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Old 10-15-2018, 10:18 AM   #301
NxSTexan
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Iím guessing the mosquitos will be super thick. Work has a small place in Rio Hondo, and they have been getting rain every few days. In fact, they had around 5 inches last week. I think it is about 15 miles west of the headquarters.


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Hiking as much as I think I will be is one thing and I'm good with it. But hiking that much in soft marshy terrain is going to suck.


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Old 10-15-2018, 12:06 PM   #302
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Yíall are really taking the fun out of this trip. Maybe the softies will stay home. Lol and maybe I wonít stay long.....


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Old 10-15-2018, 12:08 PM   #303
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Yíall are really taking the fun out of this trip. Maybe the softies will stay home. Lol and maybe I wonít stay long.....


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The suck, struggle, and suffering is the fun!


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Old 10-15-2018, 01:13 PM   #304
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The suck, struggle, and suffering is the fun!


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We're all carnivores but this ^^^ is what separates the hunters from the scavengers
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Old 10-15-2018, 03:29 PM   #305
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Originally Posted by SoTXAg06 View Post
Iím guessing the mosquitos will be super thick. Work has a small place in Rio Hondo, and they have been getting rain every few days. In fact, they had around 5 inches last week. I think it is about 15 miles west of the headquarters.


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Brace yourselves, this year will be mosquito heaven. If you forget something make sure it is not your mosquito repellent. It is raining again as of this writing.

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Old 10-15-2018, 03:32 PM   #306
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Yíall are really taking the fun out of this trip. Maybe the softies will stay home. Lol and maybe I wonít stay long.....


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I have seen hunters give up in the middle of a hunt before here at the Atascosa because of the mosquitos. LOL

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Old 10-15-2018, 03:40 PM   #307
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I have seen hunters give up in the middle of a hunt before here at the Atascosa because of the mosquitos. LOL

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I'd say rub mud on to prevent the bloodsuckers but there's probably larva all up in the mud too.



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Old 10-15-2018, 03:43 PM   #308
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I have seen hunters give up in the middle of a hunt before here at the Atascosa because of the mosquitos. LOL

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LOL yeah pretty that's typical. After a few close encounters with rattle snakes there's been some so scared to walk off the road that go home.

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Old 10-15-2018, 04:10 PM   #309
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Year before last, I saw two guys wading through the grass wearing shorts and Crocs the first day. They were headed to their truck. I never saw that truck again the rest of the hunt.
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Old 10-15-2018, 04:47 PM   #310
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I agree with all of the above and Iím still coming! We will see how long I last. Just not as mad at myself as I was in my younger years. Ready to get this thing started.


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Old 10-15-2018, 05:04 PM   #311
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I'd say rub mud on to prevent the bloodsuckers but there's probably larva all up in the mud too.



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The first hunt is still about a month away. We will see how bad they are then.

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Old 10-15-2018, 05:05 PM   #312
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I agree with all of the above and Iím still coming! We will see how long I last. Just not as mad at myself as I was in my younger years. Ready to get this thing started.


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Just prepare is all. It an be rewarding.

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Old 10-16-2018, 11:28 AM   #313
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Hiking as much as I think I will be is one thing and I'm good with it. But hiking that much in soft marshy terrain is going to suck.


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There isn't that much soft marshy crap, it's mostly fairly hard packed sandy terrain but you might have to cross some marshy spots. Bring tall waterproof boots or gaiters!
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Old 10-16-2018, 07:44 PM   #314
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Got drawn for the 2/1-2/3 rifle hunt. First thing I've ever been drawn for.
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Old 10-16-2018, 09:56 PM   #315
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Can't edit my last post for some reason. I'll be solo so if anyone else draws those dates and wants to scout or make a meat hauling pact let me know.
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Old 10-17-2018, 01:38 PM   #316
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Can't edit my last post for some reason. I'll be solo so if anyone else draws those dates and wants to scout or make a meat hauling pact let me know.
I'll scout with ya. I live 10 minutes from the Atascosa.

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Old 10-17-2018, 01:39 PM   #317
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I am crossing my fingers for the 2nd draw. 18 years or so and never been selected for a rifle hunt.

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Old 10-17-2018, 01:41 PM   #318
ShawnSmithTX
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Got drawn for the 2/1-2/3 rifle hunt. First thing I've ever been drawn for.


How many preference points or years did you apply before getting picked for the rifle hunt?


