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Old 01-04-2017, 07:54 PM   #101
casilva43
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Originally Posted by Mac5858 View Post
Yes. There isn't any water in those lakes.
I sent you a PM
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Old 01-05-2017, 07:51 AM   #102
Whitetail83
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Is the cell service good enough to access google earth while on the Refuge?


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Old 01-05-2017, 11:32 AM   #103
Mac5858
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Originally Posted by Whitetail83 View Post
Is the cell service good enough to access google earth while on the Refuge?


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I have AT&T and I had service everywhere. I stayed on google earth.
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Old 01-05-2017, 03:15 PM   #104
mikeyb_23
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We were out there as a visitor today and had cell service. I have verizon.
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Old 01-05-2017, 05:04 PM   #105
chancito1
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I have AT&T and I had service everywhere. I stayed on google earth.
I use google earth all the time out there. Verizon and AT&T
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Old 01-06-2017, 03:35 PM   #106
robie
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Originally Posted by mikeyb_23 View Post
We were out there as a visitor today and had cell service. I have verizon.
Did you have any luck today?
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Old 01-06-2017, 07:18 PM   #107
Codybarron
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Nice!
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Old 01-06-2017, 07:37 PM   #108
mikeyb_23
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Shot a nilgai calf
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Old 01-06-2017, 07:41 PM   #109
Palehorse
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That's gonna be some fine eating right there!
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Old 01-06-2017, 09:20 PM   #110
robie
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No joke, Tender meat. Did you see anything else?
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Old 01-07-2017, 06:33 PM   #111
mikeyb_23
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I shot a little doe this afternoon. Most of the game we have seen has been while we are walking. Its been low to mid 30's with 20+mph winds.
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Old 01-08-2017, 11:30 AM   #112
robie
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Have you heard many shots? I'm assuming the game is getting pretty skittish?
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Old 01-08-2017, 09:03 PM   #113
mikeyb_23
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This is what the board looked like around 5:45 today. The first two day were bad weather wise. Not a lot of shots, game didn't really seem overly skittish.
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Old 01-09-2017, 08:59 PM   #114
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One really nice bull. Did anyone venture out of 8?

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Old 01-10-2017, 10:41 AM   #115
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Who all is headed down this weekend? Where are you staying?
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Old 01-13-2017, 10:27 AM   #116
onthetake
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Here's how they are going to increase funding to remove the nilgia from the refuge. Seems ridiculous that they don't just increase public hunting access and add more nilgia hunts. Seems like it would be a win win. Make money and decrease nilgia numbers while letting the public utilize public land.

http://m.valleymorningstar.com/news/....html?mode=jqm
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Old 01-13-2017, 10:38 AM   #117
onthetake
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Should any of you care to contact the fws about the refuge shooting the nilgia out of helicopters rather than allowing the public to hunt them. Here is the contact email.

Dr. Benjamin Tuggle
RDTuggle@fws.gov
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Old 01-13-2017, 04:22 PM   #118
lagunaduck
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Once again the refuge lets down its surrounding community! I am so disappointed in the refuge, its management, and its lack of support for the people who live around it. There are countless people in need around the rio grande valley who could benefit from the meat harvested from these animals. Loaves and Fishes comes to mind, but just drive around and see all the colonias. Its rediculous to send the meat to a high end meat market around San Antonio instead of feeding the needy in the area. I have nothing against the meat market and have heard good things about it. Escpecially its support for our wounded veterans. However, there are people here that the refuge could help. I guess that's too inconvenient! It seems like the almighty dollar has spoken and influenced big brother on this one. Shouldn't the community have any influence? Is this the Refuge's animals or the tax payers? If man is their main concern, I for one would volunteer to help process these animals instead of having it shipped!
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Old 01-13-2017, 09:31 PM   #119
chancito1
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Over the last few years it has gone to hell. It was a hometown know everybody kind of place. It's turned into a freaking circus now, an absolute joke. I've emailed the above individual and will post that on social media
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Old 01-14-2017, 01:03 PM   #120
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This from a recently retired warden that worked the refuge for years



