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When hunting state forests, the only way to get away from the other hunting crowds is to go a good ways back into the forest. How do you guys that hunt the big tracts of land, treck through 3-4 miles of woods in the dark and find your spot? That would be alot of reflector tacks:confused:
Can you guys help me out with some tips on hunting the big woods?
 

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When hunting State forests here in MN I've only had to get away from other hunters during the gun season. ( gave that up many years ago now ) The problem bow hunting State land is that there are too many great places to hunt. I have a hard time deciding. :confused3:

NIck
 

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I hunt big woods exclusively. Fortunately, all my areas have remnant logging roads or old wheeler trails from when the places were hunting clubs. Flagging is forbidden, so I just use the trails as far as I can, then use my GPS to get to my tree. I have had a few hunts where I never found my spot, and just had t climb in the dark. Saw two bucks one morning doing that. :)
 

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Ishi said:
When hunting state forests, the only way to get away from the other hunting crowds is to go a good ways back into the forest. How do you guys that hunt the big tracts of land, treck through 3-4 miles of woods in the dark and find your spot? That would be alot of reflector tacks:confused:
Can you guys help me out with some tips on hunting the big woods?
scout before you hunt, Of coarse there is always the old compass and map method. can always get a GPS unit now. Ishi should know that one.
 

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samething but only about a mile in

I too walk the old logging road, I simply use a Pedometer to a point. Then out from there start using reflective pins for the last 100 yrds.
 

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Nick1959 is right, too a point. In Minnesota we are lucky to have a lot of public land and usually hunting pressure isn't too bad during archery season. Unfortunately, all it takes is a few people who have their eyes on the spot you want to hunt to make things a little more complicated. If you find a good spot, eventually someone else will probably find it also. Then you just have to go find another. Fortunately once you get over the disappointment, the search is fun.

To answer the question, three or four miles through the kind of woods we have here in the dark is a pretty tough hike. Remember you also have to get the big buck out. I like to find a trail or something in an area where ATV's aren't allowed and use that to get back in a ways. Nothing against ATV's, except I don't have one! LOL...:rolleyes: Then branch off the trail, and yes reflective tacks can work great. The big problem with them is installing them and if you start going to different spots in the same area it can get confusing. If more than one person is setting tack trails it can get fun real fast.

GPS is probably the best way to go. It's on my list, just not in the budget right now.
 

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Does anyone use a mountain bike to get further back in the woods and if so, how do you get your bow and climber back into the woods easily without being too top heavy.

Get your climber back there days before and lock it up?
 

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In a place I used to hunt in VA. the guys would ride there bikes way back in there. They would mount the bow/gun racks on their handle bars. They would rig up a hitch that would attch to the bike between the seat and the back tire. I actually used one of my moms plant hangers to make one for mine. It worked very well to get deer out and even treestands. To many people hunt there for my likeings now, so I don't use my bike anymore, I just walk the logging roads till I can cut off and head to my honey hole.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Where abouts in VA HOYT108?

Yeah, looks like GPS is the key. Hiking in with a climber strapped to your back without sweating is another problem. Bow season around here it isnt too crowded either but gun season the woods turn orange.
 

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Lay sticks in certian directions on the trail in that point you along the way. Either straight across 90 degrees, or pointing in the direction you are traveling. Nobody notices sticks on the ground, so you're not really helping anyone else find your spot.

It's easier to pick up the pattern of the trail/sticks than you think.
 

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Been Biking the Woods for the last 3 years.

System said:
Does anyone use a mountain bike to get further back in the woods and if so, how do you get your bow and climber back into the woods easily without being too top heavy.

Get your climber back there days before and lock it up?

Depending on the terrain, a mountain bike is a good way to quickly and quietly get to your spot. I used it for the last time this summer scouting, b/c my area is 5 miles in on an ol washed out loggin road, traded it in for a Honda Rancher 4X4.

But as far as public land hunting where ATV's are illegal, a bike is the way to go. I would advise you weld a good rack on the back and carry your bow in a hard case. This way your bow is protected from an accidental fall and rough riding.

Good luck!
 

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I can't remember how many studies I've read that concluded that 95% of hunters walk less than 400 yards from a road to hunt. 3 or 4 miles through the woods(daylight or dark) is a VERY LONG WAY for almost everyone. I hunt my own property and my FARTHEST stand from where I park is 1.25 miles. I mow a 15' wide path along the edge of the woods and along the fields for access. It's a no brainer, can't get lost, BUT invariably in the excitement of the hunt, I find myself walking like it's a race to get to my stand. Then I end up hot when I get there. There was an article just this month about a group of hunters that were outfitted with tracking devices and provided GPS units to study there hunting habits. Same conclusion, 400 yards or less for almost everyone.
 

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Ishi said:
Where abouts in VA HOYT108?

Yeah, looks like GPS is the key. Hiking in with a climber strapped to your back without sweating is another problem. Bow season around here it isnt too crowded either but gun season the woods turn orange.

I change my bottom layer when I get to the tree. Place the clothes in a bag and cover with leaves. I've had deer bed within 5 yards of the bag.
 

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This is a way of life out here. You learn the country like an Indian. I don't have to carry directional aids when I do that. :D Most of my hunts average about 5 miles. Packing out animals is just part of the fun. I actually enjoy it. I love good hard exercise.
 

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Cant help you there, our biggest tract of timber may onle be a hundred acres at the most. I dont understand how you guys do it. Good luck though
 

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I hunt big woods and swamps of public land in Fl. and usually go from 2 to 7 miles one way. I use a bike as far as I can ride it..on old woods roads and trails and if lucky let the game ride it out. Far as finding way around you just have to remember land marks or where you put a limb light. I also use GPS/compass in new areas.
You can carry tree stands on back of bike on bike rack..I can carry two climbers without any problem..bow on handle bars.
I buy cheap bikes at Walmart and they will last me about two yrs. I do buy special handle bars and seats with shocks in the post...and install on new bikes...makes a big difference on the ride.


 

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HOYT, Is that camo I see on the bottom bike? That is awesome. Would love to ride past some hikers with the top one to see their faces. LOL.

Only thing about a bike here in VA are the mountains. Man, I couldnt imagine having to ride up some of the hills.
 

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PMantle said:
I hunt big woods exclusively. Fortunately, all my areas have remnant logging roads or old wheeler trails from when the places were hunting clubs. Flagging is forbidden, so I just use the trails as far as I can, then use my GPS to get to my tree. :)
Flagging is forbidden in all the NWRs, but when we walk in during the dark the reflective tape & tacks makes the woods look like christmas lights. When aggravated, I assist the FWS by removing these items. If your sense of direction is so poor, you shouldn't be out in the woods in the dark.

Like pmantle says, I walk trails, old logging roads, and other natural features(brakes, drains, open bottoms) to get to my spots. You just have to learn the area well enough to know when & where to turn. I've been lost in the dark too, and will either find a good tree, or wait 'til daylight and backtrack to my spot.
 

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I HAVE HAD GOOD SUCCESS HUNTING PUBLIC LAND HERE in wisconsin. usually what i do to find my way is to do suttle things like move brush or a branch a certian way or some other thing to only let me knoe where i need to go. it also keeps other hunters from reconizing your routes and locations. this even works for me in the dark you just have to pay close attention and know the area a little. :wink:
 
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