is public land in S.E. Wis really this bad?

11/7/12 @ 8:01 PM
ORIGINAL POST
ihookem
ihookem
USER since 11/29/01
I have been hunting public land in northern Washington co. for about 8 years. I don't hunt it exclusively though. I have yet to see a deer while hunting the state forest and other dnr lands. I must have been out 25 or 30 times, including t zone, late gun, muzzy, early and late bow. I don't know if this is an unexplainable phenomenon or does this happen to others here? I'm not kidding, I've never seen a deer while on the stand. I have seen them walking in and out, and while setting up though.
Edited on 11/15/13 8:59 AM
Post Your Comment
Displaying 1 to 10 of 161 Posts
11/27/14 @ 7:04 PM
ihookem
ihookem
USER since 11/29/01
Very true CDS. Ya, a lot of public "sucks" !! I hear the same thing too. I don't hunt that public stuff!! Hardly see any deer. Ok, I don't see many neither, but I still see deer when I wouldn't see any, or I'd have to go 243 mi. north to Price co., drive 10 hrs and it sucks there too. Here I have at least 10 spots that "suck" but they are inside of 20 mi. I can be on a stand in 1hr and my cost is about $2.00 for gas there and back @ 38 MPG (91 Saturn) Two yrs ago, I started this thread, but instead of " I'll just give up" I decided to give'r instead. The next day, I saw 2 does. The next day I saw a nice buck. After that was gun season and didn't see anything after that. The next year I passed on a real chip shot on deer, most likely a fawn buck and then another small deer. This year I saw one deer in 6 hunts. It was a 4 point buck @ 17 yds. That was my first deer in southern WIs. Laugh if you want but it was A real turning point. I am sure I will find a lot more spots and will get more deer if I don't die or something. ( never know) . So if ya want to go lease land for $1,000 per "40" then go for it. I will tell ya one thing, you will get a lot of respect if you get a nice buck off public land ANYWHERE!! in WIs. , or any deer for that matter. Us public land boys are the blacksheep of all deer hunters but we can get the job done and never pay a dime to hunt some of the nicest land around. I will never catch up to CDS but I will get more deer on Wisc. public land. I prefere to hunt public, actually. If a spot don't pan out, I move 5 miles. If ya own your own "40" ya pay 40-100K and at least 500 bucks in taxes. Jerks for neighbors, brown is down, tresspassers, poachers the next "40 " over and you have a lot of money in a 40 that ain't worth it. Ain't worth it unless my great aunt hands me a million dollars, then I would buy some land as an option to public. Up north I have literally miles of land that is do under hunted it ain't funny. A logging road starts at the end of my road up north. I was the only hunter after 200 yds down that logging road on the second day of gun season and it's 2 mi. to the next road. Down in the Kettles ya have to find spots that don't have a car parked but I do it on week days all the time and worth it. Off subject but I wonder in amazement when I see old rock piles and stone foundations from houses in the woods. Farmers that lost that land in the depression. Sad, but we have land to hunt because of someone elses hardships. Later guys. I'll be hunting tommorow on some of the beautiful land that "sucks".

Post Your Comment
11/27/14 @ 9:52 AM
cds
cds
USER since 9/18/01
I equate a lot of deer hunting with walleye fishing....

It's the same as with guys who claim there's not many walleyes in a lake and with the guys who claim there's plenty.

Guess which ones are catching fish?

Not every lake that has walleyes has the numbers to be a "good" walleye lake.. Not every parcel of public land has a good population of deer...Not every lake with a sizable population of legal fish has trophy potential and mature bucks are tough on public no matter where...

I know guys who like to walleye fish but won't fish around here because "the fishing sucks"....and I know guys who won't bother bowhunting local public land because there's not enough deer and "no" mature bucks.....They don't want to fish the 13 or so local lakes that have walleyes to find which ones have good fisheries. They'll just wait until they go to their cabin to hunt

That's fine. Don't waste your time fishing local lakes and don't waste your time bowhunting local public land. Success there is more from luck than hard work. You'll have more luck at the cabin.

Besides,most parcels around here DO suck - at least after the first few weeks of bow season. And most lakes around here suck for walleyes. You won't find which ones don't unless you fish (or scout) them all.

I know a couple guys who just plain quit bowhunting because they lost their (very good) local leases. I know others who quit because they got tired of people stealing their (illegal) stands off public land....and clearly a large percentage of bowhunters think they have to break the law to have any real chance of success.

Up to now I've been happy with successful meat hunting. That's starting to change...I've met some guys and seen some "trophy walls" - all from public land - and I think it's safe to say that if you expect to (legally) shoot big mature bucks every year off public land you'd better make your own luck.

The secret appears to be time,hard work...

And hundreds of dollars worth of scent control products Tounge Out

Post Your Comment
11/26/14 @ 10:27 AM
bowtech Dee
bowtech Dee
USER since 10/23/12
A lot more deer than people actually think. Come on who are you kidding.

Post Your Comment
11/26/14 @ 9:47 AM
cds
cds
USER since 9/18/01
Laziness..."permanent" hang-on stands in difficult access areas lead to overhunting portions of small parcels of public land. The "good" portions. Deer move to adjacent private land and don't venture into the public until after dark.

Good thing many of those guys never pick up their bows until Oct. 15th.

