Don’t get me wrong, I hunt private and public land during turkey season. Each has their pros and cons, but in this article, I intend on highlighting a few of the benefits of public land turkey hunting.
Hunting leases can be expensive and owning your own property is even more expensive. In Georgia, there are over 100 WMA hunting areas, which cover over 1 million acres of public turkey hunting opportunities. For the cost of a big game license and a WMA stamp, turkey hunters have access to public hunting areas within a 1 hour drive.
As mentioned above, Georgia has over 1 million acres of public hunting land. Residents should have public land to hunt within an hour drive. For me personally, I have at least 7 different areas [within an hour drive] that offer great turkey hunting opportunities.
Enjoy Hunting with Friends and Family
Many hunting clubs don’t allow visitors, and for the ones that do, [some] club members aren’t too happy when you bring in a group of visitors. Public hunting land provides an opportunity for experienced hunters to introduce new hunters to the sport and to bring along family and friends as they like.
Wide open spaces!
Private hunting leases can cost hunters $7/acre or more. So $700 would allow you to lease 100 acres. The WMAs I hunt, which are all near my home, are all over 10,000 acres. Even while sharing the area with other hunters, 10,000 acres is a lot of ground to cover and move on turkeys.
Many public hunting lands are loaded with turkeys
There is a perception that public land hunting isn’t as good as private land. While some areas get more pressure than others, I remember telling my brother, “I’m not sure we could have paid for a better hunt,” as we carried out two long beards after a morning hunt full of vocal birds. The key to having a successful public land turkey hunt is to scout, scout, and then scout some more. Be sure to cover lots of ground late fall and early spring to learn where the birds are. Look for scratching, dirt roads with tracks after a good rain, and listen for birds in the evening as they fly up to roost. Learn the area and then move on to learn more areas. When hunting public land, you’ll always need a good plan B if someone else is in that spot before you get there.
Turkey hunt public land this spring!