How bad is it?

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Singing Bridge
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How bad is it?

Unread postby Singing Bridge » Tue Aug 03, 2010 11:21 am

For those of you that spend some of your hunting time in heavy pressure public land areas how bad is it? I hunt public land in some areas of extreme pressure, and others with little of it. Last year I opened the Michigan bow season in an area of heavy pressure:

It was October 1st, 2009 and I was stoked about being able to do an afternoon hunt on the bow opener. I headed for a swamp area that gets pounded by hunters outside of the swamp itself. No other hunters had arrived yet in my general area for the afternoon hunt- by plan. When I reached the swamp I still had a quarter mile of heavy cover to penetrate to set up. From my stand I covered the potential exit trail of a decent public land buck from his bed. I could also barely make out a trail about fifty yards away that carried doe traffic from an island bedding area. At last light and I mean you could barely see at all, six does and a four point exited the doe bedding area. They were still a quarter mile from even reaching the swamp edge where it buts up against hardwoods and it was dark on opening day! The buck was a no-show. On my way out, at the edge of the swamp and hardwoods, I heard a voice in a tree above me- “Frank, is that you?” I kept walking and replied to the violator, “No, it’s not Frank!” and kept walking.

Extremely cautious deer on opening day, with little movement outside of the bedding area by does and a young buck… some of us are really up against it!


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Spysar
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Re: How bad is it?

Unread postby Spysar » Tue Aug 03, 2010 11:29 am

I won't hunt a public piece that I think has other hunters. If I see a truck parked, that's enough to get me to move on down the line. Yeah, I know other people are on public, but I don't keep all my eggs in one basket. If you look around, you can find spots that aren't hunted to death. Most spots get hammered on weekends, and left alone during the weekdays. Get off the beaten path and you can leave the lazy hunters in the dust.
A buck will see you three times, and hear you twice, but he's only gonna smell you once.
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Singing Bridge
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Re: How bad is it?

Unread postby Singing Bridge » Tue Aug 03, 2010 11:35 am

Spysar wrote:Most spots get hammered on weekends, and left alone during the weekdays. Get off the beaten path and you can leave the lazy hunters in the dust.


An excellent point, Spysar- working harder than the lazy hunters always seems to be great strategy.
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Re: How bad is it?

Unread postby cwoods » Tue Aug 03, 2010 12:26 pm

Not sure about deer hunting, I'll soon find out, but during turkey season it was crzy. It was my madness really. My step father and I arrived well before any one else. Got about 1/2 mile or so and start hearing doors slam so we turn around and it looks like a search party coming down the main trail. We get all the way to fairest possible place that we had scouted 2 weeks in advance and set up. Its about two miles back. Right at first light we can hear people talking and set up about 40yds next to us. At 9am they get up and walk right past us talking and carring on. They also called every 5minutes. It was my first turkey hunt and it was no doubt interesting being on public land. In NC most places you have to have a permit and this was not the case for this zone so Im hoping thats why it was so crowded. Praying deer season is different.....but since NC passed crossbows im thinking the rifle hunters will be out pounding the land early
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Singing Bridge
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Re: How bad is it?

Unread postby Singing Bridge » Tue Aug 03, 2010 12:35 pm

cwoods wrote:Praying deer season is different.....but since NC passed crossbows im thinking the rifle hunters will be out pounding the land early


That sounds like some serious pressure, cwoods. Hopefully there are some areas you can locate that are overlooked by other hunters, or that contain some type of harsh terrain/cover that they don't want to deal with.
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Re: How bad is it?

Unread postby Zap » Tue Aug 03, 2010 5:41 pm

One thing you can do is hunt close to the road in between the parking lots........

marty
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Re: How bad is it?

Unread postby Swampthing » Tue Aug 03, 2010 6:24 pm

Sounds like your describing my hunting areas.The others were right about searching for those off the beaten path. My area is mostly farmland with a few small private woodlots and even fewer public spots.Most areas are 100 acres or less.And it,s insane the pressure going through them.I,ve watched 80 acre Public spots pushed by 1 hunting party of 8 to 10 men. Then 20minutes later another 5 or 6 pickups pull up .And not knowing it was just pushed they,ll push it again with another 10 + men.I,ll go home for dinner drive by an hour later and another party will be setting up for another push.Sometimes 15 + men in a hunting party.
We have a family that lives real close that have hundreds of acres of land and woods.And they'll post it up tight for the first 2 days of the season.And if the hoards of parties have left anything in the public land.They'll make sure by running their group through for good measure.Their party averages between 15 to 20 men.And after all the deer have gotten pushed out of public,then they go to their private and run all that.
It,s prettty frustrating to be out in the middle of a public land and have 15 to 20 men come hooting ,hollering, and running the woods dry.They have so many tags that no deer is ever passed up.
There motto is "BROWN IT'S DOWN "
When I first started hunting my dad was a memeber of a group such as this.That party was 10 to 12 men strong.
My first year with them 1 man shot 13 out of the 16 tags our party carried.I never shot my gun.I begged my dad if we could drop out of the party hunting .He said well "You get a lot of action party hunting" That you won,t get by ourselves. I told him I,d rather get NO DEER by myself than 15 shot by someone else.
The next year a member of our old party was on post and heard some shooting fell to the ground ,got back up and fell again.That,s when he realized his right leg was blown off just below his knee.By a member of his own hunting party with a stary bullet.I guess they took out a piece of his rib and fused it into his leg to replace the 3 " of bone that was missing.He's still hunting, but has a of a scar and limp to go with it.
I sure am glad I discovered BOWHUNTING ,I might not fill out every year ,but at least it,s really hunting.
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Singing Bridge
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Re: How bad is it?

