://corpslakes.erdc.dren.mil/vis...s.cfm?state=TX




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Old 07-16-2018, 03:39 PM   #29
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BHA would be more effective if they did a better job at having participation from people in Texas. The Texas Chapter doesn't do much compared with most of the other states. If they got more active members it would help drive membership numbers up and would increase the amount of voices we have in a state that is less than 2% public land and if Ted Cruz has his way it will be shrinking even more.

Working with COE is great but it isn't worth the headache to me to squabble with them about having to go in person to do applications like Grapevine where we already have access when the time can be used to address other areas we there is no hunting access at all.

And yes I'm an active member of BHA and just renewed for another 3 years
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Old 07-17-2018, 05:52 AM   #30
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New BHA member here. The poster above me isn't wrong but at the same time, the Texas BHA is still pretty wet behind the years. What's more, is that most of it's members are wet behind the ears when it comes to some of these issues, myself included.

If either one truly cares about Texas Public Lands and Hunting, both TBH and BHA need to find a way to collaborate. At the end of the day, it takes people, not organizations, to make the difference in success or failure. Organizations are tools. They work better when you have more than one. I commend Kirby for his efforts. This is how it starts.
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Old 07-19-2018, 10:47 AM   #31
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On my GV survey I suggested 2 parking areas be created/designated on the south side of the creek. IMHO it would reduce tensions with neighborhoods in each quadrant by reducing the "unauthorized" access points and parking violations.

OR your displayed vehicle permit allows you to park on designated perimeters of the property.

I like the idea of a permit system similar to Whitney and I wouldn't be opposed to a <$50 permit fee to help pay for development and maintenance of parking areas and the online permit system.

Do you have a plan to discuss some of these issues at the Full Draw Film Tour Saturday?
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