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Mar 25th, 2012
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Caprock Canyons SP #2607919
09/25/11 12:44 AM
09/25/11 12:44 AM
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McCulloch
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shooter5656 Offline OP
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McCulloch
My son and I were drawn for the December mule deer hunt there. I have necer been there, so could anyone offer some advice about where and how to hunt there? We were drawn first out of 8 spots, so how lucky were we?


Re: Caprock Canyons SP [Re: shooter5656] #2607936
09/25/11 12:49 AM
09/25/11 12:49 AM
Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 171
Bullard, Texas/ Hunt in Ozona
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Bullard, Texas/ Hunt in Ozona
that'll be an awesome hunt. Pretty lucky bud.



Re: Caprock Canyons SP [Re: Offshore_Life] #2608020
09/25/11 01:44 AM
09/25/11 01:44 AM
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 1,148
Texas Panhandle
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Lotto Online content
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Texas Panhandle
Congratulations!!!!!!!


Re: Caprock Canyons SP [Re: Lotto] #2608085
09/25/11 02:24 AM
09/25/11 02:24 AM
Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 4,821
Surfside Beach, TX
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You lucky dog! That's the hunt I put in for this year. Can't offer any advice but good luck! Hope you both shoot a bigun!


Re: Caprock Canyons SP [Re: Palehorse] #2608096
09/25/11 02:30 AM
09/25/11 02:30 AM
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welcome Congrats! I have put in a couple of times in the past for a hunt there.




Re: Caprock Canyons SP [Re: stxranchman] #2608181
09/25/11 03:11 AM
09/25/11 03:11 AM
Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 6
McCulloch
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shooter5656 Offline OP
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Thanks everyone for the congrats. This will be a fun one for sure. There was a posting a while back about hunting there, but I haven't found it again. I was wondering when the rut was for that area? Seems like someone said the best areas were around the headquarters. Just trying to get a littlr info. Thanks again.


Re: Caprock Canyons SP [Re: shooter5656] #2608718
09/25/11 02:59 PM
09/25/11 02:59 PM
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 16,905
North Texas
Sniper John Offline
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North Texas
I have hunted Aoudad there. I saw "several" Mule Deer during my pre scouting and during my hunt. I'm not aware of any one area better than another. It can be a very western style hunt. Open with canyons. Think of Palo Duro Canyon type terrain. Take a good pair of binoculars. In open terrain I often saw a Deer or two bedded down by a single small tree or bush during the day.


Re: Caprock Canyons SP [Re: shooter5656] #2608781
09/25/11 03:18 PM
09/25/11 03:18 PM
Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 4,821
Surfside Beach, TX
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Originally Posted By: Ricky Crawford
I was wondering when the rut was for that area?


They will be rutting when you get there. Here is a link to an article from TPWD about Texas mule deer, what they eat, when they rut, biology, ect. It really helped me last year. http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/publications/pwdpubs/media/pwd_bk_w7000_0303.pdf


Re: Caprock Canyons SP [Re: Palehorse] #2608866
09/25/11 04:03 PM
09/25/11 04:03 PM
Joined: Sep 2011
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JPayne Offline
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I grew up there and still hunt about 10 miles from there. I have seen some monsters in the park, the mule deer almost always rut right after season, near first of Jan. I would suggest the far NE corner of the park, there is a neighboring property that always plants wheat and he draws a lot of big bucks to that area. With the lack of rain, it may not be the spot to be this year though. I would check it out for sure. Be patient, there are some monsters in there!!


Re: Caprock Canyons SP [Re: JPayne] #2608955
09/25/11 04:31 PM
09/25/11 04:31 PM
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Posts: 11,281
Bandera, Tx
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Bandera, Tx
My son and I did not get drawn but good luck to you and have a safe and enjoyable hunt.


Re: Caprock Canyons SP [Re: don k] #2609152
09/25/11 06:35 PM
09/25/11 06:35 PM
Joined: Jan 2011
Posts: 17,428
Dollas,Taxes Bluff Dale Tx
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Erathkid Offline
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Two years ago my son and I were invited to hunt a ranch a few miles southwest of Estelline,we both shot bucks,his was bigger antler wise, mine had a bigger body.They were in full rut,hocks were just nasty.Both were running their harems.CCSP should be awesome,good luck.



Life is too short, as is. Don't chance it.
Don't text and drive.
Re: Caprock Canyons SP [Re: Erathkid] #2610131
09/26/11 01:48 AM
09/26/11 01:48 AM
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I agree with J.P.Payne on the timing of the rut. Hunted south of Palo Duro park for a few years and you would see small 18-20 inchers on the wheat fields with the does, but they were just hoping.In mid to late Dec. is when the big boys show up after the season is over.We saw some 30 inch monsters then { dumber than a run over dog}@ 100 yards.We were told the reason the season is so early is wardens could work the deer season then be able to cover the pheasant season. I have hunted the rockies and taken some big deer there,but it is amazing what comes out of the Palo Duro canyon when the rut kicks in.


