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pointers for a new guy

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Old 08-03-2013, 12:06 AM
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Spike
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Default pointers for a new guy

Last year was my first year out. I went with a few buddies on opening day (public land) and I didn’t see any deer (well except for the ones in the back of other people’s trucks). I really didn’t expect to, being the first time and all. But shots were ringing all around us, it seemed like everyone was seeing them but me. Any pointers to help me take or at least miss my first deer would be much appreciated? Also any equipment recommendations could be helpful. I “upgraded” my wingmaster with a cantilever barrel to shoot sabots this year. My other question is, is it safe to do drives on public land? Maybe it was just because I am not use to it but it seemed a little sketchy to me being behind a deer while someone is shootin at it. thanks
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Old 08-03-2013, 03:09 AM
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The trick to being successful on public land is to be willing to go where no one else wants to and be there before everyone else gets there. Chances are, that's where the deer are. Scout ahead of time. Locate the escape routes and be downwind from one of them. Practice a lot with your new barrel. You may only get one opportunity. You need the confidence to make it count.
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Old 08-03-2013, 04:55 AM
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MZS
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Did you go on a stand and wait or did you slowly walk around? If you kept moving, you probably moved deer to the other hunters. The trick to hunting with large numbers of hunters around is to stay put and let them move the deer to you. Scout the area well ahead of time to find some well-used trails and then pick a few different spots to stake out. And try to stick it out from first light to past noon - often, at about 10AM or 11AM, hunters will move around or go back for lunch, moving lots of deer.

When I was growing up, we did deer drives with lots of hunters (very unsafe), but they were always on private land. You might want to look into "two man deer drives" or "three man deer drives" but I think on public land you would end up moving deer to the other hunters.
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Old 08-03-2013, 06:42 AM
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No Stand, two of us just sat up against a tree looking into a valley (I guess) from before sunrise till around 2pm when we went for lunch. Two other sat somewhere else. After that, we did drives for most of the day. The two experienced guys sat together the two noobs sat together lol. I just trusted the experienced guys on where they told me to sit. I don’t mind scouting but I don’t really know what I am looking for and I definitely don’t know the land its hours away and it was my first time there. I have no problem going into areas no one else wants to I just don’t know what I am looking for I guess. Also, don’t I have to know where the deer are to know what down wind is?
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Old 08-03-2013, 09:36 AM
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Use the internet or your states game dept. to find what lands are available to you.Have hunts where you are by yourself.Maximize your hunting time:arrive early,leave after legal shooting hours.Get there before daylight.Walk slowly.Keep movement and noise to a minimum.If shooting at the end of the day,remember,you may end up tracking the animal.Consider that along w/temperature considerations.If you don't find your game,it may spoil overnight.As mentioned above,let other hunters move deer for you.Pack your lunch and stay put all day.Be patient and view nature.Learn to identify sounds that you hear.It's not just about success.Learn to enjoy the nature around you.
P.S.-Don't overhunt your areas.
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Old 08-03-2013, 02:45 PM
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Learning the most you can about the game you are after is key to being successful. Where are they feeding at night? Where are they going for water? Where are they going to bed for the day? Know the lay of the land they are on. Once you learn these things, you can plan for a better hunt. Knowing the weather, wind direction, etc, and where the deer are likely traveling, will hopefully get you downwind of the deer. If it is not cattle country, it is easy to spot a well traveled deer path in the woods.

You can hunt from the ground, it has been done for years. But you need to be very scent conscious when you are down on the deers level. Check ebay, craigslist, your local swap shop, for potential treestands/climbers that are cheaply priced. Being that you are hunting public ground, I would recommend finding a climber that you can carry in and out with you, without breaking your back. If you go with a climber, it is best for you to know which trees you can use in the given wind directions, so you can have your shooting lanes already trimmed.

As others have said, most public ground hunter want to get in and out quickly. Which means they are going the shortest distance in. They end up pushing deer all over and generally further into the woods if it is a large timbered area. That is why the further you get off the beaten path, the better your chances of bagging a deer.
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Old 08-03-2013, 04:17 PM
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Public land where? Public land in, say, Wyoming is very different than public land in Connecticut, for example. Are you talking about 500 acres with 10 people on it, or a national forest, or something in between. That said, I believe I see a lot more whitetails a lot closer when I'm standing still. And I gun hunt off the ground for the most part, even though I usually have stands set from bow hunting. Wind direction is also important.
I don't have much to say about drives other than people have been using this method forever; some consider it unethical; and whether it is a good idea on public land depends on that size and nature of that land as well as how crowded it is.
As for equipment, don't waste your money on gimmicks. A good gun, good knife, and warm clothes and boots are the most important. The one thing I like that's a bit gimmicky is the Butt-Out from Hunter's Specialties.
Good luck.
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Old 08-03-2013, 04:30 PM
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Thanks for all the help guys!
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Old 08-03-2013, 04:31 PM
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Oh and its deer in ohio
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Old 08-03-2013, 08:54 PM
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Spike
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I just got a new cantilever barrel for my shotgun. Could you guys recommend a good shotgun scope for around $200? Also, the barrel is only 20 inches, that seems short to me but I have never had an optic or a rifled barrel on a shotgun. I got a good deal on it so I figured what the hell but now I am doubting it. Just wondering with the scope, will the 20 inch rifled barrel be ok for say 125 yrds and in, or should I look into a 22 or 24 inch rifled barrel? Also what about affect on velocity? I have never dealt with sabot ammo either any recommendations would be helpful. Thanks
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