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Old 10-17-2018, 01:46 PM   #319
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Originally Posted by RGV Hunter View Post
I'll scout with ya. I live 10 minutes from the Atascosa.

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Sounds good to me.

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How many preference points or years did you apply before getting picked for the rifle hunt?


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First time ever applying for this hunt. I have points in a ton of categories and have never drawn a hunt before this.
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Old 10-17-2018, 04:47 PM   #320
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Best boot for this hunt are the Muck Boot Companies snake proof addition. Tall comfortable rubber boots that are snake proof. They are not cheap, but they are warm, comfortable and protection all in one.
I once had a rattler buzz me as I lifted my leg over a small patch of Cactus to cross. I've never jumped higher in my life. Another was on the same trail as me, so I let him have it.
He was roughly 6' plus and was thick.
Brush here will poke you more than the mosquitoes. A guille suit will keep you tangled up all day. If rifle hunting, wear thick pants, like quail hunters do. Long sleeves that are bur resistant are best. Although this clothing may not be ideal for the bowhunter, it will save you on scrapes and scratches.
Many times I have crawled on hands and knees to trail deer after they were shot. Believe me, they wont run into the soft flowers for you to recover them.
If your on blood thinners and you wear short sleeve shirt into the brush, you will come out looking like a cat attacked your arms.
Bring band aids for your feet blisters, new Skin patch repair to fix those blisters.
Thermacell with plenty of ammo. Icy Hot for your sore muscles. Tick guard of some sort. And A little trick is to eat foods with excessive garlic to ward off chiggers,mosquitoes.
If all else fails and you can't hack it at Laguna Atascosa, hire a fishing guide and catch some fish in the Lower Laguna Madre, or bring your duck hunting gear and call any local guides.
Good luck.
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Old 10-18-2018, 06:44 PM   #321
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Originally Posted by CEO View Post
Can't edit my last post for some reason. I'll be solo so if anyone else draws those dates and wants to scout or make a meat hauling pact let me know.
Iíll be solo hunting those dates as well. Iíd definitely like to scout and possibly help each other haul meat too. This will be my first time out there. Iím pretty excited.
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Old 10-18-2018, 06:57 PM   #322
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I'm down to help anybody out with hauling meat

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Old 10-18-2018, 07:02 PM   #323
NxSTexan
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Best boot for this hunt are the Muck Boot Companies snake proof addition. Tall comfortable rubber boots that are snake proof. They are not cheap, but they are warm, comfortable and protection all in one...
Bring band aids for your feet blisters, new Skin patch repair to fix those blisters.

Hot **** that's a good rundown. Worth it's length in gold.
Interesting though, you say Muck's are best but then say you need blister care. Well fitted boots shouldn't produce blisters unless they're brand new. Proper socks and lace up should prevent that. I've done 12 miles in a day in soggy conditions and didn't have that happen. No disrespect. That does make me rethink those boots.





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Old 10-18-2018, 08:26 PM   #324
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Iíll be solo hunting those dates as well. Iíd definitely like to scout and possibly help each other haul meat too. This will be my first time out there. Iím pretty excited.
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Old 10-19-2018, 06:41 AM   #325
debugprince
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I’ll be out there solo for the first week of December bow hunt. I’m a bit concerned about being solo and getting bit by a rattlesnake. Does the refuge have antivenin or provide assistance to hunters if they get bit?
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Old 10-19-2018, 09:06 AM   #326
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I think there is a tendency here to overstate some of the negatives to hunters new to the area. This isn't just for Laguna either. But the way some people talk you would almost think twice about going at all and maybe that's the idea. We have put miles and miles all over Laguna and East Lake and we never saw a rattle snake, bee hive, cougar or alligator while hunting, but we did see lots of other cool stuff though. I know those things definitely are out there and you should be aware and prepared and we were but don't be so focused on them that you're not having a good time as well. The one thing I would not go out there without doing is treating my clothes with Permetherin. It will keep the ticks off of you and help with mosquitoes as well. There are areas out there where the ticks really are unbelievably bad. And they're tiny little ticks so they're hard to see. You can get it at Academy or order it from Amazon. Good luck and have fun!

