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Mar 25th, 2012
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Laguna Atascosa NWR #6883969
09/11/17 02:25 PM
09/11/17 02:25 PM
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Posts: 682
Deer Park
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yakinthebox Offline OP
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Hey, I know there were several guy's on here who were selected for Laguna Atascosa NWR. Let's let this be the official post for collaborating together and helping each other out with what we're learning and researching along the way!

My crew was selected for the first Archery Hunt- November 17th-21st. It is our first time to go down there. Trying like the Dicken's to get mentally and physically prepared as well as getting appropriately equipped for a hunt like this.

We will be staying at the Adolph Thomae County Park in tents. Anyone ever stayed there? How is it? Should we bring our fishing gear for nighttime? Are any of you going to be staying there?


Last edited by yakinthebox; 09/11/17 02:30 PM.

If you stay ready, you don't have to get ready!
-Anonymous
Re: Laguna Atascosa NWR [Re: yakinthebox] #6883972
09/11/17 02:29 PM
09/11/17 02:29 PM
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From what I've researched so far,

1. Bike is almost a necessity! Along with spare tubes or solid tires.
2. Snakeboots or snake gaurds
3. Some extreme bug repellent. Permethrin seems to be the popular choice.
4. The success rate is extremely low. Like 5% chance that you'll bag an animal. So if you have an animal in range, take the shot, you may never get another shot!
5. The Refuge does not manage for trophies but rather a healthy population. Don't pass on a buck because it isn't a wallhanger.
6. Be prepared for the toughest hunt of your life and get in shape starting yesterday!
7. There is a 50% rule! 50% of the people from the day before will be gone the next. Lol. Most people aren't going to hang it out. Be the one who toughs it out and you'll have better odds!
8. You will be required to use your own tags on this hunt. This needs to be done before you check your deer into the check station.
9. Bring a tarp to line the bed of your vehicle. This is a requirement by the refuge to prevent the spread of the fever ticks that are an epidemic down there.

I'll add more stuff as I think of it or learn it.

Feel free to add any advice! If any of you have gone before, even better, share that insight!

Last edited by yakinthebox; 09/11/17 05:15 PM.

If you stay ready, you don't have to get ready!
-Anonymous
Re: Laguna Atascosa NWR [Re: yakinthebox] #6884022
09/11/17 03:14 PM
09/11/17 03:14 PM
Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 4,807
Surfside Beach, TX
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Palehorse Offline
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Originally Posted By: yakinthebox
From what I've researched so far,

1. Bike is almost a necessity! Along with spare tubes or solid tires.
2. Snakeboots or snake gaurds
3. Some extreme bug repellent. Permethrin seems to be the popular choice.
4. The success rate is extremely low. Like 5% chance that you'll bag an animal. So if you have an animal in range, take the shot, you may never get another shot!
5. The Refuge does not manage for trophies but rather a healthy population. Don't pass on a buck because it isn't a wallhanger.
6. Be prepared for the toughest hunt of your life and get in shape starting yesterday!
7. There is a 50% rule! 50% of the people from the day before will be gone the next. Lol. Most people aren't going to hang it out. Be the one who toughs it out and you'll have better odds!

I'll add more stuff as I think of it or learn it.

Feel free to add any advice! If any of you have gone before, even better, share that insight!


Not a bad summary. The only thing I would add is, unlike the hunts on state properties, they do NOT issue tags. You use the ones on your license. Be sure to tag any deer you take and properly fill out the log on back of your license. When you bring your deer to the check station, they WILL check to make sure the deer is properly tagged and will give you a financial encentive to do better next time if you don't.
Another thing, be sure to bring a tarp to wrap the deer or nilgai in when you bring it to the station. They want you to do that to avoid bringing home any fever ticks and allowing them to spread.

Re: Laguna Atascosa NWR [Re: yakinthebox] #6884026
09/11/17 03:20 PM
09/11/17 03:20 PM
Joined: Oct 2007
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Surfside Beach, TX
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One more thing I would add, go into YouTube and learn how to quarter an elk without gutting. It will save you a ton of work hauling that nilgai out if you're lucky enough to get one.

Re: Laguna Atascosa NWR [Re: yakinthebox] #6884149
09/11/17 05:13 PM
09/11/17 05:13 PM
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yakinthebox Offline OP
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Thanks Palehorse! I think I've gathered that you've been before! Did you get selected this go-round?


