Reply
Go Back   TexasBowhunter.com Community Discussion Forums > Topics > Public Hunting Opportunities
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 09-09-2021, 09:11 AM   #1
HighwayHunter
Ten Point
 
HighwayHunter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Default ETX Public Land - opinions needed

Iíve been listening to a lot of hunting podcasts lately trying to refresh my brain on all of the hunting tactics and tricks that I need to remember for hunting public land. Iíve been listening to the southern outdoorsman a lot lately and they have some great guests and information. However I still feel like there is a disconnect between public land in ďThe southĒ vs Texas public land. From what Iíve gathered, most of the public land in states like Alabama and Georgia have sporadic food plots in them. This is something Iíve never encountered in the National Forest or Sam. The biggest thing I struggle with is finding mature buck core areas in ETX public land. My guess is that bucks in ďthe southĒ have less core areas they frequent, making it easier to nail down where to hunt them. However I feel in places like the DCNF and Sam, bucks may have a core area much larger than other states. Whether that be from pressure, browse availability, water, etc. Iím not sure. I guess my question is, for those of you who have hunted public land in ďthe southĒ outside of Texas, does deer behavior and patterns follow suit here? Is it just as difficult to find a bucks core area on other states as it is here?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
HighwayHunter is offline   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Old 09-09-2021, 09:49 AM   #2
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

Deer are behaviors different from public area to public area.... No matter the state.. Now, Texas could do a lot better with its public lands but it simply will not.

Sent from my VS988 using Tapatalk
HR3 is offline   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Old 09-09-2021, 10:35 AM   #3
HighwayHunter
Ten Point
 
HighwayHunter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by HR3 View Post
Deer are behaviors different from public area to public area.... No matter the state.. Now, Texas could do a lot better with its public lands but it simply will not.

Sent from my VS988 using Tapatalk

In what way? Iíll agree with that as a general statement but what better could be done in your opinion?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
HighwayHunter is offline   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Old 09-09-2021, 10:48 AM   #4
Fmjag64
Ten Point
 
Fmjag64's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: DFW
Hunt In: NTX & WTX
Default

ETX Public Woods....for the love of God wear blaze orange for your own safety.
Fmjag64 is offline   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Old 09-09-2021, 11:41 AM   #5
sgraham1071
Four Point
 
sgraham1071's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: NE Texas
Hunt In: Lamar, Delta, Hunt and Fannin
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by HighwayHunter View Post
Iíve been listening to a lot of hunting podcasts lately trying to refresh my brain on all of the hunting tactics and tricks that I need to remember for hunting public land. Iíve been listening to the southern outdoorsman a lot lately and they have some great guests and information. However I still feel like there is a disconnect between public land in ďThe southĒ vs Texas public land. From what Iíve gathered, most of the public land in states like Alabama and Georgia have sporadic food plots in them. This is something Iíve never encountered in the National Forest or Sam. The biggest thing I struggle with is finding mature buck core areas in ETX public land. My guess is that bucks in ďthe southĒ have less core areas they frequent, making it easier to nail down where to hunt them. However I feel in places like the DCNF and Sam, bucks may have a core area much larger than other states. Whether that be from pressure, browse availability, water, etc. Iím not sure. I guess my question is, for those of you who have hunted public land in ďthe southĒ outside of Texas, does deer behavior and patterns follow suit here? Is it just as difficult to find a bucks core area on other states as it is here?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
I've wondered this myself. I transitioned from primarily hunting private to public land 9 seasons ago but have only hunted NE Texas. I've listened to several podcasts and read at a couple of books focusing on public land buck's but just not seeing the link between those and hunting Texas lands.

Sent from my SM-G991U using Tapatalk
sgraham1071 is offline   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Old 09-09-2021, 12:16 PM   #6
E.TX.BOWHUNTER
Ten Point
 
E.TX.BOWHUNTER's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: East Texas
Hunt In: Texas Public Lands
Default

There were plots years ago that were put in the Sam. I don't know of any in the last 10 or so years. Burns are about all is done now. I believe it takes very little pressure for deer to go nocturnal in national forests. The mature bucks in the forests I believe have a small core area. I have literally walked on top of several before they get up from just a few feet away and that is unfortunate for the area when this happens. That buck will associate that spot now to me scaring him and probably make him nocturnal for a few weeks. There are only 2 times I am sure these bucks really move in day light. 1st is when does are in heat. I believe the really mature deer are active for only a week at peak of estrus for the does. Yes 2-3 year olds will be busy for the month but not 4+ year olds. The next time is when food gets scarce which can occur the last couple weeks of the season if it has been damp and freezing.