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Old 10-19-2018, 09:24 AM   #327
DannyGarcia
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Originally Posted by JackRyan View Post
I think there is a tendency here to overstate some of the negatives to hunters new to the area. This isn't just for Laguna either. But the way some people talk you would almost think twice about going at all and maybe that's the idea. We have put miles and miles all over Laguna and East Lake and we never saw a rattle snake, bee hive, cougar or alligator while hunting, but we did see lots of other cool stuff though. I know those things definitely are out there and you should be aware and prepared and we were but don't be so focused on them that you're not having a good time as well. The one thing I would not go out there without doing is treating my clothes with Permetherin. It will keep the ticks off of you and help with mosquitoes as well. There are areas out there where the ticks really are unbelievably bad. And they're tiny little ticks so they're hard to see. You can get it at Academy or order it from Amazon. Good luck and have fun!

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I think its more of a warning to new hunters at Laguna. Its not a very safe place to wonder around aimlessly with no snake guards but it is a beautiful place to hunt. My first year hunting i didnt see one snake my second year between my brother and I we saw 6 rattlers 1 corral snake and 2 indigo snakes. Third year i just saw one and my brother heard what was to him a rattle as he was retrieving an arrow where he missed a doe, the arrow is still there to this day. We believe the weather was the cause in the spike in our second year that year it was hot and humid for November.

There are gators and right now with the amount of rain that it has fallen im sure they moved out of the giant lake in the middle of the refuge

Just be aware of the dangers and when walking in and out of your spot keep an eye on the trail your taking.



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Old 10-19-2018, 09:27 AM   #328
txhunter806
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JackRyan View Post
I think there is a tendency here to overstate some of the negatives to hunters new to the area. This isn't just for Laguna either. But the way some people talk you would almost think twice about going at all and maybe that's the idea. We have put miles and miles all over Laguna and East Lake and we never saw a rattle snake, bee hive, cougar or alligator while hunting, but we did see lots of other cool stuff though. I know those things definitely are out there and you should be aware and prepared and we were but don't be so focused on them that you're not having a good time as well. The one thing I would not go out there without doing is treating my clothes with Permetherin. It will keep the ticks off of you and help with mosquitoes as well. There are areas out there where the ticks really are unbelievably bad. And they're tiny little ticks so they're hard to see. You can get it at Academy or order it from Amazon. Good luck and have fun!
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This! The first time I was drawn I only saw one snake and one alligator but saw a ton of other things that were really cool. Sprayed all clothing and gear with permetherin and used off on my skin. the only issue i had were mosquitoes getting my hands periodically but id just re apply off and i'd be good for a couple of more hours.
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Old 10-19-2018, 09:49 AM   #329
debugprince
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Thanks for the replies. I usually hunt solo on private property but yeah, it’s going to be a challenging hunt for sure. I’m looking forward to seeing some diverse wildlife.
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Old 10-19-2018, 11:13 AM   #330
TXFireFighter
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Goodluck to everyone. My group will be there for the archery hunt Nov 16-20.
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Old 10-19-2018, 12:56 PM   #331
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Default Nilgai

This is from a young bull; for those of you wanting to size up these animals.
And it was maybe 7-8" thick.
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Old 10-19-2018, 12:58 PM   #332
NxSTexan
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This is from a young bull; for those of you wanting to size up these animals.

And it was maybe 7-8" thick.


My mouth started watering. Lord that's a lot of leg.


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Old 10-19-2018, 01:04 PM   #333
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I went out there yesterday. They have had alot of rain. Lot of standing water/ponds. Even water sitting in road ruts.

The grass is thick and about waist tall.

I have heard that the Nilgai like the areas around the salt water..areas 3 5 & 8...anybody know why? would it be something that grows there that they like. Do they roll in the salty area to keep critters off of them(just a WAG ) I guess that xplains why there is not a lot of harvest boards with unit 1 on them...
Nilgai feeding habits are somewhat similar to moo cows. If cows are up grazing, then so are the nilgai. If cows are laid up chilling, then so are the nilgai.
This has been my observation, not a scientific research development. All animals like some sort of salt in their diet. Salt licks are popular for cattle, so maybe there is something present for the nilgai in these regions.
Just sayin
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Old 10-19-2018, 01:50 PM   #334
lordvader
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My advice on the 4 wheeler is don't go around driving all over the place during the hunt. Cause you are going to annoy a lot of hunters who are still hunting. I know, I hunted there a few years ago and there was some young man who had a medical condition hunting with a 4 wheeler. He wouldn't sit still. We saw 4 wheeler tracks everywhere. His buddy informed us that he couldn't sit still at any one place very long, so he moved around a lot. I remember seeing him at the orientation and he looked pretty healthy to me. I wanted to complain to the game wardens about his running around. IMO, this person was very inconsiderate of other people hunting. And even though Laguna is a very large area where you may not see another hunter, a 4 wheeler gives a person the advantage of moving quickly and long distances. Ultimately, this will bring you up too, or in the vicinity of other hunters in the area. Good luck and good hunting.
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Old 10-21-2018, 11:56 PM   #335
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I believe the use of the 4 wheeler has been discussed thoroughly in previous post. may want to read up on them.

