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White Tail in Sam Houston National Forest #8469028 12/07/21 09:06 PM
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Brad Groux Offline OP
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I searched and did not see a thread on SHNF specifically for deer hunting, so I thought I'd start one as I begin my adventures over the holidays towards the end of the white tail season. Has anyone had any luck with white tail in SHNF this season? Do you have any advice or tips for newcomers and seasoned veterans alike?

I plan on hunting quite a bit in SHNF over the next year, and there is a similar thread for feral hogs if you're interested.

Re: White Tail in Sam Houston National Forest [Re: Brad Groux] #8469657 12/08/21 02:40 PM
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Guilty Brad. Yes I hunt the Sam.
Just like hogs scouting is the key. I've never pulled a antlered deer but I have two does in the last 4 years I've been hunting public there. You have to posses antlerless tags to shoot does unless you bow hunt or muzzleloader hunt and then ONLY when those seasons are in effect. I didn't get drawn for a doe tag this year so i'm buck only until ML season kicks in.

I saw what was possibly the only shooter buck in the last 4 years of hunting there last week. The bad part was, it saw me first. I was spot/stalk/scouting and resting for a few minutes on a log when the big sneeze snorted from the deer. Busted, and all I got was the vanishing deer in the thicket with one quick look at the headdress that might have met AR. So it CAN be done. But it aint easy.

Find the food. Acorns are scarce this year with sparse groves of oaks producing. It's hard to find producing oaks but once you do its a big help. It's even better if that area is somewhat clearer of the underbrush. I think the deer favor those areas because they can see further. Here's where I use my tree climber; I like to set up about 10 to 15 feet into the "mess of thickness" and climb up until I can just see over the top of the mess.


Press [Linked Image] for an AMERICAN.
Re: White Tail in Sam Houston National Forest [Re: decook] #8470013 12/08/21 09:28 PM
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Brad Groux Offline OP
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Originally Posted by decook
Guilty Brad. Yes I hunt the Sam.
Just like hogs scouting is the key. I've never pulled a antlered deer but I have two does in the last 4 years I've been hunting public there. You have to posses antlerless tags to shoot does unless you bow hunt or muzzleloader hunt and then ONLY when those seasons are in effect. I didn't get drawn for a doe tag this year so i'm buck only until ML season kicks in.

I saw what was possibly the only shooter buck in the last 4 years of hunting there last week. The bad part was, it saw me first. I was spot/stalk/scouting and resting for a few minutes on a log when the big sneeze snorted from the deer. Busted, and all I got was the vanishing deer in the thicket with one quick look at the headdress that might have met AR. So it CAN be done. But it aint easy.

Find the food. Acorns are scarce this year with sparse groves of oaks producing. It's hard to find producing oaks but once you do its a big help. It's even better if that area is somewhat clearer of the underbrush. I think the deer favor those areas because they can see further. Here's where I use my tree climber; I like to set up about 10 to 15 feet into the "mess of thickness" and climb up until I can just see over the top of the mess.


Thanks for the guidance. I've used On X Hunt to scout (using the free trial), and they have an Acorn Producing Oak layer for the map which is nice. I have four oak-heavy spots from New Waverly to Cleveland that I hope to hit up before the end of the season. Luckily, I have tags for both does and bucks so I am hoping to catch one but I won't be heartbroken if I don't, considering how late in the season I am getting started. It is just nice to have the chance while also scouting for hogs. I'll definitely be more prepared for next season.

Re: White Tail in Sam Houston National Forest [Re: Brad Groux] #8470029 12/08/21 09:52 PM
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Do they publish the number of deer that get killed in the SHNF and Davy Crockett, Sabine, Etc?


For it is not the quarry that we truly seek, but the adventure.
Re: White Tail in Sam Houston National Forest [Re: Brad Groux] #8471626 12/10/21 03:52 PM
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I believe an Annual Public Hunting (APH) Permit (formally known as "Type II") is required to hunt within the SHNF. You only need it when hunting within the Alabama Creek WMA inside the Davey Crockett NF.

The permit cost $48.


"Some people will never like you because your spirit irritates their demons."
Re: White Tail in Sam Houston National Forest [Re: Brad Groux] #8472005 12/10/21 11:04 PM
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One of my buddies that got me into bow hunting 35 years ago has hunted the SHNF most of his life and has a wall full of trophies he has killed off it. His main trick is to walk in, and when you think you have gone in far enough, to walk another 30-45 minutes. Most folks that hunt the national forest only go in less than a half a mile- you have to get back to where the big boys hang out.

Re: White Tail in Sam Houston National Forest [Re: Texas Dan] #8472015 12/10/21 11:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Texas Dan
I believe an Annual Public Hunting (APH) Permit (formally known as "Type II") is required to hunt within the SHNF. You only need it when hunting within the Alabama Creek WMA inside the Davey Crockett NF.

The permit cost $48.

When you get the APH, you also get a book of maps detailing the public hunting areas in Texas. If you look at the map of SHNF (also a google search can yield the same map), you will find many "pockets" of SHNF that are not attached to the main 163,000 acres. If you can access these pockets of SHNF land, you might be able to have a spot all your own.


"Whitetail Deer are extinct because of rifles with telescopes mounted on them." - My 11th Grade English Teacher
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