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Mar 25th, 2012
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Tips on Aransas Wildlife Refuge #7298999 09/27/18 01:55 PM
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JB1316 Offline OP
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Hola, was drawn for the Aransas Wildlife Refuge for general deer, 12/8-12/12 - Does anyone who hunted this before have any tips for me?
Tripod or pop up?
Can you bait?
Anyone have success here and maybe want to point me in the right direction?
I've read its pretty thick and mosquitos are bad, but normally down in Rockport this time of year they arent too vicious.

Last edited by JB1316; 09/27/18 01:56 PM.
Re: Tips on Aransas Wildlife Refuge [Re: JB1316] #7299134 09/27/18 04:47 PM
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Charlie Tuna Offline
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JB

I hunted Aransas last year. I strongly recommend a tripod as brush is high in most areas. We only saw one young 6-point but passed on it. During our hunt one 10-point was taken. The deer count was low but hog count was high. Hog are pretty easy to find just by looking for their rotting areas.

Good luck. Taking my son down tomorrow for bow season. Will let you know if the conditions have change much from last year.

Charlie

Re: Tips on Aransas Wildlife Refuge [Re: JB1316] #7299147 09/27/18 05:04 PM
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Awesome, thanks Charlie. Yea I bet last year was pretty wicked with harvey having just passed by. I have a house in Rockport and know it was a mess.
Good luck to your son tomorrow, looking forward to some feedback about the great time y’all had and hopefully a nice looking buck.

Re: Tips on Aransas Wildlife Refuge [Re: JB1316] #7299633 09/28/18 03:06 AM
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Biggest tip is thermacell or some other mosquito repellent.

Re: Tips on Aransas Wildlife Refuge [Re: JB1316] #7299804 09/28/18 12:33 PM
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Hope they aren’t too bad in December.

Re: Tips on Aransas Wildlife Refuge [Re: JB1316] #7303324 10/02/18 04:16 PM
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Gentlemen,

Just got back from the Aransas Refuge. I helped my son setup his blind on Friday. I have one word to describe the conditions. Swampy and Mosquitos. Well that was two words with emphasis on MOSQUITOs. I have never seen them that bad and I have been to some pretty tough areas in the Everglades during the summer months. The deet only slowed them down to a degree. Also the GW reported that they had received 30" of rain over the past 3 weeks. The area shows it with lots of standing water.

So on opening morning a huge storm moved and with heavy rain and lightening. My son skipped the morning hunt since any creature in its right mind would not be out in those conditions. Got word for those that did go out that the main roads were getting flooded.

As of Monday the kill count was low based on word of mouth. The GW was not posting a score board as was done in the past. I heard of one deer and a couple hogs being killed. My son had not seen a single hog or deer up to this point. He was planning to move his blind to spots where others had reported game movement. Also the weather remained very wet up through Monday with frequent morning storms moving in. We camped had Hoppers and fortunately the mosquitos were not too bad along the shoreline. A steady wind out of the east keep them under control well until the last nite that the wife forgot to close the screen on the tent. We woke in the middle of the nite with a tent full of buzzing blood filled Texas size mosquitos.

Latest update is my son saw one small doe and decided to pass on it due to size and age. He did see some tracks to a good size deer in his new area so hoping he will got a shot at it. He is staying through the duration of the hunt, Saturday.

Re: Tips on Aransas Wildlife Refuge [Re: Charlie Tuna] #7303542 10/02/18 08:41 PM
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Originally Posted By: Charlie Tuna
Gentlemen,

Just got back from the Aransas Refuge. I helped my son setup his blind on Friday. I have one word to describe the conditions. Swampy and Mosquitos. Well that was two words with emphasis on MOSQUITOs. I have never seen them that bad and I have been to some pretty tough areas in the Everglades during the summer months. The deet only slowed them down to a degree. Also the GW reported that they had received 30" of rain over the past 3 weeks. The area shows it with lots of standing water.

So on opening morning a huge storm moved and with heavy rain and lightening. My son skipped the morning hunt since any creature in its right mind would not be out in those conditions. Got word for those that did go out that the main roads were getting flooded.

