Home Forums Hunting Deer Hunting Public Land bow hunting is it really that bad?

Viewing 20 posts - 1 through 20 (of 20 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • Avatarshaff1101
    Participant
    Post count: 71
    Up
    0
    Down

    I live in the Des Moines area and have heard a lot of bad things about public land hunting.

    Is it really that bad?

    How far out of town do I need to go to get to a decent area?

    The Saylorville and Red Rock area are huge, do they really get pounded that hard?

    Anyone have any suggestions on how to cross a river without a boat other than swimming across.

    Not looking for specific spots but general answers.

    AvatarAnonymous
    Post count: 2517
    Up
    0
    Down

    In my experience, no. It’s really not bad at all, IF you understand the possibilities. I think most of the complaints come from people that either think the woods belong to only them or that have had stuff stolen. As far as stuff getting stolen, I would NEVER consider leaving anything of value on public land and assume it will be stolen if I do. In today’s world to think otherwise is being too trusting or too naive.
    I for one expect some guy squirrel hunting, riding a horse, or just going for a walk to disrupt my hunt on occasion. I’ve had duck hunters walk 10 feet from me and never know I was there but they have the same rights to be there as I do. One thing to remember is that just because people are walking though your set does not mean that the deer are not going to be pushed back in by someone else a few hundred yards away. Patience is the key, there have been some nice deer shot in both of those areas through the years.

    Avatariceking25
    Participant
    Post count: 2908
    Up
    0
    Down

    Red Rock doesnt get hit that hard but you need to get into places that others arent willing to go. You may need to be willing to walk in deeper then others. Cross a river, yeah get a Kayak or canoe.
    Also if you hunt weekdays way less people

    AvatarTrapCyclone
    Participant
    Post count: 2552
    Up
    0
    Down

    I would say it depends on what you consider to be “bad.” It can be very frustrating to have someone walk in on your set-up, but like llewellinsetter said, they have just as much of a right to be there as you do. The farther you are willing to travel to your designated site, the fewer the people there will likely to be. This isn’t always the case, though as the more dedicated hunters will also be of the same mindset and will travel a ways. I’ve walked more than a mile from the parking lot and have been surprised to find multiple tree stands set up in various locations.

    That said, in my experience it hasn’t been horrible. Going during the week rather than the weekend makes a huge difference as well. Just be prepared to bump into someone at some point and try not to take it personally! I successfully harvested a doe with my bow on public land last year.

    IaCraigIaCraig
    Participant
    Post count: 1709
    Up
    0
    Down

    I have shot many deer with both bow and ML off of public ground, never shotgun hunted deer there. I make a point to go about as deep in a possible, and when I did encounter someone else they were always considerate. But, Public land can be very frustrating. By going so deep in, I often will not shoot a doe even when I want to because it is so darn hard to cart it out. Also, I have seen a few dandy bucks in public, but they do not seem to stick around very long. (I blame all the activity, but maybe that isn’t really the cause). If you do decide to bow hunt public, I highly recommend 4 things.
    #1 – Get yourself a high quality climber tree stand that you can carry in/out easily & quietly.
    #2 – Ignore the old permanent stands that are already setup up becuase no one is using them anyway, except maybe for shotgun.
    #3 – Don’t hunt too close to the parking lot, but always carry a flashlight that is on when you walk in & out in the dark. (so you are seen)
    #4 – Hunt during the week or when it is cold & crappy weather. A lot of your early season bow hunters lose interest when it gets cold.

    Avatartwdenney
    Participant
    Post count: 765
    Up
    0
    Down

    I hunted public ground last year for just this reason……To test this theory, that public hunting is bad. I must first let you know (not bragging…disclaimer for the flamer)that I have thousands of private hunting available to me (several sections and many other small parcels). So I tried to hunt all three seasons in public as much as possible and tried to push my group towards public during shotgun. I have come to realize that there are just as many deer on public as there are on private. The way to find them is…..YOU HAVE TO PUT YOUR BOOTS ON AND GET MORE THAN 300 YDS FROM VEHICLE!!!! AND PUT FORTH SOME EFFORT! There are deer all over and the thing people have to remember is they are not your deer and you cannot control what they do. The deer are nature and the DO WHAT THEY WANT!

    AvatarMisterTwoForty
    Participant
    Post count: 1380
    Up
    0
    Down

    You just need to be willing to work a little harder and hunt areas that others wont go. You also need to think of the escape routes that the deer will take as people start moving around mid morning and early evening. Don’t be afraid to hunt mid day as well. Be willing to put up with a few nuisances – you will have a few throughout your season.

    I hunt almost exclusvely public and can usually get my tags filled. Don’t expect a monster, but they are out there.

    Dont leave stands or trail cameras where others can see them. They will be gone – sad, but true.

    Avatarshaff1101
    Participant
    Post count: 71
    Up
    0
    Down

    Thanks for all the comments.

    They are very helpful.

    AvatarBullBlueGill
    Participant
    Post count: 156
    Up
    0
    Down

    You guys in IA have no idea what pressured is……Come to WI, 9 cars in one lot on a given day during rut, 4 vehicles in EVERY parking lot during opening weekend.

