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Old 11-18-2008, 06:25 PM   #1
DWS
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Default Brushy Hill Ranch

For those of you that have been there what pasture would be the best. Any help would be greatly appreciated. I'm trying to book a hunt. Thanks
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Old 11-18-2008, 06:47 PM   #2
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I was thinking about trying the river pasture. Has anyone ever hunted it. Thanks again.
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Old 11-18-2008, 09:42 PM   #3
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just back from kreagor pasture. hunted 5 days and saw no shooter bucks. accomidations suck unless you are a mouse and you will have alot of company. does are very jittery, bucks not there and we did not find the staff very helpful. they were nice, but not helpful. my advice only go to brushy hill if you are looking to watch does on the corn route.
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Old 11-20-2008, 12:00 PM   #4
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Sorry to hear that cgeoffrey. We hunted the kreagor pasture and saw lots of deer. Between the 4 of us only one shooter killed. I passed 1 shooter up and my buddy did the same. You have to think outside the corn route bud. You think a big smart buck that gets hunted every day is going to feed behind a corn truck during daylight hours??? Find good traveling routes between corn and thick areas you think they may come from. You wont see as many deer but it will give you a few extra minutes before dark to get a peep at the big one. My buddy shot a 130 class 8 last year when we were there. As far as the accomadations for 140$ I don't know what kind of lodge you were expecting, but a stove, refridgerator, and a bed is plenty nice enough for me. Not to mention you dont have to bring all your own dishes and there is a microwave and a grill. If there is a better place out there for 140$ cg please let me know, I'll book and go with you next year. The holiday in here in Athens cost 109$ and you don't have any hunting rights on any property. I'll trade nice accomadations for a chance at the 150 class deer I've seen at Brushy hill any day!!!
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Old 11-20-2008, 12:22 PM   #5
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Got the Will Rehm at Brushy Hill this year going to give it a try.All I need is a roof over my head and I'm fine.I'm sure the lodge there will be just fine for a huntin camp. Thanks for the input everyone. Any tips, tricks , secret spots will be appreciated. Thanks again.
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Old 11-20-2008, 12:39 PM   #6
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Who said that we only hunted the corn route? most of my 5 days were spent "off the corn route" after following good sign to thick areas of the pasture. and while I dont expect four stars in accomidations I dont want to chase mice off of me while I sleep.
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Old 11-21-2008, 07:06 AM   #7
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I've hunted both and KJO wins hands down.
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Old 11-21-2008, 10:12 AM   #8
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Try mouse traps! LOL And you did say it was a good place to watch does on the corn route so I just figured thats all you did. We hunted there from Oct 26-31 and it was a great time for us all. Between the 4 of us we had 12 stands to keep the pressure down. Its tough as hell but I think that is what we love most about it! All my party will be going again next year and a few that didn't make it this year.
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Old 11-24-2008, 09:06 AM   #9
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JUst got back on Sunday. Didn't meet Pete, seemed nice over the phone. Rusty provided entertainment after evening hunts....Thats about all I can say
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Old 11-24-2008, 09:43 AM   #10
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What pasture did you hunt and what did you see?
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Old 11-24-2008, 11:02 AM   #11
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wil rheme...does, spikes....we had 4 game cams going also...nothing....we hunted corn route, rubs, scrapes, water troughs....we were spread out over the entire ranch...good luck
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Old 11-24-2008, 06:48 PM   #12
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Well DWS let us know how ya did. As you can see there are scrapes and rubs, and they don't just appear, its just a tough place to hunt.
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Old 11-25-2008, 12:54 PM   #13
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We will see in Jan. Hope they are moving then.
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Old 11-25-2008, 02:38 PM   #14
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nobody is suggesting that hunting is easy as a matter of fact we bow hunters are the sickest of all ignoring evolution and reverting back to primitave weapons. however paying to hunt and hunting hard and coming up empty feels foolish. it is not just the price of the hunt, but the vacation time, cost for supplies to hunt and the absence from our families that also are part of the "cost". when you look at it like that a place with limited at best opportunities is not worth the "cost" agree?
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Old 11-25-2008, 05:46 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cgeoffrey View Post
nobody is suggesting that hunting is easy as a matter of fact we bow hunters are the sickest of all ignoring evolution and reverting back to primitave weapons. however paying to hunt and hunting hard and coming up empty feels foolish. it is not just the price of the hunt, but the vacation time, cost for supplies to hunt and the absence from our families that also are part of the "cost". when you look at it like that a place with limited at best opportunities is not worth the "cost" agree?
X2
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Old 11-30-2008, 09:53 AM   #16
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Anyone have some kind of map or drawing of the Wil Rehm pasture at Brushy Hill. It might give us a little help. Thanks
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Old 11-30-2008, 07:05 PM   #17
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DWS call the ranch house they will send you one otherwise you will get one when you get there. Also I asked specific directions to the pasture I hunted and was able to find it on google maps and made myself a nice aerial photo to got with it.
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Old 11-30-2008, 09:37 PM   #18
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thanks
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Old 12-09-2008, 08:39 AM   #19
swoledouglas
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Thumbs down there this past weekend

