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Mar 25th, 2012
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Re: Aransas National Wildlife Refuge lotto [Re: Charlie Tuna] #6963354
11/17/17 02:41 AM
11/17/17 02:41 AM
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Originally Posted By: Charlie Tuna
Made at recon trip down on the 11th to check out Hoppers and the Refuge. We have a slot for 9-13 DEC. The visitor office is closed due to the storm, so no one was around to talk to. At the time did not realize the hunter check-in station was down the road a bit. So drove the auto tour route to get a look at the terrain. It ranged from thick brush to open pasture land. Stopped at Jones Lake and did see one large hog and lots of rooting around areas and I mean lots. So the hog hunting should be good. We did see a few doe along the road as well. At Jones Lake there was a 14-16' gator was sunning itself. So there are definitely gators in the area.

As for Hoppers, it is pretty primitive. We tent camped on a grassy area by the water. There is room for many campers in this area. They have a pavilion to get out of the weather and a street lamp close by. No tables under the pavallion, I assume the storm took them away. There is one outside restroom and another in the bar/office. Showers are $3. This is a family run business and they do not seem to be really promoting it. Getting in touch with Adella is hit or miss. I called 3 times and left messages before I left on Friday and finally called a 4th and got her. Camping is cheap, $10, $25 if you want power. I don't believe the cabins are open yet. My son enjoyed the bar area, I only went in to pay the camp fee. There is a fireplace and big screen tv along with several tables. Also there is a separate RV area up the hill that had one camper on it.

So you get what you pay for. The good news it is less than 5 minutes from the Refuge. I did call Goose Island but they are still closed.

We did some duck hunting and got a few. We saw thousands of them in Hynes Bay but they were all congregated in open water. We did our hunting in Guadalupe WMA. Lots of duck there but tough to get in there to hunt. Very swampy.

Took the dogs and they had a blast down there running around in the swamp. Just glad they did not encounter a gator.

Bugs were not too bad on this trip but there was a good breeze most of the time.

Looking forward the December trip, will be at Hopper in a Orange Big Agnes tent.

Charlie

_________________________


Thanks for the info Charlie. Iíll be there at the same time. I was in Victoria for work this week and was really hoping to have time to do what you did but I didnít so Iím glad you were able to report on it. Iím getting excited!

Re: Aransas National Wildlife Refuge lotto [Re: Johnny Rocket] #6968934
11/22/17 03:22 AM
11/22/17 03:22 AM
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Good luck in December, hope you will offer a report!


Re: Aransas National Wildlife Refuge lotto [Re: Johnny Rocket] #6985418
12/06/17 06:58 PM
12/06/17 06:58 PM
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Santa Fe, TX
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I'll be headed out in the morning to Hoppers Landing. Hope to meet up with some of you down there. I'll be in blue Ram pickup, with an Aliner camper. The camper sorta looks like a fiberglass tent on wheels, lol.


Thanks,

Marty
Re: Aransas National Wildlife Refuge lotto [Re: mley1] #6986618
12/07/17 02:56 PM
12/07/17 02:56 PM
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Belton TX
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Originally Posted By: mley1
I'll be headed out in the morning to Hoppers Landing. Hope to meet up with some of you down there. I'll be in blue Ram pickup, with an Aliner camper. The camper sorta looks like a fiberglass tent on wheels, lol.

Marty

My wife and I will be pulling in to Hoppers around 1200 on Friday. Will be in white Tundra and two wild pups running around. Hope the camp area is not too wet from all the rain.

Sighted in the rifles earlier in the week so they are ready to go. Now to find a good spot in Aransas Refuge to setup.

Charlie

Re: Aransas National Wildlife Refuge lotto [Re: Charlie Tuna] #6987433
12/07/17 11:12 PM
12/07/17 11:12 PM
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Originally Posted By: Charlie Tuna
Originally Posted By: mley1
I'll be headed out in the morning to Hoppers Landing. Hope to meet up with some of you down there. I'll be in blue Ram pickup, with an Aliner camper. The camper sorta looks like a fiberglass tent on wheels, lol.

Marty

My wife and I will be pulling in to Hoppers around 1200 on Friday. Will be in white Tundra and two wild pups running around. Hope the camp area is not too wet from all the rain.

Sighted in the rifles earlier in the week so they are ready to go. Now to find a good spot in Aransas Refuge to setup.

Charlie


Charlie, the lower end by the bay is pretty wet. Iím on the upper end where the power hook ups are. Itís not bad up here. Even with all the rain, and itís still raining, itís not bad. Iíll be headed in to ANWF first thing in the morning to scout. Itís been many years since Iíve been here. So, Iím not sure where to start, but Iím gonna point my nose into the wind and hope for the best. See you Friday sometime.