    This year I saw 4 turkey tents in a 3 acre field during one of the turkey periods…WI hunters, half of them are total idiots. You guys got it good, with a little more work i’m sure the public is amazing in spots.

    I would hunt public if I were a resident of Iowa w o thinking. I’m a non resident so I wouldn’t hunt public just simply because I don’t have to time, any time at all to worry about others or losing a night because of other hunters. I’d rather lease, spend 5 weekends hanging stands and scouting and know i’m alone and not going to be bothered. It would be a different story if I lived there.

    Avatarspeng5
    Participant
    Post count: 2928
    Up
    0
    Down

    Quote by: BullBlueGill

    You guys in IA have no idea what pressured is……Come to WI, 9 cars in one lot on a given day during rut, 4 vehicles in EVERY parking lot during opening weekend.

    This year I saw 4 turkey tents in a 3 acre field during one of the turkey periods…WI hunters, half of them are total idiots. You guys got it good, with a little more work i’m sure the public is amazing in spots.

    I would hunt public if I were a resident of Iowa w o thinking. I’m a non resident so I wouldn’t hunt public just simply because I don’t have to time, any time at all to worry about others or losing a night because of other hunters. I’d rather lease, spend 5 weekends hanging stands and scouting and know i’m alone and not going to be bothered. It would be a different story if I lived there.

    Why is the situation so grim in WI? I looked up this http://www.ipl.org/div/stateknow/popchart.html table, and It looks like Wisconson has almost double the pop of Iowa. WI is just shy of 6 mil and we here in IA are at over 3 mil. But there is only 9000 more square miles for being double the pop. Is that the main reason WI public is such a zoo? Up north is it as bad? Reason I ask is I know a guy from around Eau Claire and he claims the part of WI he hunts is like little Alaska the way he describes it both in terms of land geography and topography and the lack of competition he describes. Is he blowing smoke?

    AvatarPhil F
    Participant
    Post count: 31
    Up
    0
    Down

    It can be bad or as good as others have stated. I have found a number of spots just by driving around and looking at maps that I have printed off of the Iowa DNR websites atlas. It does not matter where you plan to hunt, (Iowa, Wisconsin, Alaska) look at maps and play the wind. I have found great success with this. Hunting during the week also pays off as well. We have a place in northern WI that has seen a great decline in hunting pressure due to the economy and the large population of predators killing the deer herd. Southern WI has allot more pressure. This is because there are more people, more deer and less public land. I have also lived and hunted Alaska. It all depends on where and when you go.

    AvatarBullBlueGill
    Participant
    Post count: 156
    Up
    0
    Down

    Quote by: speng5

    Quote by: BullBlueGill

    You guys in IA have no idea what pressured is……Come to WI, 9 cars in one lot on a given day during rut, 4 vehicles in EVERY parking lot during opening weekend.

    This year I saw 4 turkey tents in a 3 acre field during one of the turkey periods…WI hunters, half of them are total idiots. You guys got it good, with a little more work i’m sure the public is amazing in spots.

    I would hunt public if I were a resident of Iowa w o thinking. I’m a non resident so I wouldn’t hunt public just simply because I don’t have to time, any time at all to worry about others or losing a night because of other hunters. I’d rather lease, spend 5 weekends hanging stands and scouting and know i’m alone and not going to be bothered. It would be a different story if I lived there.

    Why is the situation so grim in WI? I looked up this http://www.ipl.org/div/stateknow/popchart.html table, and It looks like Wisconson has almost double the pop of Iowa. WI is just shy of 6 mil and we here in IA are at over 3 mil. But there is only 9000 more square miles for being double the pop. Is that the main reason WI public is such a zoo? Up north is it as bad? Reason I ask is I know a guy from around Eau Claire and he claims the part of WI he hunts is like little Alaska the way he describes it both in terms of land geography and topography and the lack of competition he describes. Is he blowing smoke?

    WI has a million tags sold.

    Avatarhoss24
    Participant
    Post count: 33
    Up
    0
    Down

    I bow hunt a lot of public land around the north side of red rock and some private ground. For sure the key is to get deep in there where nobody goes. There are a few places not to far from the parking areas that have been good but usually just does. The smarter bigger bucks are deep in there.

    Also, the deer on public land are way more sensitive to human noises, smells, everything than on private ground. I hunt my grandfathers land and those deer are so much simpler because they are used to all of the farmer noises that go on, odd smells, loud noises, vehicles, etc. The public ground critters, if you look at them for more than 5 seconds at a time, they blow and are gone.

    There are usually a few people that hunt where I do but as stated before, most of them wont come around if the weather is adverse.

    AvatarBullBlueGill
    Participant
    Post count: 156
    Up
    0
    Down

    Quote by: hoss24

    I bow hunt a lot of public land around the north side of red rock and some private ground. For sure the key is to get deep in there where nobody goes. There are a few places not to far from the parking areas that have been good but usually just does. The smarter bigger bucks are deep in there.