I could write and write with information on all of this, but it would do no good. People will argue no matter what, particularly those who have hunted there and talked with some FWS employees who tow the party line, and therefore think this makes them experts. I was the supervisory game warden there for years, retired now. The FWS managers could use hunters to control hogs and nilgai more effectively year-around in a targeted manner, and I encouraged them to do so over the years, but they wouldn't. They do not need any further hunt plan approvals to do so either (that's B.S.). They could use smaller hunter numbers, using rifle hunts, open up access more, and it would not require much monitoring or FWS personnel. Those are just excuses. They claim they don't have personnel or resources. However, they have no problem with using personnel and volunteers in conducting tram tours, birding tours, kayaking tours, etc...and some of these tours are in areas closed to public vehicle access. Also, while nilgai are a fever tick host, so are whitetail deer! Are they going to shoot all the deer? No! The reason not many nilgai are taken by hunters is simply because rifle hunts are limited (5 hunts of 35 permits more or less, for 3 days each per year) and access is strictly limited. Plus, they are going more and more toward non monitored hunts, no check out, etc...anyway!

Interestingly enough, they will not allow USDA to place feeders on refuge with corn laced with a treatment to kill fever ticks from the deer. USDA is setting hundreds of feeder outside Refuge boundaries, yet they want to kill all the nilgai by helicopter!

I have no problem with killing the nilgai by copter, but why use a single approach? Why not sell hunts for weekends in limited numbers for rifle hunts year around and allow greater drive in access? If they had been doing this, the numbers would have already been more controlled.

Special Use Permits (SUPs) are issued in large numbers every year allowing all kinds of access for biological studies, nature reporters, colleges, etc...to go where the public can't and do what normal visitors can't (including trapping animals, collecting bugs, taking plants, etc...).

Puro pinche excuses is why they don't. They pander to environmentalist, biologist, birders, nature watchers, etc...and pretty much everyone, except hunters. There is a real anti-hunter sentiment with many of the managers, biologist, and employees.

Yes, some hunters commit violations, but every user group has violators. I've arrested non-hunting college professors, teachers, doctors, lawyers, and people from all walks of life committing violations. Hunters as a group have a very low violator rate, particularly on the rifle hunts.

So let them just keep feeding y'all the excuses and B.S.! Lol
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Old 01-14-2017, 01:25 PM   #121
onthetake
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There aren't many public land hunters to start with. To make it worse so few of us voice our opinion it makes us easy to ignore. The refuge views the hunters as an burden. They will continue to seek ways reduce our burden on them until the birders and sightseers are all that are left.
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Old 01-14-2017, 08:32 PM   #122
gemini2759
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Trump will fix it
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Old 01-15-2017, 06:45 AM   #123
onthetake
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Gemini I hope you are right but I'm guessing he has more important issues to tackle than dealing with the anti hunting regime at our refuge. His sons are hunters maybe you can contact them. I'm sure trump could fix it with one tweet.
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Old 01-16-2017, 01:24 PM   #124
robie
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I got back yesterday evening from my hunt. The animals are few and far between for this last deer hunt. Total was 3 animals killed. 2 Cows and 1 doe.

Most people that I talked to reported not seeing much. I rode my bike around units 8, 5 & 3. Some beautiful country. I ran into 3 rattle snakes. Not my favorite.

Tip for those walking around a pond, look for a large hole on the side before you do and stay the hell away from it. I was looking at tracks and noticed a small lizard, then several of them before I even looked at the hole. I left quickly.

If anyone else is interested in riding out to horse Island I can tell you it has the most poop piles of any place on the ranch. But the place is almost un-huntable unless you want to sit on the road and wait for something to come back. Also I wouldn't go over there without a bike and a trailer, it is not close. Very fun bike ride and pretty view at the end. I watched a nice buck walking between the islands.

I had some close shots at does but that's about it. Nilgai cow at about 500 yards and running. Good luck to anyone else heading out there.
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Old 01-17-2017, 12:58 PM   #125
aggiebowhunter
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Heading there this week. Thanks for all the input. Is 8 more open than the other units or just easier to access? Looks like it will be warm this weekend, is the area pretty dry?

