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Old 05-25-2017, 05:40 PM   #1
Bonehead2314
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Smile Aransas NWR 2017

Ok here is what I have so far. The hunt will be Sept. 30 thru Oct. 8th. They will be using the state draw system this year. So you will need to do that when the state does all there public land hunt stuff. IBEP class will be held Sept. 9th and 10th. Anyone taking this class or already holds their IBEP card will be allow to early scout. The gates will not open for sxouting until the class is released each day. If anyone has questions feel free to call me 361-222-1152 Danny.
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Old 06-03-2017, 02:55 PM   #2
gemini2759
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Dumb question. What's a IBEP card?

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Old 06-04-2017, 08:21 AM   #3
Razorback01
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International Bowhunter Education Program

TPWD- http://tpwd.texas.gov/education/hunt...nter-education
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Old 06-09-2017, 03:17 PM   #4
gemini2759
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So, Aransas will need IBEP card? I've never been hunting anywhere where I needed it.

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Old 06-11-2017, 10:20 AM   #5
Bonehead2314
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No you dont need to have the IBEP to hunt Aransas. Already having the class or being enrolled gets you the ability to scout early.
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Old 06-11-2017, 01:53 PM   #6
gemini2759
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Ty

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Old 06-24-2017, 02:51 PM   #7
Thumper
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So the fee for the hunt has now doubled to $135 plus $5 drawing fee?

Any stand-by permits available?

When do we put in for the drawing, when is the drawing, and how many drawings is it going to take to fill the hunt?

So the refuge went with the state drawing to make thing more simple for them, but there's still a butt load of unanswered questions. Why are there so many unanswered questions?

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Old 06-24-2017, 02:53 PM   #8
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Refuge phone number (361) 286-3559. There's a lot of questions that need to be answered.

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Old 06-24-2017, 02:58 PM   #9
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So the fee for the hunt has now doubled to $135 plus $5 drawing fee.

Any stand-by permits available?

When do wevput in for the drawing, when is the drawing, and how many drawings is it going to take to fill the hunt?

So the refuge went with the state drawing to make thing more simple for them, but there's still a butt load of unanswered questions. Why are there so many unanswered questions?
I imagine it will be like everything else and be extremely hard to draw. Since they changed the draw people now apply for everything, to up their chances, even if they don't know anything about it.
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Old 06-29-2017, 02:42 PM   #10
lagunaduck
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Worst thing that could have happened for the refuge and its hunters. Down where I live, Laguna Atascosa did the same thing last year....went to the state lottery. First time in over 12 years that I did not hunt the LANWR. Didn't get drawn. Live 15 minutes away and was a for sure chance to hunt archery every year without having a lease. From what I understand, they had a lot of trouble with knuckle heads not not knowing their rules and people not showing up to hunt because of the distance and helicopter nillgi shoots. I hope this doesn't negatively impact the Aransas NWR
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Old 07-05-2017, 09:20 PM   #11
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Laguna duck, I agree!

TOWD Draw info is out.

https://www2.tpwd.state.tx.us/huntwi...phtml?OCat=NAD
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Old 07-18-2017, 10:48 AM   #12
yanta61
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I was able to take my son hunting last year and it was fun.... This year TPWD got involved and now they have an age limit and hes not old enough to apply this year. wont be for another 2 years....
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Old 07-19-2017, 06:17 AM   #13
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Budget fight coming up in Oct, wonder if the hunters will again be used as political pawns and dumped on again?
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Old 08-28-2017, 01:03 PM   #14
tom_tom
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Looked like Aransas took a direct hit......doubt the hunt will take place -- a lot more issues to worry about down there than a hunt I would suspect.... I hope the wildlife on the refuge survive..... I know back in the 60's I think it was Allison came through, a lot of the herd died of hove rot.... anyone down there know what the terrain looks like after the storm?
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Old 09-03-2017, 12:35 AM   #15
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The strong side of the eye(east side) crossed the lower third of the point Pasture RD. No leaves on the trees and about 20" of rain.













.

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Old 09-04-2017, 02:13 PM   #16
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Dropped a RV Camper off in Holiday Beach just NE of the refuge yesterday. Lots of wind and tidal surge damage, not that much rain. On the way back checked Hoppers and was able to drive to the locked refuge gate. On the refuge there were pushed over trees but couldn't really see any damage to any of the buildings. Hoppers was not that lucky. Most of the buildings have some damage, they also lost a good many building. Gave Butch an extra 20 gallons of gasoline I had with me. The pavilion built to replace the one destroyed in last year's storm came through unscathed. The new houses along the bluff didn't look they suffered any major damage.


