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Old 09-18-2018, 02:09 AM   #1
RifleBowPistol
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Default Gus Engeling any info?

Well I decided to put in for a bunch of different hunts this year. I figured there are a lot of areas in the state, I have not hunted and don't know anything about. I like to hunt different places, see new things, hopefully learn some new stuff.
So I got drawn for Gus Engeling, 1st time I have ever been drawn for any hunt. Never hunted anywhere near that area, I had no idea what the terrain is like on that place, till I did some reading. Not what I would have guessed for that part of the state, but never been in that area of the state, so I had no idea what it's like.
I have hunted a few areas that had live oaks and sand on the coast, never hunted post oaks and hickory in sand. I had no idea, there are alligators that far inland or north. Might be a bit like hunting Aransas Wildlife Refuge, but with hills, different oaks and other trees.

Anybody got any info, like the differences between the different compartments? When is the rut going on, typically in that area? That's probably not important, since I don't get to choose when I get to go, but would be nice to know. Any info would be great. Thanks.
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Old 09-18-2018, 06:38 AM   #2
txpitdog
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Been drawn there twice. Both times dry leaves were 6 deep. Saw deer both times but you need to pick a spot, clear a path to it, and go in silent super early and sit all day.
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Old 09-18-2018, 07:10 AM   #3
twosixteens
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There are some great deer living in there but they don't come easy. The bottoms seem to produce the most deer. Think light weight ladder stands or hang on stands the ground cover is pretty thick for pop up blinds and the trees that a climber will work on aren't real plentiful in the areas I hunted.
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Old 09-18-2018, 09:58 AM   #4
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There are some great deer living in there but they don't come easy. The bottoms seem to produce the most deer. Think light weight ladder stands or hang on stands the ground cover is pretty thick for pop up blinds and the trees that a climber will work on aren't real plentiful in the areas I hunted.
Seems you ask, 10 guys how and where to hunt a place and you get at least 7 different answers. I have done a little reading on the place, last night. Two guys said find a rid or hill to get up on, multiple said to get as high as possible in a tall tree. I really want to know as much as possible about the vegetation, trees and terrain as possible. too many times I have showed up to hunt a place and found what I expected to find, was nothing like what I found when I got there. Sounds like it has a good bit of soft sand, but I read there are marshy areas, a creek and some ponds also. Sandy hills, creeks and marsh, I am having a tough time imagining all of those being in the same area.
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Old 09-18-2018, 10:03 AM   #5
txhushlife
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i got drawn for Gus for the 10/30-11/4. Talked to the park ranger and he highly suggested a tree stand for the area. I'm in the same boat as you as im trying to find out as much information as possible but what alot of people dont know is you will get selected for a designated area to hunt. Depending on how many people you got drawn with will determine the amount of acreage in your section. So scouting maps and trying to research a good area wont do you alot good until you know what you section is. Which you find out the day of orientation.
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Old 09-18-2018, 10:32 AM   #6
harv418
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My son and I drew there 5 years ago. Deer were there, but spooked at ground blinds. Best to get a lock on or a ladder. I don't believe a Climber will work.

I too got drawn for 10/30 - 11/4, and I plan to make the most of it.

I have a lock on and a ladder.

