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Old 09-02-2020, 11:40 AM   #1
Physhstyx
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Default Drawn for Aransas NWR

I was drawn for Archery at the Aransas NWR. 10/3-10/11 Anybody else get drawn and more important has anybody hunted there. I have never been. What can I expect in the way of camping area, etc...and hunting areas. I have my book so I will start the research but any help from those that have hunted this are would be great.

Larry
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Old 09-02-2020, 11:43 AM   #2
HighwayHunter
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I drew those dates as well. Probably wonít make the hunt but the other guys in my group will. In for information


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Old 09-02-2020, 11:43 AM   #3
wsteffen
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It's been a lot of years since I've been down there, but you used to be able to camp on the side of the road outside the entrance. No idea if that is still true. Hunting can be a little tough. Kind of thick woods.
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Old 09-02-2020, 11:44 AM   #4
Brinkley
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We did as well. Maybe we can meet up and learn from each other.
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Old 09-02-2020, 12:02 PM   #5
SabineHunter
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My wife and I drawed a couple of years ago. Camping is no longer allowed on the side of the road. We camped in a town just north of the gate, Austwell. Not bad. Mosquitoes were miserable for hunting. Cover up as much as possible and, yes, it will be hot. I shot a 3 yr buck, not bad, but good eating.
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Old 09-02-2020, 12:04 PM   #6
Grizz83
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Skeeters. More skeeters than you've ever seen in your life.

We tent camped at some fish camp not far away.

The people who were successful brought there own tripods.
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Old 09-02-2020, 12:46 PM   #7
bignick612
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I drew this hunt also. I'm in for some info.
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Old 09-02-2020, 12:57 PM   #8
Bowhunter87
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I drew this hunt as well
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Old 09-02-2020, 08:09 PM   #9
rysfade
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We rifle hunted there last December, didn't see any deer during shooting hours but got a small, good eating hog to make up for it.

There was no camping by the entrance. We stayed down at Goose Island SP down by Rockport; really nice campground, but it does take about 45mins of driving each way so build that into your timing for the mornings.

Overall a pretty tough hunt, thick brush and the grass is quite tall, but it was still fun and we agreed we'd go down there again. Pretty unique getting to deer hunt by the beach, if you're from up north like me.
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Old 09-02-2020, 08:21 PM   #10
panhandlehunter
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Hard, hot hunt full of mosquitoes. Consider yourself lucky to even see a deer. I hunted out there once before it was a draw hunt, you just bought a permit and went. I wouldn’t hunt out there if you gave me $500.
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Old 09-02-2020, 08:41 PM   #11
Greenheadless
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Originally Posted by panhandlehunter View Post
Hard, hot hunt full of mosquitoes. Consider yourself lucky to even see a deer. I hunted out there once before it was a draw hunt, you just bought a permit and went. I wouldn’t hunt out there if you gave me $500.


My sentiments as well.

Kudos for those that drew. You guys are way tougher/more hardcore than panhandle and me.
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Old 09-02-2020, 08:41 PM   #12
PassnItOn
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Thermacell is your friend!
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Old 09-06-2020, 01:45 PM   #13
BlazeofCory
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Drew this one as well. Where do y'all plan on staying?
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Old 09-06-2020, 02:00 PM   #14
Muddy Bud
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As mentioned above very tough hunt. I drew for the rifle hunt last year and could not find a dry spot on the entire area other than the roads. I recommend hip boots. I did see a couple of does and a few hogs. Didn’t feel like dragging anything out that day, it was 84 degrees and humid as heck. Thermacell did absolutely no good for me in there. Ended of dousing myself with off. You will get swarmed as soon as you step out of the truck.
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Old 09-06-2020, 02:24 PM   #15
rysfade
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As mentioned above very tough hunt. I drew for the rifle hunt last year and could not find a dry spot on the entire area other than the roads. I recommend hip boots. I did see a couple of does and a few hogs. Didnít feel like dragging anything out that day, it was 84 degrees and humid as heck. Thermacell did absolutely no good for me in there. Ended of dousing myself with off. You will get swarmed as soon as you step out of the truck.
Were you there for one of the earlier rifles? By the time we were there in mid-December, it had dried off considerably - fortunately knocked the mosquitoes down a ton.
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Old 09-06-2020, 02:41 PM   #16
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If you have not hunted the Aransas Mosquito Refuge, you are in for a surprise.

