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Mar 25th, 2012
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Youth Hunt @ Balcones Canyonland National Wildlife Refuge #6934473
10/26/17 02:59 PM
10/26/17 02:59 PM
Joined: Oct 2017
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TexasElkMan55 Offline OP
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I am new to the Texas Hunting Forum. I am looking for information from those who have hunted Balcones Canyonland National Wildlife Refuge. My 13 year old daughter has drawn a hunt in Unit 4 in November.

Has anyone hunted this unit? We are from far West Texas and have never been fortunate enough to hunt the Hill Country of Texas. Any advice?

Re: Youth Hunt @ Balcones Canyonland National Wildlife Refuge [Re: TexasElkMan55] #6934747
10/26/17 06:11 PM
10/26/17 06:11 PM
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lunkerm Offline
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yes. We loved balcones last year. We were on a big unit that was subdivived (unit 7, I think.) Balcones is a refuge for birds, and the area we were on had no public access, except during the draw hunts. No stands and no feeders on the place, and no bait allowed. The deer were actually wild and we had to really hunt. There are a ton of oak trees and thats where they were. That being said, we found lots of sign, but only saw one buck- an awesome 10 point with an extra main beam. She killed him at about 150 yards. We hunted out of a popup ground blind.

that place is rough and tough- they've done cedar remediation with fire and cutting, so lots of stumps. They don't mow. lots of tall grass. A two wheel drive pickup can make it - at least on unit 7- but a 4x4 would be better. if it rains it will be a muddy mess.

The federal fish and games guys were really nice and helpful, but dead serious about no bait, corn, or alcohol allowed on property. That big unit we were in was divided into about 10 sections or so. As you drove the road, there were cones with letters on them. each of us had a big area, and they said they used the cones to keep everyone from driving just inside the gate and all hunting the same 200 acres.

We stayed in Marble Falls at a motel. What else would you like to know? Remember, we were not on the same unit, so its possible my info will not apply

Re: Youth Hunt @ Balcones Canyonland National Wildlife Refuge [Re: TexasElkMan55] #6935412
10/27/17 03:14 AM
10/27/17 03:14 AM
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TexasElkMan55 Offline OP
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I believe I saw your daughters photo of her buck. Cool extra main beam. Thanks for the information. We are excited to hunt some new land. Iíve asked and we will be sharing unit 4 with3 other hunters. Did I understand right that each unit will be divided for each hunter?

Re: Youth Hunt @ Balcones Canyonland National Wildlife Refuge [Re: TexasElkMan55] #6935852
10/27/17 04:00 PM
10/27/17 04:00 PM
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Posts: 65
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quackedup Offline
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my 15 year old daughter is also drawn for the youth hunt and we are in unit 2. she is pretty excited!

Re: Youth Hunt @ Balcones Canyonland National Wildlife Refuge [Re: TexasElkMan55] #6936041
10/27/17 06:36 PM
10/27/17 06:36 PM
Joined: Oct 2012
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Mason/McCulloch Counties
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hungry_hunter Offline
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I used to work there, but I can't remember where Unit 4 is exactly. When I worked there (and I think they still do it this way), each hunter would be assigned a placed to park and then they could hunt where ever they wanted to. This tended to separate the hunters well, but there was always the chance of getting too close to each other.

Unit 2 is one of the more open units and should provide a good hunt.

Lunkerm is spot on on the rest of it. I've seen hunters get in trouble for having loose corn in the bed of their truck...


11 that you also aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you, 12 that you may walk properly toward those who are outside, and that you may lack nothing. 1 Thessalonians 4:11,12 NKJV
Re: Youth Hunt @ Balcones Canyonland National Wildlife Refuge [Re: TexasElkMan55] #6936121
10/27/17 07:51 PM
10/27/17 07:51 PM
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TexasElkMan55 Offline OP
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Thank you for the feedback! We are looking forward to this hunt!

This was the buck my daughter killed last year on a youth hunt in West Texas!

Re: Youth Hunt @ Balcones Canyonland National Wildlife Refuge [Re: TexasElkMan55] #6936142
10/27/17 08:17 PM
10/27/17 08:17 PM
Joined: Oct 2012
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Mason/McCulloch Counties
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hungry_hunter Offline
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Very nice deer!

I did a little digging and figured out which one was Unit 4. The north half is long and skinny, but fairly open. The south half is a mix of scattered brush and trees with a large area of thick brush in the middle. There's also a large area in the very south of the hunt unit that had all of the brush cleared and burned about 5 yrs ago. That might be an ok place to hunt, but I think you'd need to get up high in order to see over the brush and grass. The northern half should be huntable on the ground. Access through the northern half of the unit is easy w/ 2wd and the south half is a solid road, just rocky.


