Reply
Go Back   TexasBowhunter.com Community Discussion Forums > Topics > Public Hunting Opportunities
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 03-09-2016, 02:19 PM   #1
newbieG
Four Point
 
newbieG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Wills Point tx
Hunt In: anywhere i can
Default Public hunting scouting question.

I am fairly new to Texas and this will be my first year to really hunt public land here pretty hard. Also the first year I've ever hunted whitetail.

My question is how do y'all go about scouting public land? If cameras are allowed do you use them? When do you start your scouting? Any advice is appreciated!

Thanks!
newbieG is offline   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Old 03-09-2016, 02:25 PM   #2
texas assasin
Ten Point
 
texas assasin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Katy
Hunt In: any place I can
Default

I start scouting in July and August just a couple times. Be ready cause its hot as heck. By September I hit it a bit harder and set up where I think is best. Cameras really don't use they get stolen. You continue to scout October cause they may change there pattern. Good luck
texas assasin is offline   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Old 03-09-2016, 02:42 PM   #3
Theodore
Four Point
 
Theodore's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Texas
Hunt In: Wherever
Default

Plenty of folks use game cameras. I used to think I was going out into the woods but I soon came to realize that it was more like being on a hunting show (or reality show when no animals show)--there a cameras all over the place. Some folks leave them up for quite a while and others only use them for periods of time to try to keep them from being stolen. Theft is a serious issue on public land--lock your stuff up.

I don't use cameras and I scout out areas while I'm hog hunting. I try to keep my hunting as simple as possible and I do alright. I'm sure there are folks who do far better and they spend far more time preparing. You can make out of it whatever you want.

Best advice I ever received about hunting public land is to go way, way away from other folks--especially for deer.

Just be aware that some folks will "homestead" an area on public land and feel like no one can hunt around "their" area. Hopefully you won't run into that issue. Take care and good luck out there!
Theodore is offline   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Old 03-09-2016, 02:58 PM   #4
twobittxn
Ten Point
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Plano
Hunt In: Brown Co. and public land
Default

Start now. Spend as much time out there as you can. Learn the area. Learn how to get in and out quietly. Find the trails. It will look different in the spring and summer as things leaf out and grass grows.

The better you know an area, the better the chances of success.

Don't leave anything out there you aren't willing to lose. If you set a camera, it had best be well hidden.
twobittxn is offline   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Old 03-09-2016, 03:12 PM   #5
Rmoore
Nubbin' Buck
 
Rmoore's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Longview
Hunt In: Woc & Neighbors hay meadow
Default

When I want to check out a brand new area I start as soon as hunting season ends, cooler and less skeeters right now, at least until green up!
You can see old rub lines easy, look for old scrapes/lick branches, the sign post type, they will generally use them again next year.
Green up will be here before you know it, if not already in some places.
Fine tune later on as the gentleman above suggested.
Rmoore is offline   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Old 03-09-2016, 03:14 PM   #6
Perkins7581
Ten Point
 
Perkins7581's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rmoore View Post
When I want to check out a brand new area I start as soon as hunting season ends, cooler and less skeeters right now, at least until green up!
You can see old rub lines easy, look for old scrapes/lick branches, the sign post type, they will generally use them again next year.
Green up will be here before you know it, if not already in some places.
Fine tune later on as the gentleman above suggested.
X2
Perkins7581 is offline   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Old 03-09-2016, 03:19 PM   #7
newbieG
Four Point
 
newbieG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Wills Point tx
Hunt In: anywhere i can
Default

Thank y'all for the tips. I was thinking about going out in the next couple weeks and just walk around and get familiar with the place. Maybe look for some sheds, trails, water, bedding areas and that sort of stuff!
newbieG is offline   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Old 03-09-2016, 03:52 PM   #8
Rat
Ten Point
 
Rat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Bertram
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Theodore View Post
Plenty of folks use game cameras. I used to think I was going out into the woods but I soon came to realize that it was more like being on a hunting show (or reality show when no animals show)--there a cameras all over the place. Some folks leave them up for quite a while and others only use them for periods of time to try to keep them from being stolen. Theft is a serious issue on public land--lock your stuff up.

I don't use cameras and I scout out areas while I'm hog hunting. I try to keep my hunting as simple as possible and I do alright. I'm sure there are folks who do far better and they spend far more time preparing. You can make out of it whatever you want.

Best advice I ever received about hunting public land is to go way, way away from other folks--especially for deer.

Just be aware that some folks will "homestead" an area on public land and feel like no one can hunt around "their" area. Hopefully you won't run into that issue. Take care and good luck out there!
The odds for success go WAY up the first time you hunt an area, before the deer learn your patterns; and they will. I usually scout an area in real time, find what I need and then hunt right then.

Getting out after the season is a good idea as mentioned above.

