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Old 08-22-2018, 02:36 PM   #1
GBludau
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Default Aransas 2018

Who else is giving their blood, money, and time there this year? I will be attending the archery hunt. I hunted there about 15 years ago in my youth. All I remember is how miserable it was, hoards of mosquitos, my fathers and uncles back always had a few dozen mosquitos attached at any second, the windows and roofs covered in mosquitos in the cabs of trucks, and just more mosquitos. The vegetation was mostly impenetrable. The weather was hot and humid.


Nonetheless, I'd say this will be one of the more challenging archery hunts there is, but for those who know, that's right up my alley. It'll be tough to keep my streak going at place like Aransas NWR. We will see.


Who else is attending?


Let the games begin!
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Old 08-22-2018, 03:28 PM   #2
philipolsen
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Yep, I was drawn for this hunt. This will be my first time hunoting here
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Old 08-22-2018, 08:31 PM   #3
Caneycreek
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I was drawn too. Iím wondering when their rut is. The rut here in Matagorda County is starting now and over by the time archery season starts.


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Old 08-22-2018, 09:44 PM   #4
Dmillerdesign
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I'm in as well, first time here.
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Old 08-23-2018, 12:29 AM   #5
Slim79x
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First time putting in for drawn hunts and I hit on this one. Alligators, snakes, and mosquitoes oh my! I'm interested in hearing people's experience with gear and the set up of this hunt. I haven't been able to get anybody on the phone down there as of yet so if anybody here can answer some questions for me (and maybe other folks hunting this spot for the first time) it would be greatly. I'm particularly interested in footwear choice as well as hunting style. Is the need for snake boots overstated? Can I get away with using my usual Irish Setters? Secondly, I've been more of a spot and stalker since I picked up a bow but i've read other threads about Aransas where people are more apt to utilize tree stands, tripods, or pop-up blinds. Sounds like it's a tough hunt from reading some of the older threads but it'll be good for the experience regardless.
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Old 08-23-2018, 08:22 AM   #6
harv418
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I drew as well. And I'm looking for inputs.
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Old 08-23-2018, 09:44 AM   #7
Dmillerdesign
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I'm thinking because they cancelled the archery hunt last year with Harvey, it means less harvested. If the habitat rebounded and some older ones got a pass last year, it might mean good things for this year. Here's to hoping...
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Old 08-23-2018, 08:48 PM   #8
topduarte
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Picked also.

Is it a mandatory meeting/scout day on the 29th?? I could not find anything online.

I will be calling them in the morning.
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Old 08-23-2018, 09:07 PM   #9
TexasJim
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Make sure you’ll take spray for the mosquitos they are real bad. Good luck
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Old 08-23-2018, 09:51 PM   #10
Thumper
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Originally Posted by Caneycreek View Post
I was drawn too. I’m wondering when their rut is. The rut here in Matagorda County is starting now and over by the time archery season starts.


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Mostly the same, in the 60's and early 70's we hunted the refuge in Sept(before the whooping cranes arrived). It was wild, 150 class bucks running around every where.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dmillerdesign View Post
I'm thinking because they cancelled the archery hunt last year with Harvey, it means less harvested. If the habitat rebounded and some older ones got a pass last year, it might mean good things for this year. Here's to hoping...
Locals are seeing fewer deer along the coastline. Harvey's eye passed right over the southern tip of the refuge, really hurt last years fawn crop.

Quote:
Originally Posted by topduarte View Post
Picked also.

Is it a mandatory meeting/scout day on the 29th?? I could not find anything online.

I will be calling them in the morning.
Only if you're a yankee fan....
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Old 08-23-2018, 10:47 PM   #11
Slim79x
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Quote:
Originally Posted by topduarte View Post
Picked also.

Is it a mandatory meeting/scout day on the 29th?? I could not find anything online.

I will be calling them in the morning.

I know the weekend before (22/23) is the optional scouting period. I didn't see anything about a mandatory meeting on the 29th. Keep us posted what you find out. That would be a real bummer for me if it was mandatory, i fly back to Houston from Seattle that day and intended to hunt during the weekdays.
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Old 08-23-2018, 10:52 PM   #12
Slim79x
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thumper View Post
Mostly the same, in the 60's and early 70's we hunted the refuge in Sept(before the whooping cranes arrived). It was wild, 150 class bucks running around every where.

Locals are seeing fewer deer along the coastline. Harvey's eye passed right over the southern tip of the refuge, really hurt last years fawn crop.

