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mrjigger

deer hunting public land way up north

23 posts in this topic

I would really like to give my kids the opportunity to hunt deer if they like once they get old enough. Lately I have been thinking about purchasing some hunting land up in northern minnesota. But have also been thinking maybe purchasing land is not necessary if I am willing to go further north.

What I am wondering is how crowded the woods up in northern minnesota are during rifle season. When I say northern minnesota I mean up in the arrowhead, or north of say Orr.

Just curious if a guy can get away from the crowds if he went far enough north.

I have a pull behind fish house. Could I pull that up somewhere and park it in the state forest?

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I was thinking about trying north of Duluth next year. There is thousands of acres of public land in the Superior National Forest and a ton of deer and quite a few moose and other critters. I have been hunting up north East of Mille Lacs and that is a friken joke, everyone and there brothers know about that piece of land. If you look up records on Big bucks killed in MN the majority comes from either NE MN or SE MN that should help you out. I have a cousin that hunts public land up by Blackduck and gets a nice buck every year on public land. Good Luck and let me know what you decided on

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I have always thought about trying a diffrent area. I hunt the Mille Lacs WMA just sount of Mille Lacs and I have to hike back in two miles to get some what away from the people!

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Mrjigger,

Look into the Superior National Forest between Duluth, Babbitt and points in that region. We moose hunted the area 2 years ago and there was lots of deer sign. I do not know how much pressure the area gets durring the firearms season. I did not see much for permanent deer stands.

You may just have to bite the bullet and spend some time scouting the area. If you are considering hunting there this fall I would send 4 or 5 days scouting this weekend. I would look over all of the clearcut areas. Most of them had tons of deer sign. I would line up several prospective areas- as backup incase someone else is already hunting the area.

Some of the areas we moose hunted you could hunt very well from the ground. Portable stands may be a viable option as well. Be careful of heavy snows. Some of the roads are minimum maintence roads.

If you are willing to hunt mid week or all week you could have many areas to yourself.

Good Luck

Steve

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The Superior National Forest is at least as crowded as any other place. Any gravel pit or logging road will have one or more campsites. Some hunters have already started moving in their trailers and campers just to make sure they get the spot they want. The last time we camped in a gravel pit we set up two days before the season and went out scouting when we came back for lunch another camp had been set up withing 75 feet of ours. By the way no permanent stands are allowed in the National Forest.

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theres lotz of places to hunt up north. as a newbie to the area you need to be a bit causious of going into someone elses turf. i know its public and open to everyone put IN MY OPINION, hunter ethics says to try not to interfere with someone thats already there. good luck, there nothing like hunting deer in a big forest.

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Are there beautiful huge deer to be had in NE MN? Yes.

Is driving north far enough going to remedy the common problems found on crowded public land? No

If your willing to scout, hike in and out (with a deer!), and allow for a learning curve to learn the land, will you enjoy your hunt more than Mille Lacs area? Probably.

Don't crowd the locals, they hate it, and don't resort to road hunting, its lame and usually illegal (certainly unethical!).

Other than that, have fun and listen to the previous poster, get out there and scout. The more the better. Don't plan on getting up early on the day before to find a "good" spot.

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mrjigger

I hunt within 30 or so miles of Orr and there is plenty of public land up there to find a place to get away. There are also a lot of hunters around so if you want to get away you will have to do some work but it is very possible. You may have to burn a hunting weekend and hit the road to scout, not for deer but for other hunters. Pretty much every easy access point will have competition. If you are willing to walk or even better canoe back a mile or more you will fine some peace and quiet and probably great hunting. Check out aerial photos and look for large tracks of land without logging roads or trails through them.

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Quote:
The Superior National Forest is at least as crowded as any other place. Any gravel pit or logging road will have one or more campsites. Some hunters have already started moving in their trailers and campers just to make sure they get the spot they want.
Yes and...

Quote:
There are also a lot of hunters around so if you want to get away you will have to do some work but it is very possible. You may have to burn a hunting weekend and hit the road to scout, not for deer but for other hunters. Pretty much every easy access point will have competition. If you are willing to walk or even better canoe back a mile or more you will fine some peace and quiet and probably great hunting.
...yes!

Quote:
By the way no permanent stands are allowed in the National Forest.
This is true, but there are a ton of them left over from before they made the rule, so you may see a bunch. I know there are a lot in our neck of the woods.

What they said. Good luck!

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thanks everyone.

So would you all say that if you can afford it, you would be better off buying say 40 acres or so up in that region, surrounded by state land so you could have some land to yourself?

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Check into a Potlatch lease. Many of those are next to public land. Cheaper than buying your own land.

