I’m out today scouting one of my favorite areas. An area that might resemble some public land around you hunt. And that’s large tracts of forest logging roads and landings.
Perhaps the most daunting aspect of public land is one where do you start hunting or even scouting?! The second would definitely be difficult access and the sheer amount of effort it takes to get to deer. Let’s dive further into both of these.
To start, scouting a piece of public land for deer hunting, you should always take a look at the aerial and terrain features, not to mention the property boundaries. Google Earth is free and user friendly. Try and go over your basics like food sources, bedding areas, openings and landings if you’re dealing with large tracts of forest, and saddles if you’re dealing with a lot of terrain. Also make note of transition areas and places where funneling occurs, such as creeks, bottoms, points with steep cliffs, and/or differing vegetation. Put these key points on a map to check out on foot when you get the chance.
Print off a map, something that you can write and take notes on. Once on the ground check out these points, use your phone if you have service to locate where you are, and take notes on the map. You need to cover a lot of ground! Public land is often over-pressured with high hunter density. So going that extra mile or to that next hill, could get you to that jackpot you are looking for.
When looking at potential stand locations go ahead and think about wind direction and deer movement. For this area SSW is the most common wind during October and September. If I’m hunting in the morning I need to set up closer to bedding area, in the afternoon a food source, so where will the deer be, and where will my scent be.
Going the extra mile both on and off the ground can get you that public and bruiser. To get more information on hunting public land, or anything else white-tailed deer find the buck advisors online at www.buckadvisor.com