7 Ways to Make Fellow Public Land Deer Hunters Mad at You

By author of Brow Tines and Backstrap

Just Don’t Do These Things

Public land hunting is one of the brightest accomplishments in the history of North American hunting. The ability to hunt wild game on lands owned by all is a historic achievement. What we have here is rare. You don’t see it in other countries. And we must always protect it.

But not everything about public land deer hunting is good. There are plenty of bad things that happen on public land. Some are really bad. Some aren’t quite as serious, but still frowned upon. Nonetheless, there are many ways to make your fellow public land deer hunters mad at you. Here are just seven of them.

Park Your Truck on One Side of the Road and Hunt the Other

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1 | Park Your Truck on One Side of the Road and Hunt the Other

This an age-old trick that some hunters try to pull. They’ll park on one side of the road to block off one access point, and then they’ll hunt the other side. This effectively allows them to “control” (for lack of a better term) two separate locations. This is a bad, greedy thing to do. And if you pull this trick, shame on you. That’s all I have to say about that.

Photo Credit: Bill Konway

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Leave Vehicles Parked Somewhere Overnight in Order to Claim a Spot

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2 | Leave Vehicles Parked Somewhere Overnight in Order to Claim a Spot

The early bird gets the worm. This saying couldn’t be truer for those who hunt public land. The only exception — when someone pulls this tactic from the dirty-public-land-hunter playbook and parks a vehicle the night before to “hold the spot” for the next day. If this is you, again, terminate further implementation of said tactic and be fair to your fellow public-land hunters. If you want the spot, get up early and beat everyone else to it. Don’t cheat.

Photo Credit: Bill Konway

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Hang Defensive Treestands

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3 | Hang Defensive Treestands

Some people will hang a bunch of treestands in an area to make other hunters feel like it’s getting pressured heavily. When in reality, one guy is hunting there and just placed a bunch of “defensive” treestands in an attempt to keep people out of there. Again, that’s a surefire way to make people mad if they ever catch onto you. Once that happens, all bets are off.

Photo Credit: Realtree

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Hunt in Treestands That Aren’t Yours

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4 | Hunt in Treestands That Aren’t Yours

In some states, you can legally hunt in any treestand found on public land — even if it isn’t yours. That said, it’s considered unethical by many to climb into a perch you don’t hang or own. It’s best to refrain from hunting in public-land stands that aren’t yours, unless you know who hung it and a mutual agreement is reached.

Photo Credit: Realtree

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Knowingly Hunt Close to Someone Who Got There First

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5 | Knowingly Hunt Close to Someone Who Got There First

If you see someone hunting, don’t get right up on them. This is the lake where 30 boats can fish in the same cove. It’s different. If you see another hunter, the best thing you can do is move on. Don’t set up right beside them. Don’t screw up their hunt. Trying to set up in close proximity to another hunter won’t likely help your cause anyway. Be respectful and kind.

Photo Credit: Realtree

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Telling Other People About Really Good Public Land Hotspots

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6 | Telling Other People About Really Good Public Land Hotspots

Most of the time, no one will know if you did this or not. But you will. And you’ll be mad at yourself. Heaven knows if other hunters find out that you did this, there will likely be confrontations. The best way to avoid it? Don’t tell other people about really good public land hotspots. Not even your close friends. I’ve witnessed turmoil amongst both families and friends over hunting spots. It’s best to just keep it to yourself when you find a good hunting spot that’s open to all.

Photo Credit: Realtree

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Disrespect the Resource, the Land and Fellow Hunters

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7 | Disrespect the Resource, the Land and Fellow Hunters

Most deer hunters are great sportsmen (and women) who represent our lifestyle in a positive manner. Very few people show hunting in a negative light. But if you disrespect the resource, the land or fellow hunters, it’s a firm guarantee that you’ll make people mad. And you’ll likely land yourself in a bit of trouble, too. Just do it. Be considerate. Stay legal. Follow the rules.

Photo Credit: Realtree

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