Public Land Foibles, Part I

I posted a while ago about putting up our trail cams. Well, Saturday we were feeling antsy in advance of deer season and went and took them down to see what kind of footage we had. They’d been up for about two and a half, almost three, weeks.

I know I was really, really hoping to see an image of the big buck we’ve seen out there. This is what we had.

Only the one camera got any images. The other camera was probably too high up in the tree, and it burned through its batteries. Still, I’ll totally take images of does. They’re just as edible. And this is better than the images we got last year on a different land parcel.

We know there are deer out there, so this won’t hold us back. If anything, we still have a little over a week before bow season starts. And we can still scout around a bit before gun season in late November.


7 thoughts on “Public Land Foibles, Part I

    • Matt’s grandfather has about 180 acres bordering National Forest land up north, and that’s what he was used to hunting. He gets frustrated sometimes. But I went hunting with my pops on our tiny 7 acre plot (heavy with trespassers) and on a chunk of public land near town on the river.

  1. On my last lease, I’d get pictures of giant bucks for the area but no one would ever see them “off camera.” I think they were ghosts. I now prefer to hunt without them because you can psyche yourself out. If there are doe, there are bucks.

    However, I love game cam pics and can look at them all day.

    • Sometimes, yes. I made this post back in May, about another silly incident. However, here in Wisconsin, and in my homestate of Illinois, public land used for hunting during the appropriate seasons is posted as such, with signs all along the border where it’s legal to shoot (50 yards from a roadway, 100 from a building of any kind). Most people know when gun deer season is, especially in the Midwest where hunting is popular, as it’s the most dangerous- some people will shoot anything that moves before seeing what it is. Even the land my parents owned privately when I was little, we would avoid using during the two weeks of gun season. And by then, it’s late November, and there aren’t as many people out hiking or whatever. Also, if you’re out not-hunting, and not familiar with season dates, *everyone* knows what people in blaze orange tops and hats means.

      But other seasons, people aren’t as familiar with. During the actual duck season last year (not early goose like last weekend), Matt and I had a woman paddle into our spread of decoys in her kayak, and then stop to take a call on her cellphone. We were easily two miles from any launch, in a very swampy area difficult to get to, no idea why she was there. That fellow up in my post during spring turkey season thought he was up close with real turkeys, and took pictures. And that’s just non-hunters. During gun season last year, I had a couple hunters literally mosey right past me, taking their time, during prime hours for deer. Some of them stop to chat, even. “Seeing anything?”.

      But since we don’t currently own or lease land (for a couple reasons, mostly cost), that’s what we have to work with if we want to hunt. It’s public land, so we have to share it with everybody. We don’t shoot at anything we hear rustling- hunter’s ed teaches you specifically not to, and it’s common sense anyhow. Besides, I didn’t always hunt (not speaking for Matt- he’s hunted since he was 10 or 12), and I wouldn’t have liked some jerk giving me trouble for being where I had every right to be, whether I scared out some animals or not. We pretty much just hope people use common courtesy, even though they don’t always. This got longer than I thought it would 😛 But because of this, plenty of people refuse to hunt public land.

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