First post back story/ hunting public land

Discussion in 'Bowhunting Talk' started by jcz, Feb 9, 2016.

  1. jcz

    jcz Weekend Warrior

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    Hello everyone I'm new to the site but not new to hunting. I shot my first bow when I was 14 and hunted deer with it for 4 years with no luck but man I fell in love shooting that bear whitetail 2. I shortly after fell in love with waterfowl and all my time went into that. After a slow migration this year I wanted to get back into a tree stand. So I'm looking for a new bow and going to shop around for something good not an entry level. I want to ask you all how many of you just hunt public land and how successful are you? Do any of you duck hunt along with being a successful bow hunter.
    Thanks
     
  2. turkish621

    turkish621 Weekend Warrior

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    Welcome! I only hunt public land here in MN. I have had success every year for the last several years. It doesn't come easy, and not every deer I shoot it a trophy or even a buck. Put in your time, lots of scouting and you should find something to shoot at.
     
  3. elkguide

    elkguide Grizzled Veteran

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    It's great to mix it up and hunt deer one day and ducks the next or a morning hunt for ducks and an evening hunt for deer. Public land will require a little bit more research but that means more time out there. Enjoy!!!!
     
  4. Swise660

    Swise660 Weekend Warrior

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    I've been duck hunting longer than I have been a bow hunter. I love duck hunting, I love everything about it. With that said, I didn't get out duck hunting once last season! I was so tied up in being in my bow stand that I couldn't even force myself to sit a morning in the duck blind.

    I am HOPING to get a few duck hunts in this year, but we'll see how that works out.
     
  5. victoryhunter

    victoryhunter Weekend Warrior

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    For the past two years I've only hunted public and it's been a lot of fun, I've had good success. I'm not a waterfowler but I want to get into it. I do enjoy upland hunting though as well as fishing so I make it a point to chase critters year round if I can. No reason you can't be be successful at both!
     
  6. early in

    early in Grizzled Veteran

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    I hunt Public land almost exclusively and get a deer every year. Not always a buck though. I'll allow smaller (legal) bucks to walk if it's not bigger than my previous best. Learn your land and the deer's habits (hunters habits too) and you'll be good to go. I don't hunt birds. lol
     
  7. Whitetail

    Whitetail Die Hard Bowhunter

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    Can't help you out about public land. After someone thinking I was a turkey, pointing there shotgun at me ready to pull the trigger I quit public land. I will knock on a thousand doors and ask permission before I go back to public land. FWIW I found lots of quality private land to hunt. I just had to invest the time and effort to get some places. One land owner even gives me a call when she makes an "extra" pie. BUT she gets some venison & walleye fillets.

    I sent this to someone interested in getting into archery a few years ago. Parts where meant to address some of his specific questions. Maybe it will help with your bow shopping.

    My Advise:

    If you can find someone to let you shoot their bow some to get the hang of it, it would be a good thing. Think of it as never driving a car (or riding in one) and then trying to test drive them for handling, comfort, sound, etc. Once you have shot a few hundred arrows go shoot every bow within 60 miles of your house. Don't look at the brand. Almost all bows today are a huge step up than 10-15 years ago. Some, you will know the first shot, some before you shoot it if it's not for you. Narrow it down to a few bows and go shoot them again. O yea, if a dealer doesn’t let you shoot some bows or gives you a "bad feeling about it" go somewhere else. Don't shoot to much in one day. You will not judge the bow the same if you are shooting the 5th arrow or 65th arrow of the day. The bow WILL PICK YOU.

    Things to consider:

    IBO Rating (speed): Don't worry about the speed of the bow. All bows are fast enough today. My first bow was fast for its day (1975). It shot a blazing 180 fps and I killed lots of stuff with it. You will notice most bows with a high IBO (330 fps+) will have a harder draw and more of a hump than 290-330 IBO. They gain speed by having you pull the max draw weight for longer length and then the drop off is shorter.

    Draw length: Find your comfortable DL. Start by wing span divided by 2.5. This is a starting point. Remember the DL the bow says may not be actual. Lots of reasons for this but its a conversation for another time. Some bows have easy to change DL (Mission you mentioned is one). Then you can fine tune your DL as your skill/comfort increases. Some require cam changes to change DL which you could have your dealer do.

    Draw weight: You don't have to be a gorilla. Today's 60# bow has more power than a 70# did 15 years ago and more than an 80# did 20 years ago. You can kill any animal in North America with 60#.

