Hunting on public land, any tips?

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by Jinx-), Nov 29, 2011.

  1. Jinx-)

    Jinx-) Well-Known Member

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    My friend came by for Thanksgiving and we spend 3 days looking for deer on the public land, during those 3 days we didn't see any bucks or does or bambys moving and there were not many shots fired for miles. What a disappointment it was! I got my buck on the first day of the season, but I hunted on private land, which is in the wooded area and longest shot I can take is 100 yards, its perfect for bow hunting, but not challenging during regular season. I hunt on this land for many years, but I only take two bucks a year and I refuse to let others hunt there. So how does this work on the public land? We pick a spot on the gorge with a stream running bellow so we can observe anything moving up or down or across, there were deer droppings and tracks and those droppings were fresh, but during 3 days we didn't observe anything other then squirrels and we were there from dawn till dusk. So how does public land hunting works when nothing is moving?
     
  2. Coyboy

    Coyboy Well-Known Member

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    don't give up.
    walk in further from the road.
    get a good spotter and glass better/more.
    hunt the small overlooked tracts of public land.
    get up an hour earlier than you have been.
    when your ready to leave a morning sit fire a scare shot over the cover and see if somthing moves. I use this as practice and actually aim at somthing so I know my bullet is safe, ocasionally you may see deer stand up and or move with-in 15 minutes.
    Tell your buddy to go beat the brush for you.
     

  3. Nimrodmar10

    Nimrodmar10 Well-Known Member

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    Jinx
    What state do you hunt in? That would help us help you.
     
  4. Jinx-)

    Jinx-) Well-Known Member

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    It's NY State and we hunt in region 7R-7S & 8Y-8W, regular season here started on November 19 and will end Dec 11, my friend drove from Virginia and got nonresident buck tag, he might come back on that last weekend to try his luck one more time. I still have DMP in 8Y to fill and I would prefer not to use it on that private land where I usually hunt.
     
  5. rockfish1

    rockfish1 Member

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    I hunt in 4o and its been too warm, and very few hunters to move the deer either.
    The deer are sitting tight all day and moving at night. Only deer I've seen have been the ones I bumped while walking or seen at night on the road. I'm hoping for some colder weather and maybe some snow.
    I've done well on public land after a snowfall.
     
  6. 82ndreddevil

    82ndreddevil Well-Known Member

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    That is the reality of public land hunting, there is no secret to it. This fall I did an elk hunt and in five days saw a few cows and a spike bull. Last week I hunted deer and the only thing I saw was a coyote and a small spike buck. Then you also have to compete with other hunters for the best spots.
     
  7. theflyonthewall

    theflyonthewall Well-Known Member

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    Ok, if I have to pull one of my sacred tactics from my bag of tricks on public-land whitetails......lol

    When the deer don't move well, I go to them. But I'll warn you, the technique is mentally DRAINING if done correctly. But it is also one of the few ways that I've found to kill highly pressured deer that decide to sit tight instead of leaving the areas for quieter digs during the season.

    Most deer will stay within their home range regardless of how much pressure they see. They just hunker down and stay hidden during daylight hours.

    Here's how I do things when the hunting is tough:

    First, a good pair of binos is a must! If you don't have a decent pair of binos, you'll get busted by deer far more than if you used a pair. Next....you need to find good bedding cover. It's obviously preferable if you KNOW there are deer using it. But if not, just try to locate the thickest cover that is near their local food source. This can be anything from acorns in big woods tracts to agricultural fields, to pastures and meadows. Anyway.....once you locate prime bedding cover, try to scout it in such a way that the prevailing winds won't blow your scent directly into it. If you find fresh sign, the hunt is on! If you don't find fresh sign, move to another location where there's prime bedding cover and scout that thicket.

    When you get to the "hunting part"....get the wind in your favor on your approach. Then start using those binos. Look for PARTS of a deer. Rarely will you ever see a whole deer while it's bedded. Usually you'll see an ear wiggle, a tail swish, a horizontal line in a mess of saplings, etc...you get the point.

