6 pro tips for hunting white-tailed deer on public land

Crown Land kings

Can’t get permission to hunt for whitetails on private property? Go public instead this fall to get your trophy buck


I look for public land covering an area of at least 200 acres, and once I’ve confirmed that it’s the home to sufficient numbers of deer and at least one mature buck, I pinpoint five positions from which to hunt. Having this variety of options makes it less likely the deer will come to expect my presence. It also allows me to move my set-up according to the wind direction.

Since crown land is typically open to anyone for recreational purposes, I seek out areas that require more effort to access. That way, my hunt is less likely to be ruined by the likes of a hiker, dog walker or mountain biker passing through. This tactic is especially important when you’re hunting on public land that’s close to urban regions.


In many regions of Canada, public or crown land can be leased for agricultural purposes. In Alberta, for example, approximately five million acres are under agricultural leases. While interested hunters are still required to ask for permission to enter the property, the leaseholder must grant access as long as it poses no harm to the land or the investment in crops or livestock. With private property, on the other hand, the landowner can simply deny access without providing a reason.

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