August 1, 2018

Hunting the Sam Houston National Forest - 1998 thru 2017

A mere 45 minutes north of Houston Texas is the green expanse of Sam Houston National Forest (SHNF).  This 162,000 acre forest of southern pine, hardwoods, and shallow creeks gives local hunters an excellent habitat for hunting recreation. The forest supports a rich and diverse wildlife population, including many protected species. Since the Fall of 1998 I've spent many days in the SHNF hunting white-tailed deer, feral hogs, and eastern gray squirrels. Texas residents who possess a valid Hunting License and Annual Public Hunting Permit may hunt legal game throughout the SHNF. The Texas Public Lands Hunting Program provides hunters with access to nearly 1,000,000 acres of hunting land in Texas.
  
WEBSITE LINKS
IT'S ABOUT RECREATION - If you use the SHNF you will eventually come across other people who are in the forest doing what they enjoy - Birdwatchers, Hikers & Backpackers, Horseback Riders, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, and Families out having a day together in the woods.  The SHNF is a multi-use Federal property and so you will never know who you might encounter in the forest.  A hunter, carrying a long rifle, shotgun and/or pistol, can be a startling sight for some people.  They might even be fearful of you and consider you to be a threat. You represent all hunters when you come across other folks in the forest, so always be respectful and polite.  Smile, say "hello" and ask if they need any help or assistance.  Leave a good impression with anybody you encounter.

HUNTING LICENSE & APHP - You must possess a State of Texas Hunting License and Annual Public Hunting Permit to hunt in the National Forest locations in Texas. The water-resistant license document also displays information regarding the tags and permits that you purchased when purchasing your annual hunting license. Upon purchase of the annual public hunting permit you will receive a Map Booklet from the TPWD which contains maps and information regarding each Public Hunting site in the State of Texas. The cost of the Annual Public Hunting Permit is $48.

THE RULES for hunting the SHNF -
1 - You must possess a valid Texas Hunting License.
2 - Your license must include a Annual Public Hunting Permit.
3 - Obey the 10 Rules of Gun Safety and be considerate of others.
4 - Review and know the hunting schedules for your county and game.
5 - You must wear a Hunter Orange front & back vest and headgear.
6 - Do not hunt deer or feral hogs with a shotgun, or with hunting dogs.
7 - Be Prepared - carry a map, compass, knife, water and a mobile phone.
8 - Do not start a fire or litter in the SHNF. Do not damage trees in the SHNF.
9 - All-terrain, motorized vehicles are not authorized in most areas of the SHNF.
10 - Do not shoot on, or across, a National Forest System road; or discharge a weapon within 150 yards of a campsite, building, residence, recreation site, or any occupied area.

REMEMBER - You are forbidden by Federal law to have a loaded weapon in, or on, your vehicle while on a US Forest Service road in the National Forest. This applies to rifles, shotguns, and pistols. Important - Do not place a loaded firearm in, or on, your vehicle while on a US Forest Service road. The only exception is for a concealed pistol or revolver possessed by a holder of a current and valid State of Texas-issued License to Carry Handgun permit. Federal agents and State of Texas Game Wardens strictly enforce this law in the Sam Houston National Forest.  The simple way for hunters to comply with this law is to load, and unload, your hunting firearm in the forest, away from a US Forest Service road.  

REMEMBER - You are required by law to wear an orange vest and orange hat while hunting in the Sam Houston National Forest.  For your safety, make sure you obey this important safety-related regulation and wear your hunters orange. 

IMPORTANT PHONE NUMBERS - 24 Hour Phone Number for Game Warden Office (281)842-8100.  Operation Game Thief (800)792-GAME.    

LAW ENFORCEMENT - You will very likely encounter a TPWD Game Warden or US Forest Service Agent if you hunt the SHNF.  They are some of the finest and hardest working public servants in the State of Texas. Game Wardens and Agents are on patrol enforcing Texas game laws and Federal laws regarding the use of the National Forest.  You will likely encounter a Game Warden when you've completed your hunt and arrive back at your parked vehicle.  Be prepared to present your Drivers License or State-issued ID, Hunting License and Annual Public Hunting Permit.

SUGGESTION - Make it a habit to tell a family member or friend what vehicle you will be driving to the SHNF, where you plan to park your vehicle, where you plan to hunt and when you will return.

ANTI-HUNTING ACTIVISTS - There are people who disagree with hunting and have been known to harass hunters in the field.  If you are confronted by anti-hunting activists, remain calm.  Politely remind them that you are engaging in a lawful activity that is licensed in the State of Texas.  Tell them that you respect their right to use the forest and just move on with your hunt.  DO NOT verbally abuse, intimidate, threaten, or assault an anti-hunting activist. After moving away, while the event is fresh on your mind, record a physical description of the anti-hunting activists.  Record the time, date, location, and details of the encounter.  If they assault you or attempt to stop you from hunting, call 911 and request a response by a Texas Game Warden, US Forest Service Officer, and Deputy Sheriff.  An accurate record of the encounter is very important to law enforcement officials.

