Not all hunters own or lease a large amount of land to hunt on, that leaves some hunters to resort to hunting public land. That doesn’t mean you won’t get the chance to harvest a mature buck. They’re there; you just have to find them.
Public land bucks have to be smart to grow to become a mature buck. So many people hunt public land. The mature bucks on public land have adapted well to the human exposure. Over the years, they have figured out what areas to avoid and what areas are safe. They know what times are safe to travel also. But this doesn’t make them unhuntable.
Most public land hunters, I’d say, hunt within half a mile from their vehicle. These mature bucks know that. If you want to increase your chances at seeing a public land giant, your best option is to go beyond what the average public land hunter does. Go more than half a mile from your vehicle. Cross that stream other hunters don’t attempt to cross. Fight through or go the long way around that thick briar patch other hunters don’t want to put in the effort to get through. Get back into that bucks safe zone and hunt him down. He feels safer back in his zone and you have a little more room for error.
Weather is often a factor that plays into people’s hunting. If it’s too cold out or even raining some hunters won’t go out that day. These mature bucks know this and sometimes pass through the well hunted areas during hunting hours. Don’t let a little cold or rain stop you from hunting. It just may be the day that public land giant lets his guard down for you to put a nice broadside shot on him.
Hunting public land is often a choice for some people. You’ll often find that these hunters concentrate their hunting to certain areas. Around these areas is often a small wood patch, ravine, or field that no one finds necessary to hunt. The public land deer often know that small area is a safe spot and run to it when they come in close encounter to another hunter. Give one of these spots a try at the times public land gets crowded. You might be surprised to see that public land giant that you dream of harvesting popping into that odd spot for safety.
Most public hunting lands get crowded at times. This often means that there’s quite a few hunters out driving around just trying to find a spot to get out and hunt. Your “hot spot” might be taken by the time you get there. It never hurts to get out earlier on public lands. By getting out earlier, it might save your “hot spot” from being taken.
Applying these ideas to your hunting can only increase your chances of harvesting that public land giant you dream of. I wish you all the best of luck! Comment below and share your thoughts.