public & agriculture versus public without

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Singing Bridge
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public & agriculture versus public without

Unread postby Singing Bridge » Sun Apr 07, 2013 6:12 am

Public land hunters, what differences have you noticed when hunting deer that have access to agriculture versus those areas where the deer do not?

* population differences?
* size of bucks and deer in general?
* amount of hunting pressure?
* differences in bedding locations?
* differences in mature buck behavior by season?
* location of hunting pressure and other hunters?
* if baiting is allowed, what were the dynamics in the two different types of public land?

I hunt both types of public, and I have noticed some significant differences in deer on public land that have access to agriculture versus those that do not- have you? Or, is it pretty much irrelevant in your areas?


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Re: public & agriculture versus public without

Unread postby blizzardhunter » Sun Apr 07, 2013 12:00 pm

I havent noticed a size difference when it comes to antlers, but a big one in body size. A guy killed a buck aged at 4, with about 140" rack in a huge track of timber and no crops around where we hunt last year. It dressed out at 124lbs. That same deer around ag land here would weigh on average 180lbs dressed. It does seem deer away from ag land tend to move more freely on daylight which I think is directly related to the lack of hunting pressure. Most people around here would never imagine hunting away from crop ground. After my scouting this spring I'm a big believer that even if a buck has a crop field within 3/4 mile of his bed, he doesnt always use it. I believe a lot of deer in the area we hunt public, never use crop ground, which is few and far between. This might just be a learned behavior from pressure around the fields or the fact that there are so many oak trees you can still easily find acorns on the ground now.
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Re: public & agriculture versus public without

Unread postby Crazinamatese » Sun Apr 07, 2013 2:38 pm

Singing Bridge wrote:Public land hunters, what differences have you noticed when hunting deer that have access to agriculture versus those areas where the deer do not?

* [glow=red]population differences[/glow]?
I noticed the adjacent private land near one public section I hunt holds way more deer. There is better cover too. There are heavy trails coming in and out of the private land into the crop field, versus literally no trail coming out of the public land except on the property lines. Another public area I hunted last season had a standing corn field on it at the beginning of the season, and I think no one hunted that area other than myself until the rut and the corn came down. I seen alot of deer and they seemed unpressured during that time.
* [glow=red]size of bucks and deer in general[/glow]?
I seen mostly basket-racks in the day, but I found some big rubs which could have came from decent bucks in areas with ag. fields.
* [glow=red]amount of hunting pressure?[/glow]
Minimal during bow season. I do find traces of other hunters, but seems they know where they are going and what they are doing.
*[glow=red]differences in bedding locations?[/glow]
On that public section I hunted with the corn field, i noticed deer were traveling at least a mile to the corn. I found some bedding areas that were way back in deep cover a good distance from the ag. field and.
*[glow=red]differences in mature buck behavior by season?[/glow]
I think as more pressure starts the mature bucks become more nocturnal.
*[glow=red]location of hunting pressure and other hunters?[/glow]
Its hard to tell. I noticed deer were becoming more reluctant to approach the ag. fields in the daylight as the season continued. Im sure Im at some fault for that as well as other hunters.
* [glow=red]if baiting is allowed, what were the dynamics in the two different types of public land?[/glow]
irrelevant I think.

I hunt both types of public, and I have noticed some significant differences in deer on public land that have access to agriculture versus those that do not- have you? Or, is it pretty much irrelevant in your areas?
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Re: public & agriculture versus public without

Unread postby Crazinamatese » Sun Apr 07, 2013 2:40 pm

* [glow=red]population differences[/glow]?
I noticed the adjacent private land near one public section I hunt holds way more deer. There is better cover too. There are heavy trails coming in and out of the private land into the crop field, versus literally no trail coming out of the public land except on the property lines. Another public area I hunted last season had a standing corn field on it at the beginning of the season, and I think no one hunted that area other than myself until the rut and the corn came down. I seen alot of deer and they seemed unpressured during that time.
* [glow=red]size of bucks and deer in general[/glow]?
I seen mostly basket-racks in the day, but I found some big rubs which could have came from decent bucks in areas with ag. fields.
* [glow=red]amount of hunting pressure?[/glow]
Minimal during bow season. I do find traces of other hunters, but seems they know where they are going and what they are doing.
*[glow=red]differences in bedding locations?[/glow]
On that public section I hunted with the corn field, i noticed deer were traveling at least a mile to the corn. I found some bedding areas that were way back in deep cover a good distance from the ag. field.
*[glow=red]differences in mature buck behavior by season?[/glow]
I think as more pressure starts the mature bucks become more nocturnal.
*[glow=red]location of hunting pressure and other hunters?[/glow]
Its hard to tell. I noticed deer were becoming more reluctant to approach the ag. fields in the daylight as the season continued. Im sure Im at some fault for that as well as other hunters. When the corn came down, it seemed the deer didn't feel that security cover from the standing corn too.
* [glow=red]if baiting is allowed, what were the dynamics in the two different types of public land?[/glow]
irrelevant I think.

I hope this info helps. Almost every public areas I hunt has some sort of farm field nearby.
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Re: public & agriculture versus public without

Unread postby dan » Mon Apr 08, 2013 12:17 am

Singing Bridge wrote:Public land hunters, what differences have you noticed when hunting deer that have access to agriculture versus those areas where the deer do not?

* population differences?
* size of bucks and deer in general?
* amount of hunting pressure?
* differences in bedding locations?
* differences in mature buck behavior by season?
* location of hunting pressure and other hunters?
* if baiting is allowed, what were the dynamics in the two different types of public land?

