Hunting in Seasonally Blocked River Sloughs

Angelina River Jasper Texas
Angelina River Jasper Texas

For years I have wanted to go hunting in a slough off a local river. The problem: The area is blocked by lily pads from spring until after the first couple of frost. Typically by the start of December the lily pads have died back enough for a small boat to get through.

My boat is a flat bottom aluminum boat with a 30 horsepower Evinrude and trolling motor. It does very well in stump filled river sloughs. Typically, people with fiberglass boats avoid river sloughs which are filled with stumps barely below the water.

The area is so far off the beaten path chances are very few, if anyone hunts the area. From what I have seen over the years, people who hunt on public hunting lands next to a river, the hunters stay near the main river channel. Some may venture into a slough, but not very far. Having fished the Angelina River for over a decade, I have never seen anyone deep in a slough deer hunting. Being on the main river channel means the hunters can stay in the stand until dark, then navigate the main river back to the boat launch, or to a designated camp site.

Designated camp sites brings up another topic – No camping is allowed in the area where I want to go hunting.

The slough is filled with stumps. So going in before daylight or after dark can be tedious.  This is one reason why hunters tend to stay either on, or just off the main river channel.

My solution is to go stealth camping by myself for a couple of days in the area. The nearest authorized camp site is probably 1/2 mile in a straight line. Hopefully, the narrow slough you have to go through to reach the area will keep others out. That is “if” anyone is even in that part of the river while I am there.

Also, there are not very many people on the river this time of year. After thanksgiving a lot of hunters have either got their deer, or lost interest. Then there is the time involved to go hunting on the river. Its not like driving to the hunting lease and taking an ATV to the stand.

However, first I have to see if the lily pads have died back, then scout the area. This only gives me a month to hunt the area.  The good news, this is public hunting lands with patches of old growth timber.

The area has whitetail deer, small game, and wild pigs. Firearm will be either a Marlin 336 or my Remington 700 chambered in 280 Remington.

Hopefully, the limited access and difficulty to reach will pay off with a nice sized buck.

I am hoping to make this a project over through December of 2018, and will keep the community updated.