Public vs. Private

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Public vs. Private

Postby StevePA » February 22nd, 2009, 7:30 pm

Whats more challenging?...Are the turkeys any harder at either place?....

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RE: Public vs. Private

Postby Wizz » February 22nd, 2009, 8:04 pm

Public birds are definately harder to work due to the obvious...pressure. Now when you use "private", how private are you talking? How big an area?  I have some private ground that the prop owner allows his two son-in-laws to hunt as well, but thats it. I dont know how much pressure they put on the birds unless I talk with them. I have another farm that I have exclusive permission on and we took 7 gobblers off of it....the work was easy.
Public is harder. 

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RE: Public vs. Private

Postby greyghost » February 22nd, 2009, 9:03 pm

I have had tough birds at both places. Although 90% of my hunts are public, the main problem there is hunter interfearence. Don't know if this means much but I will have to take a quick look at some of my notes but the last I checked on average I take 1 bird every 3rd to 4th day on public land. and 1 bird every 2 days on private, that also includes calling for folks. Last year PA kicked by butt, 2 birds 12 days(public). Va last year 1 bird 1 day (Public) I took 2 birds the previous fall in VA, your allowed 3 total in one lisence year.
The last 3 private land hunts 8 days, 5 birds.

So based on my statictics I guess public is harder for me.

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RE: Public vs. Private

Postby shaman » February 23rd, 2009, 2:04 am

The birds can be equally challenging.  It's the rest of the stuff that makes public land more problematic for me.

On the private plots I've hunted, the biggest challenge is the size of the property.  I hunt 200 acres of my own. I've been there for 8 seasons.  Most days it is still a struggle, and when the birds are being stubborn, there's really no where else to go.  You are also sort of being your own game warden. If a shot goes off close by, you're now the fellow who ought to be going over to see if it's poachers. Lastly, even at 200 acres, my plot can seem small some days.  Turkeys don't care much about fences, and the closer you get to your property line, you have to be thinking about the ethics of calling to birds that aren't on your land or walking on a hunter's calls on the other side of the line.  I'm not complaining, mind you.  I'm just saying that there are still issues after you buy your place. 

However, all that pales in comparison to public land.  You have no control, and the place you scout out may have the turnout filled with other trucks when you get there.  The gobble you hear may be a gobbler or it may be a kid with a gobble tube.  I have hunted larger public areas like the Ohio Power Lands and the Big South Fork in kentucky, and the extra space does help.  The smaller WMA's always give me the willies. Over the years, my nerves had enough of random camo'd  doofi (plural of doofus) stalking through my setup with their finger on the trigger.  I'm also happy to be rid of

a) The overly wrought run'n'gun hunters that act more like triatheletes than turkey hunters. Their boots are pounding and their hearts are pounding so hard that they fail to realize there are turkeys around.
b)  The parking lot hogs that think there's got to be one more spot and block you in for hours
c)  The lonely turkey hunter who lost his wife last Fall and won't let you go until you listen to his cancer survival story AND his hernia operation.
d)  The scary turkey hunters that. . . well, anytime I get reminded of a Rob Zombie movie or a Quentin Tarantino move in the woods I know I'm not having a nice day.  (I thought I left those guys at the range)
e)  The lost turkey hunter or the injured turkey hunter that is parked waaaay over on the other side, but he's not sure where.
f) The horseback riders who decide to get too close and the horse steps on you.
g) The tree hugging ultralite backpackers who think you're a monster.

. . . you get the idea.
Genesis 9:2-4 Ministries of SW Bracken County, KY

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RE: Public vs. Private

Postby tracebusta32 » February 23rd, 2009, 4:33 am

Are some turkeys harder to kill than others? Yes, are public birds harder than private....not if you go back far enough on public land, I have found that most weekend warriors will only go back about a mile...if you go beyond that you are basically hunting unpressured birds.
Malachi 4:5-6
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RE: Public vs. Private

