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Devils River-- Del Norte or Dan Allen ?????? #5836939 07/18/15 04:19 AM
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okjhutch Offline OP
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This is our last year for our youth to be able to hunt under the youth hunt program. The only youth exotics are the ones I listed at Devils River, it is a long ways but we are going to throw our names in the hat and hope our boys get one last chance at an exotic.

I was wondering for those of you that have hunted out there which unit would be better for axis? Our sons would rather get some axis but they wont pass on an aoudad. Which unit is rougher vs easier to hunt (we are thinking about having to drag out the animals) which compartments are better to be in in each unit? I assume we would have to pitch a tent or sleep in the trucks, would I be right?

Any other things not to forget about while we are out there (if we draw)?

Thanks in advance for any and all input.

Re: Devils River-- Del Norte or Dan Allen ?????? [Re: okjhutch] #5837152 07/18/15 02:33 PM
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I went 2 years ago on a drawn archery hunt at Devils River. But, I want to say Devils River is in 2 parts, so I don't remember which one I went to. I know it was about an hour drive down the gravel road from the highway to the headquarters.
Anyway, that's why I went, to hunt axis. Never saw a single one. The staff there told me there were some on the place, but not in great numbers. They told me where they see them the most and that is where I hunted, mostly in compartment 3. The axis supposedly stayed in the valley from the back of the bunk house, back towards the park entrance. So I picked #3 compartment(since there were only 5 of us, pretty much got to hunt anywhere we wanted) and climbed to the top of the ridge where I could pretty much glass that whole valley. Never saw a axis, but did end up missing a aoudad at 21 yds and did kill a nanny of somekind while I was playing cat and mouse on the aoudads for a second shot.
It's ALL rough, but really, not to bad. What looks like is impossible to climb, really isn't once you get to it. It was like climbing a stairway made out of rock.
Only advice I can give ya if you get drawn, get to the top, keep the wind in your face, find a good vantage point for glassing, get comfortable, and enjoy the hunt. Also, take in whatever you need for the entire hunt. It's almost a 2 hr drive one way back to the nearest store.

Re: Devils River-- Del Norte or Dan Allen ?????? [Re: okjhutch] #5840723 07/21/15 06:27 AM
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There are axis at DR but not a lot. Herds are inherently nomadic based on forage in area....

Re: Devils River-- Del Norte or Dan Allen ?????? [Re: okjhutch] #5852268 07/28/15 08:52 PM
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okjhutch Offline OP
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well, thanks for the information. I sure thought there would be a lot more input, I am sure there has been a lot of hunters hunt these areas, so any more info please.

Re: Devils River-- Del Norte or Dan Allen ?????? [Re: okjhutch] #5855762 07/30/15 08:19 PM
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I hunted the Del Norte unit a few years back. The rangers said we would pretty much see Aoudad and Corsican sheep, and thatís exactly what happened. I did see tracks for a lone Axis, but nothing else otherwise. I talked to the rangers about this and they said there were a few Axis there, but they were spread out and people didnít see them often. They also get the occasional escapee from the neighboring ranches, like a wildebeest that they made sure was off the area before our hunt started.

This place is remote, so you have to bring everything you need with you. Forget something and its well over an hour to Del Rio to get a replacement. There are no hotels nearby so you have to stay on site. We stayed in the bunkhouse, did all our cooking in the camp kitchen next door. IMHO this is better than camping out as it saves time and you donít need to haul in extra gear.

There was no choice as to which unit we hunted. The rangers assigned sections based on what type of vehicle people were driving and perceived physical condition. Those of us with yuppie SUVís got the easier terrain, the guys with beat up Jeeps and trucks got the hardest stuff.

There were maybe 12 hunters that weekend and 4 of us got animals. I ended up getting an Aoudad and could have taken a nice Corsican sheep but took a pass. One couple got seven Aoudad. They had also done their homework, spending two weekends before the hunt scouting the area and really knew where they wanted to be (and had an old Wrangler). There seemed to be a direct correlation between the effort put in, willingness to hike the hills, and success rates.

The hunting itself was rough. We basically went up one hill (mountain if you prefer), walked the top, glassed everywhere, went down, and started up the next hill. Did this all day long. Grades are steep (I would bring a rope to assist on some of the downhillís), thereís lots of loose rock, they are covered in vegetation, and everything has some kind of thorn to stick you with. We had some hunters who quit after the first day because they werenít physically prepared for the hunt. That said, Iím middle aged and was not in great shape, my father was 69, and we did fine. Well except for my boots which had a sole separation issue. Glad I brought a spare pair.

Call the rangers with any questions you may have. They donít get many visitors and really like to talk when someone expresses an interest. And they want you to succeed as they really want all animals that arenít native to the area gone.

PM me with any particular questions you may have, and I will try to answer them. Or Iíd be happy to talk about my experience over the phone.

Good luck and have fun.

Re: Devils River-- Del Norte or Dan Allen ?????? [Re: okjhutch] #5860203 08/03/15 12:38 AM
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okjhutch Offline OP
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txdiver, thanks for the info. the bunkhouse deal sounds a lot better then sleeping in a cab of the truck. I just wish they had some other options closer to home for exotics, but oh well. Its his last year as a youth so we are going to try it.thanks again

Re: Devils River-- Del Norte or Dan Allen ?????? [Re: okjhutch] #5878437 08/14/15 03:30 PM
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Take a spinning rod and small lures. Great fishing down there.


Life is too short, as is. Don't chance it.
Don't text and drive.
Re: Devils River-- Del Norte or Dan Allen ?????? [Re: okjhutch] #5879275 08/15/15 02:49 AM
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I got picked last year for the Big Satan Unit. They must have renamed the unit to Dan Allen. My friend and I each took a nice whitetail buck and one fallow. We saw tons of whitetail, a few black bucks,three onyx,aoudad and an elk. The elk escaped from a game ranch and was off limits. we did not see any axis but the park manager said they are there. It was a great hunt. I was told Del Norte does not have many deer. We stayed in Del Rio about a 45 minute drive. You are not allowed to access the the river during the hunt.

Last edited by BJ1fish; 08/15/15 02:55 AM.
Re: Devils River-- Del Norte or Dan Allen ?????? [Re: okjhutch] #5902004 08/29/15 05:36 AM
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That's some good news that you guys saw all that and sounds great except for that 45 min drive that's a bit hard to do twice a day, but it would be worth it if we got to see everything you all saw, make up amped up to get out there. thanks for the info

Re: Devils River-- Del Norte or Dan Allen ?????? [Re: okjhutch] #5948092 09/27/15 12:28 AM
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we are still waiting for the draw on this one, hope it works out for us, our kids did not draw any of the regular hunts so it is coming down to this one, I hope we get it for sake.

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