Any other suggestions or pointers would be very appreciated.
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Old 01-20-2017, 03:21 PM   #126
CaptTank
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aggiebowhunter View Post
Heading there this week. Thanks for all the input. Is 8 more open than the other units or just easier to access? Looks like it will be warm this weekend, is the area pretty dry?

Any other suggestions or pointers would be very appreciated.
8 is just the easiest unit to access due to you can drive the length of it. All of the other units will take some walking or biking to get back in to. Packing out animals is still no easy task even from 8.
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Old 01-22-2017, 09:36 PM   #127
JFRITZ06
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Originally Posted by JFRITZ06 View Post
I was also drawn for the Jan 20-22 hunt. How often are the "big bulls" seen? It seems that several younger animals and cows are being harvested. Are the bigger bulls held up in the heavy brush or do they stay out of range on the salt flats? What would be the best strategy for hunting a mature bull?
Thanks
Just a follow up...
I returned from my hunt today and this is how it went.
I arrived Thursday morning and it did not get off to a good start. Even though we were told we could scout the day prior to the hunt, they had all the gates locked. The "lead" ranger, Marion was by no means friendly and made it very obvious she did not want to cater to the hunters. She was a whole different person when she interacted with the two groups of bird watchers that I had to wait on before getting any attention. She said I was free to scout within the open units on foot or by bicycle. After getting the Refuge manager Boyd involved, Marion was instructed to open the gate that allows access along unit 8. She definitely expressed her feelings at this point.
I walked all of unit 8 and most of 3. I found some animals in 8 and planned on hunting there opening day along with a few guys I met down there. (I got to meet some really cool people and look forward to future hunts with these guys) After a full day hunting the only encounters I had was hunter after hunter after hunter walking up and down the roads. (No wonder the harvest rates are so low) On day two, I decided to hunt unit 2 with another TBH and get as far away from roads and hunters as possible. This strategy paid off. After a very heavy blanket of fog lifted, it wasn't long before we started seeing Nilgai. I had a group of 5 cows/calves run across one of the flats I was overlooking and stop in the brush about 50 yds behind me. I elected to pass in hopes of a bull showing himself. Just minutes later a mature bull emerged from the same trail the cows took to cross the flat. He made it half way across the flat and stopped to mark a scat pile. That was his last move. I shot him straight on in the center of the chest flipping him over backwards. He jumped up stood there briefly and fell over to expire. During all the commotion, another large heard of Nilgai ran out of the brush and crossed the flat. It was an awesome experience. On the other hand, what was to follow was just the opposite of awesome. Gutting, quartering, caping and hauling a 500 lb animal out 2 miles in 91 degree weather in one trip wasn't too awesome.
After checking in the animal, I had to wait a few hours for the inspectors to get there to inspect for ticks on the cape. This gave me a chance to visit with the Federal game warden as well as some Reduge employees. We spoke about the hunts that are run out there and compared them to some of the state park hunts I have been on. (There is no comparison)
I gave them some simple ideas of how they could more efficiently run these hunts and drastically increase the hunter success rate based off what I've seen at the state park hunts. They all had the same look on their faces, the you're wasting your time look. The Federal Warden spoke up and said " We do not benefit from these hunts. We do not make any money off the tags and the hunters are not killing enough animals. It is just easier for us to do helicopter hunts. Eventually we will probably go to strictly to helicopter hunts. "
This was all after our conversation of trying to get more hunters out there and trying to increase success rate as well as talking about donating the meat harvested by the helicopter hunts to the locals instead of allowing it to be sold.
Needless to say, long story short, the future of Nilgai hunts on the refuge does not look good. I was very disappointed in the attitude and mentality of the individuals conducting this hunt.
As far as the actual hunt, I had a great time and got to meet some great guys. Good luck to the future hunters. I hope they take the advice everyone is giving them and improve on all that was mentioned above.
Thanks for all the advice and info. I'll post pictures as soon as I can. The site is not allowing me to at this time.
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Old 01-22-2017, 10:00 PM   #128
robie
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Congrats on the success. It is an interesting group of people down there.

