Stop Public Hunting Stigmas
I’ve had some thoughts recently on public land and the bad reputation that some of the public land hunters have. Now, I understand that not everyone feels this way, but scouring different forums and conversations with other hunters, the opinions are out there. There are both good and bad hunters on private and public land, just like there are good and bad people and the hunting community needs to rid themselves of stereotypes.
Public land hunters face a lot of criticism. Whether it’s that they “kill all the deer”, shoot anything they see, or are careless in the woods, there are stigmas that exist. I personally have been faced with statements such as, “oh you’re a public hunter? Brown is down and that is why you guys will never kill mature deer.” Sure, some people live by this but not every public land hunter shoots whatever crosses in front of them. This is disheartening to me, since I put in a lot of time on public land.
There are many people out there who can not afford land but they make the best out what they have. I have been fortunate in my life to take a few mature bucks, all on public land. This comes as a shock sometimes to people because, as some of you may know, public land in Wisconsin gets hunted extremely hard and is very competitive. We might not be as successful or be successful as often, as someone who hunts on big a big chunk of managed private land but we take great pride in what we do.
It takes a lot of patience, discipline, and skill to hunt mature bucks regardless of location and I do not think that it’s fair to judge a group of people just by where they hunt. Sure, I will agree that a lot of people on public land do shoot a lot of immature deer, but there are many young deer shot on private as well.
Hunters need to stand together as a group and not look down upon others for where they hunt or how they hunt or what they choose to shoot. There is a great divide taking place in our sport and it is not good for anybody.
Be sure to remember this in the coming months when hunters take to the field. We’re all on the same team and we need to make sure to stand together to keep this lifestyle that we love a reality.