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Public Land: Deception! #7315790 10/16/18 05:47 AM
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I've learned that the stated acreage for public land hunting is pretty deceptive. I always plan my hunts out, get the GPS all setup and make sure all the "legal hunt zones" are well defined in the GPS... I went through and did it for all of Sam Houston National Forest. For a place with 162,000ish acres of public land, it's actually crazy how much of it is not available for hunting once you take into consideration how far you have to be from any road, home, recreation areas, etc...

As an example, here is a small portion of SHNF where I marked the "Legal Hunt Zone" in yellow - (I removed most of the other markups on the map so it didn't look to crazy lol). This area of SHNF is 4,389 acres - only 2,654 acres is actually huntable. That figure holds pretty true for the entire SHNF - so only about 60% or about 97,000 acres of SHNF can actually be hunted.

I was about to mark up Alabama Creek WMA, since I was planning on doing a hunt up there as well this year but man if the same is true for that place then the area that can be hunted will be more like 8,700 acres.

Anyways, just found it interesting.

Re: Public Land: Deception! [Re: Binary] #7315797 10/16/18 08:16 AM
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97,000 acres or 8,700 acres is still more than most leases, and about 99% cheaper. That being said, walk into the middle, most people hunting those areas are only walking in about 100 yards.

Re: Public Land: Deception! [Re: BigPig] #7315851 10/16/18 11:13 AM
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Originally Posted By: BigPig
97,000 acres or 8,700 acres is still more than most leases, and about 99% cheaper. That being said, walk into the middle, most people hunting those areas are only walking in about 100 yards.


Yes, never look a gift horse in the mouth.


Dan,

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Re: Public Land: Deception! [Re: BigPig] #7316025 10/16/18 01:49 PM
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Originally Posted By: BigPig
97,000 acres or 8,700 acres is still more than most leases, and about 99% cheaper. That being said, walk into the middle, most people hunting those areas are only walking in about 100 yards.


Absolutely! And just to be clear, I wasn't complaining about it - simply making an observation. And I walk a lot when hunting Ö I generally plot my hunts through the most remote location possible - because as you pointed out, most "hunters" are lazy smile

I don't know why the picture of my mapping didn't show up.

Re: Public Land: Deception! [Re: Binary] #7316037 10/16/18 02:07 PM
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Originally Posted By: Binary
Originally Posted By: BigPig
97,000 acres or 8,700 acres is still more than most leases, and about 99% cheaper. That being said, walk into the middle, most people hunting those areas are only walking in about 100 yards.


Absolutely! And just to be clear, I wasn't complaining about it - simply making an observation. And I walk a lot when hunting Ö I generally plot my hunts through the most remote location possible - because as you pointed out, most "hunters" are lazy smile

I don't know why the picture of my mapping didn't show up.


Hat tip for utilizing public land!!


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Re: Public Land: Deception! [Re: Binary] #7316128 10/16/18 03:14 PM
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The issue is not how many acres, but how many hunters on the acreage. If you depend on public land to hunt, you might as well sell your guns and take up bowling.

Re: Public Land: Deception! [Re: nate33] #7316176 10/16/18 03:42 PM
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Originally Posted By: nate33
The issue is not how many acres, but how many hunters on the acreage. If you depend on public land to hunt, you might as well sell your guns and take up bowling.


I know areas of the Davy Crockett NF that never see a hunter.

IMO, hunting on public land can be much like fishing in public lakes and streams. People often flock to the spots where they see other people go, thinking they must be the best places to focus their attention. And hunters who hunt surrounding private tracts donít hunt nearby public land because it doesnít make sense to hunt free land after paying for a private lease. Also, the inability to use feeders and other forms of baiting is just too much a challenge for many folks.


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Re: Public Land: Deception! [Re: nate33] #7316249 10/16/18 04:37 PM
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Originally Posted By: nate33
The issue is not how many acres, but how many hunters on the acreage. If you depend on public land to hunt, you might as well sell your guns and take up bowling.


For sure the acreage/hunters ratio plays a big part in game availability, I don't think anyone disagrees with that.

Not really sure how bowling would replace hunting. And hunting is about a lot more than killing an animal. If you're only enjoying yourself when killing something, you're doing it wrong :P

I can't say I know much about TX public land, I haven't hunted it since I was a kid - I normally hunt in other states with more land to hunt like Alaska. So you might as well say this will be my first year hunting TX public (I was a kid too long ago for it to count).