    Bow length: Referred to as axle to axle (ATA). If you hunt a lot from a blind, 28"-32" ATA is good. Otherwise 28"-40" is good. Most hunting bows now are 28"-34".

    Cost: Figure your budget them be prepare to add $100-200 because the bow you really want will be more than your budget. Get quality accessories including arrows. Figure close to the cost of the bow again for rest, sight, quiver, stabilizer, arrows, broadheads and release.

    Warranty: Once you get it narrowed down to 2-3 bows think of warranty. Some companies have lifetime warranty to the original owner. Some companies have transferable warranty. Some companies have real lifetime warranty. Mathews has parts still available for every bow they ever made since 1990. Mission does too. Some company's lifetime warranty is until they discontinue that model and run out of parts. I know a guy that could not get a cam from the company for a 4 year old bow.

    Dealer: Check out each dealer. Is the place a pig pen (dirty)? Are they willing to help? Do they try to force you to a brand/model? Are you comfortable with them? Tell them you are just beginning. You are looking for guidance and are not there to buy that day and see how they react. My current dealer is 45 miles from my house. I drive past a dealer only 5 miles from me. A walked in there a few years back and asked him if he would put my bow back into manufacture spec. They dealer I had used for many years refused. He put in in spec, had me shoot it, adjusted my peep sight and charged me a whole $10. A few months later (the next time I was there) I was bow shopping. I knew which bows I narrowed it down to. I shot both and asked if he would order me one in my DL that no one had ever shot. He said not problem. Now I had only been in his shop once before and spent a whole $10. He called me when it was in. I went there and he brought out a box and a knife and asked me I if I wanted to open it. He got my business from that moment on. Guess what....I bought 3 bows from him since and had 2 buddies go there.

    FWIW: A few years ago, I was looking to get a new bow. My last bow was 8 years old, I went to every dealer within 70 miles of me. I shot 17 different bows from 8 companies. Some I knew after one shot or before I shot them that they we not for me. But I shot several arrows from them anyway. It came down to 2 bows, the same brand. I chose the slightly shorter one, since I hunt from blind over 1/2 the time.
     
  8. jcz

    jcz Weekend Warrior

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    Thanks for all the feedback. Whitetail are you saying that all the other accessories are going to cost around $7/800? That's crazy I was thinking or hoping to get everything out the door around $1200 for a real good setup that I wouldn't have to upgrade from. My wife thought I was nuts for buying auto loaders for that much lol.. As far as land goes I do have 40 Acres of private that Im the only one who hunts it but when the wind is wrong I have to do public. This is Western NY and people around here don't just give you permission and I know how to be presentable its just there turned off by a bad egg from sometime or another. Also any of you carry climber stands with you when your hunting these public tracks or not cause of the extra weight on the walks.
    Thanks
     
  9. JGD

    JGD Die Hard Bowhunter

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    I hunt public land the majority of the time and use hang on stands and a climber depending on the wind and where I want to hunt. I have opportunities to kill deer every year. I've killed a lot of ducks over the years but I'm not a duck hunter...jump shooting them off of warm water ditches and creeks was how we did it. I've combined the two and hunted ducks with a recurve and flu flu arrows. That's a blast. You can get a great set up for $1200; shop around. :)
     
  10. PAhunter570

    PAhunter570 Newb

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    I've been hunting the last three years only on public land in Northeast PA. I shot my first buck this past season which was a mature 8 point with good mass. Being a golf pro in long island I would commute throughout the summer and early fall to scout different areas. Call me crazy but NE PA is where I grew up and I just love the lay of the land. With all that being said they're are mature deer on public land. I've been eating my tags prior to last season because I'm stubborn and try and hold out for an older deer(at least 3.5) which is tough to do. But they're out there. I get plenty of trail cam photos and videos of them so that's why I hold out. I do see younger legal bucks and does all the time though. I'd get used to looking at google maps and also find an app that has a topo map of the land. Most of all your gonna have to put boots on the ground. My days off during the summer and early fall are spent scouting and checking cams. I mainly have been using a climber when I hunt. It's the summit viper elite sd only 15lbs and I attach my pack to it as well when I hike in. I'm usually hiking a mile or so in and that stand is pretty quiet and easy to carry. I don't dare to step into the public woods during rifle season because it's usually flooded with hunter and I don't wanna get shot. During archery a lot of the times I have the areas to myself. If you can put the time in you can find the deer. Good luck
     
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