    Also, the deer on public land are way more sensitive to human noises, smells, everything than on private ground. I hunt my grandfathers land and those deer are so much simpler because they are used to all of the farmer noises that go on, odd smells, loud noises, vehicles, etc. The public ground critters, if you look at them for more than 5 seconds at a time, they blow and are gone.

    There are usually a few people that hunt where I do but as stated before, most of them wont come around if the weather is adverse.

    i’ve hunted enough public and know enough about it. people get out of the vehicle, walk to the first big track of timber.

    Avatarspeng5
    Participant
    Post count: 2928
    Up
    0
    Down

    Quote by: BullBlueGill

    Quote by: speng5

    Quote by: BullBlueGill

    You guys in IA have no idea what pressured is……Come to WI, 9 cars in one lot on a given day during rut, 4 vehicles in EVERY parking lot during opening weekend.

    This year I saw 4 turkey tents in a 3 acre field during one of the turkey periods…WI hunters, half of them are total idiots. You guys got it good, with a little more work i’m sure the public is amazing in spots.

    I would hunt public if I were a resident of Iowa w o thinking. I’m a non resident so I wouldn’t hunt public just simply because I don’t have to time, any time at all to worry about others or losing a night because of other hunters. I’d rather lease, spend 5 weekends hanging stands and scouting and know i’m alone and not going to be bothered. It would be a different story if I lived there.

    Why is the situation so grim in WI? I looked up this http://www.ipl.org/div/stateknow/popchart.html table, and It looks like Wisconson has almost double the pop of Iowa. WI is just shy of 6 mil and we here in IA are at over 3 mil. But there is only 9000 more square miles for being double the pop. Is that the main reason WI public is such a zoo? Up north is it as bad? Reason I ask is I know a guy from around Eau Claire and he claims the part of WI he hunts is like little Alaska the way he describes it both in terms of land geography and topography and the lack of competition he describes. Is he blowing smoke?

    WI has 630k gun hunters and 350 k bow hunters. Iowa has less than 100k combined….

    and no, your buddy is not blowing smoke, there are spots…but one isn’t going to travel 5 hours to hunt public, work their balls off to see 3 deer all season…or if they see a buck it’s a 4 pt. There is good public in WI, isolated spots here and there, but the quality of deer is not worth the time. the public up north in WI has been wiped out by too much doe killing and the predators. I know guys that have a 9 person party. 20 years ago they would all kill multiple deer, the last 5 years they have seen only a couple deer between all of them. 90% of wi public can be bulldozed and turned into a parking lot due to “brown it’s down”. with the exception of western wi and a few isolated area’s of BIG private tracks, WI is pretty much the crappiest state for quality. there is no management whatesoever as a whole, lot’s do QDM but WI is full of small parcels. 20, 40, 60 100 acre chunks. Good luck growing big bucks when the neighbors pile in 12 dudes gun hunting and blaze everything. Western WI’s terrain safes a lot of deer and they all manage fairly well. that being said, a lease there is HIGH dollar stuff. like 12k for 700 acres….that’s a lot of money to shoot a 140 to 160 inch deer….if you are lucky enough to see one of the two that live on that square mile area. Many heros in WI will argue that their land is great, they shoot big ones….but a 140 every year between a few guys isn’t what i call great. You will hear of a ton of BIG bucks killed recently out of Metro. Our wonderful governor opened up city limits hunting and a ton of GIANTS got killed, albeit it’s like hunting zoo animals. I had a buddy shoot a 165 last year, he jumped it from under his tree, shot it 14 minutes later coming back to his bed. LOL. so I wouldn’t say the deer a very fearful of anything.

    Even private land is pressured from all around. I have 160 acres, there are 2 to 3 hunters during bow season on all the tracks around my land. you are talking like 15 dudes in a 640 acre (square miles) area….for 12 weeks. That’s pressure folks!!!

    Wow, that is pretty dismal indeed. I dont know if you are a trapper Bluegill. I am and so is my buddy from WI, and from what hes told me furbearer management in WI is a joke. After seeing how they manage otter and bobcat I’m inclined to believe him. I’ve also seen some real negative posts on here about trout management in WI. Its a shame a state with such beauty and abundant natural resources is not providing quality opportunities for sportsmen…

    AvatarBullBlueGill
    Participant
    Post count: 156
    Up
    0
    Down

    Quote by: speng5

    Quote by: BullBlueGill

    Quote by: speng5

    Quote by: BullBlueGill

    You guys in IA have no idea what pressured is……Come to WI, 9 cars in one lot on a given day during rut, 4 vehicles in EVERY parking lot during opening weekend.

    This year I saw 4 turkey tents in a 3 acre field during one of the turkey periods…WI hunters, half of them are total idiots. You guys got it good, with a little more work i’m sure the public is amazing in spots.

    I would hunt public if I were a resident of Iowa w o thinking. I’m a non resident so I wouldn’t hunt public just simply because I don’t have to time, any time at all to worry about others or losing a night because of other hunters. I’d rather lease, spend 5 weekends hanging stands and scouting and know i’m alone and not going to be bothered. It would be a different story if I lived there.

