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Hey Gang -- Have a question about camping near where I intend to hunt. Details will be first answer.

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  • Hey Gang -- Have a question about camping near where I intend to hunt. Details will be first answer.

    Hey Gang -- Have a question about camping near where I intend to hunt. Details will be first answer.

  • #2
    Just found out I have an extra week off this year, which I intend to spend camping on a large, mountainous tract of public land in Virginia during deer season. Conventional wisdom on this property, which I believe, is that to get a deer you have to get back in there, which means up a couple or three thousand feet. Based on past travels there, and looking at a map, I'm hoping to hunt a creek at about 2,300 feet and a saddle where some ridges and draws converge at about 2,500 feet. I might also try a spot where three ridges converge at 3,200 feet and a saddle next to a cliff at 3,400 feet, which are a little further away.
    Unfortunately, if I'm camping for five nights, it seems like that probably means camping kind of near water. Barring finding a spring I don't know about, that means either camping at 1,900 feet about a mile and a half along a jeep track from where I want to hunt, or a third of a mile from the hunting zone, way up one of the creeks I want to hunt farther down on. I'd probably be at about 2,600 feet.
    I guess what this boils down to: Can I camp that close to where I want to hunt without causing problems? Is 5+ football fields enough distance in the big woods? It'd obviously be a lot easier to go a third of a mile slightly downhill than five times that far sharply up a mountain in the dark before shooting light. Any experience or advice appreciated. Thanks.

    Comment


    • #3
      Short answer: Many deer have been shot from the campfire.

      Comment


      • #4
        Should add, easiest way to find/get to hunting area in the dark from the lower campsite would be to go up to 2,600 feet, then drop down the creek.

        Comment


        • #5
          Have you scouted that area? The deer may not be feeding in the 'big' woods. No problem camping close to where you camp - in Michigan I had a elk walk right past my camp.
          The thing is hunt where the deer are: I might go in a 1/4 mile from a adjacent food source. If the woods have oaks and there is mast then you can hunt that area.
          The old joke is the car full of guys got to the woods late and it was dark when they started hauling camp into the woods. The walked for an hour. Finally set up camp. In the morning one guy goes out to make coffee and sees something in the woods - calls the others out and they find out it is the station wagon they drove up in. Walked in a big circle.
          Good luck.

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          • #6
            It all comes down to FINDING: Food,Bedding,Water,Sign=you find Deer!

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            • #7
              We all laughed when Uncle Chuck built a box blind up in a tree about 50 yards from camp. Camp was a two room shack that reeked of cigars, cigarettes, strong coffee and bacon grease!
              We quit laughing when he started killing deer! LOL!
              Deer are highly adaptive, but it's not an overnight thing.
              Camping a couple hunnerd yards from you're chosen area should suffice.
              99's correct. Lot's of deer have been killed from camp.

              Comment


              • #8
                Teodoro,
                I hate to burst your bubble but most public property owned by the Government has designated camping areas with campfire pits. If you camp outside their camping locations you will be fined.

                My cousin Mark and I were backpacking with friends back during the early seventies. We stopped and set up camp at a great fishing lake on state land. The lake was an hour from the nearest road. The Park Rangers hiked in and fined every guy in our camp. They said they would cut us a break and not fine the girls who were there also.

                Watch out for the men wearing green uniforms, carrying radios with hand guns on their hip.

                Comment


                • #9
                  99 - Thanks for a clear and succinct answer.
                  jhjimbo - Thanks for your answer, too. To your questions about scouting: I haven't been up this year, since I didn't think I'd have time to hunt it. The creek I'm interested in flows along a clearcut, which I think might be a feeding area. It's miles to the nearest field, so I'm assuming they're subsisting on mast.
                  Treestand - Yup. Because, as noted above, I won't have time to scout before I get there, the plan is to sit the morning, then spend early afternoon looking around for new spots before sitting again in the evening.

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                  • #10
                    FirstBubba - I enjoyed that story very much.
                    Mr. Devine - You have honed in on one of the key advantages of public lands in Virginia over, say, Pennsylvania. The vast majority of the public lands in the state are open to dispersed primitive camping. National Parks, and state parks aren't, of course. But National Forests are, and they make up the overwhelming majority of public land here. The tract I'll be on is the Virginia equivalent of a Pennsy SGL. Here are the rules the state posts for camping:

                    Camping/Fires
                    • Primitive camping is permitted for up to
                    21 consecutive days when occupants are
                    engaged in authorized activities. No
                    more than 3 camping units are permitted
                    per site.
                    • Camping is prohibited on or within 100
                    yards of any boat ramp, fishing lake or at
                    other specific sites as posted.
                    • It is unlawful to leave a campfire unattended.
                    From February 15 to April 30
                    campfires are allowed only between the
                    hours of 4:00 PM and midnight.

                    Comment

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