American Hunter - October 2019 - 30

jointhehunt
RECRUIT * RETAIN * REACTIVATE

The Ins and Outs
of Public-Land
Hunting
By Mark Kayser

T

he pay-to-play world of hunting continues to frustrate, but
don't pass on the dissatisfaction
to your pupil. Instead, teach him or her
how to hunt available public lands with a
resourceful attitude and approach.
Approximately 40 percent of the
United States is publicly owned, and
much of it is open to hunting. Granted,
a whopping chunk of this is found in
Alaska, but in the continental United
States public hunting access is found on
federal, state, county and even city land.
Investigate every option, even unnoticed hunts that occur on military posts
and wildlife refuges. The same is true
of urban areas that now offer archeryonly deer hunts to help cull populations.
A mandatory course and passage of an
archery shooting test may be required,
but venison gathering abounds in many
neighborhoods. Plus, increasing efforts by
states to lease private land and open it to
the public for walk-in hunting are worth
monitoring.

Rules and regulations may differ
depending on the manager, but a thorough investigation oftentimes reveals
opportunities on parcels of all sizes.
Online searches, inquiries with state
game-and-fish personnel and the use of
hunting apps with property ownership
overlays combine to reveal opportunities
within a short drive of almost anywhere.

Assess the Area
Never skip an assessment of small tracts.
Larger allotments provide space for
everyone to spread out, but smaller plots
may get overlooked due to their size. Size
isn't everything, as the popular phrase
suggests. A smaller area could include
a busy game-travel corridor or an oak
tree that consistently produces wildlifeattracting acorns.
Once you target several properties
it's time to investigate. Google Earth or
a hunting app like HuntStand can help.
View the properties from above with
your new hunter to show him the lay of
october 2019 [

the land. Mark any openings, edges and
unique terrain features that attract nearly
all game species.
Satellite images along with research
also reveal parking areas and major access
points. In some public areas you may be
restricted to certain entrance locations,
particularly on smaller parcels. Tracts that
may cover a mile or more of land mass
contain the possibility for other kinds of
perimeter access. Coach your understudy
to avoid the lemming mentality. By studying a property and locating back doors, it's
possible to discover more efficient travel
to high-quality locations and even escape
some hunting pressure.
After a virtual tour of an area, secure a
few preseason hours to confirm your findings firsthand. Check to ensure there is
ample parking for any backdoor entries.
Walk all trails in daylight to reveal any
dangers that may lie in wait prior to a
moonlit hike. Put your hunting app or
GPS to work and mark parking areas,
trailheads, routes and final destinations.

30 [ americanhunter.org


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American Hunter - October 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Hunter - October 2019

Contents
American Hunter - October 2019 - Cover1
American Hunter - October 2019 - Cover2
American Hunter - October 2019 - 1
American Hunter - October 2019 - Contents
American Hunter - October 2019 - 3
American Hunter - October 2019 - 4
American Hunter - October 2019 - 5
American Hunter - October 2019 - 6
American Hunter - October 2019 - 7
American Hunter - October 2019 - 8
American Hunter - October 2019 - 9
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American Hunter - October 2019 - 28
American Hunter - October 2019 - 29
American Hunter - October 2019 - 30
American Hunter - October 2019 - 31
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American Hunter - October 2019 - 33
American Hunter - October 2019 - 34
American Hunter - October 2019 - 35
American Hunter - October 2019 - 36
American Hunter - October 2019 - 37
American Hunter - October 2019 - 38
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American Hunter - October 2019 - 40
American Hunter - October 2019 - 41
American Hunter - October 2019 - 42
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American Hunter - October 2019 - Cover3
American Hunter - October 2019 - Cover4
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