107 comments:

AlexTraxler said...

Great post! Thanks for all the info and the nice pictures.

Let me know if you're looking for a hunting partner.

MB0215 said...

Loved the article, I am actually a first time hunter and was planning on hunting in SHNF. Found this to be very informative, and would love to tag along with anyone heading out that dosnt mind helping out a first time hunter.

trailguide said...

Nich shots of the forest! Also keep in mind: No hunting within 150 yards of the Lone Star Hiking Trail: See Google Maps at
http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&oe=UTF8&msa=0&msid=212577899013526425803.0004840f1a33a077bf0a2

Anonymous said...

Awesome blog, nice to see the whole forest isnt dried up. I've only been hunting for 2 seasons and I've dedicated both seasons, heart and soul to the forest with no luck! I usally hunt the south west side of the forest and I cant find any water, or acorns. I'm not sure what they eat in this area, but I think it might be the purple berries that grow like crazy. I just moved to TX (league City area) 2 years ago due to military duty and I the only time I see the forest is when I'm hunting. If I'm lucky I'll get one scouting trip before the season starts, but 2 hours is just too far for scouting trips unless I hunt hogs, but then again I havent seen any of those either. lol. I'm not going to ambush your spot, and I hate asking for handouts, but I havent seen any deer in 2 years and I need Help! Like I said I've only hunted two years, and Im not sure if I'm doing something wrong or just in the wrong spot. I spend alot of time on google maps and topo's but they dont help too much. If anyone here can offer any tips, or would like a hunting buddy I'm available almost every weekend. Thanks! My email address is Casteb03@hotmail.com.
---- Brandon

Unknown said...

Hey Brandon, I saw your post this morning on the SHNFHunter blog. Hang in there buddy, you'll figure it out. Let me tell this, I haven't been hunting in 2 years, in Texas in over 18 yrs, and never in the SHNF!We hunted often in Georgia on public land though. That being said, I am taking my son out this week and next and it is our first trip out there! Pretty tough going, it's going to be. If you're still hunting this late in the season, don't expect to see many bucks moving around during the day. They have been fighting and mating and they are worn out and unmotivated! They will go to their bedding sites before sunup and hold back in the thickets until after sundown. They will jump over vegetation barriers into the open from their holding spots. You may not be able to see an opening from the thicket where they exit. What I plan to do, is hike in as deep as this terrain permits and set my son up in a tree stand at the top of a thicket covered draw. I'll need to place his stand about 10 yards inside a thicket in hopes of tagging a buck coming home, having entered the thicket but still lingering a little after sunup, or get him just before dusk as he lingers inside the thicket waiting for dark. During the day we are going to still hunt the thickets. Moving VERY slowing we are going to patrol the perimeters of the thickets hoping to spot a deer standing up to stretch and move around a bit. They do do that during the midday sometimes. These thickets are the over growth of clear cuts and burns. Very dense with bushes, small trees, and briars. Sometimes you'll find small clearings inside them. Look for tall trees sticking up from the middle of the thicket and go explore around that.
All I can tell you is keep looking for the basics. Food(mushrooms, acorns, any wild fruit, etc), trails, signs such as tracks, droppings, creek crossings and maybe some old scrape sign. Look for smaller trails leading from the larger ones and into thickets. In extreme cases, get on your knees and penetrate the thickets. Always watch the wind! Use some scent block or doe pee to cover your scent and hunt into the wind or perpendicular to it as much as possible!
As for crawling into the thickets. I read a story about a guy who used to approach bedded deer, bucks even, as close as a foot or two by doing this! My son and I have always wanted to try it so we may do so on this trip. I am going to leave my rifle and take my .40 Sig. If I see anything it'll be close! Just something we want to do for fun and stories.
The only preparation we have is studying Google maps and garmin topo's. I'll be looking for draws leading down towards creeks, bottoms, or ponds hopefully from thickets on top. That's about it. Don't give up. You will start to see deer and you will start to compile mental notes regarding when and where you saw them and it will come together. Just get past the learning curve. The deer are out there! Good Luck and as one vet to another, I'm glad you're states side and safe. Mike--- mikerollsbjj@gmail.com

NationalForestHunter said...

Guys - thanks for your posts. If you are seeking a spacious area within the SHNF that is accessible, consider the area bordered by FM 2025, FM 2666 and Hwy 59. This is a large area, heavily wooded with plenty of food source. Make sure you carry a GPS device if you are unfimiliar with the section you decide to hunt. You can get turned around easily in these woods. The good news is that if you do happen to get lost, if you walk far enough you will hit a major road. Regards - NationalForestHunter

Anonymous said...

