Texas Mule Deer

psamuelson

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Dec 31, 2015
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Has anyone here ever had the opportunity to hunt the mule deer hunts in the borderlands of Texas? Big Bend Ranch SP, Elephant Mountain, Black Gap...etc. I'm curious to see if anybody has any success stories of a hunt in that area.
 

gumbl3

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Nov 27, 2016
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371
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Texas
Tough odds to draw those hunts, and it's a 5 day hunt when you do. Have seen a few stories, hopefully one day I'll get my chance
 

d3ntalbliss

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Oct 31, 2016
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164
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CO
Has anyone here ever had the opportunity to hunt the mule deer hunts in the borderlands of Texas? Big Bend Ranch SP, Elephant Mountain, Black Gap...etc. I'm curious to see if anybody has any success stories of a hunt in that area.
As gumbl3 said they are near impossible odds to draw. Best bet to hunt West Texas mule deer would be pay a guide on private property or trespass fee and do self guided to save some cash.

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Cdpp880

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Mar 4, 2015
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I hunted elephant mountain 2 years ago. The hunt is really 4 days and they do not allow any scouting. There are some great deer on these properties but the odds of drawing and super short hunts don't make it worth it. They do not allow camping in the unit and there are allot of stupid rules.
 

TexanSam

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Nov 28, 2016
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I haven't hunted any of the draw hunts, but have hunted them in the panhandle. Kind of weird stalk and spot sort of like, and having to time them right since we had access to certain sections but not others.

Now a friend of mine has done black gap, and he was somewhat successful. According to him there are some monsters out there, but one of the reasons the success rates aren't as high as because of the lack of scouting as well as well as a lot of the residents having the "Texas hunting" mentality. Meaning they sit in a ground blind instead of spotting and stalking.

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TexanSam

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Also isn't some of those places open to quail hunting? That might be a viable scouting option...

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OP
P

psamuelson

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Dec 31, 2015
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The quail hunting/scouting is a good idea. Is there any public land in the Panhandle? I live in Amarillo so that'd be perfect for me lol.
 

Felix40

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Jul 27, 2015
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New Mexico
I hunted elephant mountain 2 years ago. The hunt is really 4 days and they do not allow any scouting. There are some great deer on these properties but the odds of drawing and super short hunts don't make it worth it. They do not allow camping in the unit and there are allot of stupid rules.
Pretty much sums up my thought on ALL draw hunts from TPWD. How they expect you to be successful with 3-4 days and no scouting is beyond me. Plus having to check in every night and some hunts you cant even apply for by yourself for "safety reasons".
 

bounds

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Jul 5, 2012
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390
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Pineywoods - Cleveland, TX
Pretty much sums up my thought on ALL draw hunts from TPWD. How they expect you to be successful with 3-4 days and no scouting is beyond me. Plus having to check in every night and some hunts you cant even apply for by yourself for "safety reasons".
I'm right there with you Felix. Kind of pisses me off that Texas prides itself on being unique and having the spirit of the old west, yet I have to have my hand held by the powers that be on public land when trying to hunt in a way that most symbolizes the western spirit. Drives me nuts.
 

Cdpp880

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Mar 4, 2015
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262
I was on the first archery hunt before any quail hunting was allowed. you do not know what unit you will be hunting so you could scout and find a few really good deer and not be able to hunt it because it was in a unit you did not draw. There really is no valid reason why TPWD conducts these hunts the way they do on the WMA's. I understand why the hunts are as controlled as they are (to an extent) on the state parks. But the leval of control and lack of hunting time on land that is not open to the public any other day is ridiculous.
 

TexanSam

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Nov 28, 2016
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I guess tpwd just assumes all hunters in the state just pay to hunt private land or high fences

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Darrin

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Aug 21, 2013
Messages
59
There are always some monsters taken but draw odds are insane. Usually more seen then harvested for some of the reasons above. Best bet is to find an outfitter. There are some places u can find mule deer leases but they go fast and can be expensive. I hunted one for 2 yrs north of amarillo that was spot n stalk. The landowner leased out from under us to a higher bidder the next year.

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LIWolverine

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Apr 3, 2017
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Location
Magnolia, Texas
Hey guys. New to the forum. Hope y'all don't mind me just hopping in. Lake Meredith is the only nondraw mulie area. I haven't gotten to hunt out there yet but hope to this year. I've done years of internet scouting just haven't made it yet. Odds of killing a really nice deer are pretty low out there from what I know. One good thing is it's a whitetail and mulie area so you can shoot either while you're there. Sure hope to make it out one day.


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dacd4134

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Apr 4, 2016
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91
Location
Texas
I'll be watching this thread, although I'm usually just tempted to drive to AZ for an OTC hunt before trying to beat the long odds to pull a TX tag.
 

bounds

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Jul 5, 2012
Messages
390
Location
Pineywoods - Cleveland, TX
$3 hunt. New country and an opportunity to take a Mulie and elk.
Sorry, not following you...

