Public Land Tips #2- Never Stop Scouting

-By A. Maxwell

Public land tips. A series of articles we put together here at the Southern Outdoorsmen to help you on your quest for public land success.

Without scouting, success should not be expected. It should be a job that takes place year round, even during the season. Wether its boots on the ground or scouting from a map, constantly growing your knowledge of the woods you hunt will only make you a better woodman. 

Some parcels of public land are enormous, ten thousand acres or more, while others may only encompass a few hundred acres. Regardless of the size of the tract your hunting, there is always something new to be learned, even if you think you know the woods like the back of your hand. 

It can be easy to get comfortable with a spot you know produces deer, but your knowledge of that spot can be enhanced by pushing into new areas you may have not been in to before. Something as simple as going to look at that ridge top above your favorite oak flat can give you information that will help you better understand your stand setup, and possibly give you reason to move. 

Small thickets, narrow draws, or different branches that connect to a creek you often hunt can easily be overlooked by you or anyone else who may hunt the area. As mentioned in the first Public Land Tips article, these overlooked spots may hold the key to greater success in an area you may think you have down pat. Part of being a good hunter, or a good outdoorsman in general, is to always be an avid learner. 

The biggest advantage to year round scouting is the amout of different areas you will learn and be able to hunt. By having lots of different areas to hunt you can really move around throughtout the year. This allows you to hunt very aggressivley without putting to much pressure on one specific area, or on one specific deer. If you get busted in one of your best spots its no big deal, you can just move to a backup area for a few days to let things get back to normal in your good spot. 

The fact of the matter is that its always good to assume that there is a better spot out there somewhere, or you are still missing a piece of the puzzle in your area. Scout smart, and scout often and you may be surprised at what you find.