Public vs Private hunting pressure differences?

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mheichelbech
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Public vs Private hunting pressure differences?

Unread postby mheichelbech » Wed Feb 12, 2020 5:17 am

For those of you who hunt both public and private land, what do you see as the differences in the types of pressure between the two?

For me, on one private parcel I hunt, I have seen that hunters who have hunted the place for a number of years, sort of each have their "own" areas staked out that are more or less respected by other hunters. This property also has a significant road system in and around it and due to that, the deer are clearly attuned to vehicles and will vacate the fields at the sight of a vehicle no matter how far away daylight or dark. I think this is due to guys having road hunted. It is possible to find pockets of overlooked areas that guys seem to think the bucks won't be there. So far, I haven't found any evidence of mature bucks in those areas that I have scouted. There is a divide between hunters that will shoot any buck versus some who are only looking for mature bucks. The biggest issue I see is there are just too many hunters and too much pressure given the size of the property and there is no way to get away from that. I also see that there is more of a season long pressure vs public.

On public land, I have observed that hunters are less respectful of the land in general, leaving trash behind, etc. I've also seen a higher rate of hunters being along the route of where I intend to go. I think it is easier to find overlooked places in the sense that there are more hunters that really don't know what they are doing versus the private I hunt. The private land hunters, at least some of them are better/more serious hunters than the public land hunters I've seen. This may be because the private land is a lease and therefore the hunters are more serious about what they are doing since they are willing to pay to do so. I don't mean to say that public land hunters are not as good as private land hunters at all....it is just what I have observed in the areas I have hunted. The best thing about the public land around here that I hunt is pressure is mainly seasonal....don't see nearly as much pressure in bow season...especially if it is hot and after gun season...especially if it is really cold (unfortunately doesn't happen often enough).

I think late season, last half of December, both public and private are less pressured but the public again, has an advantage here as the guys who pay to lease are moreso still at it. The other thing on private is the hunters are more willing to go to and through the areas that are harder to get to...again, because they seem to be more serious hunters. If it weren't for the private property location being where it is, I wouldn't hunt the place...it is only good because of what is surrounding it and it seems to suffer more due to pressure than the public I hunt. Of course, the public I hunt is about a mile hike and then climbing 600-1000 feet (a lot around here) and I don't thing a lot of public hunters, around here at least, are willing to do that.


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brancher147
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Re: Public vs Private hunting pressure differences?

Unread postby brancher147 » Wed Feb 12, 2020 5:31 am

I don’t see enough hunters to notice a difference. I didn’t see another deer hunter in an area all season public or private. In general public has way less pressure than private other than maybe first couple days of gun season around me.
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Thesouthpaw
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Re: Public vs Private hunting pressure differences?

Unread postby Thesouthpaw » Wed Feb 12, 2020 8:16 am

brancher147 wrote:I don’t see enough hunters to notice a difference. I didn’t see another deer hunter in an area all season public or private. In general public has way less pressure than private other than maybe first couple days of gun season around me.

Depends on where your'e at. I choose to hunt large tracts of public in WV and PA, over private during gun season because there is way less pressure. The public ground around here has a stigma of being "crowded". It is actually the complete opposite.
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Re: Public vs Private hunting pressure differences?

Unread postby moog5050 » Wed Feb 12, 2020 9:25 am

The area of NY that I hunt generally has smaller tracts of land (100acres or less) most of which are hunted by several hunters. More pressure than the public land in NY BUT the large tracts of public (ADK and Catskills) have lower deer populations. As mentioned above, from what I hear public tends to be pretty quiet other than opening weekend of regular season.
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Re: Public vs Private hunting pressure differences?

Unread postby mipubbucks24 » Wed Feb 12, 2020 9:52 am

All depends on the property. There are some private lands that get pounded more then public, but If I was to put a number on it, I would say about 80% of private gets less pressure then public. The advantage that I see on a lot of the public verse private is bedding habitat. Most of the private I hunt has no bedding on it, it’s on the neighbors, so you are trying to hunt deer moving through or in the rut. Where as the public has a ton of stuff that is bedding but it gets way more pressure and the deer get pushed all over the place. That is why finding the true mature bedding areas, and hunting fresh sign is important. It all depends where you are, and the specific property. I have a brother in law in a different state and the public he hunts is outstanding, and he sees very little hunting pressure at all.
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Re: Public vs Private hunting pressure differences?

Unread postby gsquared23 » Wed Feb 12, 2020 11:08 am

Pressure on our farm is only bad during gun season, and while I haven’t gun hunted public, it almost certainly rivals the hunters/acre, as every polack with a 40 invited their 3 cousins and they stack the place. The rest of the season, especially late season, I’m the only one on the block hunting or at least within a distance that affects me. So I normally hunt public during October, mix of public and private during rut, our farm during gun season once or twice, and then wait for cold weather to hunt our food plots again.
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G3s
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Re: Public vs Private hunting pressure differences?

Unread postby G3s » Wed Feb 12, 2020 12:42 pm

Oftentimes here in NW Michigan the private land gets beat up worse than public ground. The mentality that the private has bigger deer is hilarious. Those deer have no clue where property lines are
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Re: Public vs Private hunting pressure differences?

Unread postby justdirtyfun » Wed Feb 12, 2020 2:13 pm

When on private I see most hunters are predictable but not on public.

Private might set aside a 'sanctuary' where the deer are supposed to go and be safe. On public the deer find their own 'sanctuary'.
And since public guys are more random the old bucks have found some really unique and formidable bedding areas.
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Re: Public vs Private hunting pressure differences?

Unread postby jkelley1487 » Wed Feb 12, 2020 4:09 pm

Bow season = equal. A good chance on either.

Gun season = a lot more pressure on public

Post gun/muzzleloader = not a soul on either

There’s good deer on both but public gets really tough after opening of gun weekend. Almost all the public properties will be packed during the gun season with traditional stand hunters, still hunting, and deer drives. A lot of the public around here is mature timber that lacks the food and cover later in the season to hold deer. Add in fairly easy access locations and it makes it harder.


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