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Indiana state land
Hi blood brothers. I am new to the site and was wondering if any body has hunted in north east indana state land planing a trip this fall looking for a good starting point. thanks for any info shoot straight >>>---------->
I live in the southern half of the state...so not going to be much help.
Might try the Indiana forum. Several guys from the north are regulars there.
Checkout the Fish and Wildlife areas....Winimac and Tri County.....not a lot of public land up in the N. East except the F&W areas, Go to INDNR "Where to hunt".......Jeff
I am from there. Cedar Swamp and Marsh Lake are both State properties in Steuben County. I would not recommend either for trophy quality animals, but there are tons of deer in the area.
The best thing about me moving to Illinois from Indiana was the fact I just hunt state owned public lands. Huge difference in quality between these 2 states on such properties. I would not invest much time on Indiana state lands if you are at all intertested in taking a mature buck. In my 10+ years hunting IN I shot a grand total of zero P&Y bucks. Since moving to Illinois I have averaged one per year. Even started passing on 130" bucks.
Some of the IN properties I remember standing in one spot looking at 4-5 treestands. Unreal. If you deduct the Hoosier NF there's an incredibley tiny amount of any public land in IN.
Its been close to 10 years but I have hunted the state land called Mongo and killed a couple of deer there. Its near LaGrange. I also picked up a few sheds there. Its a good part of the state to hunt near the Michigan border and not that far from OH. I'm not sure of the current rules but when I hunted there they used to assign blocks of land for hunting. You would show up at like 4:00 am and they would tell you your block. If not many people came you could pick it. Many times the other hunters would not be there until later and you could pick get out there and they would move the deer to you when going into there areas. I lived about 40 miles from there and had a cabin about 5 miles from there. There was a section that was like a penninsula or funnel into a wet swampy area I would pick if I could. I would be there well before day light and stay all day. As the hunters moved about the deer seemed to funnel past you. I saw some huge bucks but never connected on a really big one. The best was a 9 point around 115. I saw several 130s-140s and one 160s killed there though. A Booner was in the paper that was killed there as I recall. There were a few pheasants there too. I would recommend contacting the state for the current rules, spend the bucks for a topo map, and go do some pre season scouting. That's how I found my hunting spots. If the rules are the same find a few places you like in case someone else is assigned your favorite. Other great things about up there is there no chiggers, and encountering a poisonous snake is rare if not nill. Use a Thermo cell though. The mosquitos will carry you away.
There are also a few Michigan public land areas close to the border. I cant recall there names but I hunted one a little north of Bristol Indiana. I saw alot of deer but didn't kill anything. I killed by biggest bow buck in Jackson County Michigan which is about 30-40 miles from Mongo. It was on Private land though there are some public areas near there as I recall too.
Don't get too discouraged by some of the posts. My friends that still live there kill respectable deer every year and really good ones every once in a while. They hunt both public and private land in Northern Indiana and Southern Michigan. (Pretty secretive on their spots though)
Actually, it is Pigeon River Fish and Wildlife area, and there is some good Bowhunting there. Al, since you have left Indiana it has become the #1 B&C and P&Y state since 2009. If you pull all the numbers for the last 2 years you will find this is true, but the majority of all of those are killed on private land. It is not that difficult to find a place to hunt and the management is getting better every year.
thanks for the info iam wanting to get down soon to check out the public land and maybe nock on some doors. shoot straight >>>------->
There are put and take pheasant hunts on Pigeon river. Ground gets routinly pushed during those times.
I don't think I've ever seen a deer on 3 or 4 pheasant shoots there.
Bill in MI
How many P&Y entries come off private land is meaningless if you don't have access to any. My comment was about quality of public land based on personal experience. No way Indiana will ever come close to Illinois with 32 gun days, 16 during prime rut.
I remembered there was put and take pheasants too. The ones I saw must have evaded the guns.
A guy I used to work with's hunting buddy bow killed the Michigan state record nontypical in Cass county north of Bristol about 10 years ago. That group of guys and one of their wives kill nice bucks every year hunting Elkhart & LaGrange co, IN and Cass Co Michigan every year. Lots of deer and they really heard up when it gets cold during late season.
I found it was much easier to get permission to bow hunt than gun hunt. It was about impossible to get permission to gun hunt while I lived there. I only found one place to gun hunt.
