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


Where are big bucks most likely to be during legal shooting light? When the rut is on, it’s no secret you’ll find them wherever the does are hanging out—there’s just no better draw for rutting bucks than the scent of females. During the pre- and post-rut, however, they are entirely different animals. That’s when it’s crucial to think like a cautious buck, knowing it will be most comfortable deep in the thickest, most remote reaches of a particular area during the daytime. When it’s not the peak of the rut, there’s just no point in hunting areas where a buck can be seen from a distance.

By following rub lines, you might be surprised how far back into the timber a buck will travel to reach his trusted day bed. Keep in mind that a buck will always rub the tree on the side from which it first approached, giving you a good idea of the direction it is travelling in. All bucks rise from their daybed two to three times throughout the day to eat, drink and maybe even carve up a tree, so if you make the effort to go deep into the woods, your odds increase of spotting a multi-tined rack.

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