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Public Hunting Observation

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Public Hunting Observation

Old 10-26-2006, 03:26 PM
  #1  
Spike
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Default Public Hunting Observation

I went out this morning to my ususal Public hunting spot and was delighted to see there was only one truck in the lot. Trotting out to one of my favorite setups where I have seen good activity, I get a flashlight beam signaling my favorite tree was taken. This is why I always have a backup plan. I moved out quietly and found an even better setup, loaded with fresh rubs, and white oak hulls littering the ground. If this didn't happen, I would never had known this great spot had been recently active as I have ignored this spot all year. I guess you have to remain flexible when hunting public land. Stay tuned for tomorrows results.
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Old 10-26-2006, 07:21 PM
  #2  
Zim
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Default RE: Public Hunting Observation

Hey ChiTown,

Was that at JTA?

I was trimming a trail & tree at JTA yesterday and passed a guy walking in on my way out. Dang, he was going into this area with the most horrible wind a guy could want for there, SE. Just makes me wonder whatsome of these guys are thinkin. I shouldn't have even been inthere, but at least I was making racket instead of silently sitting there letting my scent educate the deer. That will spoil it every time.

Ihave my strategy for public land:
1. I always arrive prior to sign in time.
2. My gear is completely packed so I can begin hiking from my vehicle within 30 seconds of parking. Nobody ever leaves the lot before me.
3. I have my flashlight locked and loaded and flash early if another hunter nears.
4. I always have a plan B like you mention.

It's all part of the challenge.
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Old 10-27-2006, 09:18 PM
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Default RE: Public Hunting Observation

Hey Chi Town
This happens all the time on Public Land around here. Many big bucks are taken by hunters being forced into plan b. Try hunting closer to the cars and when all the hunters go to the good spots the deer will return to the paking lots. It workss for me most all the time.
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Old 10-28-2006, 03:26 AM
  #4  
Zim
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Default RE: Public Hunting Observation

One other problem where I hunt is that the huntable areas really become devoid of deer prior to all the surrounding private land corn being cut. One property is brutal in that way. Drove by this weekend and they were cutting, but I bet the rain stopped that. I'll check again on Sunday.
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Old 11-08-2006, 12:12 PM
  #5  
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Default RE: Public Hunting Observation

Public land can indeed be tough.

I do find that most guys are pretty courteous about going a different way when they see your light, and I do the same for them. There would be a lot less hard feelings about the whole thing if every morning hunter would get there, be setup and ready to hunt BEFORE shooting hours open, as Zim suggests.

You'll need time to redirect and/or find a newspot if plan A doesn't work out. The earlier you get in, the better your chances of getting to a special tree first.
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Old 12-06-2006, 03:57 AM
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Default RE: Public Hunting Observation

public land can be tough but it can be awesome as well. there is a ton of it here in mn and alot of it doesnt get hunted
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Old 12-06-2006, 05:12 PM
  #7  
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Default RE: Public Hunting Observation

I think the hardest park about public land is how smart/experienced the deer get. There's so much more hunting pressure on public land,so the deer see plenty of hunters walking in and out, and probably see a few too many climbing trees. I can't tell you how many deer I've watched walk in the woods with their heads up, checking out the trees.

Opening day where I hunt had 56 hunters signed in, and that's just one of three parking areas. I always go to the farthest spots I know from the parking areas, or I get in the thickest stuff I can put a stand in. I see plenty of deer too.But they are almost always alert.
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Old 12-07-2006, 02:03 AM
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Default RE: Public Hunting Observation

ive heard that as well. i heard when hunting public land, go deep and go into the thick stuff. people are lazy and general hunt the easiest spots there are
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Old 12-07-2006, 03:39 PM
  #9  
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Default RE: Public Hunting Observation

Those times I rarely hunt on public land I go deep as well, but with mixed results. A couple of the nicest bucks taken on this public land was not far from a parking lot in the same general area. Seemed that nobody but one guy hunted there.
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Old 12-09-2006, 06:17 PM
  #10  
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Default RE: Public Hunting Observation

I think I'm getting this public-hunting-thing figured out.

I hunted in 2 different spots today, both for the first time. I had to setup a tree for my stand, and I didn't want to do it in the dark, so I wore my snow-camo and setup on another trail on the groundwhere I'd seen some scrapes a couple weeks ago. About half an hour after sunrise, I had three does within 20 feet of me. It was cool being so close to them, but it sucked a little because they were too close. I couldn't move without getting busted!

After lunch, I went to the spot I wanted to setup for a big buck I had seen in the area and thought might be traveling through here. It took me about 45 minutes clearing shooting lanes and branches so I could climb the tree and hang my stand, and I use strap-on treesteps, so that took some time as well. From about an hour after I got situated till dark, I had 5 deer, all does, and 2 turkeys within 15 feet of my stand. That's the most game-animals I've had in bowrange in one day ever on public-land.

The point I wanted to make was that what I did different in these setups as oppossed to times in the past was to look for secondary trails. Secondary trails are those really lightly traveled trails you see a little off to one side of the 'main' or well-traveled trails. I started thinking that the more well-traveld trails might be the ones deer are using at night, and they use these secondary trails to go in the same direction as the main trails in the daytime, but have a little more cover and not as much chance of 'traffic'. I'm sure this applies more to public lands than private because there's so many more people in the woods, and most of them are walking up and down the main trails they see.

Just wanted to ramble a little, and share what I thought I figured out. I had a great day in the woods today. Hope everyone else did too.
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