11 that you also aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you, 12 that you may walk properly toward those who are outside, and that you may lack nothing. 1 Thessalonians 4:11,12 NKJV
Re: Youth Hunt @ Balcones Canyonland National Wildlife Refuge [Re: TexasElkMan55] #6939710
10/30/17 07:46 PM
10/30/17 07:46 PM
Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 22
Cedar Park
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Nathan74 Offline
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My son was drawn for the youth hunt as well, we will be in Unit 3. Without the use of bait does anybody have any advice or tips to help the chances for a successful hunt? I have a pop up blind and I spoke to one of the rangers about our hunt area and he explained where he typically sees deer and hogs. Is it best just to find a spot and sit or should we spend some of our time stalking. Not sure if the deer will spook if there is increased activity going on out there.

Re: Youth Hunt @ Balcones Canyonland National Wildlife Refuge [Re: Nathan74] #6941141
10/31/17 07:45 PM
10/31/17 07:45 PM
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 173
Round Rock, TX
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Although you canít use food baits you can use scents, if that helps; check with the staff anyway to see if this has not changed. Tehy are strict about the baiting. Enjoy your hunts!


Eduardo
Outdoor enthusiast
Re: Youth Hunt @ Balcones Canyonland National Wildlife Refuge [Re: TexasElkMan55] #6941264
10/31/17 09:12 PM
10/31/17 09:12 PM
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Posts: 11
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TexasElkMan55 Offline OP
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Thank you for the feedback. It is greatly appreciated!

Re: Youth Hunt @ Balcones Canyonland National Wildlife Refuge [Re: TexasElkMan55] #6945551
11/04/17 02:33 AM
11/04/17 02:33 AM
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 737
East Texas
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Let The Air Out of 'Em Offline
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I will be out scouting there in Unit 7 this weekend, I drew the hunt on Nov 17-19.


Originally Posted By: TurkeyHunter
What you really need is a 300 Winchester Magnum. That is the best caliber on the planet, probably even in the solar system and maybe the universe.

Originally Posted By: STX Hog Hunter
Go get him! Shoot him in the face!
Re: Youth Hunt @ Balcones Canyonland National Wildlife Refuge [Re: Let The Air Out of 'Em] #6948392
11/06/17 05:53 PM
11/06/17 05:53 PM
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TexasElkMan55 Offline OP
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How was your scouting trip this past weekend?

Re: Youth Hunt @ Balcones Canyonland National Wildlife Refuge [Re: TexasElkMan55] #6951477
11/08/17 04:22 PM
11/08/17 04:22 PM
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Posts: 22
Cedar Park
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Nathan74 Offline
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Thanks for the info 12shotgun.

Re: Youth Hunt @ Balcones Canyonland National Wildlife Refuge [Re: TexasElkMan55] #6952994
11/09/17 04:33 PM
11/09/17 04:33 PM
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Posts: 737
East Texas
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Let The Air Out of 'Em Offline
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2 days saw 1 little buck. Lots of sign, they are there. I think the hot weather and full moon rise/set time had them shut down in daytime. We went everywhere that vehicles are allowed in a 2WD Suburban, but there are 2 gully or creek crossings that are steep and 4WD would be an asset if it rains close to your hunt days. Typical Hill Country with lots of cedar, and live oak concentrated in some areas. It will be an interesting hunt, not going to be easy for sure.


Originally Posted By: TurkeyHunter
What you really need is a 300 Winchester Magnum. That is the best caliber on the planet, probably even in the solar system and maybe the universe.

Originally Posted By: STX Hog Hunter
Go get him! Shoot him in the face!
Re: Youth Hunt @ Balcones Canyonland National Wildlife Refuge [Re: TexasElkMan55] #6953632
11/10/17 01:34 AM
11/10/17 01:34 AM
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 199
Brazos County
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ScooterG Offline
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Brazos County
Whack em buddy!

Re: Youth Hunt @ Balcones Canyonland National Wildlife Refuge [Re: TexasElkMan55] #6956315
11/12/17 01:33 AM
11/12/17 01:33 AM
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Cedar Park
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Nathan74 Offline
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Tough hunting, saw good numbers of deer on Friday and Saturday morning with a couple really nice looking bucks in the mix chasing does. Son shot at a buck Friday evening but missed. Tonight only saw 1 doe and a Harris Hawk hunting the field. Shots are all over 100 yards and deer don't want to stay still for more than a second or two. Still hopeful for a deer tomorrow.

Re: Youth Hunt @ Balcones Canyonland National Wildlife Refuge [Re: TexasElkMan55] #6957629
11/13/17 02:46 AM
11/13/17 02:46 AM
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quackedup Offline
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got back this afternoon. it is a tough hunt, tall and overgrown and you can't use corn/bait. 20 minutes into the stand Friday afternoon in Unit 2, there are 15+ pigs moving right to left. Daughter gets the gun up but didn't feel she had a good shot. About an hour later there was a shot behind us not sure if on same unit or not. i tried rattling and on second sequence out runs a decent buck. it is in a stare off with my daughter at 80 yards, standing straight on. it is a little outside the ears but can't make out points in the thick stuff. after a minute or two, off he runs. we talk about the next time, hoping there would be a next time. about 4:30p another buck walks out 200+ yds out. it disappeared in the brush and low spots, headed our way. Next time we saw it, it was behind a cedar right in front of us. about 2 minutes of us talking about the shot and boom, dead right there. It is a nice little hill country 8. i will try to post pics later. Only saw one other deer, a little fork horn, saturday afternoon. nothing in the morning sits.