I just got back from Brushy Hills on Sunday. I Never saw horns. I saw hundreds of does and button bucks but never laid eyes on a buck not ever from a distance. This place has been way over hunted and they have a no doe policy that has allowed the doe population to get out of control. we stayed with 12 guys in our cabin not one got a deer. one of our guys got an opportunity at a nice deer but it was too close to 14" to gamble $500. Rusty the ranch manager is a hoot but other than that I felt I had wasted my money.
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Old 12-09-2008, 08:45 PM   #20
Lonewolf
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We just came back Monday from Brushy Hills we left after two days of hunting . Four of us were paid up for three days and two had paid for five days and we all left on day two . I agree with Douglas this has to be one of the most over hunted ranches in the state . None of our group seen anything even close to being 14 '' , most did not see a buck at all . I would not waste my time or money going there !!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 12-11-2008, 02:33 PM   #21
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i was there when some of theses last nubbin's where leaving^. i saw 8 shooters in the first two evening hunts and one that kept coming up from behind me in the morning hunts on those two days. now most of the bucks where chasing does so i did not have good shots. the wind kinda messed up my spot worse than i thought it would on my third evening but nick saw a tall shooter 8. i drew on a huge 10 on my second evening but my mole skin on my rest slipped off and my arrow made a horrible "sccrraaatccchhhh". i could have shot atleast three deer over 120" and one of those being over 140" if i did not mess up. last night another guy shot a good bodied cull 6 that was sixteen inches wide and i would have guessed him around 150(ish) lbs. i drove around with rusty and saw some set ups of some hunters that are not exactly fans of brushy hill anymore. i will say this to any hunter who is going out there; this is a day lease. it is 140-150 dollars a day and has no guarantee of a kill. if you set up like its a family ranch with no pressure you will only see nubbin's and does with the occasional young buck roaming around. if the majority of your hunting is done vicariously through the green screen and not in the brush, you will most likely not see a shooter. you need to work hard to get a kill. the funny part is everyone who complains is the same one that think they are the best hunters ever and dont listen to any advise. they usually hunt one spot one day and then move to another if they dont shoot anything. deer are not tied to trees. if you want that, you dont go to a 150 a day, day lease. you go to a 1500+ a weekend, plus kill fees ranch to have more of a guarantee on your hunt.

i am in no way trying to insult anyone on here who is inexperienced at day leases. i am just letting the ones who would like a chance at a good, cheap deer know the "skinny". and with the exception of some high dollar leases and private ranches, there has not been a whole lot of bruiser bucks shot this season. we are in a drought. things change from year to year.

if anyone would like some pointers, feel free to ask on here or pm me.

lee b
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Old 12-11-2008, 07:22 PM   #22
Lonewolf
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What would your pointers be , maybe check the wind direction or check your equipment( such as your arrow rest) before you get to the stand .
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Old 12-11-2008, 08:01 PM   #23
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Lonewolf, I guess you should have tied tree limbs to you and became "one of them". Pulled out some old stalking tricks from Vietnam!
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Old 12-11-2008, 09:00 PM   #24
ronny
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I have hunted this ranch and its like any day lease. Its a hard hunt but if you do it right and get a little lucky you can kill a big deer.
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Old 12-11-2008, 09:18 PM   #25
Heath
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2 days is not enough time to hunt a day lease and make a judgement call on it.
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Old 12-12-2008, 03:08 AM   #26
leebtattoos
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Originally Posted by Lonewolf View Post
What would your pointers be , maybe check the wind direction or check your equipment( such as your arrow rest) before you get to the stand .
well that would be one pointer. that, or know how to hunt. either way. and yes, every pasture has a deer in it. just because some bad hunters cant find them does not mean they are not there. . again, its a day lease. not the holiday inn that ties a deer to a tree for bad hunters. i might be a bad killer, but i sure can see good deer. personally i would rather be a good hunter any day. and for that matter at least i really hunt. save your money for a penned in kill. that is obviously all some sorry "hunters" want out of this sport

Last edited by leebtattoos; 12-12-2008 at 03:24 AM..
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Old 12-12-2008, 08:16 AM   #27
swoledouglas
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I know that you and Rusty are good friends and you have alot of ties to Brushy hills. I am in no way saying that there are no deer on that ranch. I happen to have had a great time with Rusty and tink he is a great guy. This was my first time at Brushy hills and I could only get a two day hunt ( that is all they had available). So I paid Rusty $500 for 5 hunters to get stands set up by someone who knows the ranch and he set all of us up on the corn route so I took the word from your friend that lthat was the place to hunt. so before you start badmouthing people hunting the corn route you might want to think about that.
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Old 12-12-2008, 09:11 AM   #28
leebtattoos
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i am sorry. i really need to install a breathalizer on my computer. you are right in that i should not badmouth anyone. i just got heated because they are my friends and i dont like seeing any bad things about them. yall are obviously entitled to your opinions. my bad. i will just leave it with you have your review and i have mine. they differ and that is fine. sorry you did not see the deer you wanted.

