public hunting woes

Discussion in 'Bowhunting' started by smhmc6, Nov 8, 2008.

  1. smhmc6

    smhmc6 Member

    Messages:
    744
    State:
    Kansas
    I'm so sick of public hunting land. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad there there is some around here and that is my only opportunity to hunt. The deer were already nocturnal but since the opening of pheasant season they are especially nocturnal. I've had several guys that I've had to holler at and let them know I'm hunting in there (so they don't spook the deer out of the county much less shoot me), its just getting frustrating. I would love to buy land someday, and actually it is a dream of mine but probably won't even be able to think about it for 10 years at least. It almost seems like the lease thing is the only way to go, but I just don't see how I could justify spending thousands of dollars for a couple months. I'm just frustrated and I had to vent. I wouldn't even care as much if there were a bunch of other bowhunters, but the pheasant hunters don't care about scent or the noise they make. I know they have as much right to be there as I do, and I'm not mad at them or anything at all. I'm glad they get to get out and have fun too. I'm just frustrated with the situation. I'd be interested to hear some of your stories.
     
  2. CountryHart

    CountryHart New Member

    Messages:
    10,914
    State:
    missouri
    Years ago when i hunted ark. me and a buddie went to the white river refuge to bowhunt opening day. Bad planning on my part, squirrle season opened the same day and it sounded like a war. I seen a warden there i know and was whining when he said next time bring a boat and cross the bayou i was camped at and hunt the island. To make a long story short we tied our stands and bows along with our cloths and swam the creek.:crazy: Didn't get a shot but deer were everywhere. When i swam back across after dark, same warden drove up on me buck necked in gravel road trying to get dressed. I've hunted public ground all my life and have had some very good hunts and some that wasn't so great. I try to use a boat or canoe to get away from the crowd, but i'm not the only guy who thinks this way either.
     

  3. catfishcentral

    catfishcentral New Member

    Messages:
    1,497
    State:
    OK
    Do you own a boat? I'm limited to hunting public lands also but I take my boat up the river channels of my local corps lake to access the WMA lands that are really only accessable by boat. We have some other hunters in my area that use a boat also but there numbers are pretty limited. The longer and colder into the hunting season the less hunters we see. In Dec were breaking ice with the boat sometimes to get to our stands that are on the river above the lake and we rarely see anyone then. You might look to see what public lands have access by boat and you'll really limit your numbers of other hunters.
     
  4. catfishcentral

    catfishcentral New Member

    Messages:
    1,497
    State:
    OK
    I can vouch that islands are great public hunting spots. I have one about 40 acres that bow only hunting and access to the island is hard with the tons of timber in the lake. That island is full of deer and come rifle and muzzleloader there's even more on there because there being pushed off there regular spots from deer hunters. I've seen whole family's of does swimming in the lake at night towards that island. :wink:
     
  5. arkrivercatman

    arkrivercatman New Member

    Messages:
    4,472
    State:
    KS
    I agree, a boat would be the ticket. The road less traveled is always best, in fishing and in hunting.
     
  6. smhmc6

    smhmc6 Member

    Messages:
    744
    State:
    Kansas
    Thanks for the advice. And the story about swimming to an island and being butt naked when the warden drove by:smile2:. I bet that was a riot. I do own a boat and at first that was my plan to get out there and be alone. But the more I scouted, the more I realized that all the land is pretty much just as accessible by land as by water.
     
  7. catfishcentral

    catfishcentral New Member

    Messages:
    1,497
    State:
    OK
    Depends on how much a hunter wants to walk. Now bird hunters might walk farther but deer hunters don't want to be dragging deer for long distances. Heck my stands are mostly 50 yards or less of the river channel. Help makes for a natural funnel for the deer and I don't have to walk far to drag my deer out. Look on topo maps that have long distances between walk in areas and to the river...thats a good place to start.
     
  8. bownero

    bownero New Member

    Messages:
    3,137
    State:
    Hastings, Ne.
    I've had good results using public land while bow hunting. The only exception, it was during no other game season to interfere with my hunting, hence " pheasant, duck, etc." My advice is to go and check other public hunting grounds or go PRIVATE. The is less chance of your stands getting stolen and the hunting pressure will be minimal. Do some asking around, I'm sure some farmer will let you hunt his land as long you respect it. GOOD LUCK!!:wink: Your chances will be way better being a bowhunter, gettting permission on Private land.
     
