I am curious who all hunts private land and who all hunts public land? How many acres do you hunt on? Do you do hunt both, stay on private land, or stay on public land, or possibly a combination of the both when your property backs up to public land?
Public Land Vs Private Land
yamatroller - Agreed completely. When I was younger we baited for archery, that's just what we were taught. We'd see deer the first week and then it would slow down. Despite slowing down, we'd still jump deer out of the fields when we walked out. They were up and moving just fine before dark yet, but they were nocturnal to the bait sites. If you think about it, just the act of baiting is putting scent out every time you go to it. Its no different than the guy who checks his cameras all the time and wonders why he has mostly nocturnal pictures.
Even in the northwoods, I talk to guys who say they have all nocturnal pictures. But then you'll see deer along the firelanes during the day moving around. They know where they need to avoid during daylight. They pattern people. I remember one gun season where we saw a few deer opening weekend and then nothing. I decided to hunt from the ground and went where we hadn't been yet. Saw 2 deer right away. I then walked back to our truck a little early and had a deer walk 20 yards past the truck while I leaned against it. Both places we didn't hunt, had little to no human scent. They basically walked right around our spots.
Bow hunting guy. Good comments. My comments
The deer are in the woods
I disagree with the opinion that baiting makes deer nocturnal. Its human activity that makes deer nocturnal not baiting. When baiting was legal and there were lots of deer in Northern Wisconsin we had deer all day long at the bait piles. Yes there were a lot of smaller bucks but the wallhangers got hungry too!! Get the does coming in and the bucks will follow. The trick was to get away from the other hunters. How do you think most of the big bucks are shot in Canada??? A big round bail of hay and the hunter is sitting in a nice heated blind!!
Agreed welder guy pressure has gone way down in the area I hunt and the deer are starting to go back to their normal activities there's lots of cedar swamp where I hunt and now they actually come out of the swamp during daylight hours cuz they feel comfortable back when I first started hunting there if you even saw a deer it was running between dense cover
b-nob the DNR said they did a flyover and they saw it in the plane. It had been there for 20 years already, same spot all those years, so they could've easily busted them years ago I'm sure. It was a big hole like a firepit you make bonfires in, or something like that, if I remember what my coworker told me. He never hunted that spot and never needed to, so I wonder how much good the salt lick was even doing. His father made it years ago on the land, long before CWD had even been discovered in our state, that's how long it had been there. The DNR made them destroy it by burning a bunch of brush on top of it, or something similar to that.
I’m with you Bowhunting Guy.
Screaming drags, I’d probably say your deer sightings are going up due to less hunting pressure. But deer aren’t dumb, they start to associate bait piles with humans and stay away so less people = less baiting = more relaxed deer.
My dad is a die hard meat hunter and that’s how I was introduced to hunting. We got into relying on bait when I was in my teens but by the time I hit my 20’s I realized a few things. Yeah u would see deer but mostly does, I’ve never seen a decent buck come in to a bait pile. A lot of times you wouldn’t see deer but the bait was eaten during the night. It got expensive baiting multiple spots once a day for a week or more at a time. Relying on bait is just not my style anymore but I’m not against it. I did bait for my wife her very first year of hunting about 15 years ago just to get deer in a good position for her. After that first year she found she would rather set up in a random spot on the ground by a trail or other sign versus sitting over a bait pile and she’s done that ever since.
how do you get caught running a lick unless your dumb as hell?
I hunt public land in marinette County and for the first 6 years we maybe saw and got one deer out of our group of four there were bait piles everywhere you went and all the guys we talked to said they didn't see anything or get anything then they banned baiting and all those people stopped hunting that piece of property and now i see deer every year and have been able to harvest one the last couple years whether or not it has to do with banning baiting i don't know but that's hunting
100% agree Bowhunting Guy.
Never say never about anything with deer hunting. Michigan banned it, only to bring it back. Politics can do crazy things.
It won't be long before all legal baiting for deer is over in Wisconsin due to CWD. I see Ohio found its first case.