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Max Online: 16728 @ 03/25/12 08:51 AM
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#5321818 - 09/23/14 08:50 AM Balcones Hunts - Zone Info?
howabouttheiris Offline
Light Foot

Registered: 04/11/14
Posts: 31
I got this doe in Zone 1 during the 1st open weekend in 2013.



I drew Zone 15 for the 1st open weekend this year. Anyone every hunt Zone 15? Any luck?

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#5323346 - 09/23/14 11:17 PM Re: Balcones Hunts - Zone Info? [Re: howabouttheiris]
Whiptail Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 10/13/13
Posts: 120

I got a Zone 1 permit for the last hunt. This will be my first time there.

What was your hunt like? How many other hunters were on your zone?
Any recommendations?

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#5323682 - 09/24/14 08:51 AM Re: Balcones Hunts - Zone Info? [Re: howabouttheiris]
howabouttheiris Offline
Light Foot

Registered: 04/11/14
Posts: 31
The hunt was good for the money. I setup on the far South-west area of the property (along the neighboring fence which was un-hunted non-balcones land) There were 2 large bucks jumping the fence there during scouting and several does sighted. I had a chance to talk to the land manager of the neighboring property who after hearing about my 2000 yard doe drag out, actually offered use of their road if we got another back there.

During scouting, the trail road along the field was passable, so I could get to the far back corner with ease. Unfortunately on Friday night, the rain/hail started and I was unable to get the vehicle back to the blind. This setup a VERY long walk every day, as I could no longer get off the main rocky maintained road.

Talking with the park staff, they said that most luck in that unit came from folks up near the cow bird trap. There were feeders and water available on the adjacent property.... but I feared the crowd, so I went to the back.

I met both other hunters (one on scouting day who said he was going to the NE corner, which I did not like due to extensive rimfire rounds passing overhead during my scouting trips) and one on Friday at 12:05 (as he dragged his doe out to his truck). Apparently a doe was on the road as he drove in.... or as he said 'exactly 100 off the road', whatever the min distance allowed was.

The unit had lots of pig signs, but I never seen one. The gut pile did not make it the 5 hours between going out in AM and coming back for PM hunt. According to tracks, bobcat and birds made short work of it. If you wear amplified muffs, like I do, be careful for the quail along the fence line. Good for a scare. smile

Here was my scouting report from the trip... in the form of a photo. YMMV.



Edited by howabouttheiris (09/24/14 08:59 AM)

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#5325236 - 09/24/14 09:51 PM Re: Balcones Hunts - Zone Info? [Re: howabouttheiris]
Whiptail Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 10/13/13
Posts: 120
Originally Posted By: howabouttheiris
I feared the crowd, so I went to the back.


Thanks for the info. So there were 3 hunters total on the zone?
It sounds like I should bring a blind and a game cart.
Do you have to bring your deer in for inspection or can you quarter it in the field?

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#5325606 - 09/25/14 08:28 AM Re: Balcones Hunts - Zone Info? [Re: howabouttheiris]
howabouttheiris Offline
Light Foot

Registered: 04/11/14
Posts: 31
From the .pdf on the webpage .... Looks like they added a 4th to Unit 1 for this year.

Hunt Unit Size(acres) # permits per hunt
1 632 4
2 441 3
3 1,111 6
4 706 4
7 3645 10
8 2854 8
9 208 2
10 162 2
11 1136 6
12 279 2
13 100 1
14 97 1
15 241 1

We were told that all game is to be field dressed and brought to the office for inspection (weight, aged, etc).



Edited by howabouttheiris (09/25/14 08:28 AM)

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#5334411 - 09/30/14 02:26 PM Re: Balcones Hunts - Zone Info? [Re: howabouttheiris]
Gdogg Offline
Extreme Tracker

Registered: 02/04/05
Posts: 4557
Loc: Liberty Hill
My daughter was drawn for the youth hunt in section 2, blind #3. This will be her first deer hunt.

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#5413162 - 11/11/14 10:35 AM Re: Balcones Hunts - Zone Info? [Re: howabouttheiris]
howabouttheiris Offline
Light Foot

Registered: 04/11/14
Posts: 31
Anyone out scouting this weekend / week?

Getting out on Wed for my scout of Unit 15.

Good luck!

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#5418301 - 11/13/14 01:20 PM Re: Balcones Hunts - Zone Info? [Re: howabouttheiris]
howabouttheiris Offline
Light Foot

Registered: 04/11/14
Posts: 31
Scouted Unit 15 last night....

The land is specified as 240 acres, but once you allow for terrain and keepouts there is really only a 20 acre plateau and a 12 acre valley that would be easy/allowable to hunt. The zig-zag road coming in kills a large portion of the lowlands due to the 50 yard rule.



The driving was steep, but nothing that required more than 2WD on my jeep, the road was in good repair, minus a couple small washouts than needed to be straddled. Some ground clearance is required for some rocks and transitions. All in all, making it to the plateau was pretty easy.



When on the plateau, hunting is recommended to be from the provided blind. The blind appears new, was very clean, carpeted, had good stairs, and was generally in a favorable spot (although a tough location to get to without disturbing at least a couple of the game trails).



Seen a doe on the plateau and a small buck in the valley. I was there from 4:00 to 5:00, so probably before too much movement started. There is some concern that deer may choose to walk a lower ring around the plateau (just outside the white circle drawn above). While only a 5' elevation drop, it is not visible from the blind. I will probably setup a ground blind in this area if that is the case.

Good luck out there...

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