Public land hunting

Discussion in 'Bowhunting Talk' started by Ryan Geffert, Dec 10, 2018.

  1. Ryan Geffert

    Ryan Geffert Newb

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    been hunting public land for 10 years or so now. Anyone else think this is the most realistic hunt you will find. MAny variables hunting public lands!!! Follow @in_the_hunt_ct on insta to view some public land deer taken down
     
  2. ganderss2424

    ganderss2424 Weekend Warrior

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    It’s a level playing field for sure. It’s also a challenge that a lot of skill and work need to be put in in order to be successful. But that’s what draws me towards it. Also the fact that I can hunt new pieces whenever I want. I would get bored hunting the same property all year


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  3. afishhunter

    afishhunter Weekend Warrior

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    Sarting with my first hunt back in 1968, I don't think I've ever hunted on private land.
     
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  4. Ryan Geffert

    Ryan Geffert Newb

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    I agree I definitely think it is the best challenge. Scouting plays a huge role in finding the deer. They don’t just come to the bait you put down and sit by. Public land is by far the best challenge
     
  5. virginiashadow

    virginiashadow Legendary Woodsman

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    There are some private lands that are hunted harder than some public lands. All depends on location and pressure.

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  6. gri22ly

    gri22ly Die Hard Bowhunter

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    I've put a lot thought into it over the last few years...and, I would say it's probably much easier to kill mature bucks on public land...as opposed to private land. But that just me, and the roll my style of hunting plays into the equation.
     
  7. Ryan Geffert

    Ryan Geffert Newb

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    Not sure where you are hunting but I tend to disagree. I see plenty of mature bucks and only in areas that you can’t get to u less you know who owns the land. Public land hunters aren’t always trying to take down nature deer. Most hunters I know who hunt public land say “ if it’s brown it’s down”. I don’t believe in this but to each their own. Some hunt to just say they got one. Private land is more controlled. Not every local hunter is there blasting them. Typically you choose what ones you want to take down on private land. Again, I don’t know where you’re hunting at, but I’ve never seen more hunters on private land then on public.
     
  8. Xoutdoors

    Xoutdoors Weekend Warrior

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    I hunted both public and private. Theres not much of a big difference. Pressure is similar on both. The only thing in public land is looking for quality like a mature animal. It's a puzzle that you have to find out where these mature animals roam on public.
     
  9. Ryan Geffert

    Ryan Geffert Newb

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    I agree very difficult to find mature deer on public. Hard to pass on a decent size buck on public with the variables (someone else shooting them or they don’t make it to next year or they leave that area). No matter what I love hunting and would hunt both land if I could
     
  10. gri22ly

    gri22ly Die Hard Bowhunter

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    My opinion on the matter is purely subjective on my part, I have no experience on private land.

    Logic tells me that my odds of finding the heart of a mature bucks core on 200,000+ acres (west ky), is astronomically greater than finding the heart of a mature bucks core on 100 acres. Strictly based on the availability of said subject's alone, if nothing else.

    Then factor in, that I'm going to locate the heart of a half dozen, or more, mature buck cores to hunt. I would have to have a ton of prime private land, in my area, to accomplish that...But that can easily be done on 200,000+ acres, with a little work.

    With large amounts of land, and multiple subjects to hunt, the conditions are nearly always "perfect" for a hunt (someplace)... And I can be as aggressive as I need to be to optimize my odds of success. I potentially have access to all aspects of a bucks life, core, home range...I can go anywhere he goes...I have the ability to shift and transition right along with him as he shifts and transitions.

    My conclusion...I have access to a large number of targets....and I'm not handicapped by property lines in my pursuit of said targets.
     
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  11. mnhunter01

    mnhunter01 Newb

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    It's great to know other people have options, I don't, so I'm stuck only hunting public land. Also to hear private land hunters say its the same as public has not really hunted public land where you have to carry in your stand for miles to get away from the crowd and prepare to drag 2-3 miles because there's no ATVs allowed. I see many pics with hunts next to a field, guess what, there's not many public places that have crops and if it does, it's usually packed with other hunters.
     
