Deer Hunting on NC Public Lands
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Page offer tips on hunting deer on North Carolinas public lands.

Private lands, hunt clubs, or guided hunts may not be in the cards. This is OK because trophy deer are consistently taken off public lands. Here are some tips for your public land hunt:

Utilize hunting pressure to your advantage. Deer will have sufficient food, on public land as well as private land, you must understand where deer are in respect to that food. Public lands see intense hunting pressure. Locate yourself on difficult approaches near where deer would naturally hold. Done right a public land hunter will let other hunters herd deer to them. Scouting is fundamentally different; you must understand how the deer will escape when large numbers of hunters show up. This can be determined from observing the number and location of parked vehicles, stands and blinds, trail markers, and other indications of human traffic. Avoid heavily hunting or easy to approach areas; they will not be productive.

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Set up near very thick cover. Deer will instinctively move to thick cover when pressured. They know that this cover is easy to hide in, affords good warning of predators, and is just plain difficult for hunters. When on public land seek the thickest cover around the prevailing food source. Position tree stands near the edges above thick cover is very productive on public land. Thickets create security and often forage. Don't leave the cover until dark because deer are often spooked when other hunters are leaving for the night. Note that very thick area may not show strong signs of activity so look hard for tracks and faint trails entering cover. The deer will be there.

Consider how smart a trophy buck must be to survive high pressure hunting. Trophy bucks on public land have survived because they have been able to anticipate the moves large numbers of hunters will make. Don't make these moves yourself. Approach your stand so as to not spook the deer -- not just the easiest way. Draw a mental map of how to approach your stand in the dark. Trail markers, where legal help finding your are in unfamiliar territory. Practice moving in the area when scouting.

If you work with the system you will dramatically increase your changes of a trophy buck even if other won't. Remember, luck is partially knowledge and skill meeting opportunity.

Page offer tips on hunting deer on North Carolinas public lands. --- JRJ/ Jan. 20, 2003
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