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Black Gap WMA #7582730 08/18/19 06:22 AM
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Trooper3385 Offline OP
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So I managed to get drawn for archery mule deer at the Black Gap WMA for 10-14 thru 10-17. Anyone have any experience on this hunt? This is my first time being drawn for anything. I’m guessing this time of the year it will still be pretty warm during the day, so getting a unit with water and sticking around the water may be the best bet, especially for archery hunting.

Re: Black Gap WMA [Re: Trooper3385] #7582829 08/18/19 02:41 PM
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ScooterG Offline
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I did this hunt in 2017. Hunting over water would be great with a thermal scope on your bow at night. What we found is that everything makes a living out there at night. We had several water sources. We would smooth out the dirt around them in the evening and check them the next day. Always disturbed at night. Never disturbed in daylight. We di spot and stalk Javelina and saw 1 md doe with 2 babies. PM me and I can send you my pics and maybe a little more info.

Re: Black Gap WMA [Re: Trooper3385] #7583393 08/19/19 03:01 AM
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ScooterG Offline
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Hey guys, the thermal night thing was my way of being funny. Fact is that it got so hot in the day time that nothing would move. We just didn't see anything tryouts ng to make a living in that heat exc pt for Javilina. We did find one heck of a rub on the ne fenc line but we never saw a buck. I did take a thermal but it didn't help me. I was too scared to scout in rattle snake country! I'm glad I went but It nwould not do the hunt again. Cool country to put your eyes on on. I did see a herd of pronghorns and a super old monster elk north of there 40-50 miles. Good luck!

Re: Black Gap WMA [Re: Trooper3385] #7583420 08/19/19 03:40 AM
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I haven’t hunted black gap yet, everybody draws it but me.

But I have mule deer hunted the desert of a few states. Live by your glassing. Find them put them to bed then after they make second bed(watch the sun on them) of the day stalk in and kill them.

Take your time glassing and learn to grid an area out, be surprised how many deer are found by a antler tine being the only thing not moving in the Wind


Donate to TX Youth hunting program.... better to donate then to waste it in taxes

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Re: Black Gap WMA [Re: Trooper3385] #7592262 08/28/19 09:13 PM
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Went a few years ago- awesome hunt! Not for everyone but I loved it. Below is the write up I did after the hunt.


I hunted the first unit when you drive into the WMA. 3k acres. Had lots of natural tanks and 2 guzzlers, so water was plentiful. My plan was to get up high before daylight, look over a bunch of country and glass, glass, glass. Some guys might like to walk 10 miles a day in this country, but it is brutal. Loose rock, everything sticks or bites and not a patch of level ground in my unit, even though some it looked flat. Good optics and boots are of the highest priority on this hunt.

I think my strategy worked. I saw 19 deer in effectively 2.5 days of hunting- 3 of which were mature bucks. The biggest was still in velvet and a solid 150-inch deer. The other two were in the low 140s. I stalked all 3, got within 30 yds of 2 of them before they eventually saw me trying to get a shot and flushed. It is REALLY hard to get a clear bow shot from the ground in this country. Maybe I should have sat there all afternoon until they stood up.... They both ran to 150 yards, stopped and looked around for 10 minutes before heading over a ridge. With a rifle, the bigger of the 2 would have gotten it. On the third buck, I spotted him at 7:30, watched him lie down at 9:30 and at 3:30, I was within 20 yds of his bed ... only he wasn't in it. He lost his shade at some point and moved on. Tough ending to a very hard stalk. Take your time and really study the land before making a stalk out here. Nothing looks the same when you get close!

I was hunting solo, and brought in 8 gallons of water from Sunday evening until Thursday morning. I drank 7 gallons (and cooked with a little of that) during the hunt. Firewood was a little bit of an issue. I did not bring any, and there was a lot of dead wood around, just none of it bigger around than my wrist. If you want a good fire that lasts, I suggest bringing in some good logs. I drove a Tahoe and never put it in 4WD. The road throughout my unit was well maintained. I filled up in Marathon, brought an extra 5 gallons of gas and left Thursday with 3/4 of a tank of fuel. Did not need extra gas. (Some other units might require more driving)

There were 2 other groups on the hunt- one guy shot a small 7 point on Wed evening at a guzzler with his crossbow. He sat the guzzler all week and had good activity the one afternoon it was pretty hot. He also shot a javi at the same guzzler the night before, so success can be had in multiple ways. I preferred to glass big country rather than sit tight, but that was more personal preference for how I like to hunt. To each his own! This past week, at least for me, hunting was much more productive in the mornings than afternoons. Only saw 3 does and a fawn in the p.m. The little driving I did, I only saw one doe. These deer are really tough to spot and IMO, you will do better getting on ridges and glassing than driving around. As it gets closer to the rut, the deer might be out during the day more.

Travis and Will, the 2 biologists out there, were very helpful. The HQ has wifi, so if you need to get in touch with the world, you can.

I bought the book, Hunting Open Country Mule Deer by Dwight Schuh, for $10 on Amazon and it was an incredible resource- highly recommend if you haven't done much western mule deer hunting.

Good luck on your hunt! Even though I did not connect, it was one of the more enjoyable trips I've been on- it was very pure hunting. No feeders, no fences and no other people for miles. Me vs. the deer and they won, which they do 99% of the time in this country.

Re: Black Gap WMA [Re: Trooper3385] #7593041 08/29/19 06:13 PM
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D Rogers Offline
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Originally Posted by Trooper3385
So I managed to get drawn for archery mule deer at the Black Gap WMA for 10-14 thru 10-17. Anyone have any experience on this hunt? This is my first time being drawn for anything. I’m guessing this time of the year it will still be pretty warm during the day, so getting a unit with water and sticking around the water may be the best bet, especially for archery hunting.


Congrats! Here's to hopin they pull my number for some of the draws that close on labor day


~Dustin



"Life's complicated, man, like a dang ol' Rubik's cube, man. Talkin' 'bout blue and red, man. Dang ol' get one side, dang ol' messed up th' other side, man."

-Boomhauer
Re: Black Gap WMA [Re: D Rogers] #7596770 09/03/19 03:49 PM
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Hunted in 2007 ... we hunted water and did not move. I stayed all day and saw most of the deer early and late. My dad and I were the only ones who tagged a buck. I shot a fork 4 and a javelina with my bow. My dad got a nice 8 pt out of my blind. dont spot and stalk unless you sit up high on a saddle or bench.. more of an ambush point. I would use the water if it is there. If I had to do it again, I would sit over water all day again. I guarantee if you sit the same spot over water you will have a shot at something in the hunt time frame.. take a book magazine and food and sit sit sit. Good luck.


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