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Max Online: 16728 @ 03/25/12 08:51 AM
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#7240551 - 07/31/18 07:23 AM Public Dove Hunting Question
Stevarino Online   content
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 01/25/10
Posts: 2658
Loc: Mckinney, TX
Itís been about 15 years since Iíve dove hunted on public land. We hunted a lot around Floydada when I was at tech and did a little north of Denton after relocating to the metro mess. Between then and now, Iíve done several paid trips down around Uvalde and some around our place in Hamilton County.
I have a 9 year old ready to go. Just picked up his first shotgun and going through the basics. I was looking at the maps from last year and saw several plots south of San Antonio in Duval County and just wondering if anyone has feedback on those specific tracks. Would it be worth making the 6 hour drive down, renting a room for a couple nights? I understand public hunting can be challenging but surely those fields draw less of a crowd than some of these up north.. is it more about timing it right, or are these places over populated during opening weekends? Iíd like to get my boy out with plenty of opportunity to shoot, experience South Texas, without having to dump a lot of money into a paid hunt being his first trip.. hope that makes sense.
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#7240574 - 07/31/18 07:52 AM Re: Public Dove Hunting Question [Re: Stevarino]
Herbie Hancock Offline
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 08/23/16
Posts: 2250
Loc: Cypress, Texas
I hunted Mimosa Farms back in 2015 and had some good luck. It wasnít very crowded down there and the guys who used mojoís seemed to have better luck drawing in the birds. Itís a huge property so no one is on top of each other.

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#7240694 - 07/31/18 09:47 AM Re: Public Dove Hunting Question [Re: Stevarino]
HankTheTank Offline
Light Foot

Registered: 09/07/17
Posts: 44
Loc: San Antonio
Howdy!

This will be my fifth season hunting public properties and have only hunted a few properties around Central TX so can't compare them to the ones up North. But, some of my general observations: 1) properties I hunted opening weekend were pretty busy, but was plenty of room if you're willing to walk away from the dedicated road; 2) crowds die off pretty quick after the first week or two; 3) have been told there aren't birds or many on public lands, but not true - have always had plenty of shot opportunities with some seasons better than others due to conditions leading up to the season; 4) properties change season to season based on weather, landowner's use/needs, etc. so be prepared to try other properties if nearby and the one you're on seems unproductive or difficult to hunt (tall weeds, no food, no water, etc); 5) some properties can be better in the morning or evening so try both hunts if possible; 6) some parts of a large property have more action than other parts of the same property; 7) sadly, more people than I'd like to imagine will leave their spent shells and other trash behind so I pick up as much as I can in an effort to keep the property as nice as possible (out of respect for the landowner, their livestock, and the land itself).

Based off the observations above and for other reasons, I like to park and get away from the dedicated road where I have less competition and feel safer. I also like to go during the week whenever possible to avoid the busier weekends. I try to arrive pretty early to get to the area I'm interested in and ready and will stay later (on morning hunts) than most to try to get an extra bird or two. Sometimes if there aren't many birds flying and if there aren't other hunters close by, I'll create shot opportunities by walking fence lines and edges of fields to flush birds. (I'm sure some people look down on that, but with the time/gas/money spent I want to bring home as many birds as possible.) Also, I try to hunt a property I'm interested in during the morning and evening to see if there are any patterns and how productive it is overall. I have definitely found patterns that persisted through multiple seasons and has been helpful in focusing on what properties to hunt at certain times.

Sorry if I haven't answered your questions about the specific properties you're interested in. I definitely think it would be worth a try, especially for a weekend and even more so if you can do a long weekend or during the week. How can you go wrong spending time with your kid having fun outdoors, teaching them about hunting, learning new properties together, and hopefully -no, probably- bringing some birds home? My biggest recommendation would be to avoid the opening two weeks. There should still be plenty of birds with less competition which allows more flexibility to adapt to conditions, flight patterns, etc. It'd also be safer since you have your young son with you who is inexperienced or less experienced. My other strong recommendation would be to get away from the dedicated road where most others park and hunt. Also, in my experience, the road is often in a less productive area of the property. Oh, and don't forget...bring lots of water!

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