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#6544221 - 11/15/16 06:51 AM public land hunting- the challenge has me hooked! HELP!!!
lunkerm Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 11/15/10
Posts: 58
I'm still kind of high from this weekend's hunt with my daughter. We went to Balcones Canyonlands NWR and she got a pretty good buck, but it was the only deer we saw. BUT----

even though I am an amateur hunter. Even though I don't know come here from sic 'em when it comes to deer and hunting, this hunt was different than any other hunt I've been on. No feeders. No year-round access. No driving all over the place. No good times at camp with my buddies. It was more work. It was more frustrating. We saw only one deer. We walked further. And I loved every second of it.

I (think) I know now that if you'll put in the time, there is more reward in a wild buck on wild land. Those deer on the refuge aren't used to seeing a convoy of oil company pickups. They're not in the habit of hitting the same feeder 2X a day. They don't have unlimited protein to grow massive racks, and that deer that might not be all that impressive on a ranch just means more in the hard country.

My freezer is full of good meat- my kid raises show pigs and we eat the best pork on earth. I have plenty of venison and beef, too. What I want is not something for the freezer, I want something for ME- the satisfaction of doing it the hard way.

I'm going to learn to REALLY hunt- not just sit in a blind with a comfortable office chair, a heater, and a bag of snacks. I'm going to teach myself to be quiet, to be patient. i'm going to walk further and work harder and prepare better than some guy that's just wasting a weekend. I want the payoff. I want to know I did "more."

Now here are my questions: I live between Hillsboro and Corsicana, Waxahachie and Waco. Where is my most realistic, practical, big public land? Am I going to have to learn to bow hunt? I can go to whitney, or LBJ or Caddo, or East Tx to the forests. Recommendations?

Edited to add- I'm not knocking feeders, leases, comfortable binds, etc... at all!! There's times that there's nothing better.


Edited by lunkerm (11/15/16 07:04 AM)

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#6544254 - 11/15/16 07:11 AM Re: public land hunting- the challenge has me hooked! HELP!!! [Re: lunkerm]
DPirates80 Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 10/17/16
Posts: 117
I hunt both private lease and national forest. I have a camp in east texas surrounded by national forest. I agree with you. its super challenging! I love that aspect though. I basically follow the deer. I look at recent travel corridors, find where they are sleeping, and I have become a smarter hunter through the process. It's challenging but I feel more pride when I can pull a deer by doing it the natural true hunting way then I do when I kill one off my feeder at my lease.

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#6544257 - 11/15/16 07:12 AM Re: public land hunting- the challenge has me hooked! HELP!!! [Re: lunkerm]
DPirates80 Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 10/17/16
Posts: 117
Angelina National Forest! I have killed many good deer out of there. Try it out! Over there surrounds the Lake Sam Rayburn.

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#6544264 - 11/15/16 07:15 AM Re: public land hunting- the challenge has me hooked! HELP!!! [Re: DPirates80]
lunkerm Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 11/15/10
Posts: 58
Yep. I'll go to my father-in-laws place in Menard, eat steaks and drink beer with the guys, sit in a nice blind and shoot a great buck, but it won't mean what that deer meant that my daughter killed last weekend on public land. Don't get me wrong- I'll love every minute of it!!
Originally Posted By: DPirates80
I hunt both private lease and national forest. I have a camp in east texas surrounded by national forest. I agree with you. its super challenging! I love that aspect though. I basically follow the deer. I look at recent travel corridors, find where they are sleeping, and I have become a smarter hunter through the process. It's challenging but I feel more pride when I can pull a deer by doing it the natural true hunting way then I do when I kill one off my feeder at my lease.

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#6544266 - 11/15/16 07:16 AM Re: public land hunting- the challenge has me hooked! HELP!!! [Re: DPirates80]
lunkerm Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 11/15/10
Posts: 58
Originally Posted By: DPirates80
Angelina National Forest! I have killed many good deer out of there. Try it out! Over there surrounds the Lake Sam Rayburn.


hunting in the forest will certainly be a new challenge for me! I've always gone west

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#6544276 - 11/15/16 07:25 AM Re: public land hunting- the challenge has me hooked! HELP!!! [Re: lunkerm]
DPirates80 Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 10/17/16
Posts: 117
Do you have a climber stand that you can easily set yourself or your daughter up in? In some areas, you can get by with a pop up blind or hunting on ground, but it can get thick and being elevated, I've had more success.

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#6544286 - 11/15/16 07:34 AM Re: public land hunting- the challenge has me hooked! HELP!!! [Re: DPirates80]
lunkerm Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 11/15/10
Posts: 58
Originally Posted By: DPirates80
Do you have a climber stand that you can easily set yourself or your daughter up in? In some areas, you can get by with a pop up blind or hunting on ground, but it can get thick and being elevated, I've had more success.


no, I don't, but they sell 'em.
And its funny you mention my daughter, because, despite the fact that she's sorta girly, she's (mostly) "all in" on the public lands, hard work deal. As long as she wants to, she can go with me. She's a real blessing, and our time together is sure precious.

