Do you hunt public land?

How can you become a better hunter? Find out here — and share your advice!
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RE: Do you hunt public land?

Postby msbadger » Wed Aug 26, 2009 12:27 am

Now thats a great Idea....

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RE: Do you hunt public land?

Postby danowak » Wed Aug 26, 2009 4:49 am

I mostly hunt public land, mostly with a bow in a bow hunting only area of the Big Cypress swamp in South Florida. I started doing that when I saw guys loading cases of beer and high power rifles into swamp buggies. The Big Cypress is about 725,000 acres, and the bow section is about 30,000 acres. Water is everywhere, and so is the same food, so the way to hunt is over travel routes. Problem with that this time of year is that they don't leave tracks in water. So you have to scout when it's dry and have an idea where they will be moving come September.
We do have wildfires (and some prescribed burns) too, so another good thing to do is hunt the burnouts. They like the new growth. The good news is that there are not a lot of bowhunters where I go, so I usually have the woods to myself. The bad news is that there are not a lot of deer either due to poor soil (and therefore poor habitat). But I like being out there, so I consider it a successful day if I see deer. Last two years I have got one deer each year out there so I must be doing something right.

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RE: Do you hunt public land?

Postby flatheadnut » Mon Aug 31, 2009 5:49 am

I hunt public land so that I don't burn out the small farm I have access to. The thing I haven't herd specifically mentioned is check close archery shops. The land I hunt, has a good archery shop in the small town closest too it. The old gentleman in the shop was very helpful. The biggest advice he told me was that as soon as I was 300 yards off the road, I was deeper than 90% of the hunters. That coupled with two locations he suggested has really helped. I now walk more than a mile to my hunting blinds and stand. I have several and don't hunt the same one back-to-back. That with alternating with the farm, and I don't worry about pushing the deer out. I'm really excited about some new corners and funnels I found this year. Oh, and build or buy a deer cart, at least I don't want to drag a buck for a mile. I took two kids bikes from the neighbor's trash, robbed the front forks and wheels, grabbed an old bed fram and the welder, presto, deer cart, now I just need the season to open, can't wait!
Hunt safe, hunt often, hunt ethically, and don't forget to say Thank You!

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RE: Do you hunt public land?

Postby DeerCamp » Mon Aug 31, 2009 6:04 am

Ill agree, some people on state land are idiots! I have my own ways of hunting them, however these people dont care and can show up at any given time recking a hunt.  Sometimes you just have to put up with it if you hunt small state land by your house thast just small in acers but cant afford to drive eleswhere...Just tought it out and hope for a little luck.
"If I pull the hammer and shoot this young buck, he's dead. But if I pass on him, the next hunter might not shoot so straight."

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RE: Do you hunt public land?

Postby Whitetailaddict » Thu Sep 24, 2009 12:26 pm

I love greg miller's books with a passion and he my be my favorite deer hunter of all time, quite possibly my hero. i would love to meet him someday.

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RE: Do you hunt public land?

Postby Patriot » Thu Sep 24, 2009 4:28 pm

No offense whatsoever to y'all public land hunters, but I avoid public land like the plague.[:'(]  One reason I hunt is to get away from "the public". 
I understand not everyone has access to private land and you need to take what you can get.  I drive 3 hours to my in laws farm most weekends during the season simply to hunt where I won't be bothered.  It's a hassle, but well worth it.
Paul K. "aim small, miss small"

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RE: Do you hunt public land?

Postby Whitetailaddict » Sat Sep 26, 2009 9:18 am

If you hunt big enough woods you can get as far away from people as you want, and i've seen enough big bucks in these woods that i know it's worth my time. i love hunting the big woods with a passion and think it is the best and most challenging/rewarding kind of hunting you can ever do.

And a couple things that play to your advantage in big woods is there is little to no bow pressure, and then during rilfe season, you can sit in a spot with people traffic and they will move deer past you all day. I love hunting big woods and publc land.

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RE: Do you hunt public land?

Postby nhdeerchaser » Thu Oct 15, 2009 1:38 pm

I have no choice. It's public land or nothing for me.
I have a pretty good spot on public land. I shot at a nice buck there, and I see a ton of deer.
I only hunt it from a treestand for safety reasons. It gets hit by guys pretty hard on weekends, but I never see a soul there during the week.

You can't kill'em sittin' on the couch!

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RE: Do you hunt public land?

Postby hunts2long » Fri Oct 16, 2009 2:42 am

Early season I hunt most of the time on State land that borders appx. 300 acres of private land...I don't hunt the private land very hard until later in the season. Deer seem to know where they are not being hunted hard. Most of my "luck" comes later in the season, but I do ok hunting the borders early...there a few hunters on the state land on weekends so I set up and let them do the pushing for me...ML opens in the morning...I will be in there "waiting....Good Luck to all....hunts2long

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RE: Do you hunt public land?

Postby DeanoZ » Fri Oct 16, 2009 4:23 am

This is my first year hunting public land...not by choice, but interestingly enough I'm enjoying the challenge of it thus far.  It's a great way to hone your scouting skills and even if you don't harvest a deer its rewarding to know the areas you studied and ultimately hang a stand in produced deer...more so if your short on time and have literally a few days before the opener to find, clear and hang your sets!  Here is what I've learned thus far...some of it has already been discussed but bears repeating:

1.  Pull the topos and aerials of the area you plan to hunt and study them hard...look for minutest of terrain features that are often overlooked instead of just the obvious ones, where most of the other hunters will go to first.

2.  If bicycles are allowed and trails available use one to do your scouting...that alone saved me hours of hiking to the half dozen or so spots I wanted to look at.  As one other poster said here, it also allows you to go deep where other hunters are not.

3.  During the rut hunt the normal funnels where there is a lot of doe activity...the bucks will follow.  Outside of the rut you have to get more creative and think like a mature buck one pro told me.."Where would I hide/go to if I wanted to avoid hunters/danger?".  These are often thickets, small islands/sanctuaries, swamps etc where most traffic can't or has no desire to get to...and hunt the peripheral edges of these.

4.  If at all possible hunt the weekday mornings instead of the weekends.  I'm fortunate to have a spot thats on my way to work, so I get up in my stand before shooting light and by 0800 I'm off my stand, change into my work duds and am at my desk by 0900.  best part is I practically have the whole woods to myself, and all those spots I wanted to hunt but already had a stand hanging by another hunter are available to me.

5.  Patience....since this was my first attempt at public hunting, I've had to show a lot of restraint.  You'll come across all kinds of yahoos out there.  Some are very helpful and others are just down right inconsiderate and rude.  Pick and choose your deer is worth your safety.

6.  Refine your setups and plan.  As you put in the time and begin to pattern the deer behavior you'll undoubted come across other spots to hunt or need to adjust your tree stand site.  Don't be afraid to do this as opposed to sitting in the same stand time and you pattern the deer, their patterning you!  The only exception iw ould say to this is if you are in the classic funnel, your seeing does, and the rut is upon you.  Save that stand for the rut and as long as the does are still coming, stick it out, the bucks will follow


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