If you hunt open area such as fields or clear cuts, you could get lucky. I prefer the thickest, nastiest stuff you can hunt. I have seen and killed bigger deer in briars, thick tree stands, and over grown bottoms. The last big one was in a yaupon thicket I had to get up 35 feet or so to see down into the thick cover.
Just remember too, if you don't see deer in an area, move 100 or 200 yards. It can be a whole new world. And it always is, when you are in the thick stuff. Good luck this year.
E.TX.BOWHUNTER is online now   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Old 09-09-2021, 12:46 PM   #7
BarW
Ten Point
 
BarW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Woodville, Tx
Hunt In: Tyler, Polk, Angelina counties, Colorado
Default

Public gets more pressure now than in the past because of the rising costs of leases.
Makes finding an undisturbed mature deer less likely.
Aside from learning your area, learn when does come into estrus, it varies by county and area more than most people realize. Certain areas I hunt year after year does come in same time within a few days.

Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk
BarW is online now   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Old 09-09-2021, 05:39 PM   #8
Allpublic
Four Point
 
Allpublic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2019
Location: Coldspring
Default

I pretty much agree with etx bowhunter. As far as east texas nation forrest, i believe the mature bucks have a very small core area where they feel safe and avoid pressure, and they don't travel far from it outside the rut. They are bedding and feeding in the thicket. You cant see them and they hear you coming from a mile away. You have to scout the thickets in the off season and youll find their beds and there will be rubs all around it. Then its just a matter of playing the wind and sneaking as close as you dare. Like etx said, get up high so you can see down in it, then just hope to get lucky.
Allpublic is offline   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Old 09-09-2021, 05:54 PM   #9
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

Quote:
Originally Posted by HighwayHunter View Post
In what way? Iíll agree with that as a general statement but what better could be done in your opinion?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Deer in most southern states will not walk cross or use a food plot during daylight hours during the hunting season unless they are almost starved. Midwest they might use such openings freely. Depending on hunting pressure and habitat, deer maybe less wary on given public areas. Others, they may look up side ways to pick you out. Big bucks as for as I can tell still maintain a small core area, utilizing darkness and whatever food sources that are available.

Sent from my VS988 using Tapatalk
HR3 is offline   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Old 09-09-2021, 06:26 PM   #10
Randy Madden
Ten Point
 
Randy Madden's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: East Texas
Hunt In: Everywhere
Default

Hr3, I’m curious also on what you think could be better done?
Randy Madden is online now   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Old 09-09-2021, 07:42 PM   #11
txpitdog
Pope & Young
 
txpitdog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Kingwood
Hunt In: Fairfield
Default

Here’s another tip, look up the hiking trails and stay away from them. Nothing worse than pack of yahoo’s coming through your spot on a nice morning hike.
txpitdog is offline   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Old 09-10-2021, 01:11 PM   #12
HighwayHunter
Ten Point
 
HighwayHunter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by txpitdog View Post
Hereís another tip, look up the hiking trails and stay away from them. Nothing worse than pack of yahooís coming through your spot on a nice morning hike.

I learned that the hard way a few years ago lol.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
HighwayHunter is offline   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Old 09-10-2021, 01:17 PM   #13
HighwayHunter
Ten Point
 
HighwayHunter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by E.TX.BOWHUNTER View Post
There were plots years ago that were put in the Sam. I don't know of any in the last 10 or so years. Burns are about all is done now. I believe it takes very little pressure for deer to go nocturnal in national forests. The mature bucks in the forests I believe have a small core area. I have literally walked on top of several before they get up from just a few feet away and that is unfortunate for the area when this happens. That buck will associate that spot now to me scaring him and probably make him nocturnal for a few weeks. There are only 2 times I am sure these bucks really move in day light. 1st is when does are in heat. I believe the really mature deer are active for only a week at peak of estrus for the does. Yes 2-3 year olds will be busy for the month but not 4+ year olds. The next time is when food gets scarce which can occur the last couple weeks of the season if it has been damp and freezing.

If you hunt open area such as fields or clear cuts, you could get lucky. I prefer the thickest, nastiest stuff you can hunt. I have seen and killed bigger deer in briars, thick tree stands, and over grown bottoms. The last big one was in a yaupon thicket I had to get up 35 feet or so to see down into the thick cover.
Just remember too, if you don't see deer in an area, move 100 or 200 yards. It can be a whole new world. And it always is, when you are in the thick stuff. Good luck this year.

I agree with you. Iíve never personally stumbled upon a big buck, but Iíve heard of it happening to friends and Iíve heard things wandering away in the thick stuff while I trekked through. Who knows what it couldíve been.