lee b
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Old 12-12-2008, 09:24 AM   #29
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I have hunted there the past couple of years and have not had a shot at a good buck, but I know they're there. Every trip down I change my strategy and scout new areas for "next time". My buddy that has hunted out there for a long time stuck his first deer last year. Thats what I like about it, its a challenge. What better way to test your skills than to go up against the smartest deer in Texas. If you hunt for 4-5 days your out 500-600 bucks. Thats a fourth of what a south Texas lease would cost you. The stories told and the experience gained are worth that. This place ,or any other day lease for that matter, isn't for every hunter. If you go there your first time and expect to kill a see/kill a buck than your mistaken. Alot of the hunters who have success on these ranches are repeat customers that return year after year, with multiple trips every year. My advise is to get an aerial map find 2-3 spots that look good and set up your own corn route, set up cameras, multiple blinds for different winds, and plan on taking 20-30 yard shots through one opening in the brush thats only 12" wide, because thats what its going to take. Try it again, you'll be a better hunter from the experience. I know I am!
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Old 12-12-2008, 04:46 PM   #30
Lonewolf
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I've been bowhunting 20+ years , killed many whitetail I don't know exactly how many my profile picture has the buck I killed this year , 3 mule deer , 2 turkeys , many hogs . I have been on day lease for the past 15 years and Brushy Hill was the most I've ever paid . I have hunted ever where I could including the national forest in East Texas and Colorado . I'm not looking for a canned hunt and maybe just we got a bad pasture (west river) , I know little deer make little tracks , big deer make big ones and if thier nocturnal they still leave tracks . We seen (1) track I would consider large . Also the west river pasture according to the map we were given looks to be between 160 and 200 acres notenough for 6 hunters . In two days of hunting from 6 hunters only 2 bucks were seen that wasn't a spike and they were more like 10'' wide deer, that was covering almost the whole pasture one of the guys offered to pay Rusty a $100.00 to set his wife up on a shooter and he never came by to do it . I''m not trying to get a dig in because I didn't see a buck , I wish someone had told me before I sent in a deposit , I have a friend that is an excellant hunter that went to the west river pasture in November and he told me what to expect after he got back , thier group had the same results we did , no shooters seen .
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Old 12-13-2008, 12:35 PM   #31
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Me and my brother-in-law just got back from Brushy Hill Ranch we really enjoyed our stay there. The hunting of course was not easy but it did sharping my skills. I did see about six shooter bucks while I was there one of them being around 140 class buck. I did not shoot any bucks while there but that is not the ranches fault. I did take one shot at 38 yards and missed, this was my falut because I left my range finder in the truck and made a bad judgement on the distance. Hey thats hunting. My brother-in-law shot a nice cull buck ( 6 point no brow tines). I will say this about Brushy Hill Ranch the people are nice and if you ask questions they will give you the best answer they can. Oh we hunted Hog Heaven North pasture. We also had some friends that came in the day before we left that are on a seven day hunt, one of the guys hunting with them shoot a real nice heavy horned 8 point on his first hunt. I would normally say that this was just sure luck, but this guy has been to the ranch for the last 5 years and has harvested a nice buck every time. I would say that he knows the ranch well enough and his skills as a hunter are such that he is able to take a buck every time he goes. To sum up my report I would give Brushy Hill Ranch 4 out of 5 stars. I am going back next year to give it another try and this time my range finder will be in my fanny pack at all times. lol
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Old 12-13-2008, 08:54 PM   #32
The Sicilian
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I would like to meet the hunter that can take a trophy whitetail buck every time he goes hunting. I have eight on the wall and I know I've hunted more than eight times in my life.
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Old 12-13-2008, 10:35 PM   #33
Horitexan
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Ok, I'm going to try and address some of the negative comments posted lately in here; but, before I do, I want to make it clear that I am biased, to a degree. Rusty is my best friend, I'm very close friends with Pete and Ava and I do a lot of work for them around the ranch, including running the website. Now, you may think that makes me too biased; but I'd say that all the time I spend on the ranch (7-10 days per month all year) gives me a pretty clear picture of what's going on and the validity of a lot of comments, both good and bad. I do not speak for Pete or the ranch- I'm posting as a private bowhunter and TBH member. Normally I just let this stuff go because of the conflict of interest and let others chime in as they have (thanks y'all!); but this time I feel like I need to address some of the comments to clarify some of the facts. So, for what it's worth...

Lonewolf - Some pastures ARE better than others depending on the conditions at any given time and, during a drought and on a north wind the River Pasture can be difficult to hunt. But, that's nobody's fault- especially not Pete's or the ranch's. It's just bad luck that's part of hunting, plain and simple. Normally, when there isn't a record breaking drought going on, those fields in the River are filled with oat patches and they suck a lot of deer out of the brush in the back, including some great bucks. Again, that's just bad luck and is a situation outside of EVERYONE'S control. You chose the pasture or accepted it because it was the only one available at the time you wanted. For someone that's " been bowhunting 20+ years , killed many whitetail" I'd think you would be more sympathetic and understanding of times when conditions are against you.

You mentioned that the pasture (River West) was only 160-200 acres but the fact is that it's just over 500 acres; which is plenty for 6 bowhunters. I checked and you were only booked as a group of 3 hunters yet you showed up as a group of 6. Now, had Pete known that there were 6 people before you arrived, he might not have booked the other group or only put a small group in to share the the whole River Pasture. It's hard to accommodate a group, on a moment's notice, that's twice the size of the one expected- especially during the busiest part of the season as the rut is starting. A lot of ranches simply wouldn't have let the other folks hunt. Not even a good word for that?

I'm not sure why you couldn't find any "big" tracks. I'm in the pastures filling feeders, running the corn route and helping set people up for semi-guided hunts and I NEVER have any trouble finding the tracks of "big" deer or good sign. In fact, in the River Pasture West where you were hunting there are two HUGE scrapes just inside the gate and several large rubs that are constantly surrounded by the tracks of the 10-point that's making them. The guys hunting there before you and the ones hunting there now have seen him and Pete sees him regularly on the corn route.

Another thing you forgot to mention in your analysis of the ranch is the fact that at least part of your group arrived just as the corn route was about to start; and that, even though the route was delayed slightly, to accomodate you and your group, y'all were still setting up when the corn truck came through. Now, anyone that's hunted a day lease with a corn route can tell you that getting in your stand AFTER the corn route is run is not a recipe for a lot of success. It's like getting into a stand with a feeder that's already gone off. If I'm not mistaken, I remember hearing that people weren't all in their stands on the following evening either. Now, I can certainly understand people getting lost on their way to the ranch (your buddy and his wife) or running late getting in their stands but it seems to me the ranch was pretty gracious and accommodating. I can tell you, at most other big day lease operations (i.e. First Point , KJO or BAO) there wouldn't be ANY delay in running the corn route to accommodate ANY hunter.

