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Old 10-22-2017, 11:31 PM   #1
hogman$
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Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Seminole
Hunt In: West texas
Default Black gap wma

Got drawn for the November 13-16 archery hunt looked like I wasn't going to make it for awhile but looks like it'll work anybody else going or have gone in the past ?


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Old 10-23-2017, 08:20 AM   #2
WinslowBoy
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Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: The Woodlands, TX
Hunt In: Trinity County, TPWD Public Hunts
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Did the archery hunt there 4 years ago. The area was just coming out of the major drought so deer numbers were way low. We hunted hard for 4 days and saw 4 deer total. The positives of the hunt: Great scenery, huge compartments (ours was just over 10K acres), chance to shoot a mule deer. Negatives: low deer numbers, low success rate especially with a bow. In checking back after the hunt, only 2 groups of hunters saw deer.

With that said, I would do it again. We tried everything. Sitting high & glassing, hiking, driving & glassing and sitting over guzzlers. Had a couple opportunities at javelinas but were waiting for mule deer. I know the area is in better shape and deer numbers are better now than when we hunted. During our hunt, a small fork horn busted out of a draw right in front of me. Ran up the hill and stopped about 125 yds away and looked at me. With a rifle, easy shot. He stared at me for a second and bounded off. Tried to follow up but couldn't find him again. Neat area and you will definitely enjoy the night skies. Good luck.
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Old 10-23-2017, 10:53 AM   #3
Charrison
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Location: Lake Highlands, Dallas
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Congrats! I just got back from the early archery hunt this past week. What an AWESOME, rugged place.

I hunted the first unit when you drive into the WMA. 3k acres. Had lots of natural tanks and 2 guzzlers, so water was plentiful. My plan was to get up high before daylight, look over a bunch of country and glass, glass, glass. Some guys might like to walk 10 miles a day in this country, but it is brutal. Loose rock, everything sticks or bites and not a patch of level ground in my unit, even though some it looked flat. Good optics and boots are of the highest priority on this hunt.

I think my strategy worked. I saw 19 deer in effectively 2.5 days of hunting- 3 of which were mature bucks. The biggest was still in velvet and a solid 150-inch deer. The other two were in the low 140s. I stalked all 3, got within 30 yds of 2 of them before they eventually saw me trying to get a shot and flushed. It is REALLY hard to get a clear bow shot from the ground in this country. Maybe I should have sat there all afternoon until they stood up.... They both ran to 150 yards, stopped and looked around for 10 minutes before heading over a ridge. With a rifle, the bigger of the 2 would have gotten it. On the third buck, I spotted him at 7:30, watched him lie down at 9:30 and at 3:30, I was within 20 yds of his bed ... only he wasn't in it. He lost his shade at some point and moved on. Tough ending to a very hard stalk. Take your time and really study the land before making a stalk out here. Nothing looks the same when you get close!

I was hunting solo, and brought in 8 gallons of water from Sunday evening until Thursday morning. I drank 7 gallons (and cooked with a little of that) during the hunt. Firewood was a little bit of an issue. I did not bring any, and there was a lot of dead wood around, just none of it bigger around than my wrist. If you want a good fire that lasts, I suggest bringing in some good logs. I drove a Tahoe and never put it in 4WD. The road throughout my unit was well maintained. I filled up in Marathon, brought an extra 5 gallons of gas and left Thursday with 3/4 of a tank of fuel. Did not need extra gas. (Some other units might require more driving)

There were 2 other groups on the hunt- one guy shot a small 7 point on Wed evening at a guzzler with his crossbow. He sat the guzzler all week and had good activity the one afternoon it was pretty hot. He also shot a javi at the same guzzler the night before, so success can be had in multiple ways. I preferred to glass big country rather than sit tight, but that was more personal preference for how I like to hunt. To each his own! This past week, at least for me, hunting was much more productive in the mornings than afternoons. Only saw 3 does and a fawn in the p.m. The little driving I did, I only saw one doe. These deer are really tough to spot and IMO, you will do better getting on ridges and glassing than driving around. As it gets closer to the rut, the deer might be out during the day more.

Travis and Will, the 2 biologists out there, were very helpful. The HQ has wifi, so if you need to get in touch with the world, you can.

I bought the book, Hunting Open Country Mule Deer by Dwight Schuh, for $10 on Amazon and it was an incredible resource- highly recommend if you haven't done much western mule deer hunting.

