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I plan on doing some rabbit hunting for the first time on public land. My question is when small game season and deer season overlap and i am walking around looking for rabbits will i ruin other hunters deer hunts? Has anyone ever experienced this? How can i avoid ruining the deer hunts for other hunters?
 

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Welcome to the site Rick. I'd avoid parking in a pull off where you see another truck, just go someplace else. Years back I made that mistake and came out of the woods to find my driver's side mirror busted. I paid the $550 or whatever it was for a new one and parked next to the same truck the next weekend. I camoed up and lay in a pile of brush watching my truck for a while and the bow hunter came back and was about to do it again when I stood up locked and loaded (yea, old Army too). He was kind enough to apologize and pay for my mirror so we avoided the law thing.

I respect other hunters and they should me too. I usually see them before they see me even if they're in a blind.

My big tip is this, have a few spots you want to hunt scouted well in advance and make a route on your GPS. I have several of these west of Chelsea to Jackson I call Squirrel 1, Squirrel 2, Bunny 1, etc. There could be between 3-6 spots on a route and I just go to one of them and skip around until I see one that's looking clear. The acorns and brush piles don't move from year to year so it almost always works out. You do have to put a lot of walking in to come up with these routes but it works.

Good thread, make a plan and respect others and you'll be OK. You'll walk up on someone hunting sooner or later so just wave and go back out the way you came in is my advice to minimize the disruption to their sit.
 

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Had the misfortune of ruining a bow hunters hunt 1 afternoon while squirrel hunting on state land in Pinkney. Was shooting a 22 rifle when out of nowhere I hear somebody screaming then jump out of a bush wearing a ghilley suit. Guy started yelling that he was bow hunting and I shouldn't be shooting a 22 rifle during bow season. Told the guy squirrel season was open and since he was hiding in a bush he was subject to become part of the hunt. I apologized but he still insisted I was in the wrong. Quit hunting public land after that and just hunted private property.
 

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As others have mentioned, running into someone, or having someone else “spoil” your hunt from time to time, is going to happen on public land. All you can really do is make an effort to avoid it, and hope others do the same. I feel like most do, as they’d rather not hunt on top of someone else either…. But there are also plenty of folks that just don’t seem to care, or maybe even [ignorantly] assume it’s a good spot since there’s already a truck parked there.

Personally, I hunt public near my house fairly often. I try to scout the area pretty regularly and even just drive by on occasion as season nears to locate other vehicles to try to get a read on where folks are setup. You can usually tell what pull-offs are being used regularly, and which ones aren’t. If I see another vehicle, even in a spot I have a stand, I continue on to another location. They beat me to it that day, so they can have at it. It does get frustrating when that’s the stand you really wanted to sit that morning, but that’s why I try to have options. I’d rather sit in another location than intentionally walk through another person’s hunt. Obviously, small game hunters cover more ground than a guy in a bow stand, but there are still ways to be as courteous as possible, all while acknowledging that you really don’t know where everyone else is out there, so there’s always a chance you’ll cross paths. If I’m the one walking, and spot someone else, I usually mouth the word “sorry”, maybe a small wave, and back my way out. Sure, some damage is probably already done, but I’ll do my best to minimize it… and hope they’ll return the favor to me or others when the reverse is true.

One thing I've noticed over the years, is that a lot of folks must be afraid of the dark or too lazy to walk... because, I swear, once you get in more than a 100 yards, you've already passed most of them. Another 1/2-1 mile deep, and unless there's an intersecting road, you're usually pretty clear.
 

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I plan on doing some rabbit hunting for the first time on public land. My question is when small game season and deer season overlap and i am walking around looking for rabbits will i ruin other hunters deer hunts? Has anyone ever experienced this? How can i avoid ruining the deer hunts for other hunters?
Having options of sites helps. A milk run of spots.
Traffic/vehicles on one , means hit another.

I used to run beagles on rabbits. And squirrel hunted hard.
Starting with scouting pre season , then hunting from the small game opener till new years.
Having multiple sites was key when running hounds.

