deer hunting zone 10

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Hello all,

I'm new to hunting in general ( went a few times as a kid but never super seriously), I've been hunting William Forward WMA for pheasant the last couple weeks with decent luck and having a blast, just being out in the woods by myself has been so relaxing. I picked up a surplus doe tag for zone 10 and I'll be hunting the shotgun and Muzzeloader season with my CVA wolf that I just picked up, I realize that I'm behind the 8 ball as far as scouting and such goes but I figure any time I spend in the woods won't be wasted. My question is this, is it even worth hunting public land in zone 10 after bow season? I've seen what I'm pretty sure was some deer sign while out bird hunting at Forward WMA ( a couple scrapes on the edge of the fields) but for all I know it could have been someone's dog digging. I'm not expecting anyone to divulge their spots of course, I just want to manage my expectations and at least try and get in the right ballpark, but I don't wanna be the bumbling rookie that ends up traipsing through 5 guys stand areas and bumping their deer, even if I don't connect with a deer this year I figure some practice identifying good habitat and sign can't hurt. If it helps I'm fortunate to have a lot of weekdays off due to my work schedule so that's when I'll be hunting the most, I don't have a tree stand so I'll be working from the ground. Thanks guys!
 

Mark from MA

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First off...welcome.

Anytime in the woods is not wasted as long as your taking notice. WMA and public land is generally not the best place for deer hunting. Although if you do some scouting bowhunting can be good because it's a lot less crowded. Your in a good zone for deer, however, I wouldn't expect there to be much if all daylight activity on a WMA that stocks pheasant weekly. Its just too much going on. You'd have to find the thickest part where people do not go.

As far as traipsing thru and ruining anyone's stands.......well.....its public land. Which means its open for you to do that. Just because someone has a stand there does not mean its their reserved spot. We all play by the same rules on public land. Now, if your walking in and notice someone in the stand, well its just good manners to move off and hunt somewhere else that day. And generally, I don't consider hunting others stands, that's just bad karma for me.

Your best bet in that zone is to talk to people and try and find some private land. Then you'll not have to worry about others....maybe adjacent to the public land. That's where all the deer will tend to be.
 

Omahastylin16

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I'm not familiar with the area so its hard for me to judge just how busy it is. I've had some of my best luck bow hunting in areas surrounded by bike trails as the deer as less spooked by human scent and interaction. I also feel like they return to their pattern sooner after being spooked in these areas.

All that being said gun hunting is a different animal in my opinion. I really try to find my own piece of woods then and if I do happen to be in the same area as other hunters I try to communicate with them before getting in the woods.
 

Sparkey

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Not familiar with that area as I am out In zone 7. Few things look into bow hunting for next year you will see a lot more deer. Also get off the beaten path most of the orange army I encounter in Mass doesn't like to get more then 200 yards from the trucks. Google earth and OnX hunt will be a timesaving tool for scouting. Also the more time you spend in the woods watching and exploring the more you will learn
 
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I’ve never hunted deer outside of zone 10 and do well every year. There’s a ton of non posted public land all over and most guys don’t go more than a couple hundred yards from the truck. I would absolutely not let gun season deter you in fact use it to your advantage. Good luck PM me if you have any questions
 
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I'm up on the North Shore and the only place I've ever seen people go is along 128, but not familiar with the woods. Some people recommended hunting along the Marshlands but not sure of regulations/rules with that. Granted, being 500ft away from a house and road is fine, but not sure who owns the woods along the marsh in some remote places.
 

Omahastylin16

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I'm up on the North Shore and the only place I've ever seen people go is along 128, but not familiar with the woods. Some people recommended hunting along the Marshlands but not sure of regulations/rules with that. Granted, being 500ft away from a house and road is fine, but not sure who owns the woods along the marsh in some remote places.
Is it posted? 🤷‍♂️
 

HorizontalHunter

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I'm up on the North Shore and the only place I've ever seen people go is along 128, but not familiar with the woods. Some people recommended hunting along the Marshlands but not sure of regulations/rules with that. Granted, being 500ft away from a house and road is fine, but not sure who owns the woods along the marsh in some remote places.

Youcan check the town hall for ownership or use one of the gps programs like OnX (50% Mil discount from them direct).

I find the OnX ownership data lagging in the Northeast but I like the app. You can also do their free trial for 7days.

Bob
 

Mark from MA

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Youcan check the town hall for ownership or use one of the gps programs like OnX (50% Mil discount from them direct).

I find the OnX ownership data lagging in the Northeast but I like the app. You can also do their free trial for 7days.

Bob
This.....I always go to the town hall and check the tax maps, its public record. Now a lot of it is online.
 

Mark from MA

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Is it posted? 🤷‍♂️
Not a good idea in Eastern MA unless your absolutely sure a town doesn't require written permission from landowner to hunt. Some towns do.

Even some towns in the Berkshires require it as well, the town I used to hunt in did, and we had a card from the landowner he would sign and date every year for us.
 

HorizontalHunter

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Not a good idea in Eastern MA unless your absolutely sure a town doesn't require written permission from landowner to hunt. Some towns do.

Even some towns in the Berkshires require it as well, the town I used to hunt in did, and we had a card from the landowner he would sign and date every year for us.

Mark,
Your post made me think of the Massachusetts Sportsmen’s Council web page that had a listing of towns that had special ordinances related to hunting including which towns require written permission.

I haven’t thought of it in a dogs age but it’s still there. I don’t know how up to date it is but it may be worth a look.

Restricted Hunting Towns

Bob
 

kerryman71

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As was mentioned, no time in the woods is wasted time, just go easy and be aware of other hunters that might be around the area. Scouting is important, especially in the off season, but getting to know what deer look for in regard to bedding, food sources, water etc. will help you pick areas out to scout or hunt from just looking at a map. I hang and hunt a different area each time I go out, and have been going into areas blind quite a bit this year. I generally get in well before sunrise going off the terrain features from OnX and other topographic maps. Getting into an area that you picked out from a map and finding heavy signs of deer activity is pretty cool. Getting the deer to cooperate and be there during your visit, that's another issue 🤣.
 

Mark from MA

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Mark,
Your post made me think of the Massachusetts Sportsmen’s Council web page that had a listing of towns that had special ordinances related to hunting including which towns require written permission.

I haven’t thought of it in a dogs age but it’s still there. I don’t know how up to date it is but it may be worth a look.

Restricted Hunting Towns

Bob
Thanks Bob.

To note......the few times over the 20 years we hunted there, when we walked out and were greeted by a game warden. They never asked for our permission. Usually just our Hunting Licenses and/or FID's. I always asked them if they needed our permission and they said they don't care about that, that;s a town matter and dealt with by police. Which we never ever saw the police.
But it the little shxt town we were in, I'm not even sure there were any.

The problem in the Berkshires was you'd get dxckbags from CT and NY that moved in and closed the towns.........the game wardens we talked to always voiced their opposition to closing the towns, they weren't fans of it at all. In eastern towns they may not be so nice about it.....so YMMV and they may crawl up your ass with a microscope.
 
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Omahastylin16

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Not a good idea in Eastern MA unless your absolutely sure a town doesn't require written permission from landowner to hunt. Some towns do.

Even some towns in the Berkshires require it as well, the town I used to hunt in did, and we had a card from the landowner he would sign and date every year for us.
This is a good point, important to know if there's any laws specific to the town you're hunting in
 
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