Redman, Where do you get your P&Y/B&C stats? I did a Google search and found nothing. I find it real hard to believe your claim. From 91-00 IL put 2,641 in compared to IN 587. I can't see any way IN could touch IL with OBR or anything else short of cutting gun days.
The area at Pigeon River that the put and take pheasant hunts on are only about 20% of the land available there.
Estimated Harvest Rate of Record-Book Bucks Per Thousand Square Miles
Boone and Crockett Club
State 1999 2009 %change Illinois 0.85 0.85 0% Iowa 0.68 0.78 16% Kansas 0.34 0.52 54% Kentucky 0.49 0.97 95% Missouri 0.30 0.83 176% Ohio 0.56 1.05 88% Indiana 0.38 1.29 236%
Pope and Young Club State 1999 2009 %change Illinois 5.34 3.47 - 35% Iowa 2.90 2.33 - 20% Kansas 1.06 1.91 80% Kentucky 0.89 1.24 39% Missouri 1.29 1.38 7% Ohio 3.17 3.50 11% Indiana 1.76 4.28 144%
Here are the numbers, not really sure why I posted them, it has been the best kept secret! Look at the percentage increases in Indiana and the decrease in Illinois.
Ha Bow Tech...I have not hunted NE Indiana but I have hunted Indiana for 30 years and I have enjoyed some very good deer hunting in the North Central part of the State. Marshall County has over 2000 acres of public land spread over the County. Try the monominee wet lands and you won't go wrong...
There is definitely something screwed up with these figures, even if calculated by P&Y/B&C per K acre, and even if only calculated for two years? 1999 & 2009. I don't care if every hillbilly in IN ran to enter their buck (which they do) and most hunter in IL do not enter their's (which I believe).
32 gun days with 16 in prime rut still hammer the Indiana herd. It does stand to reason the IN stats would increase due to one buck rule, but whoever thinks IN is even close to the quality of Iowa & Illinois, which have almost no gun rut seasons, is drinking P&Y Koolaid.
I lived in both states my whole life and see the difference.
big foot thanks for the heads up.in your opinon whats the hunting pressure like.
Hunting pressure is gonna be high in that part of the state. In that part of the state. Because there is not enough public ground. Now I know for a fact that you come down a litte to the lake around salamonie than the chances of getting away from other guys is decent. But just because there is pressure does not mean there are not big deer. I know of guys that kill big ones in all parts of the state. And yes Indiana is on the rise for big deer. But the killing of all the does is getting out of hand and stupid!
Those numbers are directly from QDMA. The entries are there, I could care less if anyone believes the numbers or not. It also has a lot to do with the areas that you hunted in Indiana and when it was, things have changed in both states, just for the better in Indiana and for worse in Illinois. I have hunted both a lot! I have a few bucks from Pike County Illinois and they are great bucks, but I have 3 from Indiana that are HUGE!
During archery season it is not bad at all. During gun firearm season in places it can get a little crowded
I have hunted NE IN for 25 years now and can tell you without hesitation that you will find intense hunting pressure on Pigeon River, J. Edgar Rousch, Cedar Swamp and other FWA's in my corner of the state. I have hunted Marshall County for turkeys over the past 5 or 6 years and would think that Bigfoot has given you the best advice so far. If you're going to try the FWA's.... I'd hunt early. You can shoot me a PM when you have a chance and I can suggest a couple of spots on both Pigeon River FWA and J. Edgar Rousch FWA. Pete
I can also tell you without hesitation that you will find intense hunting pressure on all the public properties in NW Indiana. I've hunted all of them and got out. The number of such properties is extremely small compared to Illinois.
If those figures were actually posted by QDMA the publisher had an IV filled with P&Y Koolaid.
There is no way on god's green earth any state with 32 gun days, 16 during prime rut, is going to produce any decent number of bucks to reach maturity. You can believe what you like.
As to public land, as the thread was started for, the disparity is even worse due to the poor state property inventory in Indiana.
Well here it is not as clear of a video as I remember it
I've got to go with the Illinois guys on this one.
Those numbers from QDMA may be accurate....but they are relatively meaningless. Yes, Indiana is better than it was ten years ago. No, Indiana shouldn't even be mentioned in the same breath as Illinois, Iowa, Kansas....or even Ohio.
