We first told you about The Big Woods in 2001 (see Article ID 708), when owner Robert McFarlane was just beginning to offer trophy deer hunts there. At the time, we suggested the hunts (which were not cheap at $5,300 for a 130- to 150-class buck) might be a bit difficult to sell because McFarlane was offering an untraditional October hunting period and his property had no track record for great deer hunting. Apparently, we were right about bookings because Clayton says McFarlane has decided to wave his trophy fees this season and offer hunts for a flat bargain rate of $1,500 just to get hunters on the property where they can see what he's got.
Here's how Clayton described the opportunity: Recently, McFar- lane made some major changes in his deer hunting operation at The Big Woods. Rather than hunting deer throughout the very long season, which last year ran through February, deer hunting this year at The Big Woods will be only during the peak of the rut, which runs from the middle of October through the middle of November in east Texas. No other hunting (they also offer wild boar and duck hunting) will be allowed until after the middle of November.
The largest buck taken at The Big Woods, to date, scored 167 B & C, but Cody White, the biologist in charge of managing The Big Woods, says hunters can expect the opportunity to harvest a buck in the 135- to 150-class. In researching the area, I also spoke with Texas Parks and Wildlife biologist Jeff Gunnels, who manages the Richland Creek Wildlife Management Area about five miles up the Trinity River from The Big Woods and who formerly managed McFarlane's........(continued)