Skip to main content

Increase Success When Public Land Deer Hunting by Going Deeper

provided by John Phillips

Paul Butski of Scio, New York, has been a Mossy Oak Pro from the very beginning of the company. Paul historically has been a turkey-call manufacturer, worked with Walker’s Game Ear and is currently the sales manager for GSM Outdoors that owns Stealth Cam, Hawk Treestands, NAP Archery Products, American Hunter Feeders, Hunter Specialties, HME products, Birchwood Casey, Muddy and other outdoor brands. 

public land hunter

If you're hunting public land or a lease with a number of other hunters, knowing the hunting nature of most of the hunters on the land you hunt can be critically important to your deer-hunting success. For instance, on public lands, most deer hunters won’t hunt more than 200-250 yards from the road for two reasons: the fear of getting lost and the fear of success. 

Most public-land hunters fear success as much as they fear getting lost. By that I mean, most hunters are afraid that if they go a mile or two away from where they’ve parked their vehicles and take a really nice, big buck, they don’t want to have to drag or carry that buck the mile or two back to the truck. For that reason, they’ll take a stand, even though it may not be the best stand or even a good stand, closer to their vehicle. Then if they do take really nice bucks, they won’t have to drag them out, and/or they may be close enough to another hunter to get help dragging the buck out. 

However, new technology and hunting aids, like onX, are enabling more and more hunters to go deeper in the woods in the dark, navigate to their tree stands or ground blinds, and be prepared to take a deer when the other hunters start coming in the woods. They’ll also go out of the woods after dark using onX. OnX shows you property lines, the owners of land around the property you’re hunting, shortcuts to reach the areas you’ve chosen to hunt and exit points where you can get your buck quicker and easier to the road where you’ve parked your vehicle. 

I’ll start hunting as far back on a piece of property as I possibly can go during gun season, and I always get to my stand site 45 minutes to an hour before daylight for several reasons. I want: 
* to take my time getting to my stand, so I can climb safely and/or be quieter if I’m getting into a ground blind; 
* to give the woods time to settle, so the critters will do what they normally do before daylight; 
* to allow the hunters coming into the woods just before or at daylight to let their human odor get out in front of them and move the deer in front of them toward my stand. 

Latest Content