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Mar 25th, 2012
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My hat's off to East Texas hunters. #7366501 12/04/18 03:12 PM
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I'm 70 and have hunted my whole life in west Texas. I can remember only two or three times that I sat and did not see a deer. This year I moved to East Texas. I have hunted 12 days so far this season and eight of those days I did not see a deer. I have seen only two legal bucks and that because they were spikes. So, my conclusion is that to be a deer hunter in East Texas, you have to be a lot more dedicated to the sport. Just my opinion.


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Re: My hat's off to East Texas hunters. [Re: Mr. T.] #7366504 12/04/18 03:14 PM
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My experience hunting east texas is that feeders aren't that great. The best places I hunted were open fields on the edge of thick brush. Like clockwork the deer were there early mornings and before dusk.


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Re: My hat's off to East Texas hunters. [Re: Mr. T.] #7366532 12/04/18 03:37 PM
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We have a small place in Wood County, we've had it for just over 30 years now. At first, we were lucky to see a single deer over an entire season. As we started to put in Food Plots, supplemental feeding and the introduction of AR's we started to see deer numbers increase. As redchevy said above, early season feeder hunting was tough, food plots helped a ton. White Oak acorn flats where a good spot to set up as well.


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Re: My hat's off to East Texas hunters. [Re: redchevy] #7366683 12/04/18 05:13 PM
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Originally Posted by redchevy
My experience hunting east texas is that feeders aren't that great. The best places I hunted were open fields on the edge of thick brush. Like clockwork the deer were there early mornings and before dusk.


IMO feeders in East Texas are largely a waste of money for deer. Field edges and travel corridors are a lot more productive. Also it helps to work that brush to your advantage and clear some trails and block others to funnel the deer where you want them

Re: My hat's off to East Texas hunters. [Re: kk66] #7366697 12/04/18 05:28 PM
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Originally Posted by kk66
Originally Posted by redchevy
My experience hunting east texas is that feeders aren't that great. The best places I hunted were open fields on the edge of thick brush. Like clockwork the deer were there early mornings and before dusk.


IMO feeders in East Texas are largely a waste of money for deer. Field edges and travel corridors are a lot more productive. Also it helps to work that brush to your advantage and clear some trails and block others to funnel the deer where you want them


I have a food plot and a friend has a feeder on one of two tracks that we hunt in East Texas.

We each took a deer earlier this season while hunting the second tract that is absent of food plots and feeders.


Dan,

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Re: My hat's off to East Texas hunters. [Re: Mr. T.] #7366730 12/04/18 05:52 PM
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I wouldn't judge a properties potential or lack of, by this season. Our place isn't east but we're experiencing much the same thing. Under normal conditions, we have some really good hunting grounds, this year however, sucks pond water. I bet it gets better for you Mr. T.


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Re: My hat's off to East Texas hunters. [Re: Erathkid] #7366810 12/04/18 07:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Erathkid
I wouldn't judge a properties potential or lack of, by this season. Our place isn't east but we're experiencing much the same thing. Under normal conditions, we have some really good hunting grounds, this year however, sucks pond water. I bet it gets better for you Mr. T.

Well, I'm not giving up. I just want to see lots and lots of deer every time I go hunting. Is that asking to much? lol.


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Re: My hat's off to East Texas hunters. [Re: Mr. T.] #7366898 12/04/18 08:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Mr. T.
Originally Posted by Erathkid
I wouldn't judge a properties potential or lack of, by this season. Our place isn't east but we're experiencing much the same thing. Under normal conditions, we have some really good hunting grounds, this year however, sucks pond water. I bet it gets better for you Mr. T.

Well, I'm not giving up. I just want to see lots and lots of deer every time I go hunting. Is that asking to much? lol.

Yes it is for the area you hunt in now. Itís never gonna be like where you came from. But if you finish the grueling marathon the prize at the finish line can be much bigger as we have already seen on your TC. Kinda like hunting the big woods in Canada except warmer temps and trespassers mixed in. You might consider doing some improvements to attract a wide variety of birds to watch and take pics of to pass the time.


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Re: My hat's off to East Texas hunters. [Re: Mr. T.] #7367334 12/05/18 04:04 AM
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Lots of good info above. I have hunted my whole life in Wood County. There are some decent deer around but very tough to hunt them. Same as stated above, I only feed on the place I bow hunt. I see way more deer on my other place that I gun hunt. I plant a small food plot and I am only there when I'm hunting. I do not scout it, walk around, or do anything except go straight to my blind and leave. The deer are moving mainly in the evening and there has only been 1 evening so far I haven't seen deer there. I learned several years ago the the least amount of effort equaled more deer. They do not come to feerders very well and are spooky as all get out around them. They are fairly careless now because I'm not putting down scent trails all over the place.