Only if you're a yankee fan....
Thumper, what's your experience with the snakes out there? Is it necessary to be wearing snake boots at Aransas like I read in some of the older threads I found?
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Old 08-24-2018, 09:16 AM   #13
Thumper
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Yes, at least 11" boots. In hunting the refuge for 38+ years I've stepped on dozens of water moccasins there, only three rattlesnakes.
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Old 08-25-2018, 11:33 PM   #14
Slingingsticks
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Must have been a lot of people put in. we’re a group of four and waiting on 2nd draw for Aransas archery
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Old 08-25-2018, 11:35 PM   #15
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We got drawn for youth hunt mad island deer management
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Old 08-26-2018, 09:32 AM   #16
Thumper
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Quote:
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Yes, at least 11" boots. In hunting the refuge for 48 years I've stepped on dozens of water moccasins there, only three rattlesnakes though.
Fify

Quote:
Originally Posted by Slingingsticks View Post
Must have been a lot of people put in. weíre a group of four and waiting on 2nd draw for Aransas archery
Looks that way. their needs to be stand-by hunters and we need to make sure everyone asks for them. One of the rifle hunts last year had only about 50 hunters show and the permits were all sold out. Sure looks like they want the money but not the hunters.
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Old 08-26-2018, 11:32 AM   #17
LVhunter09
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I drew the Aransas NWR archery as well. I have never hunted it but I have been to the area thatís closed to hunting and wade fished San Antonio bay. Does this area have a camp for us to stay at.


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Old 08-26-2018, 11:45 AM   #18
Slingingsticks
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thumper View Post
Fify



Looks that way. their needs to be stand-by hunters and we need to make sure everyone asks for them. One of the rifle hunts last year had only about 50 hunters show and the permits were all sold out. Sure looks like they want the money but not the hunters.
Just got email this morning 26 August, we were drawn for Aransas Wildlife refuge
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Old 08-26-2018, 12:13 PM   #19
Lurchy
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I just got my email this morning for this hunt. It will be my first time hunting the area. Any tips are appreciated. I'm used to hunting pines in the Sam. This looks more like oaks and grass.
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Old 08-26-2018, 12:23 PM   #20
BackwoodzHank
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I will be there unless work gets in the way......
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Old 08-26-2018, 03:28 PM   #21
LVhunter09
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Anyone of yíall going to the scout day?


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Old 08-26-2018, 03:34 PM   #22
Caneycreek
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Anyone of yíall going to the scout day?


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We wanted to go on the scouting day but have to have the IBEP class and I havenít been successful in getting in touch with the refuge for more info. If you know anything about the class please share!


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Old 08-26-2018, 04:26 PM   #23
Thumper
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We wanted to go on the scouting day but have to have the IBEP class and I havenít been successful in getting in touch with the refuge for more info. If you know anything about the class please share!


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The word I got there will not be an IBEP class this year. Haven't any update on the early scouting if you have an IBEP card?

There's just not enough time to fill the class with the drawings continuing right up until, and even past, the class date. JMO
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Old 08-26-2018, 04:43 PM   #24
Caneycreek
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thumper View Post
The word I got there will not be an IBEP class this year. Haven't any update on the early scouting if you have an IBEP card?



There's just not enough time to fill the class with the drawings continuing right up until, and even past, the class date. JMO


Thanks. Guess we will just show up and scout the first day of the hunt. Any idea if the card is required to scout on sept 28? Iíve continued to call the refuge but no answer.


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Old 08-26-2018, 04:43 PM   #25
Slim79x
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caneycreek View Post
We wanted to go on the scouting day but have to have the IBEP class and I haven’t been successful in getting in touch with the refuge for more info. If you know anything about the class please share!


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I'm intending to go down for the scouting weekend and have the online portion of the IBEP done. I couldn't find a listed field class though anywhere in Texas. The way the hunt info sheet read it didn't seem like you needed it for the scouting weekend, just that there was an extra scouting opportunity if you had it. Did I read that wrong? I haven't been able to get anybody on the phone either.

Last edited by Slim79x; 08-26-2018 at 04:46 PM.
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Old 08-26-2018, 04:54 PM   #26
Thumper
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Originally Posted by Slim79x View Post
I'm intending to go down for the scouting weekend and have the online portion of the IBEP done. I couldn't find a listed field class though anywhere in Texas. The way the hunt info sheet read it didn't seem like you needed it for the scouting weekend, just that was an extra scouting opportunity if you had it. Did I read that wrong? I haven't been able to get anybody on the phone either.
No, you read it right. The extra scouting is/was the weekend before regular scouting weekend. You do not need an IBEP card on the scouting weekend before the hunt. Strange the refuge will not answer their phones, been like this sense Harvey. Try calling the USFWS in Albuquerque NM. Make sure to tell them we need to have standby hunters just like the other TPWD Draw Hunts.