Re: Caprock Canyons SP [Re: bp3] #2610307
09/26/11 02:25 AM
09/26/11 02:25 AM
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Posts: 11,810
McKinney, TX
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McKinney, TX
Congrats on the draw and good luck. I have camped/hiked there a few times and have seen some nice bucks in the park.


Re: Caprock Canyons SP [Re: bp3] #2610378
09/26/11 02:38 AM
09/26/11 02:38 AM
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Posts: 174
Abilene, TX
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TBHShane Offline
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Abilene, TX
I grew up near there, and I used to hunt a couple of ranches a few miles from the park and bordering the park. I take it you drew in the adult hunt in mid-December. They'll be rutting by then, so that will help. If it doesn't rain soon, there won't be any wheat fields on the neighbors. Just find the does, and the bucks will find you. They get really stupid in the rut.

My son drew the #1 permit for the youth hunt at the end of December, so we'll be hunting there this year too. It's been a long time since I hunted up there, so we're really looking forward to it.

Be prepared for a real hunt in really ROUGH country. If you kill one, you will probably be packing him up and down some rugged and steep canyon country, unless you get lucky enough to kill one on a flat trail close to a road. You could see a big one just about anywhere in the park. I don't think there is a bad area to hunt. A few (very few) spots might be a little easier to hike in and out of. The vast majority of that country is just incredibly rugged.

Take some good optics, get a good vantage point and glass a lot. When you've glassed everything and found nothing, then carefully move to another vantage point. Don't silhouette yourself on the skyline. Stay just below the top of the hill you're on, and stay in front of or behind some brush to break up your outline. Stay in the shade as much as possible. Try to keep the sun at your back if you can. If you spot a shooter, it's best if you have a buddy that can stay put and glass while you drop down for a stalk. Plan your route before you take off. Use hand signals with your buddy to keep up with the deer and his movements.

Don't shoot unless you REALLY want him, because it will turn into work real fast after you pull the trigger.










Re: Caprock Canyons SP [Re: TBHShane] #2610555
09/26/11 04:00 AM
09/26/11 04:00 AM
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Pencil Pusher is right on. Be prepared to hike and hike alot. I hunted Auodad there in 08' and saw the biggest Mule Deer I have ever seen. i was up on a trail on top when I saw him. He was on the same trail. When I hunted there they did not offer any hog hunts but encouraged us to shoot hogs. I could have shot several but I was busy looking for sheep. They were all over the place even up on the sides of the cliffs. I actually hit one with a big rock. I was hiking up and could hear the hogs close to me. I went a little further and found that they were all around me and didnt know I was there (oh yeah, be prepared for crazy wind). I thought I would see if I could get a small one with a rock. I found a good fist size rock as there are plenty of rocks and I picked out a out a 60 lb hog kind of parlelling me nosing the dirt. I got about 5' from it and gave it my all. I think I would have killed it but I hit it in the neck and just missed its head. The hog squealed and the brush came alive with pigs running everywhere like an epic Djones tyraid minus the dead pigs.

Anyways, you have a good tag. It gets cold enough to freeze the balls off a pool table there in early January so be prepared for cold.

If you want some more info send me a pm.
Good luck


Re: Caprock Canyons SP [Re: TxTechsan] #2610661
09/26/11 05:28 AM
09/26/11 05:28 AM
Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 6
McCulloch
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shooter5656 Offline OP
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McCulloch
Thanks everyone for the good advice. I was hopeing the rut would be cranking up then. Do mulies react to rattling like whitetail? I certainely won't be chasing hogs if it's that hard to get them out! There are too many hogs to shoot where I live. Thanks again for your replies.


Re: Caprock Canyons SP [Re: shooter5656] #2610954
09/26/11 01:39 PM
09/26/11 01:39 PM
Joined: May 2011
Posts: 174
Abilene, TX
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Abilene, TX
I've never rattled for mule deer, but I've heard people say that it's worked for them. Mule deer are much more curious than whitetail. Lots of people report mule deer coming in to a varmint call. Don't expect the big mature bucks to be as curious as the young ones. Mule deer hunting in this country is the opposite of hunting whitetail in Central Texas. Instead of sitting in a blind and attracting deer to come to you (corn, rattling, scent, etc.), you will be going to the deer - spot and stalk.


Re: Caprock Canyons SP [Re: TBHShane] #2611071
09/26/11 02:23 PM
09/26/11 02:23 PM
Joined: Jan 2011
Posts: 17,428
Dollas,Taxes Bluff Dale Tx
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Erathkid Offline
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Beautiful country for sure,it looks like a backdrop to a John Ford movie set.Rough country for sure.Wear good hiking boots.Take lots of pictures.