I hunt both types of public, and I have noticed some significant differences in deer on public land that have access to agriculture versus those that do not- have you? Or, is it pretty much irrelevant in your areas?

The areas without agriculture are generally bigger, vast areas of same habitat... Agriculture areas are more broken and have lots of transition edge offering more bedding and closer bedding. Agriculture areas tend to have more and bigger deer. I see more hunting pressure in the agriculture areas.
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Re: public & agriculture versus public without

Unread postby Singing Bridge » Mon Apr 08, 2013 1:55 am

It sounds like you guys have a pretty good grasp of what is going on in your areas...

I have a couple of public areas I hunt that are similar in size- and they aren't very far apart.

One of these areas has virtually no access to agriculture, while the other has a lot just outside the public boundary. The biggest difference I have noted is the deer population... it is tremendously higher in the agricultural area. Hunting pressure is similar in the two areas, and as I mentioned before, they are not very far apart.

The public area with access to agriculture has beaten down trails and ten times the buck sign, a lot more buck beds... really a remarkable difference. The runways I scout, even a long distance from the agriculture in that area, are trampled down cow paths compared to the public area with no agriculture. At least as far as these two particular areas go, the agriculture appears to lend itself to a much higher deer population.
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Re: public & agriculture versus public without

Unread postby keb » Mon Apr 08, 2013 2:54 am

I have hunted the tall grass priarie where food is miles away, the best deer I have ever layer eyes on was in the middle of it (priarie) I stopped trying to figure out where they eat, I figured out where they would wind up. I also noticed the ground was so hard dry, there was not rutted up trials like the creek and river drain bottoms.

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Re: public & agriculture versus public without

Unread postby Singing Bridge » Mon Apr 08, 2013 3:22 am

keb wrote:I have hunted the tall grass priarie where food is miles away, the best deer I have ever layer eyes on was in the middle of it (priarie) I stopped trying to figure out where they eat, I figured out where they would wind up. I also noticed the ground was so hard dry, there was not rutted up trials like the creek and river drain bottoms.

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Buck bedding is the key - whether it is prairie or river bottom... knowing where they will go is very important. It sounds like you are on it!

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Re: public & agriculture versus public without

Unread postby dan » Mon Apr 08, 2013 4:57 am

keb wrote:I have hunted the tall grass priarie where food is miles away, the best deer I have ever layer eyes on was in the middle of it (priarie) I stopped trying to figure out where they eat, I figured out where they would wind up. I also noticed the ground was so hard dry, there was not rutted up trials like the creek and river drain bottoms.

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You make a good point about soil type and dryness. I have noticed that low land areas with black soft dirt or muck hold and show deer sign a lot better than higher harder soil. A trail that is pounded on dry dirt might not look near as good as a trail that gets occasional use to the untrained eye.
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Re: public & agriculture versus public without

Unread postby MOBIGBUCKS » Tue Apr 09, 2013 2:52 am

I scouted both types over the weekend. I actually found better big buck sign in places where it was more like cow pasture habitat. You could definately tell the Ag areas got hit harder.
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Re: public & agriculture versus public without

Unread postby MN Legacy » Tue Apr 09, 2013 11:01 am

I'm not a big woods expert by any means. I think that big woods are tougher to hunt because of the sheer vastness of some these woods that stretch for miles and miles. I like to hunt spots with some agriculture because you can use the field as a starting point and than follow the trails going back towards the bedding areas and you tend to see more deer. Just my opinion.
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Re: public & agriculture versus public without

Unread postby keb » Tue Apr 09, 2013 1:01 pm

Yeah the big woods would be very intimidating, the priarie is tough but more of a mind game to muster up the patience and confidence that a big buck really could come buy the only tree in a half mile your setting in. So narrowing down a tree is easy, setting in it is another story.

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Re: public & agriculture versus public without

Unread postby Southern Man » Wed Apr 10, 2013 2:52 am

Public land hunters, what differences have you noticed when hunting deer that have access to agriculture versus those areas where the deer do not?

* population differences?

The public we hunt has alot less deer than the farm ground we hunt. In ag ground, it's not uncommon to see 10-20 deer in a sit, not so on public ground. Ag ground can support alot of deer. That may or may not be the difference in these 2 areas we hunt, dunno.

* size of bucks and deer in general?

Body weights in our ag country, far out weigh the deer on public.

* amount of hunting pressure?

Around here, hunters are spoiled by the ag ground. The public which is 95% forested, gets very little pressure from bowhunters. During the quota rifle hunt (2 days) most of the hunters are not locals.

* differences in bedding locations?

It seems bedding on the ag ground is more reliable than the forested public. That might be due to less places to hide than the heavily forested public.

* location of hunting pressure and other hunters?

Ag ground gets pounded by gun hunters and bowhunters as well. On the public we hunt, 95% forested and of that 5% open ground, only about 1/2 of that is cropped. By far most of the hunting pressure is on the fields. People seem to love hunting fields.

* if baiting is allowed, what were the dynamics in the two different types of public land?

I hunt both types of public, and I have noticed some significant differences in deer on public land that have access to agriculture versus those that do not- have you? Or, is it pretty much irrelevant in your areas?
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Re: public & agriculture versus public without

Unread postby parkersdad » Tue May 14, 2013 2:35 am

I hunt public land in Michigan, North Carolina, and Virginia. In Virginia and North Carolina it is all big woods with no Agriculture. In Michigan I can tell you the deer sign is a lot easier to see around the agriculture fields. I killed a nice buck my first afternoon of hunting. That never happens in VA or NC. I do prefer big woods though because there seems to be lower hunting pressure.


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