I saw 1000's of power company trucks from all over the country working to restore the electricity. Almost of the power grid will have to be rebuilt.

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Old 09-07-2017, 08:03 PM   #17
L C
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�� Per TPWD website: Archery hunt is cancelled due to Harvey.
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Old 09-27-2017, 08:02 PM   #18
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Rifle hunt drawing is over, some hunters have been slected, no other details...????
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Old 09-27-2017, 09:43 PM   #19
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.
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Old 10-04-2017, 02:53 PM   #20
L C
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According to the manager, lots of water and mosquitos.

We got drawn for the second rifle hunt. I debated real hard wether to go or not but decided to go since I've been there before.

I heard there is storm debris all over the refugee. Refrigerators, building material, etc. Hard to believe the damage done.

Rubber boots and mosquito spray will be in order.
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Old 10-09-2017, 10:24 PM   #21
jason86
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Did anyone get selected for first rifle?
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Old 10-11-2017, 09:38 AM   #22
fish4food
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Dec 9-13? If so I'll be there.
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Old 10-11-2017, 02:51 PM   #23
MetalMan2004
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New guy here. I got drawn for the third rifle season in Aransas NWR and I found this place while looking for information. I tried to contact the refuge directly but I haven't gotten a response from the phone number or email that are on the hunt brochure...

Does anyone know how to get a hold of maps for the hunt? Maps for the refuge aren't in the regular public hunt maps book. I assumed they'd maybe send some more information along but I don't know.

Either way, I look forward to maybe seeing some of you out there!
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Old 10-11-2017, 03:27 PM   #24
L C
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Metal man, I searched around also and could not find hunt area maps. In the past the rifle area was in the middle of the refuge, outside the public loop area and outside the bay marshes where the whooping cranes hang out.
In the past they've sent the maps out. Maybe Harvey affected the hunt area, I don't know. I do know that damage was done to the offices, that maybe why they don't answer the phone.
Stay tuned.
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Old 10-11-2017, 08:17 PM   #25
MetalMan2004
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Quote:
Originally Posted by L C View Post
Metal man, I searched around also and could not find hunt area maps. In the past the rifle area was in the middle of the refuge, outside the public loop area and outside the bay marshes where the whooping cranes hang out.
In the past they've sent the maps out. Maybe Harvey affected the hunt area, I don't know. I do know that damage was done to the offices, that maybe why they don't answer the phone.
Stay tuned.
Thanks for the info L C. No doubt Harvey affected the area. I assumed more information would be sent eventually. I just don't like to assume...
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Old 10-11-2017, 09:15 PM   #26
Saddle Tramp
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I am in Rockport didn't get drawn or my neighbor we thought maybe it was canceled. Can't believe that many bow hunters entered. This was the only hunt we would have been able to make this year figured if they had it it would be a shoe in. I have Bees near there and it is torn up bad. That's why we figured canceled.
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Old 10-12-2017, 02:16 PM   #27
MetalMan2004
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I am in Rockport didn't get drawn or my neighbor we thought maybe it was canceled. Can't believe that many bow hunters entered. This was the only hunt we would have been able to make this year figured if they had it it would be a shoe in. I have Bees near there and it is torn up bad. That's why we figured canceled.
The archery hunt was indeed canceled. As of now, according to the website the 3 gun seasons are still on... I guess we値l see if that changes.
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Old 10-19-2017, 01:47 PM   #28
jason86
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Quote:
Originally Posted by L C View Post
Metal man, I searched around also and could not find hunt area maps. In the past the rifle area was in the middle of the refuge, outside the public loop area and outside the bay marshes where the whooping cranes hang out.
In the past they've sent the maps out. Maybe Harvey affected the hunt area, I don't know. I do know that damage was done to the offices, that maybe why they don't answer the phone.
Stay tuned.
I will be there nov 3rd to scout and possibly set up a tripod. I hate sitting all day so don't know how long I'll sit in it. I'm going to use the whole day to scout and hopefully locate deer. According to parks and wildlife website this should be peak of the rut for that area. I am also going to hunt all five days, I'm hoping that folks go home after the weekend.
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Old 10-19-2017, 07:56 PM   #29
MetalMan2004
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I will be there nov 3rd to scout and possibly set up a tripod. I hate sitting all day so don't know how long I'll sit in it. I'm going to use the whole day to scout and hopefully locate deer. According to parks and wildlife website this should be peak of the rut for that area. I am also going to hunt all five days, I'm hoping that folks go home after the weekend.
Good luck! My first choice was the Nov 4 season but I値l take what I got drawn for! You値l have to let us know how it looks out there.