I'm planning to bowhunt Kansas again this fall, so I'll use that as an example. Compared to Indiana, Kansas contains almost 2-1/2 times the land mass and less than half the human population. They also limit NR tags, Indiana does not.
This equates into ALOT less hunters "per thousand square miles" (QDMA's yardstick), but they still enter more record book deer. Per hunter, your odds of shooting a record book deer in Kansas are MUCH greater than in Indiana.
I don't have the data to support this, but I would bet the average record book entry from Kansas would be considerably larger than Indiana. Most of the resident bowhunters I've encountered in Kansas wouldn't even consider shooting a 130" buck...let alone entering one in a record book. Not exactly the same mindset I see here at home.....and for good reason.
My last trip to Kansas was in 2008...hunting public land. On the last morning of the hunt, I had a 130-135" ten point walk right under my tree. Never took my bow off the hook. Wasn't what I traveled to Kansas to shoot. Since then, I've arrowed a couple 130" bucks on private ground in Indiana...and been very happy with them.
Point is, for those looking for quality, the "bar" should be set based on general quality of the given hunting area. For me, that "bar" is set higher on public ground in Kansas than on private ground in my home state of Indiana.
All this said, I don't think BowTech asked anything about quality on Indiana public land? Sorry for derailing the thread. Hope you find a place to hunt.
P&Y entries per 1000 hunting hours would be the most accurate way to estimate effort relating to harvest assuming equal participation/submissions.
But for a third of the price for a tag in some of the other states, I think Indiana is a good choice for the budget-minded trophy hunter
I agree Indiana is a NR friendly state from a cost perspective. Like most things in life though, you get what you pay for.
Unless those budget-minded trophy hunters have some very good private land locked up...Ohio would be a much better choice IMO.
Yes I'm sure there is some great private land in Indiana. The habitat is there, just not the management. For public land though, this state just leaves a lot to be desired.
In Indiana we are going way overboard in killing off doe. Personally I think our DNR makes up harvest numbers to support what ever agenda they have going at the time.There is no way to verify the numbers they put out. We will have new rules soon to make the problem even worse.
I can't say that I know of any good public land for whitetail hunting. I have hunted whitetails in almost every state worthy of the chase and private land is the best way to go to increase your harvest rate on P&Y deer.
Indianas number one problem is in management. I can kill 8 does in one county go to the next and kill 8 and so on. But the problem with that number is there are 4 button bucks killed out of those 8. And I agree that the does need to be controled but to send a fella out in gun season and be able to leave with so many animals is rediculous. Indiana will NOT be considered a trophy state until the button bucks are considered a buck and a antler restriction is put in place. Yes there is public property that has big bucks, but that property is only accesable by private ground, thats how my property is, and I have big deer and never see another hunter. Thats my opinion
I've taken 8 P&Y, all on public land. Always have good hunts in Iowa, Kansas & Illinois. These 3 allow almost zero gun hunting days in November.
Also, forgot to mention, unless things have changed since I lived there, shotun hunting is unlimited on all IN state land. Some properties had a draw for just the first 2 days. Other than that anyone with a gun could go hunt there peak rut for 16 days! Yikes. Doesn't take a rocket scientist to see how that will affect mature buck population.
Ken, I agree, when the day comes that Indiana changes the gun season, we are all going to wish that we had lots of land there. I can also tell you that I have hunted many other states as well and have done pretty well, but Iowa's management as a quality state is about done. They are killing way too many does and antlerless bucks and even using rifles to do so. That license is now over $600 by the time you buy 2-3 points, a hunting license and a doe permit and the quality is not near what it was when I started hunting there 15 years ago. Mike
Redman, Does IN still have the unlimited guns on the public?
I have been sitting on 4 Iowa points for years because of the price increase. Know lots of great public spots there. I keep saying I want to burn the points but my choice is 2 buck tags for $26/each or one for $600. :(
Ken, Yes, they do. I would not recommend hunting on public land in Indiana. There are not many outfitters and leasing is still fairly new here. You can normally get on a good piece of private land fairly reasonably. It is not going to get any better in Iowa, I would burn your points now. I still think that the better states are the ones that will only allow 1 buck harvest in the future and reduce the number of antlerless bucks harvested. Mike
How are the regulations diffrent, say iowa, IL, and Ohio campared to IN. Say in the season dates, buck and doe harvest. I just dont see how IL and Oh are any diffrent for numbers, it has to be diffrent on the buck harvest and doe harvest.