I'm glad you were able to fine a bull. Did anyone else connect?
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Old 01-22-2017, 10:07 PM   #129
onthetake
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Yep. Unfortunately so few actually speak up it is probably a lost cause. The problems have been posted here plenty. The only response txbowhunters have generated is the "I got drawn tell me where to hunt" post. The young new batch of wardens do not have any people skills and view the hunters as a burden. They are simply a product of the refuge management. Guess I should give up, get a lease and start feeder watching.
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Old 01-22-2017, 11:05 PM   #130
Etxnoodler
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onthetake View Post
Yep. Unfortunately so few actually speak up it is probably a lost cause. The problems have been posted here plenty. The only response txbowhunters have generated is the "I got drawn tell me where to hunt" post. The young new batch of wardens do not have any people skills and view the hunters as a burden. They are simply a product of the refuge management. Guess I should give up, get a lease and start feeder watching.
Don't give up yet! Hopefully we can make this turn around! I agree about the response from most texas bow hunter posts tho.
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Old 01-22-2017, 11:13 PM   #131
Etxnoodler
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Also onthetake do you remember which thread the email addresses were on. I've sent an email about this issue before but would like to send another.
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Old 01-23-2017, 06:14 AM   #132
onthetake
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Here ya go.

Robert Jess at
robert_jess@fws.gov

Boyd Blihovde
boyd_blihovde@fws.gov

Kelly McDowell
Kelly_mcdowell@fws.gov

Dr. Benjamin Tuggle
RDTuggle@fws.gov
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Old 01-23-2017, 01:06 PM   #133
JFRITZ06
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JFRITZ06 View Post
Just a follow up...

I returned from my hunt today and this is how it went.

I arrived Thursday morning and it did not get off to a good start. Even though we were told we could scout the day prior to the hunt, they had all the gates locked. The "lead" ranger, Marion was by no means friendly and made it very obvious she did not want to cater to the hunters. She was a whole different person when she interacted with the two groups of bird watchers that I had to wait on before getting any attention. She said I was free to scout within the open units on foot or by bicycle. After getting the Refuge manager Boyd involved, Marion was instructed to open the gate that allows access along unit 8. She definitely expressed her feelings at this point.

I walked all of unit 8 and most of 3. I found some animals in 8 and planned on hunting there opening day along with a few guys I met down there. (I got to meet some really cool people and look forward to future hunts with these guys) After a full day hunting the only encounters I had was hunter after hunter after hunter walking up and down the roads. (No wonder the harvest rates are so low) On day two, I decided to hunt unit 2 with another TBH and get as far away from roads and hunters as possible. This strategy paid off. After a very heavy blanket of fog lifted, it wasn't long before we started seeing Nilgai. I had a group of 5 cows/calves run across one of the flats I was overlooking and stop in the brush about 50 yds behind me. I elected to pass in hopes of a bull showing himself. Just minutes later a mature bull emerged from the same trail the cows took to cross the flat. He made it half way across the flat and stopped to mark a scat pile. That was his last move. I shot him straight on in the center of the chest flipping him over backwards. He jumped up stood there briefly and fell over to expire. During all the commotion, another large heard of Nilgai ran out of the brush and crossed the flat. It was an awesome experience. On the other hand, what was to follow was just the opposite of awesome. Gutting, quartering, caping and hauling a 500 lb animal out 2 miles in 91 degree weather in one trip wasn't too awesome.

After checking in the animal, I had to wait a few hours for the inspectors to get there to inspect for ticks on the cape. This gave me a chance to visit with the Federal game warden as well as some Reduge employees. We spoke about the hunts that are run out there and compared them to some of the state park hunts I have been on. (There is no comparison)

I gave them some simple ideas of how they could more efficiently run these hunts and drastically increase the hunter success rate based off what I've seen at the state park hunts. They all had the same look on their faces, the you're wasting your time look. The Federal Warden spoke up and said " We do not benefit from these hunts. We do not make any money off the tags and the hunters are not killing enough animals. It is just easier for us to do helicopter hunts. Eventually we will probably go to strictly to helicopter hunts. "

This was all after our conversation of trying to get more hunters out there and trying to increase success rate as well as talking about donating the meat harvested by the helicopter hunts to the locals instead of allowing it to be sold.