Have you recieved your maps or any other info from TPWD? At two weeks away i壇 hope that you have all the info you need at this point.
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Old 10-20-2017, 11:20 PM   #30
RifleBowPistol
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Worst thing that could have happened for the refuge and its hunters. Down where I live, Laguna Atascosa did the same thing last year....went to the state lottery. First time in over 12 years that I did not hunt the LANWR. Didn't get drawn. Live 15 minutes away and was a for sure chance to hunt archery every year without having a lease. From what I understand, they had a lot of trouble with knuckle heads not not knowing their rules and people not showing up to hunt because of the distance and helicopter nillgi shoots. I hope this doesn't negatively impact the Aransas NWR
I am not the only one seeing this problem. Most every place in the state, that you could go out when you had the time and hunt, or you could pick the date or dates you wanted to hunt, have been taken over by the state and are now drawn hunts. So the chances of getting on one of those places, is extremely slim, then if by some chance you get on, likely not on a date that works for you. Then TPW brags about all of the public hunting opportunities there are in Texas for public hunting.
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Old 10-21-2017, 07:39 AM   #31
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I am not the only one seeing this problem. Most every place in the state, that you could go out when you had the time and hunt, or you could pick the date or dates you wanted to hunt, have been taken over by the state and are now drawn hunts. So the chances of getting on one of those places, is extremely slim, then if by some chance you get on, likely not on a date that works for you. Then TPW brags about all of the public hunting opportunities there are in Texas for public hunting.
X2

Public hunting in TX for the most part has been reduced to some goofy Ponzi scheme drawing so the TPWD can make money. FUBAR
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Old 10-22-2017, 05:09 PM   #32
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X2

Public hunting in TX for the most part has been reduced to some goofy Ponzi scheme drawing so the TPWD can make money. FUBAR
I am glad to see I am not the only one seeing this. Poaching is bad, poaching is illegal. But that is what happens, when people can not afford to pay to go hunting.

TPW keeps saying there is so much public land to hunt, but they have taken 98% of it over and then make you play their stupid games to get on the land they have control of. TPW is making lots of money on the deal and just stringing lots of people along, who are trying to get drawn for these hunts. Your chances are extremely low. I was looking at the BS numbers they posted, as the number of people who had applied for each hunt. Many it was showing, something like 1400 to 2400. I don't believe those numbers at all. That may be per day, that are applying, but not total.
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Old 10-23-2017, 02:28 PM   #33
houstonhunter2
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Default Aransas NWR Rifle Hunt 1 (11/4-8)

Aransas NWR Rifle Hunt 1 (11/4-8)
Never been before, got drawn.
What can anyone tell me about the current conditions of the land?
Do you need an ATV to get inland?
Can you hunt from a ground blind?
Do most camp or come/go?
How does the individual area marking/flagging work?
Thanks for the help!
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Old 10-24-2017, 03:30 AM   #34
Thumper
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Aransas NWR Rifle Hunt 1 (11/4-8)
Never been before, got drawn.
What can anyone tell me about the current conditions of the land?........ Plenty of water but not flooded, grass tall, mosquitoes really bad.
Do you need an ATV to get inland?......... Not allowed.
Can you hunt from a ground blind?......... Yes, or 6' tripod.
Do most camp or come/go?.......... Camping at hoppers, $10 a night without electricity, with electricity $25, RV Campers $35.
How does the individual area marking/flagging work?........ There are no individual areas, you mark your stand location and sometimes it works, mostly because there's a lot of blocking flagging or flagging that is never hunted.
Thanks for the help!
Call the Refuge, you should have gotten a copy of their rules and regulations when you bought your permit, (361) 286-3559.

