Public land hunting

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

  1. gri22ly

    gri22ly Die Hard Bowhunter

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    I wonder why? That seems kinda of strange and silly.
     
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  2. Skywalker

    Skywalker Grizzled Veteran

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    Yeah, I honestly didn't believe it when I heard if from a guy at MDC. I looked it up in the wildlife code and found it, prohibited on all conservation ground. I also think it's silly.
     
  3. dnoodles

    dnoodles Legendary Woodsman

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    while I don't know the property in question, I certainly agree hunting a 40 acre private parcel exclusively or nearly exclusively is very, very hard. 40 does not take pressure easily, especially if all the neighboring parcels are also hunted.
     
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  4. Ridgerunner3

    Ridgerunner3 Grizzled Veteran

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    This is my situation exactly but neighbor pressure is minimal. They learn very quickly. Especially the does.

    Sent from my SM-G960U using Bowhunting.com Forums mobile app
     
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  5. gri22ly

    gri22ly Die Hard Bowhunter

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    This is one of the reasons that I believe hunting public land my be easier, or at least more productive from a numbers standpoint.

    If I can locate half a dozen core's that are isolated...in which, they almost always are...I can be extremely aggressive when the situation dictates. If I don't connect, I can regroup and come at it from a whole different angle...or, move to a different buck all together. I climbed a tree 7 times this year, all on public, missed a 170+, shot a 162, and shot a doe.
     
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  6. Xoutdoors

    Xoutdoors Weekend Warrior

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    Youre flat out wrong. Its the same thing with the public land guys. They never hunted private land. There talking from their butt's and thinks like we hunt deer from a fence. I've been deer hunting for 14 years deer hunting on both public and private. Their behavior are similar on both.
     
  7. picman

    picman Grizzled Veteran

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    All legal activities for public land. It is a ton of work to find a spot that people don't use.

    My go to spot that I have hunted for about 20 years is one such place. I have literally seen 3 other hunters in the time. 2 were in the same season and the other a bird hunter. I do know that others have been at least in the area due to tire tracks after a rain but no one sticks around.

    I'm in a long sliver of hard woods that transitions to pine, spruce and fir and then to cedar. It's overlooked as a good hunting spot because it is small. It took me a good 2 years of scouting to find it and another couple to figure out how the cedars affect my scent stream.

    Scouting/hunting public can't be a part time gig if you want to be successful year after year.
     
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  8. gri22ly

    gri22ly Die Hard Bowhunter

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    I was hoping we might get Ryan to share a little more on public land...would probably be fun to dive into those many variables.
     
  9. Rick James

    Rick James Grizzled Veteran

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    I'm learning since moving to the midwest that the guys that kill mature deer consistently have a lot of options in their pocket. Even the best hunting ground in the best counties have times where there just aren't mature bucks on it, or the hunter burns it by getting too aggressive.

    I think gri22ly's opinion is very valid in an area like Western Kentucky. If public allows you more bucks to target that's going to increase your odds substantially and it really might be easier. In the upper midwest where we are, if you aren't leveraging public it will likely cost you a LOT of money (think $5-$10k per year) to lease enough ground so that you have a half dozen mature bucks core areas pinned. Unless you're born into family ground or have the $$$ to buy or lease a thousand + acres of prime ground, public really might present more options for you.

    One other thing I'm learning as I spend more time hunting and scouting public. The bigger tracts tend to present better opportunities. In areas like Northeast Kansas where every WIHA piece is 160-300 acres, the pressure is usually really high. Everyone can walk a half mile from any side of it and cover the whole piece. Once you start walking 1 mile + you'll see the crowd thin out substantially and start getting into unpressured bucks, but you have to be on tracts large enough for that.
     
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  10. picman

    picman Grizzled Veteran

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    Getting a mile from a road is a VERY tough thing in MI and WI. If there is marketable timber, there will be a road nearby. They are getting better at closing some of these roads to vehicle traffic. But it is still far easier to walk a road than through the woodlands.
     