I pour over aerial maps and topos, you can whittle down the good areas doing this without ever entering the woods. This will help maximize your time in the woods.

Learn the patterns for end of Summer; this will likely be the pattern for the early archery season.

Use other people to your advantage, they will make the deer change their patterns, set up and scout in areas that they will move into when this happens. Have a plan for this ahead of time so you can in and out quick before the deer learn you are there.

Get as far away from people as you can and be aware that private property that borders the public land may be able to be used to your advantage as well.
Rat is offline   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Old 03-10-2016, 01:37 AM   #9
westtexducks
Pope & Young
 
westtexducks's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: San Angelo, TX
Hunt In: Where ever I can.
Default

Get out there as much as possible and go over everything you can on google earth. Found several amazing spots this past year based on nothing but google maps a gps and some leg work. Most spots you can see and find based solely on what it looks like from above. To figure out what your looking for go find some of your current spots and start analyzing what makes them good and what that looks like from the air, then try to look for that pattern again but on the public land.

Good luck can be rewarding as all get out when you make it happen on public land.
westtexducks is offline   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Old 03-13-2016, 10:35 AM   #10
HR3
Ten Point
 
HR3's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Murphy,TX via New Orleans
Hunt In: AR,LA,MS,AL,TX,IN....
Default

Start soon as the season after the season ends.....cyber scout thru July, put boots on the ground in August, pick out 4 spots...steer clear of the area's til the season starts.
HR3 is offline   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Old 03-13-2016, 03:23 PM   #11
Oneal433
Four Point
 
Oneal433's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Boyd
Hunt In: Anywhere
Default

Who is going out to the woods today
Oneal433 is offline   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Old 03-13-2016, 03:36 PM   #12
Perkins7581
Ten Point
 
Perkins7581's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Default

Heading there now.
Perkins7581 is offline   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Old 03-14-2016, 11:02 PM   #13
Oneal433
Four Point
 
Oneal433's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Boyd
Hunt In: Anywhere
Default

Well how was it
Oneal433 is offline   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Old 03-15-2016, 01:41 PM   #14
howie1968
Eight Point
 
howie1968's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Lufkin,Texas
Hunt In: Alabama Creek WMA, Alazan Bayou WMA, Davey crockett NF, Angelina NF, Upland Island wilderness area,
Default

what everyone else said, also make sure to take a minimum of a compass i use a GPS have texas topo maps installed. i dont use flagging tape no illuminated tacks etc. i rely on my gps. always let someone know where you will be. friend, wife etc carry a whistle. The places i hunt you get no cell signal at all. i always have a 2 way radio with me and leave one at the truck. a few people know where my truck is so if im not calling them by 10pm they know something happened. i have been a hunting guide In texas and colorado as well as a few other states. These are things anyone i hunt with does as well. trust me ive been lost for real, for several days Its not fun. i always carry plenty of water and some sort of electrolite mix. i scout when deer season ends the following day and im in the woods on my day off from sun up to sundown and put close to 1,000 miles a year scouting in the off season via mountain bike and foot work. i take a note pad and pen as well. come up with a plan that works for you!!!. im starting to see alot of snakes now that the weather is warming up. i wear snake boots as much as possible. good luck and good hunting
howie1968 is offline   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Old 03-15-2016, 01:54 PM   #15
Theodore
Four Point
 
Theodore's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Texas
Hunt In: Wherever
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by howie1968 View Post
i always have a 2 way radio with me and leave one at the truck. a few people know where my truck is so if im not calling them by 10pm they know something happened.
I'm embarrassed to say that I had never thought of that. Looks like I'm headed to Academy this afternoon for walkies.

I've been lost twice, but not for near as long as you. Map, compass, GPS, and water (and now walkies) are must-haves. Being prepared helps me relax when I'm out.

Thanks for sharing that post!
Theodore is offline   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Old 07-18-2016, 12:31 AM   #16
troy_w_7
Six Point
 
troy_w_7's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Lewisville, TX
Hunt In: North TX Public Land
Default

My scouting is very simple, review the hunting area via google maps and then get boots on the ground. Do lots of walking, look for sign and setup trail cameras in areas with sign (I use Master Locks on my cameras for safety). Find 3-5 spots showing deer on your cameras and then plan your stand locations accordingly.
troy_w_7 is offline   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Old 07-18-2016, 12:31 AM   #17
troy_w_7
Six Point
 
troy_w_7's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Lewisville, TX
Hunt In: North TX Public Land
Default

And I wouldn't walk around this time of year without snake boots and lots of water.
troy_w_7 is offline   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Old 07-28-2016, 04:44 PM   #18
lordvader
Nubbin' Buck
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Default