Last edited by Thumper; 10-24-2017 at 03:34 AM..
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Old 10-24-2017, 03:52 AM   #35
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I don't wish damage on anyone's property, but I sure hope that the hurricane wiped out that Water Moccasin & Mosquito population at Aransas... I hunted their ONCE, and will never do it again...... just wasn't worth the hassle to be enjoyable.
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Old 10-24-2017, 07:09 AM   #36
MetalMan2004
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Originally Posted by houstonhunter2 View Post
Aransas NWR Rifle Hunt 1 (11/4-8)
Never been before, got drawn.
What can anyone tell me about the current conditions of the land?
Do you need an ATV to get inland?
Can you hunt from a ground blind?
Do most camp or come/go?
How does the individual area marking/flagging work?
Thanks for the help!
When you bought your permit you should have gotten emailed a pdf of rules and regs. It answers all of your wuestions in one page.

Good luck and let us know what you see out there!
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Old 10-24-2017, 07:51 AM   #37
houstonhunter2
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Can I get a collective go-no go from those that have been there, based on current conditions? Looks like it's gonna be awfully warm for a deer hunt...

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Old 10-24-2017, 08:47 AM   #38
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Can I get a collective go-no go from those that have been there, based on current conditions? Looks like it's gonna be awfully warm for a deer hunt...
I am going. But a few mesquitos and snakes won't deter me. I love deer hunting and haven't done much public land so I'm exciting for the opportunity. I hope folks stay home, more room for me to wander around.
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Old 10-24-2017, 09:43 AM   #39
L C
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HH2, if it's warm, it's going to be a fairly miserable hunt like all places. If you have other places to go hunting, I'd pass. But if you like to get out of town, then go.

But cold or hot it's a tough hunt.
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Old 10-24-2017, 09:51 AM   #40
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Can I get a collective go-no go from those that have been there, based on current conditions? Looks like it's gonna be awfully warm for a deer hunt...
It's typically warm when hunting out there, but I have hunted that place so much, I have seen some cool weather and some heavy rain, light rain. Been out there during a tropical storm once.

This year is going to be very hard to saw what it's going to be like. The hurricane blew all of the leaves off of the oaks, all my years of living on the coast and having gone through a few hurricanes. Never seen one that blew all of the leaves off of the trees, that were not blown over. We were down in the area two weeks after the storm hit, we saw deer standing on the side of the road, that seemed shell shocked. Looked confused, absolutely no fear of the trucks driving by, in the middle of the day.

The deer down there mostly forage on leaves, then get fat on acorns during the fall. I seriously doubt there are any acorns on any of the trees down there. But there may be, would be odd to see oaks with acorns and no leaves.

We have bow hunted the place since about 1986. Then finally got to rifle hunt the place about five or six years ago, when they were letting people buy permits from some out of state company. What we found, was it's better for bow hunting than rifle hunting. At least for us, all of the areas, where we found the big bucks and lots of pigs, they close off for rifle season. We never really hunted the areas that are open for rifle season. We had no choice, the two times we went down there to rifle hunt, within the last five or six years. I saw plenty of doe, my buddy saw some pigs. I also saw a coyote. I had the doe down pat. We saw no bucks at all, rifle hunting.

When we used to bow hunt, we would see nice bucks to some pretty dang healthy old bruisers and some huge hogs. During rifle season, because of the areas where you are limited to, you probably won't see many gators or moccasins. You might run into some rattlers, don't get me wrong, you could still easily run across a few gators and or moccasins. Closer to the water, you have to be very careful where you step or walk. Turns out a trail we used for a couple of years was a gator trail. We suspected that for some time, but never saw a gator in the area. Then one morning before sun up, we were walking up the trail ad saw something huge on the trail and knew right off what it was. We let him have his trail, we went through the grass around the big guy. Those **** things are fast, so don't mess with them. Stay away from all water, even a little water hole 6 ft. across, can have an 8 ft. gator in it. They will find small water holes and dig them out, then lay in the holes, waiting on a pig or a deer to come get a drink. I have seen hunters come close to being gator dinner years ago. We did find one gator, in a small water hole one year rifle hunting, then following year, that little hole was dried up. He found another even smaller hole to hide in.
Then the mosquitos are more dangerous than the gators. As long as you don't mess with a gator out of water, he won't chase you. If they are in a water hole, which you will not know they are there, they are hunting and you don't want to get next to the water. Mosquitos don't care, you are fair game any and all times.
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Old 10-24-2017, 10:08 AM   #41
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I am going. But a few mesquitos and snakes won't deter me. I love deer hunting and haven't done much public land so I'm exciting for the opportunity. I hope folks stay home, more room for me to wander around.
You are in for a surprise, you say a few mosquitos. HA!! HA!! HA!! HA!! You have never been there. We call the place the Aransas Mosquito Refuge. You are going to get introduced to mosquitos to a level you never thought possible. If you are really tough, it can be some good hunting, the bow hunting is much better than the rifle hunting, because of the area you can hunt with a bow and not with a rifle.