You talking about some of the WMA draw hunts mentioned that have some elk? I think those are what we're all frustrated with. Terrible draw odds and hunt format.

I've looked into Lake Meredith a lot more the last week. While it is cool that we have an option here in Texas to just go hunt mule deer, it's still unfortunate that that's all we've got. The very limited options around the state to hunt deer without a bunch of restrictions funnel lots of hunters into those places and most of them aren't big enough or spread out enough to really allow you to get some solitude.
 

texans42

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Apr 1, 2013
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Sorry, not following you...

You talking about some of the WMA draw hunts mentioned that have some elk? I think those are what we're all frustrated with. Terrible draw odds and hunt format.

I've looked into Lake Meredith a lot more the last week. While it is cool that we have an option here in Texas to just go hunt mule deer, it's still unfortunate that that's all we've got. The very limited options around the state to hunt deer without a bunch of restrictions funnel lots of hunters into those places and most of them aren't big enough or spread out enough to really allow you to get some solitude.
Ya talking about those, Sierra Diabolo, matador, etc

It cost 3 dollars to enter the drawing.

I got no complaints. Solitude? Lol which draw hunts did you draw...where you didn't have solitude? If you are hunting from the bathroom of the ranger station, you are right Ain't much solitude there

Hind sight I should probably just shut my mouth and let everyone think Texas Public and draw hunts sux. God forbid you have to burn some boot tread and brake a sweat.

Meredith can be crowded but so are the southern Rockies in CO 2nd rifle season.
 

bounds

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Pineywoods - Cleveland, TX
Ya talking about those, Sierra Diabolo, matador, etc

It cost 3 dollars to enter the drawing.

I got no complaints. Solitude? Lol which draw hunts did you draw...where you didn't have solitude? If you are hunting from the bathroom of the ranger station, you are right Ain't much solitude there

Hind sight I should probably just shut my mouth and let everyone think Texas Public and draw hunts sux. God forbid you have to burn some boot tread and brake a sweat.

Meredith can be crowded but so are the southern Rockies in CO 2nd rifle season.
I haven't drawn any of those lol. That's part of what we're talking about. My reference to solitude meant that I can't get a few miles from a road or almost all other people and stay there. If you've drawn hunts out there, then you know better than I do that you get to hunt for the day and then you have to come back to home base and check in with the powers that be. And you can't scout and you only have 3-4 days to fill your tag.

And I know all too well that you can run into plenty of people in the backcountry in other western states. But you also usually have enough land to find somewhere where you don't have to compete with other hunters (and you can also camp in that spot for as long as you want once you find it).

Also, not sure why you gave the hostile boot leather and sweat comment. I don't think any of my comments indicated that I'm a "bathroom" hunter. I'm just trying to convey the frustration that I (and what I think others here) feel as you cannot get a backcountry experience in Texas because of the format of those hunts. If they would open it to scouting, get rid of the hunting compartments, let you backpack/not just day hunt and allow you to hunt for the entire season, then they'd be onto something.
 

texans42

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1,207
Wasn't trying to be hostile. It's just aggravating, I know some many that have done well on public including myself, then you read about how bad it is and then some guys won't even apply because of the bad comments when infact there are some great hunts.
From 12' alligators to bighorn sheep and every thing in between
WMA are different then Meredith. Meredith is unique due to location. It's close to the largest city in the panhandle. Which as you know is wide open pairies and crop land.

I look at the WMA as just a cheap vacation from the norm. Places like sierra diablo, are just breathtaking but really really rough country. Seen elk taken of private that border it that scored 380" and mulies in the 180's.

My advice apply to as many as you can and also look at Oklahoma.

Between NM,TX,Okla draws you can hunt from Aug to Jan
 

TexanSam

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Nov 28, 2016
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186
Wasn't trying to be hostile. It's just aggravating, I know some many that have done well on public including myself, then you read about how bad it is and then some guys won't even apply because of the bad comments when infact there are some great hunts.
From 12' alligators to bighorn sheep and every thing in between
WMA are different then Meredith. Meredith is unique due to location. It's close to the largest city in the panhandle. Which as you know is wide open pairies and crop land.

I look at the WMA as just a cheap vacation from the norm. Places like sierra diablo, are just breathtaking but really really rough country. Seen elk taken of private that border it that scored 380" and mulies in the 180's.

My advice apply to as many as you can and also look at Oklahoma.

Between NM,TX,Okla draws you can hunt from Aug to Jan
I know this thread isn't about whitetails but got drawn for one last year in January. Cool thing about that was it was so far south that they were rutting that week.

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