Thanks for all the tips. I'm heading up this weekend for a 3 day hunt/camp. This is it though, after the 6th I'm done for the season. unless of course I see a nice deer and cant get a shot or something. Then I'll have to try him again. I'll hopefully have a gps before then, and I'll try the area mentioned above. I've walked through the thickets, but I feel like if I see anything, its gonna be too close and fast for me to ett a shot off, or they are just walking out the back as I'm entering the front. LOL. (giving me the slip) I havent crawled through though. I dont know what else besides deer I might encounter, and on my belly up close as that. I'll keep you guys up to date after the trip. Hopefully I'll have some good pics. Thanks alot, and as always if your in the woods this weekend, Jan 4th, 5th , 6th I'll be there. send me an email and maybe we can hunt a bit.

Brandon

NationalForestHunter said...

Brandon - I hope you had a good hunt during early January. This was a difficult year for deer hunting - it was warm most of the hunting season, the white-tailed deer rut occured very early in the season and the oak trees were dropping acorns by the ton. Animals didn't have to stay moving to find food (thats when hunters see them) because it was so plentiful. I did a lot of pre-season prep but didn't go very often because I don't like to hunt in short sleeve shirts in warm weather. I guess I'll have to wait for the cold weather to arrive in January / February and go hog hunting. On a more positive note I did find a new section of the forest to hunt which is very remote, wild and has a tremendous amount of hog sign. I'm confident there are some large bucks in the new area....I just have to find there routes and get ready for next year.

Anonymous said...

Looks like I'm gonna have to do the same thing. I'm deerless again this year unfortunately, but I'm also gonna do some hog hunting. I found a great place for hogs also and even spooked a small one up last trip but didn't get a shot off. Good luck to you and hopefully next year we'll both be successfull.

Brandon

Anonymous said...

I've been hunting the area west of I-45 for a couple of years. Haven't harvested anything but I've seen them. It was rough this season as it was my first time back in 2 years. I'm taking my 12 year old son for the final weekend tomorrow morning. We had a close encounter earlier in the season while in a ground blind. Wish us luck!

Jason

NationalForestHunter said...

On Saturday January 26th I had a great time at a Squirrel Dog Competition hosted by the East Texas Squirrel Dog Association near Shepherd, Texas in the SHNF. It was a day of great people, great dogs, great food and lots of fun. I learned a lot about competitive squirrel dog hunting and the Mountain Cur and Feist dog breeds. No doubt about it - if you want to have a successful squirrel hunt....then get a squirrel dog. During the competition, nobody carries a gun with them....its all about the dogs treeing squirrels and visual verification that the a squirrel was in the tree. There are established rules and scoring methods for the field competition. I was a spectator on a cast of 3 champion-level squirrel dogs (2 Mountain Curs and 1 Feist). After the 2 hour, morning field competition there was a hot lunch, followed by a treeing contest and bench competition. Some of these dogs who competed in this weekend’s event were national champions, with contestants coming from Louisiana and Texas. During squirrel hunting season there are competitive events nearly every weekend, hosted by different squirrel hunting clubs throughout East Texas, Louisiana, and other States.

Anonymous said...

This is great. Wonderful post and I like seening so many hunters with useful advice and good will. Anonymus, use your maps to find the most remote and difficult areas, then look for water, then food, you should be right in the middle of the deer. Always try to slip in before day light or at noon, then take a stand and be patient. I have alway hunted public land in Texas, the reason it is hunting and not shooting is because there are no garantees. Enjoy all that surounds you and time will fly and a legal deer may present a shot. If so do not spend time contemplating the situation but seize it. Good luck, good hunting, and be safe.

NationalForestHunter said...

I went to the Sam Houston National Forest this morning and things are beginning to green up with the arrival of Spring. However, the forest remains dry. Ever since the drought of 2011 we've have had dry conditions, only a few sporadic days of heavy rain, but not enough to catch up and fill the small creeks in the forest. We will see what Spring brings in the way of rainfall but I'm hearing reports of dry conditions persisting through the Spring and Summer. There are still a number of weakened trees in the forest and if we get a hurricane during the late Summer/early Fall you can bet that there will be a lot timber down in the forest. We'll see what happens.

Anonymous said...

Hello nice post and as a horse rider I will more than happy to point out game especially hogs in the area. So couple of questions for you, hope you know the answers. TPWD allow hunting of hogs with dogs and yet the SHNF does not but the Game Wardens are mostly TPWD? What is up with that as we are being over run with hogs on the FS217A off FM2025 and FM2666. Hint for the hunters ask any horse rider and we are more than welcome to show you where they are at and some will even pull the hog back to the Hunters Camp for you... Does not hurt to ask. next question. The hogs will come at the horses and can I shoot them with my handgun to protect my stupid horse who freezes in place? I know Odd. know my 9ml will make more noise than a rifle but what is a lady to do? Who was the 'moron' that decided to not hunt hogs with dogs?
Thanks for anything you can supply.
FB Sam Houston Trail Riders at https://www.facebook.com/groups/483596245041816/ and talk to some of us about the hogs.