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MRJigger,

Yes I would say that is going to be your best bet. What I have seen in the past 5 years is the public hunting areas are getting to be more popular everywhere. I hunt state wide and what is happening all over the state is with the potlach being sold and leased to indivuals it is consentrating hunters on what public land is left. Don't get me wrong you can still get away from people but you will need to work awfully hard to do it. My geuss is as the years roll on it will be darn near impossible to get away from the crowds. The days of staking your claim on public land are over as well. There is not a piece of public land in the state that are not susceptible to people coming in on it. It really doesn't matter how long any given party has been hunting it. It is just the reality of hunting public land. Good luck

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Having some land of your own would certainly be helpful, because then you could plant food plots, which are a deer magnet up in the big woods. But $40,000 (40 acres @1000 per acre) is a lot of money just for a few deer. As far as scouting, the best day to scout would be Opening Day of Rifle season. That's how you can figure out where the other hunters aren't, and be fairly certain the next year you'd have an area to yourself without lots of competition.

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Another great way to get away from the crouds is to take some time off work mid-week if possible. The weekends can be over run with hunters and the deer tend to lay down. A lot of seasons our hunting party can shrink from 14+ down to 2, its a great time to hunt.

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Every opening morning i start counting the gun shots. Last year while hunting near cook ,mn a deer finally came into sight at 11:57am . I was the 176th person to fire a shot. The second day I quit counting at noon when I had heard 87 shots fired. Those numbers are nearly the same as the 2006 season. We own 80 next to state forest and potlatch, with people hunting no more than 50 yards from the property line. I wish you the best of luck. Another note, We are four miles off the tar

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We hunt off the vermilion river over by buyck- I've been frustrated by the number of hunters in the area and our results are pretty poor due to poorly manged land and lack of scouting. The best thing you can do is by 40 acres of land and manage it properly for deer hunting, the next best is to lease potlatch land. Otherwise if you are serious about hunting public land I'd say drive up north and start driving around opening day, if you see a road into the stix w/ no cars on it check it out and mark it w/ your gps-the more spots you have to yourself the better than start scouting. If you find a honey hole w/ nobody else on it stake a claim and branch out. Yes locals are funny about spots so please don't step on anybody's toes but there is more than enough land and you just have to find it for yourself, like I said scouting on opening day will give you a great idea of who sits where. Midweek you should have the place to yourself. Me I'll be trollin for huge pike w/ th elake all to myself, i hunt after the opening zoo!

redhooks

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I have hunted in superior national forest for 4 years now and yes there is way less people i have yet to run into another hunter(even though i am pretty far back in the middle of no where) but i am just now starting to figure out the land and where the deer are

It takes more than a scouting trip to figure out the deer up there it takes seasons of scouting and hunting

But good luck if you end up there it is definatly a fun and pretty area of the state

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While there are a lot of deer already shot, I agree with Bear55 that even starting Monday you will eliminate a large percentage of the hunters.

The land I get to hunt on is surrounded by a half section of county land. I went back up for second weekend, walked the county land and chased a big 10 pointer to another party member.

What I am saying is that there are less deer later in the season and there are also a lot less hunters. There has never been a year when they have all been shot the first 2 days.

DD

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Thanks for all the info. Lots of good stuff. My parents have a cabin on Lake Emily, on HWY 6.

Can anyone offer any insight into the hunter numbers up in that region. Tons of public land up there as well.

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I hunt a few miles away from Emily. No shortage of hunters but like you said there is alot of land.

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I have hunted in superior national forest for 4 years now and yes there is way less people i have yet to run into another hunter(even though i am pretty far back in the middle of no where) but i am just now starting to figure out the land and where the deer are

It takes more than a scouting trip to figure out the deer up there it takes seasons of scouting and hunting

But good luck if you end up there it is definatly a fun and pretty area of the state

Well said Lubey, if you find a decent spot you might need a few seasons to learn how the deer use the land during the rut. Its taken me years to figure out our area. The one thing you need in the big woods is patience, you are not going to see a lot of deer but if you hunt hard you might get a chance at a really nice buck, but be ready as you might only get a few seconds to make your shot count.

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hows fishin on lake emily. i fished it a couple times, for nords and did ok. heard theres nice panfish if ya can find them. we drive by it onthe way to our cabin. stayed at the resort and campground just south of the acess on 6.

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Fishing on Emily is very hit or miss. Pretty good in the spring and fall, once the water heats up in the summer, you can forget it. based upon my experience.

There are decent sized sunfish in there, if you can find them.

It seems like about every other year we really get into the bulls.

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