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#7230472 - 07/20/18 08:27 AM Never hunted public lands. Any tips for Sam Houston National Forest?
Thisisbeer Offline
Light Foot

Registered: 07/19/18
Posts: 47
I have deer hunted on the same ranch since my first hunt as a kid up in east Texas. But this year I have a kid on the way and the important couple of months are November and December. So my wife didn't feel comfortable with me being a few hours drive away. I don't know anything about hunting on public land. I don't know anyone that has done it. I'm not asking how to find deer. But any tips or learning resources on hunting public lands will be greatly appreciated. Especially personal experience with Sam Houston. Do you guys walk around looking for deer or set up on a game trail? How can I beat the crowds? I really wanted to find a spot I can walk deep enough in that hopefully there wont be many people. But, then I worried about getting the deer out quick enough in what may be hot weather. Also, it looks like you can only camp at the designated campgrounds during deer season. So a long hike in the early morning darkness seems like a bad idea. Any help is appreciated.

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#7230601 - 07/20/18 10:03 AM Re: Never hunted public lands. Any tips for Sam Houston National Forest? [Re: Thisisbeer]
AdanV Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 07/27/12
Posts: 189
Loc: Katy, TX
welcome

First, if you've never hunted public hunting grounds, make sure you got your license, hunter certification, and APH permit. Park Rangers & Game Wardens will not give any exceptions if youre without them.

If you have Facebook, go join a page called "Sam Houston National Forest Hunters".
It's all public land hunters and sometimes "Meets & Greets" are setup. Most are very helpful for any questions you got. You do have some childish folks, but overall they're good folks.

In response to your questions:
- Some setup cameras, others look for signs. I'm nearly 2 hours away from SHNF, so I can scout much. So I look for signs (tracks, scrapes/rubs, forage).
- Be there early as possible. There's rules & regulations on hunting SHNF. For example, you need to stay away 150 yards from walking/horse riding trails. You can take a game cart too.
- TPWD should be providing the new 2018/2019 version of the hunting map for SHNF any day now.
_________________________
God Bless Texas
texas

Arsenal:
Remington 1917 - 30-06
Stoeger P350 - 12 Gauge
Diamond Edge SB-1 - Compound Bow

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#7230632 - 07/20/18 10:34 AM Re: Never hunted public lands. Any tips for Sam Houston National Forest? [Re: Thisisbeer]
Bigfoot Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 08/06/14
Posts: 1217
Loc: Galveston Bay
Just look back in this section for my previous posts. I have written a lot about my experiences hunting the Sam.

1. Know the rules. To do this you just have to read and study the aph booklet uou are given.
2.dont expect trophy animals. If you actually shoot a deer consider it a trophy.
3. Find your hunting spot ahead of time so you can walk it in the dark and be ready for the sun to come up. I use the gps on my phone. Also I've never seen a deer in the afternoons just pigs.
4. After your morning hunt I actually scoutmy way back to the truck
5. Use the roads and trails to get you deep in the woods and then get off the trail. The good spots are usually deeper in the woods.
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#7231968 - 07/21/18 07:31 PM Re: Never hunted public lands. Any tips for Sam Houston National Forest? [Re: Thisisbeer]
colt.45 Online   content
THF Celebrity

Registered: 03/16/12
Posts: 10556
Loc: wondering about the woods
welcome ta PHL.

Some good info already posted.
Hunted several WMA's over the years. Back in the day used topo usa ta do at home scouting. Map map of area with wayward points used copier. used blue garlen gps. Set up, nothung moving, slowly moved ta ext wayward point. Always easing threw woods looking for sign, taking notes. Then putting info on topo usa when back home. Now hot gps on phones. Just go enjoy the time spent. Best wishes.
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#7232320 - 07/22/18 11:35 AM Re: Never hunted public lands. Any tips for Sam Houston National Forest? [Re: Thisisbeer]
Palehorse Online   content
Extreme Tracker

Registered: 10/22/07
Posts: 4798
Loc: Surfside Beach, TX

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#7234041 - 07/24/18 09:28 AM Re: Never hunted public lands. Any tips for Sam Houston National Forest? [Re: Thisisbeer]
Thisisbeer Offline
Light Foot

Registered: 07/19/18
Posts: 47
Thanks guys. I plan on trying it out for the first time this year. Is there any hunting etiquette things I should be aware of? I have never hunted in a place that may have someone in it I do not know is there. Makes me kind of nervous.

