All the knowledge in the world is no good without a great place to hunt. Here you will find advice on finding ground to hunt on. Some of us are blessed with the opportunity to hunt on private land. Others of us are looking for that out of the way public piece of ground with few hunters and lots of game. Either way, we have something for you.
Finding Places to Hunt
Family-Outdoors is about helping individuals and their families find ways and paces to hunt, fish, camp, and generally be able to find ways to get in the outdoors at a reasonable cost. Hunting Places is all about these ideals. Whether you hunt deer or some other large game animal, or whether you are a small game and/or upland game hunter, Hunting Places is about helping you find a great hunting spot, most liekly on public land.
As you might already know, this is not always easy. Yes, the public land is out there. But has it been so over hunted that it's not worth the bother? Follow the advice below and we will help you improve the odds just a bit of finding a hunting spot where the experience will be one that you and/or your family will remember fondly.
Much of the specific information we have here is geared to hunting in Missouri. Some examples are the Conservation Area Reports which are organized by counties and allow hunters to look at all the applicable areas in the county in which they wish to hunt and find which areas support decent populations of the particular game animal. Also we have information on scouting using Google Earth with specifics for Missouri. However, all of the ideas discussed in these articles can be generalized to whatever state you might be in. On this page you will find some advice as well on how to break down a public hunting area into areas worth considering for hunting.
Most deer and turkey hunters stay within a quarter mile of existing roads. They are unwilling to go further and the result is that game stay away from these areas and the risks associated with crossing paths with hunters grows higher. Do the proper research to find likely areas where game will be located, scout ahead of your hunt, and prepare prior to getting into the field so that you are ready at legal shooting hours. For beginning hunters (and experienced too), limit movement during the hunt. Especially when you are deer hunting from a tree stand, get in the stand and stay put.
Get good maps and use a scale to mark off areas within 1/4 mile of roads. Then, use the topographical features of the map to try and ascertain good prospects for scouting. Scout far enough in advance that you are not bumping deer out of areas a day before you hunt. Use Google Earth to cross-check what you see on topo maps. One tip I can give you is that it is often hard to tell a field from a clear-cut on Google Earth. Both fields and clear-cuts can offer good possibilities but are completely different animals. Great looking fields can be dead zones if they are devoid of the foods deer like and/or you are hunting them at the wrong times. Again, the key is scouting ahead...long enough where you don't run the deer off right before you hunt an area but not too far ahead where the deer change their habits.
If you are just starting, don't get caught up in thinking you must kill a buck. Does taste just fine and fit better in the management practices most areas need. With many areas having more strict antler restrictions you may deeply regret passing on a doe.
Finally, even though this is about places to hunt, be safe, have your gun sited, and know what the heck to do when and if you harvest an animal. See the tips area for ideas on field dressing and butchering deer.
Articles to Help Finding Places to Hunt