  9. CountryHart

    CountryHart New Member

    Messages:
    10,914
    State:
    missouri
    I would like to add that my best success on public ground is to scout and find the nastiest , thickest in-accessible place you can find and hunt all day if thats what it takes. the hours when folks are leaving the woods for lunch and returning is in my opinion optimum time. I've heard alot of birds gobble in the spring After the hunters were leaving the woods. Hunters are good at patterning game, but game is better at patterning hunters. Lifes short, hunt hard.
     
  10. flathead willie

    flathead willie Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,241
    State:
    Virginia
    I know the feeling. I scouted a nice place in the National Forest last year and went back in and put up a stand this year. Three days later, someone put another stand 25 yards from mine. Last year someone stole one of my climbing stands that was a two mile walk from the parking area.
     
  11. rivercatsc

    rivercatsc New Member

    Messages:
    1,990
    State:
    South Caro
    I hunt alot of Public Lands here in SC and 1 good thing is there is NO small game hunting during deer season. I also utilize the river to hunt places that are not accesible by land with out a several mile walk in. I feel your pain though.
     
  12. smhmc6

    smhmc6 Member

    Messages:
    744
    State:
    Kansas
    Thanks Mark. You are right I should have gone out knockin on doors. I think at the beginning I didn't think it would be all that bad. For the last few years I was was in school in Missouri where there was TONS of Mark Twain National Forest. I couldn't even imagine how many acres are out there. I hunted probably 5-10 miles into the woods and never saw a soul there, even during rifle season I may see one or two other trucks out there. Turkey season was the same way. Around here there just isn't as much public hunting ground, not near as much. Basically every hunter in 3 counties goes here. Anyway, you are right... its my own fault for not going out and asking for permission. At this point, its pretty much too late for this season, but next season for sure. I just hope I don't get 100 farmers who tell me its being leased, or they want money for a lease.
     
  13. Grimpuppy

    Grimpuppy New Member

    Messages:
    3,556
    State:
    Concordia, KS
    You hunting public land or Walk in hunting land? have you tried the public hunting at Milford or Tuttle Creek? There is 18,000 acres at Milford and 12,000 acres at Tuttle. Plenty of land to find you a secluded spot.
     
  14. kennylee

    kennylee New Member

    Messages:
    271
    State:
    Missouri -
    Steve, I feel your pain, I hunted public ground for years. All I can say is you need to spend more time in the woods scouting when the bird hunters are working the area, those deer have to go some where and when you find out where and the runs they use to get there, you'll have the spot. You find these spots and runs and you'll be begging for bird hunters.:wink:
     
  15. CountryHart

    CountryHart New Member

    Messages:
    10,914
    State:
    missouri
    While we're yackin, allow me to throw in some humor. Several years ago huntin white river refuge (118,000 acres) opening day i got in my stand i placed the day before. Bout 30 minutes after daylite, an old man came trompin thru the woods carryin a lawn chair. looks right up at me, we wave at each other. He walks past the grown over slough i was watchin and unfolds his chair bout 75 yds. away and lights up his pipe.:crazy: After a few minutes i said hell with it gramps you can have it. Down the tree i come and slipped off down the thicket. I'ld gone prolly1/2 a quarter and thought i heard someone whistle. I stopped and looked around( convinced i'm either kraxy or hearin things) took a few steps and there is no mistake i hear it again. Directly i hear a psssst, up here. I was standing under a guy in a climber that wasn't wearing orange. Long story short, he prolly cussed me like i did gramps under my breath.
     
  16. massa_jorge

    massa_jorge New Member

    Messages:
    2,137
    State:
    TEXAS
    i only hunt public land. i do a lot of walking, as the 'rivers' here aren't boatable. this last trip i made i walked a total of 6 miles and din't see anything but coyotes. the last two trips i got a deer and a hog. that's what keeps you going. when public land is good, it's great, but when it's bad, it really sucks! you just have to put in your time in scouting and hunting. if the area you are hunting is big enough, get away from the 4 wheeler roads and make camp. when you do get a deer, it will be an all day deal getting it out. it's worth it to me, all the work i have to to get meat in the freezer. good luck, and don't lose heart!