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#6544299 - 11/15/16 07:42 AM Re: public land hunting- the challenge has me hooked! HELP!!! [Re: lunkerm]
DPirates80 Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 10/17/16
Posts: 117
I understand completely! I'm a young dad who has a baby girl on the way. I'm ready to experience the bond and I'm sure I'll enjoy every moment I have with her. I'm already spoiling her and she isn't here yet. haha

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#6546385 - 11/16/16 12:14 PM Re: public land hunting- the challenge has me hooked! HELP!!! [Re: lunkerm]
Copenny2 Offline
Light Foot

Registered: 10/10/16
Posts: 10
lunkerm. Congrats on the daughter's buck.
I completely agree with you on your perspective of Public Lands Hunting. I'm a beginning hunter myself. This is my first year of actually having a license and going out into the wilderness. I have a couple of days lined up to go over near Mineral Wells and "hunt" over some feeders.
I've gone out twice so far to a couple of WMAs and to be honest, all the hiking, carrying gear, checking GPS location, and looking for deer signs was very enjoyable for me. I felt like I actually kinda did something right when I walked up on the little buck that I was lucky to see. He wasn't legal but I was still able to stay in the area with him for over 30 mins. He completely circled me during that time. That let me know that I must have done something right with my scent control since he didn't bolt off when he got downwind of me. 3 days in the woods, an empty cooler, yet I feel like I accomplished something. It's not something for the whole world to know that I did or give me a pat on the back or anything like that. It's a learning process for me. I can watch all the shows on TV, google and youtube all the videos online, but I learned more by being out there walking around thinking about what to do, where to go, and all those things that can cross your mind when you're truly all alone with hours of time on your hands.
I'll figure it out one day. Hopefully sooner than later. I hope to retain what I learn and build upon it for years to come. Being on Public Lands was a great experience for me. I too hope to feel a greater sense of accomplishment when I'm able to take any deer that way. However, I certainly have no problem taking a deer that has been trained to come to the feeder. My freezer, oven, or stomach won't know the difference. I'll enjoy the meal either way it comes to me. That's just my opinion.

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#6548011 - 11/17/16 01:33 PM Re: public land hunting- the challenge has me hooked! HELP!!! [Re: lunkerm]
BuckAuger Offline
Green Horn

Registered: 09/28/13
Posts: 7
Loc: BeeCave,TX
Congrats to your daughter-that's a great buck!
I liken The public draw hunting to fishing new water. You have limited time, you do your best to prepare beforehand for success. You study maps, you formulate game plans, to talk and listen to those who have been there. Before u know it its game time and you stick to your plan unless its hopeless, then you try plan B. Your the boss, no feeder or guide or anything to control you except boundries and time(unless you drew a hunt w mandatory blinds)
The best part is your actively learning and reacting to reach a final goal with your kids! Both my girl and boy enjoy the pursuit and camaraderie of deer hunting, but more importantly making memories with family!

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#6548242 - 11/17/16 04:32 PM Re: public land hunting- the challenge has me hooked! HELP!!! [Re: lunkerm]
Erny Online   content
Pro Tracker

Registered: 02/26/11
Posts: 1581
Loc: Smith County
There is a huge world of public hunting outside of Texas. My favorite public hunts are DIY western hunts for Elk, Mulies and pronghorn. If you like public hunting in Texas you will love it out west. There are whole magazines such as Eastmans that are dedicated to western public hunting. Once you start it will be hard to hunt a feeder at a lease again.

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#6548381 - 11/17/16 06:03 PM Re: public land hunting- the challenge has me hooked! HELP!!! [Re: Erny]
lunkerm Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 11/15/10
Posts: 58
Originally Posted By: Erny
There is a huge world of public hunting outside of Texas. My favorite public hunts are DIY western hunts for Elk, Mulies and pronghorn. If you like public hunting in Texas you will love it out west. There are whole magazines such as Eastmans that are dedicated to western public hunting. Once you start it will be hard to hunt a feeder at a lease again.


thanks! research begins now! I'll certainly check out Eastmans' magazine.

And again, I'm not "hating" on hunting a feeder from a sweet blind, but I'm seeing there are other ways that are really satisfying.

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#6548527 - 11/17/16 07:38 PM Re: public land hunting- the challenge has me hooked! HELP!!! [Re: lunkerm]
Erny Online   content
Pro Tracker

Registered: 02/26/11
Posts: 1581
Loc: Smith County
I was not insinuating you were hating on hunting over a feeder, as I do it all the time at my place. I should have said once you do a DIY western hunt on public land hunting a feeder will never feel the same. Not in a bad or negative way but more as a completely different form of hunting that are not really comparable. As you said it is somehow just more satisfying getting one on public land.

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#6549686 - 11/18/16 03:11 PM Re: public land hunting- the challenge has me hooked! HELP!!! [Re: lunkerm]
Bigfoot Online   content
Tracker

Registered: 08/06/14
Posts: 586
Loc: Galveston Bay
Hunting a stand is fun but hunting public land is much more rewarding and the prize is always a trophy.

Congrats and I understand exactly what you mean by its attraction.
_________________________
"No, I am not a good shot, but I shoot often." Teddy Roosevelt

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#6549812 - 11/18/16 05:32 PM Re: public land hunting- the challenge has me hooked! HELP!!! [Re: Erny]
erok11 Offline
Bird Dog

Registered: 11/26/08
Posts: 461
Originally Posted By: Erny
I was not insinuating you were hating on hunting over a feeder, as I do it all the time at my place. I should have said once you do a DIY western hunt on public land hunting a feeder will never feel the same. Not in a bad or negative way but more as a completely different form of hunting that are not really comparable. As you said it is somehow just more satisfying getting one on public land.


Whole lot of truth there. I still hunt both but once I started hunting out West my leases just couldn't live up. Actually shot a public land buck yesterday. No baiting, east TX, run of the mill 3.5 yr old 8 pt with chocolate horns. By far the most gratified I've ever been taking a TX whitetail.

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