Honestly, I have told people a story for years. The intercoastal runs on the east side of the place. We would see tug boats, shrimp boats going down the inercoastal from a mile a way or so, across the marshy flats on the east side of the place. It looks odd, seeing them, they look like they are in the middle of the marshy area. But at times you will first spot the boats because of the black smoke. One day we drove up to a area we liked to hunt, stopped the truck and were getting our gear ready, to jump out of the truck. We were looking at the swarm of mosquitos and asking each other, do we really want to feed those little *******s again. Then I saw a black cloud out on the marsh, assumed it was a boat, after a while, it was still in the same place. I finally grabbed the binoculars to make sure it was not a fire starting. Nope, no fire, no boat. It was two hunters about 800 yards out on the marsh and the cloud of mosquitos swarming around and over them. That is a true story. Mosquito nettings is a absolute definite, if you want to survive or possibly kill anything but mosquitos. You will be doing nothing but swatting mosquitos.

Good, luck, it's a cool place, other than the flying vampires.
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Old 10-24-2017, 10:17 AM   #42
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This is a gator we found rifle hunting four or five years ago. Then the same gator the following year, when his water hole dried up. At one point that gator, was hiding in a water hole that was probably only four feet across. It looked like the water hole was no more than 4" deep. But it turns out, the gator had dug the hole out about 18" to 2' deep. We found out the following year, when the hole was dried up. That gator was about 8' to 9' long. We found him two years in a row. We have seen gators out there, that were easily over 12' long, probably in the 14' range. Even that size, they are very fast when they want to be, we found out the hard way. We always hunted closer to the water when bow hunting and ran across gators on most every trip. We only found one rifle hunting. I know of a area, that is within the rifle hunting area, that has quite a few gators. So don't think you won't run across one. They are very much off limits to shoot.

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Old 10-24-2017, 01:29 PM   #43
MetalMan2004
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Very cool photos!

Do you think a thermacell would be enough to keep the mosquitos managable, or is a net a must?
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Old 10-24-2017, 01:44 PM   #44
denimdeerslayer
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NO skeeter pics?
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Old 10-24-2017, 05:22 PM   #45
MetalMan2004
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Just FYI, the refuge website now has a link to the hunt map and FAQs. Just scroll down a bit.

https://www.fws.gov/refuge/Aransas/v...s/hunting.html
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Old 10-25-2017, 08:49 AM   #46
houstonhunter2
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Appreciate the info guys... is a 6' tripod a big advantage? Any recommendations on one?
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Old 10-25-2017, 10:24 AM   #47
RifleBowPistol
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Yes, a 6' tripod would be about perfect. Most of the areas down there have some typical big oaks. But there are areas with very dense scrub oak. Those typically are covered with lots of acorns. The deer will typically work their way through areas with scrub oak, eating acorns off of the trees and ground. Some of the scrub oaks are very dense and 1 1/2 ft. tall, to maybe 2 ft. tall, then others are 6 to 8 ft. tall. You can find areas where there are tall oaks, with a opening in the tall oaks, that has scattered scrub oaks. I have found those are areas where the deer will typically go to, to feed. They will also feed on other small bushes, eating the leaves. I got away from tall tripods a long time ago, realized I was getting silhouetted too often. A short tripod, gets you up over the short brush and tall grass, but does not cause too much of a silhouetting problem. I find some oaks, with limbs hanging down that are dense with leaves or shorter oaks that are dense with leaves, from about 3 to 4 ft. from the ground to at least 12 ft. high. Then try to find a place, where I can stuff my tripod in a area where I have dense oak surrounding me. I found a perfect spot to stuff my tripod, over looking a bunch of 1 1/2 to 3 ft. high scrub oak that was covered with acorns. I saw doe every time I sat in that spot. I would have doe well within bow range, for an hour to two. Typically four to seven doe. Never saw any bucks. I tried setting my tripod up on a sendero at one point. That area was many acers of 6 to 8 ft. high dense oaks, very dense, not many openings in the brush in that area. I figured something would eventually cross the sendero. I only saw a coyote there. That and a funnel cloud right over my head, then the rain came down hard and the wind started blowing hard. I could hear multiple critters moving around in the brush on either side of the sendero but they never came out in the open. I knew I was being silhouetted in that spot. That was only the second trip we had ever taken down there for rifle hunting. We had hunted place for many years, bow hunting farther south closer to the water, but only rifle hunted twice. I figured setting up on a sendero, something would have to cross eventually and hopefully I could get off a shot, before it cleared the sendero. I never saw anything but the coyote there. The oaks around me did not have many acorns. I was pretty sure the critters moving around in the brush near me, were small pigs.

