Sam Houston National Forest in Texas

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Texas Gil

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Anyone hunting the muzzleloader season this January 2022 ? I hunted it this past January for the first time. There is a lot to learn about this huge NF and I’m trying to connect with others and find a group I can hunt with next January.
or at least share information on areas to hunt etc.
I live in New Braunfels, Tx
 

WesB

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I live in Huntsville and plan on hunting it for the first time in January. Hopefully we will have some luck.
 

Texas Gil

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The forest is dense with underbrush over your head and 50 ft pine trees throughout. There are trails but no hunting within 300 ft of a trail. You must find the hardwoods with low brush. You will need a portable tree stand to be successful in my opinion and gps to find your way! I saw 1 deer in 3 days of hunting. Lots of hog sign but saw no hogs. It’s a tough hunt but a beautiful forest. Good luck
 

William Lincoln

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I hunted there in the late 60's when a student at San Jacinto College in Pasadena.
Plenty of deer back then. With all the people in Texas, will there be room enough?
Back then I would still hunt while the dog hunters chased the deer everywhere.
There were still Red wolves and some big cats in there. Brings back memories.
Houston and the Prince hamburgers. When I went to buy some powder it was
back of an Ice house on shelves with a case of dynamite on the floor. America
was so free back then. I think population is bringing out the freaks who are
causing the reduction in freedoms. We do not need open borders--sorry.
 

Texas Gil

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Sounds familiar. Grew up in 60s. We hunted on farm land free. Just had to ask permission first. Never a shortage of places to hunt back then. I spent most of my spare time in the woods owned by someone else .
Don’t be sorry, I agree keep standing up for the values that made us proud to be Americans! Have a good night
 

FishDFly

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Anyone hunting the muzzleloader season this January 2022 ? I hunted it this past January for the first time. There is a lot to learn about this huge NF and I’m trying to connect with others and find a group I can hunt with next January.
or at least share information on areas to hunt etc.
I live in New Braunfels, Tx

Send a PM to Howie1968, he might be able to help you.
 

Red Owl

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The reason I asked is I am "sort of" a part time resident of Texas and finding public land to deer hunt is hard and private land expensive. I thought a drive to east Texas and a camping/hunting thing might work out. Could do a couple of time a season.
 

hrt4me

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The reason I asked is I am "sort of" a part time resident of Texas and finding public land to deer hunt is hard and private land expensive. I thought a drive to east Texas and a camping / hunting thing might work out. Could do a couple of time a season.
driving from where...?
 

Sparkitoff

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I’m a P/T resident in 2 States, Texas being one. I’m about 3.5 hours South from where OP said he’s from. I’ve hunted in that and b other National Forests in TX. A couple of things were a nuisance there. Tough getting to a spot without a lot of climbing and crawling. Did see other hunters periodically. Takes a lot of time to get to a reasonable spot, so you’re in or out in darkness and that makes it a challenge. Got checked by officials going in and out. I did not get a deer but if I did it would be tough getting out. Nice place and glad for the opportunity but it wasn’t attractive enough for me to go back (went around 2012 I think). I would go there and scout in off season. Find a spot and somewhere along the way where not obvious I would clear the path by hand as much as possible. Maybe mark it with TP or colored string so it’s not blatantly obvious but you can find it. For public hunting the draw hunts and standby areas are a lot more accessible and productive. Also depends on your style, some of those are sit-in-blind hunts. Know what you’re getting into. Good luck!
 

Travis186

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I hunt the Sam, although I won't be hunting front stuffer season this year as I drew a tag for another piece of public. Me and the group I hunt with are successful every year usually tagging out, but we are experienced and know how to hunt it. If you're used to traditional Texas style hunting of blind and a feeder, you're going to be very disappointed.
 

Texas Gil

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Sorry I missed this post. I have hunted the SHNF last year. I did see a deer but no shot. I have hunted heavy timber and National forest land in the past. My concern about SHNF is picking a spot to hunt. The place is huge and I was told to hunt the controlled burn areas. I have the maps of burned areas.
So looking for confirmation of hunting these burned areas, some are 4 or 5 years old and some are 1 to 2 years old. Also need to find the hard woods in those areas and they are usually along creek beds etc. which I will do.
Would older burn areas or newer burns be better? Any suggestions?
 

William Lincoln

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The idea is that deer want the new growth, grasses that normally cannot
survive under a canopy. So you would try to find areas that were burned
1-3 years back if possible. Scout your hunting area for trails,signs and scrapes.
Be careful to not leave your odor. Then find an elevated area or put up
a portable stand. Take a mason jar and wire it for carry on a clip. You
will pee in that jar and seal it back during your hunt. Not on the ground
where the smell carries for over a thousand yards. I hunted there as a pup.
My post is above. i believe I could go back and score again. Also, be like
the Native Americans(my step-Dad) use signals-do not talk during the final
stalk--silent Feather- silent and still for hours-freeze---fills the Freezer.
 

Travis186

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Sorry I missed this post. I have hunted the SHNF last year. I did see a deer but no shot. I have hunted heavy timber and National forest land in the past. My concern about SHNF is picking a spot to hunt. The place is huge and I was told to hunt the controlled burn areas. I have the maps of burned areas.
So looking for confirmation of hunting these burned areas, some are 4 or 5 years old and some are 1 to 2 years old. Also need to find the hard woods in those areas and they are usually along creek beds etc. which I will do.
Would older burn areas or newer burns be better? Any suggestions?
My best recommendation to you is to avoid people. Don't use gates, creeks, signs, hiking trials, or any other access that attracts other people. Hardwood bottoms and creek bottoms are fine but I see 5 deer in the thicker undergrowth in the pines to every 1 deer I see in the hardwood bottoms later in the season, especially closer to muzzleloader season. Also hunt where the deer are, not where you think they are. I know 10 guys who have hiked a mile or more in every sit and have yet to see a deer. I've already punched 1 tag and missed two others 150 yards from the road. The Sam is different, so just be prepared to learn and be disappointed.
 

Texas Gil

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My best recommendation to you is to avoid people. Don't use gates, creeks, signs, hiking trials, or any other access that attracts other people. Hardwood bottoms and creek bottoms are fine but I see 5 deer in the thicker undergrowth in the pines to every 1 deer I see in the hardwood bottoms later in the season, especially closer to muzzleloader season. Also hunt where the deer are, not where you think they are. I know 10 guys who have hiked a mile or more in every sit and have yet to see a deer. I've already punched 1 tag and missed two others 150 yards from the road. The Sam is different, so just be prepared to learn and be disappointed.
Thanks, last year i found most of the deer sign in the thick underbrush areas and had several jump a clearing 75 yds out but saw 0 deer on open right of ways. I learned after the hunt to get the burn maps. all your advice is appreciated. I did like the SHNF hunt and really enjoyed the crows that were everywhere. Now to pick out a older bun unit to hunt is my task. Ill enjoy the hunt no matter the outcome.
 

Travis186

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Thanks, last year i found most of the deer sign in the thick underbrush areas and had several jump a clearing 75 yds out but saw 0 deer on open right of ways. I learned after the hunt to get the burn maps. all your advice is appreciated. I did like the SHNF hunt and really enjoyed the crows that were everywhere. Now to pick out a older bun unit to hunt is my task. Ill enjoy the hunt no matter the outcome.
Don't get caught up in what has been burnt and what hasn't, just look for sign and the deer will be there. Trails in the Sam are the most important thing. Just know if the trails are in an area with human pressure the deer will be more nocturnal than anything. If I can pull off a double, you can too. Almost did it again a few weeks ago.

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