Most hunting clubs or landowners look for new members or leases during the summer. Word-of-mouth is the more common way that openings get filled, but some larger clubs or tracts may advertise in the newspaper, want ads, or even online on social media pages.
However, if you’ve ever been a member of a large club, you’ve probably witnessed last-minute openings that were hard to fill. That being said, it pays to network with other hunters and let people know if you’re looking for a new place to hunt.
“We have around 15 members in a big tract I hunt near Ramsey Springs,” said deer hunter Ron Smith of Hattiesburg. “The lease comes due in June, and nearly every year, there’s somebody that says they’re going to pay their dues and then something comes up. I don’t know how many times we’re in September looking to fill at least one spot.”
Public land seems to get a bad rap, but while you may not be able to build stands or plant food plots on WMAs, taking the time to learn public land means you’ll never have to be without a place to hunt.
Succeeding on public land or on private lands that are new to you have basically the same requirement — hunt deeper and longer.
“I hunted public land for many years,” Smith said. “It was always my experience that most hunters didn’t hunt very far from the truck, and they would be gone after about 10 o’clock in the morning. People get spoiled, but the deer don’t just vanish after the morning hours. That’s actually a pretty good time to have somebody spook one to you.”