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Old 08-18-2018, 09:56 PM   #1
Lucky333
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Default Big Bend Ranch State Park mulies

Hey guys,

I got selected for the archery mule deer draw in Big Bend from 10/8-10/11. I am super excited as this will be my first time hunting with my bow. I am hoping I can get some advice on hunting this area or really any advice at all would be great.


Robert
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Old 08-18-2018, 10:24 PM   #2
RifleBowPistol
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Best bet, is to get out there well before sun up and start hiking. I don't know when you can start scouting. I would drive and scout the area you are allowed to hunt as much as possible. Then spend as much time out there as possible before sun up and after dark. I can tell you from making two trips out to Big Bend National Park, that the critters don't move much during the day, only very early and very late in the day and at night. Driving around at first light or late afternoon or after dark to find deer. To figure out what areas they are in either morning or evening. Then possibly look on maps and by driving and walking, look for water. Most likely they will be using small water holes or ponds or small creeks, streams. Out there creek beds and usually washed out 6' to 10' deep, so they will make for places to travel out of sight. Deer will often use creek beds, but usually just cross them or only follow them for short distances. Coyotes, javelina, turkey and hogs will use them as trails.


If you have never bow hunted, you got yourself into one hell of a hard first hunt. Open desert areas are not easy to get within bow range. With a lot of time and experience, you can do so. But then you could just get lucky and stumble on a buck bedded down.

Good luck, it won't be easy, it would not be easy for someone who had a lot of experience hunting a area like that.
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Old 08-19-2018, 11:10 AM   #3
Lucky333
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RifleBowPistol View Post
Best bet, is to get out there well before sun up and start hiking. I don't know when you can start scouting. I would drive and scout the area you are allowed to hunt as much as possible. Then spend as much time out there as possible before sun up and after dark. I can tell you from making two trips out to Big Bend National Park, that the critters don't move much during the day, only very early and very late in the day and at night. Driving around at first light or late afternoon or after dark to find deer. To figure out what areas they are in either morning or evening. Then possibly look on maps and by driving and walking, look for water. Most likely they will be using small water holes or ponds or small creeks, streams. Out there creek beds and usually washed out 6' to 10' deep, so they will make for places to travel out of sight. Deer will often use creek beds, but usually just cross them or only follow them for short distances. Coyotes, javelina, turkey and hogs will use them as trails.


If you have never bow hunted, you got yourself into one hell of a hard first hunt. Open desert areas are not easy to get within bow range. With a lot of time and experience, you can do so. But then you could just get lucky and stumble on a buck bedded down.

Good luck, it won't be easy, it would not be easy for someone who had a lot of experience hunting a area like that.
From what I understand you donít find out which area you will be assigned until the first day. I have been out to the National Park back country camping a couple times and I have been to the state park off-roading but didnít stay the night there. I really love that whole area and look forward to having a fun adventure out there. I am trying to figure out if people have better chances trying spot and stalk or trying to find commonly traveled areas and setting up there. It will be a totally new experience trying to sneak within bow range. Iím looking at this as kind of my poor mans Western hunt. Iím wanting to go elk and maybe pronghorn hunting next year out West.

Thanks,

Robert
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Old 08-19-2018, 12:08 PM   #4
RifleBowPistol
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From what I have read, most guys that hunt similar areas, do spot and stalk hunts. Most likely I would start off trying something along those lines, until I found some heavily used trails, that went to a small water hole. Then I would likely look for a place to hunt such a trail. The closest thing I have done, to hunting Big Bend area, would be hunting Amistad. Amazingly, finding a good place to sit and wait, is the best way I have found to hunt Amistad. My experience with Big Bend area, is the deer only move very early and very late and would not have any hunting pressure, like at Amistad. If I had a week to hunt Big Bend, I would like to give it a try, would definitely be different.


Just make sure to watch out for bears, they also move starting late afternoon, as it is cooling off, till early morning. We have made two trips to Big Bend, so far, we have seen four bears. On the last trip, we saw a bear, that was a lot bigger than anything I would have ever expected to see out there. That **** thing was huge. I figured out they seem to like to eat prickly pear pears. But those won't be around during deer season, so I would assume the bears will be looking for anything they can find to eat.
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Old 08-19-2018, 12:50 PM   #5
Mule Skinner
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My son hunted there in December as a youth draw hunt. We hunted non-stop for 2.5 days and saw one deer about 600 yards away.

I’d go again in a heartbeat, that place is beautiful.

We hunted in unit 4 and unfortunately there is no road that goes through the unit. Unit 4 has two access points on the perimeter and one goes into a brutal area that would be extremely difficult to pack out a deer.

Get up to were you can see some country and glass and glass and glass. You’ll likely have to then put on a stalk if you see one.

Or, find a trail that goes through the thick stuff (dry creek bottom) and hunt it.

It’ll still be plenty hot in October, you can hunt water if your compartment has it.
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Old Yesterday, 09:21 PM   #6
Stxarcher
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I did a 20 mile hike through the state ranch and all I can say is be prepared to walk and carry lots of water including a way to filter water. As your first bow hunt this will be a difficult one, but just being in the area is fun enough.
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Old Yesterday, 09:32 PM   #7
NxSTexan
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Huge congratulations brother!
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Old Yesterday, 09:34 PM   #8
Puncher51
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I took my nephew on a hunt there a few years ago. Beautiful country, but really hard hunting. We found the deer on the hill tops. Get as high as you can and glass the adjacent hill tops. Like has been mentioned, they get up from their beds late afternoon, and get back in their beds early to mid morning. The unit we hunted had tons of water so it wasn’t very easy finding spots they hit the most. There are some really good deer out there, but deer density is low. So be prepared to do a lot of walking and glassing. Take lots of pictures!!
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