Contributors to this thread:
I will be coming out to Nebraska October 21-25th to do some archery doe hunting on a seasons choice tag. I have selected the Platte GMU due to its proximity to Colorado.
I am an experienced bow hunter here in Colorado but have never hunted white tails. I am looking got get a doe or two under my belt this fall/winter.
I will also be bringing 2 new bow hunters. They have 1 elk season under their belts and are also looking to gain more experience in the field.
We are looking for any information on general public land hunting in the Platte GMU. again we will only be hunting on doe permits and will not be looking for bucks.
Please PM me with any information regarding areas that we might focus out energy on while visiting.
We are also looking for suggestions on where we can camp. We will be in a 20foot trailer.
I hunt NE a lot - easy tags and lots of deer. I am not as familiar with your unit, my guess you are hunting around Lake Mac, so lots of camping there. If you are on public, especially Lake Mac, you may see lots of trees stands. However, many of these are left year round (even though it is illegal) and hunters only use them during the rut or weekend. If you are hunting during the week and specifically outside of early November, there likely will be nobody around those stands. You will find all public land for whitetails crowded with stands, but no hunters for the above reasons. So don't be overly concerned about stands, just be polite and hang your stand a few 100 yards away and of course, look in neighboring stands as you approach yours to see if you have competition. If yes, go to another location as they should do if the roles are reversed. Trails are everything as whitetails are creatures of habit. Use the wind correctly and I would bet you get a deer . If you go outside of Lake Mac, there are campgrounds in all the small towns. You might also look north of Lisco/Oskosh, I think there is good public land there, and it would be much less hunted, however it may be more of a spot and stalk muley place.
Don't overlook any small parcels along the river. My experience is that again - during the week and outside of NOvember, there is little pressure. However on the Platte river you encounter waterfowl hunters, so look for blinds and set up well away. I've made that mistake and had shotguns way too close. I don't think it effects the deer too much, but you don't want stray pellets hitting your tree (it's happened to me). Deer will go wide (100 yds) of the blinds, but don't seem overly effected. Many times the duck hunters only shoot a few times, if any, - so the noise isn't a factor.
Two more thoughts - once the crops are out, the hunting improves. Secondly get the online public atlas on the NE web site. You want a waterway if possible, a river or creek. Something that funnels the deer. And, of course, trees. Lastly you may want both a climbing stand (much easier to re locate with it) and a hang on stand as most trees along a river are cottonwoods and are not conducive to climbers. Lastly, while on stand range all the trees around you. That way you don't have to range the deer when it is coming in.
Thank you for the information Jerry.
You are correct I was planning on hitting Lake Mac. My son and I were Turkey hunting up there this spring and that is really the only out of state experience that I have so far. I also have a few areas that I know a little bit in there.
I am primarily going to be in a ground blind, don't currently have a stand and I am not sure how I feel about being up in a tree. If the ground blind doesn't work out then I have the lesson and can adjust for next year.
Being a avid elk hunter here I Colorado I am familiar with being aware of the wind and setting up accordingly.
I fear heights, but love a climbing stand. If you got one, I think you'd love it. Just need a tree with few branches (or ones you can saw off as you climb). Good luck.
One other terrific suggestion. Take trail cameras to put on trails - gives you an extra set of eyes or two. I no longer hunt without them. I am taking 3 Stealth Cams with me to Nebraska on Friday (Walmart online for $63). Set them parrallel to trail as cheaper cams need a full second to trigger. I use video mode so I get a longer look. Also, if you plan on return trip this season, just leave them up if you wish.
Thank you for the suggestion on setting some Game cams. I have a few I will bring. I wasn't sure if I could use them after the season started or not. I know some sates allow you use them until a the season starts.
Saw a few deer, the big bucks were about an hour before shooting light. From every one we talked too we were about a week early because the corn was still standing.