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#6879540 - 09/05/17 07:49 PM Newbie trying to pick a spot
Texaspilot Online   content
Outdoorsman

Registered: 05/09/17
Posts: 51
Hi guys,

I have never been deer hunting and really want to go this year, and hopefully be successful. I'm not looking for anyone to give up their secret spots, just some advise on mine. I've been scouting the public land near me like a mad man and have spent many day this summer sweating it out in the woods and have found what I think may be some promising spots and need some advise on picking one.

I have a spot where I have seen deer, but the area doesn't seem very huntable as it is very constrained and it requires that a deer wander up within 10-15 yards of my position to get a clear shot (might be ok for a bow, but I plan on hunting with a rifle.)

I have another spot where I have seen a doe, but it is wide open wth no cover. I could climb a tree, but would stick out like a sore thumb

I have another spot that is literally in the middle of the woods, no trails except some game trails, which all have some deer prints on them, but have not actually seen a deer here. There are a couple of big oaks which might provide food nearby.

My final spot is between a couple of large fields. I think I can hang a tree stand with a view to the field and part of the woods between them, where there is a very well used deer trail. (Lots of prints, but I haven't seen one here.) There are also a few old rubs. I think this may be the best spot and if I went here I would need to decide whether or not to hang my stand where I can see the field and part of the woods, or just hang it over the deer trail. Hanging it over the trail would take away my view of anything that may go on in the field, also it would be right on top of the trail it looks like the deer are using, and I don't want to get too close and spook them...

Thanks for any thoughts. Just trying to make up for my lack of experience through reading, and listening to others with experience, while trying to spend as much time in the woods as my schedule allows....

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#6879624 - 09/05/17 08:48 PM Re: Newbie trying to pick a spot [Re: Texaspilot]
HS2 Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 06/26/14
Posts: 226
Use a ground blind, such as a pop up or natural cover, or possibly just sit in a spot and walk and stalk. Then you can hunt in any of the spots on any given day, depending on the wind and weather conditions and how you feel.

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#6880070 - 09/06/17 09:29 AM Re: Newbie trying to pick a spot [Re: Texaspilot]
Hogslayer5L Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 02/03/10
Posts: 1622
Loc: College Station
Sounds like you know where the best spot is. My opinion with rifle hunting is to be able to see as much ground as you can. If theres a plce you can see that trail and the field at the same time I would sit there. Also, when hunting public land you have to consider other hunters pressure. Gotta make sure no one else is hunting that same field.

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#6880136 - 09/06/17 10:39 AM Re: Newbie trying to pick a spot [Re: Texaspilot]
bigjoe8565 Online   content
Extreme Tracker

Registered: 06/30/08
Posts: 4799
Loc: Mesquite, Tx
I would say use Google Earth as an additional scouting tool.

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#6880155 - 09/06/17 11:01 AM Re: Newbie trying to pick a spot [Re: Texaspilot]
Texaspilot Online   content
Outdoorsman

Registered: 05/09/17
Posts: 51
Hogslayer, I agree about the hunting pressure. I don't know the etiquette, but I assume on public land it is first come, first serve? I plan on just getting there early...

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#6880167 - 09/06/17 11:19 AM Re: Newbie trying to pick a spot [Re: Texaspilot]
txhunter1010 Offline
Extreme Tracker

Registered: 11/22/10
Posts: 4003
yes it is pretty much first come first serve.. I have hunted some public land around a lake and while it was challenging trying to find a spot or two to setup, it was fun.. you have a HUGE area to hunt and it can be very rewarding. I also learned that I saw the most deer and number of bucks closer to the front of the hunt area rather than farther back.. I guess everyone thinks that the further in you walk or go the better the hunting would be.. well in the area I was I saw more deer and a few bigger bucks up close to the area where everyone would park..

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#6880181 - 09/06/17 11:27 AM Re: Newbie trying to pick a spot [Re: Texaspilot]
SapperTitan Online   content
Taking Requests

Registered: 11/17/10
Posts: 22619
Loc: Killeen/Ft Hood, TX
Originally Posted By: Texaspilot
Hogslayer, I agree about the hunting pressure. I don't know the etiquette, but I assume on public land it is first come, first serve? I plan on just getting there early...
I hunted dove on public land once and got to my spot at 4am opening day and there were already people there. My point is if its a good spot then just know other people have it on their radar as well. You may get there extremely early and other people are already there so have a back up plan.
_________________________


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#6880288 - 09/06/17 01:18 PM Re: Newbie trying to pick a spot [Re: Texaspilot]
Texas Dan Online   content
THF Celebrity

Registered: 07/28/08
Posts: 12369
I too enjoy hunting public land for the challenge it offers. It takes me back to those times when I was learning to truly hunt them from men who knew how to do it.
_________________________
Dan,

Spring, Texas

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#6880359 - 09/06/17 02:55 PM Re: Newbie trying to pick a spot [Re: Texaspilot]
Texaspilot Online   content
Outdoorsman

Registered: 05/09/17
Posts: 51
I'm just curious as far as etiquette goes, if you are established and well camouflaged in your spot, how do you politely tell other hunters that you are there without yelling, I'm here and blowing your cover?