    Why is the situation so grim in WI? I looked up this http://www.ipl.org/div/stateknow/popchart.html table, and It looks like Wisconson has almost double the pop of Iowa. WI is just shy of 6 mil and we here in IA are at over 3 mil. But there is only 9000 more square miles for being double the pop. Is that the main reason WI public is such a zoo? Up north is it as bad? Reason I ask is I know a guy from around Eau Claire and he claims the part of WI he hunts is like little Alaska the way he describes it both in terms of land geography and topography and the lack of competition he describes. Is he blowing smoke?

    WI has 630k gun hunters and 350 k bow hunters. Iowa has less than 100k combined….

    and no, your buddy is not blowing smoke, there are spots…but one isn’t going to travel 5 hours to hunt public, work their balls off to see 3 deer all season…or if they see a buck it’s a 4 pt. There is good public in WI, isolated spots here and there, but the quality of deer is not worth the time. the public up north in WI has been wiped out by too much doe killing and the predators. I know guys that have a 9 person party. 20 years ago they would all kill multiple deer, the last 5 years they have seen only a couple deer between all of them. 90% of wi public can be bulldozed and turned into a parking lot due to “brown it’s down”. with the exception of western wi and a few isolated area’s of BIG private tracks, WI is pretty much the crappiest state for quality. there is no management whatesoever as a whole, lot’s do QDM but WI is full of small parcels. 20, 40, 60 100 acre chunks. Good luck growing big bucks when the neighbors pile in 12 dudes gun hunting and blaze everything. Western WI’s terrain safes a lot of deer and they all manage fairly well. that being said, a lease there is HIGH dollar stuff. like 12k for 700 acres….that’s a lot of money to shoot a 140 to 160 inch deer….if you are lucky enough to see one of the two that live on that square mile area. Many heros in WI will argue that their land is great, they shoot big ones….but a 140 every year between a few guys isn’t what i call great. You will hear of a ton of BIG bucks killed recently out of Metro. Our wonderful governor opened up city limits hunting and a ton of GIANTS got killed, albeit it’s like hunting zoo animals. I had a buddy shoot a 165 last year, he jumped it from under his tree, shot it 14 minutes later coming back to his bed. LOL. so I wouldn’t say the deer a very fearful of anything.

    Even private land is pressured from all around. I have 160 acres, there are 2 to 3 hunters during bow season on all the tracks around my land. you are talking like 15 dudes in a 640 acre (square miles) area….for 12 weeks. That’s pressure folks!!!

    Wow, that is pretty dismal indeed. I dont know if you are a trapper Bluegill. I am and so is my buddy from WI, and from what hes told me furbearer management in WI is a joke. After seeing how they manage otter and bobcat I’m inclined to believe him. I’ve also seen some real negative posts on here about trout management in WI. Its a shame a state with such beauty and abundant natural resources is not providing quality opportunities for sportsmen…

    Dude, WI DNR is out of touch with reality. it’s all about revenue and tags sales….they couldn’t care less about deer. the only thing the WI DNR knows is Lake winnebago walleye’s and sturgeon. Period. Everything else is just reactive…no proactive practices in WI. they let the folk beat the living crap out of the panfish for years. lower the limit to 25, now they made half the state 15. it’s just a joke here man, it really is

    They want more hunters to pass on the tradition…yadda yadda. they lowered the hunting age to 10, made it a law that women (or some men if you know what i mean) wear blaze pink…the rules they have are weird at best.

    a few years back we had Earn a buck. the gun hunters complained, so they got rid of it. then there was no baiting, the guns complained again, okay you can bait….they have no handle on anything. Funny part of all of this is when we had Earn a buck we shot 3 of our biggest bucks in WI. 138 8 pt, 161 10 pt and a 156 10 pt….all on year 2 of Earn a buck. I thought EAB was the best thing for WI. The problem with that was that half the state decided to KILL EVERY DOE that walked. Lot’s of private land owners went to public to shoot doe. they wiped out the public then everyone cried. they got rid of EAB….do you see what i’m getting at here. WI sucks. NOt matter what you read about it, 95% of the state is NOT like Buffalo Co or western WI. So you see why I want to hunt IOWA? I come there and it’s peaceful and just rejuvenating. The people are awesome, the land is beautiful and the deer hunting is nothing short of phenomenal.

    and the guy making the calls in WI is running for president….I don’t want to make this political, but he’s not who he says he is.

    Avatarspeng5
    Participant
    Post count: 2928
    Up
    0
    Down

    Quote by: BullBlueGill

    Quote by: speng5

    Quote by: BullBlueGill

    Quote by: speng5

    Quote by: BullBlueGill

    You guys in IA have no idea what pressured is……Come to WI, 9 cars in one lot on a given day during rut, 4 vehicles in EVERY parking lot during opening weekend.

    This year I saw 4 turkey tents in a 3 acre field during one of the turkey periods…WI hunters, half of them are total idiots. You guys got it good, with a little more work i’m sure the public is amazing in spots.

