What are your thoughts? Pro's an Con's. I know a few people including family that continue to harvest large bucks off public.
Public vs Private
True Bowguy, there is a lot of logging in my area. So much in fact it is getting hard to find a tree. I had a spot I hunted and got logged. I sat there again this year but it was logged about 8 yrs ago and is going down hill since other places have been logged more recently. As I scout edges of
logging areas I still see very little buck sign. This spring however , same as last year there were a lot of deer in the recently logged area. I dont know where they go in the fall. They are terribly hard to find. This year I am actually going to hunt a clear cut that was done in January if the ATV's dont go riding by me. They are not supposed to be there but always are riding their ATV's in there to bait. Then come gun season they walk in. It really is high time to just hunt somewhere else. A guy I know left the whole county that hunted a little north of me. He hunts Douglass co. now and sais he sees a lot more deer there. He even hunts north of Duluth and likes it better than by me. It is not my imagination. I got so mad this spring that I drove to Delta co. Mich. I picked a spot cold and got out of the car on some public land and walked along a river. Deer tracks and droppings everywhere. I could tell the difference in 100 yds of walking that there was a lot more sign way up in the U.P. However, it may have been a wintering area but there were deer all over. it is getting better in Price co. where my cabin is but it is getting a lot better everywhere else. Your testimony is typical. It could very well be one thing many dont consider. There is hardly any pine or spruce trees in the whole area. In the U.P. there was less food but the pines , spruce and cedar swamps were everywhere and I am sure deer dont get beat up as much form the harsh winters where they can go into thick spruce and cedar swamps . This will also open a can of worms, there is a bunch of hunters in a party that bait like crazy on their big chunk of land and into the public land too. Many wont agree but it has to have an effect on deer movement . Trail cam pics drop of 75% as soon as they start baiting. It has been going on since I had trail cams , year after year, I hardly see a deer during bow or gun.
Ihookem - it’s disappointing to hear of your bleak outlook on the north woods near you. Based on what you’ve said about your scouting, it sure sounds like not seeing deer is not due to a lack of effort.
I’m in Oneida county, and it’s quite the opposite. Plenty of quality fishing opportunities and a healthy and abundant deer herd.
At the risk of opening a can of worms, I’ll share an observation. Similar to your case, there is a tremendous amount of logging going on in the county and state lands around me. When hunted correctly (and with the willingness to adapt), this provides a lot of opportunity on almost endless land. Yet, when talking to most people who deer hunt the area, they complain of not seeing deer. What seems to be lacking (through my observations) is that these people want to hunt the same tree, at the same time, the same way they have hunted it since the 1980’s. They ignore how much the big picture changes and evolves with time, and how deer adapt and thrive in those changes. Certainly not saying you fall in this category- just an opinion I’ve formed on what I’ve seen. It’s a completely different ball game hunting up north, and to do it right on both public and private land, we all have to get out of the mind set of hunting where we want the deer to be. I am indeed guilty of this.
Funny you say that about the fishing. I know you are west of me a ways and every time I go fishing, if I don't fish the chain right by us I head north or east, but never west. Definitely far less options that way and if they get pounded too much you get kind of stuck.
Speaking of land prices up there, nothing seems to move by me. Quite a few have been listed for years and years. Even more have signs up but do not show online because the listing expired. Compare to prices around population centers, they are pretty cheap. No one wants to buy them though. I'd buy a little more if it is a super deal. Definitely would not pay hunting land prices.
Big fish is right. Land up north will not go up unless pulp prices do . It's the only thing up there. The hunting sucks, except for grouse and bear, I think fishing sucks too. Most dont like to hear that but there is not much up there . Was a time fishing was better but " up north " got popular for a long time. Now it seems to be dying . Not Eagle River , St Germain, Woodruff but Price co. is in dire straights around me. Heck, the bar near me is closed at 2pm Sundays during bow season . Bad news up there. For sale signs all over . Not as bad as 5 -8 yrs ago but still bad. Even Lake property is not up much.
I just wanted to comment on value of private land. I don't think areas where there are elk in wi will appreciate dramatically because of hunting opportunities. I think 'up north' values may actually diminish in future. Some reasons include drop in new hunters entering sport, cwd, lymes disease, taxes, few job oppurtunities, etc. I think the wolf population keeps the elk population in check also.
