I wanted to state this blog is just my opinion. If you have a different opinion leave a comment. We love talking deer hunting and I think this is an interesting topic.
I have personally hunted both private and public land whitetail for the last ten years. I have killed bucks and does on public and private land. I feel like there is a under ground battle that no one talks about. (private land hunters vs public land hunter). Where is it harder to kill a buck and what property takes more work. We try to be 100 percent honest. So with that being said I have spent more hunting time on private and less on public. So I figured I would break down what I have seen and over the years.
I want to start with public land.
- Tons of land – There are public pieces that you can walk for miles. 1000’s of acres to find a buck that you wanna chase. If there is no shooter bucks on your private piece your stuck. You cant cross the fence to find your buck.
- Terrain Features– Public being so vast you can find that good acorn ridge, that major feed field, the buck bedding, and those major pinch points.
- Access-. Public has more ground, roads ect. Helping you get that good access.
- Giant bucks– If you look long enough you can find some mega giants on public.
- Cost-Its free to hunt public lands
- Hunting Pressure– public you cant save a special sanctuary. Hunters have free range to go anywhere. You also cant control what is being shot. If you hunt small private pieces like me you don’t really have power over the neighbors either
- Theft– with other hunters walking past your trail cameras or stands, you never know when one might go missing.
- No food plots– all the public I have hunted you cant plant food plots. You just have to work with what is there.
- Pack in time– most public to get into you have to walk a lot further to get to certain areas. Because the properties are so big.
- Daylight activity– with higher pressure comes less daylight activity. But with the public being so big you can find them hidden spots.
- To much land- Earlier I said having all that land was an advantage. It is but, a lot of the ground wont be good for hunting. so you have to weed it out.
- Getting deer out– with most public being no motor access. Getting your deer out becomes a huge challenge.
- Scouting– Takes a lot more scouting to find mature deer on public again cause there is so much area to cover
I have never had the chance to hunt a piece of private over 60 acres. I understand if you have a giant piece there would be some huge differences.
- No pressure– If you control the access to property you can limit human pressure.
- Food Plots– this is huge having private food areas is a huge advantage for early and late seasons.
- Passing deer– I believe there is a little better chance of them surviving than public. But not much.
- Less Theft– I have had a few things stolen on private ground, but much more on public.
- Easy to get deer out– Most of the time you can drive close to the deer and help get it out of there, and the use of ATV’s, SxS and such.
- Daylight activity– with less pressure bucks will be more likely to come out in private.
- Giant Bucks-If you find the right piece they can hold some giant bucks.
- Limited land– If there isn’t any bucks on your property you are stuck with it.
- Cost– to hunt private its either gonna cost you time or money. Time doing some work for hunting rights.
- Land Terrain– If your property doesn’t have a feed field, rut pinches ect. Your stuck hunting it.
- Night time pics– on public if you get a night time pic you can bread trail that buck till daylight. On private you have to stop at your property line.
Now for the Conclusion
In my experience it is harder to consistently kill on public. Hunting pressure being the main disadvantage in my eyes in between the two. They both have challenges but private has more advantages that can make you successful.
Now lets talk about the work part of this scenario. I believe if you are consistently killing mature bucks you are putting in work private or public. The work just looks a little different. Instead of scouting public, your knocking doors and trying to find a piece that holds mature deer. While your looking for major food sources on public. Private land hunters are planting plots to create the feed field. While you looking for that perfect pinch on public. The private land hunters are mowing trails and hinge cutting to create that funnel. On public you are running cams on private you are running cams. Its all work just a different kind.
We are all trying to do the same thing. Kill a deer that meets what we are after. Everyone that is consistently successful is putting in work one way or another. So lets end the battle of public and private land.
WHAT IS YOUR OPINION ON THIS?