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Public land etiquette

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Athens
#1
For those of you who hunt public, or just have an opinion on the question...

I've been scouting a chunk of nearby public ground to hunt next fall. I'll admit it, I've hunted deer on public ground maybe twice in my life. I have found a few good areas that have a good amount of sign and are enough of a hoof from the parking areas that I don't think they'll get a lot of pressure. Here's the question: how close is too close to hunt to private ground borders? I found multiple stand locations that were within shooting range of the border of public/private. Is there a suggested "buffer" distance from the border you folks stick to for how close you hunt to private? I wasn't scouting by walking the border and thinking "I'm hunting the edge," it just happened to be that a few really good locations I found were within sight of the private land signs. It's not exactly a vast expanse of public ground to lose yourself in. Just curious what you all go by/think.
 

Matt

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#2
I think it's a fine line, especially when you are out hunting. You are perfectly within your right to hunt close to that border, the problem might be when it comes time to track a deer that runs on to private. This can be mitigated somewhat by observing the deer before you shoot, but you never know what they will do. If you can find better spots, I personally would hunt there. If these spots you scouted are in fact prime and away from other pressure, it might do you some good to go talk to the surrounding landowners and mention your thought process and ask permission to trail deer if they run on private.
 
#3
I think it's a fine line, especially when you are out hunting. You are perfectly within your right to hunt close to that border, the problem might be when it comes time to track a deer that runs on to private. This can be mitigated somewhat by observing the deer before you shoot, but you never know what they will do. If you can find better spots, I personally would hunt there. If these spots you scouted are in fact prime and away from other pressure, it might do you some good to go talk to the surrounding landowners and mention your thought process and ask permission to trail deer if they run on private.
X2. You can legally hunt right up against the property line as long as you stay on the public ground, but recovering your deer could be a problem if it runs onto private.
 
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brock ratcliff

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#5
I agree with the others, talk with surrounding land owners if you can. They may even give you permission to hunt. When I first moved here I did this very thing I just wanted access across a piece of private but the landowner told me to save some walking and just hunt on his piece. I did for several years That piece of adjoining public gets so much pressure now I just don’t bother.
 
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121
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Athens
#7
I agree with the others, talk with surrounding land owners if you can. They may even give you permission to hunt. When I first moved here I did this very thing I just wanted access across a piece of private but the landowner told me to save some walking and just hunt on his piece. I did for several years That piece of adjoining public gets so much pressure now I just don’t bother.
So I used the county auditor page/maps and FB to quickly locate one of the land owners. His FB page is covered in pics and memes depicting the current president as a Nazi and other wonderful things. Something tells me the guy doesn't have hunters high on his list of approved humans. :oops: Then again, if the deer are eating down his organic vegan garden....
 

Redhunter1012

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#8
So I used the county auditor page/maps and FB to quickly locate one of the land owners. His FB page is covered in pics and memes depicting the current president as a Nazi and other wonderful things. Something tells me the guy doesn't have hunters high on his list of approved humans. :oops: Then again, if the deer are eating down his organic vegan garden....
Just slap on an Obama sticker on your bumper, and dress/act like a total hippie who's only interested in free range, organic meat
 

brock ratcliff

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#11
So I used the county auditor page/maps and FB to quickly locate one of the land owners. His FB page is covered in pics and memes depicting the current president as a Nazi and other wonderful things. Something tells me the guy doesn't have hunters high on his list of approved humans. :oops: Then again, if the deer are eating down his organic vegan garden....
To heck with that flake then. Tresspass. Socialist don’t mind. I’m sure he’d never build a fence to keep you out.
 
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#13
I have probably hunted public land as much as any person on here, I have hunted really far away from private borders and had deer die on private property and I have literally hunted right on the line and had deer run 200 yards into the public and die. If a deer runs and dies on private land, I leave my gun and try to recover that deer as fast as possible. With a bow depending on the time of day I shot and the weather, I will come back after dark if it ran onto private land. Some people may disagree with my ethics, choices, etc. but its public land (the wild wild west). In my personal experience with public, I have had guys come right at first light set up 100 yards between me and a buddy shoot a deer tip his hat to us and drag the deer. I have had places that I believe were completely secluded which I mark with a tack have a pile of apples there when I come back to hunt. I have set up in other peoples stands, used others marked trees for my climber, everybody has a code of ethics, if you try to follow all of the unwritten rules youll drive yourself nuts. On another note some public land in surrounded by private like 200-300 yards away no matter where you hunt, this is often my case in NorthWest Ohio. So I guess it really depends on your comfort level on hunting private property borders.
 
121
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Athens
#14
I have probably hunted public land as much as any person on here, I have hunted really far away from private borders and had deer die on private property and I have literally hunted right on the line and had deer run 200 yards into the public and die. If a deer runs and dies on private land, I leave my gun and try to recover that deer as fast as possible. With a bow depending on the time of day I shot and the weather, I will come back after dark if it ran onto private land. Some people may disagree with my ethics, choices, etc. but its public land (the wild wild west). In my personal experience with public, I have had guys come right at first light set up 100 yards between me and a buddy shoot a deer tip his hat to us and drag the deer. I have had places that I believe were completely secluded which I mark with a tack have a pile of apples there when I come back to hunt. I have set up in other peoples stands, used others marked trees for my climber, everybody has a code of ethics, if you try to follow all of the unwritten rules youll drive yourself nuts. On another note some public land in surrounded by private like 200-300 yards away no matter where you hunt, this is often my case in NorthWest Ohio. So I guess it really depends on your comfort level on hunting private property borders.
This is sort of what I have found walking this piece of ground. It's just not a huge expanse of public hunting ground, and the way it lays out, most of the areas I have found that have good sign and look promising to hunt are towards the edges.
 

Fletch

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#15
Seems the consensus of opinion on the topic is the same.... Its not whether or not its proper etiquette to hunt close to the property line separating public and private... You could hunt 1 ft, in on public land and be perfectly fine... As long as you HAVE NO INTENTION OF SHOOTING ONTO THE PRIVATE LAND!!!!!
The problem as most have said is if you shoot a deer and it runs onto private land... This is where problems start to arise... As a ethical hunter you owe it to the animal to recover it and put it to good use... On the other hand you should not trespass... So if it were me I like to leave a buffer zone when I hunt..
 

brock ratcliff

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#16
A few years back Mason and I were hunting a couple special bucks. I found them using an area they had not previously been. The best spot for an ambush was at the corner of four properties. I had permission on three of f the four. Mason would not even let me hang a stand until I secured permission on that last piece. I couldn’t argue with that.
Honestly, if I had determined that last landowner to be a leftist nut job and he told me NO when I spoke with him, his property rights wouldn’t have made a bit of difference to me. Is that a character flaw? Sure. I’m ok with that. I can’t respect anyone on the left anymore in any way. If I were in Jeff’s shoes I’d ask permission from the commie. If he told me know, I’d do whatever I wanted to do regardless. Those people think it’s fine to take money you’ve earned for their social projects, butcher unborn children, open our borders, etc., yeah, I’ll do as I wish with little regard for their rights.
 

Fletch

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#18
All our properties in Illinois have an open border for retrieving game shot on neighboring properties.... In fact I'll stop what Im doing and help look for or drag the deer... And it works both ways, after all we are all in this together... I know one thing if you ask a neighbor to retrieve a deer that ran on his property and died and he SAYS NO... Now your screwed as he will be watching...
 
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