NationalForestHunter said...

Still hunting of hogs in the SHNF is hard work....they have lots of room.....they are nocturnal for the most part....you can't bait them....and you can't use dogs. We had 3 inches of rain in the eastern SHNF during August and they were rooting up large areas in the woods....no doubt they are there in large numbers. I don't know about hooking up with horseback riders for hunting assistance.... I wouldn't suppose that many horses know how to stay calm during rifle and pistol fire that a hog hunter might unlease. Please correct if I'm wrong. As we get closer to hunting season I would encourage horseback riders to consider wearing safety orange vests during trips to the SHNF. Hogs can be hunted 365 days per year, dove season is open now, and squirrel season opens soon.

Unknown said...

Wow, enjoy the blog and wouldn't mind adding my two cents. Went to several spots along Road 204 this weekend of 11-2-2013 with my 14yoa granddaughter in tow. Worked the pipeline for a while, and back about half way down 204 toward the lake. Saw more sign than I have ever seen in one day, but not one live one to stalk. I am a conservative, constitutional, Christian, married 58yoa, professional looking for hunting a partner or two (grandkids can be included) this 2013 - 2014 season. Hog and deer. I live in Cypress and can only go on occasional Saturdays. I reload and shoot at Hot Wells or Shiloh, attend Southwinds Bapt. Church in Tomball, and work full time. Email marineimaging1@gmail.com if interested in setting something up. I also might be able to arrange a hunt near Crockett. My son-n-law's nephew traps hogs and might be able to set us up with a good location.

Anonymous said...

Hello guys, this is my second year as a hunter in national forest, the guys I have tagged along with usually hunt off of service road 219 and have been pretty successfull for over 10 years, and pretty much have the area scouted out too the Tea....however I'm interested in a good hunting spot for hogs.... Is any one willing to share ? Good spot

NationalForestHunter said...

Hey guys - its mid-December and the weather is looking great for the next few weeks. I've been in the east Sam Houston National Forest and while the recent rainfall hasn't been able to get the creeks flowing, there is plenty of moisture in the forest (makes for quiet stalking), acorn crop is good, green browse crop is good, so the deer have plenty of food and water sources. In my favorite area the ground scrapes have dropped off and so perhaps I need to move on to another area. I'm going to be hunting hard as I haven't got a yet this year. Hog sign is everywhere....but most activity is at night. Hunt hard and hunt safe until the end of the season. Merry Christmas to all and a Happy New Year.

Unknown said...

I like hunting.Hunting in the national forest is really a challenging one.

http://www.besthoghunting.com

Unknown said...

Enjoy your blog. I am new to the are and fairly new to deer hunting. Only been a few times over the last 4 years. None in the forest. What can you tell me about the season ? I was out today hiking around the Lone Star Trail. I didn't see any signs of any wildlife. Beautiful area.

Anonymous said...

More game wardens than deer.
They are rabid to hand out tickets.
It's almost like they are in a contest to see who can hand out the most tickets.
I shot a deer opening day and was stopped and my vehicle was searched 3 times in the 10 miles I drove to get to the check station. They are thicker than mosqitos and are looking for anything and everything that they can fine you for.
Not a bad place to hunt if you don't mind getting strip searched every time you try to enjoy your day.

NationalForestHunter said...

Anonymous - I'm sorry to hear that you were searched 3 times on the same day. That is ridiculous. The two "officers" that stopped you the 2nd and 3rd time should have immediately ceased their activity upon learning that you had already been stopped by one of their associates earlier to examine your lawfully harvested deer. Write a letter to TPWD - Austin and share your experience. Don't exaggerate, share only the facts, but convey that you expect better treatment as a law-abiding hunter.

Anonymous said...

I currently hunt the forest most every other week on Tuesdays. Ive had great success in the form of hogs and a couple deer late in season. I try to do as much scouting as possible throughout the year while I hog hunt. I see most activity near stubblefield rd. I wish they would open more of the roads inside the forest. It would be nice to see where these lead. I only know of 2 roads open and there both out near 204a a little further down. Any other roads anyone knows of that are open.

Anonymous said...

Will be coming back to the site. I live very near to SHNF and I will be hunting there this year and many years to come. One thing I have to deal with is that I am a disabled veteran and have to use a wheelchair a lot due to my back, hips and legs. I can walk but not far. Wish me luch yall

Anonymous said...

Just an FYI for the disabled vet; I understand that there is a disabled vet program that will actually take you out and help you hunt. It is through the Wounded Warriors program. They take WW's out and hunt all kinds of animals including some exotics. I wish I could tell you more, but that is all the facts I am aware of. I have a friend that works for them and takes the WW's out. He is one himself. Good luck

Anonymous said...

