Deer Hunting Tips for Tackling Public Lands
Specific strategies that give you the edge over the “average” guys while hunting public properties
Deer hunting tips are great, but they don’t apply to the average joe who’s stuck on public land, right? Are all those hunters in your area cramping your success? Don’t let all that hunting pressure get you down. It’s not only possible to consistently harvest deer on public land, but even trophy caliber bucks. Consider these public lands strategies:
Hunt way back
Most people are lazy. And hunters are no exception. If you’re willing to hoof it to the way back sections of your public land, chances are you won’t be bothered by any other hunters. Or at least you’ll be dealing with far fewer than if you stayed close to the road. Studies have shown that the vast majority of hunters won’t venture further than a few hundred yards from their truck. By putting in some sweat equity you can reap some serious rewards, including greater opportunities to see mature bucks who are doing exactly what you are doing – avoiding all the other hunters. Here’s where a topo map can be worth its weight in gold. Studying maps and/or aerial photos of your area will save you a lot of time and help you explore the most promising areas without having to put days of trekking on your boots. You’ll be looking for funnels, edges, benches and thick country that’ll either make a safer passage for deer or help them hide when the pressure is on. Be prepared with the proper clothing and food to stay all day and you’ll be seeing the deer that the other guys aren’t.
Hunt escape routes
Why not use other hunters to your advantage? Those maps and aerial photos you bought can give you insight into what may be logical escape routes when hunters start noisily walking into the woods in the morning and in and out again for lunch. Deer, and especially big bucks, aren’t necessarily going to bound across open fields when they get startled. They’ll pick the funnels and thickets that’ll give them the best cover when hightailing it away from danger. You can also look at it another way. Start patterning the hunters in your area and you’ll develop a better picture of not only where the deer are not, but what routes cover the deer’s backsides when slipping away.
If you find patches of ground that’s so thick that you and your buddies don’t ever want to go in it, then you can be sure this is exactly where deer will head when pressured. Especially the trophy whitetail bucks. They may not necessarily like it any better than you do, but they know you won’t be in there, so the thickest, nastiest sections of public land become their sanctuary. Look for a suitable tree stand location that overlooks where deer are entering and exiting these thick areas (or within in the brushy sections) and you may be able to score on some nice bucks. Watch your wind and movement though as you won’t want to spook bedded deer. The idea is for them to feel save, that is, until they enter or exit their sanctuary.
Utilize these other insider secrets and you’ll be a legend in your woods
While everyone else is doing the same thing, and coming home either empty-handed or with the occasional doe or small buck, you can use tactics that will far surpass the average joes. And you’ll enjoy big buck action that makes them drool with envy.