US Fish & Wildlife Department Services
Conservation department in Albuquerque, New Mexico
Address: 500 Gold Ave SW, Albuquerque, NM 87102
Phone: (505) 248-6911
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Old 08-27-2018, 07:41 PM   #27
Caneycreek
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Anyone who has hunted here before, is it recommended or beneficial to bring a bicycle or is a vehicle and walking going to work?
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Old 08-27-2018, 09:34 PM   #28
ibethemarc
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Originally Posted by Caneycreek View Post
Thanks. Guess we will just show up and scout the first day of the hunt. Any idea if the card is required to scout on sept 28? Iíve continued to call the refuge but no answer.


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I am down for using the first day to scout if everyone else is.

Anyone know if you need a reservation or how much capacity Hopper's landing has?

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Old 08-28-2018, 08:36 AM   #29
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I am down for using the first day to scout if everyone else is.

Anyone know if you need a reservation or how much capacity Hopper's landing has?

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I've booked a cabin and a couple RV spots. It is difficult to get the lady on the phone. Usually takes several attempts. I believe the cabins are all reserved and the only 50 amp is taken. All that remains is 30amp spots.
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Old 08-29-2018, 08:05 AM   #30
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Hello everyone! I've trolled around here for years and I'm finally joining to participate in the conversations!
I got lucky and got drawn on the 2nd draw. Looking forward to seeing fellow memebers, I will be camping at hoppers Tuesday and Wednesday night of that week.
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Old 08-29-2018, 11:26 AM   #31
GBludau
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If you're group needs a place to stay (cabin) send me private message
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Old 08-29-2018, 11:39 AM   #32
wsteffen
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Many years ago, 35 or so, everyone camped on the side of the road outside of the entrance. Do the still do that?
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Old 08-29-2018, 12:01 PM   #33
bsgp8ntball
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Looks like I'll make my first trip to Aransas this year. By my math, 2017 Gun season yielded a 14% success rate on deer. That's not promising, hopefully Harvey had a lot to do with that and we see better number this year.
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Old 08-30-2018, 06:55 AM   #34
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Many years ago, 35 or so, everyone camped on the side of the road outside of the entrance. Do the still do that?
No, you can thank Rick Perry.
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Old 08-30-2018, 10:16 AM   #35
GBludau
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This hunt is so early, ONLY 4 weeks away!

Who is going to scout on the 22nd/23rd?

My partners and I will be
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Old 08-30-2018, 10:32 AM   #36
Dmillerdesign
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I won't be making it on 22/23, will be dove hunting for wife's bday. I will be there to scout on 28th.

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This hunt is so early, ONLY 4 weeks away!

Who is going to scout on the 22nd/23rd?

My partners and I will be
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Old 08-30-2018, 11:33 AM   #37
GBludau
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I will also be there the 28th too.

Just a PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT!

If you are REALLY going to do your scouting the 1ST DAY of the hunt, you won't be making friends with guys that already did their scouting and are hunting when you come busting through the area they are currently hunting. Please have common decency and some sportsman-like etiquette and quietly move out the area if you encroach someone.

More importantly, if you are having to scout the first day of the hunt, WAIT UNTIL several hours(4) after sunrise. Don't be that guy breaking brush at dawn.
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Old 08-30-2018, 12:51 PM   #38
ibethemarc
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GBludau View Post
I will also be there the 28th too.

Just a PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT!

If you are REALLY going to do your scouting the 1ST DAY of the hunt, you won't be making friends with guys that already did their scouting and are hunting when you come busting through the area they are currently hunting. Please have common decency and some sportsman-like etiquette and quietly move out the area if you encroach someone.

More importantly, if you are having to scout the first day of the hunt, WAIT UNTIL several hours(4) after sunrise. Don't be that guy breaking brush at dawn.
I agree with this statement 100 percent. If you see a vehicle parked on the road, move on. You start seeing flags, move on. There is too much land for us to get crammed on.

Flags really do help when trying to mark an area, just be sure to use the biodegradeable ones.

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Old 08-30-2018, 01:03 PM   #39
fish4food
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Looks like I'll make my first trip to Aransas this year. By my math, 2017 Gun season yielded a 14% success rate on deer. That's not promising, hopefully Harvey had a lot to do with that and we see better number this year.
I donít get why they wonít allow feed like TPWD does.
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Old 08-30-2018, 02:36 PM   #40
venado63
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Default Aransas TIPS

Scout before opening day if at all possible.

Look for signs of other hunters.

Forget stalking. The vegetation is so thick your odds of getting off a percentage shot is nill. Besides you will probably upset other hunters.