If it is like the youth hunts, you will be given an area, then you get to scout it, put a stand up and hunt. Pigs were along the creeks, and the oaks there are amazing. Success there seems to be very tough, and when the turkey's that were there get excited all around you, it can be VERY interesting.
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Old 09-18-2018, 10:57 AM   #7
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Im really looking forward to it for sure! I plan on investing in a new hang and hunt stand just for this scenario that ive never hunted, but looks like there are some monster deer out there as well!
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Old 09-18-2018, 01:01 PM   #8
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You can do a search here and find lots of info on this place. I have hunted it 3 times on a youth hunt. My son killed his first 2 deer here.
I have hunted this type of terrain all my life.
A good lock on is what you need. Climbers will work, but a lock on will go on just about any tree. If this is a extended hunt, I would have at least 2 stands. Once you find out the compartment you have, pick the brains of the guy(s) running the hunt. They know the place. Then, do a speed scout. Find the food, you will find the deer. Know how to read the signs. Be sure to pack a Thermacell.
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Old 09-18-2018, 02:08 PM   #9
txhushlife
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The plan was definitely to have 2 separate stands if i can manage a nice scout the first day and pick 2 locations and hopefully be able to sit an evening sit. Looking for fresh acorns and a possibly water source close by to try and better the odds. hopefully they are rutting early around that time to make it an even better trip! Thank you for the info @sqiggy!
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Old 09-18-2018, 02:11 PM   #10
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I hunted there in 2016. The following are the places I saw deer. If you search, you can see previous posts from me.
tree: 3154'21.60"N 9553'45.91"W
stand: 3154'13.20"N 9553'33.58"W
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Old 09-18-2018, 03:29 PM   #11
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I hunted there in 2016. The following are the places I saw deer. If you search, you can see previous posts from me.
tree: 3154'21.60"N 9553'45.91"W
stand: 3154'13.20"N 9553'33.58"W
Jibby,

My son and I put our Tent blind up Just north of your stand location for his youth hunt. Saw a bobcat the first day, literally 5 yards from the blind.

We saw deer further north of there, in woods about 600 yrds north of there.
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Old 09-18-2018, 03:44 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by RifleBowPistol View Post
Seems you ask, 10 guys how and where to hunt a place and you get at least 7 different answers. I have done a little reading on the place, last night. Two guys said find a rid or hill to get up on, multiple said to get as high as possible in a tall tree. I really want to know as much as possible about the vegetation, trees and terrain as possible. too many times I have showed up to hunt a place and found what I expected to find, was nothing like what I found when I got there. Sounds like it has a good bit of soft sand, but I read there are marshy areas, a creek and some ponds also. Sandy hills, creeks and marsh, I am having a tough time imagining all of those being in the same area.
The whole place is a sandy hill, its typical post oak savannah, lots of oaks, juniper and holly. They let you bait now but don't bother with corn those deer don't eat corn they have too many natural food sources. Deer density per acre is not as good as what I'm used to in other areas of the state I hunt, I know Richland Creek WMA just down the road has a better deer density. Be prepared for a tough hunt and not to see much but you never know. The bordering private land guys seem to hunt hard 24/7 so I think the deer there have more a nocturnal habit than even normal. Typically between 60 hunters draw and not counting hogs you will have around 10 deer killed give or take on a rifle hunt, and typically less for the archery hunt.