That said, I think most people's issue with public land is that you actually have to hunt.... vs. what people generally refer to as hunting these days - which is feeding/baiting animals and then waiting around and ambushing them. I don't really consider that hunting, it's certainly the harvesting of animals but not hunting in my book. I know a lot of people who harvest game, I don't know many hunters smile

Re: Public Land: Deception! [Re: Texas Dan] #7316251 10/16/18 04:40 PM
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Originally Posted By: Texas Dan
[quote=nate33] Also, the inability to use feeders and other forms of baiting is just too much a challenge for many folks.



I think you're spot on with this statement. Too many people got use to the ease of harvesting animals when they feed/bait them - they just aren't up to the challenge of doing it the hard way.

Re: Public Land: Deception! [Re: Texas Dan] #7316252 10/16/18 04:42 PM
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Originally Posted By: Texas Dan

I know areas of the Davy Crockett NF that never see a hunter.



I keep hearing Davy Crockett. I think I may have to start out there, even though it's an extra hour away.

Re: Public Land: Deception! [Re: BigPig] #7316259 10/16/18 04:49 PM
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Originally Posted By: BigPig
That being said, walk into the middle, most people hunting those areas are only walking in about 100 yards.

[img:left]https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/1397/1...pg?v=1514598145[/img]

Re: Public Land: Deception! [Re: nate33] #7316299 10/16/18 05:20 PM
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Originally Posted By: nate33
The issue is not how many acres, but how many hunters on the acreage. If you depend on public land to hunt, you might as well sell your guns and take up bowling.


Iíve seldom been crowded hunting public land in TX or Oklahoma.

Life is what you make of it, so is hunting, hindsight the biggest reward is in the effort


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Re: Public Land: Deception! [Re: Binary] #7316317 10/16/18 05:43 PM
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Originally Posted By: Binary
Originally Posted By: Texas Dan

I know areas of the Davy Crockett NF that never see a hunter.



I keep hearing Davy Crockett. I think I may have to start out there, even though it's an extra hour away.


Keep in mind a Public Lands Permit is only required when hunting the Alabama Creek WMA, which is always the most crowded area of the Forest. You only need a hunting license when hunting other areas of the DC.


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Re: Public Land: Deception! [Re: Texas Dan] #7316328 10/16/18 05:59 PM
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Originally Posted By: Texas Dan
Originally Posted By: Binary
Originally Posted By: Texas Dan

I know areas of the Davy Crockett NF that never see a hunter.



I keep hearing Davy Crockett. I think I may have to start out there, even though it's an extra hour away.


Keep in mind a Public Lands Permit is only required when hunting the Alabama Creek WMA, which is always the most crowded area of the Forest. You only need a hunting license when hunting other areas of the DC.


I had noticed that the WMA portion was pretty small compared to the whole DCNF and was wondering which area would have more hunters. I was assuming the WMA would be less crowded since it required the additional permit, so it's good to know that isn't the case. Thanks for bringing that to my attention.

Have you had more success in the DC WMA or outside of it?

Re: Public Land: Deception! [Re: Binary] #7316369 10/16/18 06:39 PM
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Originally Posted By: Binary
Originally Posted By: Texas Dan
Originally Posted By: Binary
Originally Posted By: Texas Dan

I know areas of the Davy Crockett NF that never see a hunter.



I keep hearing Davy Crockett. I think I may have to start out there, even though it's an extra hour away.


Keep in mind a Public Lands Permit is only required when hunting the Alabama Creek WMA, which is always the most crowded area of the Forest. You only need a hunting license when hunting other areas of the DC.


I had noticed that the WMA portion was pretty small compared to the whole DCNF and was wondering which area would have more hunters. I was assuming the WMA would be less crowded since it required the additional permit, so it's good to know that isn't the case. Thanks for bringing that to my attention.

Have you had more success in the DC WMA or outside of it?


Iíve never hunted the WMA portion of the forest.

I took the buck below several years ago in a non-WMA part of the DC.




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Re: Public Land: Deception! [Re: Binary] #7316458 10/16/18 07:44 PM
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Considering 99% that hunt leases, sit & hunt outa box stands thats pretty big area.
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Re: Public Land: Deception! [Re: Binary] #7316500 10/16/18 08:12 PM
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My experience has also been that hunters will usually distribute themselves fairly on public land and be respectful of another hunterís area, even though they have no entitlement to it. Iíve known deer blinds to be left up for an entire season with no one touching it. And even though youíre supposed to remove stands at the end of every weekend, I have left ladder stands up all season with thoughts that if another hunter finds them empty, they are more than free to crawl into it and shoot themselves a deer. It all depends on the area you hunt and the people who hunt there of course.

