Common Sense, Technology Critical for Public Land Deer Hunts

 Outdoor writer Mark Kayser enjoys the challenge of do-it-yourself hunts, and has proven that success can be found on public hunting land.

Outdoor writer Mark Kayser enjoys the challenge of do-it-yourself hunts, and has proven that
success can be found on public hunting land.

Tom Miranda of the Whitetail SLAM has authored a new book, The Rut Hunters. This Tom Miranda blog features excerpts from that book.

Nearly every state has an abundance of public land available to hunters, and if you are a “do it yourself” hunter who likes researching, planning and executing hunts, this method can pay off big time in cost and experience.

By far the most time consuming, but also the most cost effective, public land hunting is a great
alternative to paying for outfitters or access. Modern technology, Google Earth, online topographic
and property maps have made doing research on public hunting spots much easier than even 10 years ago.

By adding a little common sense to technology, you can make that research pay off by putting yourself in the very best portion of those public lands. You’ll increase your odds even more by leveraging the deer management practices of adjacent private lands.

Starting with the state you’d like to hunt, you can pull statewide public land maps. Narrowing the
target area down to a quadrant of the state that is better habitat, or the type of hunting experience you desire is a crucial part of the first steps of planning.

For instance, if you were looking into New York, the Adirondack Park has millions of acres available, big-bodied deer, and areas that likely never see a hunter all season – but it also has very low deer numbers. If you’d prefer to see two dozen deer a day, rather than one or two or none, you’d do much better to hunt the Catskill Mountain land where deer densities are higher than anywhere else in the state.

GET TOM MIRANDA’S NEW BOOK HERE NOW! Click to learn more …

Call the state department of natural resources office, or search online for past harvest reports by county, and you’ll easily discover where opportunities are greatest.

Once you’ve narrowed your search down the common sense aspects come into play and it’s time to begin looking at neighboring properties. Finding large tracts of private lands that are likely managed with food plots, cover, for older-aged bucks, and a higher density of both bucks and does is the goal.

Using online aerial and topographic maps, you can then study the terrain to find likely funnels, ridges or bottoms where you’re most apt to witness buck movement. Setting up closer to these properties gives you a greater opportunity to harvest deer, versus being in the middle of a public area where food, cover and overall hunting pressure reduces opportunity.

Lastly, research the rut timing in that area to figure out exactly what week to plan your hunt, and ensure you are in the woods at the key time of season when the deer are moving most.

GET TOM MIRANDA’S NEW BOOK HERE NOW: The Rut Hunters.

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