Postby SamuraiTater » February 23rd, 2009, 10:41 am

Hunting pressured birds is definetely harder, but sometimes I think it makes it more fun.   It's absolutely more of a challenge to get them to come to your call and when you're successful in that endeavor, you feel like you've accomplished something worthwhile.  But hunting public land can be as nervous for the hunter as it is for the hunted.  You just can never be sure there isn't someone else there with their muzzle pointed in your general direction and completely unaware of your presence.
This spring I have a new area to try out.   It's on a U.S. military installation with 55,000 acres of huntable land.  They have it sectioned off into zones and each one is approximately 3 square miles or larger.  You sign in and sign out for a specific hunting zone and no one else should be in there with you.  The game warden tells me most turkey hunters use decoys and they haven't had a mishap that he's aware of where someone was mistakenly fired upon.
The only drawback to this site is that any and all of these areas are used for troop training.  There are lots of soldiers out there doing their thing in the woods, so I wonder how that affects the wildlfe.  Do they spook easily beacuse of the sound of guns and motorized vehicles on a regular basis ?  Do they simply get used to a human presence in the woods and even the sound of gunfire since the soldiers never shoot at them ?  I used to backpack in my younger days and deer in the Shennandoah National Park would approach you, I guess because they were never threatened by humans.  We'll see how this goes.

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RE: Public vs. Private

Postby Limbhanger150 » February 23rd, 2009, 10:56 am

The "toughest" bird I ever hunted was on private land. The toughest hunting is on public land because of all the extra pressure. Between trying not to move to a bird that has alerted other hunters to its position, to already being set up on one and having a hunter almost step on you, the problems are obvious. The further you go back in the woods on public land the better off you are but you can go too far and wind up at a spot that is close to some other road or access (water) that you did not know about. It is best to study maps and possible access points before you decide to take that extra hike. Beware of water access points (lakes, rivers, etc.). I learned this the hard way. I walked way back into a spot surrounded by a lake on the back side and never counted on someone beaching a boat and hunting. Good idea though.

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RE: Public vs. Private

Postby Cut N Run » February 23rd, 2009, 12:47 pm

I hunt almost exclusively on private land due to a close call many years ago where an aging deer hunter mistook me for a deer & shot a rifle my direction (even though I was wearing an orange vest!) on Game Lands.  About the only way I'd hunt public land is to be dropped off by boat at a spot a loooong way from road access. I don't like the idea of not knowing who or where anybody else is in the woods.
The less pressured the bird, the less difficult it is to take.  My lease is also pretty small (~300 acres), and even though the land beside it does not permit hunting, that doesn't mean poachers don't try to slip in there.  We also have three guys hunting our piece of woods.  Two of us are experienced, long-time Turkey hunters. At first the Landowner didn't care much about Turkey hunting.  Now, he hunts early in the season where he gets away with being less cautious.  After a few days, the Turkeys won't tolerate his poor calling and inability to sit still (he really kinda screws us...but he owns the land...what are we gonna do?). The brids there become as wary as any public land Turkeys I have ever hunted.  The trick is to score early, then hunt the thickest, out of the way places the landowner wouldn't dream of hunting). Even though the Landowner makes things harder for us, he is starting to learn, and is (happily) a way better turkey hunter than he was a few years ago.  We all wear radios with head sets to communicate between us for safety & higher success.
Luck Counts, good or bad

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RE: Public vs. Private

Postby paboxcall » February 23rd, 2009, 4:57 pm

ORIGINAL: tracebusta32

Are some turkeys harder to kill than others? Yes, are public birds harder than private....not if you go back far enough on public land, I have found that most weekend warriors will only go back about a mile...if you go beyond that you are basically hunting unpressured birds.

I like guys like you and the type you described -- running off in a mad dash at a quarter till dark.  I too make that mad dash back in, but I don't tend to stay all morning.  Struck many good gobblers within just a few hundred yards of the parking areas around mid day...
pulic or private?  I spent a few years hunting a nice piece of private ground not far from the house, surrounded by a lot of public ground.  My buddy and I killed 5 in a row from the same tree each year.  Once you pattern birds on private ground, it can be easier than public, assuming food doesn't change drastically year to year.  Big tracts of public ground is all I hunt anymore, and you have your work cut out each year trying to locate the ridges where the birds are hanging.
"So much of this business of hunting turkeys, you stupid it up right at the last.
You do everything right for an hour and a half, and then you sit down here
and there's nothing you can do about it, you made a mistake."
Tom Kelly, [i]Turkey Tales

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RE: Public vs. Private

Postby turkeylimb » March 9th, 2009, 12:49 pm

For me private land is alot easier . My buddy goes to his spot i go to mine sometimes we double out. but before the season is done we both get a bird to carry out.


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