I am a handicapped hunter and I, along with my 12-year old son, drew antlerless deer permits in SHNF this year. It is my first year hunting Texas and I walk with canes. I can get around OK but can't walk really long distances. I do want to take my son and find a decent spot to set up a ground blind. Are they any pointers anyonecan give us that might help us be more successful? Are there specific food sources within a half mile of a road that would be a good spot? I will not be going until sometime in December so I hope to avoid the crowds but I'd like a decent chance at a deer for at least one of us. Thanks for any help anyone can give.

Anonymous said...

Is truth I cant hunting with the pellets rifle .177 caliber in the sam houston national forests, my son the 13 years want hunt rabbits, we spend 3 hours driven for the guy the TPWD , said me not can,

la said...

so where to hunt this area from houston to samhouston national forest address >could some body can provide the address ? please!!

Anonymous said...

What kind of road is FS 204? Good enough for a car? I am interested in driving all the way down this road to the lake, but a bit worried about whether or not my car will make it. Also, wondering about the area east of this road and near the lake for hogs?

Unknown said...

If anyone is going this year and need a hunting buddy or a first timer tagging along feel free to email me to Harry DC 2 @gmail.com

RT said...

Any tips or recommendations hunting deer here. I went this past weekened but didn't have any luck. I was thinking of doing a little scouting and maybe setting up a ground blind but I dont know if it's worth the time. I didn't see that many signs of deer.

Anonymous said...

going to try my luck late season this year bow hunting at SHNF anyone out there tried this? is one site better than the next for bow hunters?

Anonymous said...

Thinking about hunting SHNF this coming season, and wanted to know, how do you prevent others from walking into your hunt? Isnt there a unwritten rule that hunters follow that there is someone hunting down this trail? I definately do not want to walk in on someones huntin after they scouted and setup all offseason. I understand everything is open to everyone but it would probably seem alot safer and courteous to all fellow hunters if there was something can improve the safety and good sportsmanship of hunting. Especially if i accidently wondered onto someones hunt and getting in to arguement or fight over ,"who was here first", especially if my son is with me.

NationalForestHunter said...

Tommy - Thank you for your post. Your concern is a valid one and yes....you will meet other hunters in the SHNF but I must say that I've never had any difficulty with anybody. Most folks who hunt the SHNF understand that they cannot "claim" an area as there own and are aware that their favorite hunting spot could visited by other hunters. Because the SHNF is an open hunting area to all who possess a Annual Public Hunting Permit and Hunting License it is vital that everybody wear a hunter orange hat and vest. The deer hunting season ends soon and there will be a significant drop off in the number of folks hunting in the SHNF. You and your son can continue to hunt for hogs during the remaining cold weather months (January / February) and there will be very few other folks hunting in the SHNF. I believe that the chances of a confrontation with another hunter are slim. Yes....you might walk up on another hunter at their ground blind, sitting on their portable tree stand, or walking thru the forest, but I don't believe you will ever be in an argument or fight.

Anonymous said...

I just got back from SHNF today with no luck, this was my second trip out there this season and both times I didn't see anything, it's a beautiful place but it is EXTREMELY over hunted and, in my opinion I think it would be best if drawings were done to hunt both bucks and does. I saw tons of hog tracks but no hogs and went deep into the forest, found a lot of creeks and hunted them for a couple of hours but nothing, I think I'm going to start looking for a lease for next season...but good luck to anyone thinking of hunting the forest.

NationalForestHunter said...

Anonymous - yes.....hunting the SHNF can sometimes be a frustrating experience.....you'll see plenty of game sign......but can go days without seeing a deer or hog. This year I used a game camera in my favorite hunting area and confirmed that a good 8 point buck and 10 point buck are using the ground scrapes in the vicinity. Plenty of hogs in the area too! I saw several does during the handful of days I got to hunt this season....but didn't set eyes on those two bucks. Maybe next year. The good news is that recent rains have saturated the forest, filled the creeks, ending the drought that actually began during the 2010 / 2011.

Unknown said...

Can you hunt hogs with slugs?

Unknown said...

I remember going out with my brother to Sam Houston forest for my first hunting trip. We were hunting wild hogs like the one you picture. I never got one quite as big as that one, but I did end up getting one. This forest is so beautiful, and a great place to take your family hunting. http://www.wildlifesystems.com/whitetail_deer_hunting.html

Unknown said...

I'm still going every Tuesday, actually Monday night through tuesday morning. I harvested 1 for with my antler less permit and a nice 8 point, 6 sucklings, 2 boars, it's been rough because we got such a late cold snap this year.
Road 204 is easy access to a car. Most any road on the map is accessible to car. Stay off of 208 haha not for cars, pulled some kids out that were in a RAV4 2 ft in the mud took me a minute but got them.
I've even started coon hunting at night, and I've had luck with 3 coyotes using my ar with green lights for coons and red for the coyotes. I just got a 4 wheeler and will be out monday night with a buddy checking out some trails I've been on the past two years, sorry can't give those up.

