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Public Land and how far do you walk in?

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by 627PCFan, Nov 23, 2015.

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  1. 627PCFan

    627PCFan Member

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    For those of you who still hunt public land, lets say east of the Mississippi, how far do you "walk in" when hunting?
     
  2. wgp

    wgp Member

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    I'm West of the Mississippi but I wanted to respond.

    For years I went with a few other guys to Colorado to hunt mulies. We camped and hunted public lands exclusively. We kept hearing the rule was to go at least 1/4 mile, that most guys did not and most didn't leave sight of a road.
    Not our experience. One of our last years we hiked about a half-mile in, set up a small camp, scouted for an opening day spot, the whole deal. When the sun came up on opening day I counted 13 orange dots -- other hunters-- visible from my carefully prepared spot. Who knows how many more were on my side of the valley where I could not see them. From that experience I figured it didn't matter how far in, there would be plenty of other hunters with which to contend.
     
  3. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator Staff Member

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    My rule of thumb in the west. One mile past the first steep ridge line equals 99% fewer hunters. If you look down into a steep deep little canyon and think "My god I'd never want to pack a critter out of there." you've found your spot. Strap on your man suit and go hunt it.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2015
  4. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    I generally hunt in the N Georgia mountains on public land. Mostly on management areas. Since I started doing this in the 1970's the number of hunters doing so has dropped dramatically and almost everyone I see anymore has gray in their hair. The younger hunters are all buying into leases and hunting clubs where they bait.

    I generally use hiking trails to access areas. Generally at least a mile from the trailhead and then another 1/4 to 1/2 mile off the trail. Unlike in the west where visibility is much better 50 yards off the trail will get you out of sight.
     
  5. chipcom

    chipcom member

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    If it's public land, you have already scouted it out and should know exactly where you want to go, right?
     
  6. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    You don't say what sort of hunting. I hunt ducks on public land. I walk however far the spot is that I want to hunt...they're numbered and you pick by parking in front of the number in the parking area. :D None of 'em are over a mile, but it's tough walking on muddy, cow tracked trails.
     
  7. Patocazador

    Patocazador Member

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    If I want to escape the crowds, I travel to isolated areas that have no paths, trails, roads, etc. to make access easy. Some are a long way in and some are only about 1/2 mile in through a swamp or a briar hell hole.

    Adversity is what stops most of them, not distance.
     
  8. jim in Anchorage

    jim in Anchorage Member

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    I walk as far as my PA-18 will take me:p
     
  9. midland man

    midland man Member

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    about 1/8th of a mile or less anymore as I am disabled so its hard for me to travel! :(
     
  10. hdbiker

    hdbiker Member

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    public land

    I was bow hunting one time about a 1/2 mile into public hunting land. I heard and then seen another hunter coming in late. She walked right up to the tree I was hunting in and accused me of hunting in her tree,mad as hell,demanding get out of her tree.After a few harsh words she walked over about 50 feet, climbed another tree and sat and watched me until dark.TRUE STORY !!! hdbiker
     
  11. TimSr

    TimSr Member

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    Incidentally, the prey seems to pick those places to get away from other hunters as well.
     
  12. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    Allegedly true story out of Colorado, around forty years ago:

    A couple of guys rigged a Blazer for back country. Drove in as far as the Forest Service road went, and then on through timber with one guy walking ahead. Finally set up camp, knowing they were far beyond where others would go. Sat at the fire, smiling over a toddy or two.

    Thought they heard a noise. Noise got louder. And here came a VW Bus with a couple of Hippie hunters, who went right on past their camp. :D
     
  13. glockman19

    glockman19 Member

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    I'm in the west, California, I hiked in 3 miles to my spot this season. slipped crossing a creek my last day, injured my leg and only got 1 mile in.

    I hunt pubic land and find walking more than a mile has always brought success.

    My pace is 3 about 3 miles per hour so it takes about an hour to get to my spot..that means an hour hauling it out too.
     
  14. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Member

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    It depends. Sometimes distance will separate you from the crowd, but not if that distance equates to walking a forest road, creek, powerline or other landmark where folks won't get lost. Kinda why you see so many pieces of Surveyor's tape hanging in trees marking the way into folk's stands. Many times folks are so set on getting "way back" they walk right by the best stand in the area because they can still see cars on the highway. On heavily hunted public land, the secret is to hunt where the majority of others don't. It may be because it's "way back in" or one needs to be very familiar with the area to find it in the dark. It may be because you need hip boots to wade thru the swamp or be in good shape to make it to the top of the bluff. Regardless of where it is, you still need to be where the game wants to be too........
     
