Public Hunting Land
As my username suggests, I am a rookie hunter, turned on to the sport by my father-in-law. He has plenty of well managed land for hunting, but lives an hour and a half away. There is public hunting land five minutes from my house on the Chickasaw national forest, but I don't want to go freeze my tail off to see an occaitional doe.
Is public hunting land worth hunting?
Will I see anything other than does and spikes?
Am I going to be shot at by morons that shoot at any movement?
Yes you can harvest nice bucks from public land. As far as will you see more than small immature deer well? You have to crawl before you walk and walk before you can run. It takes time in the woods and reading everything you can get your hands on about the animal you intend to hunt then apply what you have seen and learned. Could you take a nice buck possibly, is it probable no. There is so much to learn you cannot do it in a season or two. Invest in time and knowledge of deer habits and you will harvest a nice buck as well as appreciate him for what he is. Public land is good for you in the fact that 1# you will be able to spend more time in the field learning 2# If and when you you learn how to successfully hunt public land you will kick butt on private land. Go hunting, Enjoy it.:bye:
:goodposting: agreed.i hunt public all the time.when i hunt private it almost feels like im cheating.:shocking:
Not familiar with Chickasaw National Forest . Game land in SC not hunted much anymore so the hunting is good. Most times in fact never see any other hunters to the point to where I actually look for hunting partners on occasions mostly relatives.
Seems the major trend over the last few years has been to join clubs to manage your own herds. For those that could afford it , it seems to have really paid-off. As for us that couldn't afford it, IT HAS REALLY PAID-OFF.
Please let us know where you're from, I'm sure someone in your area will be of more help.:coffee:
good point about them moving out and making more space for the rest of us:ibtl:
Chickasaw is in West Tennessee. My in-laws lease about 1500 acres hunted by about a dozen people. I enjoy hunting there because we always see deer. However, the drive limits my hunting out there to weekends and "sick days". Also they have an eight point minimum so trying to count points can be difficult. Hopefully next season I can try out Chickasaw and get some bonus hunting days.
Tell you what are you near Lake Holston? Let Me Know!
To answer your three questions:
Since you are a new hunter, I would recommend going to an area that has lots of deer. You can get on these forums, read all the articles in the world, and seek advice from all the experts, but the best place to learn about deer is in the woods from the deer, themselves! They will teach you more than anyone else. Be patient, be focused, be observant. I'm not saying you shouldn't do the other things as well, but if you want to learn anything, just immerse yourself in it.
As for getting shot - it's not likely, as statistically, hunting is one of the safest sports with the fewest accidents - even though the ones that occur always seem to make the front pages. Try to get yourself in a position where you can see the other guys before they see you. Wear your hunter orange. Don't do anything that might make someone mistake you for a deer. Stay out of heavily hunted places if you can. Most of all, enjoy yourself and good luck!
onehorse I agree with you. Another point to make is that you're not going to learn too much hunting during gun seasons when there are a lot of hunters in the woods and the deer are running for their lives. I would suggest that bowhunting and to a lesser degree blackpowder hunting gets things up close and personal which teaches us the most about deer and their behavoirs. A few years back bowhunting I had six deer with-in 35 yds, a nice 6pt, a 4pt, a spike and three does one that was in estrus. Instead of shooting I watched as the 6pt moved into position while the 4pt and spike took out their frustrations on leaves, dirt, and small saplings. I got to watch for nearly 30 minutes as the drama worked itself out. These are the moments to learn and not kill. Knowing when to watch does looking at their back trail or when the hair on the back of the buck you are watching stands up, these are learning experiences that can only be observed from the field. Some of the greatest moments that I have ever had did not end with a kill but a fantastic learning experience when the buck won and all I could do was laugh and head back to camp.
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