Last edited by bossbowman; 09-18-2018 at 03:51 PM.
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Old 09-18-2018, 05:02 PM   #13
txhushlife
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When i spoke with the Park Ranger he said there were some really impressive Bucks in and around the units. some of the older pictures from recent hunts show some really nice ones as well. Obviously they arent just going to pop out but gets the blood pumping for a potential public land monster!
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Old 09-18-2018, 05:12 PM   #14
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Catfish creek runs through I believe went as guest on a doe only hunt and there were no stands allowed it was does only and the sections were numbered so they know whose shot what and where.they drop off and picked up Has ponds for duck hunters and a lot of pigs
Alot of oaks and sandy soil where I was got 2 does from the ground
Penalty for one guy shooting a buck was like a 100 bucks per inch
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Old 09-18-2018, 07:45 PM   #15
Pat Miller
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Hunting is in assigned sections according to how big your hunting party is (per acreage) and what type of vehicle you have-2 wheel drive or 4 wd.
Study a topographical map of the area. It's a combination of sandy hills with live oak, yaupon, tall white oak, water oak, scrub oak, pine.
Deer movement is primarily north to south or vice versa depending on what they're feeding on.
Baiting is useless. Too much natural food sources.
Lots of springs and small creeks which provide more food sources and travel corridors.
Lots of hogs.
Climbers will work especially in the creek bottoms where the tall oaks and hickory trees are. Lots of sugar sand on the section roads. Don't get stuck because they won't pull you out and a tow job is very expensive.
There's plenty of deer there, they're just hard to hunt.
I've been drawn every year there for a hunt for the past 15 years and have seen deer every time I've been there. Going there again this year for the gun doe hunt. It's my favorite place to hunt in the wma's.
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Old 09-18-2018, 09:58 PM   #16
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i got drawn too. See ya there in a month!
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Old 09-18-2018, 10:31 PM   #17
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I live about 5 miles from Gus and travel by it all the time. Never deer hunted there but I can tell you to look at the area close to fm 2961. I see big bucks off of catfish creek all the time. Big timber in that area and marshy. Just NE of catfish creek off of fm 2961 is land owned by Gus also. It's just a pie shape but I have never seen anybody hunt it and that's where I'm seeing the good bucks. The reason I don't deer hunt there is because I'm already spread out on other properties. Good luck. Hope you kill
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Old 09-19-2018, 12:35 AM   #18
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I live about 5 miles from Gus and travel by it all the time. Never deer hunted there but I can tell you to look at the area close to fm 2961. I see big bucks off of catfish creek all the time. Big timber in that area and marshy. Just NE of catfish creek off of fm 2961 is land owned by Gus also. It's just a pie shape but I have never seen anybody hunt it and that's where I'm seeing the good bucks. The reason I don't deer hunt there is because I'm already spread out on other properties. Good luck. Hope you kill
I drew compartment 18 about 5 years ago, its right there by that northeast corner your talking about. Hunted it hard for 5 day, it was cold too, Ran game cameras and all we had was a bunch of hogs, saw one mature buck right a twilight on the 4th morning but his rack was p*ss poor, not even sure he would have made the antler restriction, body was huge though. Guys they paired with us in that compartment left early because they weren't seeing anything.
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Old 09-19-2018, 12:40 AM   #19
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Im really looking forward to it for sure! I plan on investing in a new hang and hunt stand just for this scenario that ive never hunted, but looks like there are some monster deer out there as well!
I plan on building two or three ladder stands. Never used anything like that before, but I had already planned on building two or three for our place. We just bought a house with some land. It's all sandy hills, post oak and hickory trees. Gus Engeling, sounds very similar from the descriptions they give. The creek and marshy areas, do not sound anything like I would expect, nor are they anything like our place.

I figure I will build them and use them here through bow season, then have them ready for going up there to hunt. Going to put some thought into the design, might try a couple of different designs. I have built many different tripods many different designs. Most of those have been short, for hunting in mesquite or cedar. The two I have now, are both short, which does not sound like they will work very well from what I have read so far. I will take one of them with me just because, every time I think I know what to expect of a place, then get there, it's not what I was thinking I was going to be dealing with. So I always take a lot of extra gear for different situations. I don't like doing that, I really like knowing what the place I am hunting is like and exactly what gear I need, so I can travel light. But the times I have gone someplace I was not familiar with and thought I knew what I was getting into, then only took what I thought I needed. Then got there and figured out the gear I brought was useless, but I had the gear I needed at the house, I would be kicking myself. So for many years, until I know for sure what a place is like and how I am going to hunt it, I take anything I think I might possibly need. Most of the time, 80% of what I take, I don't use.
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Old 09-19-2018, 12:46 AM   #20
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My son and I drew there 5 years ago. Deer were there, but spooked at ground blinds. Best to get a lock on or a ladder. I don't believe a Climber will work.

I too got drawn for 10/30 - 11/4, and I plan to make the most of it.

I have a lock on and a ladder.