As of Monday the kill count was low based on word of mouth. The GW was not posting a score board as was done in the past. I heard of one deer and a couple hogs being killed. My son had not seen a single hog or deer up to this point. He was planning to move his blind to spots where others had reported game movement. Also the weather remained very wet up through Monday with frequent morning storms moving in. We camped had Hoppers and fortunately the mosquitos were not too bad along the shoreline. A steady wind out of the east keep them under control well until the last nite that the wife forgot to close the screen on the tent. We woke in the middle of the nite with a tent full of buzzing blood filled Texas size mosquitos.

Latest update is my son saw one small doe and decided to pass on it due to size and age. He did see some tracks to a good size deer in his new area so hoping he will got a shot at it. He is staying through the duration of the hunt, Saturday.

I was in Rockport this weekend too, but not to hunt. Mosquitos were really bad in town as well (standing water everywhere), I spent the whole time thinking about how rough it'd be out on the Refuge.
What's the terrain like on the huntable property? Coastal Prairie and fields or mostly thick brush/trees? Just wondering what the property actually looks like.

Re: Tips on Aransas Wildlife Refuge [Re: JB1316] #7304075 10/03/18 01:34 PM
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The area is combination of both. There are some really thick areas then lots of open prairie. A lot of the area has standing water at this time. When we hunted it back in Dec of last year it was dry for the most part and the mosquitos were non-existant.

Re: Tips on Aransas Wildlife Refuge [Re: Charlie Tuna] #7304300 10/03/18 06:02 PM
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Originally Posted By: Charlie Tuna
The area is combination of both. There are some really thick areas then lots of open prairie. A lot of the area has standing water at this time. When we hunted it back in Dec of last year it was dry for the most part and the mosquitos were non-existant.

Thanks a bunch Charlie.

Re: Tips on Aransas Wildlife Refuge [Re: JB1316] #7304323 10/03/18 06:44 PM
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I had success at Aransas by prescouting with Google Earth. When the hunting pressure gets high, the nicer bucks will retreat to small wooded islands in the middle of the marsh. Locate one that you can easily wade to. In most of these marshes, the water is only about knee deep. It gets real hairy wading out there before daylight, knowing the water is teaming with alligators and water moccasins. I was a little nervous the first time when I stumbled on a big heron sleeping on the folded over grass in the marsh. He let out a big SQUAUK! and flew off. It was all I could do to not scream like a little girl and run. That's all part of the adventure though.


"One cannot be a mediocre squirrel hunter, and at the same time a skillful deer hunter. The two techniques go together." Francis E. Sell
Re: Tips on Aransas Wildlife Refuge [Re: Palehorse] #7304399 10/03/18 08:11 PM
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Originally Posted By: Palehorse
I had success at Aransas by prescouting with Google Earth. When the hunting pressure gets high, the nicer bucks will retreat to small wooded islands in the middle of the marsh. Locate one that you can easily wade to. In most of these marshes, the water is only about knee deep. It gets real hairy wading out there before daylight, knowing the water is teaming with alligators and water moccasins. I was a little nervous the first time when I stumbled on a big heron sleeping on the folded over grass in the marsh. He let out a big SQUAUK! and flew off. It was all I could do to not scream like a little girl and run. That's all part of the adventure though.
Very cool, I'll def plan to bring my waders and a change of pants, haha. When you made your way to the little wooded islands, did you drag a tripod out? Or just set up a pop up blind? I've been trying to overlay the map I received from TPWD onto the OnX map to start scouting online but none of the roads on the TPWD map are on the OnX map, and none of the locations on the OnX map are on the TPWD map which is kinda weird.

Re: Tips on Aransas Wildlife Refuge [Re: JB1316] #7304447 10/03/18 08:50 PM
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Originally Posted By: JB1316
When you made your way to the little wooded islands, did you drag a tripod out? Or just set up a pop up blind?


Neither. I just ducked in behind some palmettos and sat on the ground. Got a half decent 8 point sneaking back to the island. I stuck him while he was still in the water. He spun around and headed back where he came from but didn't make it to dry land before he fell.


"One cannot be a mediocre squirrel hunter, and at the same time a skillful deer hunter. The two techniques go together." Francis E. Sell
Re: Tips on Aransas Wildlife Refuge [Re: Palehorse] #7304683 10/04/18 01:42 AM
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Originally Posted By: Palehorse
Originally Posted By: JB1316
When you made your way to the little wooded islands, did you drag a tripod out? Or just set up a pop up blind?


