Should a new deer hunter with a small property hunt on public land?

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  • SquatchBot's avatar

    @William, hunting on a small property can be challenging, especially if the deer are only active during pre-light hours. However, it is still possible to have a successful hunt on your property. Here are some tips:

    1. Scout your property: Spend some time walking around your property to identify areas where deer are likely to be. Look for signs such as tracks, droppings, and rubs.

    2. Set up trail cameras: Trail cameras can help you determine when and where the deer are moving on your property. This information can help you plan your hunt accordingly.

    3. Use scent control: Deer have an excellent sense of smell, so it's important to minimize your scent as much as possible. Use scent-free soap and laundry detergent, and consider using scent-eliminating sprays.

    4. Consider using a ground blind: A ground blind can help conceal your movement and scent, making it easier to get close to the deer.

    5. Be patient: Hunting on a small property can require more patience than hunting on public land. You may need to wait for the deer to come to you rather than actively pursuing them.

    As for whether you should try public land, it's ultimately up to you. Public land can offer more SquatchBot is GoWild’s furry assistant powered by artificial intelligence. He comments on all posts flagged as questions. It’s a good idea to also ask a human.

  • William's avatar

    @SquatchBot I plan on bow hunting only, also have neighbors to contend with but I live out in the country, only hunting pressure is from a neighbor or two. Should I hunt everyday or just base it on deer activity on the trail cam?

  • SquatchBot's avatar

    @William, if you plan on bow hunting only, it's important to be patient and wait for the right opportunity to present itself. Hunting every day can quickly spook the deer and make them more wary of your presence. Instead, it's best to base your hunting schedule on the deer activity on your trail camera.

    Pay attention to when the deer are most active on your property and plan your hunts accordingly. For example, if the deer are most active during pre-light hours, you may want to plan your hunts for early in the morning. If the deer are most active in the late afternoon or evening, you may want to plan your hunts for later in the day.

    It's also important to consider the wind direction when planning your hunts. Deer have an excellent sense of smell, so it's important to hunt with the wind in your favor. If the wind is blowing towards the deer, they are likely to smell you and avoid the area.

    Finally, be sure to follow all local hunting regulations and obtain any necessary permits before hunting on your property. Good luck with your hunt!

  • William's avatar

    @SquatchBot how should I start scouting on my small property, I have a deer stand but don’t know about scouting. Also, this is wooded area but I’m conflicted on whether or not I need binoculars for any reason including other sports like duck hunting.

  • Johnny's avatar

    I would focus public land until the rut. Maybe establish a small food plot for now and make a mock scrape. Maybe throw a cell camera in there on a beat down cross path or junction. I’d let that place sit until the rut.

  • SquatchBot's avatar

    @William, scouting is an essential part of deer hunting, and it's important to do it properly to increase your chances of success. Here are some tips on how to start scouting on your small property:

    1. Look for signs: As I mentioned earlier, look for signs such as tracks, droppings, and rubs. These signs can give you an idea of where the deer are moving on your property.

    2. Set up trail cameras: Trail cameras are an excellent tool for scouting. Set up your cameras in areas where you've seen signs of deer activity and check them regularly to see when and where the deer are moving.

    3. Use maps: Maps can help you identify areas on your property where the deer are likely to be. Look for areas with food sources, water, and cover.

    4. Scout at different times of day: Deer are most active during pre-light and post-light hours, but they can be active at other times of the day as well. Scout your property at different times of day to get a better idea of when the deer are moving.

    As for binoculars, they can be useful for scouting and hunting. Binoculars can help you spot deer at a distance and identify them more easily.

  • William's avatar

    @Johnny man I really appreciate your input, I think I’m gonna try public at least until the rut

  • Johnny's avatar

    If you don’t see the numbers and quality you want by the pre rut then there’s nothing wrong with hunting public and maybe doing some more work to the land to draw more deer attention.

  • Johnny's avatar

    Good luck brotha, do you have experience with public land hunting?

  • William's avatar

    @Johnny only for duck hunting, I have very little experience deer hunting, although I have shot at a doe once. I have everything for every season, just not seeing any daylight movement last year and no bucks showed up last year at all on the trail cams.

  • Johnny's avatar

    Right on. From what i’ve learned, figure out where everyone else is hunting and stay away from them and find some decent sign and just put in time.

  • I have 5 acres of hunting land to I get big buck on my trailcams year around

  • William's avatar

    @BucksFins I’m happy to read that! Pretty sure I’ve seen y’all on tv before. It’s actually more like a couple acres. I’ll take any and all advice you have.

  • @William no I haven’t been on tv before any questions you have I will try my best to answer them

  • Brad's avatar

    I Hunt a 10 acre track in the middle of a subdivision with does only. The best pre rut and rut hunting in my opinion. I don’t know if other places where I can go sit amongst 20 does and just watch buck after buck come through the sanctuary looking for does. The does are like pets, the bucks are wild. A great place to kill a giant buck.

  • Robert's avatar

    Put a mineral block out and a camera on it and will get some bucks on your place.

  • Robert's avatar

    Put the mineral in the middle of the property.

  • Jacob's avatar

    I hunt a 5acre property from time to time myself. Keep them fed and coming back and I promise they’ll surprise you.

  • Nick's avatar

    Short answer yes hunt public!! Hunt your private property too whatever makes you happy!! Public will teach you a lot between scouting, tracking, and just understanding the woods! It can be frustrating at times but makes it even sweeter when you harvest your game!! Enjoy

  • William's avatar

    @Nick thanks

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William's avatar

William W


I enjoy hunting waterfowl, deer, small game as well as spin-cast and fly fishing both fresh and saltwater species . I’ve never killed a deer though, I’m still working on that challenge. I have small property for deer hunting and I’m still very inexperienced and am learning through trial by error sometimes. I’ve killed a few ducks and geese here and there.

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