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Old 09-27-2019, 12:22 AM   #1
jaredmartin
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Default Balcones 2019

The last Balcones thread has just about ran out of juice. Figured I would fire up a newer one so everyone who pulled a draw could talk and possibly meet some new people during the hunt. I pulled the Dec 6-8 if anyone else will be there around then.
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Old 09-27-2019, 12:32 AM   #2
m10
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I’m out there 12/13-12/15
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Old 09-29-2019, 12:32 PM   #3
jaredmartin
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Well I should at least be able to tell you what was harvested while I am there if nothing else. After reading everything, a lot of people seem to see nothing, so hopefully it is a good year and the weather cooperates.
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Old 10-01-2019, 01:09 AM   #4
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We were there last year. Bring good glass is my suggestion. The only time we saw deer is when we moved high and glassed. It's junipers and live oaks.
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Old 10-07-2019, 11:21 AM   #5
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I am there 6-8 as well. Can we scout prior to the 5th or do they only allow one day?
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Old 10-07-2019, 11:52 AM   #6
jaredmartin
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It says one day, but I am assuming the park is open for hiking or whatever. Hopefully this week we will get our compartment this week.
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Old 10-07-2019, 11:54 AM   #7
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And for those dates, I am tracking three people who have said they will be there. You, one other individual via private message, and myself.
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Old 10-07-2019, 03:52 PM   #8
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They usually allow the day before each hunt for scouting. You don't have to wait for your specific day. We scouted the day before the youth hunt even though we were out there a couple weeks later.
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Old 10-10-2019, 11:24 AM   #9
erikbeagle
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Hey gents, I got unit 7 spot H for the 6-8 Dec hunt. Looks like the biggest tract and they assign 10 hunters to that tract. Hoping for safety and success for all! Look forward to seeing y'all there!
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Old 10-10-2019, 11:25 AM   #10
jaredmartin
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I am getting a little jealous. You are the second one to get their spot, and I am over here just hitting refresh on my email.
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Old 10-10-2019, 01:58 PM   #11
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Unit 9 for me
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Old 10-13-2019, 10:27 PM   #12
Texas DONE
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Dec 6-8. Unit 3F. Bro in law has Unit 3D. Any help with these two areas would be great. Looking forward to it!
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Old 10-14-2019, 07:28 AM   #13
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Dang, two of us hunting 3D on the Dec 6-8 hunt? Cut N Paste from the assignment PDF below.


Congratulations! You have been selected by computer drawing to participate in the Big Game Hunt at
Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge. Your Hunt Area and Hunt Dates are:
Area #: 3D
Hunt Dates: December 6 - 8
Permitted hunters may scout designated hunt areas during daylight hours on November 9 - 14, November
21, December 5, and December 12. On scouting days, hunters do not check in and out at Refuge
Headquarters.

Last edited by ABWGTX; 10-14-2019 at 07:30 AM.
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Old 10-14-2019, 08:38 AM   #14
Texas DONE
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I’m so sorry. I meant 3E & 3F . My apologies.
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Old 10-14-2019, 09:02 AM   #15
jaredmartin
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Well I don't know what to think. I never received an email with an assigned unit. Guess I will call up there and see if the guy is still trying and o get out all the emails.
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Old 10-14-2019, 11:30 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas DONE View Post
I’m so sorry. I meant 3E & 3F . My apologies.
LOL look forward to meeting y'all