For the new hunters 204 had some logging done, it's been cleared out towards the back, however this road is frequented so weekends, prepare to see other hunters. Weekdays are fine.
The road is about 5 miles long so plenty of spots.
Good luck. If you see a dodge with all types of lights , it's me...
John
Email if you wanna tag along sometime
Italianrebel84@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

SHNF Hunting Rule No. 6 says no hunting of deer or hogs with a shotgun. But the only independent info I can fine (e.g., http://www.statesman.com/news/news/computer-glitch-delays-open-carry-in-house/nktCk/ ) does not restrict shotguns -- it only restricts buckshot. So I will echo Lazaro's question from February: Can you hunt hogs (and deer) with shotgun slugs?

Anonymous said...

Sorry, I included the wrong link in my post above. Meant to post this/: http://tpwd.texas.gov/huntwild/hunt/public/lands/table_contents/media/pwd_bk_w7000_0112a.pdf , referencing the buckshot restriction is on page xi.

Clyde Messiah III said...

Question for those that have hunted out at SHNF; what type of concealment have you used(tree stand, ground blind,hunting from the ground using natural cover)??

Anonymous said...

I am new to Texas and want to hunt white tailed buck Do I need just the Texas hunting license and the APH to hunt for a buck during the season on SHNF or is there an extra tag I need to purchase? In Utah you have to draw a tag for the general deer hunt.

Bowninja said...

Awesome post. Most informative. Thanks for a nice post you have given to us with such an large collection of information. Great work you have done by sharing them to all.

Unknown said...

Just moved here and gonna start coon hunting the SHNF at night with a treeing walker coonhound. I used to hunt in Kansas but since moving to Texas will be focusing on making one good dog. Gonna start scouting the forest soon, both west and east of 45. Mostly looking for hardwoods areas. Dog should be old enough to start running solo after the new year.

Chad.slagle33@gmail.com

Bowninja said...

I have read your article post. Thanks for sharing good information ! I have never been hunting before. My uncle invited me to go deer hunting during the next deer season. I think that I am going to go. It will be a fun experience.

web said...

When I go to the park opening weekend is there a place I need to check in before hunting

Anonymous said...

Hi folks!! I have never hunted any public lands. I entered for a doe drawing for SHNF and I was picked. with that being said I need info on what I will need to do or how to go about it. I guess what I am looking for is maybe someone to go with that has experience hunting public land. Any help would be appreciated. I live in the Texas city TX area and my wife and I are the only ones that hunt all my friends only fish. I will be gone to south Texas the start of rifle season for one week so any time after that would be good.

Jason: my email is Jason_suarez32@yahoo.com
hit me up looking for a hunting bud.

Anonymous said...

Wheres a good spot for rabbit and squirrel hunting at SHNF
im new to hunting and i wanted to start out with small game and get fluent with the process. Can anyone help a rookie out

Unknown said...

I'm still hunting the area frequently,
There is a Facebook post for Sam Houston hunters I'm on with info I'll be updating.
I was just out this past opening weekend. Great deer.
Almost all roads are easily accessible, as far as cars no issues, most roads don't follow all the way to the lake accept 204 does, totally navigable by car.
However hunting is spotty here as a lot of people camp and duck hunters frequent the area.
Road 215 has been promising, as well as 208,
222/233 will be a new area I tag a buck, I've been scouting and I've got one im getting ready to grab.
Again if you see a dodge with a bunch of lights on the front, stop me and say hello, my email is posted earlier in this thread
Wish all a good luck
Oh
I read no hunting with slugs somewhere in the front portion of the book today

Unknown said...

Also, be courteous, you can tell where someone's usually hunting, the way I see it, if they beat you there, find somewhere else. Most hunters I'd say are within 2-300 yards of there vehicle in any direction is my opinion.
Also I hunt a tree stand.
Rabbits are everywhere, squirrels little buggers are stealthy.
Smoking barrels my friends!
I'll be out tonight and tomorrow morning
Italianrebel84@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know of any good areas that hogs are running? Looking to take a first time hog hunter out and really want him to bag his first pig. I heard out by Cleveland along the San Jacinto was good but looking for confirmation. Awsome blog keep them coming.

Unknown said...

Interesting blog. This is one of my favorite blog about hunting and I also want you to update more post like this. Thanks for sharing this article.

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Unknown said...

So my friends and I are considering going to the park to do some nighttime hog hunting with our NVG setups. I noticed that you are required to wear hunter orange vest and hat. The hat will get in the way of our helmet mounts. Are hats always required or do you think a strip of orange duct tape on our helmets would be acceptable?

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Sean Richard said...

Thanks for posting this info. I just want to let you know that I just check out your site and I find it very interesting and informative. I can't wait to read lots of your posts.

Kevin Steffey said...

