I quit hunting public land, even though two of my top 5 deer have come off it (including my biggest, the one in my avatar).
I used to bowhunt some saddles in a ridge on gamelands that had some great deer activity. I cleared some leaves off the ridge trail in a couple of places so I could see any deer tracks in the mud and which way they were crossing. One day, early in rifle season, I decided to go get my stand out of there before it grew legs and walked off on its own. I hunted the farthest stand in the morning and saw does only (which weren't in season at the time). I took the Loc-On stand down, slung it over my back, and headed back out the ridge trail. I was wearing an orange vest, so I felt pretty safe. Right when I got to the second saddle (closer to the road) I bent over at the waist to check the mud in the saddle closest to the road. Suddenly, the pine limb right in front of my face exploded, I heard the crack of the bullet, then heard the report of the rifle. I started hollering and saw an older guy with glasses sitting on a downed log about 80 yards away. His back was up against a tree and he had a lever action rifle with iron sights in his hands. I asked him if he felt like dying today, and brought my rifle to port arms. I saw the color drain out of his face and I turned and ran out of the woods as hard as I could go. How He didn't see my vest, I have no earthly idea. I stopped to puke my guts out a little ways down the trail when what almost just happened hit me. I took down the license tag to the only truck that was parked beside the main road and hurried back to the Sports Shop where I worked. They all told me that I looked like I'd seen a ghost. I said I almost WAS a ghost and told them the story. That was the last time I rifle hunted on gamelands.
I used to bowhunt on gamelands, but once when hunting with a buddy, he arrowed a nice tall-racked 8 pointer we'd seen the afternoon before. He wasn't sure of his shot as it was through a small opening. We found the back half of his arrow (with decent blood), went back to the truck for flashlights (in case we needed them) and to give the deer time to lay up. We had to knee crawl through a couple of thickets to follow the sparse blood trail, but it got heavier as we got to some more open woods that opened out to an old roadbed, where we found a gut pile and the other half of his arrow. About that time, we heard a vehicle pull off from the shoulder of the road to get out of there in a hurry & realized that it was the deer thief driving off.
That ended it for me. I have only hunted private land since, and now have a good (but somewhat small) lease that I have to drive past thousands of acres of gamelands to get to.
Gamelands have a lot to offer, but because I don't know who else is going to be there, where they're going to be, or their competency level, someone else can have my share.
Luck Counts, good or bad