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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Good Morning everyone,

Many of you know I frequent the Arcadia Lake (Edmond) deer management draw every year. This year marks the 15th year, I believe, it's just a fun little hunt being here in the city, it's too convenient for me. I've seen and heard a lot of things in my years hunting out there: mt. lions, pigs, hunter harassment, poaching, etc. This year was a first for me. They have incentives for shooting does, they take the top 15 heaviest does and let those hunters draw in early the following year before the main draw. It just increases your odds of getting to hunt the zone/time you prefer.

Well, last year I shot a smaller doe, which I was certain didn't make the top list. They called me this week to let me know I made the doe preference list. I was surprised, because it wasn't a large doe, so I asked what place I got. They said I was 16th overall, shocked, I asked exactly how I made the list if I was 16th. Apparently someone on the list got in trouble or didn't follow the rules so they got kicked, so everyone on the list moves up. For that guy it means they can't hunt out there anymore; too bad for them. I'm sure there have been others over the years, but that's the first I've heard of that got trespassed; I'll have to try to find out what he did.

Which of course this is a good seque into a little advert for the hunt, in general. If you guys didn't make any other draw and want to bow hunt deer in city limits this fall, Arcadia Lake is a fun little hunt for 4 days. It's easy to forget about because it's not listed on the controlled hunts application or page. The rules and info can be found on the Arcadia Lake Events page. It's not a bonus hunt so any harvest still counts towards your state limit, but I find it a lot of fun regardless. The deadline for submitting your application for the draw is 8/18 this year. Cheers!
 

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I wished I’d gotten in that one at least once. Oh well I’m in happier hunting grounds now.

Good luck to you.
 

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I always thought that Arcadia hunt would be a walk in the park with all the folks out there feeding them. Never applied though, we have enough deer at our place so just left it for those needing a place to hunt.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I always thought that Arcadia hunt would be a walk in the park with all the folks out there feeding them. Never applied though, we have enough deer at our place so just left it for those needing a place to hunt.
It depends on what zone you're hunting. Some zones have feeders lining the property line, others are a bit more secluded. Hunter harassment has become a real thing out there. A bunch of Edmond residents aren't happy about it.

Regardless, the first few weeks are usually pretty good, after that the deer get leery and they are just as hard to hunt as anywhere else. The zones are only 40-60 acres each, give or take, and you can have up to 4 hunters per zone every weekend. I did the math and it's around 1500 acres divided by up to 100 hunters every weekend, that's 1 hunter per 15 acres. Once BP opens up the bow hunters recede a little bit.

I've never checked the success rates, but it's pretty easy to get on does out there. Dandy bucks, is a bit harder. Two years ago I was up to my ears in bucks, saw 14 different bucks in 4 days, but not a single one I really wanted to shoot. Last year, in the same zone on the same dates, I couldn't buy a buck and was up to my ears in does. I missed one, shot the second, and missed a third doe all from the same tree. 14,16, and 18 yards respectively with the longbow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I’ve thought the Arcadia hunt always to be interesting but at $75 a hunt it seems pretty steep. I always figured I’ll save my money and put it towards truck fuel and head to a wma, but to each there own

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I wrangle with the cost every year when I apply, it was $50 for years. I told myself if they went up any I'd quit going, but it's been $75 now for 4-5 years maybe, and most years I hunt two weekends out there. I only hunt public so my only costs are my gear and gas, no leases, feeders, corn, etc. for me.

It's close and convenient for me, 1/3 of the distance to my local public spot. Not to mention the deer quality is far better at Arcadia. I've never seen a B&C class buck at my public spot I've hunted for 6 years, at Arcadia I just haven't shot one yet. :)
 

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Hunting Arcadia for the first time this weekend, I live in the area and bought a crossbow a couple years ago just for this hunt and still hadn’t done it.

I had private land lined up but something came up and it won’t work out, ended up with the last open zone (11) that no one seems to want so wish me luck.

Any tips or tricks for a newbie?
 

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I’ve never hunted Arcadia but I’d do some scouting for a house that has a feeder running behind it and set up on a trail near by.
 

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In the 10 years I lived in OKC I never took part in that hunt.
 