Interesting blog. This is one of my favorite blog about hunting and I also want you to update more post like this. Thanks for sharing this article.

DeerHunting@blog said...

Forests with very vivid pictures. I wish I was arriving there once. Thanks for your sharing.

Harold Weaver said...

I just fell in love with the pictures you took, they are really beautiful, it sounds this is an ideal place to hunt, thanks for your share

Romana said...

Great article!! This stands true for first time hunters of any age. It’s the experience that makes or breaks their decision to continue. EliteHuntsman

Patrick Horne said...

Great article, very informative and useful for people with intention to hunt at Sam Houston National Forest. I just have some questions. Which animal could we hunt at Sam Houston National Forest? in which season? And is it the suitable hunting place for beginners?

Anonymous said...

Just read few posts talking about night hunt, is that allowed at the park even if it is a hog hunt not deer?

NationalForestHunter said...

Thanks for posting comments and questions at my blog. Guys - the entire Sam Houston National Forest is classified as a Wildlife Management Area and therefore has some different rules versus a regular US Forest Service forest. You must possess a valid Texas hunting license and Annual Public Hunt Permit. The Annual Public Hunt Permit is purchased from the State of Texas ($48)at the same places your purchase a hunting license. If you buy them at the same time the APHP will be printed on your Texas Hunting License. It permits you to hunt on nearly 900,000 acres of land throughout the State of Texas. After the purchase you will receive a Map Booklet in the mail from TPWD Austin, Texas. The Sam Houston National Forest is approximately 162,000 acres. You must follow certain rules when hunting in the Wildlife Management Areas. First - Wear a solid orange safety vest and orange hat at all times. Second - Never have a loaded gun in your vehicle while driving on a US Forest Service road, never. You don't want to be accused of being a road hunter. You can hunt all legal game, during their respective hunting seasons, in the SHNF. Each county has specific dates for various hunting seasons of game animals and birds, so know what county you are within while hunting. Feral hogs can be hunted in the SHNF 365 days per year. Do not hunt deer or feral hogs with dogs in the SHNF. You can use bird dogs or squirrel dogs. Do not hunt at night in the SHNF. Go to the 3rd link in my list shown above (US Forest Service) when you get to that website, click on the Hunting FAQ link. It has detailed answers on many questions about hunting in the SHNF and other east Texas national forest lands / wildlife management areas. Know the rules about hunting in the SHNF and hunt safely! Regards - NationalForestHunter

aliyaa said...

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pelochas said...

Im a beginner. Would like to know if anyone is willing to go scouting

Sean Burchell said...

peloches, I would be interested in connecting. I have been hunting 3 years and have some experience but never been to SHNF. woudl you like to connect?

pelochas said...

son and i were there early sunday morning. we had a great time scouting the forest. we were there at 5am and without knowing what to expect. the thick thorny brush got us. we moved to a hiking trail and scouted a couple miles down, found tracks and i beleive some ground scratches. not sure what but just walked down a few more yards and spooked a deer. awesome. marked a trail and planning to go next weekend. we have a ground blind but i figured out that mostly, its difficult to find wide open areas, tree stands or climbers are probably a must but i dont know if there is anything for two persons to carry along and setup early morning. either its a one man tree climber or a two man stand thats heavy and takes time to setup. not sure we can do that.

George said...

Pelochas & Sean, I'm planning on start my rifle season scouting very soon. Please you all let me know if you would like to connect & we will arrange something.

Anonymous said...

Great info guys. I had pretty much made up my mind to not hunt the national forest this year but went ahead and put my boy (8 yrs old) in for a doe permit on the off chance. Turns out he got one. I need to head out and scout a spot or 2 (as a bow hunter I realize the season is on). I would like to see if anyone's interested in joining me and my boy on Saturday 10/29/16. Probably start around noon so as not to disturb hunting too much. Be more towards cleveland/shepherd area. anyone responds i'll post up info.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like an awesome place to hunt, thanks for the info, Walmart has a 2 man stand that's 63 pounds and easy to set up quickly, I live in Fort Worth and hunt the LBJ grasslands near Alvord , free ,no baiting and buck only except thanksgiving weekend - I liked the antler less permit system they used to have better -I usually hunt with a bow but just harvested my first hog with a new crossbow -i would like to find a place i can bait for hogs legally , thanks and good luck and God bless

Anonymous said...

Sounds like an awesome place to hunt, thanks for the info, Walmart has a 2 man stand that's 63 pounds and easy to set up quickly, I live in Fort Worth and hunt the LBJ grasslands near Alvord , free ,no baiting and buck only except thanksgiving weekend - I liked the antler less permit system they used to have better -I usually hunt with a bow but just harvested my first hog with a new crossbow -i would like to find a place i can bait for hogs legally , thanks and good luck and God bless

Anonymous said...

I hunt the LBJ GRASSLANDS near Alvord and Decatur, does anybody ever hunt there ? I have been blessed with hogs but haven't taken a deer there but could have , still waiting for the big guy

Anonymous said...

