We went to PFSPA on Dec 11-14. It's an awesome property, with a few really nice deer and lots of hogs. I had a shot at a ridiculously wide 12 pt, but I missed. He would've been the best deer I had ever taken, if I had gotten the job done. All three hunters saw good deer, some hogs, but none of us saw exotics.
The best area seems to be the back part. Follow the rd all the way to the back and get up on the high part, or go halfway down the rd, cross the mesquite flat and head up. The big deer I saw (plus multiple does) was back in that corner by the old wrecked out steel tower blind (unusable.) The other hunters were 1/4 mile southwest?? of me down the fenceline. I wasted the first day hunting the flat above the cabin under the powerlines- i wish I had that day back.
The cabin is great. it has electricity, running water, a shower (outside) a stove, fridge, and a microwave. There are plenty of utensils, plates, cups, etc... the beds are a futon and a futon/bunk bed combo. I slept on the futon and was astounded at how good the mattress was!! No joke. The composting toilet works fine. It is inside. There is a little electric heater in the cabin that is nearly adequate, and with a sleeping bag, I was perfectly warm, even though it got down to freezing at night.
The hardest part of the trip was getting the down the river bank, across the river and to the cabin with our gear. We took way too much stuff, because we didn't know what was in the cabin. The hill down from the parking area to the river was really steep going down, but even steeper going back up!! We took a big rubbermaid wheelbarrow that was perfect for floating our stuff across the river.
The river was nearly waist deep, and was pretty dang cold. It was gin clear and you could see where you were putting your feet. We put on shorts and waded it in old shoes. It wasn't that big of a deal. like i said, we floated our stuff across in a wheel barrow.
If I went again, I wouldn't carry my heavy popup. It was among many things that i didn't need. I should have planned on brushing in. There is a lot of walking on the place, and you better plan on sore legs. Other things I wouldn't take across the river: a cooler with ice in it- they sell ice at the office, and there is a dang good fridge in the cabin. Too many clothes- if you have to, you could hand wash something and hang it to dry on the screened in porch. If you kill a deer, its easier to get the deer back to the pickup and put it on ice there, rather than bringing ice across the river. Don't take a bunch of special cooking stuff- there is plenty of stuff that is usable to cook with. I wish I had taken some mule tape or something to tie stuff together for the river crossing. I was scared I was going to turn my cart over in the river.
They have three game carts at the cabin. Stage a game cart somewhere 1/2 way down the road. One of my fellow hunters got a decent little hill country nine point, and while the got it down off of the hill, i hoofed it back for a cart. We could have saved a trip by staging a cart.
You don't use your deer tags. They provide them. They inspect your muzzleloader prior to the hunt (be sure its completely unloaded.) they also want to see your license, your hunting license, your orange vest & cap. The people there are cool and easy to get along with, and have the whole deal down pat.
This is a cool place. It kind of hunts small with everyone at the back, but it's really okay for 3 people, even though its only 350 acres. It wore me out. I'm fat, 46, in bad shape and crippled up a little, but if I was still in my 30's, I would have gone nuts over this place! The park people were really nice and accommodating.
If you don't travel well on your feet, don't put in for this draw hunt. All in all, it was awesome. I'd love to be drawn again for it.