If you stay ready, you don't have to get ready!
-Anonymous
Re: Laguna Atascosa NWR [Re: yakinthebox] #6884182
09/11/17 05:40 PM
09/11/17 05:40 PM
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Surfside Beach, TX
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Yep. I'll be there Nov 17th-21st.

Re: Laguna Atascosa NWR [Re: yakinthebox] #6884279
09/11/17 07:21 PM
09/11/17 07:21 PM
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Surfside Beach, TX
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Regarding #4 on your list, this is a pic of the board after last year's hunt. These are the success's out of 250 hunters.


Last edited by Palehorse; 09/11/17 07:21 PM.
Re: Laguna Atascosa NWR [Re: yakinthebox] #6884293
09/11/17 07:37 PM
09/11/17 07:37 PM
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Crazy!


If you stay ready, you don't have to get ready!
-Anonymous
Re: Laguna Atascosa NWR [Re: yakinthebox] #6889152
09/16/17 05:01 PM
09/16/17 05:01 PM
Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 233
Dallas
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SherpaPhil Online content
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Dallas
I got drawn for the gun hunt December 22-24. Will definitely be watching this thread.

Re: Laguna Atascosa NWR [Re: yakinthebox] #6889493
09/17/17 02:31 AM
09/17/17 02:31 AM
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Posts: 59
San Antonio
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HankTheTank Online content
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Got drawn for the last hunt, can't wait.

Re: Laguna Atascosa NWR [Re: yakinthebox] #6895609
09/22/17 06:30 PM
09/22/17 06:30 PM
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yakinthebox Offline OP
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Congrats guys. Either of y'all been down there before?


If you stay ready, you don't have to get ready!
-Anonymous
Re: Laguna Atascosa NWR [Re: Palehorse] #6895971
09/23/17 01:03 AM
09/23/17 01:03 AM
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Originally Posted By: Palehorse
Regarding #4 on your list, this is a pic of the board after last year's hunt. These are the success's out of 250 hunters.


Thanks for posting this Palehorse, that puts the hunt/success in perspective. Actually, you could remove two deer & one nilgai from the count as the three animals were killed by a fellow that has probably hunted the refuge more than any other hunter many times over. He is a bit of a legend and killed all three animals still hunting his favorite areas. He has hunted the refuge from the start, is local, and spends a crazy amount of time scouting the refuge.

The weights speak of the age structure that has been taken as well.


Re: Laguna Atascosa NWR [Re: yakinthebox] #6896112
09/23/17 03:12 AM
09/23/17 03:12 AM
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San Antonio
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HankTheTank Online content
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Howdy!

Yak, this is my first time applying for drawn hunts at all. I applied for 7 gun deer hunts thinking I'd be lucky to get one. Ended up getting Balcones Canyonlands and Laguna Atascosa and pending 2nd draw on 4 others. I put my brother on this hunt/application and can't do both so dropping the Balcones hunt. Internet scouting has been interfering with work, here's hoping they don't find out.

Last edited by HankTheTank; 09/23/17 03:13 AM.
Re: Laguna Atascosa NWR [Re: yakinthebox] #6896348
09/23/17 03:09 PM
09/23/17 03:09 PM
Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 233
Dallas
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SherpaPhil Online content
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No, I have never been down there. With as much time as I have spent on Google Earth, though I feel like I have!

Re: Laguna Atascosa NWR [Re: yakinthebox] #6897010
09/24/17 12:43 PM
09/24/17 12:43 PM
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Cuero
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I know fellows are also using drones on scouting days.


Re: Laguna Atascosa NWR [Re: yakinthebox] #6897065
09/24/17 01:55 PM
09/24/17 01:55 PM
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Surfside Beach, TX
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They better not get caught. It specifically says in this years brochure,

" Prohibited Activities include:
-Camping, except at Adolph
Thomae Jr. County Park
-Use or possession of alcoholic
beverages and/or drugs
-Possession and/or use of dogs
while scouting or hunting
-Target practice
-Use of motorized carts/wagons
-Taking of any plant or animal
species not designated on your
permit
-Possession and/or distribution of
bait or hunting over bait
-Use of flagging and/or markers
-Use of, or hunting from, any type
of watercraft or floating device
-Use of drones/aircraft"

Re: Laguna Atascosa NWR [Re: SherpaPhil] #6900638
09/27/17 03:03 PM
09/27/17 03:03 PM
Joined: Feb 2011
Posts: 682
Deer Park
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yakinthebox Offline OP
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Originally Posted By: SherpaPhil
No, I have never been down there. With as much time as I have spent on Google Earth, though I feel like I have!


