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Opening Bow season - Aransas NWR or SHNF? #7610007 09/18/19 09:06 PM
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Thisisbeer Offline OP
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I drew a couple of good hunts after I drew Aransas NWR archery. Now I don't have the vacation time to spend more than the opening weekend down there. I've heard it is a pretty difficult hunt. I was wondering if I would be better off hunting SHNF since it's only 30 minutes away instead of driving 3+ hours just to hunt a couple of days on Aransas. This will be my first year hunting any public land. I'm figuring I have areas scouted on SHNF, so I may have a better shot there.

What do you guys think? And don't just say Aransas to get one less hunter on SHNF lol.

Re: Opening Bow season - Aransas NWR or SHNF? [Re: Thisisbeer] #7610046 09/18/19 09:58 PM
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I would only do SHNF if you have a spot in the woods that is awesome,cant-miss,surefire,guaranteed,high-probability,visited every morning by a monster buck. If not I would do Aransas.

Re: Opening Bow season - Aransas NWR or SHNF? [Re: Thisisbeer] #7611567 09/20/19 04:19 PM
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I've never hunted Aransas but it's on my list of places I want to hunt... SHNF on the other hand, I have hunted - that's a difficult hunt, last year all I saw were doe there and I didn't have a USFS anterless tag (missed the deadline for applying last year and didn't win one this year). Even with a doe tag, I'd rate the difficulty pretty high. If I ever win a doe tag, I'll probably hunt SHNF again (since it's so close to home) but it's not high on my list of areas to hunt. Davey Crockett isn't that much further away and that place is loaded with deer (I saw around 13 doe and buck my first day out there last year). While I do enjoy a difficult hunt, given my limited time for hunting these days, I tend to go with options that aren't on the higher end of the difficulty scale.

I am looking forward to those Trinity River hunts this year.

Re: Opening Bow season - Aransas NWR or SHNF? [Re: Thisisbeer] #7611609 09/20/19 04:56 PM
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I just moved within 30 minutes of SHNF. I drew a antlerless tag this year for it, but you do not need one during archery season. I've heard Aransas is pretty difficult to. I really need to take a look at davy crockett. I have family that lives right there.

Last edited by Thisisbeer; 09/20/19 04:57 PM.
Re: Opening Bow season - Aransas NWR or SHNF? [Re: Thisisbeer] #7611636 09/20/19 05:23 PM
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Yeah one of these days I need to teach myself to bow hunt wink Or get a crossbow I guess ... I think I always stayed away from bow hunting because I put the odds of a swift death for my prey higher with a rifle than a bow (which may not be true, just how I saw it), so I considered rifle hunting a more humane method of hunting (again, it may not be true - just the conclusion my mind came too). But man, that extra month before the general season starts is nice. I think next year I may have to give it a go.

Yeah Davy Crockett is nice. Last year, my first day out - I wasn't even 50 feet from my truck, walking to my spot, when a doe ran across my path. I got two spots out there that I go to and I see deer every time I'm there.

Re: Opening Bow season - Aransas NWR or SHNF? [Re: Thisisbeer] #7611730 09/20/19 07:06 PM
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Ya I think you talked me into it, I'm going to try out Davy Crockett this year. We used to have an outstanding lease that bordered it but the land owner sold the place.

As far as bowhunting, I was in the same boat for a long time. I just didn't know how much damage a broadhead can do. It does take more skill to shoot a bow, but not a ton more. You can still have a quick death with a good bow shot. On the other hand, you can still have a slow kill with a poorly placed bullet. Knowing your skill level is important in both instances. If you're a believer in far chase it's obviously more difficult to get a deer in bow range and requires a little more hunting skill. This is something I have put hours of thought into and haven't been able to draw a conclusion I'm satisfied with. On one side bows have a higher chance of killing slower, but kill less animals overall due to the difficulty; and rifles can arguably kill more ethically, but increase the amount of animals killed. I'll figure it out one day.

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