I just read another survey on how hunters are feeling the pressure of being squeezed out of more and more private land. The trend is toward property owners closing the gate and nailing up “No Trespassing” signs. That means if you want to hunt you need to either score with another landowner or look toward public land.
Now is the time to be out and about. Whether you are knocking on doors trying to secure another property or snooping on public land, get out. If you feel like public land is your only choice, snooping right now is a good option. Others are likely hiking or using public lands for dog walks so your presence won’t be as jarring.
It’s also a good time to find other access points to private ground. A few weeks back I hiked a parcel of public land in my backyard as a backup for whitetail hunting. I parked in the traditional parking area, but instead of taking the path of least resistance I made a wide circle to a backdoor location where I suspected whitetails would loiter. The long hike alone would limit the bulk of hunters visiting this property.
My hike was greeted with several whitetail sightings and the enthusiasm to return later during the rut for a possible buck meeting.
Here’s another tip, try a lesser weapon. Firearm season is by and far the most popular time of year for hunters and thus the reason fields are ablaze in orange. Early archery, late muzzleloader and even handgun seasons offer windows with fewer participants and possibly higher success.
The days of yesteryear are gone along with unlimited hunting grounds. Donate to public access programs, scout and be innovative. Oh yes, quit following
me around and find your own public-land honey hole.
I don’t care if you have a TV show. STAY OUT!