    I would hunt public if I were a resident of Iowa w o thinking. I’m a non resident so I wouldn’t hunt public just simply because I don’t have to time, any time at all to worry about others or losing a night because of other hunters. I’d rather lease, spend 5 weekends hanging stands and scouting and know i’m alone and not going to be bothered. It would be a different story if I lived there.

    Why is the situation so grim in WI? I looked up this http://www.ipl.org/div/stateknow/popchart.html table, and It looks like Wisconson has almost double the pop of Iowa. WI is just shy of 6 mil and we here in IA are at over 3 mil. But there is only 9000 more square miles for being double the pop. Is that the main reason WI public is such a zoo? Up north is it as bad? Reason I ask is I know a guy from around Eau Claire and he claims the part of WI he hunts is like little Alaska the way he describes it both in terms of land geography and topography and the lack of competition he describes. Is he blowing smoke?

    WI has 630k gun hunters and 350 k bow hunters. Iowa has less than 100k combined….

    and no, your buddy is not blowing smoke, there are spots…but one isn’t going to travel 5 hours to hunt public, work their balls off to see 3 deer all season…or if they see a buck it’s a 4 pt. There is good public in WI, isolated spots here and there, but the quality of deer is not worth the time. the public up north in WI has been wiped out by too much doe killing and the predators. I know guys that have a 9 person party. 20 years ago they would all kill multiple deer, the last 5 years they have seen only a couple deer between all of them. 90% of wi public can be bulldozed and turned into a parking lot due to “brown it’s down”. with the exception of western wi and a few isolated area’s of BIG private tracks, WI is pretty much the crappiest state for quality. there is no management whatesoever as a whole, lot’s do QDM but WI is full of small parcels. 20, 40, 60 100 acre chunks. Good luck growing big bucks when the neighbors pile in 12 dudes gun hunting and blaze everything. Western WI’s terrain safes a lot of deer and they all manage fairly well. that being said, a lease there is HIGH dollar stuff. like 12k for 700 acres….that’s a lot of money to shoot a 140 to 160 inch deer….if you are lucky enough to see one of the two that live on that square mile area. Many heros in WI will argue that their land is great, they shoot big ones….but a 140 every year between a few guys isn’t what i call great. You will hear of a ton of BIG bucks killed recently out of Metro. Our wonderful governor opened up city limits hunting and a ton of GIANTS got killed, albeit it’s like hunting zoo animals. I had a buddy shoot a 165 last year, he jumped it from under his tree, shot it 14 minutes later coming back to his bed. LOL. so I wouldn’t say the deer a very fearful of anything.

    Even private land is pressured from all around. I have 160 acres, there are 2 to 3 hunters during bow season on all the tracks around my land. you are talking like 15 dudes in a 640 acre (square miles) area….for 12 weeks. That’s pressure folks!!!

    Wow, that is pretty dismal indeed. I dont know if you are a trapper Bluegill. I am and so is my buddy from WI, and from what hes told me furbearer management in WI is a joke. After seeing how they manage otter and bobcat I’m inclined to believe him. I’ve also seen some real negative posts on here about trout management in WI. Its a shame a state with such beauty and abundant natural resources is not providing quality opportunities for sportsmen…

    Dude, WI DNR is out of touch with reality. it’s all about revenue and tags sales….they couldn’t care less about deer. the only thing the WI DNR knows is Lake winnebago walleye’s and sturgeon. Period. Everything else is just reactive…no proactive practices in WI. they let the folk beat the living crap out of the panfish for years. lower the limit to 25, now they made half the state 15. it’s just a joke here man, it really is

    They want more hunters to pass on the tradition…yadda yadda. they lowered the hunting age to 10, made it a law that women (or some men if you know what i mean) wear blaze pink…the rules they have are weird at best.

    a few years back we had Earn a buck. the gun hunters complained, so they got rid of it. then there was no baiting, the guns complained again, okay you can bait….they have no handle on anything. Funny part of all of this is when we had Earn a buck we shot 3 of our biggest bucks in WI. 138 8 pt, 161 10 pt and a 156 10 pt….all on year 2 of Earn a buck. I thought EAB was the best thing for WI. The problem with that was that half the state decided to KILL EVERY DOE that walked. Lot’s of private land owners went to public to shoot doe. they wiped out the public then everyone cried. they got rid of EAB….do you see what i’m getting at here. WI sucks. NOt matter what you read about it, 95% of the state is NOT like Buffalo Co or western WI. So you see why I want to hunt IOWA? I come there and it’s peaceful and just rejuvenating. The people are awesome, the land is beautiful and
    the deer hunting is nothing short of phenomenal.

    and the guy making the calls in WI is running for president….I don’t want to make this political, but he’s not who he says he is.

    Yeah, that is messed up. A friend’s dad used to love going up there as a kid (i think he is probably knocking on 60 now). Didn’t get up there for many years and now that he is close to retirement he got a little place up there. He’s been going up there for a couple years now off and on and man is he pissed. Apparently today’s WI is not even close to what it was 30/40 yrs ago, but then again neither is Iowa, or anywhere really.

