If you're serious about the sport of deer hunting, you should consider joining a hunting club. While they usually aren't free, there are many benefits to joining one over hunting on public lands. However, if you're thinking of joining a hunting club, there are a few things you should know first.
You as the deer hunter, have plenty of options available when it comes to picking a place to hunt. Depending on where you reside in the state, there may be public hunting lands called wildlife management areas that are open during hunting season. If you don't know of any, give your states Game and Fish office a call and ask them. They will inform you on the public management areas and the rules and regulations for deer hunting there.
However, there are a couple problems with deer hunting on public management areas. To begin with, you probably will not encounter a lot of deer while hunting because the state lands receive a lot of hunting pressure.
Many hunters travel long distances across state to get to these public hunting grounds, and with the hunting population increasing, this problem is only going to grow. Another issue with "free" public deer hunting areas is the location of the land. Unless you're one of the few lucky individuals who live near one, you can expect a lengthy trip to reach your hunting destination.
Safety is another concern that arises when hunting from public grounds. When you're out there in the woods, you simply don't know who else is there and if they might mistake your silhouette for a game animal. For this reason, you should always wear a prominent reflective vest that's easy to spot.
Private property like hunting clubs offer their members a much greater chance at success when hunting deer because of the limited number of members on that particular piece of land. With fewer hunters in the woods, there will be fewer deer harvested and less deer spooked off the land.
Another benefit to joining a private hunting club is the friendship and bonds you develop with other members. Hunting is a time to get away from your everyday stresses and enjoy the outdoors. Yes this can be accomplished alone, but it is truly much more enjoyable with a group of new hunting friends to share tall tales with at the end of a successful hunting day.
Some hunters may have difficulty locating a deer hunting club close to them. If you can't find one yourself, ask around to some of your friends that hunt, maybe they know of one. Check at your local sporting goods and hunting supply retailers, many times the employees there know of several good hunting clubs in the general area. Most of the time these employees know about all the best hunting clubs in a given area.
Of course if all else fails you can start your very own club by leasing land from a property owner. Try getting a group of a half dozen or so likeminded hunters to go in on the cost of leasing some hunting land and you will quickly realize you just formed a brand new hunting lease for all of you to enjoy.
Whether you are pursuing game on state lands or private property, hunt safely and always obey all hunting rules and regulations. If you are ever in doubt about anything, always consult with your state's Fish and Wildlife department. They can update you on any changes in the hunting laws or seasons this year.