Good luck on your hunt! Even though I did not connect, it was one of the more enjoyable trips I've been on- it was very pure hunting. No feeders, no fences and no other people for miles. Me vs. the deer and they won, which they do 99% of the time in this country. PM me if you need anything else- glad to share info.
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Old 10-23-2017, 10:58 AM   #4
hunt247
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Location: Stephenville
Hunt In: Saint Jo
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I have been there. Tuff hunting but was fun.
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Old 11-16-2017, 03:49 PM   #5
hogman$
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Location: Seminole
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OK just finished the hunt black gap had an awesome time left my house Monday morning about 430 got there about 9 all hunters showed up and no standbys showed after a short orientation we had our compartments first when I saw my compartment I wasn't very excited basically it was one big mountain didn't hunt the first eveningjust got on some high ground and looked to see what the compartment had to offer only have one guzzler so first thing I did was put up a camera then glassed till dark didn't see anything that evening did the same thing in the morning and saw nothing around lunch I went to go check the camera I saw the deer had been there last evening and in the morning so that evening I set up at the guzzler and had a doe come in down wind of me so next morning I walked around on some smaller hills had a six point at 100 yards it went over a hill and simply disappeared or climbed in a hole I'm not sure saw a few does that days then on the last morning I got up high very early and so as I was sitting there in the dark high up in the mountains with a rock wall behind me and rocks on both sides I looked to my right and about 15 feet from me i saw a perfect outlined cat head looking at me I won't lie I freaked out a bit and told myself that's a funny looking cactus shaped like a cat and looked away glanced back at it and saw it was still there reached down for my light and shined at it and what do you know it had glowing eyes and that's when I really freaked but it look like a young cat then I thought crap where is mama thought about shoot and run but I waited and got a better look at it when the cat turned around and walked away and I saw it was a ringtail cat almost s***t in my pants so when the sun finally came up I started glassing spotted a doe about half a mile to my left and a few minutes later I saw a doe and her fawn running and looking back saw they were running from something looked a little further behind them and saw a buck was chasing them watch them for about 15 or 20 minutes till they finally bedded down .6 miles away packed my gear and the hunt was on I had to walk around the mountain along way when I finally got within about 100 yards the boots came off and put on a extra pair of socks and started making my way up the hill lots of small rocks felt like a Lego field when I finally got my eyes on the buck I was about 70 yards it wasn't a monster but a decent nine point when I got to about 60 yards The buck got up and looked round he knew something wasn't right I had practice my shots up to 70 yards and felt comfortable shooting 70 normally but from climbing that hill and the adrenaline my arms were shaking my knees were shaking so I didn't shoot the buck bedded down again same spot I got to 50 yards The buck gets up again but did not turn broadside so he started walking off down the hill so I get up and followed him and so I get it within 25 yards and all I see is his head and his antlers by this time I had completely forgotten about the does so about 30 yards to my right dead downwind me the dang doe starts blowing and they all run off and stopped I ranged the buck again thought it was 60 yards but really he was more like 90 must have range some brush or something shot way under him they took off and bedded down again about 400 yards so my boots were not even close to where I was so I followed him in my socks it hurts but the excitement outweighed the pain by far got to about 100 yards he busted me and ran off couldn't find him again so didn't get anything but had one of the best hunts I have ever been on so if you ever get drawn for this hunt GO or give me your spot and I will gladly put it to good use


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Old 11-16-2017, 03:53 PM   #6
spencorLUK
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Location: Padre island
Hunt In: Baffin Bay
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that is awesome, great story i just got on a deer lease right next to black gap looking forward to making some tim
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Old 11-16-2017, 04:02 PM   #7
DJM
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Location: Kempner TX
Hunt In: Mills Co,Coryell Co,Lampasas Co
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Pretty country but man,that looks like a tough bow hunt.

DJ
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Old 11-16-2017, 04:11 PM   #8
hogman$
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Location: Seminole
Hunt In: West texas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spencorLUK View Post
that is awesome, great story i just got on a deer lease right next to black gap looking forward to making some tim


Saw lots of elk sign on the mountain top


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Old 11-16-2017, 04:12 PM   #9
hogman$
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Location: Seminole
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DJM View Post
Pretty country but man,that looks like a tough bow hunt.

DJ


A lot of work yes but was very surprised how noisy you can be when they are bedded and don't really care enough to move


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Old 11-17-2017, 10:06 AM   #10
blhaley91
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Mason Texas
Hunt In: Mason/Van Horn
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Hogman$, it was nice to meet you. We saw you up high on that ridge Wed, looked like a great spot to glass. We saw lots of does in that area while driving in and out.

Your hunt area was much better than ours. We saw a ton of game at that earth tank by the road, nothing during the day at any of our guzzlers (except javalina) we had a few pics of smaller bucks at guzzlers at night. Only bucks we saw were at the earth tank 2 four pointers, 2 spikes. We had fun though.

I bet we saw 60 does between the 3 of us in 4 days, just no bucks to be found.
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Old 11-17-2017, 03:57 PM   #11
hogman$
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Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Seminole
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blhaley91 View Post
Hogman$, it was nice to meet you. We saw you up high on that ridge Wed, looked like a great spot to glass. We saw lots of does in that area while driving in and out.

Your hunt area was much better than ours. We saw a ton of game at that earth tank by the road, nothing during the day at any of our guzzlers (except javalina) we had a few pics of smaller bucks at guzzlers at night. Only bucks we saw were at the earth tank 2 four pointers, 2 spikes. We had fun though.

I bet we saw 60 does between the 3 of us in 4 days, just no bucks to be found.


Same to you I didn't see that amount of deer but I had a tagged collared doe I saw almost every day so that was kinda cool saw 2 does at your earth tank on the last morning cool place to hunt


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