There are some big deer out there, but they are not easy to get a shot at, but they are there. There are also a lot of hogs there, some are just flat huge. You can not shoot turkey or javelina out there, but there are both out there. I have been out there in the spring and seen a lot of turkey. I have only seen maybe 10 javelina in 25 years of hunting the place.

The things you need to watch out for as you are loosing multiple pints of blood, are the many alligators, water moccasins and then there are rattlers out there also. Over the years, we encountered multiple moccasins, and one rattler. One moccasin, went to town striking my boot, because I was standing on it and did not know. The one rattler we saw out there coiled and came very close to nailing a buddy of mine, he did not see the snake.
The gators are all over the place. Probably more so right now, after all this rain. There are small water holes all over that place and every hole, I don't care how small it is, likely has a gator in it. You would think a 10' gator could not or would not hide in a 6'X4' water hole, but they can and will do so. We found a creek bottom that was mostly dried up. But there was one small water hole, about 25' long and about 15' wide. We knew from past experience, there was mostly likely a gator in the hole. So we backed up and hid in the brush. Sure enough after about 10 minutes a 10' gator surfaced. Well the next year we went back to the same spot. I decided to check on the water hole and gator, just to see if the water hole was still there, we had not had any rain in a long time. Well the water hole was down to 6' long by 4' wide. We though that looked a bit small for the gator that used to be in that hole. Well we found that gator hiding up under the bank of the creek, they will dig out the banks and it turns out, they will dig out their water holes. That gator had dug out that water hole about 2' deep. It did not look like it was that deep, but it was and being the only water around. You can bet a lot of animals used it for water. That gator was still using that hole, so most likely it was eating very well.

Later on, I found that hole had completely dried up, that's how I know how deep the gator had dug out the hole.

We have found gators in basically big mud puddles, that were no more than 18" deep, then maybe 15' across and 20' long. We watched a gator stalk two hunters looking at tracks around the mud hole. We yelled at them to get away from the water hole, they had no idea, looked at us like we were being a holes. We went down to the mud hole after they left and threw a large dirt clod in the water hole and made waves big enough to expose the gator. That one was probably 12' long.

Just so you know what you are dealing with. If you find a trail through the brush or marsh and it is very smooth and has rounded sided, basically like someone dug it out about 3" to 5" deep and the sides of the trail are rounded, the whole trail is nice and smooth. You are on a gator trail. You will typically find them near water holes. Gators will use them to go hide up in the brush during the middle of the day, then as they choose to, they will take a stroll down to their water hole, however big it is. It might be a nice big pond, a small pond, a mud hole or it might be along the shore line of the refuge. We have found gator trails all over that place. One of them we found, where our favorite hunting place is. We used the trail many times, the one time, about 5:00 in the morning we were walking up the trail we had used many times before. We had flashlights off, sneaking in to where we were going to hunt. Then realized there was something large on the trail. Turned on a flashlight to find a 9' gator on the trail and he was not happy about us sharing his trail. This trail lead from the brush, down to the water along the shoreline.

The biggest gator we have seen out there was probably 14' long maybe a bit longer. There is a lake that is fed by a canal. That canal, will get schools of reds up in it, at times, typically in October. They will follow that canal all the way up into that lake or pond. There are hog tracks all around that lake/pond, hog wallows. It's a great place to hunt pigs or fish for reds. But the last time I was there. I was hunting in a tree that overhung the pond, waiting on a hog to come to the pond. On the other side of the pond, there are a bunch of cattails and a bunch of hog wallows in and around those. During the day, I had schools of reds swimming under me, following the bank. Then when it got later in the afternoon. I heard a large splash, over near the cattails. I thought it was a hog hitting the water to cool off. I kept waiting and waiting. Then finally I saw what made the big splash. It was the biggest gator I have ever seen. I have seen many 12' gators out there, but that gator, was easily much bigger than any I had ever seen. It went out into the middle of the pond and sunk below the surface, then would resurface in some other spot around the pond. At that point, I started getting worried about falling out of the tree I was in. Had no fear or thoughts of falling out of the tree before that.

The gators are something you really need to learn about, and be careful of. The moccasins, are scattered all over the place, the rattlers, seem to mainly be on the west side, where it's drier, that's the only place we have seen rattlers.

