Drove to Kickapoo Cavern State Park for the youth rifle hunt on Jan 19-21, 2019. We took a chance at getting to hunt standby - there were 4 cancellations and 4 standby hunters so everyone got to hunt.
See attached photos that show the rules and the map of compartments (all subject to change of course). The staff instructed us of whitetail, axis (primarily to the east), goats, aoudad, hogs, and even blackbuck. Neighboring properties have feeders close to the property line.
We hunted in compartment 9, which was thick with juniper trees. We found a nice opening (I would suggest using Google Earth to research before the hunt). The park is full of hills and after not seeing anything from our pop up blind on day 2, we decided to climb 100 ft elevation to the east. At elevation, we had a few open spots where a 200+ yard shot would be feasible. Youth or not, I would recommend using a Caldwell Deadshot to help with stability (see photo with tripod shown).
Phone reception is sketchy. Verizon phone got zero signal in the park. My AT&T cell phone got 1 bar reception in my compartment which helped me navigate.
Out of 15 hunting groups when we packed up to leave on day 3 they had only harvested 1 spike. The shooter was in compartment 3 and took the shot at 220 yards from the side of a hill. Nice shot! They also mentioned seeing animals at 300+ yards from compartment 3. Another group saw pigs at 300+ yards. We didn't see much. A doe almost ran into me (literally) while setting up our pop up blind. That was the only deer we saw in compartment 9.
Kickapoo Cavern SP has firewood and ice available, just provide a donation. Park staff was very friendly. Bathroom was warm and had a shower. 1 hoist available for cleaning deer.
In general, was beautiful terrain and we enjoyed climbing and exploring. The hunt was during a full lunar eclipse! When the moon was shaded the stars were more visible. It was amazing. Only downside - If we would have gone hungry for deer, we would have left starving. :-)
My son, Nate, and I thoroughly enjoyed the hunt. Highly recommended - just make sure to clearly set expectations. They don't let you put out corn...late in the season...not a high chance of bringing home meat from my experience.
Agree, great write up. Kickapoo is one of my favorite parks so far. I hunted unit 4 a while back but missed a doe with a messed up scope. At our hunt no one saw any axis and relatively few deer were taken.