Needless to say, long story short, the future of Nilgai hunts on the refuge does not look good. I was very disappointed in the attitude and mentality of the individuals conducting this hunt.

As far as the actual hunt, I had a great time and got to meet some great guys. Good luck to the future hunters. I hope they take the advice everyone is giving them and improve on all that was mentioned above.

Thanks for all the advice and info. I'll post pictures as soon as I can. The site is not allowing me to at this time.



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Old 01-23-2017, 01:10 PM   #134
JFRITZ06
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Hunt In: New Mexico/Texas/Colorado
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JFRITZ06 View Post
Just a follow up...

I returned from my hunt today and this is how it went.

I arrived Thursday morning and it did not get off to a good start. Even though we were told we could scout the day prior to the hunt, they had all the gates locked. The "lead" ranger, Marion was by no means friendly and made it very obvious she did not want to cater to the hunters. She was a whole different person when she interacted with the two groups of bird watchers that I had to wait on before getting any attention. She said I was free to scout within the open units on foot or by bicycle. After getting the Refuge manager Boyd involved, Marion was instructed to open the gate that allows access along unit 8. She definitely expressed her feelings at this point.

I walked all of unit 8 and most of 3. I found some animals in 8 and planned on hunting there opening day along with a few guys I met down there. (I got to meet some really cool people and look forward to future hunts with these guys) After a full day hunting the only encounters I had was hunter after hunter after hunter walking up and down the roads. (No wonder the harvest rates are so low) On day two, I decided to hunt unit 2 with another TBH and get as far away from roads and hunters as possible. This strategy paid off. After a very heavy blanket of fog lifted, it wasn't long before we started seeing Nilgai. I had a group of 5 cows/calves run across one of the flats I was overlooking and stop in the brush about 50 yds behind me. I elected to pass in hopes of a bull showing himself. Just minutes later a mature bull emerged from the same trail the cows took to cross the flat. He made it half way across the flat and stopped to mark a scat pile. That was his last move. I shot him straight on in the center of the chest flipping him over backwards. He jumped up stood there briefly and fell over to expire. During all the commotion, another large heard of Nilgai ran out of the brush and crossed the flat. It was an awesome experience. On the other hand, what was to follow was just the opposite of awesome. Gutting, quartering, caping and hauling a 500 lb animal out 2 miles in 91 degree weather in one trip wasn't too awesome.

After checking in the animal, I had to wait a few hours for the inspectors to get there to inspect for ticks on the cape. This gave me a chance to visit with the Federal game warden as well as some Reduge employees. We spoke about the hunts that are run out there and compared them to some of the state park hunts I have been on. (There is no comparison)

I gave them some simple ideas of how they could more efficiently run these hunts and drastically increase the hunter success rate based off what I've seen at the state park hunts. They all had the same look on their faces, the you're wasting your time look. The Federal Warden spoke up and said " We do not benefit from these hunts. We do not make any money off the tags and the hunters are not killing enough animals. It is just easier for us to do helicopter hunts. Eventually we will probably go to strictly to helicopter hunts. "

This was all after our conversation of trying to get more hunters out there and trying to increase success rate as well as talking about donating the meat harvested by the helicopter hunts to the locals instead of allowing it to be sold.

Needless to say, long story short, the future of Nilgai hunts on the refuge does not look good. I was very disappointed in the attitude and mentality of the individuals conducting this hunt.

As far as the actual hunt, I had a great time and got to meet some great guys. Good luck to the future hunters. I hope they take the advice everyone is giving them and improve on all that was mentioned above.

Thanks for all the advice and info. I'll post pictures as soon as I can. The site is not allowing me to at this time.


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Old 01-23-2017, 01:11 PM   #135
JFRITZ06
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Hunt In: New Mexico/Texas/Colorado
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Thanks again for the info!