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#7234205 - 07/24/18 11:51 AM Re: Never hunted public lands. Any tips for Sam Houston National Forest? [Re: Thisisbeer]
colt.45 Online   content
THF Celebrity

Registered: 03/16/12
Posts: 10556
Loc: wondering about the woods
Be polite...

Wether they come up on your set up or vice-versa.
99% are out thar ta enjoy the woods, treat-em like you want ta be treated.
Have been on WMA's & never seen orange.
Week days usualy quiet. Best wishes.
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#7234890 - 07/24/18 10:19 PM Re: Never hunted public lands. Any tips for Sam Houston National Forest? [Re: Thisisbeer]
Bigfoot Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 08/06/14
Posts: 1217
Loc: Galveston Bay
I have only met and talked to one other hunter in the several years I have gone. Otherwise I only see trucks as I pass by or a truck parked next to mine and never saw or heard anyone. Ive heard shots in the distance and sometimes what seems like they are close but not really.

My main spot is 1.75 miles down a park road/trail. Walk only so not many people down there. Lots of animals and possibly bigfoot but not too many people.

Like colt said the etiquette is do one to others as you wish they would do to you.
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#7235013 - 07/25/18 07:34 AM Re: Never hunted public lands. Any tips for Sam Houston National Forest? [Re: Thisisbeer]
ducknbass Online   content
THF Celebrity

Registered: 10/18/06
Posts: 10021
I don't have anything for that specific public piece. I've bow hunted on public in Texas and not had any trouble. Like it's been stated do some scouting you don't want to walk in the woods aimlessly on opening day. Before you go study maps and Google Earth. I'd suggest onx app on your phone so you can mark some waypoints. Plan for a successful trip ie know how you will get your game from the woods. A deer cart a wheel barrel something.

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#7237314 - 07/27/18 10:56 AM Re: Never hunted public lands. Any tips for Sam Houston National Forest? [Re: Thisisbeer]
SenkoSamurai Online   content
Outdoorsman

Registered: 07/16/18
Posts: 69
Loc: Plano, TX
Good info!

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#7238385 - 07/28/18 05:44 PM Re: Never hunted public lands. Any tips for Sam Houston National Forest? [Re: Thisisbeer]
Thisisbeer Offline
Light Foot

Registered: 07/19/18
Posts: 47
Thanks guys. If I may ask. What method of hunting do you guys employ? Do yíall put out a temporary blind or walk around and try to find deer? Do you field dress the deer where you shoot it or do you have to haul everything out? I see it has to be field dressed before it goes to the check station. My plan as of now is to look for areas I think deer will pass from bedding to wherever and sit and wait.

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#7239617 - 07/30/18 08:28 AM Re: Never hunted public lands. Any tips for Sam Houston National Forest? [Re: Thisisbeer]
Bigfoot Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 08/06/14
Posts: 1217
Loc: Galveston Bay
No check stations for shnf. You do not have to check any deer except opening weekend and trust me you wont get one that fast. I will quarter the deer on spot and haul it out in a backpack or a contractor bag.

I have done my scouting and found an area where I know deer and pigs travel. So every year I will make one trip before the deer season starts to go shoot a pig in the afternoon and set up my deer blind. I hunt on top of a hill so I am looking down and i sit under a tree. I will drag dead trees and branches to surround myself in a small ground blind. I get there typically right about legal shooting time and just wait. On my site it is usually over by 10am and every day is different. I have seen as many as 15 deer in one morning and I have also seen nothing.


Edited by Bigfoot (07/30/18 08:33 AM)
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#7239814 - 07/30/18 11:49 AM Re: Never hunted public lands. Any tips for Sam Houston National Forest? [Re: Thisisbeer]
Thisisbeer Offline
Light Foot

Registered: 07/19/18
Posts: 47
Thanks, Bigfoot. I wasnt sure if you had to remove the deer from the forest after shooting or not. I wasnít sure if people leave the carcass behind or if they have to pack it all out.

Iím really looking forward to hunting on public land this year. You guys have been great I canít thank you enough.

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#7239893 - 07/30/18 01:07 PM Re: Never hunted public lands. Any tips for Sam Houston National Forest? [Re: Thisisbeer]
ducknbass Online   content
THF Celebrity

Registered: 10/18/06
Posts: 10021
I highly suggest you check out the hunting public on YouTube. They are a group that only hunts public. They are doing a series on scouting right now. All their content is great though.

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