Public Land Hunting Behavior

Daves762

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 7, 2011
Messages
332
Location
In a Free State
On a lighter note This morning My wife and I headed out to a different spot. Seventeen degrees below zero. This spot always produces Elk when it's that cold. Not sure what they change about their migration to water at night, but it always produces none the less. We have a juniper high up on hill, that is crescent shaped so you can tuck up into it and have terrific cover. I hang orange on the top of the juniper so it can be seen for miles around. Just to let others know that position is occupied. Several hunters around us, none came within 400 yds of our spot. Never did see anything but three coyotes and nearly took home frostbite. But the hunter respect showed up today. We are one for one this year.
 

Daves762

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 7, 2011
Messages
332
Location
In a Free State
Sounds like that was a perfect time to verify your data on your dope card/dial up on some distant rocks !!

Unfortunately it happens , seams like more and more these days ! Thank goodness there is some respectable hunters still around .
The thought DID cross my mind. But I try to set the example, not BE the example. The 20 year old me from Chicago, would have done things a lot differently than the 43 year old me in Montana.
 

greatwhitehntr

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Joined
Feb 1, 2013
Messages
245
Location
Northern NEVADA
I help teach hunter safety and we go over this and ethical kills A LOT. You won't believe what people think is OK to do. It is unreal.
I always end it with the same story, are you a easy going person or are you confrontational? You hike in an hour before day light and set up in a spot that you seen a good buck the night before and a guy walks by you that you know seen you does not acknowledge you and posts up 100 yds past you to shoot the same buck. Do you say something, would you confront them or would you do nothing? The funny part is the people that say it ok to post up past you it's public land are ****ed that someone would be confrontational. I laugh and let them know that I can be very comfortable in a confrontational situation. I let them dictate the next move. The best part is when the off duty game warden explains how many people get their @$$ whipped out in the woods for the same scenario and he just drives off saying did you learn anything from it. I think we are trying in are own way to teach people that it isn't ok and good people will get ****ed and fix there situation and maybe they will learn.
I doubt it.
 

Muddyboots

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Joined
Feb 7, 2013
Messages
1,169
Location
Michigan
I read these threads and the first thought to comes to mind is ethics has disappeared from our society and even laughed at if you exhibit any. I worked in the Environmental, Safety and Occupational Health field entire career and when I first started, my boss gave me advice that I still believe today:

Ethics: means doing the right thing even when nobody is looking.

So think about it, if sportsmen and sportswomen would do the same, how much different would life be in the outdoors.
 

Varmint Hunter

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Joined
Dec 26, 2001
Messages
3,469
Location
Long Island, New York
On the lighter side:

I had a stand mounted in a large oak tree that I bow hunted from. The stand was about 15' high. The property was privately owned but open to bow hunters. I normally work my way to the stand without the aid of a flashlight because whitetails are normally close and spook out easily.

One morning as I quietly approached my stand I could see that something looked different about the tree trunk but I couldn't tell without getting closer. As I crept up I noticed that there was a guy standing on a platform about 2'-3' off the ground and directly beneath my stand. :oops: ***

I crept away without him even realizing that I was there. Several hours after sunlight I went back to the area and the guy saw me coming through. He was an older guy who didn't seem to have a clue. I looked up at my stand while talking to him but I honestly think he still did not realize that he was directly beneath it. We chatted a bit about hunting and I went home feeling good that the old guy had a nice morning bowhunting in an area undisturbed by anyone. :rolleyes: Interestingly enough, I never saw him again.
 

Okanogan

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Joined
May 5, 2015
Messages
284
Location
Riverside, WA
I did a fair amount of scouting on public land for deer season this year in hopes of taking my grandson out for a real deer hunt. One of the spots I had focused on had a nice little hill that overlooked a drainage, meadows and good cover. I'd seen a buck there and thought it might make a good spot if we got in early enough that other hunters that were likely to show on the main trail 300 yds out might push game to us. The week before season I'm back in scouting again and find a bait site and a cheesy ground blind set up about 50 yds off the main trail into the area. The set up was stupid as the blind was too close to the bait and set up in a manner where most game would approach from behind the blind to reach the bait. (And other hunters coming down the trail would walk right by it.) The spot I had picked out overlooked the whole area and could have picked out anything approaching from 400 yds. I knew the guy who set it up would claim everything for as far as he could see as his because he had the blind and the bait. I didn't want my grandson's first deer hunt to be an experience in confrontation or rudeness so I just switched plans and stayed home.
I shot a 2x3 meat buck at 250 yds on opening morning with my grand daughter spotting for me. My grandson shot a decent 3x3 yesterday at 100 yds from the concrete shooting pad we have out back. I'm still hoping to get my grandson more of a real hunting experience but I'm happy we are fortunate enough to own a little property and have access to some other private lands so that at least the grandkids initial experiences don't have to be confrontational.
 