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Old 01-23-2017, 03:31 PM   #136
ultrastealth
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This is why we need to put a stop to the federal government locking up more land. They don't like hunters, they don't really want anyone on their properties, so they shouldn't be allowed to purchase more.
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Old 01-23-2017, 03:42 PM   #137
chancito1
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Boyd called me Friday spent well over an hour listening to him explain the reasoning behind the helicopter hunts. He did confirm that all future hunts from helicopters were canceled. He stated the USDA has put severe pressure on the refuge on eliminating nilgai due to cattle tick. The problem is my contact in the inside says he's speaking in partial truths and that refuge, especially Marion, have no desire to deal or support hunting on the refuge. I feel after our last conversation he deserves a chance to respond from this latest report
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Old 01-23-2017, 05:03 PM   #138
SneakyPhil
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Originally Posted by chancito1 View Post
Boyd called me Friday spent well over an hour listening to him explain the reasoning behind the helicopter hunts. He did confirm that all future hunts from helicopters were canceled. He stated the USDA has put severe pressure on the refuge on eliminating nilgai due to cattle tick. The problem is my contact in the inside says he's speaking in partial truths and that refuge, especially Marion, have no desire to deal or support hunting on the refuge. I feel after our last conversation he deserves a chance to respond from this latest report
Where do you think the lack of desire to deal with hunters comes from? Is it Hunters = more work for them or just anti-hunter?
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Old 01-23-2017, 05:04 PM   #139
onthetake
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Boyd definitely seems genuine and personable. He always tries hard to sell the reasons why he makes changes that negatively effect the refuge hunting. The other employees at the refuge don't try to hide their opinion of the hunters. However it's been under his watch as the refuge manager that the public hunting and employees attitudes have really gone to crap. If he wanted to make it better or simply go back to what worked for decades before he took over I'm sure he could.
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Old 01-23-2017, 05:54 PM   #140
Etxnoodler
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Originally Posted by chancito1 View Post
Boyd called me Friday spent well over an hour listening to him explain the reasoning behind the helicopter hunts. He did confirm that all future hunts from helicopters were canceled. He stated the USDA has put severe pressure on the refuge on eliminating nilgai due to cattle tick. The problem is my contact in the inside says he's speaking in partial truths and that refuge, especially Marion, have no desire to deal or support hunting on the refuge. I feel after our last conversation he deserves a chance to respond from this latest report
So the helicopter hunts are officially cancelled for this year? Can you explain your last sentence some. I'm not following lol
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Old 01-23-2017, 05:58 PM   #141
Etxnoodler
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This is why we need to put a stop to the federal government locking up more land. They don't like hunters, they don't really want anyone on their properties, so they shouldn't be allowed to purchase more.
Let's keep in mind guys that this is a national wildlife refuge. Not forest service. So all federal government land is not bad. This is strictly one refuge that managers arnt a fan of dealing with hunters. Many other nwrs and government land is very hunter friendly. Don't judge all of them by this one.
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Old 01-23-2017, 07:15 PM   #142
chancito1
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Originally Posted by onthetake View Post
Boyd definitely seems genuine and personable. He always tries hard to sell the reasons why he makes changes that negatively effect the refuge hunting. The other employees at the refuge don't try to hide their opinion of the hunters. However it's been under his watch as the refuge manager that the public hunting and employees attitudes have really gone to crap. If he wanted to make it better or simply go back to what worked for decades before he took over I'm sure he could.
This nonsense started about 5 years ago, when Marion came in. I've heard from several internal sources she is not a fan of hunting.
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Old 01-23-2017, 07:17 PM   #143
chancito1
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So the helicopter hunts are officially cancelled for this year? Can you explain your last sentence some. I'm not following lol
Boyd told me all future helicopter harvest were canceled. My last sentence was referring to the bad experience that the TBH Hunter had over the weekend with Marion and other refuge personnel. I emailed Boyd about it just waiting for his response
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Old 01-23-2017, 07:53 PM   #144
Etxnoodler
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Originally Posted by chancito1 View Post
Boyd told me all future helicopter harvest were canceled. My last sentence was referring to the bad experience that the TBH Hunter had over the weekend with Marion and other refuge personnel. I emailed Boyd about it just waiting for his response
Gotcha. They need to tell her hunters are one of the user groups that use the area and to get over her dislike for them. It's her job
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Old 01-23-2017, 08:45 PM   #145
JFRITZ06
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I agree with the fact that you should not judge all government lands based off this one location. NM has an abundance of government lands that offer some outstanding hunting opportunities.
As far as Boyd goes, I believe he tells people what they want to hear and not the whole truth they deserve. I asked to speak to him in person and he declined (according to Marion)
Boyd spoke very briefly at the hunters orientation. I found it odd that his opening statement began with " I know you guys get the impression we don't like hunters but....)
The Federal warden seemed very confident when he mentioned abolishing hunting all together and controlling the game numbers from helicopters. It was obvious Boyd knew there were concerns before addressing the hunters.
The lack of desire to deal with hunters is not because of additional work caused by conducting the hunts ( there were at all times multiple volunteers asking for something to do, all of which live onsite in their RVs) but because the majority of them are Nature Nazis.
The whole tick thing is a joke. I was told they are targeting the Nilgai because they host the tick and are very nomadic. I was also informed that they are reconstructing 106 and installing culverts throughout strictly for the Ocelots to use as crossings to help prevent their road kill fatalities. It appears the Ocelots are nomadic based off this information, yet no one is shooting them from helicopters.