Sounds like an awesome place to hunt, thanks for the info, Walmart has a 2 man stand that's 63 pounds and easy to set up quickly, I live in Fort Worth and hunt the LBJ grasslands near Alvord , free ,no baiting and buck only except thanksgiving weekend - I liked the antler less permit system they used to have better -I usually hunt with a bow but just harvested my first hog with a new crossbow -i would like to find a place i can bait for hogs legally , thanks and good luck and God bless

Unknown said...

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Unknown said...

Can you carry a side arm while hog hunting in SHNF??

NationalForestHunter said...

Jeremy - Yes. You can open carry a sidearm while hunting. Once you are done with your licensed hunting activity, then you revert back to the carry laws for the State of Texas. Hope this helps.

Unknown said...

THIS IS MY FIRST TIME HUNTING IN A NATIONAL FOREST SO I JUST WANTED TO BE SURE. THANKS FOR THE RESPONSE AND HAPPY HUNTING!

Anonymous said...

I've recently scouted the area. I had some trouble finding good signs of feral pig. I was with the kids, so maybe I didn't venture far enough. Do I just keep revisiting to bait a spot, then actually hunt it later to ensure finding something? am I over thinking this? thanks

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Anonymous said...
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Unknown said...
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Mitchell Wood said...

This is a great article. Nice pictures about hunting and I really like it.
Thanks for the information you provided. I'm looking forward to your next posts

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Michael Everett said...

Your article helps me understand a lot of information more about hunting. Thank you

Anonymous said...

I drew a antlerless management tag for SHNF this year and have no idea where to go or what expect. Any help with this would be greatly appreciated. I have been on the TPWD website looking for info or a map of where I can hunt. Thanks ahead of time for the help.

Anonymous said...

Hey NationalForestHunter, Have you tried any of the other NFs in Texas like Angelina NF or Davy Crockett NF. Or has SHNF been pretty productive for you

Please send me an email when you have a chance (mfrizvi786@comcast.net)

- Muhammad

Anonymous said...

I'm a first time hunter at SHNF this year and would like to join anyone with experience. My email is kensuehuynh@hotmail.com

Anonymous said...

Im a longtime hunter and have done quite a bit of squirrel hunting in SHNF; due to time constraints in the past this was easiest with little scouting. I am looking at doing some hog or deer hunting this fall/winter. Anyone with advice on public hunting in the SHNF for hogs/deer let me know. Anyone new to hunting I can also show them the ropes. Contact me at my email hfdake@gmx.com
Hank-

Unknown said...

Hello NFH,
I hunt the West side of the forest on the West side of Lake Conroe. More area, less campgrounds; this is my third year and I have only seen 3 deer in that time. I have seen no pigs and never taken a deer; any advice on what I could do better? I typically walk down a pipeline or logging road a quarter or half a mile, and sit for about an hour hoping a deer comes by. Any suggestions? Thank you.

NationalForestHunter said...

Stuart - the two most important keys to finding deer are finding food sources and ground scrapes. In the forest, you need to be on the lookout for oaks trees tat are generating acorns. These trees are an important source of nutrition for deer, hogs, and squirrels. In the area that you are hunting, you will need to know where these trees are located. They will draw in game, especially as we later in the season (Dec/Jan). Secondly, you need to find ground scrapes and the trail that is associated with the network of ground scrapes. During the rut (which is nearly over) the bucks and does will communicate with each other via the ground scrape. They will travel from scrap to scrap until they meet up. You need to find these concentrations of ground scraps and hunt that area hard. Build a ground blind no closer than 50 yards from a well used ground scrape and hope that the deer are active during shooting hours. More later....NFH

Unknown said...

Was up there this morning, January 14, hunting the archery only section north of Calvary road, east of lake Conroe. Saw a doe and fawn crossing the gravel forest road, and some deer sign. Also saw several piles of what appeared to be puma scat (1 and 1/4 in inch diameter, lots of hair on outer part in the middle of a trail uncovered). A few years ago I also saw hog sign in that area, tracks, scat and rooting. I’ve been there twice in the last three weeks, scouting and hunting and didn’t see any hog sign. What area are the hogs in now?

Unknown said...

I am looking to learn about hunting for my blog.
Thank you for the article.

Unknown said...

I've hunted theSHNF for years with my son. I've killed a 12pt., 2 10's and a couple of 8's and 6's. ALL over 120" . Rarely see hunters. You have to get back in there and scout,scout,scout. Dragging them out from a mile and a half is work especially at 58yrs old., but with it. Dont let the fools with their "shots all around me" stories scare you. Get down in the thickets!

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Anonymous said...

When hunting SHNF can you just pull off any area of the road and head out into the woods or are you restricted to designated parking areas?

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Anonymous said...

Is it legal to hunt the pipelines?

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