Re: Youth Hunt @ Balcones Canyonland National Wildlife Refuge [Re: TexasElkMan55] #6958167
11/13/17 03:32 PM
11/13/17 03:32 PM
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TexasElkMan55 Offline OP
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Tough Tough Tough hunt..... Unit four proved to be very challanging. We saw close to 30 deer in the northern part of the unit. We did not spend a great deal of time in the southern part after scouting Friday afternoon. Visability is near zero. Only way to hunt back there is from a tall tripod or tree stand. Thick hardwoods make it impossible to spot and stalk or have shooting lanes from the ground.

We hunted the north half hard. According to my IPhone we put in 16 miles on foot. Rolling hills, tall grasses, and thick cedars make this unit tough as well. We did see 3 Booner bucks just across the boundary (naturally) We did see several small bucks that were not leagal in this county. My daughter did shoot a nice mature slick head! Overall, a great weekend in the woods with my favorite hunting buddy!



Last edited by TexasElkMan55; 11/13/17 09:14 PM.
Re: Youth Hunt @ Balcones Canyonland National Wildlife Refuge [Re: TexasElkMan55] #6958410
11/13/17 05:48 PM
11/13/17 05:48 PM
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quackedup Offline
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Re: Youth Hunt @ Balcones Canyonland National Wildlife Refuge [Re: quackedup] #6963842
11/17/17 06:01 PM
11/17/17 06:01 PM
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 173
Round Rock, TX
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Originally Posted By: quackedup



Awesome! I was there last season and didnít see but a couple does running and never stopped; great feeling, congrats!!


Eduardo
Outdoor enthusiast
Re: Youth Hunt @ Balcones Canyonland National Wildlife Refuge [Re: TexasElkMan55] #6963849
11/17/17 06:09 PM
11/17/17 06:09 PM
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 173
Round Rock, TX
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Originally Posted By: TexasElkMan55
Tough Tough Tough hunt..... Unit four proved to be very challanging. We saw close to 30 deer in the northern part of the unit. We did not spend a great deal of time in the southern part after scouting Friday afternoon. Visability is near zero. Only way to hunt back there is from a tall tripod or tree stand. Thick hardwoods make it impossible to spot and stalk or have shooting lanes from the ground.

We hunted the north half hard. According to my IPhone we put in 16 miles on foot. Rolling hills, tall grasses, and thick cedars make this unit tough as well. We did see 3 Booner bucks just across the boundary (naturally) We did see several small bucks that were not leagal in this county. My daughter did shoot a nice mature slick head! Overall, a great weekend in the woods with my favorite hunting buddy!




Congrats! Tough hunt it is, and agree with the tripod stand, but getting that animal there is a proof of a great hunt.


Eduardo
Outdoor enthusiast
Re: Youth Hunt @ Balcones Canyonland National Wildlife Refuge [Re: TexasElkMan55] #6964288
11/18/17 01:14 AM
11/18/17 01:14 AM
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Brazos County
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ScooterG Offline
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Texas elk man.......Is that rifle a 60's Mohawk? Awesome hunt when you put yor time in with a great couple of hunting buddies!
Mine is 11 now and the .243 is a '79 Mohawk 600

Re: Youth Hunt @ Balcones Canyonland National Wildlife Refuge [Re: ScooterG] #6965202
11/19/17 12:18 AM
11/19/17 12:18 AM
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Originally Posted By: ScooterG
Texas elk man.......Is that rifle a 60's Mohawk? Awesome hunt when you put yor time in with a great couple of hunting buddies!
Mine is 11 now and the .243 is a '79 Mohawk 600

Scooter, it is a straight up 600 with the rib. The Mohawk did not have the rib. Good to see and hear the rifles are still out hunting, I have a 600 chambered in 35 Rem.


Re: Youth Hunt @ Balcones Canyonland National Wildlife Refuge [Re: 12shotgun] #6966925
11/20/17 07:54 PM
11/20/17 07:54 PM
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TexasElkMan55 Offline OP
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Scooter,

That is a Remington model 600. Probably close to 50 year old gun.... It was my Father In law's, Grandma's Gun.

Re: Youth Hunt @ Balcones Canyonland National Wildlife Refuge [Re: TexasElkMan55] #6967494
11/21/17 02:27 AM
11/21/17 02:27 AM
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Brazos County
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ScooterG Offline
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Well, it is a fine looking heirloom! Be sure nothing ever happens to it. I loan mine out and it have shot hundreds of animals....many a one's first critter. That's what it's for now. If it had a score for every kill it would be a small pile of metal now.

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