SCOUTING PUBLIC LAND MOUNTAIN BUCKS
Article and photos by: Beau Martonik
Are you up for the Appalachian whitetail challenge?
When it comes to bowhunting reputation, I believe those of us who live “Back East” get a bad rap. Let’s face it: The quality of our bowhunting, at least in the minds of many of our bowhunting brethren, pales in comparison to the trophy whitetails of the Midwest or the giant bull elk and mule deer bucks of the West. Besides, the entire eastern seaboard is nothing but one giant patch of urban sprawl, full of smog and traffic jams, right?
Well, the truth is, much of the eastern U.S. is covered by large tracts of hardwood forests, courtesy of the Appalachian Mountains. Within these millions of acres of unbroken timber, you’ll find endless tracts of public land. These areas can be surprisingly rugged, thick and unforgiving, making bowhunting difficult.
But before I scare you away from even considering the opportunity, let me assure you that tagging a mature mountain buck is indeed possible. In fact, it could be one of the most rewarding experiences of your bowhunting career. These mountain bucks often reach 7-10 years old, spending their lives in constant survival mode and eating anything from acorns and apples to sticks and moss.
With some scouting via your computer, boots on the ground and a willingness to adapt, you have the potential to arrive back at your truck with a heavier load than when you left it.
Read more of my latest article in Petersen's Bowhunting magazine and now online at the link below!