When still hunting you may as well expect some yo yo to come walking up.
It happens all the time.

No camping outside the gate as in the past. No camping on the refuge,

If you stay in Rockport or Port Lavaca expect fog in the morning. It happens this time of the year. Can be very thick.

Plan to use a tripod or ladder stand. Pop ups are not very effective, but could help with mosquitos and rain.

Mark your parking spot and tripod. Use your cell phone. This place can look very different in darkness, more so with fog.

It will probably be hot and humid....hydrate.




Take some rubber boots many ditches are full of water, especially if it rains between now and then.
Take snake leggings, permethin for ticks, mosquito spray,load up on Thermacell. Get a face mask for more mosquito protection.
Take a heavy camo shirt for mosquito bite protection. May be hot, but keeps you still enough to hunt.

Expect the worse, but hope for the best.

Trust me, if you are not prepared you will leave before your planned departure date.

Aransas will be the most challenging hunt for most of us this yeat, if not our life time.

If you are solo, find a partner.

Refuge phones are out. Thanks to Harvey.

Last but not least, know that a government shutdown has happened under Bill Clinton with me in the 3rd truck at the gate on opening morning. Not hunting at all. Had to come back 2 weeks later to get my tripods. Vote Republicqan!
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Old 08-30-2018, 03:12 PM   #41
returning egret
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Does anybody know for true if bicycles are allowed or not? Nothing in the hunt docs. NWR website says bicycles only on loop road, but wondering if they relax that for the hunt.
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Old 08-30-2018, 04:24 PM   #42
BackwoodzHank
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Im guessing there are no trees that will take a climber?
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Old 08-30-2018, 06:21 PM   #43
CoswayTyler
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Quote:
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Im guessing there are no trees that will take a climber?
No, from everything I have read and understood it's not the best place for a climber.
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Old 08-30-2018, 06:27 PM   #44
CoswayTyler
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Well, I will be scouting both scouting days and hopefully on the 28th as well. Unfortunately, I won't be there until late in the afternoon so will have very limited time to scout. Lucky for me I only live about an hour away from the nwr so I will be making several evening trips that week after work. Plus I will be hunting morning and evening of the Wednesday and Thursday that week. I have done a TON of e-scouting and have several areas of interest. I plan on taking a drive through the visitors loop just to get a better feel for the country and terrain. I enjoy hard hunts honestly, so I'm really looking forward to this hunt. The only thing I'm dreading/worried about is the skeeters. Plan on deploying several different tactics to try and minimize the dreaded miniature vampires.
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Old 08-31-2018, 08:48 AM   #45
BackwoodzHank
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Going to drive in on 27th,set up tent at Hoppers, and scout the 28th.
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Old 08-31-2018, 09:33 AM   #46
CoswayTyler
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BackwoodzHank View Post
Going to drive in on 27th,set up tent at Hoppers, and scout the 28th.
We should link up at some point!

You gonna hunt the majority of that week or just the weekend
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Old 09-03-2018, 03:28 PM   #47
Merc
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Well, just found this thread and I'm in the hunt as well.

I won't be scouting until the 28th if I make it back in time from Wyoming.

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Old 09-03-2018, 09:32 PM   #48
GBludau
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Hunt In: Brazos, Milam, Grimes, Victoria Counties, Public land
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I am releasing a cabin at Hoppers tomorrow, I am taking my camper instead.

Thumper has spoken that he is willing to split the cabin (5 beds) with others. The cost is $110/night. If any of you TBH'ers are willing to split the cost with Thumper, whom will be hunting the full 9 days, then I would suggest that you contact Thumper and make arrangements. It would be very cost effective for a few guys to split that and share the cabin. I feel that as soon as I release the reservation, there may already be a someone else in line. I will wait until tomorrow afternoon (3pm) to release it. Hopefully, some fellow TBH'ers will be ready to take it over.


If anyone is interested, I'd suggest not waiting and contact Thumper immediately. Hope you're okay with me putting this out there Mr. Thumper.
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Old 09-04-2018, 07:19 AM   #49
Thumper
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Magnolia Texas
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Its ok, many thanks.


I'm in for one slot if anybody takes the cabin.
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Old 09-04-2018, 02:51 PM   #50
moondog
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Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Atascosa County
Hunt In: Webb, Garza, Scurry and Borden Counties
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Am I understanding the general (rifle) hunt at Aransas NWR correctly? 300 permits with up to 4 hunters per permit on less than 20,000 acres. And it appears that each hunter has access to the entire property?
Even with 3 separate hunt dates (100 groups per date), that is less than 50 acres per hunter?
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