As far as your comment about your buddy asking Rusty, “to set his wife up on a shooter” and then not showing up, you kinda left part of that story out too, didn't you? Rusty told your buddy that he'd help set her up in a good spot IF he had time the following day. As it turned out and as you know and were told, that wasn't possible- Pete was in San Antone for a surgery and when the plumbing broke in one of the cabins Rusty had to spend the whole day under the cabin re-doing the plumbing- he simply didn't have the time to set her up. It had nothing to do with him blowing you off or ignoring your buddy or not wanting to help. Not including this part of the story in your review is not only disingenuous but it's exactly the kind of “dig” you claimed you weren't trying to “get in!” I've watched Rusty help out endless hunters who were having a hard time without asking for a penny and I've helped him set a lot of them up just to try and make sure everyone had a good chance at an animal- WHEN there was time and when they actually stuck around to hunt. As we did for CARBON SLINGER and his brother-in-law.

I don't think you gave the ranch a fair shake by only hunting for 2 evenings and one morning- especially considering the wind, weather and the drought; not to mention getting into stands after the corn truck went through. I also would have thought that with all your experience you wouldn't have let one of your group members sit on a 5 gallon bucket only 5 yards off the corn route. The guys who were in that pasture up until the day y'all arrived had tried to extend their hunt for another 4 days and couldn't because you were booked in- they ALL had shooters every day. And the hunters in there right now are also seeing shooters. I'm not sure why y'all didn't see or shoot anything but I can tell you that when I pay for a total of 10 hunts (5 mornings and 5 evenings) I stay for every one of them, come hell or high water, and I work my butt off to MAKE something happen- instead of just quiting after 3 sits. I guess I'm just hard headed.

I'd love to know of a day lease with the size, potential and freedom that Brushy Hill provides that costs LESS- I'd definitely book a hunt there and try it out. And I'm curious why you didn't cancel your hunt and ask for your deposit back after your friend that's such an accomplished hunter gave you a bad report on his November hunt- especially since you clearly know less expensive day leases. It seems to me that you started the hunt with a negative attitude and the hunting gods obliged. And it's REALLY unfair (not to mention inaccurate and spiteful) to review a ranch and post it publicly after only a day and a half of hunting in ONE (of 7) of the pastures that only accounts for 1/12th of the entire ranch. Especially considering some of the stuff that went on during that brief time.

I'm not trying to portray Brushy Hill as the greatest bowhunting opportunity in Texas- it isn't; and I'm not saying there isn't room for improvement- there is. However, for the money, you're hard-pressed to find a better south Texas day lease that provides you the size, opportunity and freedom that Brushy Hill provides. Is it over hunted? No- it's hunted hard and the deer are smart and spooky. That's just the price you pay for paying less to hunt. Is it hard hunting? Sure it is. Is it worth it? I think so in spades and so do the 80+ percent of hunters who re-book at the end of their hunts. I wish you'd go back, with a better attitude and some more determination, and give the ranch another chance- you might just find out what a whole lot of other hunters who are there year after year have found. Including success.
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Old 12-13-2008, 11:09 PM   #34
cgeoffrey
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WOW! Havent had a spanking like that since I was small.......yikes. feels like it is time to wrap this thread up before bottles get smashed, chairs broken and hair pulled.
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Old 12-14-2008, 12:48 AM   #35
Horitexan
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Originally Posted by swoledouglas View Post
I just got back from Brushy Hills on Sunday. I Never saw horns. I saw hundreds of does and button bucks but never laid eyes on a buck not ever from a distance. This place has been way over hunted and they have a no doe policy that has allowed the doe population to get out of control. we stayed with 12 guys in our cabin not one got a deer. one of our guys got an opportunity at a nice deer but it was too close to 14" to gamble $500. Rusty the ranch manager is a hoot but other than that I felt I had wasted my money.
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Originally Posted by swoledouglas View Post
I know that you and Rusty are good friends and you have alot of ties to Brushy hills. I am in no way saying that there are no deer on that ranch. I happen to have had a great time with Rusty and tink he is a great guy. This was my first time at Brushy hills and I could only get a two day hunt ( that is all they had available). So I paid Rusty $500 for 5 hunters to get stands set up by someone who knows the ranch and he set all of us up on the corn route so I took the word from your friend that lthat was the place to hunt. so before you start badmouthing people hunting the corn route you might want to think about that.
Swoledouglas- Nick, I know that Rusty liked you a whole lot too- He told me such after he set y'all up and again when we were looking at this thread this morning. I can tell you that it really bothers him when the guys who he sets up don't have any success- he takes it kinda hard and personal. But, I think you know he did the best he could within the constraints he had like the short hunt and the environmental conditions.

You're absolutely right about the doe population being too high and it's an issue that the ranch is trying to address but it's not a simple one. Let me tell you WHY the "No Does" policy was put into effect a couple of years ago. Pete had always allowed hunters to take does until 3 years ago when he began loosing LOTS of nubbin bucks to inexperienced hunters who mistook them for does. Mistakes can always happen but when it started happening on a near daily basis at times during that season he finally decided to institute the "No Does" policy to keep from losing a large portion of his yearling bucks- something that would have had an even WORSE effect on the whitetail hunting at Brushy Hill. Nonetheless, it's an issue that's being looked at and they're trying to find a way to fix it as best they can without loosing potential good bucks in the process.

As I remarked to Lonewolf, though, I think it's pretty unfair to make broad sweeping judgements about a ranch after a 2-day hunt in a single pasture that only accounts for about 1/10th (in your case) of the ranch. Especially since that short a hunt prevented you from exploring much of the pasture you hunted. I'm on the ranch 7-10 days a month all year long and I hunt something MOST of those days and I'm STILL finding spots I didn't know existed; and that's with a best friend that's the ranch foreman. So, there's no way you could have explored enough to make an objective evaluation about the pasture, much less the ranch and the overall hunting conditions.