Same here! Google Earth is my favorite tool!


If you stay ready, you don't have to get ready!
-Anonymous
Re: Laguna Atascosa NWR [Re: SherpaPhil] #6900643
09/27/17 03:06 PM
09/27/17 03:06 PM
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yakinthebox Offline OP
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Originally Posted By: SherpaPhil
No, I have never been down there. With as much time as I have spent on Google Earth, though I feel like I have!


Same here. I applied for the first time ever with my brother and a buddy! We got drawn for this Laguna Atascosa hunt and the Lower Rio Grande Valley NWR hunt. Both archery. We had to cut LRGV because it was less days, less lodging availability and the same weekend.

We applied for 23 diff hunts between the 3 of us. My brother also drew a Doe permit for Bannister WMA.


If you stay ready, you don't have to get ready!
-Anonymous
Re: Laguna Atascosa NWR [Re: Palehorse] #6901067
09/27/17 07:35 PM
09/27/17 07:35 PM
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Originally Posted By: Palehorse
They better not get caught. It specifically says in this years brochure,

" Prohibited Activities include:
-Camping, except at Adolph
Thomae Jr. County Park
-Use or possession of alcoholic
beverages and/or drugs
-Possession and/or use of dogs
while scouting or hunting
-Target practice
-Use of motorized carts/wagons
-Taking of any plant or animal
species not designated on your
permit
-Possession and/or distribution of
bait or hunting over bait
-Use of flagging and/or markers
-Use of, or hunting from, any type
of watercraft or floating device
-Use of drones/aircraft"

Yeah, I guess they added it. They didn't like it last year but there was nothing they could do about it. I guess it is okay for them to log hundreds of helicopter hours hulling out hogs and nilgai but the public, who own the place, can't use a drone to scout.


Re: Laguna Atascosa NWR [Re: yakinthebox] #6901276
09/27/17 09:45 PM
09/27/17 09:45 PM
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Harris County
Anthony Bish Offline
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Harris County
Me and my brother were drawn for rifle. December 29-31.


DD M4V5LW 5.56
Sig M400 6.8 ARP SPCII


http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/member.php?u=62077
Re: Laguna Atascosa NWR [Re: Anthony Bish] #6902049
09/28/17 03:06 PM
09/28/17 03:06 PM
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Originally Posted By: Anthony Bish
Me and my brother were drawn for rifle. December 29-31.


Congrats! I would imagine a rifle would make it easier to bag an animal. I put in for rifle as well but only drew the archery. I'm not really an archer so I'll be using my trusty crossbow.


If you stay ready, you don't have to get ready!
-Anonymous
Re: Laguna Atascosa NWR [Re: yakinthebox] #6902051
09/28/17 03:07 PM
09/28/17 03:07 PM
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I'm hoping since the hunt we drew is the first archery hunt November 17-21 that the animals won't be as skittish. Who knows. Never been.


If you stay ready, you don't have to get ready!
-Anonymous
Re: Laguna Atascosa NWR [Re: yakinthebox] #6918879
10/13/17 11:34 AM
10/13/17 11:34 AM
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McAllen, TX deep South Tex
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From my experience the first day is the best after that when the animals see all that activity they go into section 8 (no hunt area). If it rains or drizzles get ready for some of the worst mud you’ll ever trek through.

Re: Laguna Atascosa NWR [Re: yakinthebox] #6919973
10/14/17 06:10 AM
10/14/17 06:10 AM
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Hey guys its great to join the forum and this thread. I'm pretty excited, I got drawn for the 29-31 Dec Hunt. All the collaboration is nice and refreshing.

After reading I got some questions answered but was wondering if anyone who had previously hunter there knew if cell phone reception was operational? If so what carriers? Are there any other thoughts on communication between hunters other than cell phones or 2-way radios?

Whats the avg, or best for planning, shoot distance for Nilgai at the refuge?

Re: Laguna Atascosa NWR [Re: yakinthebox] #6923228
10/17/17 11:49 AM
10/17/17 11:49 AM
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Posts: 29
Deep East Texas
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Morning gents, lurked on here for a long time but figured I need to join since I actually drew some tags this year.

I pulled a Laguna Nilgai tag along with my wife, father in law and 9 YO son for Jan 19-21. Haven't made it down there before but I have hunted deer on Aransas years ago. Anyone know if it is comparable?

Anyone going to be down there at the same time? From my research, it looks like a mature Nilgai can push 600 lbs. May be nice to have a bunch of folks to help each other out cutting and processing!

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