Hunting Near Roads

Ted A. from New York writes to ask about people hunting near roads. “I believe that a fair number of hunters do not get far from roads. This means that even on public land, if you hike back in, hunt the rough cover, you can find good deer hunting. Is there any data to show this?”

Dr. Dave Samuel

Actually Ted, a new study done in Pennsylvania shows exactly that. Hunters on public land were provided GPS Units, and were followed during their hunts. When they came out of the woods they were asked to show on maps where they walked. They were also asked to estimate how far they moved from roads. Remember that the researchers already knew the answer because they had GPS Units on the hunters. The results were interesting.

First, the maximum average distance hunters walked from roads was one-half mile. That’s all. Most hunters thought they had walked twice as far from a road as they actually walked. The conclusion was that a lot of good deer habitat on public land gets very little hunting pressure. It’s a good question. Thanks Ted!

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Dr. Dave writes a weekly column for If you have a question for Dr. Dave, e-mail your question to Dr. Dave in care of Tom Kacheroski, senior editor of‘s content at Dr. Dave studied deer for 30 years as a wildlife management professor at West Virginia University. In addition he has been a bowhunter for over 40 years, with deer being his main prey. He’s also an outdoor writer and has been with “Bowhunter” magazine for 31 years.

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One Response to “Hunting Near Roads”

  1. Stephen FitzPatrick

    I Hunt the central Adirondack Mountains, Hamilton Co. Raquette Lake, my camp isnt road accessible its 4.5 miles up the lake then we hunt another 1/2 mile since I was 16 accross the lake, 2015 will go down in history books as being one of the worst harvests state wide on record but were Ihunted I saw Deer every day and missed a buck on election day , now we dont hold out for a big ole ridge runner ” like Dad said u cant eat the horns ” but Ive yet to see another human track Im 54 yrs old have been hunting up there since I was 16 yrs old , shot a Bear in 2014 and I dought he ever saw a human before but he sure was haulin Butt and nastiest drag Ive ever had Bear dont slide out like a whitetail thats for sure ,should have listened to Dad , HaaH