The mosquitos are going to be something you really can't fully understand, till you get to experience the place for a weekend or longer. I will admit the last time I was out there with my wife and daughter, the mosquitos, really were not that bad. They were pretty bad, if you are not from the coast, but having grown up there, that last time, they were not really all that bad. Now 20 to 35 years ago, back when we hunted the place a lot, they were extremely bad.

On the intercoastal side of the refuge. you can be out there along the marsh and see clouds of smoke going across the marsh. Those clouds of smoke, usually are tug boats going up or down the intercoastal. Without binoculars, you won't see the tugs, just the black smoke. They are out there probably 1500 yards or so. So we have seen that numerous times over the years. Well one time, we thought we saw smoke from a tug out on the marsh. I looked through the binoculars, turns out, that out there about 800 yards, there were two hunters walking through the marsh. That black cloud around and above them, was made of mosquitos. When you can see a cloud of mosquitos from 800 yards, that's a lot of mosquitos.

I don't know if they have done anything in recent years to reduce the number of mosquitos, or if the last time I was there, there was just a abnormally small mosquito population for some reason, such as a drought. When things are normal out there, the mosquitos are lethal.

One last warning on the gators. One year we were out hunting the marsh, on the intercoastal side of the place. We found a couple of really nice bucks out there. Then we discovered there were some sand dunes out in the middle of the marsh, and in the middle of those dunes, was a water hole. So we tried to find a trail coming and going from the water hole, that we could hunt. Figured any deer hiding in that marsh, would have to go to that water hole, more so, because it was surrounded by small sand dunes, so they would not be seen. So we walked the area, trying to find a good trail to hunt and a place to sit, to hunt one of the trails. Well in the process, I fell through the ground. Turns out there was a tunnel dug under the grass, that was big enough I could crawl through it. When I dropped into the tunnel, the ground level was just below my crotch. The top of the tunnel was maybe 6" to 10", below ground. At first we had no idea what would dig a tunnel like that. Then we got to looking at the floor of the tunnel and found gator tracks. I got out of that tunnel fast. We took arrows and punched through the ground, to follow the tunnel. We found it came out near the water hole, then went maybe 50 yards away from the water hole. I had no idea, gators would do anything like that.

It's just something to be careful of, if you decided to hunt the marshy area on the intercoastal side. the only place we found tunnels, was in that one area, of the marshy area, where it was sandy. Most of the rest of the marshy area, along the coast lines, was dirt or silt or mud, if wet.

Last edited by RifleBowPistol; 09-06-2020 at 02:57 PM.
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Old 09-06-2020, 11:33 PM   #17
Muddy Bud
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Were you there for one of the earlier rifles? By the time we were there in mid-December, it had dried off considerably - fortunately knocked the mosquitoes down a ton.
Yeah it was the first rifle hunt. There was a ton of road construction going on too.
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Old 09-07-2020, 01:13 AM   #18
BlazeofCory
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Would you recommend a climbing tree stand, ground blind or neither?


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Old 09-07-2020, 02:10 AM   #19
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Been hunting there off and on since the late 80s,Iíve been to a lot of places in my life but no where can compare to the amount of mosquitoes that are there!Out of the 10 or so different years Iíve hunted there was only 1 that the mosquitoes werenít that bad and it was a December rifle hunt.They used to take care of the fire breaks and right of ways a lot better and you could walk down them and set up a tripod on a crossing trail but the last few years I went were hard core thick and overgrown.About 5 years ago we walked up on the largest most aggressive gator Iíve ever seen,no exaggerating it was at least 14+ foot and mad as hell! We definitely didnít set up a stand anywhere near there.Ive seen it flooded and dry,just depends on the weather leading up to your hunt and it could change in one day.Its a typical public hunt meaning at any time someone could come wondering around the woods and ruin your day.Ive seen some huge deer and hogs there,and some huge snakes too.All I can say is if you hunt there youíre tuff,if you kill anything you have earned some serious bragging rights.Seen the roads in there get so washboarded that you canít go 5mph without vibrating off the road.If the mosquitoes are there,which they probably will be,get ready to no only lose a lot of blood but to eat a good amount of them too.In all my tryís Iíve killed one doe with a bow,one hog with a bow and one hog with a gun,tuff hunting but I was always with good family and friends so it made it worth it.Not sure if Iíll ever go back though.
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Old 09-07-2020, 04:43 AM   #20
snipermedic
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Heard bow hunting is tough. So I put in for the rifle hunt. Figured 800 yards is better odds than 30 there lol
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Old 09-08-2020, 09:58 AM   #21
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Heard bow hunting is tough. So I put in for the rifle hunt. Figured 800 yards is better odds than 30 there lol
I doubt youíll get any shots close to 800yds,they purposely keep the gun hunts in the thick part of the refuge so people donít shoot each other.The open parts of the refuge around the coastal area are also where the Whooping Cranes are for the winter so they keep people away from there.
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Old 09-08-2020, 10:03 AM   #22
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Haven't been but good luck!
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Old 09-08-2020, 11:43 AM   #23
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Old 09-08-2020, 03:03 PM   #24
Phorizt
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y'all have almost convinced me to start applying for this hunt lol
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Old 09-09-2020, 07:08 PM   #25
rysfade
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlazeofCory View Post
Would you recommend a climbing tree stand, ground blind or neither?


