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

#6 PLAN TO CUT YOUR TAG

Whenever you’re hunting solo, you need to be prepared for success before you even begin—and that includes hunts on crown land. Always have a plan in place for extracting a downed deer, as a 250-pound bruiser can be a handful. Having a friend or two on speed dial to help with the heavy lifting is best, but if that’s not an option, consider using a game cart (or a large toboggan once there’s snow on the ground). I’ve used both, and I was grateful to have them. Otherwise, you will likely have to quarter the deer and pack it out on your back over a few trips. Just make sure to wear blaze orange apparel—and to remember that all the effort will be worth it once you fill your freezer.

 

BONUS TIP: AFTER THE KILL

To properly field dress your downed buck—especially if you’re alone—you should have the following essential gear on hand:

  • A sharp knife.
  • Some light rope to spread apart the legs by tying them to nearby trees.
  • An extra set of lithium batteries for your headlamp in case you unexpectedly have to spend part of the night recovering the deer.
  • A white, garbage-sized bag to tie to the antlers or a leg. In the rare event you have to leave your buck overnight, that should deter predators from damaging the meat.
  • Game bags, if you know you’ll have to quarter the animal.
  • A painter’s lightweight, plastic drop-sheet to keep the quarters clean while you work.

Mark Raycroft enjoys pursuing big bucks on both private and public property.

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