As a day lease, there's no way that Rusty could do much BUT put you on the corn route for the first setup. Sure, he knew you'd see a lot of does but where there are does there are likely to be bucks; and he wanted you to see deer. Besides, hunting the corn route can produce some pretty good shooters. For example, this week I was getting beat by the big buck I've been hunting all year was getting the better of me so I decided to leave my regular spots (hidden WAY back in the thick brush WAY off the corn route) and hunt along the corn route. I ended up having 11 doe, 2 spikes and 2 shooters EVERY day- one I wanted to let go and the other never gave me a really good shot but that's how it goes. The corn route produced great results and it was more MY choice not to shoot than anything; but I had a week to hunt. Off the corn route hunting requires hand feeding for a day or two (at least) and if he had sat you in one of those spots you'd have been writing how you didn't see ANY deer- the way some other people have. A 2-day hunt is like playing roulette- you might win big but the odds are as bad as it gets short of not hunting at all. That's the gamble you take when you book a super short hunt. I understand that those 2 days were all the time that was available, but you had to know you were taking a big chance when you made the booking. I'll wager that had you NOT had Rusty's advice you might well have seen even less than you did- not because the deer (does & bucks) aren't there, but because it's too much ground to cover in such a short time for ANY hunter if you've never been there before.

One of the other unfortunate, but uncontrollable, factors that hurt your hunt (besides the short duration) was the fact that you had the River Pasture East on a North wind- it's the absolute hardest pasture to hunt on a north wind because it has so many fields and the way the corn route is you lose a lot of potential spots. The wind blows out of the brush accross the corn route into the field. This year, in particular, with the drought being so bad the oats didn't come up either. So, in a pasture that's full of oat patches that're now baren, the practical size of the pasture is even more reduced and the usual draw it has eliminated except for the corn route and feeders. These are conditions that are outside of the ranch's control and are just bad luck. But that doesn't mean there aren't still opportunities to get a good buck- there are. It's just a lot harder than usual.

Hunting Brushy Hill is HARD and it requires some luck in addition to skill; and I know how disheartening it is to go out hunting with big hopes and not see them fulfilled. But those are the breaks of hunting whether it happens to one guy or 12. Just because none of the guys in the cabin got a deer over the 2 days you were there DOESN'T mean there is a lack of shooters. All it means is that none of the guys was lucky enough, skilled enough or a combination of both. This year has been tough all over. Every place I know, particularly in the Sabinal area has been struggling with harvesting the typical numbers of bucks- even on the high dollar high-fence ranches. NOBODY has been seeing the usual number of shooters. Fortunately, though, in the last 10 days or so the rut has really begun to start kicking in and every day hunters are seeing more and more bucks. Why they've been hiding so much this year is anyone's guess; but they have been.

You're certainly entitled to your opinion but I think you're being way too harsh and basing your judgement on a single experience that was extremely limited. Brushy Hill has a lot more to offer than you experienced but it's one of those places that requires a load of determination and an investment of time to reap the benefits unless you're (in the general sense) really lucky. Rusty and I and every other hunter that has regular success at Brushy Hill tell people, "Come down during the off season for some hog hunting and spend your days exploring and scouting the ranch for deer season- especially in the late summer when you can start looking for velvet rubs. That way you learn the ranch and can explore ALL the pastures and get a feel for exactly WHERE you want to hunt whitetail. " The ranch has a lot of good deer but they're smart and hard to hunt and that's what it takes to get a really good shooter. Personally I don't mind doing all that work because I get a bigger reward out of harvesting an animal on a hard to hunt place.

I hope that you will change your mind some time and, at least, come do some off-season hog hunting and do some exploring to really get an idea of the ranch's potential. If you did I'll bet you'd end up changing your mind. In any case, I hope the rest of your season goes better and Rusty said to say hello.
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Old 12-14-2008, 01:40 AM   #36
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WOW! Havent had a spanking like that since I was small.......yikes. feels like it is time to wrap this thread up before bottles get smashed, chairs broken and hair pulled.

cgeoffrey- I'm not trying to "spank" anyone. I'm trying to address some of the 'spankings' Brushy Hill is taking in this thread for things that are unfounded. I'm absolutely a close friend of the ranch and I care a great deal about it and my friends that own and run it; but I'm also a pragmatist and a hunter there and I don't have any problem discussing real shortcomings the ranch may have. I just don't take kindly to unneccessary bashing that's based on half-truths or that's unduly harsh- especially when I was there to see what went on for myself. I don't think I threw any chairs or pulled any hair- I just filled in the blanks in the events laid out by someone else and addressed each issue that had been brought up.

While I may not agree entirely with your assesment, it wasn't spiteful and I agree with you that the does are an issue. I hope you'll read what I wrote to swoledouglas about how the doe population got so big- so you'll at least know why. To me, yours was an appropriate review of your particular experience at the ranch so I can understand your opinion. Of course I wish you felt diferently and I wish that I had been there while you were so that I could have tried to give you the help you needed and wanted. I spend a lot of my time on the ranch helping other hunters that aren't familiar with the ranch and I get a great deal of satisfaction out of doing it- especially when they harvest an animal that really 'floats their boat!' I got a HUGE kick out of helping out CARBON SLINGER and his brother-in-law and I made two new hunting buddies who subsequently joined TBH. How much better does it get than that?

In regards to your comment about feeling foolish for hunting hard and coming up empty, I think it's a little sad. I don't think anyone should feel "foolish" for hunting hard whether they harvest an animal or not. To me hunting is about the process much more than it's about the result and the reward is in the "doing" rather than just the "getting." Sure, I LOVE shooting a good animal; but I don't need to shoot one to feel fulfilled- if I do it's icing on the cake. Like this year- I've been hunting a couple of really big, OLD (5.5 & 6.5)deer that are smart as heck and have eluded all my best tricks. I've already hunted them 23 days (about 40 sits) and I still haven't gotten either of them. I've passed quite a few "shooters" in the mean time but I don't feel "foolish." I may not even get one of them this year but I'm still having a blast! I've learned even more hunting them and that alone is a big reward for me

I guess we all have our own definition of success and it's hard to understand other people's definitions.