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There's not a ton of trees that can support a climbing tree stand, at least in most of the rifle hunt areas. We alternated between a couple tripods and some ground sits on the edges of the pipeline clearings.
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Old 09-09-2020, 10:08 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by rysfade View Post
There's not a ton of trees that can support a climbing tree stand, at least in most of the rifle hunt areas. We alternated between a couple tripods and some ground sits on the edges of the pipeline clearings.

Thanks!


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Old 09-10-2020, 06:51 PM   #27
isaiahcruz16
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For those who got drawn for the Aransas wildlife National Wildlife Refuge Bow hunt in October!! During scouting and hunting, All permitted hunters will enter from The Refuge Back Gate and CR 774, due to construction on the refuge. Early scouting days are Sept. 19-20 for those who are and have successfully taken the IBEP course. They will open the gate @ 3 pm Saturday the 19th. For more info contact JJ Cruz @ 361-557-0945
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Old 09-11-2020, 06:09 AM   #28
Physhstyx
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Originally Posted by isaiahcruz16 View Post
For those who got drawn for the Aransas wildlife National Wildlife Refuge Bow hunt in October!! During scouting and hunting, All permitted hunters will enter from The Refuge Back Gate and CR 774, due to construction on the refuge. Early scouting days are Sept. 19-20 for those who are and have successfully taken the IBEP course. They will open the gate @ 3 pm Saturday the 19th. For more info contact JJ Cruz @ 361-557-0945
One question. After initial check in the first day are you required to check in each day or can we come and go to our compartment or section each day as we want.

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Old 09-11-2020, 11:55 AM   #29
isaiahcruz16
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One question. After initial check in the first day are you required to check in each day or can we come and go to our compartment or section each day as we want.

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You will have to check in each day, there will be cards that need to be filled out with your info. As you go in and out of the hunt area. Just because there are no sections anyone is appointed to, the 36,000+ acre hunt area is wide open to any hunter as a first come first serve basis. So it helps keep track of everyone who is inside the hunt area and gives the park an average number of hunters a day.
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Old 09-12-2020, 02:33 PM   #30
BlazeofCory
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Got notification of Richland Creek South draw last night for the same dates as this one. I think I'm headed north instead. But, thanks for all the info / tips!
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Old 09-15-2020, 05:26 AM   #31
Thumper
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Make sure you wear snake boots, lots and lots of water moccasins. After the last hurricane the rattlesnake numbers are up. Retreating tidal surge moved them in, jmo.

Do not drive off the roads, no litter, no corn/feeding, and no running over any critters(snakes included). These issues are noted and recorded, and its not to make hunters look good. Pray the govt doesn't shut down during the hunt. And if you have a Bowhunter's Safety Card you can scout a weekend early.
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Old 09-16-2020, 02:57 PM   #32
SoTXAg06
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Drew for the gun hunt (12/12-12/16). Looking forward to following this thread along. At least Iíve lived in the area long enough to know how bad the mosquitoes can be, haha.


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Old 09-16-2020, 03:00 PM   #33
snipermedic
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11/21-25.
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Old 09-17-2020, 12:10 AM   #34
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Drew for the gun hunt (12/12-12/16). Looking forward to following this thread along. At least Iíve lived in the area long enough to know how bad the mosquitoes can be, haha.


