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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As the usual threads surface about how good or bad the deer season went concerning actual deer sightings, one thing that simply amazes me...is folks who hunt public ground stating that the guys who kill big buck every year on private ground, do so because its easy. That's may be one of the funniest misconceptions out there. Public or private, the hunters who harvest big bucks every year work hard to get them. A lifetime (40+ years) of hunting PA deer through both the "Glory" years and the present has taught me that mature whitetails are experts at avoiding humans. There are guys on this site that could teach most of us "wisdom in application" if we could spend a day in the woods with them. Lots of hunters read/watch TV/research articles about deer hunting but once in the woods can't seem to put that knowledge into practical application. Find a hunter who consistantly harvests big bucks and maybe be forunate enough to learn something. My observations are that they all have a dedication to working hard at what they love and are patient enough to keep at it. Yep...times have changed but big bucks are still tough no matter where you hunt. BTW, I'm the kind that hunts unposted big woods areas most of the time via boot leather.
 

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Over the past 4 years, it has been easier for me to kill deer on public property in Ohio than it is on the private pieces I have permission to hunt...The reason...the public land is bigger and I have less limitations. Deer tendencies change based on food sources from year to year, and the public ground gives me the ability to move further to find them. More restricted with the smaller tracts of private. This is the big woods of Southeast Ohio as well, not the flat farmland you see in the upper part of the state. It can go both ways, and with the right piece of public ground, it can be easier to kill them there than anywhere else. Not all the time...sometimes. There are plenty of other guys who will agree with me on that, even here in PA. Guys who have awesome public ground spots, that produce year after year, and they hunt those spots even though they can hunt private ground.
 

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Not necessarily easier on private ground. I hunt both public and private and some of the public spots I hunt are better than the private. Not all private ground is created equally.

For instance, one private spot that I hunt is covered in deer as long as there are acorns, but the woods there are mature and severely over browsed. There is zero understory or security cover and if there are no acorns there are no deer. That was the case this season, zero mast and zero deer. I hunted that piece of property 3 times and saw zero deer. I moved over to a piece of public ground which also lacked mast, but there was browse and security cover so it held more deer than the private spot.
 

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Its definitely easier to kill a bigger buck today than 10-15 years because the bucks as a whole are bigger. You wont see as many deer today of course. Your odds of running into a big buck are easier. Couple that with an under hunted private spot and you have a goldmine. No doubt about it.
 

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Well killing big buck IS EASY, if you are hunting an area with big buck in it....simple as that. Trying to get pics of the biggest buck I personally saw shot this year. A good friend's son (13YO) made a horrible shot on it, and my friend thinks he found where the buck died at. I saw trail cam pics of it. Ok wanna know how skilled this 13 year old kid was???? He was sitting on a picnic table, the big buck basically walked right up to him and he shot it at 5 paces. Well he learned frontal shots are bad news. They never found it. Another HUGE buck shot two years ago by a roofer I know. He did a job, saw some nice land behind the job. Asked permission. Grabbed his climber after work smelling like sweat, tar and cigarettes. Huge buck walks right up to him. Even HE says they are dumb as rocks. What about the guys on TV?? You mean the ones hunting fenced game farms?? They are selling you products, they aren't hunters. Hate me if ya want, but hunting is ALL and I mean ALL about WHERE YOU ARE HUNTING. If you hunt and area with alot of deer or alot of big buck , your gonna kill one. If your a fantastic hunter who can belly crawl so close to a deer and kill it with a knife and you are hunting public land with virtually no deer on it, you aren't getting squat. So all you guys who managed to find great spots to hunt, that's what you need to be congratulated for. Just don't be so arrogant and tell us how awesome of a hunter you are ok?? For every big buck where they guy worked his tail off to get it, there are 10 to 20 big buck shot by guys in street clothes, wearing cologne who just happen to be in the right place at the right time.

Sorry to ramble, but some of you guys remind me of those TV guys. a blind nun could kill a big buck at some of your spots so get over it
 

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Well you're either hunting the deer or trout, or you're sitting there waiting for them to show up.
Some fellas like the waiting part as they cart a few extra pounds on their frame. Not many have the fitness of a 20 year old paratrooper.
 

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sinnamahoninggobbler said:
^guess who doesn't have a good spot to hunt..bitter much?
No just tired of hearing guys brag about what awesome hunters they are hunting on land that is equivalent to a deer farm.
Tell ya what, hunt in the middle of the ANF and then report back all the 120 and 130 class buck you shot there. THEN I'd be impressed!!


BTW Mustang you don't have to be a 20 YO paratrooper, I'm 45 and carrying a little around the belly- yet me and the misses routinely go on 8 to 10 mile hikes in the roughest areas you can think of.
 