If you ever decide to give Brushy Hill another chance, give me a shout and maybe we'll meet up down there and I'll show you some 'honey hole' hunting spots I know. Have a great season!
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Old 12-14-2008, 07:48 AM   #37
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In the end, what we do is HUNT..
Remember, this is HUNTING... Not killing.
If what you want is a sure thing, I am sure there are places with canned hunts that will gladly take your money. It bothers me as well, and I have not been to Brushy Creek, that anyone would spend money on a day lease, spend two days, and then bad mouth it.
If that was the case, I could have done that when I went to Mesquite Bowhunting.
It is a day lease people. It does and will continue to have hunting pressure. You as the Hunter, MUST change your tactics, spend time in the woods, look for sign, and plan accordingly.
Why bad mouth a place based on a very limited time there. Be honest with your reviews so that other bowhunters on this site can make an HONEST Judgement Call on possibly attending this ranch.
I spoke of Mesquite. I went there on a two day hunt and NEVER DREW MY bow on an animal. Does that make it a bad ranch? No. Maybe I could have worked harder. But the point is I carried my daughter there and she harvested her first two animals with a bow. That my friends makes that ranch a success. Had I spent more than 4 hunts there, and still not drawn, then yes, I probably would have had a different opinion.
We are all hunters and take the chance of harvesting each and everytime we enter the woods. Remember that. If everytime you got on stand, a muture shooter showed up, how much fun would that be??
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Old 12-14-2008, 08:41 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by Bowanta View Post
In the end, what we do is HUNT..
Remember, this is HUNTING... Not killing.
If what you want is a sure thing, I am sure there are places with canned hunts that will gladly take your money. It bothers me as well, and I have not been to Brushy Creek, that anyone would spend money on a day lease, spend two days, and then bad mouth it.
If that was the case, I could have done that when I went to Mesquite Bowhunting.
It is a day lease people. It does and will continue to have hunting pressure. You as the Hunter, MUST change your tactics, spend time in the woods, look for sign, and plan accordingly.
Why bad mouth a place based on a very limited time there. Be honest with your reviews so that other bowhunters on this site can make an HONEST Judgement Call on possibly attending this ranch.
I spoke of Mesquite. I went there on a two day hunt and NEVER DREW MY bow on an animal. Does that make it a bad ranch? No. Maybe I could have worked harder. But the point is I carried my daughter there and she harvested her first two animals with a bow. That my friends makes that ranch a success. Had I spent more than 4 hunts there, and still not drawn, then yes, I probably would have had a different opinion.
We are all hunters and take the chance of harvesting each and everytime we enter the woods. Remember that. If everytime you got on stand, a muture shooter showed up, how much fun would that be??
X2...
I would think that maybe the ranch had nothing to do with not seeing any shooters. Do you think the larger, smarter bucks were in the thick brush just like they are all over the state? You have to remember, these animals are hunting hard, EVERYDAY!!! They are on full alert all the time. Their senses are always put to the test. They are constantly looking in the trees, brush, thickets at anything abnormal. If they get the slightest idea that something is out of the ordinary then you won't be seeing them, unless they are in a plain old sexually driven drunken stuper, high as a kite on some good old doe in heat!!!

The deer on my regular deer lease are not as "on edge" due to them not being hunted everyday, 24-7. In fact, the animals on these day leases are sometimes (most of the time) harder to actually harvest due to this...but timing is everything and your hard work is also very important. You still have to play the wind, Scent Control has to be at the top of your list, you have to be very, very still...they can see the slightest movement from 200 yards away...they have to, they are trying to survive!!!

I had a fabulous hunt at Mesquite Bowhunting. I saw plenty of animals, some shooters and some were not. I was hunting exotics...the Axis I was hunting never made an appearance until it was too late for me...but I had an absolute blast. I got to see animals I don't get to see everyday, I got to have a wonderful time at Camp with family and friends. I got to be outside, enjoying nature with a front row seat.

The one thing I learned is that if you are hunting a single type of animal, you may never see it...so leave your options open. The day leases are not guarentees, in fact, like I said earlier, they are harder to hunt in my opinion. They just eliminate you having to spend all that time filling feeders, mowing, setting out game cams, setting up stands, trimming shooting lanes, expenses of buying stands, corn, feeders, cameras, etc...

I wish you luck on your next trip...but please keep in mind, [u]it's not just about the "kill"...its about the hunt, the adventure, the memories, the photos, the friends, the family, nature, the animals, and most importantly it's about you, being alive and well, being able to do something like this and witness in that front row seat the things that God has put here on earth for us to enjoy.[/U]
My 2 cents...