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I drew this weekend/week as well. I will be following this thread for updates
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Old 09-17-2020, 04:51 AM   #35
kingranch
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I drew this archery hunt but didn't get notice I won in my email so it lapsed before I had a chance to pay 130$ permit

Blessings in disguise lol.. glad I didn't get it now.
I fished the area alot and I know the mosquitoes are massive and so thick you have to be careful not to inhale them
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Old 09-17-2020, 09:51 PM   #36
SoTXAg06
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Mosquitoes could be thick, especially for the bow hunts.



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Old 09-17-2020, 10:16 PM   #37
SabineHunter
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If you have not hunted the Aransas Mosquito Refuge, you are in for a surprise.

There are some big deer out there, but they are not easy to get a shot at, but they are there. There are also a lot of hogs there, some are just flat huge. You can not shoot turkey or javelina out there, but there are both out there. I have been out there in the spring and seen a lot of turkey. I have only seen maybe 10 javelina in 25 years of hunting the place.

The things you need to watch out for as you are loosing multiple pints of blood, are the many alligators, water moccasins and then there are rattlers out there also. Over the years, we encountered multiple moccasins, and one rattler. One moccasin, went to town striking my boot, because I was standing on it and did not know. The one rattler we saw out there coiled and came very close to nailing a buddy of mine, he did not see the snake.
The gators are all over the place. Probably more so right now, after all this rain. There are small water holes all over that place and every hole, I don't care how small it is, likely has a gator in it. You would think a 10' gator could not or would not hide in a 6'X4' water hole, but they can and will do so. We found a creek bottom that was mostly dried up. But there was one small water hole, about 25' long and about 15' wide. We knew from past experience, there was mostly likely a gator in the hole. So we backed up and hid in the brush. Sure enough after about 10 minutes a 10' gator surfaced. Well the next year we went back to the same spot. I decided to check on the water hole and gator, just to see if the water hole was still there, we had not had any rain in a long time. Well the water hole was down to 6' long by 4' wide. We though that looked a bit small for the gator that used to be in that hole. Well we found that gator hiding up under the bank of the creek, they will dig out the banks and it turns out, they will dig out their water holes. That gator had dug out that water hole about 2' deep. It did not look like it was that deep, but it was and being the only water around. You can bet a lot of animals used it for water. That gator was still using that hole, so most likely it was eating very well.

Later on, I found that hole had completely dried up, that's how I know how deep the gator had dug out the hole.

We have found gators in basically big mud puddles, that were no more than 18" deep, then maybe 15' across and 20' long. We watched a gator stalk two hunters looking at tracks around the mud hole. We yelled at them to get away from the water hole, they had no idea, looked at us like we were being a holes. We went down to the mud hole after they left and threw a large dirt clod in the water hole and made waves big enough to expose the gator. That one was probably 12' long.

Just so you know what you are dealing with. If you find a trail through the brush or marsh and it is very smooth and has rounded sided, basically like someone dug it out about 3" to 5" deep and the sides of the trail are rounded, the whole trail is nice and smooth. You are on a gator trail. You will typically find them near water holes. Gators will use them to go hide up in the brush during the middle of the day, then as they choose to, they will take a stroll down to their water hole, however big it is. It might be a nice big pond, a small pond, a mud hole or it might be along the shore line of the refuge. We have found gator trails all over that place. One of them we found, where our favorite hunting place is. We used the trail many times, the one time, about 5:00 in the morning we were walking up the trail we had used many times before. We had flashlights off, sneaking in to where we were going to hunt. Then realized there was something large on the trail. Turned on a flashlight to find a 9' gator on the trail and he was not happy about us sharing his trail. This trail lead from the brush, down to the water along the shoreline.

The biggest gator we have seen out there was probably 14' long maybe a bit longer. There is a lake that is fed by a canal. That canal, will get schools of reds up in it, at times, typically in October. They will follow that canal all the way up into that lake or pond. There are hog tracks all around that lake/pond, hog wallows. It's a great place to hunt pigs or fish for reds. But the last time I was there. I was hunting in a tree that overhung the pond, waiting on a hog to come to the pond. On the other side of the pond, there are a bunch of cattails and a bunch of hog wallows in and around those. During the day, I had schools of reds swimming under me, following the bank. Then when it got later in the afternoon. I heard a large splash, over near the cattails. I thought it was a hog hitting the water to cool off. I kept waiting and waiting. Then finally I saw what made the big splash. It was the biggest gator I have ever seen. I have seen many 12' gators out there, but that gator, was easily much bigger than any I had ever seen. It went out into the middle of the pond and sunk below the surface, then would resurface in some other spot around the pond. At that point, I started getting worried about falling out of the tree I was in. Had no fear or thoughts of falling out of the tree before that.

