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From The Pioneer Blog | September 2021

What You Need to Know About Hunting Public Land

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Many hunters will not consider hunting public land because it’s often thought to be overrun with other hunters and sometimes depleted thanks to years of being highly-pressured. These are common misconceptions that shouldn’t stop pioneers like yourself from venturing onto public land in search of the animal you’re after. If you follow the tips for hunting public land we’ve laid out in this article, you will be surprised at how much success you can have.

Follow the Rules

First, it’s important that you know and understand the rules and regulations regarding the public land you’re hunting. Each wildlife management area will have its own rules regarding the size and quantity of animal you’re able to harvest in addition to the state regulations you’re supposed to follow.

You never want to get caught using a type of weapon that isn’t legal or make the mistake of hunting when you’re not allowed. You can avoid any fines and other penalties by making sure of the rules and regulations of the area you plan to hunt. Don’t be afraid to contact the officials who are in charge of enforcing the rules on the public land you’re planning to hunt and ask them any questions you have before your trip.

Do Your Research

One of the keys to finding the best spots when it comes to hunting on public land starts well before your boots ever touch the ground. Be sure to do as much research as you can on the particular animal you plan to hunt and its relation to the land you’re planning to go to. Many times, there are online resources in the forms of articles, videos, forum posts and more that can offer a bit of advice related to your hunt.

You can use a topographical map to look for areas where the animal you’re after might be more prone to travel through, use for bedding, or use to access water sources. It also never hurts to ask the local game warden or other officials in charge of monitoring the public land for advice on good locations. In many cases, these people are open about the best spots in a particular piece of public land because they want people to utilize it and enjoy it to the fullest extent.

Scout The Land

Most hunters of public land make the mistake of thinking that they can simply look at a map and plan their hunt without ever visiting the particular spot they’re going to. This is a major error and you should always take time to scout out the area you plan to hunt in advance well before your hunting trip.

It’s best to do this months before the season even starts when you won’t have to worry about compromising anyone else’s hunt by tromping around the woods during hunting season. Pick out a few spots that look promising and go look at them yourself. In some cases, the locations you might view on a map and think to be ideal for hunting turn out to be less productive than you expect.

When you are in the process of looking for a spot and wondering how to find where to hunt public land, it’s a good idea to put in a little more effort than anyone else and go to locations where others aren’t usually willing to venture to. Most hunters will pick out a location very close to the roadways, but true experts know that the farther away you get from these places with your legs, the better chance you’ll have of getting the animal you’re after.

Hunting on Public Land: The Bottom Line

Hunting public land involves a number of obstacles that you should be prepared to deal with. Local hunters often think they own the particular land you’re hunting and you might have to contend with others who might crowd your space and get too close. Hunting public land is not easy, by any means.

However, it can present the right opportunity to hunters who are looking for a more challenging hunt that they have to work for. In the process of doing all the research, scouting, and other work involved in taking a public land trophy animal, the reward is that much more enjoyable. Are you a hunter with public land experience? Leave your ideas, tips and comments below. For all hunters, remember to improve your journey, wherever you're heading, with your favorite Creek blend.

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