Areas close to metro area will still appreciate. I personally feel ag land is at a peak right now, except those areas closer to jobs/ population areas.
hookem - there might not be deer way up north, but there's elk! It's a little far-fetched, but hypothetically lets say the DNR gets this whole elk initiative to really take root and establish an Elk population throughout northern WI. In theory, land value should sky rocket north of 8 if that happened. Just some food for thought, I don't see that ever happening.
I only hunt public land. I decided this fall that I could (1) sell my river front property I had for 29 yrs and buy something else just to complain about the new land ( neighbors, poachers ATV's etc.) and be no better off than I am now. ( 2) I could scout the 5,000 ac. public land near my house and get to know the land better than I ever knew a pier of land. (3) just quit hunting and forget about it. So, I decided since there isn't much snow on the ground I scouted the 5,000 ac. over the winter. According to the GPS I scouted 51.7 miles on this land. This does not include getting the trail cam twice or canoeing it. About 3 yrs ago I got so disappointed in the public land I hunted I went somewhere else and decided to give it all I have . Since I am 55 next week and since my first million dollars has eluded me I can't really buy more land. . I have 4 ac. parcel, and 2 7ac. parcels of land . One is in Shawano co. with Red River frontage and We have 23 ac. in one chunk between us siblings. I dont hunt it at all. I just can't stand hunting only 23 ac. and you can send the deer into night only movement on such a small property as my BIL is finding out cause he is hunting it and the scent lock is not cutting his scent. Therefore it is almost totally night time movement. In Price co. I have 7 ac. with Flambeau River frontage. I dont hunt the 7 ac. I hunt a parcel across the river that is about 5000 ac. between roads. I only hunt about 200 ac. though cause it seems the more I scout the more it is the same cause deer are so nomadic there just is little or no pattern since the wolves taught them if they follow a pattern the wolves will discover their pattern. I could bait and improve my odds considerably but I hunt deer like others here have said. I think I will do better this fall on public land and will no doubt make my private parcels worth even less to me. As for land going up. It is a sure bet land north of HWY 8 will not go up . It has tanked and has stayed that way of ra long time. Land there wont go up unless lumber goes up cause hunting a 40 is futile. I can walk a 40 after it snowed 24 hrs ago and not cut a deer track in that 40. And to pay $ 1,000 taxes on a 40 in Price co. to see almost nothing is not going to raise the land price. In Shawano, Waupaca , where there are deer, the land may very well keep going up, , , , for a while, till the next economic downturn happens and enough hunters quit waiting in their box blinds for a horned target to shoot ( humorous sarcasm) then land will likely go down there too. When we get a downturn, a real one, where interest is high , jobs are few and old hunters give up the ghost on their beloved hunting land to pay medical and retirement bills you will see land everywhere go down.
Everyone in a treestand is waiting for deer LOL. People who drive and stalk are the only ones not waiting. (Meant to be half joking/half serious).
I've wondered the same thing about value of land as Fishnhunt. 30 years ago there wasn't the demand for hunting land as there is today. I know the property I own isn't huge but in the past 8 years it has not increased enough to offset the cost of taxes. So no real profit there for me anyways. Probably different closer to a population center where I could see demand increasing yet. At the same time, if you plan to take it to your grave you won't see any of it anyways so the value in terms of money is kind of mute to yourself. The real value is the use you get out of it. If its passed to your kids, whether they continue to hunt it or sell it off the minute you croak and take the money, either way it helps them. So that's a good thing too.
Location has a major sway in how you answer this question. If you live north of Hwy 64 it would be hard not to focus attention on the vast amounts of public land. I'd tend to look towards having a nice place on a great fishing lake.
Living in the central part of the state I always knew owning land was the key to outdoor enjoyment for myself and my family. 20+ years ago I hung it all out there and purchased a sizable parcel. Best move I ever made! The land has probably tripled in value but that is inconsequential. I built a home here out of which I could continue my career. Meanwhile I walk out the back door to hike, snowshoe, tend food plots and plant trees. I enjoy the land every single day and give thanks regularly to be lucky enough to land in this spot.
Oh yea, I hunt deer here. I don't "wait" for them...