Hunting now compared to years ago

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Re: Hunting now compared to years ago

Unread postby Tennhunter3 » Thu Jul 30, 2020 8:58 am

I see more hunters and far less deer.
When I grew up we had deer all over the place now due to Regulations, Cwd, Ehd seeing deer is like hitting the lottery.

I used to could drive around before dark and see 50 plus sometimes over a hundred a night. Now I do good to drive 40 miles and see 10 deer a night.

The amount of coyotes seems to be higher also.
I've seen fewer fawns this year then any year I can remember.

Deer size here hasn't changed.
As far as what do I do to adapt look for overlooked spots.

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Re: Hunting now compared to years ago

Unread postby wmihunter » Thu Jul 30, 2020 1:46 pm

I think on general public land is advertised more and private parcels are getting smaller that being said in some pockets of the country it’s getting better.
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Re: Hunting now compared to years ago

Unread postby oldrank » Thu Jul 30, 2020 1:51 pm

I see alot more mobile guys. There are less public land does. Other than that it really isn't much different. Bucks might be bigger.
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Re: Hunting now compared to years ago

Unread postby Jonny » Thu Jul 30, 2020 2:26 pm

I see less guys bow hunting but they generally are mobile hunting. Think I have seen one guy carrying a lock on and sticks in the last 10 years. Everybody else is climbers or moving ladder stands frequently.

Gun season is kinda spotty. I think there are more guys around but I'm always driving as far back as possible down a logging road and am too early to see anybody else. And after the long walk out I never see them driving out. Just know they are around. Get a couple big groups doing drives but its been relatively easy to keep my distance and get on deer. Still have an ace up my sleeve to get into a more remote spot and likely a lot better area, just always have a good reason to not do it. Will probably try it this year.

Hunting has been up and down. Some years its really good and other years its rough. The only constant I have found is that if you are willing to keep trying different things and don't give up, you will find what you are looking for. If I give the season my all, I have always gotten a crack at something that would put a smile on my face. Just depends on if I can capitalize on it. Doe permits are a bit higher than I think they should be but there is so much area for deer to hide, I'm not really too concerned. All the high ground is getting logged in my neck of the woods, and thats only like a third of the public. The other is stuff they feasibly or legally can't touch. Find where there is virtually zero pressure and I usually find deer if the food sources are there.

Overall I enjoy it. Guys at work look at me weird when I say I only hunt public but being challenged is part of the fun. Wouldn't be any fun if it was easy. Hunting some land I haven't hunted in years that has better numbers so that should be fun. Kayak access only.
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Re: Hunting now compared to years ago

Unread postby 218er » Thu Jul 30, 2020 3:59 pm

This is a great thread. I started hunting paper company public land in northern mn in the 80’s. We’d hunt three weekends all rifle season and it was real good if we saw 3-5 among three hunters. It was great compared to the 60’s and 70’s from what my dad and grandpa said. Doe tags were few and far between. We mostly harvested does, spikes, and forkhorns. Occasionally a rut crazed buck would run himself in front of a hunter. Pressure was relatively high but parties had their own spots. The amount of public land was basically unlimited. Deer populations rose and fell based on winters and timber harvest. The mid 90’s had back to back awful winters that decimated the herd. But by the early 2000’s things were great, probably the peak years. Bonus tags were available and deer were plentiful. Shooting 2-3 deer a year wasn’t unheard of for a decent hunter. I remember counting 300+ deer on a 20 mile drive through a mostly forested area which is unreal when you consider you can’t see beyond the ditch off the side of the road. At some point around 2010 The state of MN changed the tax laws that encouraged paper companies to allow public access to their land. Driving up the tax rates caused the paper companies to sell parcels off in 40 - 60 - 160 acres etc. Every dirt logging road got posted every 200 yards that it was now private. The deer population is definitely down but the real killer is access and acres of public land has been limited. Everyone sets up on their little parcels with food plots, probably illegal bait, cameras, and no trespassing signs. It doesn’t have the same big woods feel it once did.
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Re: Hunting now compared to years ago

Unread postby PaPublicLandHunter » Fri Jul 31, 2020 1:50 am

elk yinzer wrote:Interesting to read these perspectives over the years with the bumps. I love how this site bumps old threads.

Good chunk of western 1/2 of PA. Cover a lot of ground. Been hunting since 2000 age 12, most all public and some heavily pressured private.

Way, way more pressure on public in archery season (crossbows, loss of private land access). This has really accelerated the past 3-5 years. Rifle season is a fraction of what it used to be. Honestly I think it's easier to kill a buck in PA with a bow now than a rifle at this point in time. All the rifle season pressure used to help in that season, kept deer moving on their feet at a time of year when their inclination is not to be on their feet very much.

A lot harder to beat pressure. Everyone goes deep and everyone and their brother map scouts. Gotta have a lot of spots and a DGAF attitude when someone moves in on one.

Knock on door private land access has basically evaporated. One of the most shameful things about hunting imo. Another being the withering death of small game hunting. Nobody hunts or cares about small game except the joke that is stocked ditch chickens.

A lot more bucks seeing their 3rd and 4th birthdays though. Antler restrictions best thing to ever happen to hunting in PA. Less rifle pressure, more sanctuaries.

CWD and the CWD deniers both concern me. I live pretty close to the core area and it spreads every year. Nothing good about it.

You are a just few years older than me and what I see pretty much reflects what you see where I hunt in Pa.
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Re: Hunting now compared to years ago

Unread postby venisonassassin » Sat Aug 01, 2020 4:06 am

I think the hunting was better back in the early 2000's here in WI, on public (another case of I wish I knew then what I know now). Then earn-a-buck came around and everyone went to public to shoot a doe and "earn" their buck. That changed things for a few years. Things have improved since. I've also never really had issues with other hunters as long as I was willing to go in deeper in. Generally though, public land hunting seems to have gotten more popular. The gear we use keeps advancing, more accurate bows, lighter stands, saddles etc. GPS's make it easier to get anywhere (Onx). All the knowledge is at everyone's finger tips.
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Re: Hunting now compared to years ago

Unread postby STIKnSTRING » Thu Nov 12, 2020 8:24 am

Hunting Florence/Forest county in WI has gotten dramatically worse over the last 10 years. I used to be able so sit a creek bottom and see deer every day. Now I’m lucky if I see a couple in the whole season. The wolves have decimated the herd. Not to mention we hunt national forest close to reservation lands and tribes can hunt over bait at night. I think something seriously needs to be done to improve the deer population in the northwoods because I’m not sure that it can get much worse than it is now. Wolves finally got delisted so hopefully there will be a season for them again. That would help some

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