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I had two nice bucks come in but it was before legal time. One of them wandered around and got downwind of me and that was the end of that hunt.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Hey Bratch,

So sorry I missed your comments (I can't believe it didn't notice). I hunted zone 7 last weekend 6-9th. It was tough, high humidity and I believe the full moon screwed with them. I saw 9 does, almost all of them in bow range, but no shots taken.

I've hunted zone 11 before. If I'd seen your comments I was going to tell you to walk all the way around to where 10 and 11 meet. There's a, kind of, valley back there with a pond in the middle. The deer transition through there and bed on that side. Several private properties next to that zone put out corn feeders and the deer simply walk back and forth across the private to either side of zone 11. I've seen plenty of deer and a couple really good looking bucks on that zone, 8 or so years ago.

Zone 11 is tough because it is so narrow between private and the water, but it's definitely huntable.

I'm supposed to be hunting zone 6 next weekend as a buddy hunter with a friend who drew that zone. You can still buy any open unit and hunt out there again if you want. I've hunted 5,6,7,8,11, and 24 over the years. Done a bunch of fishing in zone 4 and 9. Never set foot on 1-3, or 13-23. You can count on an opportunity to shoot a deer practically anywhere out there though. I like hunting 5-7 because it's behind a locked gate and the road has been closed the last 5 ish years due to a tinhorn getting washed out and the road has been demoed. It's a steep 30 foot embankment on either side you have to walk down, then back up. It makes for a real long walk. I shot a doe on 6 last year and I ended up dragging/pushing a cart, literally, a mile to get her back to the truck. A lot of folks don't want to work that hard for a deer though.

Apparently vandalism out there has run rampant. The hunt managers told us about all the gates that got ran over opening weekend. The lock to 5-7 was busted, but ODWC replaced it by the time I hunted out there. I don't understand what is wrong with people. Some pothead kids met me out there on the road as I was walking out Sunday afternoon. They were screaming and playing music real loud, smoking a joint. They about crapped their pants when I walked out of the woods in full camo, backpack with hunting saddle on, longbow in hand. The were so confused they couldn't speak. I said "Hi" and kept walking to the truck, didn't hunt that evening.

With all the urban development, I guarantee the hunt at Arcadia is in peril, will probably not exist in 5 more years which is just sad. I've had a lot of fun out there, shot several deer. The folks who work at the lake are always friendly and nice.
 

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Hey Bratch,

So sorry I missed your comments (I can't believe it didn't notice). I hunted zone 7 last weekend 6-9th. It was tough, high humidity and I believe the full moon screwed with them. I saw 9 does, almost all of them in bow range, but no shots taken.

I've hunted zone 11 before. If I'd seen your comments I was going to tell you to walk all the way around to where 10 and 11 meet. There's a, kind of, valley back there with a pond in the middle. The deer transition through there and bed on that side. Several private properties next to that zone put out corn feeders and the deer simply walk back and forth across the private to either side of zone 11. I've seen plenty of deer and a couple really good looking bucks on that zone, 8 or so years ago.

Zone 11 is tough because it is so narrow between private and the water, but it's definitely huntable.

I'm supposed to be hunting zone 6 next weekend as a buddy hunter with a friend who drew that zone. You can still buy any open unit and hunt out there again if you want. I've hunted 5,6,7,8,11, and 24 over the years. Done a bunch of fishing in zone 4 and 9. Never set foot on 1-3, or 13-23. You can count on an opportunity to shoot a deer practically anywhere out there though. I like hunting 5-7 because it's behind a locked gate and the road has been closed the last 5 ish years due to a tinhorn getting washed out and the road has been demoed. It's a steep 30 foot embankment on either side you have to walk down, then back up. It makes for a real long walk. I shot a doe on 6 last year and I ended up dragging/pushing a cart, literally, a mile to get her back to the truck. A lot of folks don't want to work that hard for a deer though.

Apparently vandalism out there has run rampant. The hunt managers told us about all the gates that got ran over opening weekend. The lock to 5-7 was busted, but ODWC replaced it by the time I hunted out there. I don't understand what is wrong with people. Some pothead kids met me out there on the road as I was walking out Sunday afternoon. They were screaming and playing music real loud, smoking a joint. They about crapped their pants when I walked out of the woods in full camo, backpack with hunting saddle on, longbow in hand. The were so confused they couldn't speak. I said "Hi" and kept walking to the truck, didn't hunt that evening.