Years ago, when we bow hunted the place in October, we hear bucks fighting a few times. In areas where there are very dense clumps of 5 to 8' tall scrub oaks, that were covered with lots of acorns. Then there were lots of open areas around those scrub oaks. Basically made like a huge maze. You could easily walk around, in short grass, through the clumps of scrub oaks. The openings would not be anymore than 30 yards across, typically only 10 to 20 yards across. You could wonder through that stuff for a good ways. There was always lots of deer sign in those areas. Trying to decide where to hunt was difficult, we typically, just walked those areas. In those areas, is where we heard bucks fighting on a few occasions.

There are guys that would go down there every year and were successful most every year. The areas vary greatly in the refuge. It's not 36,000 acers of just tall oaks. There are areas with tall oaks, that having many clearings in between the oaks, typically you can find small water holes in some of those clearings. Then other areas there are tall oaks, and it looks like a jungle, with lots of old grape vines covering the oaks and briers, covering the ground and the trees. You can have that for large area. Then other areas there are large open grassy areas. Typically the grass is 1 1/2' to 2' tall, commonly with clumps under the grass. From old burnt grass. They start controlled fires out there regularly, to keep it from getting over run with the very thick stuff. You will likely find areas that have been burnt. They post up info that the Indians used to do burns to get clear out the thick stuff and get more grass to grow. So the government does the same think. They do controlled burns in different areas regularly.
In the areas where there are larger open grassy areas, typically you will have numerous oak motts. Those hold some deer. There are two or three canals that go through the place. Typically the canals, go to small lakes. We found one canal one time. that looked like a river, looked like it was probably 6' deep. Looked like a good place to hunt, but we found that back in the 80s, when we were trying to see as much of the place as possible. We forgot were we found that canal. I know of some other canals, that lead to some other small lakes. Those are definitely in part of the area, that is only open for bow hunting. Not sure about the bigger canal and lake.

If you had a lot of time and got out and walked a lot of that place, there is some very interesting stuff there. The areas along the intercoastal and St. Charles bay, can be quite different from what you will find farther inland from the water. You really need to spend as much time out there as possible scouting, before you hunt. Even the area that they allow for rifle hunting is huge and varies quite a bit. If you get to bow hunt the place, the area you can hunt is much larger and the vegetation varies quite a bit more.

All of this info, is from the past 30 years of hunting on that place. It changes a little hear and there, but not much. They have cut some new roads in the past 15 years or so. All of the old roads that were there 30 years ago, are still there, but there are definitely some new roads, that opened up access to areas we had never seen before. Many of those new roads, were in the area, you can rifle hunt. We also found new roads in the areas that are only open to bow hunting. But all of what I have seen, was before the hurricane hit. I have no idea what it looks like now. I am betting there are a lot of trees down, limbs broken and a lot of the bigger oaks are missing leaves. Now the short scrub oaks, possibly still have leaves and acorns, don't know have not been there since the storm.

As for the deer, most of the deer out there are going to live a full life and die of natural causes, or get eaten by gators. I can tell you the gators do get their fair share of deer. I figured the gators mainly got pigs, but years ago, there was a pond with a windmill next to it on the main road going in. There were two gators in that pond. After hunting a couple of days, we noticed the gators had something floating in the water. We went and checked it out, it was a deer. We checked on them over the next few days, as the deer started to disappear. I would say it took them about four days to eat the deer. There were two gators about 6 to 8 ft. long in that pond.
Basically, there are quite a few old deer out there. I have never seen older deer farther inland on the place, you can bet they are wise and the brush is very dense. So very low chance you will see one. But they are there. The younger deer are not hard to find. Closer to the water, we found many nice bucks, I don't think those deer see near as many people and some of those areas are more open. Either way, we found quite a few big deer closer to the water on both sides of the place. But I know there are big older deer inland, but those are not going to be easy to hunt.

