Metro Public Land Buck Year 3

  • BigWerm
    Participant
    SW Metro
    Posts: 9603
    #2167822

    Well I think the time has come to sum up another exciting year chasing a metro public land buck. Between the holidays and weather forecast I doubt I’ll get out again. If you’re only interested in the results, I didn’t get one and you can move on now. For those interesting in how the sausage actually, literally, gets made (or not), here’s how my 2022 season went.

    To start I thought this was going to be my easiest season ever, I spent a ton of time and miles scouting a WMA over the summer, and had a very nice 10 point and shooter 8 point dialed in (I believe both pictured below, but not anywhere near where I was seeing them). I would see both these bucks along with a few smaller bucks nearly every morning like clockwork on public land. However, like most things if you think it’s too good to be true, it usually is. The DNR came thru and clear cut/mowed a huge portion of the WMA that I was seeing these deer at on August 15th, and I didn’t see a single deer in that general vicinity for the rest of the season. Apparently they needed to mow/cut this down to help the wildflower roots, to help the songbirds and butterflies. I was seeing tons of songbirds and butterflies and all sorts of wildlife before they mowed it all down, and none after, but I digress as that’s another topic of discussion for another thread. So I was back to square one.

    I knew these deer were still in the area, the question now, was whether they moved elsewhere on the public or hightailed it to private ground. I was zigging and zagging every which way thru the WMA to try and get a bead on one or both of them again without much luck. Until October 12th when I saw the big 10 chasing a doe thru my neighborhood! So kind of good news, right? I mean he was still around, which is great, but he was about a mile or more from anywhere I could hunt. And I don’t think any rattle or grunt call is going to draw em in from that distance. But it did give me a better idea of where he’d be, if he made it back on public. Then November 12th I saw the 8 pointer in a no hunting area of the WMA, but only a few hundred yards from where I could hunt him. Sorry for the bad pic, I zoomed in to try and not give the area away.

    So I focused my hunting and scouting time on this area, and found 2 areas that had a ton of buck sign. With fairly limited time to hunt, I rotated which area I hunted based off the wind, and had some great encounters. One night I had a doe, fawn and something a lot bigger come thru REAL close, but the bigger one busted me before I could see it, so the mystery continued. On two subsequent trips I had a fork and little 6 within 10 yards of me, and could have easily taken either one, but I believe in letting em go, to let em grow (even on pressured Metro Public). And obviously that is a lot easier when you know there’s some much bigger ones around. It also told me one of the areas with buck sign, was from these immature bucks and the other area was likely from one or both of the bigger ones. The sign also indicated that, as the rubs and scrapes were much bigger and more frequent, with about a dozen rubs in 100 yard stretch.

    So I focused more on that area, but never saw a deer, let alone one of the bigger ones I was after there. After one of our first snows I got in to hunt, and scout that area and did not find anything that led me to believe a bigger buck was still in the area. I was also limited a bit this year from a family trip during prime October time, the flu ran thru our house for about 2 weeks in November, and our 2 year old deciding 4-5 am was his new time to start the day (still occassionally ongoing). Plus we filled some bonus tags during gun season, so the need to fill the freezer had decreased slightly. Highlight of the year was the 6 pointer coming within 10 yards was when I had my 5 year old out with me, which made a little hunter that day I believe. So a tip of the hat to the bucks this year, and look forward to finding out how big they are next year, and how I can get the drop on em next time around! Keep on crushin!

    Here’s the link to the last 2 years write ups, for anyone interested:
    http://www.in-depthoutdoors.com/community/forums/topic/metro-public-land-buck-year-2/

    Attachments:
    1. 8-point.jpg

    2. Rubline.jpg

    3. 10-point.png

    Youbetcha
    Participant
    Anoka County
    Posts: 2209
    #2167827

    Great write up. Just being in the game with any deer on metro public is an accomplishment. Thats awesome that you got to share that experience with your five year old having deer that close. Not many people get that kind of encounter and its something I doubt they will forget. Look forward to seeing the picture of the big ten down in the early season next year toast

    JEREMY
    Participant
    BP
    Posts: 2581
    #2167835

    Something was different around that area this year. I barely even see a track in the snow where you got last years. Used to always see deer crossing the road down there.

    Bearcat89
    Participant
    North branch, mn
    Posts: 16970
    #2167851

    Great write up. I my self also have been chasing a big public land buck. I hunt 2 different private pieces and the wma by my home. The taking of a public land deer especially a buck is another level of success. The one I am after currently is winning. But he will be the biggest buck I ever shoot if I can connect. In the time I’ve put in on public I have noticed 2 things. Lots of hunters shoot immediately to easy to get to spots, and not many like to go to the depths of a 3 Mile 800 acre swamp.( I don’t blame them ) we took 3 deer off this public piece so far this season and 2 from private. I missed a shot on my buck with a muzzle loader and still kicking my own ass. I tried Sunday morning to sit with the bow but ended up freezing my toes off. I’m in it for the hunt though and I find it a fun way to spend my time.

    CaptainMusky
    Participant
    Posts: 17612
    #2167864

    THe memories with your kids will last a lifetime. Bummer you didnt get one of those bucks you were after, but the smiles on the kids face kind of take the sting out of eating tag soup.

    BigWerm
    Participant
    SW Metro
    Posts: 9603
    #2167898

    THe memories with your kids will last a lifetime. Bummer you didnt get one of those bucks you were after, but the smiles on the kids face kind of take the sting out of eating tag soup.

    The 5 year old has some classics already, this was the 2020 buck Jeremy tipped me off on.

    Attachments:
    1. ACA1F7D5-43B1-4EE2-802D-82D854C40DEA.png

    BigWerm
    Participant
    SW Metro
    Posts: 9603
    #2167903

    Something was different around that area this year.

    Yeah, there was someone living in there in a tent for awhile this fall. I never saw them, but I did find their tent in some thick stuff with a black tarp setup to block its view from the trail and I was worried I was walking up on something worse…not sure how they could sleep in there with all the coyotes sounding off at sunset and sunrise…Never a dull moment on metro public! ;-)

Viewing 7 posts - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.