7 tips for escaping the crowds on public land

Randy Levingston took this beautiful buck while hunting with the author on public land. They were able to conceal their area from hunter pressure by using the stealth mode tactics described in this article.

When hunting public land, sometimes you need to think outside of the box. Avoiding the crowds should always be the main goal. One can find rubs, scrapes and the best sign, but if that area becomes crowded, you will likely be unsuccessful.

So is it possible to find a nice hunting spot on public land and then keep it to yourself? It is, but you must be willing to use some stealth tactics like the ones I describe below:

  • First, get in shape. It is invariable no matter where you choose to hunt. There is going to be a lot of walking involved. You can choose to walk into the woods as far as possible. This will definitely achieve your goal of leaving the crowds behind, however, there is a major drawback to this plan. You now must get the deer out. Not everyone is able to do a 2 to 4 hour drag. I have done them in my younger days and they are very grueling. That said, having a deer cart or sled is a must at all public areas.
  • Next, scout hard before the season. It may also be necessary to scout in season, but it is more difficult due to others hunting. Try to learn everything you can from hunters who know the area, and also from local, state personnel.
  • Tree stand placement on public land is on a first come, first served basis. There is no saving of “your” stand location. It is a simple rule and it is for everyone. The key is to find a great spot that is not obvious to other hunters.
  • Stealth mode starts here. Conceal your entry/exit to the area you choose to hunt to the extent possible. For example, if you cut a nice, wide trail and flag it to your stand location, you will not be happy with the results. Very likely many other hunters will use that trail. They may move into and out of your area while you are hunting. They may also hunt so close to you that it will cause a problem. Concealment done well will greatly contribute to your success.
  • Another way to get some privacy on public land is to hunt on weekdays and Sunday afternoons when hunter pressure is lower. Holidays tend to be crowded as well.
  • Finding multiple stand locations is a great way to escape hunter pressure. Repeatedly hunting the same stand will saturate that area with your scent. Having multiple stand locations to choose from will minimize that possibility.
  • Using game cams is invaluable for learning about the habits of the deer in your area. They are also helpful in noticing hunter traffic in your area. Unfortunately, game cams do come up missing. While this is rare, I do use the lower priced versions. When hunting on public land use game cams at your own discretion.

When hunting public land, you are competing with many other hunters. Part of the competition is figuring out how to find the best areas, while also avoiding other hunters. Using these techniques has helped me to hunt public land in relative obscurity. It is very rare for me to see another hunter in my chosen areas. This is not by accident. So, plan ahead, get into stealth mode and don’t be scared to think outside of the box.

Please be courteous to your fellow hunters and hunt safely!

The post “7 tips for escaping the crowds on Louisiana public land” first appeared on Louisiana Sportsman.com.

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