Waterloo Rec Area looking for advise

Discussion in 'Michigan Whitetail Deer Hunting' started by joel82fishman, Oct 16, 2020.

  1. joel82fishman

    joel82fishman

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    First year trying to hunt the Waterloo area. I’m no stranger to public land but most of my hunting has been up north. This year I decided to try the Waterloo rec area because it’s a few miles from my home. I moved to this area 2 years ago for work.

    I should of scouted last year after the season but work had me very busy. Since the season started I’ve tried a few spots with no success obviously but it’s early. Anyone know how to get away from the people lol. Everytime I turn around there is a tree stand. I did some mid day scouting in hopes of finding some better areas to hunt. 3/4 of a mile in I was thinking I eliminated some of the pressure and there was decent seer sign. However I found 6 tree stands without looking very hard.

    Any advice maybe someone will chime in that doesn’t hunt it anymore and private message me lol. Definitely an interesting place to hunt but eliminating people is difficult. I’ve even went as far to call some land owners of private pieces that landlock the rec area. This sounds like a decent gig if you can get someone to let you have access. However of the 2 people that answered my calls both said yes I could have access but they allow 2-3 other people to do the same and I wouldn’t be alone back there.

    Thanks for any advice really I just wanted to rant a bit being frustrated with the public land situation.
     
  2. That’s the issue with that area. I’m not sure you can find any areas not hunted. Everyone always says go deep to get away from others. But in that area good luck finding it. I’ve been through areas there that are so thick your crawling to get through a d I’ve found stands. It’s hard to go 100yds anywhere without finding stands. The only thing I can tell you is forget about stands and hunt fresh sign. Try to hunt weekdays if you can because way less people. But getting away from others out there is pretty much impossible. You might want to check out the Sharonville game are down around the dnr shooting range. Lots of hunters there as well but I have found that it’s way less then where your looking and not far from there. I have always seen lots of deer hunting the sharonville area.


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  3. joel82fishman

    joel82fishman

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    Thanks for the reply that’s my plan is to try and hunt more during the week. Definitely not gun hunting it because I still go up north for that. I’ve just always wanted a close spot to the house to hunt. I may have to look at Sharonville next year. Thanks
     
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  4. Slick Trick40

    Slick Trick40

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    You will be sharing it with every public land hunter from the metropolitan areas. Good luck
     
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  5. d_rek

    d_rek

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    Take all of the obvious 'good' spots and cross them off your map. Every John Q. Hunter with a smartphone more than likely has OnX and he has all of the 'good' looking spots pinned and scouted already.

    There should be two strategies you use: One understanding how hunting pressure is going to alter deer movement. It will push deer out of the 'good' spots they would usually be in, so you'll need to find the in-between spots people aren't. Assume there isn't any place that someone hasn't been - especially this year with the surge in hunters -

    The other is Overlooked spots. Overlooked differs based on the area. It could be close to parking, right next to a busy road, a small island that is waterlocked, adjacent public next to a main piece, etc. Think outside the box here. Scout them and setup on good sign.
     
  6. pgpn123

    pgpn123

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    Living close by, you might have an opportunity to drive past often. If you can do so at dawn/dusk even better. You may not only see where deer cross roads, but where vehicles park as well. (and where they don't) WRA is large and irregular shaped, lots of nooks and crannies. Do your best now, and in winter/spring you should be able to figure out some more pieces of the puzzle.
     
  7. Waif

    Waif

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    Don't overlook "off" hours when hunters head back for lunch and deer shuffle after the morning intrusion..

    Seeing stands does not mean they are being used. And hints that hunting from the ground can be a change up. Let alone more quiet mobile response to fresh activity.

    Find deer traffic areas in security cover , or feeding destinations and find multiple spots where deer are secure without you bumping or spooking them (and that can be nontraditional areas as mentioned earlier) but on their feet during shooting light.
    That could be in only thirty yards of area. Secure cover means un trampled more than how dense it is. But untrampled heavy cover can sometimes be the right deal. Even if shots are very close.

    The other option is hunting escape routes from/ into an area hunters can't or don't want to enter.

    Slowly hunting areas by stillhunting can give clues. Just don't commit to hunting all nighttime sign. Though some deer when spooked will return along a route traveled earlier...

    Note every deer track and bed in relation to terrain. Sometimes travel can relate to deer keeping a low profile on low ground. Or being on an elevation to their advantage , and being gone as a hunter approaches. Even bedding.
     
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  8. 6Speed

    6Speed Premium Member

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    I know those woods well and they're marginal for even small game after the deer hunters leave. No way I'd waste time deer hunting there. I recommend you go further west and have a better plan.
     
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  9. iceandfire

    iceandfire

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    Not too many people hunting out there. Not worth the time. If you sit there long enough, you may possibly see a couple antlerless that are running for life. The chance for you to be the first hunter seeing the deer is slim.
     
  10. onenationhere

    onenationhere

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    We always did well out at Waterloo, this was 10 or so years ago. We hunt our own place now but hunted for many years out there. Got a few nice bucks, a lot of does. I kind of miss it, It is a beautiful woods and its big enough to explore around if one area is getting to much pressure.
    Sounds like things have changed out there. Is it more hunters ?
     
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  11. joel82fishman

    joel82fishman

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    Thanks for all the replies some great info there. The area has great potential I just need to figure it out some. Frustrating any time I find some decent sign to find half a dozen stands set up on it.
     
  12. sniper

    sniper

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    Try Somerset game area or Adam’s state game area. Few more miles southwest of you. Weekdays are better.


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  13. U of M Fan

    U of M Fan Premium Member

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    I hunted a couple times out there about 10 years ago. I had the same experience. Everytime I found a good area, stands everywhere.
     
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  14. jme

    jme

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    For about the last 20 years I've done lot of hunting out there. Yeah, lot of stands and pressure on the high ground. Finally settled on a swamp that only one other guy hunts and we keep in touch to respect each other's areas. Much different than hunting oaks, field edges or other high ground but there are deer down there - and a ton of poison sumac. With growing popularity of The Hunting Beast I expect more company in my swamp. But...overall I think fewer guys on state land than 10-15 yrs ago. I hunt dark to dark on gun opener and it was common to see flashlights on high ground pre-dawn, see orange walking around before/after lunch and have pushed deer run by me in the swamp. Haven't seen this recently. I'll also ask friends to count cars in parking areas and along road - both way down. My hunch is that some older guys not hunting, more guys leasing and others going out of state or up north. Still, when I walk/scout the high ground there's still hunter sign, just not as much. Pretty good advice earlier in this thread in secondary areas, should have thought of it myself.
     
  15. Ricky Missum

    Ricky Missum

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    Hunted once after Nov.15, many years ago, never went back. Had a friend who would hunt every year at Waterloo, always scored, and would always give me the venison!!! He finally gave it up, age, health problems, he couldn't handle the walk to where he would hunt??? I'd take the advice of what was already posted, and weekdays are a must if possible.
     
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