Les in Wyoming

Active Member
Joined
Oct 10, 2020
Messages
40
Location
Glenrock, Wyoming
We have eastern out-of-state hunters come here who bring their arrogance with them. There is a large parcel of BLM land where I sometimes hunt. It is leased by a rancher acquaintance of mine. I show up one early morning to find two vehicles parked, blocking the entrance. There is an established road in which you can drive a mile to the back of the property. But they evidently thought nobody should enter that day - not even the rancher to check his cows. My sons and I managed to get in and passed these arrogant pigs who were walking on foot. We went beyond them (where they were heading) and filled our tags. That parcel of land is big enough for several people to hunt. They drove from PA to WY and spent a lot of money on tags to block others from from entering public land or even using the road. I guess that is how they park in PA. People of that mentality drive slow in the passing lane, stand blocking the speed-walks at the airport and generally have the consideration of a pig.These kind of people will not learn, because there are no consequences. If they do it again, they might have some flat tires.
 

North Idaho Hunter

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Joined
Nov 14, 2013
Messages
1,271
I see this a lot in Idaho.

I figure if the guy is that desperate to show that kind of disrespect - then there is absolutely NOTHING I can say to change his ethics.

Fightin’ a losing battle!
 

Recon$$

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 24, 2011
Messages
232
I have no problem talking to someone to de-conflict. I can only get out so many days a year, I'll just move if I have to. However, I have never had a problem working things out. While I'm just as annoyed as the next guy to see competition, at least talking can save further frustration. I mean it's in both parties interest. I already have a backup (long walk) for my public land hunt in a few weeks. In your exact scenario... Those are some real garbage people. Some people just suck.
 

John Klingenberg

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Joined
Nov 13, 2018
Messages
636
Location
Michigan
My thought is if they're unethical enough to crowd you, be rude or have poor firearm safety...how much respect/self control would they have if you confronted them? I've taken a bullet before and I can guarantee a corn fed elk steak cooked in butter isn't worth that experience. I just make it a goal to be the better and to teach mine or anyone I'm with to respect others regardless of their behavior.
 

ATH

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 7, 2003
Messages
1,255
Location
Lizton, IN
I've had really mixed luck on public land. In MT on fairly lightly hunted (ie hard to access) I've never had an issue and everybody worked with each other. The couple times I ran into people I asked them where they intended to hunt, discussed it, and explained where I intended to hunt around them to make it work for everyone.

In 2011 me and two buddies were hunting the Missouri Breaks west of Fort Peck and realized quickly the elk were really pressured. One day we thought we were working an elk and got 30 yards out and another hunter said "you guys might as well come on in". Said him and 5 guys came in one a boat. All of us went up on the ridge for lunch. Coming into the evening hunt I asked them what they wanted to do, they told me. I said OK, we won't be a problem for you. My buddy and I worked out a plan to make their plan work for us, anticipating where they would push elk. I shot a 6X6.

WY experience has been in areas with higher pressure and less desirable results. One year we hunted public bordering private. Private guys thought they had rights to it all, tried to force us off, told them to pound sand. They called the warden on us for wanton waste, he looked at the carcass and told THEM to pound sand and when we ran into him the next day we had a good laugh about it. Couple years ago buddy and I got Antelope/Muley tags, spent opening day tagging antelope then moved west for muleys. Public land was carnage. In a couple spots it appeared people had just shot up antelope herds, dead animals left laying. Called F&G whatever they could do about it. After 1 day everything was run off onto private. No boundaries or courtesy people walking in right on you.

Thus I like to hunt private or go the places people not in my conditioning can go...
 

Tiny Tim

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Joined
Jan 26, 2015
Messages
624
I've had both experiences on public. MOST people are respectful if you talk to them. Somethings can't be helped. Here, the common argument is they claim to have been "hunting here for 20 years". It can be frustrating. One place I hunt took 20+ years for the "locals" to accept us. Different mentalities/situations call for different responses. It is, as others have pointed out if you understand animal behavior or are familiar with the area. Sometimes you can take advantage of others movements to be successful.
 

DarryH

Active Member
Joined
Feb 4, 2014
Messages
41
Location
Omaha, Nebraska area
I once tried some public land I had scouted before the season. There was grassland, corn stubble, a shallow creek, and a line of trees and brush running through the property. I got there, thinking I was early. Nope. As I walked along the tree line I couldn't believe my eyes. There was a hunter every 40-50 yards! NOT exaggerating!! They were all facing the corn stubble. Just out of curiosity, I walked the full length. I crossed the creek and walked back the way I came. As I topped a hill, here were six deer just heading towards the BACK-SIDE of all these hunters. I did not take a shot as there were farm houses behind the deer. I would have loved to see all those faces if I had hauled a deer out of there. Of course, I spooked the deer and they went back the way they had come. Not a single hunter there ever knew those deer were even there!!
 

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