The number one issue most hunters have is access and hunting on public land can sometimes be quite a battle.
I have hunted public land in south central Nebraska for over 20 years and have had much success. However, over the past few seasons, while I have seen a good number of gobblers, my success has only consisted of lessons learned.
One of Nebraska’s greatest public hunting grounds lies in the south central portion of the state, butting up against the northern border of Kansas. Harlan County Reservoir is surrounded by over 17,000 acres of federal land and has an abundant population of turkey, deer, waterfowl and upland game birds. This federal land has been well-managed, as well as heavily pressured, over the past few years with hunters coming from as far as North Dakota and South Carolina.
With this increased pressure the past few years, turkey hunting has been anything but easy. My first turkey on this particular gem of public ground took place about 20 years ago and with my minimal experience my buddies and I had bagged our birds before 10 a.m. Recently though, each time I feel I’m on a good hunt I suddenly get bumped by another hunter.
This can be discouraging but with the amount of gobblers I have seen on this ground I wont be giving up on them anytime soon. Just because you may encounter some uninvited guests on your next hunt on public land, doesn’t mean you should give up either. Here are a few good tips to help you overcome those stingy public land gobblers.
I don’t foresee the pressure of hunting on public ground decreasing in the near future so hopefully with these tips you can turn those lessons learned into successful spring turkey hunts. Go early, go during the weekdays, be patient and you too may bag a public land bird.