The gators are something you really need to learn about, and be careful of. The moccasins, are scattered all over the place, the rattlers, seem to mainly be on the west side, where it's drier, that's the only place we have seen rattlers.

The mosquitos are going to be something you really can't fully understand, till you get to experience the place for a weekend or longer. I will admit the last time I was out there with my wife and daughter, the mosquitos, really were not that bad. They were pretty bad, if you are not from the coast, but having grown up there, that last time, they were not really all that bad. Now 20 to 35 years ago, back when we hunted the place a lot, they were extremely bad.

On the intercoastal side of the refuge. you can be out there along the marsh and see clouds of smoke going across the marsh. Those clouds of smoke, usually are tug boats going up or down the intercoastal. Without binoculars, you won't see the tugs, just the black smoke. They are out there probably 1500 yards or so. So we have seen that numerous times over the years. Well one time, we thought we saw smoke from a tug out on the marsh. I looked through the binoculars, turns out, that out there about 800 yards, there were two hunters walking through the marsh. That black cloud around and above them, was made of mosquitos. When you can see a cloud of mosquitos from 800 yards, that's a lot of mosquitos.

I don't know if they have done anything in recent years to reduce the number of mosquitos, or if the last time I was there, there was just a abnormally small mosquito population for some reason, such as a drought. When things are normal out there, the mosquitos are lethal.

One last warning on the gators. One year we were out hunting the marsh, on the intercoastal side of the place. We found a couple of really nice bucks out there. Then we discovered there were some sand dunes out in the middle of the marsh, and in the middle of those dunes, was a water hole. So we tried to find a trail coming and going from the water hole, that we could hunt. Figured any deer hiding in that marsh, would have to go to that water hole, more so, because it was surrounded by small sand dunes, so they would not be seen. So we walked the area, trying to find a good trail to hunt and a place to sit, to hunt one of the trails. Well in the process, I fell through the ground. Turns out there was a tunnel dug under the grass, that was big enough I could crawl through it. When I dropped into the tunnel, the ground level was just below my crotch. The top of the tunnel was maybe 6" to 10", below ground. At first we had no idea what would dig a tunnel like that. Then we got to looking at the floor of the tunnel and found gator tracks. I got out of that tunnel fast. We took arrows and punched through the ground, to follow the tunnel. We found it came out near the water hole, then went maybe 50 yards away from the water hole. I had no idea, gators would do anything like that.

It's just something to be careful of, if you decided to hunt the marshy area on the intercoastal side. the only place we found tunnels, was in that one area, of the marshy area, where it was sandy. Most of the rest of the marshy area, along the coast lines, was dirt or silt or mud, if wet.
Great info. I hate snakes. Like I said, I hunted it one year, killed a buck, going to move to Rockport soon but heck, after reading this, I ain't so sure I'll do it again. Lol
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Old 09-21-2020, 11:51 AM   #38
RockTippedStick
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You will have to check in each day, there will be cards that need to be filled out with your info. As you go in and out of the hunt area. Just because there are no sections anyone is appointed to, the 36,000+ acre hunt area is wide open to any hunter as a first come first serve basis. So it helps keep track of everyone who is inside the hunt area and gives the park an average number of hunters a day.