I heard about the youngster on a 4 wheeler. Left a bad impression with the refuge staff. Quite a difference than with a 61 old with a deformed hip joint, compression fractures in vertebrae with a 2" leg length difference. that person just wants to go from point a to point b and hunt. Not a whole lot of running to new spots.
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Old 10-22-2018, 11:52 AM   #336
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Goodluck to everyone. My group will be there for the archery hunt Nov 16-20.


Iíll be there at the same time. First trip there. So if you see an old man stumbling around looking lost donít be mean, just say hi. He is harmless.


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Old 10-22-2018, 02:54 PM   #337
Romulan
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Hi All,

My brothers and I drew for this hunt on 11/16-11/20. We've never hunted this far south - thanks for all of the info guys its been really helpful! We're mostly concerned with hopefully tagging (or have the opportunity) a whitetail deer. Since we've discussed a lot about Nilgai - what compartments/units would you think is best or have the highest probability for whitetails? Thanks - any help is appreciated! And I'm open to helping anyone out while out there - cleaning and dragging out any animal harvested - just PM me and I can give you my contact info.
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Old 10-22-2018, 04:50 PM   #338
txhushlife
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Hi All,

My brothers and I drew for this hunt on 11/16-11/20. We've never hunted this far south - thanks for all of the info guys its been really helpful! We're mostly concerned with hopefully tagging (or have the opportunity) a whitetail deer. Since we've discussed a lot about Nilgai - what compartments/units would you think is best or have the highest probability for whitetails? Thanks - any help is appreciated! And I'm open to helping anyone out while out there - cleaning and dragging out any animal harvested - just PM me and I can give you my contact info.
I hunted last year during the exotic archery draw, and saw deer in every unit except for the i believe unit...5? the far northeast unit.....only cause we didn't get a chance to hunt it, but the deer are there just so thick in a lot of areas its tough to get back to where they bed down and get away from the road traffic.
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Old 10-25-2018, 09:48 PM   #339
katy_oilman
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My brother and law and I have hunted this before (me two years ago with him and him again last year with a buddy). I know that everyone sits on a spot to hunt here and one of the big reasons is to not bust another hunter's area. But, I wonder what is really the best way to hunt nilgai. When I've been on a guided hunt on the King, they spot stalk. They walk around looking down lanes or across areas and would look for ways to help sneak up through trees and pop up on them within a reasonable range to get a shot off. Either cut the off through brush or moving in if grazing - all very quietly of course.
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Old 10-26-2018, 09:50 AM   #340
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These things are very spooky. I’ll give you an example, make a noise around a deer, it’ll stop and look. Nilgia won’t, they’ll just bust out full run without ever turning their head. I seen it, I lost my shot opportunity at 30 yards.

Spot and stalk is not a good idea. Maybe with a gun??? Stalking is going to bump a lot of people and chase animals around. The nilgai get weary after a few days of bow hunters being around anyways.
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Old 10-26-2018, 10:25 AM   #341
txhushlife
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JasonS View Post
These things are very spooky. Iíll give you an example, make a noise around a deer, itíll stop and look. Nilgia wonít, theyíll just bust out full run without ever turning their head. I seen it, I lost my shot opportunity at 30 yards.

Spot and stalk is not a good idea. Maybe with a gun??? Stalking is going to bump a lot of people and chase animals around. The nilgai get weary after a few days of bow hunters being around anyways.

Very true, we had our best opportunity on a sit and both me and my buddy had a shot and both of us missed......very hard to take considering we hunted our butt off for 3 days before deciding to just sit a trail. every time we had an opportunity to spot and stalk for archery we got busted. The nilgai have senses that are on steroids. Not saying it cant happen but we tried it and found a better chance from sitting in a good spot and waiting. saw a lot of deer that way too. Google Maps or Onx maps will be your savior looking for trails.......hint hint....
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Old 10-26-2018, 11:51 AM   #342
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Originally Posted by JasonS View Post
These things are very spooky. Iíll give you an example, make a noise around a deer, itíll stop and look. Nilgia wonít, theyíll just bust out full run without ever turning their head. I seen it, I lost my shot opportunity at 30 yards.