  11. Skywalker

    Skywalker Grizzled Veteran

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    That's one of the issues I run into with public land around here. There's well over 1,000 acres of public ground 3 miles from my house. It could be great, but our gravel roads are basically on a 1 mile grid, so nobody has to walk much more than a half mile to be in the center of a block. Where I was successful, was a small narrow patch that was between a road and some private land. If it's a clearly overlooked area that isn't going to present much bedding, but had travel route written all over it.
     
  12. Rick James

    Rick James Grizzled Veteran

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    I've personally hunted WI public where I was almost 2 miles from the road just this year. There are a quite a few options there for big public spots but you might have to drive a bit to find them.
     
  13. Swamp Stalker

    Swamp Stalker Legendary Woodsman

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    Hunting smallish private land parcels (ex. 40 acres and under) is a completely different approach/style as compared to hunting large tracts of public land. You need to treat 98% of the property as a sanctuary and stay out of it. Hunt your one or two stands and that's it. If you go looking for buck bedding areas and try setting up near them, you are ruining your hunting land. This was my mistake on my property I owned a few years back.

    Now on public land I could care less if I bump a buck or get busted because I have so many other options. I can be intrusive and agressive.

    Two completely different styles of hunting. Personally I think hunting small pieces of private land are easier. Scout during the offseason, manipulate the land (food plots, create bedding areas) if you can, then just go to your spot (if the wind is right) and wait. Public land requires constant work/scouting. I like them both equally. Each has it's advantages/disadvantages.
     
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  14. mnhunter01

    mnhunter01 Newb

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    I'd welcome you to try out Minnesota public lands, be prepared to be at your stand 11pm to get a good spot and if you do, you'll b cut off. Maybe it's just my state, but I can definitely say that public and private is not even close to the same experience.
     
  15. Jerry Casperson

    Jerry Casperson Newb

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    I love public land hunting, Its for sure tricker, but the rewards seem so much more awesome. When i find a nice public land buck or even an awesome trophy doe, its just awesome! I do hunt private as well. but public is more of a challenge so ive been doing more of it. Didnt get my goal of a 8 point with minimum 14 inch spread this year (had 2 on camera never seen in person though) so hopefully next year.
     
  16. Xoutdoors

    Xoutdoors Weekend Warrior

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    Sir I'm a straight up MN native, deer hunting on MN grounds. I've been hunting places around SE MN like whitewater and reno,etc. Theres ways to hunt these public land whitetails. I don't know what you're talking about. Public and private have their similarities, good and bads. I've harvested 2 nice bucks on public land in MN. A 2yr old with a slug and a 3 yr old with a bow during gun. I've seen great bucks on public ground during legal shooting hours just as much on private. Trust me. Private ground isn't all that much from what you're seeing in the media. As I said they both have their up and downs every year. A wild animal will always be a wild animal wherever he's at whether its public or private.
     
  17. dnoodles

    dnoodles Legendary Woodsman

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    Watch TPH. There's a couple episodes from this season in MN with The Hunting Beast that might open your eyes a bit.
     
  18. dnoodles

    dnoodles Legendary Woodsman

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    I can certainly attest to that. I love my buddy's 40 acres in WI but it is damn hard to get anywhere away from the camper in the AM without clearing the whole woods. I have literally bumped over 20 deer bedded or going to bedding in one morning. And we have trails cleared throughout. They just literally bed anywhere/everywhere.
     
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  19. mnhunter01

    mnhunter01 Newb

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    Really a great way to resolve the argument if public vs private is better is to simply list the facts. I'll just list cons to keep it short.

    Public cons:
    -Cannot leave personal property on public lands, means you cannot prep your stand or leave trail cams on public land.
    -Hunters will setup 50 yards away from you, especially if it's a hot spot.
    -Small game hunters are still roaming around during bow season.
    -Most likely will have to walk a mile to get a decent spot and carry what you plan to setup.
    -Plan to be at your spot a couple hours early to setup.
    -Deer activity changes based on hunting pressure from all types of hunting
    -Plan to either quarter your deer or drag a cart/sled haul your game.
    -Private land owners don't really take well to public land hunters hunting near their property.

    Private cons:
    -
     

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