What you said about late season is interesting. In my experience Iíve found hunting the National Forest later than mid December to be almost pointless. Out of probably 10-20 late season hunts Iíve seen bucks one time, New Yearís Day in day light. They were all young bucks but itís the only time. I came to the conclusion all of the mature bucks had moved their home range closer to feeders and whatever natural browse is left, casting them over the fence onto private properties with less pressure. I know this isnít a guarantee, but finding a mature buck walking in daylight in the NF late December has been quite a daunting task. Regardless of the bedding areas I found.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
HighwayHunter is offline   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Old 09-10-2021, 07:29 PM   #14
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

Quote:
Originally Posted by Randy Madden View Post
Hr3, Iím curious also on what you think could be better done?
Maintain roads, signs, trails, wildlife openings and monitor access points better.... Percentage of APH permits should go towards these things. IMHO, the state of Texas would much rather see hunters spend their money hunting with ranched/outfitters to than to spend excess funds on public land upgrades. Again, the ramblings of an ol'man who sees a conspiracy around every corner.... Lol

Sent from my VS988 using Tapatalk
HR3 is offline   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Old 09-10-2021, 09:49 PM   #15
HighwayHunter
Ten Point
 
HighwayHunter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Default ETX Public Land - opinions needed

Quote:
Originally Posted by HR3 View Post
Maintain roads, signs, trails, wildlife openings and monitor access points better.... Percentage of APH permits should go towards these things. IMHO, the state of Texas would much rather see hunters spend their money hunting with ranched/outfitters to than to spend excess funds on public land upgrades. Again, the ramblings of an ol'man who sees a conspiracy around every corner.... Lol

Sent from my VS988 using Tapatalk

Iíd agree with that

Edit: maybe even some food plots

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
HighwayHunter is offline   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Old 09-11-2021, 08:01 PM   #16
Randy Madden
Ten Point
 
Randy Madden's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: East Texas
Hunt In: Everywhere
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by HR3 View Post
Maintain roads, signs, trails, wildlife openings and monitor access points better.... Percentage of APH permits should go towards these things. IMHO, the state of Texas would much rather see hunters spend their money hunting with ranched/outfitters to than to spend excess funds on public land upgrades. Again, the ramblings of an ol'man who sees a conspiracy around every corner.... Lol

Sent from my VS988 using Tapatalk
All good points!
Honestly, I was afraid you was gonna say ďallow atv use to everyone ď, ! Lol
Canít tell you how many times I hear people complain about access or ďlack there ofĒ. Those people think if they could just drive a little deeper it would help them kill something. Fact is it would make it worse and harder on everyone else. Imo
Randy Madden is online now   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Old 09-13-2021, 05:42 PM   #17
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

Quote:
Originally Posted by Randy Madden View Post
All good points!

Honestly, I was afraid you was gonna say ďallow atv use to everyone ď, ! Lol

Canít tell you how many times I hear people complain about access or ďlack there ofĒ. Those people think if they could just drive a little deeper it would help them kill something. Fact is it would make it worse and harder on everyone else. Imo
Some of the access roads get gutted out or washed out from just a little rain. My biggest complaint is the lack of signage or paint on the borders and property lines. Also, maintaining gates. Folks cut holes in the gates then ride ATV's and dirt bikes onto the areas. Foolishness

Sent from my VS988 using Tapatalk
HR3 is offline   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Old 09-13-2021, 06:01 PM   #18
PlanoDano
Eight Point
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Plano
Hunt In: TX, ID, CO
Default

I wonder how the situation changed after last year since all the young "bucks" should be back at work. The woods were covered up with young men with new gear. Good luck out there.
PlanoDano is offline   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Old 09-13-2021, 06:05 PM   #19
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

Honest truth. I've only seen another hunter a field 3 times in 14 years deer hunting on public land. Met a lot of folks in the parking. One of those times 2 college kids help drag my deer out...

Sent from my VS988 using Tapatalk
HR3 is offline   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Old 09-13-2021, 07:00 PM   #20
PlanoDano
Eight Point
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Plano
Hunt In: TX, ID, CO
Default

Usually I see the same but last year was a little different for me. I hunt and fish during the week and am used to seeing no-one. While I only seen one hunter actually near a spot I was deer hunting I seen someone else in the parking lots more than a few times. Now duck hunting was even worse.
PlanoDano is offline   Reply With Quote Back To The Top
Old 09-13-2021, 07:03 PM   #21
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

Yeah, I hunt during the week as well... Almost like having your own private lease....

Sent from my VS988 using Tapatalk
HR3 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 11:08 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
Copyright 1999-2012, TexasBowhunter.com