Unread postby Singing Bridge » Tue Aug 03, 2010 11:19 pm

Zap wrote:One thing you can do is hunt close to the road in between the parking lots


Sound strategy, Zap- it cracks me up how effective this can be, hunting overlooked areas. Most public hunters these days charge to the deepest section of the woods- along with all the other guys.

Another strategy is to take a good hard look at finding a seriously nasty chunk of cover within a reasonable driving distance of home- for me that's within a couple hours drive. Cover that makes the average hunter start to whimper if they have to go more than fifty yards into it- thick, nasty stuff that will make you bleed along with lots of water/muck and other nastiness.
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Singing Bridge
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Re: How bad is it?

Unread postby Singing Bridge » Tue Aug 03, 2010 11:31 pm

Swampthing, you ARE seriously up against it.

Swampthing wrote:My first year with them 1 man shot 13 out of the 16 tags our party carried.


I'd walk next to him with gun at the ready- safety on of course! :mrgreen:

Swampthing wrote:That,s when he realized his right leg was blown off just below his knee.


Wow, that would be serious motivation to avoid that group for me. He's lucky that's all that happened- deer drives can be very dangerous.

I have more than one acquaintance with a bullet hole in his truck just from driving around on heavy pressure public roads. I have a piece of public ground near me that gets driven by multiple parties in a single day too, always on the weekends- kind of like a war zone.
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Re: How bad is it?

Unread postby virginiashadow » Wed Aug 04, 2010 12:25 am

I do not have it bad on the public that I hunt. I have learned what areas to avoid and how to get around without being within hundreds of yards of other people. The only problem I have is wandering hunters and dogs.
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Re: How bad is it?

Unread postby Schultzy » Wed Aug 04, 2010 12:38 am

Early during the bow deer season there's not much for pressure but once firearm deer season opens and pheasant and duck season's open most public ground around here gets absolutely pounded.
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Re: How bad is it?

Unread postby AC Rider » Wed Aug 04, 2010 2:44 am

James and I hunt the same public ground and as long as we get well beyond the reaches of other hunters it's pretty good hunting.
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Re: How bad is it?

Unread postby Singing Bridge » Wed Aug 04, 2010 3:01 am

virginiashadow wrote: The only problem I have is wandering hunters and dogs.


I shake my head at the wandering hunters sometimes... many of them have no prior scouting or familiarity with the area and they just wander about, hoping for something good to happen.
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Re: How bad is it?

Unread postby virginiashadow » Wed Aug 04, 2010 3:13 am

There are prime places that people love to wander....powerlines, the outskirts of grass fields, around ponds, places that have bridges running over anything. And as the gun season approaches, more of these people walk the woods "scouting" than ever before. And they walk and scout the last couple hours of the day, thereby ruining my hunts on occasion. That is why I have learned to be a shadow, deep in the woods. :)

, I have had to give up on certain areas because they allow people to bring in their dogs to flush out the turkey up until late October. It is absolutely crazy.

I had a day this year where I set up in the dark just based on the wind and terrain. I had a hunch. Within the first hour of sun-up I had seen 4-5 bucks come by within 20 yards and a coyote. I also had lone does come by as well as the rut was just kicking off. I sat tight and was hoping that a big boy would leak out of the cover scent trailing the does, just like the 1.5 and 2.5 year olds did hours before. Well I have this guy and his DOG walking all over the pine thicket. The dog was howling and he was walking around with a shotgun in the middle of bow season, turkey hunting. He and his dog were so loud that I had to quit hunting after another hour. I was hoping that something would flush my way, but I knew better because now there was human, dog, and coyote scent all over the ground.
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Re: How bad is it?

Unread postby cwoods » Wed Aug 04, 2010 11:49 am

do they dog hunt in VA like in NC and other southern states virginiashadow?


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