Neither. I just ducked in behind some palmettos and sat on the ground. Got a half decent 8 point sneaking back to the island. I stuck him while he was still in the water. He spun around and headed back where he came from but didn't make it to dry land before he fell.
Damn, thats kickass. I'll go for that move

Re: Tips on Aransas Wildlife Refuge [Re: JB1316] #7304737 10/04/18 02:52 AM
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Hunted in that area before and if it had recent rains, you couldn't keep the mosquitos away. Normally a thermacell worked but after heavy rains, all the DEET and thermacells around could stop the swarm.

Re: Tips on Aransas Wildlife Refuge [Re: JB1316] #7304861 10/04/18 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted By: JB1316
Originally Posted By: Palehorse
Originally Posted By: JB1316
When you made your way to the little wooded islands, did you drag a tripod out? Or just set up a pop up blind?


Neither. I just ducked in behind some palmettos and sat on the ground. Got a half decent 8 point sneaking back to the island. I stuck him while he was still in the water. He spun around and headed back where he came from but didn't make it to dry land before he fell.
Damn, thats kickass. I'll go for that move

Yeah, very badass! I admire anyone, bow or gun hunter, that sticks out an Aransas hunt to the end.

I've heard that the #1 mortality factor for fawns at Aransas are the mosquitoes, they suffocate.


Re: Tips on Aransas Wildlife Refuge [Re: JB1316] #7308102 10/08/18 11:34 AM
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Lastest scoreboard from Texasbowhunters, notice bad roads listed. I wake up every morning looks straight out my front windows at the Refuge 70 miles distant. Every morning for weeks, there has been a thunderstorms sitting there that starts moving NW with the heat of the day.



Re: Tips on Aransas Wildlife Refuge [Re: Ranch Dog] #7308622 10/08/18 08:30 PM
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Originally Posted By: Ranch Dog
Lastest scoreboard from Texasbowhunters, notice bad roads listed. I wake up every morning looks straight out my front windows at the Refuge 70 miles distant. Every morning for weeks, there has been a thunderstorms sitting there that starts moving NW with the heat of the day.


Would you mind posting that link? Cant find a scoreboard on their website.

Also, does anyone know if there are antler restrictions on the refuge? I looked over the sheet that came with the permit and didnt see any.

Re: Tips on Aransas Wildlife Refuge [Re: JB1316] #7308630 10/08/18 08:34 PM
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Originally Posted By: JB1316
Originally Posted By: Ranch Dog
Lastest scoreboard from Texasbowhunters, notice bad roads listed. I wake up every morning looks straight out my front windows at the Refuge 70 miles distant. Every morning for weeks, there has been a thunderstorms sitting there that starts moving NW with the heat of the day.


Would you mind posting that link? Cant find a scoreboard on their website.

Also, does anyone know if there are antler restrictions on the refuge? I looked over the sheet that came with the permit and didnt see any.

My appologies to Thumper on the Green Screen for borrowing your pic. cheers



Last edited by Palehorse; 10/08/18 08:37 PM.

"One cannot be a mediocre squirrel hunter, and at the same time a skillful deer hunter. The two techniques go together." Francis E. Sell
Re: Tips on Aransas Wildlife Refuge [Re: JB1316] #7308655 10/08/18 08:50 PM
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I receive emails from the National Weather Service out of Corpus for the significant weather in the forecast area. Even though Hurricane Michael is a considerable distance from us and will not impact us directly, it is going to make swamp wading a bit more interesting. Here is what was just sent:

"Increased swells from Michael will reach this end of the Gulf, though, causing minor coastal flooding and water run-up on Gulf-facing beaches for the next two or three days. A Coastal Flood Advisory is in effect from Baffin Bay to Port O'Connor through Wednesday morning. This advisory may need to be extended through the next high tide cycle on Wednesday. Water levels will reach or slightly exceed 2 feet above mean sea level at high tide for the next several high tide cycles."



I've been in Goliad County due west of the Refuge working since Saturday, the thunderstorms have been coming in continuous waves and water is standing. Gave up on the food plotting and hauled everything out today.

What I would see from this is those that can find the high ground are going to do good, so don't quit.

No one has mentioned this, but the rut on the coast is pretty early because of mother nature's timing with the spring rains, she doesn't want her fawns drowning. On this chart, the refuge falls with the pink line. Best of luck guys!



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