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Squirrel hunter issues while bowhunting metro WMAs


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TNtoMN_HuntFish

I've heard some discouraging information lately as I chat with folks at the bow range. I was looking forward to the unlimited antletless harvest in 601 so I spent some time scouting the rather small WMAs we have and found some good sign. Word is that although the pressure isn't too bad for deer during archery season, the squirrel hunters will be thick. Not only will they crack at one in the tree you're in with a .22 but they just walk all over the place with no regard to your being there and ruin the woods as far as any possibility of deer traffic. Is it really that bad? 

 

The problem is that our WMAs are so tiny that a few squirrel hunters can trash the whole morning hunt easily. 

 

I love small game hunting too but anytime I'd see a hunter in a tree I would travel very far around him out of respect for other hunters. I realized last waterfowl season the majority of metro hunters don't have that respect though. 

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Capt. Quicksteel

I hunt these WMA's routinely. It's not as bad as they say. Most of the time you're fine but you have to be prepared to have your hunt completely ruined and be able to laugh it off and move on. The land belongs to all of us. That said, if someone actually shot at a squirrel in a tree I'm sitting in, I might be tempted to shoot back.(kidding!)  Hard to imagine that really happened! I would say 75% of the time you have these places to yourself. It helps to pick areas that are a little harder to walk into.

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TNtoMN_HuntFish

Absolutely. I'd never get mad at a guy squirrel hunting while I'm deer hunting. Thats just public land hunting. Now if he shot at squirrels very close to me that's different. Maybe the guys I talked to had a bad experience but it isn't that frequent. That's what I hope anyway. 

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  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Builders
monstermoose78

The deer get used to the small game hunters

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  • 3 weeks later...

I have never had a problem if your talking about the one close to you. I have only seen one squirrel hunter and he was just walking down the main trail as I was walking out mid day.

 

I have seen a lot more small game at like nemadji state forest or like carlos avery

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  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Creators

Sometimes those squirrel hunters help out. They've been known to move bedding deer a hunters way ... just saying :) 

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  • 3 weeks later...
Powerstroke

I've hunted the metro WMA's as well as the NWR along the MN River. Be prepared to see anything and everything. It is public land and many people don't give a flying F what you are up to. I've seen small game hunters wearing camo, I've had shots fired near me, I've had guys set up stands 10yds from me. People will truly run the gammit. 

 

That being said, I've taken a fair share of deer. Be smarter than the other hunters and you will do just fine. Bring a blaze hanky or vest just in case. The deer don't care about blaze orange, but it may keep others away from you and keep you safe. I've learned being silent and letting them walk past you is a dangerous game. People get too trigger happy when they hear a squeak or rustle in the trees. 

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