Thanks,

Marty
Re: Aransas National Wildlife Refuge lotto [Re: Johnny Rocket] #6987812
12/08/17 03:39 AM
12/08/17 03:39 AM
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Belton TX
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Marty

Thanks for update. I was afraid it might be a little wet down by the water. See ya tomorrow afternoon.

Re: Aransas National Wildlife Refuge lotto [Re: Johnny Rocket] #6988004
12/08/17 12:23 PM
12/08/17 12:23 PM
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Thanks,

Marty
Re: Aransas National Wildlife Refuge lotto [Re: Johnny Rocket] #6988499
12/08/17 05:40 PM
12/08/17 05:40 PM
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I went out this morning, scouted some, and set up my blind. I found a spot that looked pretty good. It had what you could tell were game trails. The rain had obliterated all signs of tracks. Then I found a bobcat track, and saw the bobcat. Nice. So I found my spot. I went to the truck. Got my blind and went back to my spot. Lo and behold, less than 20ft away from where I was gonna put my blind, thereís a deer track. Nothing large, but a deer track. And it wasnít there when I was at the spot earlier. Nice. Got my blind set up. Ranged distances. Shots will be from 20-150yrds. Iím good with that. Nothing to challenging, if theyíll show themselves. Then on the way out, less than a quarter mile away I see two pigs on the side of the road. Nice. I got some video. I saw some deer too, but they were in the no hunt zone, perfectly safe.


Thanks,

Marty
Re: Aransas National Wildlife Refuge lotto [Re: Johnny Rocket] #6988572
12/08/17 06:27 PM
12/08/17 06:27 PM
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Thanks,

Marty
Re: Aransas National Wildlife Refuge lotto [Re: Johnny Rocket] #6988976
12/08/17 10:53 PM
12/08/17 10:53 PM
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That snow is going to make for an unusual Refuge hunt. Good luck and thanks for the reporting! Keep it up!


Re: Aransas National Wildlife Refuge lotto [Re: Johnny Rocket] #6990889
12/10/17 08:51 PM
12/10/17 08:51 PM
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Report?
popcorn


Re: Aransas National Wildlife Refuge lotto [Re: Johnny Rocket] #6995965
12/14/17 03:32 PM
12/14/17 03:32 PM
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Belton TX
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Ranch Dog, here is my report. This was my first year hunting the Refuge. It was quite the challenge figuring out how to hunt this area. The family ended up taking two hogs during the 5 day hunt. The wife sighted a small 6 point but passed on it since it was so small and young. That was the only deer we saw outside of the all the deer outside of the hunt zone. The hogs were a lot easier to hunt. Just find a rooted up area and set up shop.

This was the wifes first real deer/hog hunt. She came through like a real trooper. We dropped her hog with a single shot and preceeded to field dress and ended up skinning it herself. I had to drag her out the field on Wednesday and still she wanted to stop on the drive out when we spotted a group of hogs out off the roadside.

We thoroughly enjoyed the hunt. Had great weather even though the morning in the tripod were a little chilly. Mid day and afternoons were perfect. Some beautiful Texas Coastal Marshland. During the hunt we experience coyotes, gators, owls, and various hawks. The warden running this hunt was very helpful and professional in addressing a rookie's questions. Tent camping at Hoppers Landing worked out well. Short drive in and out from the Refuge. Nothing fancy but served the purpose. I am going to suggest to Adella to have a hog roast next year for the hunters. Looking forward to more hunts there in the future and with a little more knowledge suspect to do a little better.




Re: Aransas National Wildlife Refuge lotto [Re: Johnny Rocket] #6996461
12/14/17 09:17 PM
12/14/17 09:17 PM
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Thanks for the report. It will be interesting to see if you can get drawn again. I really appreciate the shot of the killboard. Wish the forum had pictures from the previous hunts.


"My rule of halves" with the hunters didn't play out between day one and two. Wait, I guess it did, as 100 permits are issued for each hunt. So, yeah, still valid. I guess the weather scared 43 of them away right off the bat! A tip of the hat to both you and your wife for toughing it out.


Re: Aransas National Wildlife Refuge lotto [Re: Ranch Dog] #6996505
12/14/17 09:51 PM
12/14/17 09:51 PM
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Originally Posted By: Ranch Dog
Thanks for the report. It will be interesting to see if you can get drawn again. I really appreciate the shot of the killboard. Wish the forum had pictures from the previous hunts.


"My rule of halves" with the hunters didn't play out between day one and two. Wait, I guess it did, as 100 permits are issued for each hunt. So, yeah, still valid. I guess the weather scared 43 of them away right off the bat! A tip of the hat to both you and your wife for toughing it out.