If it is like the youth hunts, you will be given an area, then you get to scout it, put a stand up and hunt. Pigs were along the creeks, and the oaks there are amazing. Success there seems to be very tough, and when the turkey's that were there get excited all around you, it can be VERY interesting.
Ok, thanks. I know every place I have hunted that was sand and oaks, was tough hunting. The deer don't follow trails, they just move from one area to another by whatever is the shortest route or whatever takes them through a area with lots of acorns. Then when there are a lot of acorns on the ground, they don't seem to travel very far, they don't have to, to find food. That's what I have seen with hunting sandy areas with oaks. I would bet this year with all the rain, there will be a lot of acorns. I am sure there are quite a few differences from the areas I have hunted in the past.
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Old 09-19-2018, 12:48 AM   #21
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You can do a search here and find lots of info on this place. I have hunted it 3 times on a youth hunt. My son killed his first 2 deer here.
I have hunted this type of terrain all my life.
A good lock on is what you need. Climbers will work, but a lock on will go on just about any tree. If this is a extended hunt, I would have at least 2 stands. Once you find out the compartment you have, pick the brains of the guy(s) running the hunt. They know the place. Then, do a speed scout. Find the food, you will find the deer. Know how to read the signs. Be sure to pack a Thermacell.
Mosquitos? Up there, really? That place is sound more like the coast, the more I learn about it.
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Old 09-19-2018, 12:53 AM   #22
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The whole place is a sandy hill, its typical post oak savannah, lots of oaks, juniper and holly. They let you bait now but don't bother with corn those deer don't eat corn they have too many natural food sources. Deer density per acre is not as good as what I'm used to in other areas of the state I hunt, I know Richland Creek WMA just down the road has a better deer density. Be prepared for a tough hunt and not to see much but you never know. The bordering private land guys seem to hunt hard 24/7 so I think the deer there have more a nocturnal habit than even normal. Typically between 60 hunters draw and not counting hogs you will have around 10 deer killed give or take on a rifle hunt, and typically less for the archery hunt.
I am familiar with hunting sandy areas along the coast with oaks. Our experience down there, is the deer don't come to corn much, the will, but mostly at night, but then so do the hogs. They seem to know to stay away from corn or don't have a taste for it, that along with acorns being all over the place, they seem to prefer acorns. But if you feed long enough, they will eat the corn, but not much in the day time.
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Old 09-19-2018, 12:59 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Pat Miller View Post
Hunting is in assigned sections according to how big your hunting party is (per acreage) and what type of vehicle you have-2 wheel drive or 4 wd.
Study a topographical map of the area. It's a combination of sandy hills with live oak, yaupon, tall white oak, water oak, scrub oak, pine.
Deer movement is primarily north to south or vice versa depending on what they're feeding on.
Baiting is useless. Too much natural food sources.
Lots of springs and small creeks which provide more food sources and travel corridors.
Lots of hogs.
Climbers will work especially in the creek bottoms where the tall oaks and hickory trees are. Lots of sugar sand on the section roads. Don't get stuck because they won't pull you out and a tow job is very expensive.
There's plenty of deer there, they're just hard to hunt.
I've been drawn every year there for a hunt for the past 15 years and have seen deer every time I've been there. Going there again this year for the gun doe hunt. It's my favorite place to hunt in the wma's.
Sounds like you have spent some time out there. Thanks for the info. So do they only let one party hunt each section or a given number of parties for each section? I will be hunting alone. I have a 4wd truck and a winch, grew up in sand, I don't fear soft sand. Dune sand, I won't take my current truck in, too small of tires and too heavy of a truck.
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Old 09-19-2018, 01:04 AM   #24
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I live about 5 miles from Gus and travel by it all the time. Never deer hunted there but I can tell you to look at the area close to fm 2961. I see big bucks off of catfish creek all the time. Big timber in that area and marshy. Just NE of catfish creek off of fm 2961 is land owned by Gus also. It's just a pie shape but I have never seen anybody hunt it and that's where I'm seeing the good bucks. The reason I don't deer hunt there is because I'm already spread out on other properties. Good luck. Hope you kill
Thanks for the info, I will keep it in mind, if I get to hunt that area. Hope you have some good luck.