Life is too short, as is. Don't chance it.
Don't text and drive.
Re: Caprock Canyons SP [Re: don k] #2611151
09/26/11 02:42 PM
09/26/11 02:42 PM
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Posts: 716
In Waders
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Hunted Aoudad there this past January and saw some good deer. Nothing I would call outstanding, but good solid deer and based on the terrain and amount of cover, there probably are some monsters there. I hunted the eastern unit, pink I believe and saw alot of activity in teh creek bottoms. Not sure if there is any water in them now, but might be a place to start. Also, as mentioned, glass and then glass some more. Look on flates in and around every tree you can see. Look in the shadows and you should see some bedded down And watch out for all the hogs....

Dave


Re: Caprock Canyons SP [Re: GravyWheels] #2611164
09/26/11 02:45 PM
09/26/11 02:45 PM
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Mulies will respond to a varmint call but I would only use it as a last ditch effort after you have throughly glassed an area. Usually it will be the does that come looking, not the bucks.

Dave


Re: Caprock Canyons SP [Re: Erathkid] #2611232
09/26/11 03:01 PM
09/26/11 03:01 PM
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Posts: 2,452
Cowtown
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For many years I hunted the ranch that borders the park and spent 90% of my time in the wheat field someone mentioned above, though many years it was planted in cotton. I used to hunt Thanksgiving weekend every year and pretty much hunted from dawn till dusk. I would suggest doing the same.

As dry as it is, I'd get near water sources. I always had my best luck doing that in drought years. If you can get near food and water, all the better. I'd suggest studying satelite images as much as possible to understand the area. One suggestion I'd have is once you figure out an area by looking at satelite, also look at a topography map. You can have drop-offs of several hundred feet.

Also be prepared for massive changes in the weather. About 10 years ago I hunted in the most extreme weather changes I've ever seen. It was 11 degrees with about a foot of snow on the ground my first morning. It warmed up to near 60 that day with a south wind. By the time we got back to the truck after dark, it had sunk to the axels. It took my almost a tank of gas and 6 hours to get back to pavement, passing several stranded park rangers on the way.

Do be careful if you hunt near the boundries. Also realize many of them aren't well marked. While you'll have on blaze orange, the neighbors won't. I had several instances of hunters (and more often hikers other times of the year) from the park walking right through the middle of my hunt not realizing they were on private property.

Lastly, watch out for the hogs. I have never seen more anywhere than were up there. We used to go up and have contest for who could kill the most and killed as many as dozens per day.

Enjoy yourself. I really miss hunting up there. Still my all-time favorite place to be outdoors even several years after I last hunted there.


Re: Caprock Canyons SP [Re: KennyLee] #2613583
09/27/11 03:40 AM
09/27/11 03:40 AM
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Abilene, TX
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About 10 years ago, I saw the biggest mule deer I've ever seen on that wheat field. He was at least 400# and 36" wide. DEEP 12" + forks all the way around with incredible mass. He dwarfed every deer on the field. I watched him from the road for 30 minutes, and no camera. Hopefully, his genes are still around. He was awesome.


Re: Caprock Canyons SP [Re: TBHShane] #2614237
09/27/11 02:22 PM
09/27/11 02:22 PM
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Originally Posted By: Pencil Pusher
About 10 years ago, I saw the biggest mule deer I've ever seen on that wheat field. He was at least 400# and 36" wide. DEEP 12" + forks all the way around with incredible mass. He dwarfed every deer on the field. I watched him from the road for 30 minutes, and no camera. Hopefully, his genes are still around. He was awesome.


I saw that same buck. Unfortunately, I had pulled the trigger the day before on a smaller one. The day I saw him I had a buddy hunting that field and I was sitting in the truck scouting for him (or sleeping most of the time). That buck came in on the opposite corner from my buddy. He belly-crawled about 500 yards but could never get a shot. That was the last day of our hunt and the season. I don't know if anyone ever got a shot at him.

Also saw the largest aoudad of my life that same weekend in the canyon behind that field. I've killed a couple of 30+ inch aoudads, but this guy would have dwarfed them by a mile. I didn't really look at his horn, but his body was just incredibly large. I've never seen one bigger on the hoof or in pictures. I just know he'd make a 30 inch ram I have on my wall look like a ute.

Man, I miss hunting out there!


Re: Caprock Canyons SP [Re: KennyLee] #2615126
09/27/11 07:43 PM
09/27/11 07:43 PM
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Texas South Plains
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I took the deer in my avatar on a ranch across the fence from the state park. Some rough country out there, but beautiful, and some nice Muleys. Just an FYI, they have also added a herd of buffalo (bison) to the park this year. Pretty interesting to watch them out in the wild.


Last edited by stan; 09/27/11 07:44 PM.

Re: Caprock Canyons SP [Re: BYPATHofNIGHT] #2615895
09/28/11 12:41 AM
09/28/11 12:41 AM
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Abilene, TX
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Stan, I'm fully expecting a LONG talk about how deer are on the hit list and buffalo are NOT. laugh

It's gonna be cool seeing them running loose.


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