Hunting Public land when you have access to private land?

Otto Matic

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I think there are plenty of people who would be willing to allow friends and neighbors to hunt on their land, but have been burned by open gates, rutted fields, friends bringing friends of friends, etc those are the people no matter where they hunt public or private are going to be bad stewards of the land. Unfortunately, we can’t bar them from using public land.
Took me awhile to read this entire post and I'm quite sure I've probably missed some points! That's a helluva lot to digest! 😜!

I actually see only one drawback over this issue.
If you happen to be hunting public land and decide to cross over onto private property where you have permission to hunt, what's to stop the poor schmuck behind the tree to your left from thinking. "Hmm...! He crossed that fence! Must be public land!"

My Opinion:
Even if my chances are better on public land, I'll hunt private ground instead. It's not the kill that counts, it's the experience afield. I don't want "Bubba Gump" moving in on my hunt*. A "kill" is just icing on the cake.

I see no problem with a private land hunter taking advantage of public land.

I have NO qualms about a land holder restricting access to his/her property.

* - if "John Dumb" sees the birds I'm working, he has every right, morals and ethics aside, on public land, to set up on the same set of birds and begin working them.
 

ElkFever2

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I hunted on 500 public acres yesterday and had the whole place to myself. I’m pretty sure I’m not contributing to crowding. Maybe if public was packed and I’m locking up private it’s a different question, but that’s a reality pretty far removed from what I see.

Shoot, if you’re talking IA 1st season you’d be hard-pressed to encroach someone’s opportunity. Weekend hunting is a different animal.
 

BrentD

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Elkfever2 -

I had 4 trucks on top of me, including the guy that was hunting 60 yds off my front bumper. The area was pretty full I think. We are seeing pretty heavy usage in my areas last fall, winter and now the spring seems to be about the same. The lack of goods in the shops speaks to heavy hunting pressure as well.

If you have 500 ares to yourself WITH turkeys - keep it secret. On the other hand, if you have a cattail marsh to yourself at this time of year, you might want to look for more crowded places :) :) :)
 

belshawelk

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No but why would anyone. I have land and have turkeys everywhere. To me turkeys aren’t a good choice for this discussion. Parts of E Oregon Turkeys are like geese. Over populated and do a bunch of damage.
Elk and deer I think are a better discussion. I hunt public in CO, WY and will in Oregon after I burn my points. I sit at 16 elk, 14 deer. So no I don’t feel bad then. But I won’t pull a OTC tag because I have a place to hunt.
 

FLS

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I hunt both. Some of the public has become a little bit of a shit show. Mostly a lack of courtesy and common sense.
 

Gellar

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Regarding the OP, I hope this isn't something you're losing sleep over. Just go hunt.
Not at all. I’ve been hunting both. Haven’t ran into a hunter on the public yet, but I did hear a shot yesterday a ways off. Like I said before. I already knew what I was going to do. Jut made for a good conversation.
 

vanish

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Just made for a good conversation.

I think it is! There have been good points made on both sides. There is no right answer.

"Do you consider your decision's effect on other people?" is probably one of the most dividing themes in our society, reaching far beyond hunting.
 

ElkFever2

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Elkfever2 -

I had 4 trucks on top of me, including the guy that was hunting 60 yds off my front bumper. The area was pretty full I think. We are seeing pretty heavy usage in my areas last fall, winter and now the spring seems to be about the same. The lack of goods in the shops speaks to heavy hunting pressure as well.

If you have 500 ares to yourself WITH turkeys - keep it secret. On the other hand, if you have a cattail marsh to yourself at this time of year, you might want to look for more crowded places :) :) :)
Well, one less turkey now 😁
 

Gellar

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Yesterday morning was the first day of the second season in Iowa. We have 4 seasons. Season number 1 does not have any weekends in it. It is Monday-Thursday. Each of the following seasons gets progressively longer and include a weekend until the final season being nearly 3 weeks long. I drove my usual scouting route yesterday partly to see the number of hunters on the public property. Last year on opening morning of second season there was about 10 cars along my scouting route. This year there was 2.
 

BrentD

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Yesterday morning was the first day of the second season in Iowa. We have 4 seasons. Season number 1 does not have any weekends in it. It is Monday-Thursday. Each of the following seasons gets progressively longer and include a weekend until the final season being nearly 3 weeks long. I drove my usual scouting route yesterday partly to see the number of hunters on the public property. Last year on opening morning of second season there was about 10 cars along my scouting route. This year there was 2.

More people working and doing it at work, I suspect. But maybe the hunting thing as settled back down. I hope so.
 

Gellar

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More people working and doing it at work, I suspect. But maybe the hunting thing as settled back down. I hope so.
Yes, I work in conservation and our parks have continued to be busier than a normal April, but nothing compared to them last year at this time. Most visitors last year were from 3-4 hours away visiting the Driftless for the first time.
 

Straight Arrow

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Yes, I work in conservation and our parks have continued to be busier than a normal April, but nothing compared to them last year at this time. Most visitors last year were from 3-4 hours away visiting the Driftless for the first time.
Yellowstone Park just opened to vehicles this week. Although still snow on the ground and likelihood of storms, the lines of visitors are already long. Another record visitation year is expected.
 

Gellar

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Did you kill your Tom yet??
No, my 1st tag ended on 4/15. I hunted both private and public and talked to birds everyday. But in all honesty the turkeys humbled me. This was the first time in 7-8 years that I did not fill my first season tag. Most of those were on opening morning. I will get another chance in a couple weeks.
 

1_pointer

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I'll start tomorrow hunting private. Will move to public if I hear birds there. Will find no moral or ethical dilemma in that decision.

PS- Indiana's turkey season dates are stupid and way too late...
 

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