How do you do hunting that area? I have honestly never even drove through the area or within probably 150 miles of that area. I am very surprised by the way people describe it, never would have guessed, a area like that to be that far north or that far from the coast. There definitely seems to be some differences from that area and the coast, but sounds like multiple things are fairly similar.
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Old 09-19-2018, 01:09 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by txhushlife View Post
When i spoke with the Park Ranger he said there were some really impressive Bucks in and around the units. some of the older pictures from recent hunts show some really nice ones as well. Obviously they arent just going to pop out but gets the blood pumping for a potential public land monster!
Hunting some place I have no experience with, no experience with anything similar, I don't expect to see any decent bucks. I figure it will be a learning experience and get to see stuff I have not seen before and did not know existed. Hopefully I can get a pig or two, if I can find a legal buck that would be nice.
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Old 09-19-2018, 01:21 AM   #26
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i got drawn too. See ya there in a month!
What dates are you going to be there? I got drawn for the 13-17. I would like to go. I told my wife about it, she told me to go. But mule deer season starts the 17. I have spent the last three years learning to hunt those things. Starting to think I have a decent idea of how to hunt those deer, after three seasons of trial and error. I have been looking forward to going back up there this year. I would really like to check this place out, but don't want to spend a lot of time and effort on this hunt, when I have zero time scouting or hunting the place. I feel my odds are much better chasing those fork horn deer. This being the first drawn hunt I have won in 20 years of trying, I guess I should go, at least to see what the place looks like. With my luck of winning a drawn hunt, I probably won't win another for a while.
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Old 09-19-2018, 09:55 AM   #27
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I would not bother with a homemade ladder stand at Gus, to heavy and cumbersome to move around. You need a to be light and mobile, if your are physically able you need to be using a lok-on with climbing sticks.
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Old 09-19-2018, 10:07 AM   #28
Tpemberton
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What dates are you going to be there? I got drawn for the 13-17. I would like to go. I told my wife about it, she told me to go. But mule deer season starts the 17. I have spent the last three years learning to hunt those things. Starting to think I have a decent idea of how to hunt those deer, after three seasons of trial and error. I have been looking forward to going back up there this year. I would really like to check this place out, but don't want to spend a lot of time and effort on this hunt, when I have zero time scouting or hunting the place. I feel my odds are much better chasing those fork horn deer. This being the first drawn hunt I have won in 20 years of trying, I guess I should go, at least to see what the place looks like. With my luck of winning a drawn hunt, I probably won't win another for a while.
10/30/2018 - 11/3/2018!
I am showing up on 10/29 to get a camping spot though and get my grocery shopping done ahead of time
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Old 09-19-2018, 10:09 PM   #29
RifleBowPistol
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10/30/2018 - 11/3/2018!
I am showing up on 10/29 to get a camping spot though and get my grocery shopping done ahead of time
That's something I need to know. Is what's the story on camping there? I have not even thought of the subject. Too many details I am not thinking about.
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Old 09-19-2018, 10:40 PM   #30
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I would not bother with a homemade ladder stand at Gus, to heavy and cumbersome to move around. You need a to be light and mobile, if your are physically able you need to be using a lok-on with climbing sticks.
I got a TIG, I plan on making them out of aluminum. Been building tripods since I was about 13. I have two tripods now, that are all steel, I can carry those as far at I choose. I have hunted Aransas Wildlife Refuge with the heavier of the two, set it up in quite a few spots, that was back before TPW took over the hunting at the Refuge, I started hunting that place when I was 16.
Not really sure of the correct term for what I plan to build. Basically a ladder, that I can adjust the height with a platform on the top, that will attach to a tree. Probably be adjustable by means of adding or removing sections. We have post oak here at the house. Many of them have thick clusters of leaves on the main trunk. So I don't think a climbing stand would be a good choice, that and oaks have large limbs, that I think would make it very difficult to impossible to get past when trying to climb with a climbing stand. I have never hunted from any form of tree stand. So the whole deal will be a new experience.

