Where is the best place to deer hunt?

Discussion in 'Michigan Whitetail Deer Hunting' started by frankwhite, Aug 29, 2002.

  1. I have only been hunting deer for about four years and have noticed that the quality of the hunt depends on many factors one of the most important being location. Where is the best place to hunt deer? We hate public lands and crowded areas. Anybody have any suggestions?:)

    Wanna kill these ads? We can help!
  2. Go to the UP

  3. Public land is fine if you do some leg work. During gun season other hunters can be your best friend. I sit all day during gun season opener and see lots of deer becouse I have a woods full of drivers. But I have also threw trial and error and scouting found where the deer go when they are jumped. I did this by winter after winter jumping deer and following there tracks in the snow. Black powder is a good season to start doing this you may get a shot at something. When you pattern where the deer go when jumped be there opening day of gun. I also hunt the thickest nasty stuff I can find. I prefer hunting woods deer. There is nothing like being in the woods away from it all. I have hunted some farms and always thought it to be easier but I cant figure the deer out on a farm.

    Most hunters are lazy and hunt on the edge or in the woods a little ways. I will walk threw a brier patch for 150 yards to get to my stand if it means no hunters and deer.

    If you have the money buy land or lease it but you may still have the same problems with treepassers and if your leasing you never know when the land owner will let someone else hunt it.

    Depending on where you live there can be alot of over looked hunting land. Dont over look small areas most hunters will ignore. I found a little honey hole that is about 40 acres public and during archery Im the only one in it. Also look on the net there may be logging company land near you that no one hunts.

    Do some research and scout you ars off you will find a place.

    Some other places to help are terraserver.com and topozone.com. These are one of my best tools for scouting. These are topo map sights. Print out the maps you want on a color printer and use clear packing tape to laminate them so they last a long time.

    When you think you have scouted enough scout some more. Thats what I love about hunting you can do it all year long. I dont mean this in a bragging way but last year I couldnt hunt all the bucks I knew of. There were 3 that I knew of (in different areas) that I never got to hunt even once. I usually only hunt in a stand area 2-3 times before I give it a rest for a week or more. A friend lost his place to hunt and I showed him where I knew a buck was and he didnt want to walk threw the swamp to get there so he hunted him only once. That buck I found by looking at a topo map and finding a feature that I thought would attract deer. I went in mid sept and there were 20 buck rubs right were I thought they would be. I call it boot ridge becouse it is shaped like a long boot that juts out into a swamp. I was there only once after I found the sign I set up a spot for a stand and left.

    This site has a lot of info too. Do some searches you will learn alot here.

    good luck :)
  4. A wise old UP guy told me once, If you DON'T want to see any hunters, go to Marquette and drive about 30 miles or so due north. He guaranteed that in that area you not see another hunter. I took him at his word.
  5. My point is that you may never get away from people. Expect to have someone walk up on your set up. It happens ALL the time. Identify you targets, do you best to get off the beeten path. Be a safe hunter. Just by getting off the path, you make the lazy hunters work for you by pushing the deer around. I hunt public land most of the time and see more deer than what I do on private land (in the areas that I hunt). Bottom line is you have to get out and get your boots dirty to find those areas. They ARE EVERYWHERE.
  6. I agree with Chuck, that scouting is key. I am also fairly new to deer hunting and am pleasantly surprised at the numbers and size of deer in the lower two tiers of counties (from Monroe to Berrien and from Wayne to Van Buren. Everything in between has good deer populations and I have seen some big bucks as well. I scout about 9 months of the year, I don’t like the summer heat in the woods from mid-May to mid-August, but I scout all other times. When you scout you get to understand what is good deer habitat and what isn’t, and you also begin to see their food sources (berries, nuts, grasses, field crops). Finding good sign is fun also, meaning rubs and scrapes. Droppings and tracks are easy to find but finding active rubs and scrapes is more fun for me. The odd shed antler is also a possibility, I lucked out last year and found three antlers while scouting.

    To answer your question on where to hunt, my preference is the lower tiers of counties. The public land isn’t too crowded during the week. If you must have private land then you’ll have to get friendly with a farmer or landowner and ask permission.
  7. illinois, kansas, iowa for starters.:)

    seriously, just about every woodlot in the state has a deer in it, with 2 million+ deer you can't go wrong. the trick is to find them when the shooting starts and you'll never know that unless you do some leg/home work. good luck. i'm with chuck find the thickest, nastiest stuff at the farthest point from the parking area on state land, it's a start. access to private lands is becoming tougher and tougher.
  8. Illinois, Kansas, Nebraska, Montana, and Canada for starts. But I am like all the others, I find the swamps.

    If I can give any advice at all, find bottlenecks. They are the key to successful deer hunting. THey are sometimes called funnels, transitions zones, etc. They are the places where the deer HAVE to go through to get from one part of land to the next. I hunt these areas religously. I am very productive every year, but you have to put in your homework.

    Good luck
  9. Was reading a Fred Bear article tonight. He had a buddy who would routinly wait for everybody else to walk the woods and hunt, then he would hunt near the truck. He scored every year.

    It is funny how different the brain of a man, and the brain of a deer work. If we really knew where the ideal place to hunt was, there would be no fun in it, and probably no deer left.

    I say change your strategies with stand placement often. Move around from day to day, even if it is only 50 yards. If the deer did pattern you from one location, they wouldn't know where to look next.

    I find advertisements for hunting property funny that read "80 acres, 5 hunting stands." If you bought that property would you use the same stands, or would you move them?
  10. My Dad used to say " The best place to shoot a deer is.......close to the truck" II thought he was kidding around. Then a few years ago I was using my muzzleloader during opening day of regular gun season and sometime during the trek into my stand my front sight blade came out of it's dovetail and was lost. I had no choice but to go back to the truck and get out my shotgun which I had as a backup. while I was there I decided to have another cup of joe from the thermos, I sat down on one of those stumps the State puts down around parking lots in State game areas, This particular lot fell off very steeply on the backside of it about 30 feet to a ravine that is maybe 100 yards wide by 200 deep and it is mostly popple thicket. So I was sitting there on the stump when I noticed deer moving through the middle of the thicket from my left to my right. Just a doe and a yearling at first, then after about a minute a steady stream of deer with a few forks and sixers thrown in started crashing through the thicket. I sat there in amazement. After the deer had passed I noticed a orange hat topping the ridge on the left. a hunter was headed to the parking lot and he was on the main trail. Both of my guns were still in their cases in the truck. Since then I have gone back to the truck for a cup of joe just about every year, and just about every year I take a deer while sitting on that stump. The stump is less that 50 feet from the truck. I have used parachute cord to tie back the thickets in a few places to have a clear shot. I know it is kinda like tossin corn to trout in a pond. But hey I have venison in the freezer.
  11. try the yellow dog river area if you dont want hunting pressure.
    north west of marquette about 25 miles.take a good compass,and food&water!
  12. congratulations,craig m
    now you can buy more ammo.

    (smokless on the roscommon/crawford co lines)
  13. No!, don't go near that Yellow Dog country! It's terrible, nothing but rocks, hills, trees, and swamps, and darn few deer. Besides that's where I hunt. Try going to Marquette, then go southwest.

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