    I just had to chuckle and bold and highlight your comment ^^ about deer hunting in IA. I tend to agree with you, it is pretty darn good in terms of quality and quantity. Reason I chuckle is last year after the last deer seasons were over there was like a 15 page thread about how deer hunting in IA sucks now, political BS has ruined our herd, Blue Tongue and CWD are gonna wipe them all out, urban hunts killed all the does, we have too many seasons, etc. 🙄 🙄 Just goes to show you someone always has it worse and it is really all about perspective! It’s true we probably got a little carried away a few years ago with al the antlerless seasons we had at one point, they got rid of rifle season in Southern IA but not sure if that really put a big dent in the pop anyway, it was only a few tiers of counties and I don’t think that season had many hard core participants but I could be wrong. All in all, I think on a national and especially midwestern scale, we could be a lot worse off. It is nice to see there are guys like you that are able to see and appreciate Iowa’s herd for what it is. Guys remember the early 2000’s flinging one slug through a draw and hitting 3 deer. We had too many then and got spoiled. It’s called hunting, not killing. Right now, I think we are where we should be.

    Disclaimer: Someone will jump on this post and ramble on and on about how deer hunting in ia is complete crap and always will be and we are completely doomed.

    AvatarBullBlueGill
    Participant
    Post count: 156
    Up
    0
    Down

    Quote by: speng5

    Quote by: BullBlueGill

    Quote by: speng5

    Quote by: BullBlueGill

    Quote by: speng5

    Quote by: BullBlueGill

    You guys in IA have no idea what pressured is……Come to WI, 9 cars in one lot on a given day during rut, 4 vehicles in EVERY parking lot during opening weekend.

    This year I saw 4 turkey tents in a 3 acre field during one of the turkey periods…WI hunters, half of them are total idiots. You guys got it good, with a little more work i’m sure the public is amazing in spots.

    I would hunt public if I were a resident of Iowa w o thinking. I’m a non resident so I wouldn’t hunt public just simply because I don’t have to time, any time at all to worry about others or losing a night because of other hunters. I’d rather lease, spend 5 weekends hanging stands and scouting and know i’m alone and not going to be bothered. It would be a different story if I lived there.

    Why is the situation so grim in WI? I looked up this http://www.ipl.org/div/stateknow/popchart.html table, and It looks like Wisconson has almost double the pop of Iowa. WI is just shy of 6 mil and we here in IA are at over 3 mil. But there is only 9000 more square miles for being double the pop. Is that the main reason WI public is such a zoo? Up north is it as bad? Reason I ask is I know a guy from around Eau Claire and he claims the part of WI he hunts is like little Alaska the way he describes it both in terms of land geography and topography and the lack of competition he describes. Is he blowing smoke?

    WI has 630k gun hunters and 350 k bow hunters. Iowa has less than 100k combined….

    and no, your buddy is not blowing smoke, there are spots…but one isn’t going to travel 5 hours to hunt public, work their balls off to see 3 deer all season…or if they see a buck it’s a 4 pt. There is good public in WI, isolated spots here and there, but the quality of deer is not worth the time. the public up north in WI has been wiped out by too much doe killing and the predators. I know guys that have a 9 person party. 20 years ago they would all kill multiple deer, the last 5 years they have seen only a couple deer between all of them. 90% of wi public can be bulldozed and turned into a parking lot due to “brown it’s down”. with the exception of western wi and a few isolated area’s of BIG private tracks, WI is pretty much the crappiest state for quality. there is no management whatesoever as a whole, lot’s do QDM but WI is full of small parcels. 20, 40, 60 100 acre chunks. Good luck growing big bucks when the neighbors pile in 12 dudes gun hunting and blaze everything. Western WI’s terrain safes a lot of deer and they all manage fairly well. that being said, a lease there is HIGH dollar stuff. like 12k for 700 acres….that’s a lot of money to shoot a 140 to 160 inch deer….if you are lucky enough to see one of the two that live on that square mile area. Many heros in WI will argue that their land is great, they shoot big ones….but a 140 every year between a few guys isn’t what i call great. You will hear of a ton of BIG bucks killed recently out of Metro. Our wonderful governor opened up city limits hunting and a ton of GIANTS got killed, albeit it’s like hunting zoo animals. I had a buddy shoot a 165 last year, he jumped it from under his tree, shot it 14 minutes later coming back to his bed. LOL. so I wouldn’t say the deer a very fearful of anything.

    Even private land is pressured from all around. I have 160 acres, there are 2 to 3 hunters during bow season on all the tracks around my land. you are talking like 15 dudes in a 640 acre (square miles) area….for 12 weeks. That’s pressure folks!!!

