Bow Hunting for Whitetail Deer

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Bow hunting for whitetail deer is both a challenge and a passionate sport for me. One challenge comes when you want to hunt whitetails and cannot find a place to hunt. Every hunter has been in this position at one time or another, for whatever reason. The good news is there are places to hunt locally, if you have the patience and knowledge to do so. The areas that I want to talk about are state-owned game areas. These public hunting areas can be crowded, over hunted, and in effect can produce some pretty smart whitetails. Bow hunting on state land can be frustrating, or rewarding if some simple tactics are followed.

If you are going to hunt on public land, then the first rule one has to follow is to get off the beaten paths. Most hunters will not choose a hunting location more than ½ miles from their vehicle (Blake, Bucks in the Public Domain, 2009). If you’re willing to go the extra ½ mile, then you will likely have the woods to yourself. In contrast deer movement might be less in that area since there are fewer hunters as well. We will counter that fact in the later sections of this paper.

You will need to fully scout your chosen area, looking for water and food sources near signs of the presence (or activity) of deer. Deer signs can consist of droppings, trails, buck rubs and buck scrapes. Rubs early in the season (inactive rubs) mostly are from bucks shedding their velvet and are still good deer signs. Active rubs and scrapes will be found in late October and early November when bucks are on the move early in the pre-rut phase. Old rubs and scrapes from the previous year are good indicators. On most state game areas there are food plots planted either by local farmers, or wild life biologists. These areas s...

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... hunt for leisure or for sport, there are many possible locations where one can hunt. Private owned land is not the only place where big bucks are found. If you are up for a good challenge, then why not give public hunting land a try - you might be surprised with your results.

Works Cited

Blake, J. (2009, July). Bucks in the Public Domain. Buckmasters Whitetail Magazine , pp. 56-59.

Blake, J. (2009, September). Hunting Pressured Whitetails. Buckmasters Whitetail Magazine , pp. 70-75.

Club, N. A. (2009). Whitetail Wisdom. Minnetonka: North American Hunting Club.

DNR, M. (n.d.). Forest Foods Deer Eat. Retrieved August 11, 2010, from Michigan Deptartment of Natural Resources and Environment:,1607,7-153-10370_12148-61306--,00.html

Humphrey, B. (2008, July). Scents and Scents-ibility. Buckmasters Whitetail Magazine , pp. 12-18.
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