I killed a young spike this year, ( 1st deer in 3 years) because it was past due for some meat. I refused to shoot a doe and passed the spike twice because there were doe close by. I don't want them educated. I also passed a nice 115" 3.5 yr old 8 pt. I have seen a couple bucks last couple years that would be around 130" mark, but couldn't get shots.

It is very tough hunting here, but it is very rewarding when it finally comes together because you had to work so hard for it.

Re: My hat's off to East Texas hunters. [Re: Mr. T.] #7367396 12/05/18 06:04 AM
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What part east texas ? Deer in East texas much smarter... They know what "baiting" lived in Smith county 30+ years. Several nice bucks hang around. had small deer food plot down by creek,with corn feeder in edge of tree line. then in pasture little loser ta stand little hill. Every year seen the does & fawns. Cams very seldom seen the bucks, just as the came inta velvet seen em coming ta the mineral blocks, warmer weather. like on leases was on, deer learned ta pattern hunters. As pappy say's: Think outa the box..Huunted around New Summerfied, 1,100acres Jefferson, town had 3 differant places, wood county, next ta were White Falcon lives. The deer are thar, Thing i liked most about hunten hogs at WMA, got ta do old school hunten, like did in Minnesota, boots on the ground....Enjoy wondering about the woods looking for the signs, figuring out thar patterns, & many times the deer won cheers Thats what makes my hunts enjoyable.... favoret rifle me .45 kentucky also enjoyed me archery hunts... Best wishes...
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Re: My hat's off to East Texas hunters. [Re: Mr. T.] #7367584 12/05/18 02:42 PM
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One of the biggest disappointments for me when moving to Texas was the how few deer there are here. I'm in Smith County, just North of Tyler. I've hunted other parts of Texas and you see deer all day long, but here, it's one a month, if you are lucky. I see hogs fairly often, and for years that was fun, but now I'm bored with hogs and would just as soon never see another. My focus is on deer and trying to get more of them onto my place. I talked to a couple different State Biologists and they said that in East Texas, there is one deer for every 20 acres. The biggest issue is that the habitat has been changed from what it was a hundred years ago, to what it is today. Land was cleared, then allowed to grow back. When it grows back, it comes in super thick with tons of saplings that choke out the under story. Massive open pastures are also not natural to the deer, so they have to adapt to what's available, and this keeps their numbers down. This is also why the turkey numbers are so low here.

For me, it's along term game that I work on a little bit every year, and I get better results every year. I now have pics of my very first really nice buck on my land this year. He's nocturnal, but it's exciting that he actually exists. I have a neighbor across the highway that's taken 150 class bucks after killing a lion on their land. That probably helped a lot too. Another big factor with living here is that we only hunt when conditions are ideal, or we see pics on the game cameras that show them out during daylight, or real close to daylight, with the hope that they might make a mistake. When they are only on camera around midnight, we sleep in.

[Linked Image]

Here is a smaller buck that we we see on camera all the time and expect to make a mistake sooner then the bigger buck.

[Linked Image]

Re: My hat's off to East Texas hunters. [Re: Mr. T.] #7367653 12/05/18 03:32 PM
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I grew up hunting Newton County, a few miles south of Trout Creek on paper company owned land. Great lease with a good group of guys. We everything a hunting club should be from a hanging out perspective, except we rarely saw deer. I would go entire seasons without seeing deer. Sometimes 2 or 3 years without seeing them while on the stand. Honestly it didn't matter that much to us. My grandfather and his buddies, my dad, uncle, and their buddies, and then my generation were all there. 30+ guys all basically having old home weekend every time we showed up.

The old lease is gone and we've all scattered. I hunt my wife's family place in Coryell County and see tons of deer all the time, but I do miss the old place and the experience there.





Re: My hat's off to East Texas hunters. [Re: Mr. T.] #7367760 12/05/18 05:48 PM
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I like being able to see far, so east Texas is not for me. One day we were up top glassing, in Terrel county. We surmised that we had the view of half a section. And in that place it can provide much larger views. We saw 5 does and one buck while we sat there for 2 hours glassing.


