Public Land

Discussion in 'Bowhunting Talk' started by Humpythahunter, Jul 30, 2020.

  1. Humpythahunter

    Humpythahunter Weekend Warrior

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    Location:
    Jonesborough, Tennessee
    Whenever you are preparing to go and scout public land as well as hunt pieces of public land what do you focus on?

    Small pieces or larger pieces? What’s your main thing you look for on a map?

    Here in East Tennessee we mainly have big mountains and not a lot of field or agricultural deer in my experience. (Unless it’s private) So I focus on trying to find thickets, creeks, drainages, off the beaten path.

    I’m really curious as to the size of public you look to scout on a map or does it matter?


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  2. Cannon06

    Cannon06 Weekend Warrior

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    I would check out these scouting Youtube videos: The Hunting Public does a scouting series where they break down different land types, and East Meets West does a scouting series on big woods. I also hunt big woods/mountain/hill country deer with no Ag anywhere close by. My best spots are travel corridors along benches near the tops of hills. It's hard to hunt food because there are mature white oak trees basically everywhere. Put boots on the ground and look for old rub lines and game trails, walk them and see where they go.
     
  3. virginiashadow

    virginiashadow Legendary Woodsman

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    Lots of scouting in and out of season really helps, then following up and actually hunting spots you marked. Over and over until you find a spot that keeps producing. Then find two more of those type spots. Then a dozen.

    To keep it simple for me, I like looking for environments where there is a lot of diverse habitats mixed into terrain features that force movement and make for a consistent wind. For example, you have some big woods, but on the southern slopes of a hill there is a 2 to 3 acre thicket, and right by the thicket, the hardwoods and softwoods meet on a terrain edge that slopes deer movement. So many factors right there that up your odds of not only seeing deer, but getting close enough to predict their movement to within 20 yards. So in a nutshell, some people think big picture and that works for them...I like micro spots that are mixed into the big woods. Spots that no one else sees and I can have it all to myself. Even if it is not the best, I may be the only person hunting it..big advantage.
     
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  4. Mod-it

    Mod-it Die Hard Bowhunter

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    I look for the same basically. Around here there are logging roads upon logging roads. I search out the honey holes that are furthest from any logging road, as most don't ever get more than 300 yards from one...if they even get off their atv (I'll bet 50% of rifle hunters here hunt from their atv's).
     
  5. Josh Myers

    Josh Myers Weekend Warrior

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    Saddles or funnels in thickets. If you can find those together its almost money every time as long as you hunt the correct side based on wind direction. Each of them separate are great as well.
     
  6. Kenneth Jasinski

    Kenneth Jasinski Newb

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    Id say try to focus on pinch points, they are harder to find but once you find a good pinch point you are set. there are a ton of different pinch points, but anything that funnels deer movement to a certain area, could be a big creek, drainage, a cattle fence, downed trees, etc.. Last year on a piece of public land, never stepped foot on before but map scouted it and found a possible pinch point, went out 2nd week of November. three hunters hunted this pinch point thru out the week and brought one a good 8 point, passed up a broken up 10 point and almost got a shot at a bigger 8 point. Also saw smaller bucks and tons of does funneling thru. the pinch point was on the edge of public and private, had a cattle fence on private side and a steep hill on public side, pinch point necked down to 35 yards wide in the one section and thats where we hunted. And almost brought two home with a few other nice buck sightings. If you can narrow down some pinch points for the rut, you will have a great opportunity.
     
  7. bornfromthecorn

    bornfromthecorn Weekend Warrior

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    Location:
    Nebraska, South Dakota (college)
    The landscape here in SD is completely different from where you are, but I would say no spot is probably too small. I used to hunt large tracts of public land almost exclusively. Over time, I have found that sometimes the smaller properties, while easily over run with too many people, often have no one hunting there with any frequency. These locations frequently are overlooked because of their size. I would recommend looking for habitat you think would hold deer and focus on it, no matter of the size of the property.
     
  8. Bowbunter k-32

    Bowbunter k-32 Weekend Warrior

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    Transition line's, timber cuts, funnel's, elevation changes, points and thickets.
     
  9. cantexian

    cantexian Grizzled Veteran

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    I look for bowhunting only pieces. I then try to avoid the obvious spots, within half mile of parking lots or easily walk-able trails over flat terrain. Things like creeks, hills, roads create obstacles that most people will avoid. Once I identify these areas on a map, I look for terrain features like ridge tops, saddles, and river bottoms which will force deer to move through a smaller area. One of my favorite public lands spots is a little 80 acre section across the interstate from the main block of the public piece. It is easily overlooked and is an awesome rut bedding area.
     
  10. Mod-it

    Mod-it Die Hard Bowhunter

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    I have a weird funnel on my property, or at least it feels weird to hunt it.
    The county road runs between my property and other family property. It doesn't get a lot of rigs coming through, maybe 10 a day except during the rut when the road hunters are out in force.
    Going right by my place it is wide open on both sides of the road for 3/4's of my boundary, then goes through an "S" curve that has timber running right up to the fence line on both sides of the road for about 80 yards, and then it is wide open again on the other side for a ways.
    When deer want to cross the road during early or late daylight, they will always funnel to the strip of timber area for the cover it provides. It is a great place to set a stand or blind and see deer, a whopping 100 yards off the road.
     

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