Rush Creek Hunting Tips Outlined below are some tips & info that will make your hunt more comfortable & satisfying.
General Weather: (accuweather.com)
The TX Panhandle weather can vary greatly to say the least, and the weather can and does change rapidly with spring temperatures ranging from below freezing to +85F. In the spring, you can encounter anything from sunny days to thunderstorms to even sleet & snow. We have experienced snow as late as May 15 in the past, however, most spring days temps range in the 60-70’s with a light breeze after March. Summers will be in the 90 – 100+ temp range with very humid conditions. These temperatures usually start to cool down by mid September. Winter can throw the usual curves with mild to extreme cold with very low wind chills on windy days. In short, the weather can change drastically during a hunt so we suggest a varied selection of appropriate hunting clothes to combat extreme changes in weather.
Our hunting environment varies from tree rows, agricultural pastures, and creek bottoms & draws to wide open prairies. Mule Deer hunters will also experience high desert canyons and thick mesquite flats. Good quality BINOCULARS are essential. You WILL miss spotting game and hunting opportunities without them! Due to the nature of our country, we strongly encourage that you practice and are comfortable with shooting up to 200 + yards with the aid of a bi-pod or shooting sticks. A rangefinder can also be very beneficial as it can be very hard to judge distance if you are not used to the wide open terrain you will encounter in the TX Panhandle.
We hunt our deer from tree stands, ground blinds, & natural cover, while some spot & stalk also takes place in the open areas where there are breaks/canyons or tree-rows for cover. Be prepared for any of these situations. Mule Deer Hunts will involve a significant amount of glassing and driving due to the extensive amount of ground that we hunt. The actual stalk, of course, will be conducted on foot but usually does not involve a very long distance.
For turkeys, we recommend using a tight shooting shotgun that you have patterned before coming so that you know your effective range. Also pattern your gun at close ranges because the point of impact can vary with today’s tight shooting guns. If point of impact is off at close ranges, you may want to consider mounting a scope or fixed fiber optic sight on your gun.
The most valuable advice that we can give you when turkey hunting on our ground is “STAY PUT!!” Due to the open terrain it is very difficult to move on either gobbling or spotted birds. Our blinds are strategically placed in great ambush locations where our scouting has shown the turkeys are strutting, feeding, & traveling during the day.
We do recommend for Fall/Winter hunts a “Western” style Camo that is on the lighter brown/khaki side with a gentle break up. Cabela’s Open Country Seclusion 3D, Mossy Oak Brush, and Natural Gear all seem to work well as they eliminate the darker, more solid profile that the woodland Camo clothing displays. These same patterns work well in early turkey season, but as the season progresses(Mid April/May) and spring green up occurs, we suggest camo patterns with more green in them.
Guns & Ammo:
We have an open policy with regard to the types of hunting firearms allowed providing they are legal, however , we do not allow the use of any caliber rifle/ammo greater than .30 caliber(Ex. .325 Winchester or .338 Remington.) All ammunition must be expanding rounds designed for medium sized game or smaller. No African Big game or Bear rounds allowed! NO full-metal jacketed rounds are allowed except for Coyotes & Bobcats.
The climate although relatively arid does provide us with some mosquitoes, “buffalo” gnats, and ticks especially in the later spring if it has been very wet. Turkey hunters should be prepared to cover up & use insect repellent in late April & May. September & October can also be bad for mosquitoes and gnats.
The areas around Wheeler, TX and Western Oklahoma do have a small population of Prairie rattlers. They are very seldom encountered, and we ourselves do not wear any protective boots or gaiters. On any hunts conducted in the Western TX Panhandle when the temps are warm(primarily antelope & predator), we do recommend the wearing of snake boots or gaiters as there is a possibility of encountering Rattlesnakes.