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I WALKED A MILE INTO PUB­LIC LAND AND STILL DIDN'T SEE A BUCK

Outdoor Life - - NO EXCUSES -

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.

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