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Davy Crockett National Forest questions #7614468 09/24/19 02:57 AM
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Joseph Thomas Offline OP
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This is my first year hunting public land. I have Hunt Fort Hood before but with the restrictions they have, I would hardly call it public. With that said, my experience with public land and public land hunters is minimal. Every post I have read about it says something to the effect of “work harder than anyone else” and “walk another mile after you see your final sign of human life”. Okay folks so, I did that, I walked for hours and I walked miles today and found no sign of human life all day, with exception of where I parked my truck. I am here to say, I also didn’t see a single deer sign with the exception of a single rubbing. The pigs though oh god the pig signs where everywhere. I couldn’t walk 100 yards without hitting pig tracks. On my way back two things happened, I stepped on the wrapper of a straw. This one made me angry, I had just walked for 3 hours, 1.5 miles into the woods following creeks, trails, tracks and whatever else only to realize someone had recently been here before me. As I started a long and slightly less exciting walk to my truck I ran into a baited stand. It looks like the stand had been there at least a year, it was covered in pine straw and had numerous cob webs. The deer corn bag looked to be faded, the doe urine bottle looked faded as well. The bucket feeder was homemade and ultimately a piece of crap. I couldn’t find a camera but, had I, I would have taken that card with a quickness. Here are my questions;

Go back or try and figure out a new spot, 1 week before bow season? I liked the area but it looks like others did as well.

I reported the baiting, should I be concerned about going back?

Part of me wants to hunt the area that was baited.. I acknowledge this is illegal but there was no bait left, it hasn’t been baited in what I estimate as a year and there was no evidence that the baiting was recent. I also reported it to the local LOE / Game Warden. What are your thoughts of that?

Last edited by Joseph Thomas; 09/24/19 02:59 AM.
Re: Davy Crockett National Forest questions [Re: Joseph Thomas] #7614482 09/24/19 03:17 AM
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Joseph Thomas Offline OP
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Just to clarify I don’t plan to hunted the actual baited area, I’m asking about hunting that 1000 yard radius as “the baited area”.

Last edited by Joseph Thomas; 09/24/19 03:17 AM.
Re: Davy Crockett National Forest questions [Re: Joseph Thomas] #7614584 09/24/19 11:04 AM
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This is Texas. There isnt any place that hasn't been hunted. I would hunt anywhere I wanted unless you see active illegal feeding. This is where it pays to have an alternate spot.


Press for an AMERICAN.
Re: Davy Crockett National Forest questions [Re: Joseph Thomas] #7614778 09/24/19 02:37 PM
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I only hunt public lands in Texas and Davy Crockett NF is one of my go-to places. I don't where you were in that 160,000+ acres you were hunting, but in my experience the place is loaded with deer. Last year, my first day out, I saw around 13 doe and a buck. I wasn't even 50 feet away from my truck, walking to my spot, and had a doe cross my path.

As far as the illegal baiting, I don't see any reason you can't hunt the area - you weren't the one baiting. Report it, continue hunting. Always someone doing something out there they shouldn't. I'd bet every year you will either run into a baited area or a gorilla grow site.

Re: Davy Crockett National Forest questions [Re: Joseph Thomas] #7614957 09/24/19 05:12 PM
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My land is surrounded by the Davy Crockett National Forest and I had a post on the "Goals" thread right by yours that describes the deer that come out of the forest to my feeders. Two neighbors that hunt the forest have shown me pictures of the bucks they have shot over the years and there are some very nice ones. While you are right about the massive number of hogs there are a good number of deer in the Forest. I almost always see deer crossing the road as I drive into the Forest to get to my place.

Re: Davy Crockett National Forest questions [Re: decook] #7616628 09/26/19 02:57 AM
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So what I meant by alternate spot was a completely different area. I scouted a large area, in total I walked nearly 5.5 miles that day. I found about 8 different “lanes” in that 5.5 miles that I had good bow range shots. I made about 12 total waypoints in my GPS. I meant finding a different spot in going to a different national forest road and scouting another few miles of terrain. You are 100% correct, it pays to have another spot and really I should have had an alternate spot already scouted. That’s valid.

Re: Davy Crockett National Forest questions [Re: Binary] #7616630 09/26/19 03:01 AM
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I think my biggest concern and where I draw in my anxiety is; I expected to see more signs of deer or even see a deer. Not seeing any signs was discouraging. With that, I did see tracks on the road merging in and out of the road way into what I wanted to hunt. It is more likely that deer are there and that I’m in my head. This being my first bow and first public land hunt, I think I’m nervous and in my head about what I did or did not see.

Re: Davy Crockett National Forest questions [Re: Ringtail] #7616631 09/26/19 03:03 AM
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I’d like to know how far I was from where your place. I was more closer to apple springs and the Nigton area. During my roughly 5.5 mile through walk, I came within 300 yards of some private land, I assumed was baited. That was the most promising area I walked and the area I found a decent and moderately recent scrape.

Re: Davy Crockett National Forest questions [Re: Joseph Thomas] #7616672 09/26/19 03:57 AM
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So you are hunting closer to the WMA portion of Davey Crockett - I've never hunted that area. I normally hunt closer to Groveton myself. Last year, there was one day that I was walking back to my truck from hunting all morning and I was coming around some really high brush (well over my head) and a young buck was bedded down - I have no idea how he didn't hear me coming, I was not being quiet (I was tired and heavy footed) - but when I came around that brush he almost gave me a freaking heart attack when he jumped up (he was within 10 feet of me) and darted off. I mean, I probably almost gave him a heart attack too. But, I don't think I've ever been out in DCNF and not seen deer.

Re: Davy Crockett National Forest questions [Re: Joseph Thomas] #7616676 09/26/19 04:00 AM
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My place is about 6.5 miles north east of Radcliff, Texas near the Big Slough wilderness area.

Re: Davy Crockett National Forest questions [Re: Ringtail] #7616686 09/26/19 04:22 AM
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Oh yeah Big Slough, that's an area that is on my list of places I want to hunt in DCNF. It's so much further than the area I already hunt and given the deer population where I do hunt in DCNF, I've never felt the need to keep moving up wink

Re: Davy Crockett National Forest questions [Re: Joseph Thomas] #7617087 09/26/19 07:07 PM
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The two TPWD game wardens who cover Houston County, Zack Binge and Eddie Lehr, are both great guys and easy to work with, given you're someone who follows the law of course. Their contact information should be available through the TPWD website.

There are definitely plenty of big deer in the "DC" with some areas seeing little or no pressure, especially the thicker areas that require more time and effort to locate good stand sights. It's one of my favorite places to hunt because of the greater challenge it takes to fill a tag.

Good luck.


Dan,

Spring, Texas
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