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  12. gri22ly

    gri22ly Die Hard Bowhunter

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    Restricted access is a GOOD thing. That's definitely been a large contributor to many of my successful hunts....I often key in on spots that are really hard to get too.

    I quit dragging deer a long time ago, I quarter them up an pack them out.

    Do you want to hunt fields? And if so, may I ask why?
     
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  13. Ryan Geffert

    Ryan Geffert Newb

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    Totally agree. Never once found a field on public land that you can hunt. They know better to cross that path
     
  14. gri22ly

    gri22ly Die Hard Bowhunter

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    Just for fun, I'd like to divulge, that I shot this buck on public land while hunting a field....and his bed, and a terrain funnel, and a transition in cover...cover edge.
    DSC01276.JPG


    He was bedded at the red dot (on public) and staging up at the blue dot...then was heading to the bean field on the private well after dark...I shot him where he staged.
    20181211_213119.jpg 17cam6-3.JPG
     
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  15. dnoodles

    dnoodles Legendary Woodsman

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    The TPH crew did pretty much the same thing this year on public in KY, early season.

    MI also recently started paying farmers to plant fields on public land. Has definitely changed the areas I hunt for the better. Sure more pressure at the road but I just go deeper and target the staging areas in the evening and get closer to bedding in the AM as long as I get my butt out of the camper early enough to beat them there.

    Couple years back I shot and unfortunately lost a buck on public land in IN as he worked a scrape at the junction of a hedgerow, a cornfield, and beanfield edge. Stand site in yellow, beanfield was north in red, and cornfield in light blue the gap between the stand and the hedgerow to the west was the tractor lane.

    IN PL.JPG
     
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  16. dnoodles

    dnoodles Legendary Woodsman

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    I know a little bit about where Gri22ly hunts; and I can tell you he has more experience and knows more about killing big bucks on public land than probably anyone on this site.

    Granted, he has access to some awesome public land, but he still puts in more work learning it than anyone here.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2018
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  17. Hatfield Hunter

    Hatfield Hunter Weekend Warrior

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    problems with public land are basically other hunters and Morons, Other hunters walking around during prime deer movement times, or sitting in your tree stand, or hunting same buck, or deer drives, or small gamers shooting all over the bedding area of your buck, or nature hikers, or worse yet moron atv riders riding off trails right onto ridge or bedding area,s you are hunting----all of these have happened to me on public land so some must have public land to hunt that nobody else hunts or actually not able to hunt
     
  18. Skywalker

    Skywalker Grizzled Veteran

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    I've had varied success on public land. I killed a nice 138" 10 point on my first ever hang and sit on public land. I've also had stands stolen and hunters scouting and setting up stands during the heart of the seeking phase. Totally blowing the deer out of the 100 acre piece of public I was hunting. I've seen good deer while hunting on public, but for every good deer I've seen I've had a negative experience to go along with it. I use public land as a backup option to my 40 acre property, but I've only had 2 years where I had to rely on the public land. My tiny 40 acres has been really good to me. Honestly a testament to how a small property can be as productive as a bigger property or big public lands. I would argue that the challenge of hunting and killing mature bucks on my 40 acres would rival any challenge public land could present.
     
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  19. gri22ly

    gri22ly Die Hard Bowhunter

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    I will usually have 2 or 3 cameras stolen each year...but I'm prepared for that and it a price I'm willing to pay. Still much cheaper than a lease, lol.

    To combat uncontrolled pressure and other random chaos, I decided (couple years ago) to set out the month of November and focus all my time in September-October and December-January.

    I agree, I believe this statement is 100% correct.
     
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  20. Skywalker

    Skywalker Grizzled Veteran

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    That's probably a good strategy. We are not allowed to run trail cameras on public ground in Missouri and I typically don't have the time it would take to scout and target a mature buck, so I just have to go in on blind faith. That's always hard for me when I'm getting trail cam pics of mature bucks on my property. I've never paid for an outfitter or even paid to lease land, but I'm really considering adding a lease so I have a backup where I have more control of my situation.
     

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