    Wow, that is pretty dismal indeed. I dont know if you are a trapper Bluegill. I am and so is my buddy from WI, and from what hes told me furbearer management in WI is a joke. After seeing how they manage otter and bobcat I’m inclined to believe him. I’ve also seen some real negative posts on here about trout management in WI. Its a shame a state with such beauty and abundant natural resources is not providing quality opportunities for sportsmen…

    Dude, WI DNR is out of touch with reality. it’s all about revenue and tags sales….they couldn’t care less about deer. the only thing the WI DNR knows is Lake winnebago walleye’s and sturgeon. Period. Everything else is just reactive…no proactive practices in WI. they let the folk beat the living crap out of the panfish for years. lower the limit to 25, now they made half the state 15. it’s just a joke here man, it really is

    They want more hunters to pass on the tradition…yadda yadda. they lowered the hunting age to 10, made it a law that women (or some men if you know what i mean) wear blaze pink…the rules they have are weird at best.

    a few years back we had Earn a buck. the gun hunters complained, so they got rid of it. then there was no baiting, the guns complained again, okay you can bait….they have no handle on anything. Funny part of all of this is when we had Earn a buck we shot 3 of our biggest bucks in WI. 138 8 pt, 161 10 pt and a 156 10 pt….all on year 2 of Earn a buck. I thought EAB was the best thing for WI. The problem with that was that half the state decided to KILL EVERY DOE that walked. Lot’s of private land owners went to public to shoot doe. they wiped out the public then everyone cried. they got rid of EAB….do you see what i’m getting at here. WI sucks. NOt matter what you read about it, 95% of the state is NOT like Buffalo Co or western WI. So you see why I want to hunt IOWA? I come there and it’s peaceful and just rejuvenating. The people are awesome, the land is beautiful and
    the deer hunting is nothing short of phenomenal.

    and the guy making the calls in WI is running for president….I don’t want to make this political, but he’s not who he says he is.

    Yeah, that is messed up. A friend’s dad used to love going up there as a kid (i think he is probably knocking on 60 now). Didn’t get up there for many years and now that he is close to retirement he got a little place up there. He’s been going up there for a couple years now off and on and man is he pissed. Apparently today’s WI is not even close to what it was 30/40 yrs ago, but then again neither is Iowa, or anywhere really.

    I just had to chuckle and bold and highlight your comment ^^ about deer hunting in IA. I tend to agree with you, it is pretty darn good in terms of quality and quantity. Reason I chuckle is last year after the last deer seasons were over there was like a 15 page thread about how deer hunting in IA sucks now, political BS has ruined our herd, Blue Tongue and CWD are gonna wipe them all out, urban hunts killed all the does, we have too many seasons, etc. 🙄 🙄 Just goes to show you someone always has it worse and it is really all about perspective! It’s true we probably got a little carried away a few years ago with al the antlerless seasons we had at one point, they got rid of rifle season in Southern IA but not sure if that really put a big dent in the pop anyway, it was only a few tiers of counties and I don’t think that season had many hard core participants but I could be wrong. All in all, I think on a national and especially midwestern scale, we could be a lot worse off. It is nice to see there are guys like you that are able to see and appreciate Iowa’s herd for what it is. Guys remember the early 2000’s flinging one slug through a draw and hitting 3 deer. We had too many then and got spoiled. It’s called hunting, not killing. Right now, I think we are where we should be.

    Disclaimer: Someone will jump on this post and ramble on and on about how deer hunting in ia is complete crap and always will be and we are completely doomed.

    I agree with you, someone will jump on it. I was there this year….a bad day was 10 doe and a few 1 and 2 year old bucks…..most days in WI is hoping to see a doe and fawn the last 10 minutes of light.

    There was a lot of dead deer, but they still downed some slobs this year. I know Iowa ground is fertile, but fawns aren’t popping out as 170’s. Some times people like to make a mountain out of mole hill. I think it was to deter hunters….esp from out of state. I can’t tell you how many people I heard say “i’m waiting another year to apply, i’ll just buy a point”…..the locals are sneaky.

    Avatarhawkfan73
    Participant
    Post count: 397
    Up
    0
    Down

    I live in the Des Moines area too and hunt both the Saylorville and Red Rock tracts of public hunting ground. I do have access to some very good private properties in both Warren and Madison counties but about 5 years ago I made a quest to pull a trophy buck off of public land, which is when I started hunting the Saylorville and Red Rock grounds. There are many differences between hunting each. Like another poster mentioned, deer on private ground are much more at ease, one can get away with sloppy hunting much easier than on public. On private ground, deer get in a pattern and stay that way, some of the trails they use on the private grounds I hunt are literally like highways! There simply isn’t anything spooking them to make them change routines.

    Several years back I had a dilemma, the private ground I had permission to hunt was being hunted by one of the landowners family members the week I had taken off during the rut. I decided to try the public ground at Red Rock, after the first couple hours in the stand I knew I was playing a whole different ball game. There I was sitting in my stand on land much larger than the private grounds I had been hunting yet seeing much less activity. That’s when my quest began. The next few seasons after that I would mix it up hunting private a few days and hunting public a few days. Each pre season I would scout more and more on public land, it became an obsession to take a nice buck from public land. I literally went 3 years only seeing does and young spikes and forks, never a buck with more than 6 points.

