Hunting Public Land

Tracks, Rubs, Scrapes, Trails, Etc.
hot tamale
 
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Re: Hunting Public Land

Postby hot tamale » Thu Sep 27, 2012 1:17 am

not sure of who the guy with the Wisconsin Badger logo is but no not all public lands in Wisconsin require you to take your stand down at the end of each day.
you should read your regs as you stated. in the Chequamegon and Nicolet nat'l forests, you can leave them up from beginning to the end of the season. These are Federal lands, yet public.
Now getting back to the subject, there are hundreds of thousands of acres of public shooting land in most states. what we as hunters do is we all seem to flock to certain sections of it. If you drive down the road on opening morning, you will see certain parking lots and sections of road littered with vehicles. then a mile down the road there isnt a soul in sight. go around the block and nobody is on the other side.
you'll notice that most of these heavy hunted areas have walking trails well groomed and large open areas where the hunters can see a ways.

if you look a little i bet you can find several hundred acres that are barely hunted by anyone. I have hunted public land for over 25 years and have harvested more than one deer each year.

good luck to all. :!:

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Deebz
 
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Re: Hunting Public Land

Postby Deebz » Thu Sep 27, 2012 8:50 am

I'm not sure Slot was talking about legally having to take the stand down... more like, if you want to ensure that it's where you left it and empty when you show up you should take it in and out with you
"When a hunter is in a tree stand with high moral values and with the proper hunting ethics and richer for the experience, that hunter is 20 feet closer to God." ~Fred Bear

Dan Salmon
 
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Re: Hunting Public Land

Postby Dan Salmon » Thu Sep 27, 2012 11:12 am

On state owned land, JSlotter is correct. On county forest or federal land you are correct. Lots of different designations and ownership of "public" lands in WI. There is also Managed Forest/Forest Crop Land that is "public" land with some restrictions. Each type of public land has a different set of rules, everyone needs to know which they are hunting and what those rules are.

I will also agree with some of the previous posts. You don't necessarily have to go to the furthest point from the parking areas. You just need to find the areas that other hunters don't use. Sometimes that's land right next to the parking lot. A buddy of mine shot a very respectable 8 pointer in the late 90's and was sitting 40 yards from the parking lot. It was a thick area and no one ever hunted it. That buck came in and laid down about 15 minutes before shooting light and didn't get up until 10:45am. He started moving out and presented a shot that my buddy was successful in making. By the way, all the other hunters had left by 10:00am, including myself, and we never knew that deer was there.

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Jslotter
 
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Location: Wisconsin

Re: Hunting Public Land

Postby Jslotter » Thu Sep 27, 2012 5:39 pm

Correct. I didn't elaborate. I meant state public land is where you cannot leave a permanent stand.
I only hunt on days that end in ' Y '.

buckwild
 
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Re: Hunting Public Land

Postby buckwild » Fri Nov 02, 2012 12:29 pm

This is my 14th year hunting, and it has been exclusively on public land. I only hunted archery the first five years, and then started gun hunting. It took me a few years for the first harvest, but have increased success since then (got 3 last year). Here is my take:

Scout with technology first. google your state dnr and county forest preserve district to identify public land. From there i would use google maps and mytopo.com to look at specific parcels. The topo is a great way to identify land feature that will funnel deer. find a few places that look promising and start scouting there.

when boots hit the ground, I have two priorities: 1) (and #1 for a reason) dont educate the deer - mature deer know the drill, and as soon as they figure out they are being hunted your sightings can vanish. It is one thing to bump deer, but don't leave your stink behind on leaves to educate them hours after you leave. 2) find fresh sign. Track, rubs, and scrapes are all good, but for me nothing beats lots of fresh droppings. deer "drop" 7-8 times a day and if there are using an area you will see the remainders. Find the does, and you will find the bucks during the rut.

I hunt a forest that is over 2000 acres, so getting deep in the park to avoid other hunters is beneficial. I do have encounters, but that is life. We can leave stands set up through the season. I lock mine when I leave by lifting the platform up and locking it upright against the tree. This way another hunter cannot use my stand unless they came equipped to cut the lock. If someone wants to steal your stand there is not much you can do to stop them. I have had good luck, but when I got to my tree stand last sunday morning and it was stolen. Thats a whole other story but I didnt have it locked.

Its not the end of the world that other hunters are moving around. They stir the deer. A few of my favorite spots for gun season are places where the geography channels the deer. There are a few steep ridges that deer would rather go around. I set up next to the steep places That is between bedding area, and wait for the hunters to get restless. mid day is actually one of the most productive.

Overall, I really don't mind public land. I love being out there. It is a challenge to get on deer, but the challenge is part of what I like. Have fun and be safe!
Semper Fidelis!

hot tamale
 
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Re: Hunting Public Land

Postby hot tamale » Wed Nov 07, 2012 5:01 pm

I like the public land opportunities because if one area isnt producing, another might be. I do the same thing you do regarding scouting.
I look for creek crossings and funnels on the topo maps. I also use Google Earth to get an idea of what i'm looking at or should expect.
I keep things in mind like: where are other hunters going to park and likely hunt? which way does the wind predominantly blow?
Are the trails that I'm covering going to have deer cruising through during daylight-hunting hours?

Then there are those areas that you come across that although you dont see a lot of sign, you just know that they are there and seldom hunted due to how deep in the woods it is or for some other reason. This is where my 2nd guessing comes into play sometimes. I came across this last weekend while scouting.
I know deer are there, but where do they travel and what are the food sources? how many people hunt back there? I guess I'll have to get some answers for this pretty soon or the season will have passed and I will be none the wiser.

Good luck to all and have a safe hunting season.

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Jslotter
 
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Re: Hunting Public Land

Postby Jslotter » Wed Nov 07, 2012 6:53 pm

I approach public land the same way Tamale. I stake out different areas for different winds and human pressure, look for funnels, bedding, feeding areas, history of past activity, and so on.
I only hunt on days that end in ' Y '.

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