Best Game Lands?

turkeyfoot

Old Mossy Horns
Not all pl in NC is productive

Some is downright terrible while some is great
Well there is a version of that I agree with but I'd say it like this. Not all public is as productive as others. Its really about realistic expectations. You can't go into Pisgah or nantahala expecting to tag out for 90% of hunters mostbthere are happy with one or two for year. Better quality public you can expect more if you have the time to put in.
 
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turkeyfoot

Old Mossy Horns
The current range of outdoor videos touting PL is showing the world how productive it can be.
They make it look easy for sure.
That they do I wonder after comments I hear on forum and out and bout in world if it doesn't give many unrealistic expectations though truth is most aren't gonna have the same success especially on big mature deer in NC. They do get killed every year some by luck but I'd bet most are earning their success. Easy to get disappointed if have unrealistic goals more so speaking for brand new hunters
 

timekiller13

Twelve Pointer
I have done 11 hunts on NC public land this season on 3 different game lands. I've seen deer 10 out of 11 times.

90% of public land hunters just walk in the woods and sit down in a spot that "looks good" or where they can see a long ways. Get in thick spots or find hot sign and you will be in business.
 

wildcat3

Twelve Pointer
Contributor
OP, I live about 45 minutes from Charlotte. I very seldom hunt here. Ive got 50 acres and plenty of deer. I would invite you to come hunt here but Id hate for you to have to drive past my dog kennels and hunting truck with my dog box on it. And God forbid one of my dogs bark in their kennel while you were in one of my enclosed shooting houses with heat and comfy office chair. Enjoy your climber with the crowds on public. Maybe a button head will walk by if you put in enough time.
 

DuckyDave

Six Pointer
Hbennick, don't get discouraged. I grew up deer hunting public land in PA with mediocre success. Lived 12 years in Upstate NY, a bit more successful--killed 5or 6 deer including 4 years in a row with bow on public land. Moved here got skunked first 3 years or so until I learned to read local deer sign better. Up to around 3 dozen deer taken all on public GL. Often see only 1 or maybe zero other hunters. Have hunted Wake, Durham, Bertie, Northampton, Carteret and Caswell Counties. Don't mind dog hunters, they can be good source of info and can actually push deer to you. Sometimes they want to block off roads, that is not allowed, call the local GW if they don't believe you. Or hunt closer to busy highways where they don't like to run their dogs. We're all brothers in this sport. BTW NC public deer hunting is a step up from shooting deer inside a fence (high or low) in Texas where the herds would never survive without supplemental feeding--been there done that.
 
That is debatable.. check out the peak breeding chart from WRC... there has been enough research over the years to prove that “The Rut” is pretty much the same timeframe every year. What changes is how much WE actually see that movement & deer.



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Exactly
 

Rexm0311

Button Buck
Public land can be very productive, you just got to be flexible in tactics and learn to read sign. Also, you don't neccesarily have to get away off the beaten path as some deer, even mature bucks are hiding right under our noses. Here's a couple of decent bucks from Jordan gameland taken from my trail camera pull. This is less than 500 yds from a subdivision
 

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oldest school

Old Mossy Horns
That is debatable.. check out the peak breeding chart from WRC... there has been enough research over the years to prove that “The Rut” is pretty much the same timeframe every year. What changes is how much WE actually see that movement & deer.



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Amen.
you go enough and get lucky enough you'll observe behaviors associated with the rut.
if you cant go or you are unlucky they still rut. :)
 

Rockhound

Eight Pointer
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turkeyfoot

Old Mossy Horns
This is....ummmm....demoralizing? Safe assumption that gameland acreage in western district has increased during this time as well? Example: Green River has added many thousands of acres since the early 80s. I am less familiar with other western district game lands and perhaps some were lost.

From the deer study WRC presentation: https://www.ncwildlife.org/Portals/0/Regs/Documents/2015-NCWRC-Status-and-Management-of-White-tailed-Deer-in-NC.pdf

View attachment 37638
Best to not think to hard on it might make person give up. Especially since there is over million acres national forest in that mix not including the state land. Its why I mentioned in earlier post someone wondered why in 5 sits they hadn't seen deer that is not at all unusual in west sometimes more. With experience you can increase the odds though
 

CRC

Old Mossy Horns
The reported deer harvest at GRGL has defintely declined over the years but some of that is due to lands being taken out of the program.

GRGL has added and lost land.
 
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SamCo89

Twelve Pointer
Contributor
Best to not think to hard on it might make person give up. Especially since there is over million acres national forest in that mix not including the state land. Its why I mentioned in earlier post someone wondered why in 5 sits they hadn't seen deer that is not at all unusual in west sometimes more. With experience you can increase the odds though
Several other southern states are dealing with low harvest & low populations in their mountain regions.. GA & AL have been pretty outspoken about the main contributor being the mis management/ non management of Nat Forest land..