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Old 12-14-2008, 09:24 AM   #39
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Knight,
AMEN Brother. I am glad you had a good time at Mesquite. Gerald is Good People and from what I saw, he works his butt off for his clients.
I also had great recommedations from HCA Shooter and AggieBowhunter about Mesquite and I echo their remarks.
I wish I could get back there soon. There is an axis or two, a fallow or two, and a few Aoudad I would love to get another chance at..
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Old 12-14-2008, 10:08 AM   #40
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you know I was pretty benign on the whole brushy hills discussion as I dont think I had unreasonable expectations. I knew before I went they were hunted hard. I knew before I went that I like the hunt not just the kill. I knew before I went that 5 days on one pasture still isnt enough for effective scouting, but..... since the prevailing winds on this thread seem to be bringing in accusations of lack of skill, lack of effort, and "wanting to kill something canned, or tied to a tree" I feel obliged to also tell my side of my brushy hill experience. I asked both pete and rusty for pointers on where to go in the kreagor pasture. know what they said? Both to the man said "I dont know" when pressed they said "Well If I were you I would stick to the corn route". Dont lob at me lack of skill, I was simply being a good boy and listening to the advice of the people who know the ranch. After 3 sits on the corn route my father and I left the corn route despite the advice of pete and rusty and started working harder. as a matter of fact rusty commented that he could never find us because we were beating the brush all afternoon scouting. The result. hard work no shooters and MANY doe....... and secondly I asked their advice on time of year and pasture and they suggested both. Here is the bottom line on the beef. Everyone likes the hunting part not just the killing, but is it hunting if there is nothing to be hunted. Would you go on a self guided south texas Wolly Mammoth hunt? If you would I would run the corn route for you.
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Old 12-14-2008, 10:35 AM   #41
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My last commet on this . We did not surprise them with extra hunters I have the reciept for 6 hunters on 4/4/08 for $1650.00. In refrence to sitting on a b ucket he did that from a vantage point to watch Rusty put corn out only just to see if anything was coming to the corn route . We had 4 full sittings , Rusty did beat us to the stands on the fist day but not the second . In two days of hunting we each set on stand for about 12 hours each and none of us seen a decient buck even from a distance .
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Old 12-14-2008, 02:56 PM   #42
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When I went it was the first time to ever hunt a day lease and really did not know what to expect. I read all the post on this website about how the hunting is at each and every day lease listed. So with that said most of the negitive comments really made me unsure of which place to pick, so me and my brother-in-law decided to go with one of the bigger ranches ( Brushy Hills ) . When we first got there Pete Dennie the owner greeted us with open arms and a smiling face, soon Rusty the ranch hand showed up and greeted us with the same. We talked to both of them for about 30 mintues about the pasture we were going to hunt and they both gave us great information. I would say the most valuable information was on how to properly brush in your hunting blind and also do not hunt the corn route in the morning. I did not listen to them about the corn route though and paid for it by not seeing any deer in the morning, but my brother-in-law did listen and saw deer when he sat in his blind back up in the brush in a area with lots of trails leading into one. He did not shot his buck there but did see a few 8 points, spikes and lots of does. I know people get very disapointed when they pay money and dont shoot anything but that just happens sometimes. I dont think at Brushy Hills it is the ranches fault that you dont see deer there, because when I was hunting sign was everywhere. I myself thought at first it was because of no rain to wash old tracks away, but on our second day it rained hard enough to wash all the old tracks away so that we could do some fresh scouting. The next day after our morning hunt we scouted the pasture out for fresh sign and there was plenty to see, small tracks big tracks both were seen, so after our scouting we decided to move one of our stands to very used crossing that we found. My bro hunted this spot that night and shot a nice six point with no brow tines ( 16 inch spread ). My bro hunted this stand 3 times and averaged seeing 17 deer each time, he also told me when looking for the buck he shot he stepped out on the road and looked to his left and saw a very big buck at about 200 yards. I will till you when my bro says he saw a big buck you can bet your bottum dollar that he is telling the truth about it. I guess what im saying is that for my money Brushy Hills was great even though I did not shot a deer. I did have my chance and it was my fault it did not happen. So i would like to thank all my good friends at Brushy Hill Ranch for all of thier help and friendship. See ya next year!
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Old 12-14-2008, 03:42 PM   #43
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I will be the first to apologize if what I said was accusatory towards anyone and his/her ability. My comment was to generalize a day lease operation.
To sum up my previous comments, It is HUNTING that we enjoy. We take someone on his/her word about a location, and from that we must make up our own mind as to what we call a success. If the kill makes it a success, then so be it. If it is the fellowship that we get while on a hunt, then so be that.
It is what you make it. I just do not understand beating up an operation that does not measure up to ones expectation. It is a DAY LEASE. More than likely it is hunted everyday, 7 days a week, for the entire season. Put that much pressure on ANY lease and see what kind of animals you see.
Just my 2 cents. Not meant to offend anyone...
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Old 12-15-2008, 08:21 AM   #44
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Looj guys I guess I was misunderstood or taken out of context. I am not badmouthing anyone here or telling anyone they shouldn't go to brushy hills. This is a rate the day lease thread and I did just that. I never said that there were no deer at brushy hills I simply said that none of us saw them. This may be because we suck as hunters and we don't deserve to touch a bow but reguardless I was just stating the facts of my experience. As for the Rusty coment I made was not putting Rusty down by any means it was so many were putting me down for hunting the corn route and I was simply informing them that Rusty put me there and if they are talking trash about where I hunted then tey are talking trash about where he put me. I think rusty did the best he could with what he had to work with. I assure you guys I am not bashing anyone and have no ill will towards brushy hills or any one there. I just never saw horns. That is the point I was trying to make. If I offended anyone I am sorry and I hope you can forgive me. I had not intended to upset anyone or make anyone belive that there is no deer on the entire ranch. I have no opinion on about 95% of the ranch just the river east where I hunted. I hope this clears up and misunderstandings that are out there.
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Old 12-15-2008, 12:45 PM   #45
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Swoledouglas-

I was not trying to slam you and I thought I wrote a pretty nice reply to your comments. Like I told you, Rusty really liked you and felt bad you didn't get a deer; and everyone at Brushy Hill hopes you'll give it another shot again some time. I don't think there's anything in the post I directed at you that was negative other than saying I don't think it's fair to rate the ranch based on your limited experience there (and given the wind conditions) without at least QUALIFYING your experience with comments like, "but we only hunted a couple of days in ONE of the 7 pastures." I never commented on your hunting ability nor would I because there's no indication it was lacking; and, certainly, NO ONE at Brushy Hill has anything but nice things to say about you.