With all the urban development, I guarantee the hunt at Arcadia is in peril, will probably not exist in 5 more years which is just sad. I've had a lot of fun out there, shot several deer. The folks who work at the lake are always friendly and nice.
Archer22

THANKS. That is the best write up I’ve see on Arcadia, most of the time it’s just someone saying they’d been there.

I actually found that spot on 10/11 scouting after the first morning hunt. Tracks and sign everywhere but the undergrowth and sticker vines were so thick I couldn’t find a good shooting lane. I was ground hunting so the brush was a big problem. I found a decent clearing on the west side by the water and saw some does over there but no shots. After walking around and seeing the layout I plan to get a saddle after season and spend next year learning it. I think it will open a whole new world if opportunity.

I’m hoping to get in on 11 another time or two this season since I’ve scouted it and have an idea where to set up. I live in the area and it is a super easy zone for me to get to.
 

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Archer22

THANKS. That is the best write up I’ve see on Arcadia, most of the time it’s just someone saying they’d been there.

I actually found that spot on 10/11 scouting after the first morning hunt. Tracks and sign everywhere but the undergrowth and sticker vines were so thick I couldn’t find a good shooting lane. I was ground hunting so the brush was a big problem. I found a decent clearing on the west side by the water and saw some does over there but no shots. After walking around and seeing the layout I plan to get a saddle after season and spend next year learning it. I think it will open a whole new world if opportunity.

I’m hoping to get in on 11 another time or two this season since I’ve scouted it and have an idea where to set up. I live in the area and it is a super easy zone for me to get to.
I know the right trees are tough to find in Oklahoma without some pruning, but is there a tree you could use a climber or hang on for?
I've never found one personally, but I've used a ladder to hang a stand. There are some ladders that are very compact and fairly light weight.
I have one of these and put it into a walmart laundry bag when transporting.

16.5ft/12.5ft/10.5ft Aluminum Telescoping Ladder, Non-slip Ladder With Foot Pad Lightweight Multi-use Retractable Extension Step Loft Ladder, 330lbs Load Capacity - Walmart.com
You can leave the stand in the tree and take the ladder in and out with you so nobody else can access it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Hey Bratch,

Feel free to message me if you have any specific questions. Like I said, it's been years since I hunted 11, but I do remember it pretty well. I've been hunting Arcadia since 2007, only missed one season I can recall. Don't be afraid to hunt up close to those briar patches where the deer bed. Find one good trail coming out where you can setup a blind or a near tree and just camp out there, eventually something will come through. I had a patch where I was covered up in acorns: white oaks, burr oaks, persimmons still on the ground. I was scared to look up when the wind blew for fear of losing an eye, it was raining acorns. I hunted that spot once and ran a camera there for 3 days, not a single deer came through. However, the does did cross the road every night to go to private property where there's corn feeders. They were still very much in their summer patterns two weeks ago.

A lot of the deer in that area walk circles, they'll use one trail to get onto private property, then another to exit it, make a circle through public and then back to private. Sometimes that circle takes one day, sometimes 2-3 days. That's been my experience on that part of the lake anyway.

You mentioned saddles. I just bought my first one this summer and I've been hunting out of it exclusively so far this season. It took some trial and error, but I actually like it. There's a major fidget factor though, and I'm starting to worry I move too much in mine. I'll probably switch to a hang on or my climber later in the season when my sits extend beyond 3-4 hours.

Have fun and good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I really wanted to go out this weekend but looking at the weather Thursday and maybe Friday morning are going to be the only decent weather. Still debating but hate to pay the $75 for a day and a half.
If my buddy hadn't drawn this weekend, I wouldn't be going back, too hot. The third or fourth weekend is usually my favorite time to go as it cools down a bit and pre-rut activity is usually popping off. Usually bucks are starting to scrape and show up in daylight. I barely got off work Friday so I'm planning to run out there after work Thursday for a short evening set and then hunt 3 days.

I found out there's buck tags left so that's a big motivator to go. Usually those are filled by now or getting real close to being gone. I'm not real keen anymore on paying $75 to go shoot a doe, even 3 does now that they upped their quota, even if it means getting on the preference list for next year.
 
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