When bowhunting I've had about every other type hunters hunt through/near.
I've learned that if I'm where I need to be to just stay put.
I did give a whistle to assumed squirrel hunters. Not to run them off , but to let them know someone was above ground and camouflaged.

Some , not all deer either stay put or move around a moving hunter.
Some even check out the hunters trail/scent/tracks.
Some even follow a ways.
Some don't react to gunfire.
Some keep tabs on the direction it came from.
None of which ruined a hunt for me that I know of.

I've encountered numerous hunters. Some I'd not have known existed if they had not got my attention deliberately. And one.....That it was too late when I was nearly under him but spotted him.
The usual result is a slow wave from me /hand raised slow to say I see you, and an easing away.

So it goes both ways. Hunters encountering other hunters out hunting.
Avoid others when it's obvious others are already hunting a site.
And slide away from others encountered without making a disturbance.
Deer following your progress can note change of your actions , or contact with other humans by voice.
Your passing through is not a big deal if you're not crowding the deer, or following one close. You're just passing through. Like so many other hunters have.
 

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Anyone that hunts stateland understands that it is public land. I bow hunt alot of stateland and run my beagles on stateland during bow season. I just try to be courteous of others. If they are there first. Move along. I've also had bird hunters push deer to me while I was in stand so it can help or hurt. Jmo
Having options of sites helps. A milk run of spots.
Traffic/vehicles on one , means hit another.

I used to run beagles on rabbits. And squirrel hunted hard.
Starting with scouting pre season , then hunting from the small game opener till new years.
Having multiple sites was key when running hounds.

When bowhunting I've had about every other type hunters hunt through/near.
I've learned that if I'm where I need to be to just stay put.
I did give a whistle to assumed squirrel hunters. Not to run them off , but to let them know someone was above ground and camouflaged.

Some , not all deer either stay put or move around a moving hunter.
Some even check out the hunters trail/scent/tracks.
Some even follow a ways.
Some don't react to gunfire.
Some keep tabs on the direction it came from.
None of which ruined a hunt for me that I know of.

I've encountered numerous hunters. Some I'd not have known existed if they had not got my attention deliberately. And one.....That it was too late when I was nearly under him but spotted him.
The usual result is a slow wave from me /hand raised slow to say I see you, and an easing away.

So it goes both ways. Hunters encountering other hunters out hunting.
Avoid others when it's obvious others are already hunting a site.
And slide away from others encountered without making a disturbance.
Deer following your progress can note change of your actions , or contact with other humans by voice.
Your passing through is not a big deal if you're not crowding the deer, or following one close. You're just passing through. Like so many other hunters have.
thanks!!
 

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I watched a squirrel hunter drop a couple while I was in a tree stand in Waterloo a couple years ago. When he got too close for comfort, I waved to let him know I was there. He waved back and went back the direction he came from. I didn't mean to shoo him out of there, I enjoyed watching him sneak along. He had the same right to hunt there as me.
 

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only gripe I have is with hunters that set up right beside wood roads or walking trails an get ticked off when you walk in or out.
Yeah. I have walked over bait piles in a trail before to see a guy step out from a groundblind disgruntled. One had a look of disgust on his face. Just waived and moved on. Not much else you can do at that point.
 

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A big difference between the opening few days of deer season & later days. The same can go with weekdays & weekends. Let’s say firearms deer season opened on a Saturday, if so I’d try to avoid the small game hunt unless private or remote U.P. land.

Of course anyone has a right to be out there.
 

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A big difference between the opening few days of deer season & later days. The same can go with weekdays & weekends. Let’s say firearms deer season opened on a Saturday, if so I’d try to avoid the small game hunt unless private or remote U.P. land.

Of course anyone has a right to be out there.
FYI
No small game hunting during the firearm deer season.
 

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Up here, it would be pretty foolish to get mad about encountering small game hunters during bow season. Grouse hunting is more important than bow season where I hunt, and I see far more of them. They do not ruin the hunt at all. Let them walk on and you will often see a deer bolt out of cover in front of them, or slink behind them. It is a fact of life, and only a moron would get mad about a small game hunter sharing the woods. That said, there are many morons out there.
 
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