    As you advance toward the thicket, take NO MORE THAN TWO SLOW STEPS before you stop and glass again. The part where most people screw this up is by going too fast. Remember, every single step you take changes your viewing perspective. With each step you can now see new things and different angles of the same things. Use your binos to pick apart absolutely everything. I use a grid-type technique. I'll start on one side of the thicket and move my eyes in the binos so that I see everything at the top of my view first. Then once I've determined there's nothing "deer-like" near the top of my field of view, I move my eyes to the bottom of my field of view and search there. Once I've determined that there's nothing deer-like in my entire field of view, I move the binos left or right and start all over. I do this until I've covered the entire field of view in front of me. Then I take two more steps and repeat the whole thing all over again.

    As far as walking speed......if the hunting conditions are really quiet (no wind, quiet ground cover, etc....you can get away with 100 yds an hour being covered as you hunt through it. HOWEVER, if it's noisy---high winds, lots of natural movement with tree limbs swaying etc...then you can walk at a SLIGHTLY faster pace of say...125 yrds an hour.

    Like I said, this tactic is HARDCORE. It's difficult to tell yourself after that first three hours to keep at it. But if you can handle it, you can completely sweep a thicket and know FOR SURE that you'll see them before they see you.

    Like I said,this method is mentally draining to say the least. But what it guarantees is that NO DEER in the thicket will go unseen. If you follow this, as hard as it is to do correctly, you will ALWAYS see the deer first and can plan a stalk or shot, whatever needs to be done at the time.
     
  8. Bravo 4

    Bravo 4 Well-Known Member

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    If the public land you are hunting is anything like what I usually have to hunt, all I can say is good luck (you'll need it). Scouting is almost useless, opening day there are people all over the place and the deer are just in survival mode. I do get lucky from time to time because I do what y'all did. Set myself in a place where I can cover as much area as possible and hope to catch one that's been pushed by somebody else. The thing I have over most is extended range...and some patience.

    Oh yeah, stay out as long as you can stand it. Most "hunters" will only stay out for a couple/few hours. Let them get the deer up and moving.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2011
  9. Jinx-)

    Jinx-) Well-Known Member

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    On the last day we tried stalk deer in the Cliffside State forest after we spent half a day in Connecticut Hill Game management area, but then we realized that rifles are not welcome in Tompkins county so we quickly switched to neighboring county were hunters with rifles were welcomed, I had my Buckmaster binoculars and we were slowly moving uphill, one thing we noticed there were no vehicles parked at the entrance and we didn't meet any hunters while we were there.
     
  10. Bravo 4

    Bravo 4 Well-Known Member

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    Yesterday, i had this nice 8 point walk by at thirty yards, the cell phone pics suck. Hard to take pics of a moving deer in the scope. I was positioned uphill where two large draws converge coming up from a valley. The hunters that push him and his two doe past me were walked up about 5 minutes later.
    Then in the afternoon had a really nice buck chasing some doe and I was trying to get on him for about an hour. I had one good chance at him not moving or in a thicket and another hunter actually drove up and spooked them off.
     

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  11. theflyonthewall

    theflyonthewall Well-Known Member

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    Bravo, that just BITES! Sounds like you were in a great spot. Too bad a bunch of "yay-hoos" had to ruin it for ya.
     
  12. rockfish1

    rockfish1 Member

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    Why did you take his picture? I would have shot him instead.
     
  13. Bravo 4

    Bravo 4 Well-Known Member

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    Well I snuck away early today (still in uniform:D) and headed out to get on that bigger buck from yesterday...but somebody beat me to it! Two totally different guys were dragging him out.
     

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  14. Bravo 4

    Bravo 4 Well-Known Member

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    Remember what I said about luck? The guy that shot it had never been out in this spot and just found a comfy place to sit. He didn't seem to be in very good health, so I helped him and his companion load it in their truck, congratulated him and proceeded to go out and watch a half dozen doe feed for a couple hours. In a little while I'm gonna go cry myself to sleep...like a man!