I had already planned to build two or three for the house. I will probably pick the metal up, in the next week, after I come up with a design. I figure a couple of ratchet straps to attach the stand to a tree, one mid way up the ladder, then one up at the stand, may two up at the top and one for the ladder.

The last tripod I built, It's like a old Popular Science design. I made it years ago for one of my hunting trips on public land. I can use it as a bar stool height swivel chair with a rifle rest. I can add a camo cover to it to make a ground blind around it. Then I can set it up as a short tripod, with around a 7 ft. seat height. Then all of the same pieces can be used to make a cart, or a hoist, that works pretty good for hoisting game. I tested it by picking up a 302 Ford engine I had laying around, did not take much effort. I got to use it to hoist the first mule deer I shot, into my truck. Then later used it to hang the buck to skin and quarter it.

I have built aluminum tripods before, even PVC tripods. The PVC tripod worked good for two or three seasons, then the PVC, started to weaken, I think from sun exposer. That was a one time deal, to make a very light tripod that would be easy to carry way up into the Refuge. I like designing and building stuff.
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Old 10-23-2018, 12:14 PM   #31
txhushlife
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Gus is just a week away!
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Old 10-23-2018, 02:07 PM   #32
HogHunter34
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I grew up along the eastern edge of Gus Engeling WMA. Beautiful place. I never hunted it as it seemed a hard place to hunt. Years ago it was walk in. There are some nice bucks in that place and tons of hogs. My dad has caught some 30-35 lb flatheads out of that catfish creek years back. There is a private land owner that owns a lot of acreage on the central eastern edge along that black top that goes across catfish creek & alongside the camp shelters. He high fenced along the perimeter of the wma fence line. I’ve seen some bruisers in his place. Best of luck to all!
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Old 10-23-2018, 02:22 PM   #33
txhushlife
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Originally Posted by HogHunter34 View Post
I grew up along the eastern edge of Gus Engeling WMA. Beautiful place. I never hunted it as it seemed a hard place to hunt. Years ago it was walk in. There are some nice bucks in that place and tons of hogs. My dad has caught some 30-35 lb flatheads out of that catfish creek years back. There is a private land owner that owns a lot of acreage on the central eastern edge along that black top that goes across catfish creek & alongside the camp shelters. He high fenced along the perimeter of the wma fence line. Ive seen some bruisers in his place. Best of luck to all!
First time for me to hunt there, and I'm pretty excited as everyone has good things to say about the place along with the deer being pretty nice as well. Wish i knew what compartment i would be in before getting there, but that's all part of the fun is not knowing!
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Old 10-24-2018, 08:59 PM   #34
bossbowman
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Good luck, I expect alot of standbys with RCWMA getting cancelled for flooding.
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Old 10-25-2018, 09:12 AM   #35
txhushlife
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Good luck, I expect alot of standbys with RCWMA getting cancelled for flooding.
I figured with all the rain a few hunts would get canceled, I've been calling gus at least twice a week hoping it was still a go!
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Old 10-25-2018, 09:28 AM   #36
bossbowman
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Gus won't get cancelled for rain, few years ago the had bad flooding and did have to close a few areas for erosion or roads washed out but most of that should be fixed I think. Lot of the place has high ground.
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Old 10-25-2018, 10:50 AM   #37
txhushlife
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Gus won't get cancelled for rain, few years ago the had bad flooding and did have to close a few areas for erosion or roads washed out but most of that should be fixed I think. Lot of the place has high ground.

That's good to hear! I feel bad for those guys that paid and can't hunt flooded areas or closed down areas. I look forward to these every draws every year and turns into a major highlight of the hunting season, couldn't imagine a week before having to cancel.
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Old 10-29-2018, 09:35 AM   #38
txhushlife
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Game day is tomorrow!
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Old 11-01-2018, 12:54 AM   #39
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Good luck, weather thursday through saturday should be dyamite, moon phase is good too.
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