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turkeyfoot

Old Mossy Horns
Several other southern states are dealing with low harvest & low populations in their mountain regions.. GA & AL have been pretty outspoken about the main contributor being the mis management/ non management of Nat Forest land..


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Oh yeah them pretty forests ain't no deer paradise ntnl forest more so than state land deer like edge habitat and we just ain't got it and I don't see it anytime soon
 

SamCo89

Twelve Pointer
Contributor
Oh yeah them pretty forests ain't no deer paradise ntnl forest more so than state land deer like edge habitat and we just ain't got it and I don't see it anytime soon
Edge, or even just running a fire through there... which is a whole ‘nother issue in its self..


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turkeyfoot

Old Mossy Horns
Edge, or even just running a fire through there... which is a whole ‘nother issue in its self..


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They do few controlled burs in areas for fire prevention I've seen minimal effect its probably just not big enough we need some saws took to it for deer and turkey as well as grouse
 
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CRC

Old Mossy Horns
They've burned on state owned game lands and national forests.

It has done very little, if anything, for the deer population.
 

SamCo89

Twelve Pointer
Contributor
They've burned on state owned game lands and national forests.

It has done very little, if anything, for the deer population.
Go read Marcus Lashley’s research at MSU & his ongoing work at Florida State, along with Southeast Deer study group & get back with me.. Prescribed Fire has been proven to help wildlife as a whole.. not just deer.


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CRC

Old Mossy Horns
Go read Marcus Lashley’s research at MSU & his ongoing work at Florida State, along with Southeast Deer study group & get back with me.. Prescribed Fire has been proven to help wildlife as a whole.. not just deer.


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Fires are natural and benefit wildlife but it has not resulted in an increased deer herd on places like the Pisgah NF that have been burned.

Also WRC has burned till they're blue in the face at South Mountains GL., and the deer population is still low.

Has benefited other wildlife.
 

turkeyfoot

Old Mossy Horns
Go read Marcus Lashley’s research at MSU & his ongoing work at Florida State, along with Southeast Deer study group & get back with me.. Prescribed Fire has been proven to help wildlife as a whole.. not just deer.


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Unfortunately CRC is mostly right hasn't benefited ntnl forest much most likely due to not enough and its only one tool but without differeing ages of growth still left with thousands acres of open hardwood with little cover for animals like grouse. There is reason western public ground has low kill numbers. I would love to see combo of cutting and then controlled burns could have lot more game so much potential. The burns are better than nothing and I'll take any help can get but its just not enough
 

SamCo89

Twelve Pointer
Contributor
... hasn't benefited ntnl forest much most likely due to not enough and its only one tool but without differeing ages of growth still left with thousands acres of open hardwood with little cover for animals like grouse. There is reason western public ground has low kill numbers. I would love to see combo of cutting and then controlled burns could have lot more game so much potential. The burns are better than nothing and I'll take any help can get but its just not enough

Oh it’s definitely just another tool in the bag of habitat management.. but you know some ppl & their blanket statements..



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Rockhound

Eight Pointer
Deer are to be had on GL....You will get out of it what you put into it. Invest the necessary time and work and you will be rewarded in both quantity and quality of deer.
No doubt there. A timely story to exemplify this. After my unsuccessful morning yesterday, I went on a road bike ride (staying fit!) on a route that criss-crosses the gamelands and came across a trio packed full of meat bringing a beautiful 8 or 10 point out of the woods. Stopped and chatted with them a bit and congratulated them. What a beautiful deer. Seeing that gets me stoked to keep going!!!
 

oldest school

Old Mossy Horns
This is....ummmm....demoralizing? Safe assumption that gameland acreage in western district has increased during this time as well? Example: Green River has added many thousands of acres since the early 80s. I am less familiar with other western district game lands and perhaps some were lost.

From the deer study WRC presentation: https://www.ncwildlife.org/Portals/0/Regs/Documents/2015-NCWRC-Status-and-Management-of-White-tailed-Deer-in-NC.pdf

View attachment 37638
you have that chart for other sections of the state?
Private land is easy compared to public in all of NC . CORN. AG fields, food plots: Tall shooting towers, How easy can it be compared to Public?
 

turkeyfoot

Old Mossy Horns
you have that chart for other sections of the state?
Private land is easy compared to public in all of NC . CORN. AG fields, food plots: Tall shooting towers, How easy can it be compared to Public?
I haven't seen it but I do know if you hunt western public especially ntnl forest there is no comparison on how much better piedmont and east gameland are for deer not even in ballpark.
 
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