2019: Public Land Challenge

ImThere

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I think the challenge showed how hard it is to hunt in Michigan due to the vast number of deer hunter in the state educating the deer population. PA and WI are tough to hunt as well for the same reason. I have a buddy from Michigan that hunts in Iowa and he tells me that if you can kill a fork horn in Michigan, you can kill a P&Y in Iowa.:tearsofjoy:
It looked like deer were everywhere and they were only there a week. Honestly it looked like the weather conditions were the worst of the hunting.


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ricky racer

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It looked like deer were everywhere and they were only there a week. Honestly it looked like the weather conditions were the worst of the hunting.


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True but the flooding did consolidate the deer into smaller areas.
 
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flinginairos

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It looked like deer were everywhere and they were only there a week. Honestly it looked like the weather conditions were the worst of the hunting.


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I had three good days of hunting there, had four buck encounters, had one at 19 yards but no shot. I had actually slipped in and had him bedded at 19 yards in some thick CRP and another buck at 32 yards. So I came close on a buck and found a lot of other good sign. I also wasn't hunting super wet stuff or that far from the road for that matter lol. I had three guys walk in on me Friday evening because I tried to hunt a spot that was a little too easy to get to lol. But in my defense there wasn't any sign of anyone being there when I scouted either lol. Other than that I didn't see anyone and had a lot of fun hunting there. I believe WV and Ohio public land are just as crowded and challenging. I'm sure the pressure can be intense at times but that is most public lands IMO.
 

ricky racer

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Finding good hunting on private land in the southern lower peninsula of Michigan is daunting. Available public hunting land is usually small parcels so there is a lot of competition for the good spots. However, the northern half of the state has tons of hunt-able State and National forests available, thousands of acres so even though Michigan gets a bad rap for being difficult to hunt, if you travel north there are places where you'll never see another hunter.
This is the last buck I took on public land although it was with my muzzle loader in December. It's not a monster by any means but it's a pretty respectable buck for Lake County, Michigan.

 
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Finding good hunting on private land in the southern lower peninsula of Michigan is daunting. Available public hunting land is usually small parcels so there is a lot of competition for the good spots. However, the northern half of the state has tons of hunt-able State and National forests available, thousands of acres so even though Michigan gets a bad rap for being difficult to hunt, if you travel north there are places where you'll never see another hunter.
This is the last buck I took on public land although it was with my muzzle loader in December. It's not a monster by any means but it's a pretty respectable buck for Lake County, Michigan.


That is an awesome buck for that area!!
 

DaWiz9578

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The good host in me wanted them to come in here and clean up. The hunter in me knows they'll have their share elsewhere.

Great content regardless. Feel like we got some more behind the scenes of the cereal killer and joe which was pretty awesome. For some reason I want to buy a sparrow.
 

Bourdeau

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All in all it was a pretty good challenge so far, I think there is at least one more show to be released as of last night? I was highly saddened that Jeff lost his Dad and John had surgery (couple of the big guns removed from the hunt right from the start). Surely difficult managing peoples schedules and the logistics for the entire production. The weather was just horrible moving the deer out of normal bedding and making everyone work extra hard at finding hot sign. Awesome twist to think about in our own hunting -how the small changes in Eco Systems change the entire game. Bad enough to try to go in cold and try to evaluate pressure, locate food, bedding, and travel routes. But by adding severe flooding really made me think about how delicate the balance is for these animals every day and what it means to adjust our setups. The THP crew have been some favorite hunting characters of mine even back when they worked for Bill Winke, I love that Ted somehow ended up with the tag this year he only filmed for Dan last year. The banter between Jake, Dan and Joe was priceless as was the rain episodes from our very own @g2outdoors and Ernie!
 
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sureshotscott

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One thing I really like about these videos is the lack of product placement advertising, really any kind of advertising. Maybe you could say there was a little Tethrd advertising but it was never obvious except in the first few seconds of each episode.
 

DaveT1963

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I think most can agree, MI is tough, the weather certainly didn't help - or did it? Seems to be like a lot of deer were congregated. The real take away here is that anytime you go to unfamiliar territory you have to be aggressive. Some high level hunters got close but are yet to knock down a mature deer. That is the NORM when traveling to unfamiliar out of state areas. The better you know a piece of property the more likely you can learn to get ahead of the bucks. the other huge take away is that you CAN INDEED find low pressure areas even in high pressure states. overall I thought this challenge was a great representation of the challenge of hunting new areas along with the persistence needed to overcome and get in the game. I applaud all the hunters.
 