Iowa has an early muzzleloader season for residents only in early October, then Gun 1 starts the first Sat of December for 5 days then Gun 2 is the following weekend.....meaning that most properties have gun deer drives going on for a few weekends. Not only that, but a resident can kill at least 3 bucks if they are a landowner and 4 if they hunt in an urban zone. Illinois has a Gun season around November 20 for 3 days then another one in December for 4 days followed by a muzzleloader hunt and everyone (resident or non) can shoot a buck with a bow and one with a gun. This is actually worse than Indiana's long gun season due to the one buck rule and the fact that over 80% of the bucks are killed during the first weekend of gun season. Kansas and Ohio both only allow one buck and there is no gun hunting in either state during the rut. Ohio does allow crossbow hunting during all archery seasons and Kansas has a September muzzleloader season along with the December rifle season. With the State management programs I would look at putting some serious thought in hunting or buying land in Indiana, Kansas or Ohio. Illinois and Iowa just simply are not as good as they used to be and are overpriced for the non-resident hunter. By the way, I have hunted in all of them several times, so I am speaking from my own personal experience, not to say that there are not some great places in each state, but these are generalization for the whole state.
I Do have land in IN and yes I have got some big deer, but its just burns me to see people every year talin bout how many does they have killed, and when you see so many button bucks shot on the weekends that gun season is in. Now the DNR in my county has said even thou we can kill 8 nobody has ever checked more then 4 in a season. True or not dont know, but being able to kill so many does is nuts, I have also ask them to consider a shooting a doe first then a buck and they laugh and say no way. But the number one goal is revenue and they think they know what they are doing in order to be a trophy state, and there is no way with killing all the does, one buck rule has helped a bunch but there has to be more. But I do love deer hunting this state!
pav i hunted the Dillon WA in Ohio last year for five days and seen one buck about a 120 class. the public land down that way seems to be hit really hard do you have any suggestions for a budget minded hunter or time of the year to go the last time i went towards the end of november. thank you for your time
There are no big deer in Indiana.
There are some big deer in Indiana but few on public land that you can kill with a bow. They simply don't move except at night on public land. Gun season, you can bump shoot 'em but you will have company. Wear lots of orange.
If you want to kill any deer, you have a chance even on public land but you generally have to use the crowds to your advantage, as an ambush on escape routes. Weekdays during the middle of bow season aren't so bad as far as pressure but anywhere near a big city is gonna have the deer chased nocturnal for the most part. Southern Indiana isn't as bad since the Hoosier Nat'l Forest is there and there is a higher proportion of public land and generally lower population densities.
I hunted all public land in NE Indiana and have killed 6 P&Y in 12 years one would have been B&C if he wasn't busted some. My buddy has killed 6 P&Y and a B&C on the same public land. You got to know what your doing and pass the little ones to do this. I have missed at least 5 in those years I didn't kill one. and have passed a lot of 120 125s in those years. All have been killed with a bow. Gun season on State land is a different story to many idiots out there that kill everything.
Not sure why you would advertise this. LOL.
I'm waiting to hear the official word on big deer on Indy public land, Zim, where do you stand on this? Lol
I'm waiting to hear the official word on big deer on Indy public land, Zim, where do you stand on this? Lol
this is a 2011 thread btw ... Ive been hunting state land for well over 20 years, and it sucks, always has, but when it is all you have you make it work ... to many dopes and now with crossguns, you get the Elmer Fudds snooping around in the dry leaves like they are going to sneak up on something ...lol ... I will NOT gun hunt on the F&W areas, I value my life, my plan us to always have a good buck down BEFORE gun season .... the F&W areas are not what they used to be, deer numbers are much much lower now, no day time movement/no natural movement and the pressure is unreal from all the other hunting going on (waterfowl, bunny/small game/bird/etc. ) ... it may be better on some other locations in this state, but in NW Indiana it sucks, but as I said, when it is all one has, you make it work ..
The public land is what you put into it. I know hard core guys who get big deer on public almost every year. Its a cheap hunt on public land and you can expect to get a deer if you do your part. You cant ask for much more.
Ive killed BIG deer on state land thru those years ... I also worked my ass off to do so ... Ive had hunts ruined by inconsiderate aholes ... Ive also met some great guys in those years ... the best days are where you have deer close by, see something unique and dont see, hear nor smell another human .. I dont have to kill to have a good hunt ..