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#6880583 - 09/06/17 07:25 PM Re: Newbie trying to pick a spot [Re: Texaspilot]
RyanM Offline
Green Horn

Registered: 04/19/17
Posts: 3
Loc: Houston, TX
You will want to wear an orange vest and a orange hat when hunting public land. When we were kids, my dad literally put us in head to toe orange.

Hunt during the week as much as you can. Also don't be surprised if there sun comes up and you see orange all around you. It's just part of hunting public land. Don't get discouraged, you seem to have the right idea.

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#6880743 - 09/06/17 10:49 PM Re: Newbie trying to pick a spot [Re: Texaspilot]
Greg Z Offline
Tracker

Registered: 02/01/05
Posts: 887
Loc: TX, Rockwall
Iz the field public or private property? Dont get descouraged by traffic. Some of my best hunts on public land came in mid-late December when everyone else was watching football.
_________________________
Greg Ziemer
Sewell Lexus
214-597-6006
Life's too short... Enjoy the ride!

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#6881174 - 09/07/17 12:58 PM Re: Newbie trying to pick a spot [Re: Texaspilot]
Texaspilot Online   content
Outdoorsman

Registered: 05/09/17
Posts: 51
All public. Maybe I would do better to wait until later in the season to go for my first hunt? Most of the books I have read say you have your best chance on opening weekend, bough I expect a huge crowd...

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#6881180 - 09/07/17 01:03 PM Re: Newbie trying to pick a spot [Re: Texaspilot]
rickym Offline
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 06/14/15
Posts: 5485
Loc: texas
If your only hunting public, become a bowhunter my friend! Especially in etx. Rifle season in the Sam is probably best opening weekend but alot of pressure and the last 3 weeks of the season once pressure has lifted.
_________________________
Originally Posted By: Grizz
Wingshooting is like sex for me - I love doing it but I'm just not that good at it.

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#6881727 - 09/07/17 11:31 PM Re: Newbie trying to pick a spot [Re: Texaspilot]
Greg Z Offline
Tracker

Registered: 02/01/05
Posts: 887
Loc: TX, Rockwall
Not so...spent a lot of time on public land. Saw more deer timed with the second rut than all prior hunts. Fewer hunters as well.
_________________________
Greg Ziemer
Sewell Lexus
214-597-6006
Life's too short... Enjoy the ride!

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#6884676 - 09/11/17 09:08 PM Re: Newbie trying to pick a spot [Re: Texaspilot]
Bigfoot Offline
Tracker

Registered: 08/06/14
Posts: 932
Loc: Galveston Bay
Im too big for a treestand so I hunt off the ground in SHNF.

My best advice for you is to first of all check out a topo map and find where the hills and elevation areas are at. (Typically by major creeks) and go scout these areas for shooting lanes. Where my best ground blind is located I can see almost 200 yards to the other hill and up it with a minor creek below me and I actually have a few shooting lanes at 200 yards in some cases. The deer I shot last year was about 85 yards out and I have one of the few areas in the forest where the vegetation is sparse and it is also a major deer highway.


To figure it out do this:

It is tough to walk around in those woods and not stick out like a sore thumb to most deer. Find a spot with tons of acorns and some shooting lanes that you have scouted out already and make a small ground blind unless of course you are in a treestand which is way better. Get in there before legal shooting time and sit till 10AM if you dont see anything go scout and find your next spot to set up your ground blind for the next trip and be in it again before legal shooting time. After a few trips of moving around to different areas you will find out where the deer are moving through in the mornings and be able to intercept them.

It is just a matter of hitting spots till you find one that is a major travel lane for animals. Remember that every time you see an animal be it hog or deer make sure and pay attention to which way they are travelling. That will help you on your set ups.

Last year I didnt start hunting till December. Do yourself a favor dont go on opening day unless you just plan on cherry picking spots from people. Go when the crowd isnt there. I saw tons of deer last year I think one day i counted 17

good Luck


Edited by Bigfoot (09/11/17 09:13 PM)
_________________________
Sako 85 30-06
AR 6.8SPC
HK45c

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