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 sportsmansguide.com. If you have a question for Dr. Dave, e-mail your question to Dr. Dave in care of Tom Kacheroski, senior editor of www.sportsmansguide.com‘s content at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.