I WALKED A MILE INTO PUBLIC LAND AND STILL DIDN'T SEE A BUCK
I’ve got two words for you: Apple watch. Get one and turn it on fitness tracking mode. Then tell me how far you really walked. Odds are it wasn’t a full mile from the road. And even if it was, did all that walking actually put you in an area where there are unpressured deer? And what route did you take when walking that mile in? Did you stomp through multiple bedding areas on your way? Did you leave early enough that you weren’t pushing deer out as they returned to their bed? Distance is nothing more than a measurement. Walking a mile in just for the sake of distance doesn’t guarantee that you will be hunting in a spot with more deer. If you really want to kill deer on public land—especially those that see heavy hunting pressure—you must walk with a purpose. You have to be heading to an area that others aren’t pressuring and that deer are utilizing, and you have to get there without alerting the deer that you intend to hunt. That spot might be 50 yards from the truck, near the parking lot, because everyone else has been overlooking it. But more likely, it’s going to be a spot that no other hunters are willing to hike to. And it’s not only about distance. A mile stroll through open hardwoods isn’t so bad, but slogging 400 yards through a cattail marsh is more than enough to deter most other hunters. —T.H.