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Crowded Public Land

Old 11-06-2010, 06:04 PM
Fork Horn
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Tennessee
Posts: 362
Default Crowded Public Land

How do you guys combat crowded public land? I know go where no one else will go and get there early. I was in my stand nearly 2 hours before light and walked as far as i could to a spot until I couldn't go any farther (ran into a river). I STILL had two guys near me. One was less then 100 yards away. In fact the deer he shot ran right past me. He tracked it at 730am (peak movement in this area) and came up to my stand and asked if I saw it. My morning hunt was pretty over at that point. I ended ip moving to an evening spot and still could not get in anywhere. How close is to close to another hunter? How much breathing room do you give guys? I mean there were guys that were literally randomly going to hunt an area. No rhyme no reason. I k ow the area well and what the deer do. My buddy gave me the run down 3 seasons ago cause he had hunted the land for 15-20 years. Anyway, didn't mean to b***h so much but today was very frustrating.
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Old 11-06-2010, 06:15 PM
Nontypical Buck
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Wherever liberalism must be eradicated.
Posts: 2,731

Hey, i know how you feel. I'm relatively new to the area that I hunt (last 6 years). I hunt exclusively Public Land, since I can't afford to own any hunting land for myself. I do this by knowing where the other hunters will likely be, or where they do drives, and try to hunt "with them" by being past their furthest posts. I have shot several deer this way, that they pushed to me.

Second, when I first moved here, I looked at the county web site that displayed aerial photos of the county and highlighted public hunt able lands.
I than went and found the least used entrances to these lands. I now have a book of hunting places that I mostly have to myself, or have very little competition.
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Old 11-06-2010, 06:20 PM
Typical Buck
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Free Union, VA
Posts: 750

I have hunted public land for about 15 year. It's tough. You really do have to find place nobody wants to go, that still can produce deer.
i have had people walk all over my hunt even when they see me. I try to never go over sombody's hunt. If I see someone, I change direction. Lots of folks don't
In my area people run dogs sometimes....during general firearm's season you can be certain that they will be running dogs on doe day and most saturdays. You have to
come up with a plan to deal with it. some days I will take a shotgun instead of a rifle or set up high in a tree where I will have a rifle shot on an escape route
that the deer will use. I also try to find out where folks are planning to set up when I am in the parking lot in the morning. There are several trucks I have gotten to
know and I know where those hunters prefer to be so i go someplace else. I have my own little honey holes as well. I have cussed a blue streak on more than one occasion
because someone walked all over my hunt. I've also had someone see me, set up not too far away and get mad when I shoot a deer that they thought was "theirs". (I would never shoot in the direction
of another hunter so I am still baffled at how they thought the deer should be theirs.
I feel your pain. Just keep hunting. If it's like my area, as the season wears on, they will stop coming. especially as it gets colder.
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Old 11-06-2010, 07:02 PM
Fork Horn
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 135

On public land that I hunt or have hunted I go where there's little hunting pressure. Alot of times it's the places where ya don't think there will be deer or goes against everything you learned. One spot was a large track of land, say 2miles square with a logging road going through. Anyway everybody and their brother try to go back as far as they can and hunt the outer reaches thinking that's were the deer were. Which there were but...... Well they've been doing it for years and the deer knew it.
Me, I would hunt as soon as I pulled into the tract 60yd.s into the woods from a major roadway. I was the only one and had much deer activity all through the day and got alot of nice bucks at that spot. In fact I always thought the more people there the better cause all the deer would come hang out by me. Kinda sucked hearing a busy highway behind me but better that than bumping into alot of hunters or fear of getting shot.
Same thing at another place here. It's in the national forest and I hunt pretty dang close to one of the horse camps. Again it kinda sucks to be up in your tree and hear these loud ''cowboys'' riding on the trails around you, but the deer take this kind of intrusion as non-threating and pay no mind to it. In fact when the hunting pressure heats up this is the place they go. I definatly like the peace and solitude of hunting a nice piece of private land in the middle of nowhere, a true hunt feeling but I also like to get deer so.... Just keep your eyes open to something similar to these spots aswell.
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Old 11-07-2010, 04:01 AM
Fork Horn
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Tennessee
Posts: 362

Thanks for all the input. The morning hunt was frustrating. Like dpv said "walk all over my hunt". I wanted to tell the guy, "if you waited til about ten I would help you find it". And i second the notion. If I see someone I head back the way I came and clear out. IMO the guy owns the area. If I can see you we are too close and there is nowhere for the deer to come and go to. Yes I am out there to hunt for the love of hunting but I also want to see and harvest deer. I talked with a couple of guys and it seemed they were just "out there with no plan". One of them said, "That peninsula is big enough for plenty of people". I was floored. I am going to look at other areas to hunt for next year. It will be tough because I have really gotten to know this area. I actually have specific trees I go to for every part of the season. And have the deer pattern down pretty good ... Where they come down out of the bedding areas etc .. I used to be able to avoid the pressure when I could hunt during the week. That was the best way because everyone was at work. I am going to go back and end up pulling all day hunts which I have never done. Just stay on one spot where I know deer move AM and PM. It's just a matter of spinning my stand around.
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Old 11-07-2010, 05:25 AM
Typical Buck
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Central Illinois
Posts: 579

Originally Posted by cal516 View Post
I used to be able to avoid the pressure when I could hunt during the week. That was the best way because everyone was at work.
You hit the nail on the head!! Hunt during the week when everyone else is at work. I hunt exclusively public land and will usually skip weekends during the season and hunt during the week. I am a business owner which makes it easier to set my own schedule to be able to do this but if this is something you can work out, then you have the best of both worlds, lots of land to hunt and the choice of stand locations.
If this can't be worked out then like some of the other posters said, hunt far from parking areas or very close. Some of the biggest bucks I have seen have been within 100 yds. of parking areas.
Another tip would be to find private land joining public land at the furthest point from the parking areas. Use this private land to access these far points without having to walk as far. This may deter other hunters from wanting to walk so far to hunt.
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Old 11-07-2010, 05:27 AM
Fork Horn
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 114

I was in the GWNF this past weekend and never saw another hunter, but I was about 2 miles from the road too. The next day I only walked about 400 yards and saw deer all day, mostly from noon till 4. On public land you just never know when or where they might show up. I stay in all day long, daylight till dark, cause you never know when another hunter might run one your way.
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Old 11-07-2010, 03:33 PM
Fork Horn
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: NC
Posts: 113

Really study the public hunting land maps. Look for little "pockets" that 90% of the hunters will think are too small.
Like another poster mentioned, hunt "shallow" in the woods. Yeah, it feels weird sitting up there hearing vehicles blaring down the road behind you, cause we all want a natural quiet hunting area, BUT, that is excellent sound cover for you.
90% of the public land deer I have seen, were right near the parking area.
No 400yrd dragging either.

Agree with the others here. Tues at 11am for exmaple, is a great time to hit the woods.
You'll see some hunters, but in my experience, they are a better class.
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Old 11-07-2010, 03:50 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: maryland
Posts: 35

yes i have read but cant find the artical if you hunt closer to the road but get their before the other hunters they can push deer to you going into the woods and its said that bigger bucks will let you walk buy then they will circle back around and just might end up infront of you all i hunt myself is public land and i try not to let it get to me but sometimes you cant help it
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