Exactly, what public land are you refering too. Most public land that I've hunted were from drawn hunts. And there really is no scouting, since your hunting days are limited to about 2 to 3. And some of those hunts are pre-selected blinds. Unless you are refering to NWR's. Maybe I'm missing something.
lordvader is offline   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Old 07-29-2016, 05:58 AM   #19
sqiggy
Pope & Young
 
sqiggy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Franklin, Tx
Hunt In: Panola Co and Robertson Co
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by lordvader View Post
Exactly, what public land are you refering too. Most public land that I've hunted were from drawn hunts. And there really is no scouting, since your hunting days are limited to about 2 to 3. And some of those hunts are pre-selected blinds. Unless you are refering to NWR's. Maybe I'm missing something.
You buy the $48 permit, you will get a map booklet of all the places. Might be able to even download it. So, yeah, you're missing something!!
sqiggy is offline   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Old 07-29-2016, 06:05 AM   #20
bow4my2
Pope & Young
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: TEXAS
Default

where are you going to hunt, I might be able to help.
bow4my2 is offline   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Old 07-29-2016, 06:43 AM   #21
tps7742
Ten Point
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Texas
Default

The further you get away from citified like Houston or Dallas you will have less people from my experiences. Hunting the national forests is a challenge in itself.
tps7742 is offline   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Old 07-29-2016, 06:58 AM   #22
Blood Trail
Pope & Young
 
Blood Trail's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Fort Worth
Hunt In: where the manicorn hunts....
Default

I used to scout in august and July but don't anymore. The landscape with totally change come fall. I don't get out until about late Sept.
Blood Trail is offline   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Old 02-18-2018, 05:25 PM   #23
EastTxHog
Nubbin' Buck
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Hardin County
Hunt In: East texas
Default Can someone tell me if this is likely a oak grove ? TIA

[IMG][/IMG]
EastTxHog is offline   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Old 02-18-2018, 05:52 PM   #24
Puggy625
Ten Point
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Rockwall
Hunt In: TX, KS
Default

Looks more like a low spot that normally holds water but is grown up with "buckbrush" to me. So thick you won't be able to see anything. Now, if you can find a spot in the taller trees around the edge of that lower stuff, that might work for you. Like that little opening just below your thumb nail.
Puggy625 is offline   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Old 02-18-2018, 05:57 PM   #25
EastTxHog
Nubbin' Buck
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Hardin County
Hunt In: East texas
Default

ok im still gonna check it out but i think you are right. any way you tell oaks from pines on google maps? im hunting big thicket and it is thick everywhere.. im trying to find a oak flat that i can bow hunt in next season and trying to narrow down spots on google earth
EastTxHog is offline   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Old 02-18-2018, 06:02 PM   #26
Puggy625
Ten Point
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Rockwall
Hunt In: TX, KS
Default

I'd definitely check it out. The only "problem" I see with that picture is that it'll be hard to get in and out without making a lot of noise.

Usually pines and cedars are green all year. And both are typically not as big in diameter. Oaks tend to have a bigger circumference of the canopy. And they won't typically be jammed up around each other like the softer woods.

Look for changes in the terrain on the aerial photo, like a ridge or creek. Creeks will show up sometimes on those photos like a dark line. You may not be able to see the actual creek, but just a dark line through the trees. You will usually find oaks along creeks and ridges. Hope that helps.

Edit: after relooking at the picture, it almost looks like there may be a creekbed of some short just below your thumb, where I suggested the opening before.
Puggy625 is offline   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Old 02-27-2018, 12:47 AM   #27
EastTxHog
Nubbin' Buck
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Hardin County
Hunt In: East texas
Default

you were right it was all oaks but it was about 6 inches of water for a square mile in there if it drys out might be a good spot
EastTxHog is offline   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Old 03-01-2018, 12:48 PM   #28
troy_w_7
Six Point
 
troy_w_7's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Lewisville, TX
Hunt In: North TX Public Land
Default

Which piece of public land are you thinking about hunting?
troy_w_7 is offline   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Old 03-01-2018, 12:51 PM   #29
troy_w_7
Six Point
 
troy_w_7's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Lewisville, TX
Hunt In: North TX Public Land
Default

Typically, I scour google maps of the parcels I'm wanting to hunt. I'm looking for areas harder for other hunters to get to, funnels, bedding areas, creeks, etc. Then I drive out and walk around. If I see sign, I'll hand a trail camera and see what shows up. If I don't like what I see on camera, I pull them and scout a different area. I use 'masterlocks' to lock my cameras up. I've had one camera stolen but I left it out for months without checking it and it was in a high traffic area.
troy_w_7 is offline   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Old 03-02-2018, 09:45 AM   #30
Carolina guy
Nubbin' Buck
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Default