Yeah it was a little chilly but not that bad. I did not realize that a 100 slots were available. We had asked if we could bring a friend if there were slots available and told no. Seems they should allow that to bring in more revenue.

I am curious as well what the kill board was for the 2 prior hunts. I was wondering if the previous hunts had put too much pressure on the deer. The deer count was low. Or if the some other factor was at play.

Hope I can get back on next year as I have a better ideal on how to hunt this area.

Re: Aransas National Wildlife Refuge lotto [Re: Johnny Rocket] #6996825
12/15/17 01:22 AM
12/15/17 01:22 AM
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I went back and checked the TWPD hunt page, and it was 300 hunters over three hunt periods. So, the same 100 a week it has always been.



I would say the success is a bit low, but this is a very hard place to hunt. I do think that ARs need to apply to the hunt as a majority of the bucks I've seen have been very young. Thinking about it, ARs would be tough to live by as most deer are not in view very long. The first hunt is better tied to the Southern Gulf Prairies and Marshes rut, but the weather is usually frontal thunderstorms halted by the offshore flow and uncomfortable temperatures. These factors tend to limit what rut activity hunters observe. Honestly, I've never viewed much of a rut at all on the Aransas.



Re: Aransas National Wildlife Refuge lotto [Re: Ranch Dog] #6997380
12/15/17 02:38 PM
12/15/17 02:38 PM
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Belton TX
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Originally Posted By: Ranch Dog
I went back and checked the TWPD hunt page, and it was 300 hunters over three hunt periods. So, the same 100 a week it has always been.



I would say the success is a bit low, but this is a very hard place to hunt. I do think that ARs need to apply to the hunt as a majority of the bucks I've seen have been very young. Thinking about it, ARs would be tough to live by as most deer are not in view very long. The first hunt is better tied to the Southern Gulf Prairies and Marshes rut, but the weather is usually frontal thunderstorms halted by the offshore flow and uncomfortable temperatures. These factors tend to limit what rut activity hunters observe. Honestly, I've never viewed much of a rut at all on the Aransas.

RD

What are you referencing by AR? Also what are the line on the chart tracking?

Thanks
Charles


Re: Aransas National Wildlife Refuge lotto [Re: Johnny Rocket] #7000725
12/18/17 03:24 PM
12/18/17 03:24 PM
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It was a pleasure meeting you Charlie. I enjoyed my time at ANWR. I didn't see any deer while hunting, but I know they were around as I had two good trails near me, and there were deer tracks by my truck every day. I probably could've killed one sitting in my truck, lol. I made the mistake of bringing only a ground pop up blind. Don't make that mistake. The grass in most area's is way to high to hunt from the ground. Bring a tripod so you can be above the grass and see much better. The area I hunted definitely had good deer sign. It's just that my visibility was limited by hunting at ground level. Next time, I'll definitely be in a tripod.

If any of you make the trip there next year you need to be aware that there is a no hunting zone for a ways past the entry gate. DO NOT turn down any lanes or set up any stands to hunt in that area. There was a couple guys who turned down a road in that area and got stuck. They walked back to the check station, and asked for help from the game warden. They got zero help from the game warden. In fact, he wrote them a 300.00 ticket for turning down the wrong road, and being in the no hunt area. Another hunter helped them get out the next day. It was a costly lesson for them. They didn't even bother to set up anywhere and left on Sunday. They were camping up in the trailer section next to me. It was their first time there, and they had no clue they were doing anything wrong. Plus, the sign that said no hunting zone was not in a place where it was visible as you went through the gate. After complaints, they fixed that and added a sign.


Thanks,

Marty
Re: Aransas National Wildlife Refuge lotto [Re: mley1] #7000754
12/18/17 03:38 PM
12/18/17 03:38 PM
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Marty

Marty my pleasure. You should have said something about wanting a tripod. I took 2 but only setup the one. Most of that was due to not having a socket wrench with me. Putting one together with a cresent wrench and pliers is slow going.

I heard their were several citations handed out. Did not hear all the details but one case where hunters were using bait to draw deer to them. This was clearly spelled out on the rules document. Also on Wednesday off of Middle Rd and Redrcok that was a burst of fire followed by several high power shots. We drove by the area in search of a downed hog we had shot and saw the game warden and a oil crew meet up followed by the game warden speeding off. I assume someone was hunting from the road or too close to the gas equipment.

Keep in touch
Charlie

Originally Posted By: mley1
It was a pleasure meeting you Charlie. I enjoyed my time at ANWR. I didn't see any deer while hunting, but I know they were around as I had two good trails near me, and there were deer tracks by my truck every day. I probably could've killed one sitting in my truck, lol. I made the mistake of bringing only a ground pop up blind. Don't make that mistake. The grass in most area's is way to high to hunt from the ground. Bring a tripod so you can be above the grass and see much better. The area I hunted definitely had good deer sign. It's just that my visibility was limited by hunting at ground level. Next time, I'll definitely be in a tripod.