The only reason I commented to you was the fact that your comments appear, to anyone that doesn't know better, to refer to the ranch as a whole- because you didn't qualify it by mentioning the limited time frame of your hunt and the fact that you only hunted a single pasture. If any offense was taken, I apologize because NONE was meant! Maybe I didn't explain myself properly; and for that I certainly apologize.
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Old 12-15-2008, 01:37 PM   #46
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My last commet on this . We did not surprise them with extra hunters I have the reciept for 6 hunters on 4/4/08 for $1650.00. In refrence to sitting on a bucket he did that from a vantage point to watch Rusty put corn out only just to see if anything was coming to the corn route . We had 4 full sittings , Rusty did beat us to the stands on the fist day but not the second . In two days of hunting we each set on stand for about 12 hours each and none of us seen a decient buck even from a distance .

Actually, you DID surprise the ranch and, even so, they accommodated you. The deposit for a 5 day hunt for a single person is $375 so $1650 would be a deposit for 4.4 people not 6. Even if that deposit is correct, it still wouldn't cover 6 hunters on a 5 day hunt when the ranch requires a 50% deposit for a $150 per day hunt.

Being outside your blind when the corn route comes through, FOR ANY REASON, is ridiculous- the deer that come out will spot you getting back into the blind and avoid you like a plague. There's just no GOOD reason for sitting on a bucket along the corn route while it's being run, LOL!

You didn't have 4 sittings- you had three; and the reason I KNOW is that I came by your cabin before what SHOULD have been your 4th sitting, to try and help y'all with your setups, because Rusty was jammed up with ranch responsibilities. I even checked the cabins and there wasn't a stitch in them- y'all had cleared out completely well before the MIDWAY point of your hunt.

In the River Pasture West there isn't really any place to see any long distance. So, if you were in your blinds for 12 hours (on the SINGLE full day you hunted) you couldn't have "seen" any real long distance. Unless, of course, you were out of the blinds and walking around- which would explain a lot. I could have SWORN I saw y'all around the cabin around lunch time, though, on the only full day you spent at the ranch. I sure remember seeing that 150 class Iowa buck decoy y'all had.

Look, you're certainly entitled to your opinion and I have NO problem with someone who didn't have success at the ranch posting it. But when there are some SERIOUS mitigating factors that are omitted, and they explain A LOT about how/why the hunt went the way it did, I'm going to jump to the ranch's defense and fill in the blanks. Especially when it's posted with the vigor that you did and when it's going to give a disproportionately negative image about the ranch- particularly to others who may be interested in hunting there. If you have all the experience you claim and you have cheaper and better options, like you said you did, I have to wonder why you chose to spend more money at a ranch you don't know. Pete and Rusty would have liked nothing better than for every member of your party to shoot a good buck. Unfortunately, that's just not going to happen on such a popular day lease ranch- ESPECIALLY when you don't even finish your hunt! Even if we go with your claim that you hunted 4 sits, it's just not reasonable to expect great results from 2 days hunting a ranch you've never been to before- particularly a day lease. Had you completed your hunt you might have had more credence to gripe; but you didn't.
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Old 12-15-2008, 04:17 PM   #47
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Ok, in closing I did not mean to bad mouth Brushy Hills Ranch or start a all out thread war I had just gotten back and I was disapointed because this was my first day lease adventure and I had gotten all hyped up about it and I didn't know what to expect. I only spent 2 days (4 sittings) in the River east and I only hunted the corn route. These are the facts and I didn't get the opportunity to see any horns. I am sure that there are deer on this ranch and I am certain that they were probably in the pasture I hunted I just never saw them. I am not a experienced day lease hunter and I am sure that had alot to do with it. I hope this clears up any more issues with anyone who is a fan of this ranch. I guess educations are expensive and I got an education. I would also like to add that instead of throwing shots at other members for giving their bad experiences you guys might want to just tell people about your good ones. There will be hunters that are not happy with their experiences at your ranch and they have just as much right to post thier opinions as you do.
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Old 12-15-2008, 04:25 PM   #48
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Swoledouglas,

Hunting day leases can give you an education and will make you a better hunter. I remember my first trip to a day lease in 1998 and had an experience like you did, but I stuck with it. In the future, any extra days you can book will make you have a better hunt. I have always felt at the end of 4 sittings I had a pretty good idea on what the deer are doing, but in most cases all I could do was talk about it on the way home. I try to book as many days as I can beyond the two. Day lease hunting is different and more of a game, but will make you a better hunter.
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Old 12-15-2008, 04:47 PM   #49
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Thank you I will keep that in mind.
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Old 12-15-2008, 05:09 PM   #50
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I just walked in from hunting at Brushy Hill this past weekend. We saw does and a couple of spikes but no shooters, no turkeys, and no hogs. The web site says "Most cabins have full kitchens with stoves, ovens refrigerators" but our accomodations (a room in the barn behind the ranch house) did not have a kitchen so cooking was done on a small charcoal grill. We had to change our hunt from a Friday/Saturday/Sunday hunt to a Saturday/Sunday/Monday hunt about a month or two ago due to a schedule conflict. Both Pete and Rusty were friendly and answered all of our questions.

I am not an expert at hunting on a day lease nor am I the world's greatest bow hunter (in fact, I have not taken a deer with my bow - only hogs) so I won't get into the debate going on above. It was great being out hunting but it would have been much more enjoyable had we seen a shootable deer. It was kind of windy on Saturday and the full moon was working against us. It was windy this morning too. It also would have been nice to be in a hunting cabin versus a room in a barn, but it was warm and dry.

I guess overall I would say we got our money's worth. Some may say hunting is all about the pursuit not the kill. For me, I would have been quite satisfied had our hunt been tilted a little more in the direction of the kill.

For the record, I did not pay anything to Brushy Hill for the hunt. I won a hunt for 2 people for deer, turkeys, and hogs in an auction at the LSBA Expo this past summer. It is my understanding that some ranch owners donate hunts in exchange for advertising although I do not know if that was the arrangement in this instance. In any event, I paid very close to what it would have cost had I booked a hunt for 2 through the ranch.
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