View Full Version : How close to camp do you hunt?
09-24-2002, 12:14 PM
This year was my first year deer hunting. I went up near Badger Flat in D-7. We saw plenty of does but no bucks. I took a GPS unit so I wouldn't get lost and noticed that we were hunting around 0.35 miles from the camp site. Were we too close? I also saw a few hunters that were close to camp.
My question is how far do most of you hunt away from your camp site. Also, does it really matter how close or how far.
Thanks in advance,
09-24-2002, 01:47 PM
As a rule, I always try to hunt big game as far away from other people as possible when staying at an established campground, and that means minimally a mile, and on average 2.5 miles away. Generally a difficult thing to do on public lands. Granted I've seen a good number of deer in those actual campgrounds, but (a) they almost always show up that way during the offseason; and (b) by law, safety, and etics, you can't shoot the particular critter of interest within 150 yards of the campgrounds.
Wilderness backpack hunting -- you might be able to get away camping a 1/2 mile or so from your hunting zone. Also I set up the backpack camp in cover so I'm not advertising that humans have arrived.
09-24-2002, 02:03 PM
Camp had better be at least 3 miles from the trailhead in a roadless area, then I'd hunt about 2 miles further into the roadless area .
If I am only doing a day trip from the trailhead, I start hunting at the 5 mile mark if I walk the trail from the trailhead, 3 mile mark if I have hiked off-trail starting at the trailhead.
Of course, hunting like this I am not going to shoot a small buck and I am always prepared to debone my deer and pack them out on my back.
09-24-2002, 02:39 PM
Welcome to JHP it's the greatest hunting site on the web. I have hunted a couple miles from camp and I've seen deer. But I have also seen deer and hogs a couple 100 yds. from camp. Remember hunting is 90% luck and 10 % skill. The more and more I hunt the more and more I think this theory is true.
09-24-2002, 03:01 PM
I think it depends on the circumstances. As a general rule, I would not hunt from or near camp, but it some circumstance it MAY be perfectly safe to do so. I think you just have to use common sense and assess the situation.
09-24-2002, 04:20 PM
My favorite canyon to hunt is a little shy of 1 mile from end to end, and probably about 1000 to 1500 yards across from ridge to ridge. There's also about 1000 feet of elevation gain on the highest (west) ridge, which is a tougher climb than it sounds like here.
My best spot in this canyon is about a half mile from the trail head, right under the road that runs along the eastern ridge. The road hunters can't see over the edge here, and there are a ton of deer moving around there... or at least there were until this past weekend during the opener. Later in the season, the deer move regularly through several areas within this half-mile range.
The place has opened up a lot from a fire last year, and I saw a lot more folks on foot in there this past weekend. It could be the end of the spot for a couple of years until it grows back some.
A lot of folks tend to hump it as far into the back country as they can get, and some really good areas much closer to camp get ignored. It really depends on where you are and what kind of pressure the area gets. I have a spot I hog hunt less than a quarter mile from the paved road, but most other hunters go right on by into the deep canyons... they don't even stop to look for sign. And before I get any "knowing grins", I have seen hogs there several times. Just haven't been able to close the deal.
The only way to know for sure is to spend some time in the place and learn the habits of both the deer and the deer hunters. You'd be surprised.
09-24-2002, 05:18 PM
Oy yes you guys are right. Gotta clairfy, maybe just to myself, that a "couple miles minimum" means don't expect a whole lot of game coming around and not that you shouldn't look for any sign along the way. Always assume you will find game anywhere in the area and if it's the one you want and can legally take it, by all means do it!
I also gotta add that time of day and time of week are just as critical as the place.
Speck - I think I know the hog place you're talking about. Yes, I've seen hunters make a straight beeline past that area into the canyons below, passing up a wallow (obvious hog signs) just a ways off trail near some springs. I remember back in early spring you were telling me about a Hmong gang storm through that place with their assault rifles (am I right?).
09-24-2002, 07:42 PM
Jeez!!! Next time I'm going at least a mile further. We only hiked about 20 minutes each time we went out. I see that being that close didn't help much. Most people we talked to were hunting about the same distance to camp. As for being safe I always made sure that I hunted with my back facing the direction of camp.
Thanks a lot guys. You are a great help.
09-25-2002, 08:21 AM
Yupp...that's the place. I went back at the beginning of summer just to see if it's still happening. Mostly dried up, but I hiked back to a deep spring way back in there. I'll be back as soon as deer season (B and G-1) is over, and see if I can get lucky. I've got another, similar honey hole not too far away.
I suppose we're off-topic huh? Oh, the shame. http://www.jesseshunting.com/forums/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smiley-biggrin-aqua.gif
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