Bowhunting Public Land Whitetails
Hunter/Videographer: David Enstad
Location: Western WI Public Land



When it comes too bowhunting, many people get intimidated by the prospects of hunting public land. When you ask around on any social medial platform, you hear that the fears range from “there just isn’t any deer on public land”, too “there are way too many people hunting, and the pressure is just too high”, and tons of other horror stories. The reality however is that while you certainly do have some cramped places, there are hundreds of thousands of acres of pubic land that never see human pressure at all; or at least very minimal. 

The video above is a prime example. I’ve been hunting it for a few years now, and have seen a lot of deer almost on every sit. Yet in the 3 or 4 years that I have been hunting it, I’ve only once seen another human; and he was on bike riding the trails, not hunting. On this hunt, I am also sitting in a tree just 500 yards away from my truck off of a main walking trail that connects a CPR field and oak grove which differs from many of my other public land spots where I’ll typically either walk in well over a mile, or walk through some very rough and nasty terrain where most of the other hunters refuse too go.  

On this particular hunt pretty much everything that could go wrong, went wrong. I got off of work at 2:30pm and immediately headed home for a quick shower. Once I was done I hurried up and packed the truck and hit the road for one of my many public land spots. I arrived at the parking spot about 4pm give or take, and started my journey back too a spot I had found during turkey season. I made the mile long walk to my tree and started getting my Hawk Helium stand ready to hang when I took a closer look at the tree and realized there were a lot of large vines on the tree that I hadn’t noticed before, and with the current laws in WI regarding public land, I am not allowed to prune them… I quickly looked around for another tree, but the rest were either saplings, or giants with no way to hang a stand, so I ditched that idea and decided my hunt was already over for the most part because of the amount of sweat I had accumulated working my tail off, and the wind direction being totally wrong, so I opted to just go sit in a tree on the edge of a CRP field. To my surprise I had one of the most memorable hunts in a very long time when I managed to double up on a pair of doe in only a few minutes, with the worst possible wind, all while self filming. 

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