    I have 4 stands I put up on public land ( and take down at seasons end), another 2 stands that people have abandoned out in the woods that I have put new straps and seat pads on, and a climber that I will use. I do all day sits, going in, in the morning well before first light and about an hour earlier than I do when hunting private. There are so many factors to public that make it challenging. I can’t tell you how many times I have been sitting in the stand for hours only to have a small game hunter or a guy on a walk with his dog traipsing through my set up. It is so deflating knowing you have just sat in an area for hours that has been cleared out of wildlife. Every single time that has happened the people feel so sorry cause they understand what they have done to my hunt. If you are an all day hunter like me you will also run into another scenario, an example of this from last year was this. 4 of the 6 stands I hunt are deep in the timber and not on an edge, while sitting in one of my timber stands one day around 2:00pm a doe came running from the direction of the nearest field edge, at the time I wondered if a coyote spooked it. Well at the end of the night I was walking out and all of the sudden a light clicks on from up in a tree at the field edge, another hunter was up in the tree, I asked him what time he came in and he said around 2:00, it all made sense then and we chatted for a few minutes. The fact he spooked a deer on his way in wasn’t frustrating, what was frustrating is that with where he was set up and the wind direction that day, my whole set up was contaminated with his scent even though he was 200 yards away.

    The deer on public mix things up when they travel, they do not use the same trails day after day. I was once sitting in my stand on a field edge for the first time of the season, I watched 23 deer come out of the timber into the field about 300 yards from me, single file, one after another in the same spot as the sun was going down. The next day I went back to the same stand hoping I would notice a pattern of them using that same spot, I have never seen them use that spot again. Between the deer hunters, small game hunters, turkey hunters, mushroom hunters, and trappers there is enough activity going on that makes all wildlife on those properties to be on alert at all times, there is a noticeable difference in the demeanor of the wildlife.

    I do most of my scouting in February and early March. I have hundreds of acres I now know like the back of my hand, I know where they bed and where they want to go at several locations but because of how they mix things up it almost feels like I have wasted hours and hours of my time because you never know which path they feel like taking that day. Luck is a factor weather you are on private or public, but on public I feel getting a nice buck within bow range is 99% luck, not how hard you worked to pattern the deer’s movements.

    With how difficult it is to get a deer out of public land, especially if you are like me and like to get way the hell back in there I have declared it big buck only territory. Last year I took my first deer in 5 years on public land. I passed on 2 – 8’s last year, they both came in the first couple of days of my week off during the rut and neither were bigger than what I have taken before so I choose to take my chances that I might see a better one, which I did, but couldn’t get a shot on him. If you remember the 2014 rut, it was very windy and cold. there I was in one of my stands deep in the timber when all of the sudden I noticed some movement directly below my stand, when I looked down I saw the biggest buck I have ever had in bow range while in a stand. Because of the wind I did not hear him come in so I was in a predicament. Typically you will see or hear something coming which allows you to stand up and get the bow in your hand. So there I was with the best buck below me and I have to get stood up, bow in hand, position for a shot and draw. As he moved from directly below me I stood up and the stand made the ever so softest squeak, he leaped sideways about 10 yards and stood there on full alert for a few seconds, then trotted off. He was a massive typical 10 wide and tall. I ended up taking a mature 6 the last day of my week off. I decided to take him because he was the biggest 6 I had ever seen and needed something for the freezer.

    I describe the difference between private land and a big public tract like Red Rock and Saylorville to Bass fishing a farm pond versus Bass fishing a lake. It’s a lot easier to get on the fish in a farm pond, there are fewer spots they are going to be and working the entire pond is achieved easily. Most private land is smaller so finding funnels and pinch points can work very well. On a big public tract you can find them as well but the deer have a larger area and can simply choose to use the next funnel or pinch point 500 yards away, they simply have more choices.

    In the 5 years I have been hunting on public ground I have only seen a 6 or 7 bucks with more than 6 points and only 2 wall hangers one of which I had no chance on, he was viewed from my binos crossing a field a long ways away from my stand. Be prepared to be frustrated and know that you will need a lot of luck. A lot of people say you need to get way back in there if you want any chance to take deer, however I have found you can’t get far enough in to be free from other hunters. Most hunters are thinking the same thing so they all try to get way back in there, it’s not like we are in Colorado and can get miles and miles away from the nearest road or parking lot. I have a couple spots fairly close to parking areas that I see fewer hunters while in the stand than I do way back in.

    In my opinion the Red Rock public land is much better than the Saylorville public land as far as number and quality of deer, there also seems to be less hunters there as well. Saylorville gets hit pretty hard, during the rut or turkey season you can find a couple trucks at about every parking location from Boone to Johnston.

    AvatarCJAyers
    Participant
    Post count: 37
    Up
    0
    Down

    I think hawkfan73 summed up public hunting pretty well. I have some good spots that are close to parking areas as well. Some are across rivers and most hunters will not wade a river to hunt the other side. I think one good idea is to look at some public areas that are not usually thought of for
    deer hunting. I have one area that I hunt that I never see a another deer hunter on all season. It is a well known waterfowl hunting area. And has some good timber and food plots.

Viewing 20 posts - 1 through 20 (of 20 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.