Spot and stalk is not a good idea. Maybe with a gun??? Stalking is going to bump a lot of people and chase animals around. The nilgai get weary after a few days of bow hunters being around anyways.
Howdy!

This is not always the case as far as nilgai spooking without even a head turn. My limited experience was the complete opposite of your description and experience. I went on a rifle hunt last December and was fortunate to kill a young bull. I basically "stalked" through the brush and stumbled on one laying down at 15-20 yards. It had it's back to me with his head up and turned looking back in my direction to see what/where I was. I couldn't believe any animal would stick around, especially that close, with the amount of noise I had made. There was no way to be quiet with all the thornbrush grabbing clothes and gear and stuff crunching under each step.

Spot and stalk worked well for me as well as other groups, one pair of guys shot three using this method on the first day. If I hadn't experienced it, I wouldn't believe it. I also believe there is more to it than we think or have experienced.

It makes sense if they are out in the open, traveling, or some other vulnerable position that they would be inclined to run and remove themselves from perceived danger without pause or hesitation. But there are also times you might catch them off guard or they may hold position and try to assess the situation, like I experienced.

Of course the bow hunts are more difficult due to having many more hunters per hunt, getting a clean shot thru tangled brush, etc. but I don't think spot and stalk is out of the question. It can be done under the right circumstances, which aren't readily known/understood or available.
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Old 10-26-2018, 12:28 PM   #343
NxSTexan
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So we're back to square one hahahaha. This is going to be a fun hunt one way or another. I'll focus on WTs and if I get a crack at a Nilgai then we'll see how it goes.
Curious about arrow setups for those who've been successful. I have a 480gr setup shooting at 260 (27.5 in draw length) and another arrow that's about 400 flying at 280ish. For a longer shot past 40, suggestions on which for the Nilgai? Both are grouping well.


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Old 10-26-2018, 06:28 PM   #344
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I am batting 1000 at not getting selected for the rifle hunt in 18 years.
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Old 10-28-2018, 10:57 PM   #345
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Hey All,

From what I’ve read thus far it seems like the most preferred hunting method are ground blinds or hunting light with a tripod seat and maybe Camo netting - for those with experience there for whitetail do y’all setup on the edge of thick brush and clearings? Thanks!
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Old 10-28-2018, 11:19 PM   #346
HighwayHunter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Romulan View Post
Hey All,

From what Iíve read thus far it seems like the most preferred hunting method are ground blinds or hunting light with a tripod seat and maybe Camo netting - for those with experience there for whitetail do yíall setup on the edge of thick brush and clearings? Thanks!


After researching as much as possible Iíll be using a small folding chair or stool and some camo netting wrapped around it to use if need be.


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Old 10-29-2018, 09:34 AM   #347
txhushlife
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Originally Posted by HighwayHunter View Post
After researching as much as possible Iíll be using a small folding chair or stool and some camo netting wrapped around it to use if need be.


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That's what we did last year and plan on doing again this year! i would suggest hanging your orange hat or vest up somewhere so other hunters know your sitting there and don't come walking through your sit.
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Old 10-29-2018, 10:31 AM   #348
Jen-Man
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Originally Posted by txhushlife View Post
That's what we did last year and plan on doing again this year! i would suggest hanging your orange hat or vest up somewhere so other hunters know your sitting there and don't come walking through your sit.


Good idea. Thank you, gonna give it a try. Hope someone doesnít think I lost it and decide to take it.


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Old 10-29-2018, 11:00 PM   #349
Romulan
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I’m curious What are y’alls thoughts on a novice hunter doing his first hunting trip there? From what I’ve read here this place almost seems too tough even for the seasoned outdoorsman - thanks in advance!
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Old 10-29-2018, 11:09 PM   #350
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Originally Posted by Romulan View Post
Iím curious What are yíalls thoughts on a novice hunter doing his first hunting trip there? From what Iíve read here this place almost seems too tough even for the seasoned outdoorsman - thanks in advance!


Iím pretty novice myself, especially when it comes to bow hunting. Challenge yourself! Study study


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