If any of you make the trip there next year you need to be aware that there is a no hunting zone for a ways past the entry gate. DO NOT turn down any lanes or set up any stands to hunt in that area. There was a couple guys who turned down a road in that area and got stuck. They walked back to the check station, and asked for help from the game warden. They got zero help from the game warden. In fact, he wrote them a 300.00 ticket for turning down the wrong road, and being in the no hunt area. Another hunter helped them get out the next day. It was a costly lesson for them. They didn't even bother to set up anywhere and left on Sunday. They were camping up in the trailer section next to me. It was their first time there, and they had no clue they were doing anything wrong. Plus, the sign that said no hunting zone was not in a place where it was visible as you went through the gate. After complaints, they fixed that and added a sign.

Re: Aransas National Wildlife Refuge lotto [Re: Johnny Rocket] #7001468
12/18/17 10:31 PM
12/18/17 10:31 PM
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Do you think you guys would stick with the late weekend or try something earlier? I've hunted all three and can't say which is best. It's simply a hard hunt.


Re: Aransas National Wildlife Refuge lotto [Re: Ranch Dog] #7002374
12/19/17 03:55 PM
12/19/17 03:55 PM
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RD

If I had the choice I would select one of the earlier hunts. Having only hunted it once it is hard to say if the hunting pressure from the earlier hunts made the conditions tough or if it is just the nature of hunting this area. Regardless during the 3rd hunt we only saw one decent 6 point during the 5 day hunt. And for the entire hunt only 2 10pt bucks were taken.

Re: Aransas National Wildlife Refuge lotto [Re: Johnny Rocket] #7003387
12/20/17 01:44 AM
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Last year on the opening hunt, I did not see a deer. The weather was quite warm with fog in the morning (limiting visibility to 25 to 40 yards) and thunderstorms after 1 pm. That is kind of the norm for the first weekend of deer season along the coast. I could have killed a couple of hogs but didn't.


Re: Aransas National Wildlife Refuge lotto [Re: Ranch Dog] #7004440
12/20/17 07:15 PM
12/20/17 07:15 PM
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RD

Yeah weather that time of year in Texas is anybody's guess. We had that freak snow storm before the hunt on Friday and temps were starting off in the 40s each day.

Re: Aransas National Wildlife Refuge lotto [Re: Charlie Tuna] #7010754
12/25/17 08:46 AM
12/25/17 08:46 AM
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Originally Posted By: Charlie Tuna
Marty

Marty my pleasure. You should have said something about wanting a tripod. I took 2 but only setup the one. Most of that was due to not having a socket wrench with me. Putting one together with a cresent wrench and pliers is slow going.

I heard their were several citations handed out. Did not hear all the details but one case where hunters were using bait to draw deer to them. This was clearly spelled out on the rules document. Also on Wednesday off of Middle Rd and Redrcok that was a burst of fire followed by several high power shots. We drove by the area in search of a downed hog we had shot and saw the game warden and a oil crew meet up followed by the game warden speeding off. I assume someone was hunting from the road or too close to the gas equipment.

Keep in touch
Charlie

Originally Posted By: mley1
It was a pleasure meeting you Charlie. I enjoyed my time at ANWR. I didn't see any deer while hunting, but I know they were around as I had two good trails near me, and there were deer tracks by my truck every day. I probably could've killed one sitting in my truck, lol. I made the mistake of bringing only a ground pop up blind. Don't make that mistake. The grass in most area's is way to high to hunt from the ground. Bring a tripod so you can be above the grass and see much better. The area I hunted definitely had good deer sign. It's just that my visibility was limited by hunting at ground level. Next time, I'll definitely be in a tripod.

If any of you make the trip there next year you need to be aware that there is a no hunting zone for a ways past the entry gate. DO NOT turn down any lanes or set up any stands to hunt in that area. There was a couple guys who turned down a road in that area and got stuck. They walked back to the check station, and asked for help from the game warden. They got zero help from the game warden. In fact, he wrote them a 300.00 ticket for turning down the wrong road, and being in the no hunt area. Another hunter helped them get out the next day. It was a costly lesson for them. They didn't even bother to set up anywhere and left on Sunday. They were camping up in the trailer section next to me. It was their first time there, and they had no clue they were doing anything wrong. Plus, the sign that said no hunting zone was not in a place where it was visible as you went through the gate. After complaints, they fixed that and added a sign.
p

Thanks Charlie. I didnít even think to ask about a tripod. I did enjoy the cooler temps, and lack of mosquitoes. So if I do the hunt again itíll be the third week again.


Thanks,

Marty
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