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Is Hunter Pressure Down On Public Land?

27 posts in this topic

I would like to hear from the public land hunters around the state on how busy it really is this year.

I do not hunt public land, but travel threw the Sherburne WLR on my way to the stand in the very early am.

3-5 years ago, it was nuts about 45 minutes before shooting on the opener. I will say the last two years (last year especially) it has been on the down swing for early morning groups on open day and very low for afternoon trucks in the parking lots.

During the week last year it was almost vacant for hunters.

People say it is crazy now-a-days, but I almost tend to side with the DNR that that hunting is on a down swing. At least in my area.

Going threw this morning I was shocked once again at how few hunters where out at the shooting start time. I only seen a hand full of cars and trucks. When I came back home, it is was a little more busy, but nothing like 4-5 years ago.

Their used to be 30-40 cars and trucks on this stretch, now look at it:

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This parking lot used to filled:

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I did find some clusters of hunters on Co. 5 though:

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What are other people seeing?

I might try my hand at some close public land wink

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Whitewater was packed, couldn't find a parking spot in Elba last night, thats not saying much, but the state land down here gets hit pretty hard.

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aroung Norway Lake and to south public was nearly empty and it is real strange as it all has to be the ribbon lands between standing corn fields

we saw a lot of deer this morning but we are not hunting was working at putting summer toys away and just drove by going out and back

we didnt even get people asking about hunting in that area this year

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Pimetime I am also in kandi county and wonder if a lot of folk are not hunting period or the second season.I was drinking coffee on the deck at 6:15 and heard some shooting but not what I expected.I did hear one shot close and a bit early so I am thinking a big old rack got to some one.

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I hunt right across from Sherbune WLR on the state forest land. I agree pressure is way down from 5 years ago. I think there are more people second weekend probably hitting it up after not filling out up north.

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I thought it was maybe just me but I've been hunting the same private land just outside the sherburne W.L.R on the santiago side for 6 or so years now and it does seem as though its less busy. This morning I heard maybe 8 to 10 shots in the morning hours. when I first started hunting this area it was like a shooting gallery and I would loose count after 30 or more shots...made me think that theres still the same amount of hunters but maybe less deer???

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Iron Cowboy and Big R,

You guys are carbon copy of me.

04, 05 and maybe 06, right from the start of shooting hours until 10:00am it sounded like a war zone. Maybe hundreds of shots.

The deer are here. I have been seeing very large herds in the fields around here, but I think the hunters are just down.

That translates into poor hunting for guys like us the last couple years. The deer are not moving like they should onto our lands we hunt. A couple shots hold them down, a ton of shots and movement by hunters get them moving. As much as I would like to say I shoot deer in a natural situation, I see and get more deer when things are not so natural around here.

Man, I sure would like to get a Pope and Young deer, but this time of year I would like to just a deer for the meat and fun that comes with it.

The last couple years this has not happened like it used to.

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I know if I still hunted deer I would have opted for the second season.But with this light snow it would have been great for getting on a big ones tracks and dogging for half a day or so.

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I swear to God, that first image I posted of that long stretch of road, I would drive threw that section 45 minutes before shooting and it would be packed on the left side and right. Not just cars and trucks, but groups of hunters piling out of their vehicles. Some of the craziest things I have seen hunters do has been on that stretch of road.

I used to have to slow down to 30 mph while driving threw that stretch.

I am not proud to say it, but I have seen things on that stretch of road that turned me off of public land back than. A very mild occurrence I witnessed one time, was someone pulling a gun from a brand new box, from the trunk of a car on the shoulder of that road as his group was getting ready to head out grin.

It did sadden me this morning. As much as some do not like the crowds, it was a great experience when it was going on. Ah, it was fun to go threw the “Zoo” as I named it.

Now it is over I guess.

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shackbash I agree. Kinda like when every one finds the crappies on the ice.You hate the crowds but feel left out or slighted if you are not there or move away due to the crowds.

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We had a pretty quiet day on public land. We hunt a State Forest up west of Walker. There weren't very many people out in the woods. Very few vehicles driving around. Pretty nice.

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I went to my local public land thinkin the firearms hunters may push deer around.No deer no other orange did I see.Took a drive to 5-6 different public hunting areas saw one truck with hunters,weather they were after deer or pheasant dont know??

Meatfish there is now one season around our area the 8th through the 16th. no more which weekend to hunt just 9 straight days.

The areas I checked were all from Calhoune south.