  15. fouled bore

    fouled bore Member

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    Deer hunting, 50 yards. It all depends on the terrain and how the deer move to/from bedding/feeding areas.
     
  16. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    It's about 200 yards to my box blind/feeder from my back porch. :D
     
  17. Captcurt

    Captcurt Member

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    I had a great spot about 1 1/2 miles into the Ozark National Forrest. The last buck that I shot there took 2 1/2 hours to drag out and he was small. This area is rough, steep and brushy. I was dragging the buck by my climbing harness. Luckily the trail back to the truck was down hill but there were a couple of places where the deer passed me. It was that steep. This area is closed to RVs and open only to horseback and foot travel. I told a Warden that if I hiked in a mile or two and someone rode a horse by me the rider would walking out. I am older and wiser now, plus I have permission to hunt a few great places so I don't hunt the rough stuff anymore. I kind of miss the good old days when rough country didn't matter though.
     
  18. BudgetBucks1

    BudgetBucks1 Member

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    I have hunted NC, VA and Ohio public lands for 15 years. I can count on one hand how many hunters I have seen more than a 30 minute walk from the truck. Almost all of those were walking without a stand and several ran deer to me. The easiest way that I have found to hunt a long way from the truck is to carry climbing sticks back in to the area that you hunt at the beginning of the season. Strap a millennium hang on stand(11 pounds and comfy) to the outside of the pack of your choice and hike in. At the end of the season bring out your sticks. Once your have the sticks in the general area that you want to hunt you can move them around based on deer sightings. Most public land hunters seem to use climbers but in my experience they are bulky and hard to carry. The other way I hunt a long distance is to take a turkey blind and a chair in(approximately 6 pounds) and hunt from the ground(where legal to shoot from the ground). I still get busted by deer more on the ground than I do from the stand and the stand is more comfortable to me. Good luck.
     
  19. delrom418

    delrom418 Member

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    Now that's funny! I had a very, very similar experience happen on public land in Wisconsin! I was set up on the ground when the hunter saw me, and climbed a tree about 50 feet away. I just couldn't believe it! I packed up and left for a new spot.
     
  20. ridgerunner1965

    ridgerunner1965 Member

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    i dont hunt any public land but my rule of thumb is dont walk in any farther than you want to drag out a animal.

    im old so i prefer to back the truck up to a deer and winch it in.

    when i was 20 to 35 id just shoulder the carcass and walk out .allthough we did not have deer as big then as now here.

    if yu like to bone out in the woods and carry the meat out then yu can walk in as far as you can carry all the meat out without expiring.

    the last deer i shot was so big i had to get help to just load it in the truck.and that was with a rope and pully system.next year im mounting a boat winch to my truck bed.
     
  21. dragon813gt

    dragon813gt Member

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    Depends on how far I feel like hauling a deer out. It depends on the day. I plan on staying fairly close to the truck this year. I will let all the other hunters push the deer towards me. Unfortunately I have to hunt at home this year and there are a lot of hunters in the woods.
     
  22. gspn

    gspn Member

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    I can totally see that happening. I can't believe I hunted public ground as long as I did...lots of bad stories from those days.
     
  23. gspn

    gspn Member

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    I haven't hunted public ground in a long time, but when I did the distance varied.

    I hunted Corps of Engineer land outside of Oxford MS...lots of land around Sardis Lake. The biggest issue was ATV trails. People would come buzzing through all the time on ATV's during hunting season, so I tried to stay away from those trails. There are no hills or ridges here so there were no terrain advantages you could use to get away from the crowd...and they all have ATV's.

    No matter how far off the road I went, no spot was immune to traffic. People would joyride on ATV's, go to and from stands on ATV's, run deer dogs, run rabbit dogs. just walk through the woods shooting and plinking with 5 or 6 friends. Heck, one time while duck hunting way off the beaten path, someone pulled up at a boat launch a few hundred yards the other side of the inlet and shot at a heron with a .22 rifle. It's not legal to shoot herons, but the bigger issue was they had no concern for what might be beyond their target...which was us. The bullet missed the bird and bounced off the water about 10 yards from my brother in law.

    I saw lots and lots of people drinking and shooting, or drinking and poaching on public land in north MS.
     
  24. AStone

    AStone Member

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    This is a sobering thread.
     
  25. Steve in PA

    Steve in PA Member

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    On the public lands I hunt in PA, I try to get away from other hunters and hike about 1.5-2 miles back in to a good spot. Even doing this, I've had a hunter post less than 50 yards from me.
     
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