Something I forgot to mention about the hunt in my previous post:
Boyd in his brief speech durning orientation mentioned they have conducted "spotty" controlled burns and gave us three locations where. He said the burns were conducted in previous weeks. Like I said in my last post, I covered the majority of units 8,3 & 2. I found multiple areas still smoldering in units 8 & 3 even after the recent rains. These controlled burns were conducted just prior to the hunt, not in the previous weeks. Their mentalities and actions come off as if they want the hunters to fail instead of succeed.
I do not want to come off like this is a terrible place, it's not. This refuge has a very unique hunting opportunity. It just needs some new leadership who is willing to focus the opportunities evenly amongst all guests.
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Old 01-23-2017, 09:00 PM   #146
chancito1
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By no means is the cattle tick a joke, it's a bad deal. I have a friend down there in the USDA and they were pretty worried. Prior to that outbreak the nilgai issue was never a problem. If you have spent any time around politicians you will quickly see Boyd as one after talking to him. He gets tongue tied because I question him on subjects discussed in private meetimgs. This new administration has been the root of all problems and they know it. He did tell me they have been under intense pressure from the locals so at least we are making some waves
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Old 01-23-2017, 10:14 PM   #147
SneakyPhil
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What about taking it above the people at the refuge? It just sucks to know that a place that I cherish is being ruined by a few people. I know in 20 some years I have hunted there the majority of the people I've run into respect the place.

It a stark contrast to going dove hunting on public land just down road in the same county and being greeted as a valuable client. Hell the people there remember you from year to year, offer advice on where to go, ask you if you'll be back. I know those hunts are run by a totally different group but I've seen some of them hunt as well.
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Old 01-23-2017, 11:07 PM   #148
aggiebowhunter
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I'd like to second what JFRITZ06 said. If you get away from others, you will find animals, but it is definitely a tuff hunt. We hunted unit 5 and only had one other hunter on horse island. It was very thick, even the field you can see on aerials is actually 3 ft tall, very thick bunch grass that was very difficult to travel through. We saw about 10 Nilgai there, but getting one out of there would have been an extremely difficult task.

One other warning - spending all the time in thick grass and brush - we ended up covered in chiggers. If you stay in the recently burned areas, it is certainly easier to move around and you will most likely not end up with lots of itchey bumps.
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Old 01-24-2017, 07:50 AM   #149
onthetake
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According to the tick guy the ticks are a very real issue. Unfortunately the refuge has forbidden any means of dealing with the ticks other than killing off the animals (deer & nilgia) that are known to carry the ticks. That is the reason they raised the deer limit per hunter from 1 buck and 1 doe to 5 per hunter. He said there are options to deal with the ticks but the refuge will not allow any chemicals or treated feed to be used on the refuge. They have treated feed that can be placed out for the animals. The feed gets rid of the ticks on the on the animals that eat it. They also have chemicals that kill the ticks but they aren't even allowed to spray the hunters dead animal heads on refuge property. They have to drive off property to spray heads in a bag. Ridiculous. Typical environmental wacko BS.
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Old 01-24-2017, 09:07 AM   #150
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It is sad that you have anti-hunters running a National Wildlife Refuge to start with. Hope we can turn this around!
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