I wanted to provide some general information on the youth deer hunting setup at Justin Hurst WMA. I had the pleasure of participating as the adult chaperone in a drawn youth hunt in 2021 as well as in 2022 with my two sons.

This property is abundant with hogs, deer, and mosquitoes. Be prepared to fight off mosquitoes especially early morning and late evening. We wore long pants and took the risk of repelling animals by generously applying OFF repellent. They recommend having an ATV for this hunt to get you to and from the hunting spot. It was not required, but especially useful to have a means to retrieve any harvested animals. They allow baiting with corn, which seemed to work well in attracting animals. This location is quite popular and attracts a crowd of potential standby hunters. The stands are adequate. I brought a dead shot tripod to help with rifle stability.

In the 2021 spike/doe hunt, right out of the gate my older son missed a long shot at a group of hogs. Be advised that some of the hunting locations present long shot opportunities. It was after this hunt that I obtained a range finder (turns out the shot was 200+ yards). He successfully harvested a spike and a hog the next day at more reasonable distances (40-60 yards). The staff at this facility was excellent to us. After my son and I argued over keeping the pork ribs, the staff helped us cut them out. The cleaning station was overwhelmed with successful young hunters. It was a great hunt.

In the 2022 buck/doe hunt, at the start we were visited by a herd of cattle. I was concerned that the cows would prevent deer and hogs from visiting our stand. In full city boy fashion, I jumped on my ATV and attempted to drive them off. I was surprised to see that it had no effect. After tiring myself out and my sons laughing hysterically, I returned to the stand defeated. About 10 minutes later a deer appeared in the opposing lane – completely indifferent to the cows that were still lingering. I spoke to park staff later and learned that the farmer feeds them from an ATV (who knew?).

We saw numerous bucks with roughly 12-inch antler spread (note that they required a 13” minimum spread for harvest in this hunt). I was proud of my two youth hunters as they resisted the temptation to shoot. We had plenty of looks at bucks at 40-60 yards and teased that we could have run up to them with a tape measure because they were so relaxed. Bucks appear to grow very long, narrow antlers at Justin Hurst. This was my youngest son’s first ever deer hunt and he watched a spike for an eternity (20+ minutes) before he successfully pulled the trigger and dropped it immediately. We were allowed to stay and hunt until dark on the last day, but that was the only successful harvest for us. It made for a great time and my youngest son is hooked. Like the prior year, the cleaning station was heavily used. What a great place to hunt!

I’m attaching a few photos. Please reach out if you have any questions.

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