Any tips for the Turkey Hunters new to Texas?
Carolina guy is offline   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Old 03-02-2018, 10:26 AM   #31
hot_rod_eddie
Ten Point
 
hot_rod_eddie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: North Carolina
Hunt In: NC, SC
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carolina guy View Post
Any tips for the Turkey Hunters new to Texas?
Depends on where you are. I am from Carolina, lived in Houston 6 years. No eastern season for about a 2.5 hour drive radius. Good luck.
hot_rod_eddie is offline   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Old 03-02-2018, 03:39 PM   #32
Carolina guy
Nubbin' Buck
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Default

I'll be in Twin Buttes opening week but I looking at LBJ as a possible spot too.
Carolina guy is offline   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Old 03-02-2018, 04:09 PM   #33
brnhtown
Eight Point
 
brnhtown's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: College station
Hunt In: Houston and Freestone county
Default

Hand held gps helps a lot! Be prepared for the environment you will be entering/weather. I like to scout right after deer season is over and also during the summer. Take a rifle or shotgun and hunt while scouting, depending on the season of course (squirrel, dove, pigs etc) Google earth is your friend!!
brnhtown is online now   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Old 03-04-2018, 06:22 PM   #34
EastTxHog
Nubbin' Buck
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Hardin County
Hunt In: East texas
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by troy_w_7 View Post
And I wouldn't walk around this time of year without snake boots and lots of water.


hey bud its Big thicket national preserve theres good deer in there and lots of hogs but man it is thick to find a spot to even sling an arrow is hard. ive been scouting a lot already I like to do mine right after deer season to find spots and then summer as well.
EastTxHog is offline   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Old 05-12-2018, 08:30 AM   #35
laracraft
Nubbin' Buck
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Default Public hunting scouting question.

The Hunting Public is moderately new hit YouTube video diary arrangement highlighting two particular playlists, Public Land and Private Land chasing and they exist in view of this very rule. Co-proprietors, Aaron Warbritton, and Zach Ferenbaugh are modest in their way to deal with chasing, particularly on open chasing grounds. The Hunting Public group (Aaron, Greg, Zach, Jake, and Brody) archives the high points and low points exploring all through their seasons, which makes their video diary as enlightening as it is engaging. The Hunting Public strays from the conventional instructional exercise approach of being educational on paper, rather inclining intensely on the unscripted reality of committing errors, gaining from those missteps, and adjusting forcefully to remain in the amusement just before the camera so the watcher takes in the lessons by seeing them as they happen.
laracraft is offline   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Old 05-14-2018, 06:28 PM   #36
GBludau
Six Point
 
GBludau's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: College Station
Hunt In: Brazos, Milam, Grimes, Victoria Counties, Public land
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by laracraft View Post
The Hunting Public is moderately new hit YouTube video diary arrangement highlighting two particular playlists, Public Land and Private Land chasing and they exist in view of this very rule. Co-proprietors, Aaron Warbritton, and Zach Ferenbaugh are modest in their way to deal with chasing, particularly on open chasing grounds. The Hunting Public group (Aaron, Greg, Zach, Jake, and Brody) archives the high points and low points exploring all through their seasons, which makes their video diary as enlightening as it is engaging. The Hunting Public strays from the conventional instructional exercise approach of being educational on paper, rather inclining intensely on the unscripted reality of committing errors, gaining from those missteps, and adjusting forcefully to remain in the amusement just before the camera so the watcher takes in the lessons by seeing them as they happen.

I follow them, great video journals. They are the real deal.
GBludau is offline   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Old 05-14-2018, 06:50 PM   #37
centex_aggie
Ten Point
 
centex_aggie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Magnolia, TX
Hunt In: Milam County
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by GBludau View Post
I follow them, great video journals. They are the real deal.


Agreed. I really enjoy their videos. I love hunting videos that just have the sights and sounds of nature (as opposed to rock music blaring in your ear) and give solid tips and tactical advice. Iíve learned a lot.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
centex_aggie is offline   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Old 05-14-2018, 06:56 PM   #38
Pedernal
Pope & Young
 
Pedernal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Del Rio
Hunt In: Amistad
Default

A lot of good advice has already been given. Here are my .02 cents...

1) try to figure out what the prevailing winds are for the areas you are going to hunt. Once you locate a good spot see if you can find multiple sets for the spot. minimally , figure out your set up for the prevailing winds and for when a cold front blows in.... Also, see if you can access the spot from different directions for different winds...

Best advice I can give you is to go out into the wonderful outdoors as often as you can. You can learn a lot from just going for a walk in the areas you plan to hunt. Best of luck to you.
Pedernal is online now   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Old 05-23-2018, 05:12 PM   #39
Storm
Pope & Young
 
Storm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Back Home in Texas
Hunt In: Lake Whitney
Default

I scout all the time and i will hit it hard in a couple of more weeks. I just look for old rubs and scrapes and make a guess for the opener. Sometimes your blessed and sometimes your not.
Storm is offline   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:46 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
Copyright 1999-2012, TexasBowhunter.com