Then as for pigs, there are a lot of small pigs running around all the time. There area also quite a few very big pigs out there. Again, we usually found the bigger pigs near the water, when bow hunting. We saw one pig out there, one morning driving in. That **** thing had to weigh close to 400 lbs., it was over 3 ft. tall and did not give a **** about people in trucks. It trotted out in the road, in front of us and trotted down the road, for a 1/4 mile or so, caused a traffic jamb. We were trying to get to our hunting spot, way south on the refuge and the pig trotted along in front of us for a good 1/4 mile slowing us down, which slowed down all of the hunters that were behind us. That was about 5:00 AM one morning. We have found many 200 lb. pigs and larger.
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Old 10-25-2017, 08:50 PM   #48
MetalMan2004
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Thanks very much for the good info Riflebowpistol!

From what I知 hearing and the pictures I致e seen I知 guessing my climbing stand won稚 be of much use to me out there, correct?
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Old 10-25-2017, 09:32 PM   #49
RifleBowPistol
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MetalMan2004 View Post
Thanks very much for the good info Riflebowpistol!

From what I’m hearing and the pictures I’ve seen I’m guessing my climbing stand won’t be of much use to me out there, correct?
Nope, unless you find a telephone pole. Then you won't be where the deer are.

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Old 10-25-2017, 10:04 PM   #50
RifleBowPistol
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Ok, here are some more pictures. Some of them are from a few of years ago, then some from about five years ago and then some of them are from close to 30 years ago.

There are pictures of some of the marshy areas, the ones with the funky sky are from a few years ago. That area, was a lot of oaks mostly 6 to 8 ft. right around me, with oaks in the 20 to 30 ft. tall range farther from me. Then there are some pictures of some of the grassy areas, with oak motts off in the distance. You can see some burnt out oaks that made up some oak motts years ago. Then two of the pictures are of a couple of the canals we found years ago. Then a pig out in a marshy are. I don't have any good clear pictures of the stuff we actually hunted in.

Then I threw in a couple of pictures of the two gators, that got the deer years ago. You can see both gators in the first picture, then in the second picture, I want to say I got a picture of what was left of the deer after about thee days and a vulture, that was wanting to get in on the feast, but the deer was out in the water.

That last picture of the canal, is of a canal, we used to find schools of big reds in. That canal goes out to St. Charles Bay. The reds make their way up in there looking for stuff to eat. The first time we found reds up in there, there were some red leaves floating on the water. We saw fish swimming just below the surface and assumed they were gar, because we regularly saw spotted gar in those canals. But we then watched some of the fish, popping the red leaves off of the top of the water. A short time later the school swam right up to us and we were able to see it was a school of reds. All over 20 in., one was a tagged red. Probably nine fish in the school.
A few years later I hunted over a small lake, that the same canal, goes to. I hunted in a oak tree overhanging the lake. There was a bunch of mud, cattails and deep grass at the end of a heavy trail that went to that lake. The trail and the mud was solid pig tracks. So I found a tree to get in, where I would have a shot at anything that came down the trail or stopped in the mud. The tree was overhanging the water about 20 ft. I sat in the tree for most of the afternoon. At some point around 4:00 in the afternoon, I heard a bit splash and assumed it was a pig, that jumped in the water, but about 10 minutes later a monster gator floated out of the cattails on the other end of the lake. I then suddenly got very nervous about falling out of that tree. I relaxed after a while kept my eye on the gator and watched the trail for pigs. While looking around, I noticed fish swimming in the lake. Eventually they came right up under me. Turned out to be another school of reds, again all legal fish. Wished I had my rod and reel to do some fishing from the tree, while I was waiting on the pigs. I bailed out of that tree before sun down, I did not want to be climbing down that tree after dark and be right on the bank of the lake and not be able to see where that **** big gator was. That and I had to walk a ways around the lake, right along the edge of the bank, because the brush, was dense right up to the bank of the lake. When I did start moving back down the tree to get out of it, the gator did see me and went under. So I knew what that meant. He was coming over to see if he could get dinner. So the hunter became the hunted. I got the hell out of there.

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