Quote:
Originally Posted by jaredmartin View Post
Well I don't know what to think. I never received an email with an assigned unit. Guess I will call up there and see if the guy is still trying and o get out all the emails.
My buddy hasn't gotten any via email either, he better get 3D or 3B cuz I'm driving. Might have to wait until tomorrow as TPWD might have "Columbus Day" off.
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Old 10-14-2019, 05:01 PM   #17
jnd1959
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The letter is a parking designation. I believe you can hunt anywhere in 3. You just have to park at the designation.
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Old 10-15-2019, 02:13 PM   #18
jaredmartin
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7D
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Old 10-20-2019, 01:18 AM   #19
jaredmartin
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So, when is everyone planning on scouting. I did not receive an email, but it appeared we could scout sometime around November 9th for a few days. I may try to slide out there and take a peak around.
I have a larger truck that should have no problems getting back to my spot. Burning the gas is crappy though, so I am going to look around for a sleep spot while I am in the area.
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Old 10-20-2019, 05:07 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaredmartin View Post
So, when is everyone planning on scouting. I did not receive an email, but it appeared we could scout sometime around November 9th for a few days. I may try to slide out there and take a peak around.
I have a larger truck that should have no problems getting back to my spot. Burning the gas is crappy though, so I am going to look around for a sleep spot while I am in the area.
There are campgrounds on the lake. There's a motel in Bertram. Cedar Creek Inn, I think. We stayed there. Not much to eat there but the donut shop opens at 5:30. There are set days you can scout. Some units it doesn't matter but our unit was not open to the public so we had to scout on specific days.
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Old 10-27-2019, 10:54 AM   #21
ChainReactionGC
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I will be in unit 10 Nov 22-24. I see its myself and one other person. Haven't heard anything good as of yet about that area, but oh well.....differwnt scenery is always nice.
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Old 11-03-2019, 08:16 PM   #22
Neugie
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My son was drawn for Unit #8 Nov 15-17. Does anyone who has hunted this unit have any helpful info? I am not able to go for the scouting week and google maps only gives me so much information.
Thanks!
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Old 11-03-2019, 08:38 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neugie View Post
My son was drawn for Unit #8 Nov 15-17. Does anyone who has hunted this unit have any helpful info? I am not able to go for the scouting week and google maps only gives me so much information.
Thanks!
Is that unit east of the offices?
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Old 11-06-2019, 02:52 PM   #24
jaredmartin
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I called again today, and asked for my permit to be emailed again. The gentleman on the phone stated he sent it again, but I am not seeing it. Hopefully they will just have a hard copy there.
Other than that, I think I am going to camp at Turkey Bend
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Old 11-06-2019, 08:24 PM   #25
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Turkey bend is where we had planned to camp last year until it flooded. Hope all have a great hunt.
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Old 11-07-2019, 09:51 AM   #26
jaredmartin
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Well, can anyone who received their email for the Dec 6 hunt shoot me a copy of any information that is of use. ie times and places.
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Old 11-07-2019, 09:56 PM   #27
Neugie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jnd1959 View Post
Is that unit east of the offices?
It's basically the unit farthest east unit
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Old 11-07-2019, 10:31 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neugie View Post
It's basically the unit farthest east unit
Pm sent
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Old 11-10-2019, 09:42 AM   #29
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I know it will vary between the units but for those that have been to Balcones in the past, how is the cell service throughout the refuge?
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Old 11-10-2019, 01:14 PM   #30
jnd1959
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Mine was fine in unit 8
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Old 11-12-2019, 04:07 PM   #31
starvo2003
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I have Unit 8 drawn for early December.

I scouted out there yesterday around noon as the front was moving in around my parking spot, then also drove the loop.

4x4 is a must, several spots after my assigned location (F) where I thought to myself, this will be tough if its raining/muddy.

Thick with cedar and some live oaks. Acorns are on the ground under the oaks though, so that's encouraging. I didn't spook any deer bedded down and only saw a couple of game trails and hoof prints, but they looked like hogs.

If your parking spot is in the middle of the thick stuff with no clearings around, it's going to be a tough hunt bc you'll need to walk/hike quite a ways to find decent shooting lanes. It's very rocky and the brush is a little shorter than knee high. If you aren't watching where you are walking, you are going to step on a rock at a funny angle and roll your ankle.

No running water that I could see, but visible arroyos and creek beds that will have water when it rains.

Really neat country, but I can see this being extremely difficult to hunt. I was only out there for a couple hours before the front blew through and figured I should walk back to the truck.
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Old 11-13-2019, 10:48 AM   #32
jaredmartin
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Thanks for the updates. Hopefully we have some good weather, and everyone can easily access their areas.
If anyone else is staying in turkey bend let me know. I looked at all the spots, think I am gonna go with campsite 17 or 18, look a little closer to the restrooms and showers.
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Old 11-13-2019, 02:14 PM   #33
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My son and I will be hunting in unit 1 this weekend. I wasn't able to make it out and scout but have a few areas pinned that look promising. Hopefully will have a good report.

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Old 11-15-2019, 09:55 AM   #34
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Who all is heading up today for the youth hunt noon orientation?
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Old 11-15-2019, 11:47 AM   #35
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I'm about 30min out.

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Old 11-15-2019, 05:51 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erikbeagle View Post
Hey gents, I got unit 7 spot H for the 6-8 Dec hunt. Looks like the biggest tract and they assign 10 hunters to that tract. Hoping for safety and success for all! Look forward to seeing y'all there!
I'll be solo there the December 13-15 I just happen to get 7H as well. Any and all advice is appreciated.
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Old 11-15-2019, 06:01 PM   #37
locknload
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Man, I thought this was a Balcones Bourbon post!
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Old 11-16-2019, 07:26 AM   #38
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We are back in Unit 12 this morning. My son shot a pretty good size pig and the other hunter in our unit killed 2 does yesterday evening.




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Old 11-16-2019, 10:16 AM   #39
starvo2003
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rounder View Post
We are back in Unit 12 this morning. My son shot a pretty good size pig and the other hunter in our unit killed 2 does yesterday evening.




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Thatís awesome!
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Old 11-16-2019, 01:29 PM   #40
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Pretty good size is an understatement. Congrats!
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Old 11-17-2019, 10:47 AM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rounder View Post
We are back in Unit 12 this morning. My son shot a pretty good size pig and the other hunter in our unit killed 2 does yesterday evening.