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Re: My hat's off to East Texas hunters. [Re: Mr. T.] #7367877 12/05/18 07:37 PM
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Mr. T we hunt near you in Cass County and also hunt Marion County and this year we've see deer probably 75% of our outings. This year is unusual and deer aren't coming to the feeders as much as they normally do. Food plots seem better this year due to all the rain. Dry years the feeders produce and wet years the food plots are better. Unfortunately we didn't plant any food plots at out place in Marion county this year but we've been hunting a couple of recent clear cuts and seeing deer there. Our food plot in Cass county is doing well. Last year our food plots didn't produce as well as the feeders, it was too dry.

Last edited by BigDad; 12/05/18 07:39 PM.

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Re: My hat's off to East Texas hunters. [Re: EddieWalker] #7367885 12/05/18 07:49 PM
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Originally Posted by EddieWalker
One of the biggest disappointments for me when moving to Texas was the how few deer there are here. I'm in Smith County, just North of Tyler. I've hunted other parts of Texas and you see deer all day long, but here, it's one a month, if you are lucky. I see hogs fairly often, and for years that was fun, but now I'm bored with hogs and would just as soon never see another. My focus is on deer and trying to get more of them onto my place. I talked to a couple different State Biologists and they said that in East Texas, there is one deer for every 20 acres. The biggest issue is that the habitat has been changed from what it was a hundred years ago, to what it is today. Land was cleared, then allowed to grow back. When it grows back, it comes in super thick with tons of saplings that choke out the under story. Massive open pastures are also not natural to the deer, so they have to adapt to what's available, and this keeps their numbers down. This is also why the turkey numbers are so low here.

For me, it's along term game that I work on a little bit every year, and I get better results every year. I now have pics of my very first really nice buck on my land this year. He's nocturnal, but it's exciting that he actually exists. I have a neighbor across the highway that's taken 150 class bucks after killing a lion on their land. That probably helped a lot too. Another big factor with living here is that we only hunt when conditions are ideal, or we see pics on the game cameras that show them out during daylight, or real close to daylight, with the hope that they might make a mistake. When they are only on camera around midnight, we sleep in.

[Linked Image]

Here is a smaller buck that we we see on camera all the time and expect to make a mistake sooner then the bigger buck.

[Linked Image]






Would you be kind enough to share a picture of the big one if that's the little one?


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Re: My hat's off to East Texas hunters. [Re: Mr. T.] #7367886 12/05/18 07:49 PM
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I agree it is slow to no deer on a lot of hunts. The open field is pretty much out for me as I bow hunt only. I could set on a field and see more deer but getting them into range is a little bit tough.
Where I hunt they cut down most of our oak trees so I hope the feeders pay off better next year once they finish cutting.
Good luck MR. T.

Re: My hat's off to East Texas hunters. [Re: Black02z28] #7368033 12/05/18 11:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Black02z28
We have a small place in Wood County, we've had it for just over 30 years now. At first, we were lucky to see a single deer over an entire season. As we started to put in Food Plots, supplemental feeding and the introduction of AR's we started to see deer numbers increase. As redchevy said above, early season feeder hunting was tough, food plots helped a ton. White Oak acorn flats where a good spot to set up as well.


Food plots are much better than feeders. In East Texas you really must become a (deer hunter). Meaning you need to look for travel corridors between bedding and feeding areas and natural funnel points. You can't set over a feeder and wait for the timer to go off.


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Re: My hat's off to East Texas hunters. [Re: Mr. T.] #7368723 12/06/18 05:11 PM
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Mr. T sounds like you need to move back to God's country....

Re: My hat's off to East Texas hunters. [Re: Mr. T.] #7368938 12/06/18 08:38 PM
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Etex is definitely tough hunting. Iíve taken 1 doe and 0 bucks the last two years on the Montgomery county lease. Our cass county place has never had much activity, no oak trees and the property layout is difficult to try and deer hunt. Deep holes and high ridges, covered in pines and has over 35 acres of water on 85 acres. The wifeís grandmother has livestock on the 15 acres of good ground at the front of the property. The rest is either water, iron ore rock, or 30-50í deep holes that are ridiculously steep to attempt to navigate. We pretty much just duck hunt the cass county place now.


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Re: My hat's off to East Texas hunters. [Re: Mr. T.] #7369353 12/07/18 04:05 AM
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As a new guy to the site, I am finding out tons of information some of which in this thread is causing me to go uh oh... After hunting for 25 years in Victoria county where I live, I just closed on the purchase a small property in East Texas in Houston county north of Radcliff that is surrounded on three sides by the Davy Crockett National Forrest.
I've been used to hunting over corn all my life so there is some good info here and looks like I will have to get a feeder plot going next season to have much success. In two days I will be spending my first full days and nights at the place for two or three days and try to get a better feel for the hunting setup.

