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Balcones Canyonlands NWR #8417903 10/14/21 03:17 PM
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 345
E
elvisp_bucks Offline OP
Bird Dog
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Bird Dog
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Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 345
My son got picked for this deer hunt. Has anyone been there and what is your expert advise? Where is the best place to stay around there?


Jason
Re: Balcones Canyonlands NWR [Re: elvisp_bucks] #8417984 10/14/21 03:57 PM
Joined: Feb 2011
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Erny Offline
Extreme Tracker
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Joined: Feb 2011
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Congrats on the draw. My nephews drew it as well. It’s been 10 years since I hunted there so I am in the dark as well.

Re: Balcones Canyonlands NWR [Re: elvisp_bucks] #8420517 10/17/21 01:33 AM
Joined: Sep 2016
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Bobcat4119 Offline
Bird Dog
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Joined: Sep 2016
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My son and I drew the bow hunt this year. Hunted and scouted our [censored]** off and maaan… We have all of October to hunt, but won’t be back. The 2 units they opened for archery are PATHETIC. You can’t even hunt the biggest unit due to the cedar thickets and everyone started piling up on the smaller one “which held Zero deer”. We just chalked that hunt as a loss but got to see some beautiful country and spent some good time with my boy.
We stayed at the creek side cabins, about 20 min from our units. Good luck, I’ve heard the rifle hunts are a little more put together.

Re: Balcones Canyonlands NWR [Re: elvisp_bucks] #8421144 10/17/21 01:42 PM
Joined: Sep 2004
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WileyCoyote Offline
THF Trophy Hunter
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Sorry to hear about the Hunt conditions at this location as I had considered putting in for a Gun Hunt here simply to go see something different. Sounds like the time spent with your son was well invested though . Better luck next year.
Ron


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Re: Balcones Canyonlands NWR [Re: elvisp_bucks] #8421356 10/17/21 05:35 PM
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 204
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TxDiver Offline
Woodsman
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Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 204
My buddy and I drew General Deer there last year. We were assigned Unit 4, off CR 284. There were two other groups hunting with us, which each given a defined section of the unit.

We were in the rear of the unit. It was a mixture of heavy brush and tall grass with a stand of trees somewhat in the middle. There were some shooting lanes cutting through the brush. There was deer and pig sign everywhere, especially pig. We scouted the place and felt pretty confident about our chances.

In the end we struck out. I saw two does together but there wasn't a shot. My buddy saw nothing. And that was pretty much it. We talked to the other hunters and they had equal experiences. Given what I've read on other forums, our hunt was par for the course.

Re: Balcones Canyonlands NWR [Re: elvisp_bucks] #8423667 10/19/21 06:51 PM
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 103
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Coastalquacker Offline
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My son and I are drawn for a December hunt. I only applied because it is close to where he lives and gives us a chance to hunt together. I have low expectations since it is managed for endangered birds and it is late in the season. Hunted there on the youth hunt a few years back with my daughter. We saw some hogs right after arriving but she didn't feel comfortable with a shot because they were moving so much. Then later saw a couple of average Hill Country 8pts she shot one of those. Only saw 1 one more deer, a spike, the next morning. Some units are definitely better than others and it is more like a random hunt being dropped in a unit without much scouting, though some do have blinds. Now that we're drawn, we wait until we hear what unit we were drawn for...

Re: Balcones Canyonlands NWR [Re: elvisp_bucks] #8423790 10/19/21 09:11 PM
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elvisp_bucks Offline OP
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We got picked for the youth hunt in November. My son is picked excited. Hopefully, we draw a decent unit, have some good weather and some luck


Jason
Re: Balcones Canyonlands NWR [Re: elvisp_bucks] #8426133 10/22/21 03:17 AM
Joined: Nov 2020
Posts: 35
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Fireman383 Offline
Light Foot
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My son and daughter drew this hunt a few years ago. Any injury kept us from hunting, but one of our close friends hunted it that same time period. The report back was limited deer sightings and the country was just so thick, there was no real opportunity for a shot. They came up empty.

Re: Balcones Canyonlands NWR [Re: elvisp_bucks] #8443352 11/09/21 12:22 PM
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copperhead Offline
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My wife and I hunted the area off 286 a couple years back and the only deer we saw was at a high fence place across from the hunting area.

Re: Balcones Canyonlands NWR [Re: TxDiver] #8449503 11/15/21 09:05 PM
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Gonzo_Hunter Offline
Green Horn
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Joined: Jan 2007
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We had almost the exact experience, but only one doe. As I would say, been there, done that, won't be back.

Re: Balcones Canyonlands NWR [Re: elvisp_bucks] #8474539 12/13/21 06:12 PM
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Coastalquacker Offline
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hunted in the back portion of 1-4, parking spots D and E. We set my son up in a tripod with some cedars at his back in the scrub oaks. It was thick but lots of trails and sign. First morning shot he shot a hog and next morning, a little 7pt buck. I think the tripod helped get him high enough for a better view. I had a ladder stand on the back part watching a flat with knee high grass and cactus. Right after my son shot the hog, we were texting and I looked up and there was a pretty good 8pt crossing east to west about 200+/- yds out. didn't have a good rest and not much time. I had to leave Saturday afternoon due to preaching duties at church on Sunday. Went to Living Waters Fly Fishing shop in Round Rock, made a purchase and put some raffle tickets in the bag and just got a call that I won a fly reel! Pretty fun weekend but tough hunting for the Hill Country.

Re: Balcones Canyonlands NWR [Re: Coastalquacker] #8474819 12/13/21 11:32 PM
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drs1310 Offline
Light Foot
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I was in 1-3 back in the corner at G. Tough tough hunting. I scouted Thursday afternoon/evening, hunted Friday and Saturday never saw a deer. I did see 1 hog Saturday but the window I had I couldn’t see him for long. I think if you had a tripod stand to get you up off the ground you might have been able to see more. I wouldn’t recommend hunting 1-3. I checked the log on my way out Sunday and it didn’t appear as if anybody had any luck.

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