Posts Tagged ‘Deer Hunting’

DIY Public Hunting: Keep a lot of Options Open

Sunday, July 26th, 2015



Choosing a place to hunt can be a daunting task when you make the decision to try public hunting in another state, especially if you’re driving a long distance.

You can spend winter, spring and summer researching places to go. If you’ve never been to a place it’s going to be a shot in the dark. Although the aerial photos appear to show everything you’ve been looking for they don’t tell you if there are deer there and if the bucks are the quality of animals you want to pursue.

When you make the decision to try new areas you must start off by choosing a state. Look at the numbers on the DNR pages and eliminate regions of the state based on the amount of public land open to hunting. While you can focus on a tiny piece of public land that you feel might be getting overlooked the entire plan can fall through when you arrive and find out every local hunter in the county is hunting there. If there are no other options available within a reasonable distance you will spend a minimum of two days trying to locate another place to hunt.

By eliminating areas without a number of tracts of public land within two hours driving distance you can get rid of any potential problems that might arise when you get to your primary spot and the hunting isn’t what you expected it to be.

It doesn’t matter whether you locate a bunch of small tracts of public land or a few large ones, just make sure they’re all within driving distance of one another. This will allow you to hunt a number of places during the week without getting locked down in one place and burning it out. It doesn’t take much to wear your welcome thin with the local deer herd if you’re returning to the same place day after day.

You might find one place that is a couple hundred yards off the road and another one that is a few miles from the nearest road. It doesn’t matter where you go as long as you can avoid human pressure and find fresh sign. Fresh sign doesn’t lie. It will lead you to the water and at that point it’s your job to get yourself a drink.



Wednesday October 23, 2013

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013

The deer were moving today, but not where I was. I saw about 7-8 of them while driving on the road back and forth to my hunting spot. The temperature dropped 12 degrees between 2:30pm and 6:30pm. I caught got in a heavy downpour that turned to sleet. Since I didn’t have any rain gear with me I got soaked. To keep warm I decided to walk a little and pull a camera that I haven’t had any action on at all. Upon retrieving it and setting it up in a new place the red battery light began blinking at me. I’ve come to the conclusion that I must have gotten a bad batch of batteries last time I bought them at Walmart. In the last week I’ve had a lot of dead batteries in different cameras and last year I never had one camera that drained the batteries. The camera I checked tonight as only been in the woods about three weeks, so I’m highly disappointed that I didn’t get more life out of these batteries. Hopefully the next go around turns out better and the cameras stay working through the end of the season.

I expected to see some deer while sitting tonight. I sat for about an hour before I couldn’t handle the rain. I was damp and the dampness started giving me chills. I knew I had to get up and move, but I wanted to stay in the woods. From what I can see it looks like deer activity has picked up the last few days. There seems to be a lot more tracks and general sign where the deer have been traveling through the woods. I have a pretty good feeling about this weekend. I miss hunting the Adirondacks for extended periods of time. The last time I spent more than three days in a row in the Adirondacks was back in 2006. That was the year I killed “The Ghost,” which you can read about in “Backcountry Bucks.” He was a pretty memorable deer.

Although I have extremely limited time to hunt in the big woods this year I’m hoping to get lucky and catch up to one of those Adirondack wall-hangers again. It’s been a while since I’ve put one of them on the ground. Every time I’m away on November 13th I always think about all of the big ones I’ve been lucky enough to kill on that day in the Adirondacks. That was always my best day of hunting over the years. It has been the same out of state, but the experience is a little different. There’s something about hunting days on end without seeing a deer and suddenly having one appear in front of you our of nowhere. It’s hard to explain to people who hunt where there are a lot of deer and sightings are common with every sit. I’m not sure if I’ll get out tomorrow. I’m headed north on Friday night and will hunt for the weekend. Lately I tend to remember my dad telling me how hard it is to kill big bucks in the Adirondacks when you don’t dedicate at least one week during early to mid-November to hunt there. I’ve never realized how accurate that statement was until the last few years. We’ll see what happens this week. We’ve been learning this new area and I’m pretty sure we have it narrowed down to increase our odds.