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I agree if factors are rite it us easy to get a big buck. First u need big buck in area. 2nd that buck can't be pressured. So private land helps a lot. The easiest time to get a big buck is that 1st week of November. If u have the time to put some serious hours in the stand during this time and there are big bucks in the area chances are u are going to get a shot. There takes some knowlege of the woods also. Like where does are. Other times earlier in archery the biggest thing is not letting the buck know u are there. Once they get wind of human presence they are gone. As far as rifle all u have to do us set up on bottleneck and good to hit lottery with big buck coming through. So I guess if u have bucks in the area and no pressure chances are u will get a shot if u put time in. But don't misunderstand. A lot goes into where to put stand and when to use and approach it. So for some it us easy if they know just some basics. It's all about not pressuring them. Having them in area. Predicting their movements. A bit contradictory on my part. U do need some skills to.consistently get a decent buck. As for what us a good buck it all depends on what u like and what is in area.
 

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Great post Ruger. My statement about how "easy" it is carries the qualifier that you know basic woodsmanship, scent control, and the like. However 95% of the big buck i know where shot by guys who did nothing "right", or just got lucky. I could fill up this whole page about how the big buck I know were actually killed, you'd think they were the dumbest animals on the planet. Again WHERE not HOW.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Nope Talon...don't hate you at all. Sorry about the situations you've run into. I hunt unposted mountain lands near & in both Sproul and Bald Eagle State Forests. I also have permission to hunt a PGC co-op farm in the NW part of the state (some of us HPA guys provided all the labor to install a new roof on the 7 bedroom farmhouse for the owners). I'm not to much into all the hype on hunting shows either but guys like Will Primos/Jim Schockey/Chuck Adams/Bob Foulkrod earned their reputations as extremely skilled hunters long before they became TV Celebs so I can't begrudge them their success and would love to spend some time getting mentored by any of them. At my age (54) with arthritis starting to limit my hunting endeavors, harvesting a big buck is just the icing on the cake.
 

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Like you stated some people get lucky....yea any joe can walk into the woods smelling like work and shoot a nice buck...things happen...you could also buy a lottery ticket today and win...your not going to consistently kill big deer...I personally hunt state forest land in Cameron county and usually manage to see several nice buck a year and usually find a way to not kill them! I also hunt private land here in Va...I didn't kill squat the first 2 years...this being my 3rd season I have a better knowledge of the land deer movement etc and I killed 2 decent buck...I also put in a lot of time the last 2 years not seeing much...I didn't complain I just kept hunting because that's what I like to do....also as previously stated lots of times your hunting private land it's small pieces and the deer or either there or not...I'd rather hunt 10,000 acres of public land then 75 of private. Anybody who thinks your just going to walk onto a piece of private property and kill a big buck just because it's "private" property are fooling themselves. The deer don't know they are on private land...
 

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Depends largely on the property imo....if you own thousands of acres with sole.permission or verrrrry limited other hunters, you may have it easier....this is PA...i doubt there is anyone on here with enough land to hunt a deer that hasnt had encounters with hunters before...

Big bucks are a totally different animal imo...even a 2.5yo...but once they reach 3.5 they are really different in PA imo...

I was hunting 2 3.5+yo bucks this season...what i learned from them is priceless...this year i chose to go big or eat my tag...till rocklock season and all bets are off...i ate my tag thus far....

They were a different animal...i passed more legal bucks this season that some believe..my definition of pass is within easy shooting range...bow season it got to the point that some didnt believe the days i was having...

I saw both bucks i was hunting on several occasions...just couldnt seal the deal...

Rifle season we moved both 1 time and they were much smarter than us....they fell off the map after we moved them once...and i am almost sure both are still alive...

It aint easy....i think once you learn to understand them some it may become easier....

My biggest lesson was midday hunting...i saw both in broad day light around noon in the wide open...

Both also left no sign that screamed BIG buck other than 1 very good rub...which i found interesting...cant hunt rub lines or scrape lines when both bucks werent leaving sign..


I got a lot of learning to do...biggest thing i learned is you cant kill a biggun if you tag a little one...it is a personal choice...but with a bow or rifle in hand those basket racks werent even making my heart beat like they once did...
 

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Way to go....As if some of these guys already didn't have a big enough ego, lol.....
 

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there has been some dandy bucks taken in the anf the past couple years. i know quite a few people that consistently take big deer there every year. I think a lot of it has to do with lack of hunting pressure. A lot of places in the ANF almost seam like private property. You wont see a person during archery season.
 

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Mauser also hit on something important, since I hunt 5C I get to have a cool little study on hunting behavior every year (except for this year- not alot of hunters but thats another story). In a nutshell, gun hunters will not hunt thick cover. They like areas they can "see". Deer are pressured and they head for areas they won't be disturbed, around here its thick areas no one likes to hunt. All of a sudden guys think there are no deer since they aren't in the open woods are tram roads anymore.
 
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