I was down at the refuge for the Bowhunters Ed class. Thank you and your Dad for putting that on Isaiah. Great class. I wasnt drawn for the hunt there but needed the class for another hunt. Not sure I would tough out the mosquitos anyway. I have fished down there before and dealt with them. Good luck to everyone hunting this year. The mowing and trails should help you guys out a ton and make hunting a little better.
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Old 09-21-2020, 04:24 PM   #39
kingranch
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On the other hand, bring your fishing pole and a chicken on a chain soft plastic... You are almost guaranteed a limit of reds fishing at the end near the boardwalk
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Old 09-21-2020, 04:44 PM   #40
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On the camping there is a place in Austwell, you can camp. I don't know if they have hook-ups for RVs. I know we tent camped there once. There is a bait stand, I think a boat ramp and a small bar, all in one. I don't remember the name of the place. It worked out pretty good. Other than that place, you will either camp in Goose Island State Park, or go into Fulton. Fulton is a bit of a drive from the refuge, but can be done. Goose Island is not that close either but may be the closest spot, if that bait stand is closed or full. That area took a direct hit from Harvey, I have not seen how much of the area has rebuilt since. The last time I was in Tivoli there was not any hotels, or none I ever found. Austwell is even smaller.
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Old 09-21-2020, 10:16 PM   #41
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On the camping there is a place in Austwell, you can camp. I don't know if they have hook-ups for RVs. I know we tent camped there once. There is a bait stand, I think a boat ramp and a small bar, all in one. I don't remember the name of the place. It worked out pretty good. Other than that place, you will either camp in Goose Island State Park, or go into Fulton. Fulton is a bit of a drive from the refuge, but can be done. Goose Island is not that close either but may be the closest spot, if that bait stand is closed or full. That area took a direct hit from Harvey, I have not seen how much of the area has rebuilt since. The last time I was in Tivoli there was not any hotels, or none I ever found. Austwell is even smaller.
Hoppers landing is the place. They have hook ups for rvs and campers, places to pitch tents by the water, the bar may or may not be open, and they have cabin you can also rent but they to may or may not be in use.
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Old 09-22-2020, 08:18 PM   #42
rysfade
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Other than that place, you will either camp in Goose Island State Park, or go into Fulton. Fulton is a bit of a drive from the refuge, but can be done. Goose Island is not that close either but may be the closest spot, if that bait stand is closed or full. That area took a direct hit from Harvey, I have not seen how much of the area has rebuilt since. The last time I was in Tivoli there was not any hotels, or none I ever found. Austwell is even smaller.
The water-side campsites at Goose Island were still closed last December, but everything else was open. Nice state park, good bathroom situation, and had deer in the campsite taunting us every night post-hunting.
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Old 09-24-2020, 12:50 PM   #43
SoTXAg06
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Paid for my permit last night. Starting to do some google earth/onX scouting.


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Old 09-24-2020, 01:43 PM   #44
lovemylegacy
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I drew this archery hunt but didn't get notice I won in my email so it lapsed before I had a chance to pay 130$ permit

Blessings in disguise lol.. glad I didn't get it now.
I fished the area alot and I know the mosquitoes are massive and so thick you have to be careful not to inhale them
Wait? What? TPWD charges $130 to hunt Aransas?
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Old 09-24-2020, 02:52 PM   #45
HighwayHunter
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Wait? What? TPWD charges $130 to hunt Aransas?

Same for laguna


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Old 09-24-2020, 04:36 PM   #46
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Yeah I passed on this on e as I was drawn for Richland creek North unit. I will be hunting 10 days on that one. The cabin is going to be spendy for that hunt.
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Old 09-24-2020, 04:41 PM   #47
lovemylegacy
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Same for laguna


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It wasn't worth the 50 I had to pay back when
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Old 09-25-2020, 08:01 AM   #48
Thumper
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Wait? What? TPWD charges $130 to hunt Aransas?
The first few years there wan't any charges. Then they started charging $7, then $20 a few years later. Went to $65 to "cover the hunt's cost if the Govt shut down again", then the govt shuts down and they close the hunt anyway, would't even let the hunters go back in to get their deer out of the walk-in cooler, SMH.

The cost went to $135 because "that's what TPWD charges for "their" extended hunts".

Last couple years its costing hunters $350 to $560 to let a "pre-qualified", and only a pre-qualified wrecker come pull you out if you were stuck, and this year is going to be a wet year.

Last edited by Thumper; 09-25-2020 at 08:05 AM.
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Old 09-26-2020, 11:08 AM   #49
fish4food
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11-7/11 on second draw!

Hope it gets cold. Definitely one of the toughest hunts I’ve ever done. Still have some points marked from our hunt a couple of years ago.

Killed 7 pigs last time out, wife had a shot at a doe, Buddy had a shot at a buck maybe 140”ish. He froze in excitement and didn’t even raise the rifle. I saw a couple of foes farther out than I am comfortable shooting.
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Old 09-27-2020, 10:29 PM   #50
Romulan
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I drew 12/12-12/16 !! - I'm pretty excited - I've been to Laguna Atascosa a couple of times and absolutely loved it - so I hope it'll be somewhat similar. I'm trying to find a reasonably priced place to stay.

How are the roads in the refuge - I drive a sedan (drove it in and around Laguna) - curious to know how the roads are in/at Aransas - Thanks
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