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Today out at Sand Dunes State Forest (near Sherburne WLR) - less then half the number of hunters from Saturday - what is up with that. The deer are still there just not moving like they use to with the pressure. After opening morning there is very little natural deer movement so the deer just hunker down for awhile.

I did manage to get a shot at a 6pter today (unfortunately bullet did not meet flesh). Only reason I saw it was I got off my stand at 9:30am and decided to do some still hunting.

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we hunt around Park Rapids and there was NO ONE out there. Our group consists of just me and my brother for 40 acres private. The neighboring 40 has just 2 guys. The deer just aren't moving. I decided to walk around (normally a no no for me) and walked right up on 2 sleeping does at 11:30. I don't beleive in shooting a deer when it's laying down so I just stared for about 10 long seconds. It stared back slowly raised it's head. Just as I was raising my gun she was airborn and going 100 mph. Kind of funny having a stare down with her. Alittle bit glad I didn't get a shot. Anyways the point is in a normal year there would not have been a deer laying down anywhere near that spot. We estimated the shooting was 20% of a few years ago. Really wierd because there are ALOT of deer up there. Also there is NOBODY in the woods Sunday. Especially in the afternoon. I think the days of taking a long weekend for deer opener are gone.

Kid

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There used to be more 'tennis shoe" hunters in the past. You know, the weekend warriors that get the itch just before season and trudge out there and blast anything they see. Now, these types just aren't spending the money on hunting. It's boiling down to the true outdoors people.

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I wish we could say the same up here. The county land across from our property was hammered all weekend long. WAAAAAYYYYYY more people there than ever before. Everywhere I went this weekend we saw veritable parking lots of hunters. Evidently they moved from your areas into mine....There were 18 guys in the same party working a 40 acre spot directly across from my land. Needless to say, that kept the deer holding tight. That and the wind....

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I did not see anyone in the woods this year on the public land. That is a first in over 5 years. I also didn't see any deer so that might be the corrilation. I pick a spot that is a funnel, but I do need the deer to be moving and unfortunately those extra footsteps helped push them to me.

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The woods were empty on wma land west of new ulm,and towards highway 4 this is the fewest people I have ever seen, no shooting hardly, it was like deer season wasnt even going on, the weather was horrible that could be a factor??? confused

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I know around the Faribault area there was a ton of hunters on state land. I don't hunt it, friends do. One of them said there was over 50 hunters in one section. My friend said that when daylight broke there was 4 hunters within 100yds of him and his dad had 6 within 100yds. They only got 1 on saturday evening between 12 guys. Too many people in my opinion. That's alot of hunters in one area. Yesterday there wasn't as many when I drove around the state land but there was still a vehicle parked every 75yds on the gravel roads. Glad I have a private section to hunt all by myself.

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I swear to God, that first image I posted of that long stretch of road, I would drive threw that section 45 minutes before shooting and it would be packed on the left side and right. Not just cars and trucks, but groups of hunters piling out of their vehicles. Some of the craziest things I have seen hunters do has been on that stretch of road.

Why on earth would ANYONE want to hunt like that? That is rediculous.

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Sorry, I never wanted to hunt like that, it was just interesting to observe while driving to the private land I hunt to the west of this area grin.

I guess you just had to experience driving threw SWR before shooting hours to under stand it.

It was a neat experience. Kind of like the boat launch on opener.

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Most of the WMA by us was lottery this year, so I think that the usual number of hunters decided to go to a different zone. The only group by us is a group that has a cabin in the area, but no land, so they use the WMA.

It was really quiet.

A lot of the ones that usually visit the area, are the "if it's brown, it is down" type, so they may have opted to hunter multiple species zones.

East of Hwy 65 was bonus tag, north of 210 was either sex.

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I was very pleased with the lack of hunting pressure on WMAs in SW Minnesota over the weekend. More pressure would have helped my hunt on private land, but the WMAs were wide open for pheasant hunting in Murray co.

This is an area that used to dived the pressure in half by having a split season, but now has gone to a nine day hunt.

The weather undoubtedly had a lot to do with people staying in but I was pleasantly surprised and we will see next weekend what it will be like with all the unfilled tags getting desperate. Hans

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I think with the wind and the way the weather has been kept alot of people out of the woods this weekend and then you have the Vikes-GB game Sunday afternoon and also the economy probably has something to do with low numbers.....

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I hunted pheasants yesterday in the south central part of the state and I only saw one WMA that a vehicle at it. I am surprised with the nice weather that I didn't see more activity. I didn't even see any hunters driving around.

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