I can honestly and without hesitation say that I have seen far more confrontations between hunters on private leases than I have on public land. In fact, Iíve yet to see one on public land. But then, that only makes sense when you consider what people often pay to be on a private lease.

Last edited by Texas Dan; 10/16/18 08:15 PM.

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Re: Public Land: Deception! [Re: Binary] #7317805 10/17/18 07:38 PM
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I would never hunt public land in East Texas for whietails. The stories of drama never ceases to amaze me. Just not worth it to me. But thatís me, some guys relish the challenge

Re: Public Land: Deception! [Re: Binary] #7319988 10/19/18 07:38 PM
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There is very little traffic on the extra mile.


To God Be The Glory!
Re: Public Land: Deception! [Re: sbushee] #7320079 10/19/18 09:03 PM
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Young gal know got shot around Davey Crockett or Sam Houston. Several years back. confused2 "tis not d wild hogs that scare me in d woods, rather the gun toten preditor thats scared of things that go bump in d woods."

scratch best have uranus in camo, case mother nature calls, some one see that thar
white-tail bobben in d woods. rifle Stay Safe...
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Re: Public Land: Deception! [Re: sbushee] #7320196 10/19/18 11:17 PM
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Originally Posted By: sbushee
I would never hunt public land in East Texas for whietails. The stories of drama never ceases to amaze me. Just not worth it to me. But thatís me, some guys relish the challenge


The public land is probably better than the majority of MLD 3 places now.

Re: Public Land: Deception! [Re: Binary] #7320320 10/20/18 01:10 AM
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dont understand as much as other folks pay to hunt on leases how could someone whine about free hunting.

Re: Public Land: Deception! [Re: ssmith] #7320442 10/20/18 03:16 AM
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Originally Posted By: ssmith
dont understand as much as other folks pay to hunt on leases how could someone whine about free hunting.


Pretty sure the people who smack talk on public land fall into one of two categories: 1) they have land they lease and thus have a financial incentive to turn people off of public land or 2) they lease land and need to justify the cost in their minds (or to their wives LOL).

I have only hunted public lands (or family/friends land) and have done so all over the country for 33 years (this will be my first year since I was a wee boy hunting TX public lands) and I can say, without exception, that public lands have always been great to hunt. You do actually have to work for it... you know Ö real hunting. No taking the lazy hunter route and setting up a blind near a feeder that has been luring deer in all year...

Personally, I never understood why people paid for leases...

Re: Public Land: Deception! [Re: Binary] #7320500 10/20/18 05:42 AM
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I lucked into a 2nd private place to hunt in East Texas near Carthage and refurbished an old camper that will double as my hunting blind. But the first thing I did was research what public hunting areas were within 1.5 hours drive away from the new place and print out maps. Sometimes I look at my hunting lease as nothing more than a base camp. I will start scouting those public areas after I get set up on the new place. I figure in hunting pressure when scouting, but I pay little attention to the size of the area before I go look at it. For most places in Texas overall size of a public hunting area can have little to do with hunting pressure. How far it is from where people live is the number one factor IMHO. I have hunted specific seasons on areas of some public areas where it has always felt like my personal hunting lease rarely encountering another hunter.

Re: Public Land: Deception! [Re: Binary] #7320756 10/20/18 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted By: Binary
Originally Posted By: ssmith
dont understand as much as other folks pay to hunt on leases how could someone whine about free hunting.


Pretty sure the people who smack talk on public land fall into one of two categories: 1) they have land they lease and thus have a financial incentive to turn people off of public land or 2) they lease land and need to justify the cost in their minds (or to their wives LOL).

I have only hunted public lands (or family/friends land) and have done so all over the country for 33 years (this will be my first year since I was a wee boy hunting TX public lands) and I can say, without exception, that public lands have always been great to hunt. You do actually have to work for it... you know Ö real hunting. No taking the lazy hunter route and setting up a blind near a feeder that has been luring deer in all year...

Personally, I never understood why people paid for leases...


Most donít understand its potential or nor want to be uncomfortable compared to a lease. Different stokes different folks.



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