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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all,

I'm just getting into hunting, and was hoping to get a little input from some of y'all that know what you're doing.
I live in Milton, so I'd probably start out in Blackwater WMA. I'll also be hunting with a gun (308).

What's public land hunting etiquette? Don't want to start off like a complete yahoo, lol.

What gear would y'all recommend to start out with? I've got some decent binoculars, and I'm looking at rangefinders.

Tree stand or ground blind?

Thanks for any input.
 

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Well for me I drive around the area I want to hunt and make sure I'm not within a couple miles of anyone else. Use a treestand a good aluminum climber will be your best bet. I loved mine but after 5 back surgeries and a neck surgery I'm limited to ladder stands now. The gear you have will work great and be enough. Scout areas first using Google earth then go put in the leg work and find the deer trails, bedding and feeding areas and you will be gtg.

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If your archery hunting get you a range finder with angle compensation.

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Just to start things off here as I know people will chime in.

As far as BlackWater, it gets hunted hard and often, also if you don’t have a quote permit look into which days you are actually allowed to hunt as to avoid any issues with the law. So get out and scout a lot, many times people will be in a spot you thought no one would get too, so need to have a backup at the drop of a coin.

Gear wise, this truly isn’t a huge deal, as long as you have some quality gear (boots, tree stand, safety harness, etc.) no need to get tied up in dropping serious coin on something you may hate in a year or two. So some basic Camo will work just be sure to dress weather appropriately.

Being you are new to the game, ensure you are extremely familiar with the regulations in the area you are hunting and have all necessary licenses.

Shoot me a PM if you have any further questions.


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BE SAFE! Wear your hunter orange. Be damned sure of your target - it IS a matter of life and death.

As far as improving your skills; Know all you can about whitetail deer. Do not fool yourself into thinking you can walk into their woods undetected. Get somewhere and get still and stay quiet. When you think you are still enough and quiet enough for long enough, you're about halfway there.

Find a partner with experience.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the info, guys. I'm definitely making safety a high priority; I'm not looking to get shot, and I sure as heck ain't trying to shoot anyone else!
Looks like my first hunt might be in East Texas... If I can bring myself to pay the $300+ out-of-state deer permit, my uncle lives out there and his brother-in-law has a lease they hunt. So I can pick their brains if/when I'm out there too
 

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Discussion Starter #8
For sure! Not trying to break my neck/back... I have the advantage of being scared of heights, so I definitely won't be taking any chances in that department. hahaha
 

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Texas is a great place to start! I hunted south Texas for the first time last year and had a blast.
For hunting here, get a quality tree stand. Being scared of heights is a hindrance but if you can, hunt high. Being high means you can get away with a lot as far as movement and scent. I routinely gun hunt at over 50' and am rarely smelled and almost never seen. Of course, safety is key. Always wear a harness and sliding your lanyard up as you go is slow, but the safest way to climb. Being high also allows you to see down into cover if the terrain allows. Finding climbable trees that tall on WMAs can be a problem but if you find 'em in the right place they can pay off big time. For short hunts I take a smallish pack with enough cord to pull up my unloaded rifle and pack. In the pack I also carry a collapsible rubber ice bag with a screw on lid to pee in. A Gator Ade bottle works but takes up more room. A folding pruning saw and pruning shears, a bottle of water, my binoculars, a snack and some cord to drag your critter out with. I get as far away from other hunters as possible because regardless of your etiquette, there are always buttholes close to the roads. Studying google earth maps of your area can save some legwork but there's nothing like boots on the ground scouting. Always take your binoculars when scouting, not only to see game but also to scan oaks for acorns.
Good luck!
 
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Discussion Starter #10
Being scared of heights is a hindrance but if you can, hunt high.
I guess I should've said I have a healthy fear of heights. I don't mind climbing, I'm just not gonna mess around and go without a harness either. lol
Thanks for all the great advice!
 

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Thanks for the info, guys. I'm definitely making safety a high priority; I'm not looking to get shot, and I sure as heck ain't trying to shoot anyone else!
Looks like my first hunt might be in East Texas... If I can bring myself to pay the $300+ out-of-state deer permit, my uncle lives out there and his brother-in-law has a lease they hunt. So I can pick their brains if/when I'm out there too
This is a small price to pay to gain some understanding and experience before hopping into the struggle that is the public land game since you have the opportunity.


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If you need a good start there are a few areas I used to hunt that produced some good deer. I no longer hunt those areas so hit me up if you are interested and we can go for a ride and I'll show you around.

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Pay attention to the wind direction.....most deer will walk into it or 90 degrees....You are going into their living room and they have an uncanny way of knowing when someone is in their house,lol....good luck....
 

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If you see another truck in the area, please for the love of god go somewhere else. Lots of good advice so far. Where your harness always. If you hunt a spot 3x without seeing deer, you need to move.

You can fool their ears twice, their eyes once, but you won't fool their nose.

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My 02 cants...
1. Take Bostic8 up on his offer.
2. Do not buy a tree stand. Buy a tree saddle. It’s a little more on the front end but in the long run you won’t have to ever buy a new stand. Go to Tethrd and they will have what you need.
1071791
 

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Best advice I have is....do not take any advice from people on here that dont kill anything!! When they tell you to do something, do the exact opposite!! Its obvious year after year that whatever the heck theyre doing is not working!!


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My nickel's worth. If you're just starting out, don't start with a saddle. They are "trendy" in today's hunting world and a number of bowhunters have "discovered" them. I'm an arborist and have hunted for over half a century. I've worked and hunted in a saddle for many, many years but would not recommend it until you get comfortable in a stand, especially if you're gun hunting. And like all other gear, if you use them, they wear out.
 
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If you're hunting in the southeast, particularly northwest Florida/lower Alabama there's no need for a saddle. Plenty of pine trees to climb and during gun season you're going to want to get higher than 15ft off the ground.

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If you're hunting in the southeast, particularly northwest Florida/lower Alabama there's no need for a saddle. Plenty of pine trees to climb and during gun season you're going to want to get higher than 15ft off the ground.

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This makes no sense at all.
 
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