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Public land strategy

Old 08-29-2009, 06:57 AM
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Default Public land strategy

I am hunting public land in south/central Indiana this year, rifle and ML seasons. I know things can get a bit crowded, and so I'm having a bit of difficulty deciding where I want to focus my scouting. It's hilly terrain, lots of trees without a ton of brush. I think it will open up even more once the leaves start falling.

Should I stay on the periphery of the state forest land, near the private farms, or should I go as deep as I can hoping to have the other hunters drive the deer towards me? There's oak trees all over, so I'm not convinced that the deer need to be near the fields for good eats.

Also, should I be focusing my time more on the ridges, or down in the ravines? Most of the tracks I've seen have been in the dried up creek beds in the bottoms, but I still plan on getting out there atleast 2 or 3 times before the season starts. The elevation only varies by about 300 ft, so we're not talking mountains here.

I'm also planning on hunting off the ground here. I'm good with my ML out to about 150 yds, so I'm not too concerned about being real close. This is only my second time out hunting, and last year was out west, so completely different deer and terrain. I'll probably get an antlerless tag, too just to give me the option. I just want to get something, doesn't have to be a bruiser. Thanks for the help.
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Old 08-29-2009, 07:16 AM
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Location: Wisconsin
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I'd recommend pulling up the state land on google earth and determineing where the access points are. Using google earth find the dead center of the state land(the farthest from all the access points) and be set up there. If is a mile walk so much the better. Most hunters don't go past a quarter mile from the access points. Find a place to set up and try to sit all day. Bring warm clothes, food and a thermos of coffee. Last year I did the same thing on state land in Wisconsin and killed a 9 pointer at 10:50 am. Once the morning shooting dies down and hunters are dragging there deer out and/or going back to the truck for lunch the action should heat up. Mine was killed on the second to last day of our 9 day gun firearms season, so he had survived the first weekend onslaught be going deep into the thick swamp. You can get the gps coordinates for the center of the state land you plan too hunt off of google earth. It would be a good idea to pre scout it to make sure the terrain and cover are reasonable. If you can walk in a mile or so and be in some thick stuff you should have some action.

Good Luck
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Old 08-29-2009, 09:15 PM
Nontypical Buck
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Location: Chippewa county, WI.
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Well I would definitely be looking for the thickest cover. Opening day those deer will be bedding on the hillsides and when the hunters come in they will kick the deer off the hillsides. The deer will run for thick cover. The ravines and the dried up creek bed is where you need to study. If you were a deer, where could you go to get away from danger? These tactics work for me in WI, they aught to work for you in IN.
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Old 08-30-2009, 01:35 AM
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i'd go deep away from the other hunters
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Old 08-30-2009, 03:06 AM
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Location: Vermont
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Like Jackson and Rhody said get as far away from everyone else as you can. Finding all the access points will help to determine how far you need to go..
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Old 08-30-2009, 04:08 AM
Little Doe Peep
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Location: Japan
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We hunt nothing but public land. The key is to park your car/truck in a parking area and then head deep into the woods. Most people don't go very far at all. And the critters tend to be where the people aren't.

We always wind up getting muddy and dirty from crawling through the brush and the muck. I am usually a total mess by the end of the day. But it's really fun.

She cleans up okay though
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Old 08-30-2009, 05:36 AM
Nontypical Buck
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It's like making love. Go deep and stay long!
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Old 08-30-2009, 05:40 AM
Little Doe Peep
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Originally Posted by magicman54494 View Post
It's like making love. Go deep and stay long!
That sort of sums it up.
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Old 08-30-2009, 07:25 AM
Nontypical Buck
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Location: Kentucky
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already been mentioned but go deep and stay long.
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Old 08-30-2009, 08:52 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: The Hoosier State
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Where exactly are you planning on hunting. I live in Monroe county and have been in a lot of the state and national forests. As others have said hike deep into the woods and stay all day. A good headlamp is a must if you are going to be coming and going in the dark. One thing to look for in the forests in this area are the small ponds that are hidden in the middle of everything. If you can find oak trees and water I don't know what more a buck needs.
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