My buddies and I enjoy deer hunting and having the opportunity to hunt new places, so we always put in for Texas Parks and Wildlife’s special draw hunts each year. Over the years we have had the opportunity to hunt all over the state for a reasonable price, and take some nice animals along the way. A couple of years ago we were selected for a whtietail deer hunt at the Gene Howe WMA. This part of Texas was much different than anything we’d experienced before, so I’d thought a share a little about the Gene Howe WMA.
The south pastures are along the north bank of the Canadian River. The southern pastures sit between the highway and the river. This area is typical river bottom deer hunting country with lots of nice size trees and thick brush. North of the highway, there are the northern pastures of the WMA. This area is hilly in spots with some brush, but opens up as you get north of the Canadian River valley. But don’t let the habitat up there make you think there are not any deer up there.
When drawing for deer hunting compartments expect everyone to select the river pastures first. This is where everyone believes all the animals are, and they are. Animals love river bottoms. However, there are plenty of deer everywhere, so you can’t go wrong when choosing a deer hunting area. Like I said, the northern part of the Gene Howe WMA is more open, but not nearly as flat as it appears. The northern pastures consist of of rolling sandhills covered with sage brush and big bluestem.
At the time, there were some wheat fields across the fence on the north boundary, and the whitetail just poured out of the sandhills onto the wheat during our hunt. A good tip for hunting any property is to figure out where the winter crops are located and try to hunt next to those. The area is open and rolling, so deer seems to appear and disappear among the tall grass. Gun hunters will have the advantage in the open country, but I saw several deer within bow range. A portable ground blind would work well on the north side of the WMA.
If you are a bowhunter then it will probably be easier to hunt the thick cover along the Canadian River. Scout your compartment and find a well used trail or funnel and you will be set, but I would not be disappointed to deer hunt in the open country to the north either. The Gene Howe WMA is a neat place like no other and we hope to have the opportunity to head out there again.
If you love Texas, you will LOVE this video!