Anybody bowhunt public land exclusively?

Discussion in 'Bowhunting' started by bowonly, Dec 23, 2019.

  1. bowonly

    bowonly New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    Moss Bluff, LA
    I'm one of those guys. I guess it's because that's all I know. Grew up hunting public land because that's all my dad could afford to do. But now that I am in a position that I could afford to get on a lease or go on an outfitted hunt I still prefer the challenge public land provides in locating and killing deer to fill the freezer and every once in a great while cross paths with a buck that is wall worthy. If you are one of these bowhunters like me, why do you do it?

    One thing I find fun is seeing the other hunters faces when I show up in the parking area with a nice buck I've killed with my bow.....during firearms season. My two best Louisiana bucks were killed on the firearms opener of my favorite WMA. If you would, share one of your successes on public land.
     
    Mennoniteman likes this.
  2. OkieKubota

    OkieKubota Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,776
    Likes Received:
    3,338
    Location:
    Northeastern Oklahoma
    I will play...

    Spavinaw GMA 1995.

    [​IMG]

    McAlester AAP 1996.

    [​IMG]

    Wagoner GMA 2018.

    [​IMG]

    Neatest Hunt I ever had was from a big cedar tree in Cherokee GMA. I went in and hung a hang on on a Friday evening in a big Cedar after work on a Friday and got in it with my Black Widow recurve. I was sitting there when 2 coyotes came up the trail and I smoked the first one and it ran a few yards and died within sight of my tree. I kept sitting and a nice buck came by and I snuck an arrow through him but it was so late I opted to back out because the hit was a bit back. The next morning I went back and was trailing the buck when I saw a giant buck up ahead of me and since I had another buck tag I decided to try the shot from the ground. I was 43 yards and the arrow felt good on release but the distance got me and I just shaved his chest. When I walked over to find my arrow I found that the giant buck was standing over my dead buck. I tagged it and gutted it out because it was really cold and grabbed an antler to start the drag and an antler came off in my hand. I grabbed the other one and it came off too. It was early December. On the way out I met another hunter who was loading a large deer I mistook for a doe at first but it was a large bodied buck that had shed off. Really early for that in our area...

    As far as public land exclusively...no...but I know how to and it’s not a deal breaker to do it. As with all hunting it’s just being at the right place at the right time and being able to pull the shot off when the opportunity comes...

    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
    Triple C likes this.
  3. Mennoniteman

    Mennoniteman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,400
    Likes Received:
    1,867
    Location:
    Huntingdon Co. PA
    Hardiness Zone:
    6a
    Dragging a nice deer out to the parking lot? Been there, done that many times. That's probably how most of us deer hunters got started. In fact, 40 years ago there was almost nothing like limited access land in Pa, it was all open too hunting. The switch to privately used hunting land took 40 years but it's almost standard now, and while I would still enjoy public, the reason that I prefer private is because I can control the quality of my fellow hunters and the quality of the deer, plus enjoy managing the habitat improvements as much as the hunting. And on a cold day when it's snowing I can get into my hunting blind and hunt without being miserable out on state game lands. But I admit that I still envy a part of what you are experiencing on a WMA. Enjoy your style of hunting and keep sharing, I enjoy reading about others doing what I used to do.
     
    Jack Terpack likes this.
  4. g squared 23

    g squared 23 Active Member

    Messages:
    300
    Likes Received:
    176
    Location:
    Central Illinois
    I set a goal of killing my first deer on public this year. Took the opener off, weatherman calling for 90 degrees. I’m no sissy and not a couch potato, so I went in with a stand and sticks on my back and set up in a tiny little hackberry. Saw very little until about 15 minutes before light, big doe came charging through at 10 yards. I put one through her and was proud as hell. 3 hours of dragging and a bucket of sweat later, I had achieved my goal

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    2 weeks or so later, I was dragging another doe out. I had saved my private farm for the rut while still enjoying October and filling the freezer. Which then paid off as I shot my best buck ever on 11/10.

