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Midwest Bucks is the driving force behind my addiction to bow hunting, but not far behind is getting up close and personal with gobbling thunder chickens in spring.

Low Pressured Whitetails

Reminiscing over my whitetail hunting career which is probably quite a bit shorter than some of our readers (18 years), I realize now that I have beenIMG_2150 pretty blessed.  Not just in the fact that I have been fortunate enough to take many quality bucks; but rather, that I have always had property to hunt that has been minimally pressured.  These farms were owned by family friends in rural areas of southwest Missouri.  I realize now that the properties I hunted growing up always produced deer meat for the freezer and occasionally some mounts for the wall; not because they were the best farms in the area but simply because the deer felt secure in their movement patterns.  There are ways for most hunters especially bow hunters to chase low pressured deer and over the next couple weeks I want to give you some tips on how you too and hunt low pressured whitetails.

I understand that a good percentage of hunters are focusing their efforts on public ground.  I know this can be discouraging but it also can be very rewarding when finding those low-pressured areas.  Here are few things I would do.  In the off season I would be doing research. Not every public hunting area is over-ran with hunters, I would be calling local DNR offices and asking which areas have higher pressure and which ones receive less during the season you are wanting to hunt.  Most states have interactive websites that show all the public hunting available throughout the state.  I would also be looking for public land that is at least forty-five miles away from major cities.   The reason is simple; people do not want to drive very far for a quick afternoon hunt.  So if you will go where others won’t you will be putting yourself in a better situation.

I have witnessed thIMG_9020is first hand.  One of my leases is a small property that is right across the dirt road from a large public hunting tract.  This land in southwest Iowa is about an hour away from any large town or city.  I hunted one of my leases on November 1st which fell on a Saturday this year.  A day that any bow hunter would be crazy not to hunt, and there was not one vehicle parked in any of the access lots.  Simply put, this property was further than most were willing to travel. The same goes for being willing to venture further into the public areas to hunt.  Studies have shown that the vast majority of hunters on public land hunt within two-hundred yards of their parked vehicle.  You can be sure, if you are willing to drive a little further and go a little deeper for public land whitetails you will be hunting lower pressured deer and your odds of success with increase while doing so.

Another option is private land.  I know many wish they could find some private land to hunt and a lot of the time for good reason.  Private land if not pressured definitely allows more security and better chances for success.  I live in Iowa and this will be my third year hunting as a resident.  I will admit I have been very blessed to receive permission to hunt on a lot of private ground around my house and on almost all of that groundML Buck I am the only hunter.  But that is not always the case on private land; in fact, I have found that sometimes seemingly good “private” ground receives more pressure than public.  .  Five years ago I gained access to what seemed to be a prime 120acre farm in Nebraska outside of Omaha. Shortly before season opened I learned I was sharing this property with ten other hunters.  Needless to say, I did not waste time hunting that property.

In closing, good private ground is a great find and one to be cherished; however, do not overlook low pressured public land.  There is a lot of it out there and with a little research and work; you will be able to find the right piece of low pressured hunting land for your 2015 whitetail season.  Next week, I will be writing Part II of this article.  You won’t want to miss it as we look into the options of leasing ground and or hunting with an outfitter.

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