Weldabeast

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One thing I really like about these videos is the lack of product placement advertising, really any kind of advertising. Maybe you could say there was a little Tethrd advertising but it was never obvious except in the first few seconds of each episode.
There is a little..... Tethered, beast stick, thp gear, sparrow....but yeah, i agree, less shameless plugs than most shows
 

elk yinzer

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It's been good to watch so far.

One thing has really caught my attention is the guys not really hunting the "beasiest" areas. Like those field edges, I mean you have a shot at filling a tag there but a snowballs chance in hades at a giant.

I know a lot of areas are flooded but it seems also a reflection of the time crunch and obviously limited intel/scouting. The risk vs. reward, that game theory. So many of us face it, I know I sure can relate to it.

When choosing to pursue the oldest bucks it really lowers the odds at "decent" bucks. It is a hard choice when faced with limited hunting time to forgo better opportunities. Not trying to be critical, I think its perfectly rational decision playing the higher odds going after a decent buck as opposed to an exceptional one. It really validates that way of thinking for a lot of us that have limited hunting time for whatever reason.
 

austin1990

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Do those northern states not get seasonal flooding every year? Floods are just a fact of life yearly here in the south......
I had a similar thought too, my best area I routinely get flooded out of atleast once a season, generally 2 or 3 times.
 

SaddleUpPartner!

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Do those northern states not get seasonal flooding every year? Floods are just a fact of life yearly here in the south......
There's some areas around rivers that have flooding issues in the spring when the snow melts. Other than that, massive flooding isn't really a thing up here. There's areas that are either swamps or dry land and they don't really cross over unless it's the spring and the water table comes up.
 

mattsteg

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Do those northern states not get seasonal flooding every year? Floods are just a fact of life yearly here in the south......
Not necessarily fall seasonal flooding, and probably not to this scale. Here in MN we have areas that flood every spring, and depending on how the year goes can be anywhere from wet to dry in the fall. I assume MI is similar.

Note that much of MI is on pace to set a record for annual rainfall.
 

DaWiz9578

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Pretty cool someone stopped and dropped of donuts/cider to dan and joe. Good way to be an appreciative host and not get stranger danger eyes.

Guess if they didnt want to be spotted at all they wouldn't hang their decals on the sides of their trucks.

Good job chartreuse shirt michigander

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DaveT1963

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I had three good days of hunting there, had four buck encounters, had one at 19 yards but no shot. I had actually slipped in and had him bedded at 19 yards in some thick CRP and another buck at 32 yards. So I came close on a buck and found a lot of other good sign. I also wasn't hunting super wet stuff or that far from the road for that matter lol. I had three guys walk in on me Friday evening because I tried to hunt a spot that was a little too easy to get to lol. But in my defense there wasn't any sign of anyone being there when I scouted either lol. Other than that I didn't see anyone and had a lot of fun hunting there. I believe WV and Ohio public land are just as crowded and challenging. I'm sure the pressure can be intense at times but that is most public lands IMO.
Everyone thinks they have it worst. If your state has plenty of public land you CAN find good hunting - just takes some effort. the states I have found the most challenging are the states with very little public land - in many places if you don't get on private you are going to have a rough go at it as you cant get away from pressure in a lot of cases.
 

elk yinzer

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Everyone thinks they have it worst. If your state has plenty of public land you CAN find good hunting - just takes some effort. the states I have found the most challenging are the states with very little public land - in many places if you don't get on private you are going to have a rough go at it as you cant get away from pressure in a lot of cases.
It's a simple numbers game to guesstimate hunters/acre on public, just look at what the closest population centers are, how big the tracts are and do the figuring.

PA is a classic case, the western parts near Pittsburgh and the East near Philthadelphia are crazy to try to hunt public. Lots of personal experience the closest handful of public tracts to Pittsburgh are a zoo, its a feat to take any legal deer on them. Overlooked is not a thing there, they've all been found. I think a lot of overlooked is people trespassing on what I call quasi-public.

Out here in Pennsyltucky there are places you can hunt our huge state forests and not see another bowhunter all season. Rifle season is just a zoo everywhere but even then you can get away in some places but often you are better off not and hunting deer that are being pushed around by hunters.

I don't know where they were but I would imagine Michigan is much the same, looking at a map there are some areas upstate that look pretty appealing.
 
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