    I’m not a public only, but I’ve hunted public more than private for the first time. I’ll never be a public only, I like owning land too much, but I’m a better hunter because I’ve challenged myself doing the free thing. I recommend everyone give it a try, just don’t expect much!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
    Mennoniteman likes this.
  5. Mennoniteman

    Mennoniteman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,400
    Likes Received:
    1,867
    Location:
    Huntingdon Co. PA
    Hardiness Zone:
    6a
    Congratulations on a banner year. Nov 10? A lot of great deer hunting stories start with "it was a chilly cloudy day in early November"
     
    g squared 23 likes this.
  6. Drycreek

    Drycreek Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,758
    Likes Received:
    1,265
    Location:
    East Texas
    I used to! Like MM, when I was a young guy nearly all timber company land was open to hunting. Squirrel hunted, duck hunted, and deer hunted on public, either timber company or national forest. Slowly the free stuff got leased and “clubbed up”, which put twice the pressure on the national forest. I drew the line after running into too many guys while trying to hunt. I still squirrel hunted and duck hunted some, when I could dodge the deer hunters, but I started leasing land to hunt deer. I haven’t hunted public since the eighties now and don’t miss it.
     
    g squared 23 likes this.
  7. buckdeer1

    buckdeer1 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,316
    Likes Received:
    440
    Watch hunting public on utube,pretty good show
     
  8. bowonly

    bowonly New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    Moss Bluff, LA
    This is the buck I am looking to find and connect with during the late season. As far as I know he made it through the '18-'19 season.
     
  9. bowonly

    bowonly New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    Moss Bluff, LA
    Here are the 2 bucks I mentioned in my original post.[​IMG][​IMG]

    Sent from my moto x4 using Tapatalk
     
    Triple C likes this.
  10. Drycreek

    Drycreek Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,758
    Likes Received:
    1,265
    Location:
    East Texas
    Nice bucks all ! Good luck !
     
  11. bowonly

    bowonly New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    Moss Bluff, LA
    Great bucks Okie! And enjoyed the story.

    The first buck above was killed opening day of firearms season 1998. My hunting partner at the time(ex wife) was uncomfortable with being left in her stand while it was still dark so I had to wait until the glow of daylight was visible on the horizon before I left for my stand location. I arrived at my spot about the time the sun was peeking thru the trees. I was extremely frustrated so once I settled in I closed my eyes in frustration for a nap. I was mainly hunting that weekend to try to get her on a deer. The spot I was set up in was a narrow strip of palmettos bordering a bayou offering deer a great escape route from the orange army invasion. Something, I don't know what, caused me to open my eyes after about a 30 minute rest. When I did, I saw 4 does standing within 20yds of the tree I was in. Something moved to my right and when I looked that way I saw a really nice buck walking toward the does with his nose to the ground. I was able to get my bow in position, draw and get off a shot that sent an arrow right through the buck's chest at a whopping 7 yds. At the shot I noticed an even bigger buck that had been behind me the whole time. The track job was short to my best buck at that time.
     
  12. Drycreek

    Drycreek Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,758
    Likes Received:
    1,265
    Location:
    East Texas
    Nothing better than a deer story that begins with, “and when I opened my eyes..........” :D
     
  13. bowonly

    bowonly New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    Moss Bluff, LA
    A lot to be said for sleeping on stand. Don't have to worry about spooking em because you can't keep still. LOL!
     
  14. bowonly

    bowonly New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    Moss Bluff, LA
    Headed out for my late season trip on Friday for 9 days of solitude and hopefully a hero shot or two.
     
  15. Drycreek

    Drycreek Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,758
    Likes Received:
    1,265
    Location:
    East Texas
    Good luck and be safe !
     
  16. bowonly

    bowonly New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    Moss Bluff, LA
    A little late getting back to this but I came home empty handed on my last hunt of the season. Weather was terrible...warm and rainy almost the entire trip. I did have some opportunities but was unable to capitalize on them. Did not see a single buck the entire trip even though there were several on my cameras during daylight. Time to start planning for next season.
     
  17. g squared 23

    g squared 23 Active Member

    Messages:
    300
    Likes Received:
    176
    Location:
    Central Illinois
    I’ve been out scouting my local public 3-4 times, I’ve seen a ton of deer (18 on Tuesday including a shooter buck), and I’ve added ~4 spots that I’d like to sit next year. Trying to put in one day of scouting public for every day of habitat work. Still amazed at how much hunter sign I find, even “way back there”.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. TexOk,
  2. catscratch,
  3. 30-30,
  4. farmhunter,
  5. readonly
Total: 157 (members: 5, guests: 141, robots: 11)
(moderators are listed in blue)