Re: My hat's off to East Texas hunters. [Re: Mr. T.] #7369378 12/07/18 04:59 AM
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I love my place in Henderson Co. Hunt the rut and not feeders.
Smart deer donít move much. No more than 100 yards is all the food and water they need

Re: My hat's off to East Texas hunters. [Re: Mr. T.] #7369564 12/07/18 02:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Mr. T.
I'm 70 and have hunted my whole life in west Texas. I can remember only two or three times that I sat and did not see a deer. This year I moved to East Texas. I have hunted 12 days so far this season and eight of those days I did not see a deer. I have seen only two legal bucks and that because they were spikes. So, my conclusion is that to be a deer hunter in East Texas, you have to be a lot more dedicated to the sport. Just my opinion.



I don't know if hunting in East Texas is really about dedication or not. I grew up hunting East Texas, northern Jasper County as a kid back in the 70's and early 80's and there were many seasons that I never saw a deer. Of course back then, that area was a buck only county. A lot of the "native folk" shot whatever deer they saw, and even the law abiding citizens would shoot any antlered deer. That attitude has changed slowly over time.

I started hunting the hill country in the 90's, and did so for about 20 years. I returned to hunting the area I grew up hunting, to mainly spend more time with family that still hunted that same area I hunted as a kid. I was surprised at how much it had improved, and continues to improve slowly over time. I believe that AR has helped some, but I also believe that the biggest change has been in the attitude of the hunters. This is not to say that poaching and trespassing is not a problem, because it is very much a problem. I would bet money that half of the deer harvested in my area are done so illegally in some way. Despite the problems, there is still enough undeveloped land in my area for a few deer to reach maturity and they can grow to some pretty impressive sizes as witnessed over the last 5 years or so.

So for me I don't think its about dedication but more about heritage, tradition and being with those that you love. It's just a bonus that the deer hunting actually improved.

My family of four have harvested four deer over the last five seasons in northern Jasper county. We could all have shot many more legal deer, but elect not to in hopes that they get bigger and more plentiful. I believe they will in general.

I agree with the post about not sitting over the feeders. We've never had much luck with that where we are. We use them before season for scouting the bucks with cameras, but even then the bucks come at night. Once we have a good buck repeatedly on camera, we try to get him early in archery season before the pressure and activity in the woods picks up late October and early November. We will set up on travel routes in the area of the feeder, but not overlooking the feeder. We tend to see more deer this way, in my experience. Once rifle season starts, the only time we've had luck is catching them during the rut which seems to have not been real strong over the last few years.

As for this season, it has been the slowest year for us since returning to East Texas to hunt. We have seen about one deer for every two days spent hunting. Very slow! Even for our area, the corn is piled higher than normal under the feeders. Very bountiful acorn crop in our area has a been a factor in addition to the up and down weather. Just like most everyone else, we guess at why the hunting is slow.
We are still hoping that we have success, as sometimes the last couple of weeks of the rifle season we have seen activity pick back up.

Re: My hat's off to East Texas hunters. [Re: Mr. T.] #7369575 12/07/18 03:01 PM
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A buddy of mine used to have a some family property near Chesterville, he was telling me and I forgot around what time it happened, but TPWD brought in deer from the hill country to help repopulate the area with deer.

Re: My hat's off to East Texas hunters. [Re: Mr. T.] #7369633 12/07/18 03:37 PM
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AR restrictions have helped. Good info above. Some I have seen in Wood Co. [Linked Image]
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Re: My hat's off to East Texas hunters. [Re: White Falcon] #7369673 12/07/18 04:20 PM
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Hunted deer all my life in E. Tx. Only time I ever hunted deer any where else was on draw hunts. It used to be the same way with me. I would go several sits without seeing a single deer. I changed up my tactics, and now, I see deer just about every time I go. Since I mainly bow hunt the entire season, one of the tricks is to put the deer where you want them. I will clear or make trails in the summer. By fall, those deer are using them. Another thing I've learned, find the main food source. With that, where I hunt is mostly hardwood bottom land, so nearly every tree is a nut producing tree. These trees are just like restaurants, the deer like some over the other ones. Find some of these trees and you will find the deer. Don't have any?? Then hand corn works well too.

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