Wednesday, July 5, 2017


Dudley Went Squirrel Hunting On The Gus Engeling Wildlife Management Area Decades Ago ...

It is a 10,000 acre hunting paradise located in East TX. Dudley did not kill any squirrels but had fun riding around in his Jeep on all of the roads that were normally off limits to vehicle traffic. Saw his first ever wild hogs that morning. By the time Dudleys father in law was born in 1927, there were not any deer to be found in East TX for the most part. They had been wiped out by over hunting and hunting with dogs. Growing up, my father in law never saw any deer on the family farm. The State of Texas Game, Fish and Oyster Commision in the late 40's and early 50's decided to restock Whitetail Deer onto their former range in East TX. The State captured wild deer from the TX Hill Country and South TX and brought them up and released them on the middle of Engeling Wildlife Management Area. It took about twenty years for the deer to repopulate and spread out over that part of East TX.  Dudley found an article that said between 1948 and 1951, 280 whitetail deer were released in Anderson County. Another 318 were released from 1949 to 1955 in Henderson County that joins Anderson. 

Dudleys father in law saw his first deer in the area near the family farm around 1977. He was driving down the road near the farm in the fall of the year and saw a doe run out of the brush and she was being chased by a big buck!  His Dad had cows on the farm and would not let Dudleys father in law hunt. He and most of the areas cattlemen had been quietly talking among themselves about seeing deer tracks and a deer on occasion. They were keeping this to themselves to protect the deer and help them get reestablished.  Dudleys father in laws Dad passed away on September 7, 1978. The cows were sold off soon after. On November 4, 1978, Dudleys father in law had a brand new Marlin 336C lever action deer rifle. It was opening morning of the Deer Season and he went to the farm before daylight. He sat on the ground at the base of a giant Red Oak tree looking across a big Powerline Right of Way. About an hour and a half after sunrise, he looked into the woodline 100 yards away and he saw a big doe standing still and there was a big buck standing broadside behind her! Dudleys father in law raised the new rifle up and lined up the sights on the bucks shoulder and fired! The buck and doe stood there and did not move, he had missed! It was over 100 yards away, he racked the lever and aimed a little higher and fired again. The second shot hit the buck high in the shoulder and the rest is history!  Two years later, Dudley was sitting in the same spot and he killed his first buck!

 The refuge was named for Gus August Engeling who was a State Wildlife Biologist that was killed by a poacher illegally shooting ducks on December 13,1951 in a marsh.  The Poacher was tried and convicted and later strapped into the Electric Chair and electrocuted for his crime. When Dudley lived in Palestine years ago, he met the Sheriff that made the arrest and who got into a fight with the poacher who tried to take the sheriffs gun in a failed escape attempt from the jail after he had confessed to the murder. 

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