If the guy had to pack his stand in for every hunt he wouldn't be overhunting the area. Instead he walks in carrying just his bow and - a couple guys I've seen - a 6 pack of beer...and hunts it 4 days a week,no matter what the wind.

Adjacent landowners and their guests who "adopt" portions of public land as their own. Stands up all year. I've been told flat-out that "this is OUR area. Go somewhere else". This after a 1/2 hour hike thru wetlands with a stand,climbing sticks and pack on my back just to find hang-ons all over the damn place and a rude,pissed-off hunter in one.

In the areas I hunt,overharvest is not an issue IF you're just looking to kill a deer. I've spoken with a WDNR biologist who told me more deer are typically killed by vehicles in those areas than by hunters.

The folks I've found that treat public land the worst are sometimes adjacent landowners when that farm is a "century farm" when that public parcel once was part of the farm.

In a couple cases I've spoken to family members. There's a definite feeling that "this" is STILL "our" land. "Uncle Bob shouldn't'a sold that hunnert'n twenny to the county"....or that the "goddam DNR" forced a sale. "They took that land and didn't pay us fair". (THAT farmer has ended up under my tree twice with a dog,shotgun and wet feet. Never even said sorry).

There's a lot of public land that isn't open to hunting. The WDOT owns hundreds of acres in this county. It is all illegally hunted...The county owns several thousand acres. Some has recently been opened to "public" hunting and the folks who illegally hunted it for years ain't happy....and they ain't exactly polite to the rest of the "public" that they now have to share with.

Rant for the day.

Post Your Comment
11/26/14 @ 7:12 AM
NiteMite
NiteMite
USER since 9/16/01
cds … there are A LOT more deer than the public makes out to be. I would say the problem is LAZY Hunters, which I am very, VERY grateful for. If they weren't so, there would be little to no deer available.

Edited on 11/26/14 9:51 AM
Post Your Comment
11/25/14 @ 1:13 PM
cds
cds
USER since 9/18/01
On one 80 acre parcel of public...two days before gun season...I saw 11 does and 2 bucks.

Nobody had been out to make footprints in the snow for 10 days.

Same parcel the very next day. I saw one guy in a tree hammering away on a wooden illegal stand. I saw a neighboring landowner who claimed the tree I was in was on his land even though I had a plat map showing I was WELL on the public land. He also claimed to own 160 acres when the plat map showed he owned 120....I also saw 2 other sets of footprints from guys scouting and I saw one other bowhunter.

I was the first person in that woods that day and left before 3:30. I saw no reason to stay....I jumped two does in the cattails when I went well around the other bowhunter as I left. That's it.

Is the problem really "all those does that are being shot"? Not on THAT parcel.

On days that I saw 5 or fewer deer they were typically ALL does. There were many days like that this season and I hunt public land in 5 different counties.

On days I saw more than 5 deer there was maybe an 8:1 ratio. I only hunt public land in the southern farmland and much in the metro subunit. All CWD,herd reduction.(edit) With a couple exceptions.

"The problem with public land" is not the same in Oneida county as it is in Ozaukee county...unless you just say "people" are the problem with public land.

Edited on 11/25/14 1:14 PM
Post Your Comment
11/25/14 @ 12:52 PM
perchthriller
perchthriller
USER since 7/14/09
I would agree that a lot of the public lands have very small doe populations. I don't think I will shoot a doe on the public where I hunt for a while. They have been pounded pretty good.

Post Your Comment
11/24/14 @ 11:54 AM
esoxtomtom
esoxtomtom
USER since 4/24/08
yes its that bad people keep shooting does and it wont get any better.

Post Your Comment
11/24/14 @ 11:48 AM
Big-Fish-R
Big-Fish-R
USER since 4/9/08
I think there are a lot of hunters that use public land. Heavy traffic through those areas can alter deer behavior.

I've heard of some really bad behavior from people on public land. As some posters have stated, there is also some terrible behavior from private land owners. I've heard of multiple landowners who will drive tractors, atv's, etc. by hunters in order to protect 'their' deer.

Unfortunately, a lot of it boils down to poor hunter ethics, whether it be private or public hunting. If you're given the privilege of having public land to hunt, then treat it and others with respect. Don't put up illegal stands, be respectful of others in the woods, and don't get greedy.

Private landowners can be just as bad. Ruining another's hunting because of selfishness is poor sportsmanship.

Finally, if you are hunting public land, consider donations for land stewardship / Cherish Wisconsin fund.

By the way, I sell hunting licenses at my job. I hear a lot of stories. A lot of them don't cast WI deer hunters in a great light.

Post Your Comment
11/8/14 @ 6:48 PM
cds
cds
USER since 9/18/01
Ihook - do a BIG move.

I'd burned out the spots I'd been hunting from most the season. I kept moving farther and farther into the thick stuff and every time I did I started seeing more deer....For a sit or 3. then I had to make another move deeper.

Now that the rut's in full swing the woods are getting crowded. Those spots I'd been hunting are also host to those 3-week-a-year bowhunters who think all those tracks are made during the daytime.

Left that area completely and saw 5 does and 3 bucks today. KMSF.

Don't be afraid to get your feet wet.

(edit) BTW if you ask me in the woods or the marsh (or parking area) if I'd seen anything today I'll ALLWAYS say no.

Edited on 11/8/14 6:51 PM
Post Your Comment
Displaying 1 to 10 of 161 Posts