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Good news Rounder, Glad the kiddo hooked up. I'll be there early Dec. Unit 3.
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Old 11-18-2019, 09:31 AM   #42
jaredmartin
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Nice hog. Glad some people were able to harvest a few animals. Hoping to see a few more post on how everyone weekend went.
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Old 11-18-2019, 09:50 AM   #43
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We saw 1 nice buck, a few does,and a few yotes in the far back of unit 1. Lots of sign but due to the thick cedar back in the rocky canyon area we were hunting it's hard to see very far except on a road. Had a great time with my son though.

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Old 11-19-2019, 12:05 PM   #44
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My stepson Maverick hunted in Unit 4 this past weekend. The front half of the Unit is all burned out and really open. They did plant rye grass in places or maybe the whole thing idk? Another family hunted that part and saw some does and a 10pt, but no luck getting him. We hunted in the back half and most of that was so thick you could have bow hunted it. We went to the very back part where my 9 year old would have a chance to get on an animal before they disappeared. The first evening we saw a couple does too far away for a shot.

The next morning, we saw 6 or an 8pt but it came out on my side and he couldn't get repositioned in time. So after 9, we got out started walking around scouting for a new area. We didn't get 75 yards away from the stand and saw a buck with his nose to the ground. There was thin brush that had been burned everywhere and we needed to move if he was going to get a shot. We crouched down and went about 15 yards and the deer saw us. I supported the gun and whistled at the buck when he got in our lane. The buck stopped and right as he shot, the buck took a step and he hit him a little far back. The buck ran about 100 yards and tried jumping the fence to the neighbors place. He eventually did and we backed out.

I called the Game Warden and he showed up right away. I showed him where he jumped the fence, blood and hair all over the wires. He looked at it and said yeah he jumped here but I don't know those new neighbors so we can not go over there. I will let you know if I hear anything.

So that evening, we moved closer to the middle of the place where there was a small clearing. We set up about 2:30 and were going to stay till dark. One neighbor was playing music and another was cutting up a tree with a chainsaw. It was noise but the deer had to be used to it. There were acorns everywhere and lots of sign. About 4:00, was when it got interesting. The neighbor started off with a few shots from an AR. Before it was over he had ran through 7 full mags. Then he started in on tanerite or something? It was mini explosions. So I called it quits around 5 with the shooting still going on the whole time we were packing up. This was about 200 yards behind us. It was crazy.

The other gentleman in the front with his daughter had a similar experience. He had a guy shooting near him and riding up and down the fence with a 4- wheeler. He left Saturday evening too.

I wish I could have recovered the deer, it was his first deer-buck to ever shoot. I figured the game warden didn't need permission to hop a fence to look for a deer?
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Old 11-19-2019, 12:30 PM   #45
jaredmartin
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I hate to hear the neighboring property owners acting in that fashion. Hard to believe that adults cannot just act responsible.
I am glad you got to see a few animals, and spend time with the kiddo in the outdoors. Wish it would have turned out a little better for you. Did other areas also see game?
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Old 11-19-2019, 12:46 PM   #46
Kanda
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The landowner did even know it happened. They were never contacted as far as I know because the staff did not know them. I heard that an 8pt was shot on another Unit and a girl shot a couple does. I don't know about anything else.

Oh, he had a lot of fun. He and I learned a few things. Got to see scrapes and rubs and tracks everywhere. He has been non stop talking about other hunts he wants to go on. I am glad we got the opportunity to go.
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Old 11-19-2019, 12:48 PM   #47
jaredmartin
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I emailed the gentleman in charge. This is the numbers he sent to me.

9 bucks, 7 does, 3 hogs, and 1 turkey. Several really nice bucks. At least 1 buck wounded and lost.

David Maple
Deputy Refuge Manager
Balcones Canyonlands NWR
(512) 339-9432 X 20009 (office)
(512) 413-1953 (mobile)
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Old 11-19-2019, 12:59 PM   #48
centex_aggie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kanda View Post
The landowner did even know it happened. They were never contacted as far as I know because the staff did not know them. I heard that an 8pt was shot on another Unit and a girl shot a couple does. I don't know about anything else.

Oh, he had a lot of fun. He and I learned a few things. Got to see scrapes and rubs and tracks everywhere. He has been non stop talking about other hunts he wants to go on. I am glad we got the opportunity to go.
Why not just look up the owner and contact him yourself? Doesn't hurt to ask and at least you could get the rack back.

Should be able to find out the owner through the county.
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Old 11-19-2019, 04:02 PM   #49
jronning77
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Originally Posted by centex_aggie View Post
Why not just look up the owner and contact him yourself? Doesn't hurt to ask and at least you could get the rack back.



Should be able to find out the owner through the county.
Download the onx App

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Old 11-19-2019, 04:08 PM   #50
centex_aggie
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Quote:
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Download the onx App

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Thatís what I use. He did say though that it is a new owner so typically it takes OnX a little while to update owner info when it changes. At least that has been my experience.

OP if you send me the location in a PM I can give you the OnX info for the owner.


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