You could always move to CT... ;)
Re: 'but in NW Indiana it sucks, but as I said, when it is all one has, you make it work ..'
"I'm waiting to hear the official word on big deer on Indy public land, Zim, where do you stand on this? Lol"
I can't believe you asked my opinion on a thread that I last posted in 2011! LOL I've been busy on an Oregon elk hunt and just happened to take a Bowsite gander from my camp. Great cell signal. Not sure if you were aware I had just moved back to Indiana after a 12 year Illinois sentence last March. But now without my beautiful 45 acres which was stolen by the greedy unemployed ex. I have an IL LL and an get my hunting trips paid for by the office if I want to hunt their public. But I will give Kingsbury some time this season just to see how much it has degraded. My new home is just 15 minutes away so what the heck? I have been biking there and shooting my bow at their range in advance of this elk trip. While there I stopped in at the HQ building and got a printout of the "archery" harvest since 2000. I don't have it with me but the harvest has gone down considerably, from 150 to 50-60 in recent years. So have hunter visits supposedly, but who knows how these figures were collected. The managers did mention in earlier years bonus does could be taken there. Either way I am not optimistic it's worth a flip. Not with 32 prime rut gun days and no special lottery required. Just grab a gun and go hunt And now an unlimited 3 month crossgun season. These are not the ingredients for a quality deer herd.
But it being my first year back I will go check it out. Not much to lose since I live so close now. I expect the October crossgun crowd will disgust me. The managers even mentioned there was still an ongoing trend of less participation in the gun season and more in the earlier crossgun dates. Tells me the pickens are slim by gun season so better getum early via crossgun.
I have lots of other hunting stuff to distract me though. On top of this elk tag, I drew a special Illinois archery hunt Nov. 5-11. My cousin from China will visit October 4-17 and I'll take him on his first hunt then. And I did get invited to hunt a berry farm in the area, but I'm not counting on that. Worse come to worse I can schedule some work back in Illinois and do their public if I decide Kingsbury sucks that much. But IL public took a monstrous hit by them allowing crossguns two seasons ago. I'll chime in and give you my up to date opinion of this mess in January.
maybe your ex would let you lease it back! May beat public land.
Trapper.... why would I want to leave a conservative state and move to a hell hole liberal state ?? ;0) ..... I kill deer here every year, I have 23 bucks on my walls from a small 6 pt taken early in my bowhunting career to a nice 160" and a 172" (gun kills), and all those in between and around 90 bow killed deer and 40 gun kills (bucks and does) ( I bowhunt only for now).... just about 40/60 % taken, private land to state land (not all in Indiana either) ... yea, hunting our public is a challenge, but I make it work thru persistence and knowledge/skill of the state lands I hunt ( (38 yrs worth/18yrs of this private land) ... I work my ass off to be successful .. I dont sit on the sofa watching football games during deer season ;0)
JTV, of course you wouldn't watch football! It's obvious the Colts' Luck has run out! ;^D
I live in Illinois but very close to the Indiana border. Illinois is nothing like what it used to be for big bucks but it’s still better than Indiana. Indiana has probably the most potential of any Midwestern state for producing giant bucks but that potential is squandered by the DNR. Way too many gun days, crossguns, rifles during the rut etc.
over 30 days of guns !! ... it sucks ... we can have some great deer here, if the DNR could ever get their heads out of their butts ..... but they did FINALLY cut back the anterless/bonus tags .....
I have to disagree regarding the IN deer reg's being the cause of so there not being a "booner" behind every tree.
The vast majority of deer taken in gun season are taken on opening weekend, and the bulk of the rest are taken on the remainder of that week or the following weekend. Just how short a season do you think we should have to create the antler size that would be acceptable to your tastes? Do you suppose a half-day season would do it, or do you think it might need to be shorter if some hunters begin to shoot smaller bucks as the clock nears noon on opening day?
I think the longer season pays more dividends in hunter satisfaction due to being more able to participate despite a few days of miserable weather or some minor emergency that would wipe out an entire season if it were a single weekend, even at the risk of a few more mature bucks who were stupid enough to come out of thick cover during daylight during the orange army occupation.
I do agree on the recent reduction in antlerless tag numbers. I believe they had gone too far in the effort to reduce the overall deer population, and are on the right path now to correcting that error.