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Parks near Houston #7825993 05/01/20 07:30 PM
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NastyNate33 Offline OP
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I’ve spent 200+ hours at the dam Houston forest. I’ve used a tree stand. I’ve stalked. I’ve called. I’ve never seen a single animal in my entire time there aside from a couple squirrels and birds is there a better public forest to hunt near Houston? I’m willing to drive at most 4 hours away. I’ve heard good things about the Sabine forest but I’d rather get some input from seasoned hunters before planning my next trip

Re: Parks near Houston [Re: NastyNate33] #7826523 05/02/20 02:19 AM
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Deersteaks Offline
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Any and all of the big four "National Forest" have good hunting! All are within four hours of Houston.One needs only to do his or her homework which would include google earth (Satellite views) and leg work. Nothing beats good old leg work to find deer sign and where human traffic may be or not be! The most obvious places are just that. Sometimes, the place 1/2 mile up the road from a real pretty hunting area that may be just plain pine trees, offers more opportunity because deer are pushed there by human traffic! Good luck!

Re: Parks near Houston [Re: NastyNate33] #7826791 05/02/20 01:42 PM
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Deersteaks is right about doing your homework with Google Earth. I was on a lease in San Augustine County for almost 20 years. It was situated on FM 705 just north of Powell Park. On the opposite side of the road is what I believe is referred to as Unit 142 which Type II land. There is also National Forest in the area. Powell Park rents cabins and has a convenience store and a cafe. Powell Park is probably 25 minutes from Pineland, 35 minutes from San Augustine, 20 minutes to Broaddus, and 45 minutes from Jasper. This area is a 3-hour ride from the southwest side of town so it should be within your 4-hour window. Good luck.


"The world is littered with the bodies of people that tried to stick it to ole J.R."

J.R. Ewing, 1981
Re: Parks near Houston [Re: NastyNate33] #7832801 05/07/20 08:00 PM
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Except for my 30 year hunting/fishing hiatus, which I ended last season, I hunted the national forests growing up and this last season. This last season, I saw multiple bucks on the 3 days I hunted. I never saw that many bucks while hunting the same areas back in the 60's, '70's and early '80's in a 3 day period. Two of those days, I saw Mr. Big, but the shot didn't present itself. If it wasn't for the AR county, I would have had a full freezer. So I'm saying even though there are countless hunters in the national forests north of Houston, you still have a fighting chance.


Retired!
Re: Parks near Houston [Re: NastyNate33] #7834354 05/09/20 02:26 PM
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DCNF is probably the best option you’ll find.

Re: Parks near Houston [Re: NastyNate33] #7834503 05/09/20 05:24 PM
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I did not hunt in the Sam Houston forrest but I did hunt near it in East Texas for a few years and what I found is that game populations can vary greatly due to habitat.


I'm in the ranch brokerage business and last year around thanksgiving time I went to Huntsville to look at a few places with a client who was thinking about buying in East texas. I found this one place that was landlocked inside the national forest ( when I say landlocked, it was surrounded on 4 sides by Nat. Forrest and was accessed by a easement thru a locked forest service gate)

Was a small place, I think 160 acres that was entirely cleared except for two hardwood drainages that fed into the lake.

We pulled into the place and immediately ran off several deer. The entire place had so much hog sign it looked like the Navy used it to test carpet bombs. Inside the cabin were photo's of some nice bucks the family had taken, no giants but nice deer that most any hunter would shoot. Every animal that came onto this place lived inside the national forest, the only advantage they had was the use of feeders and a water source.


My advice, would be to E-Scout and find places that are hard to access and find some open areas and meadows that will allow you a sight and thus a shot opportunity.


The biggest issue with our National Forests in east texas are they are majority old growth pine forest that are not managed or clear cut.....great habitat for black bears and hogs but not so much for Whitetail deer. If the forest service would systematically clear cut portions of the entire forest the deer population would increase many times over.


For it is not the quarry that we truly seek, but the adventure.
Re: Parks near Houston [Re: NastyNate33] #7834559 05/09/20 07:08 PM
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All public hunting, imo, it is probably more important to pattern humans than animals. Also getting as deep as you can, in the most inaccesible places. As far from the road as you can get


Regular Guy/regularguy11B/ laid over
Re: Parks near Houston [Re: Bryan C. Heimann] #7834615 05/09/20 07:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Bryan C. Heimann
All public hunting, imo, it is probably more important to pattern humans than animals. Also getting as deep as you can, in the most inaccesible places. As far from the road as you can get



Animals will respond to human activity in most cases, but not always how we think.

And I’ve seen some whopper animals during open season right off the road in National forests.

It’s a common misconception that to find animals you have to be in the deepest part of the forest.


For it is not the quarry that we truly seek, but the adventure.
Re: Parks near Houston [Re: rifleman] #7839165 05/14/20 12:09 PM
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Originally Posted by rifleman
DCNF is probably the best option you’ll find.


Plenty of nice deer in the Davy Crockett NF. I took this buck on Opening Day several years ago by simply staying late in the morning. Shot him sometime between 10 and 11am about an hour or so after the sounds of hunters on ATV's could be heard in the distance leaving their stands.

[Linked Image]


This bucket wasn't taken in the DC but late in the season during the middle of the week on private land not too far away.

[Linked Image]



Last edited by Texas Dan; 05/14/20 01:30 PM.

Dan

Re: Parks near Houston [Re: txtrophy85] #7839186 05/14/20 12:21 PM
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Originally Posted by txtrophy85
It’s a common misconception that to find animals you have to be in the deepest part of the forest.


I've jumped deer many times in areas near roads where I suspect the frequent traffic makes them safer from predators who prefer to hang out in more isolated areas. They'll also bed near homes for the same reason as they learn the sights, sounds, and smells of human activity in the area are not threats to them but do deter their predators. Of course, I wouldn't suggest hunting on public land near the homes of strangers for obvious reasons.

It can be easy to see worn places in the dirt banks of roads that wander through public land that show years of wear from deer using the spots as crossings. Find one of these in more isolated areas and pick a good stand site 100 yards or so back in the woods along any trail you find going to the crossing.

Last edited by Texas Dan; 05/14/20 01:14 PM.

Dan

Re: Parks near Houston [Re: NastyNate33] #7839204 05/14/20 12:34 PM
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Originally Posted by NastyNate33
I’ve spent 200+ hours at the dam Houston forest. I’ve used a tree stand. I’ve stalked. I’ve called. I’ve never seen a single animal in my entire time there aside from a couple squirrels and birds is there a better public forest to hunt near Houston? I’m willing to drive at most 4 hours away. I’ve heard good things about the Sabine forest but I’d rather get some input from seasoned hunters before planning my next trip


PM sent.


Dan

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