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what kind of public hunting grounds to look for?

1852 Views 5 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  MrFox
I started thinking about the next hunting season and would love to hear some advice from more experienced gentlemen.

What kind of hunting place should I pick for further research? The one nearby (so I would have more opportunities to scout it and hunt it), or the one which is further down and less accessible (so that there's less pressure from other fellow hunters to deer)?
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both. you got time to scout them out
i only hunt land open to the general public. good rule of thumb, if there is good parking, nice looking terrain for deer hunting, a well beaten path, or an easy way to get deep into the woods (ie. power lines) dont bother. exept for if bow hunting season starts before rifel or M loader season. i lost count of how many times i have scouted out a spot, found great sign, and set up a stand pre season. only to find 4 or 5 trucks parked within 100 yards of were i would park to get to my stand on opening mornig. these kinds of spots are great for bow hunting though. (people flood to thoughs spots for a reason), and if you can get into the woods a few weeks before the masses you just might land a real nice buck. but always have a stand somewere way off the beaten path just in case you start bumping into other hunters.
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Living in WI, hunting on public lands and ignoring other hunters is impossible. There's pretty much no wildlife area where you wouldn't get any company. My last year's hunts were strongly affected by more experienced hunters.

So, I am looking for totally "bad" swamp/marsh with a number of parking areas and compartments (so, I wouldn't even stop by in any parking if there's a car and hopefully my car would discourage anyone to stop either).

However, there's not one 'perfect' public hunting grounds. Some have a Earn a Buck requirement (one must shoot a doe before allowed to shoot a buck), some others don't allow hunting with a rifle (which is somewhat OK for me, but I wouldn't be able to hunt with my son then but that's probably OK too for the time being) and those which I scouted over the winter are 'regular' units where does aren't shootable with a regular doe tag (one would need extra tag). There are places where none of the mentioned restrictions exist, but they are much further from the place I live.

So, at this moment my plan is to work two or three bigger hunting grounds nearby and don't pressure too much one single area. Then, if I got a hot spot in each nearby area, I should be able to adjust. And I hope that all WI hunters choose to drive up north and live suburban deer to me ;)
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I would also say both but private land if you can get permission?sence i have over 400 acres to hunt with no worry of seeing other people i really wouldn't know how to hunt state owned land?i would say swamp/blowdown/thick areas were the deer would go if pressured?when i go to the southern zone in ny(many hunters)even when we hunt on private land we tend to find funnel like tree lines and have very good luck.but with so many hunters down there its like they are driving the deer to us.hope this all made sence?not really good at giving advice lol
Well, let me share some of my thinking (I'd appreciate your imput and hope my writing to entertain you at the least).

These are options I got:
1) Known place upnorth (where I hunt last year).

Advantages: rifles allowed, doe tags cheap and unlimited and do not need 'unit designation' (not that I am looking to bag lots of does, but I'd like to have at least 1 doe tag for both me and my son 'just in case'), deer harvest is good, and I know where no hunters go in the area.
Disadvantages: far from city (4 hrs drive) doesn't really let me hunt sufficiently or scout as often as I would like.

2) Unknown place upnorth
Advantages: most of the same, closer than previous one (say 2-3 hrs of drive)
Disadvantages: I don't know what to expect there.

3) New place right next to city
Advantages: I guess it's about 30 minutes away only. It has extra week for hunting (metro area). Hopefully it's big enough (there are 6-8 parking spots, so hopefully I shall be able to find one parking all to myself).
Disadvantages: Only shotguns are allowed. Well, I do own a shotgun, but I thought about switching to a deer rifle and being able to practice shooting with a rifle much more than I would be able to with my shotgun (and if my son wants to hunt, well, I'm not buying second shotgun for him anywhere soon, so we shall share one, rather than hunt separately).

4) State Forest next to city to south.
Advantages: Not far (1 hr). Really big forest. Can shoot rifles.
Disadvantages: Earn a buck requirement (so neither me, nor my son would be able to shoot a buck until we shoot a doe) - but that is remedied to a degree of opportunity to hunt does before regular gun season.

5) State Forest next to city north.
Advantages: I scouted it during winter and get a general idea of where to look for deer.
Disadvantages: It's a 'regular' unit. Doe tags are only by a designated to the unit and subject to quotas. And there are no 'extra' seasons to hunt some more, just old plain 9 days gun season + 4 days extra antlerless season.

So, I guess, I shall stick to 3) and 4). 4) for early bonus seasons with my son in hope to help DNR reduce deer heard near the city and fill freezer well before the official season kicks in, and 3) for some after season action by myself. And for the gun season, depending if we get the buck tag or not (and if my son would be interested in hunting more), it'll be either 3 or 4.
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