What is "overcrowding" to you?

Newtosavage

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Fella on another forum posted recently -

"100's of thousands or millions of acres of public land don't do you any good if they are over crowded."

That really made me wonder what his definition of "over crowded" is. I mean, if there is one guy hunting in the same 4k acre basin as you, is that over crowded? What about 10 guys? 30?

Back here in the SE National Forests, you'd be lucky to have 500 acres to yourself most days during the hunting season. Probably more like 100.

I've been hunting public land in Colorado the past 7 seasons, and while I was surprised at the number of hunters I encounter - even in places I consider pretty remote - I've not had any trouble finding more game than hunters. I've also learned how to avoid the crowds completely, even if I'm surrounded by camps. Heck, two of the biggest bulls I've ever seen on public land were grazing mid-day in small clearings not 1/2 mile from very busy main FS roads with camps in every direction.

So what's your idea of "over crowded?" 3 trucks at the trailhead? 10? One?

How much area do you need to yourself before you don't feel crowded?
 

zion zig zag

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North Slope of the Uintas during the OTC bull hunt is overcrowded.....up to about 5 miles up any drainage.
 

Stubborn_bowhunter

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When multiple groups of hunters are sitting on the same glassing points.

Places will be remote with no one else until the moment the season starts. Then bam every high point becomes a community event.
 

5MilesBack

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Well, I need a 14x16 wall tent for just myself, so as you can see......I need my space. Heck even in the 60's, 70's, and 80's when we'd go fly fishing......if there was even one vehicle anywhere near where we were going, we'd go elsewhere. It's similar for hunting for me. I have my spots, and if anyone else is in them.....I go to plan B, or C, or D, or E, etc, until I have solitude. That's one reason why I prefer truck camping.......lots of options. You get back in there 5 miles and set up camp, and someone else shows up......only two options: go deeper, or hike out and find another spot. That's a lot more work and wasted time.

If I don't have that kind of space, then as soon as I start elk hunting everyone within earshot is soon going to be in my front pocket......so to speak.
 

BFR

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It kinda depends, for rifle if it’s fairly open I’d say 1000yds or so depending on the terrain. Thick cover, assuming careful hunter not so much, careless hunter anywhere in the same state. Archery, couple hundred yards in most cases. I’ve been where there were people within a rock throw from me and in most cases they packed out for lunch or another area. After things settled down a lot of the time I had game start moving in, not always but often enough.
 

Geewhiz

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What annoys me is when I scout every free day all summer and never see a soul in the hills and then season rolls around and there are 5 trucks parked at a spot. Anyone care to join my pity party? haha
 

pk_

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The longer I hunt, the less I care about ‘overcrowding’ and hunting pressure. The more I simply focus on terrain that holds mature animals and people stay out of. Lots of guys in the woods these days, very few putting forth thought or effort, fewer yet combining the two.

But to answer your question, opening weekend of firearms just about anywhere I have been on public land is pretty crowded. Still they are by far my most efficient days to be in the woods…
 

Rich M

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Not exactly an out west thing - we have a local WMA (6,000 acres) that has 150 permits with 150 guest permits for a 3 day season. That's crowded.

Out west is only crowded if someone else ruins a stalk or spooks off an animal headed your way.
 

WCB

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I'm in MN so opening weekend of deer season will show you what crowded can be. Most the time "crowding" isn't the issue. It is more the actions of the crowd. With less people you can maneuver away from that or it isn't a big deal. But when a trail head looks like a small city and every 30minutes a new hunter or group coming "still hunting" through the same meadow as the las 10 guys it gets to be much.

It is like when you are fishing and there are 100 boats on the lake. You and another boat are over a rock pile and the jackwagon in the other boat catches a big fish and has to yell about out it and hold it way up in the air. Wait 10 minutes and now your spot it crowded. Same 100 boats but all in 1 zone.
 

GSPHUNTER

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Not exactly an out west thing - we have a local WMA (6,000 acres) that has 150 permits with 150 guest permits for a 3 day season. That's crowded.

Out west is only crowded if someone else ruins a stalk or spooks off an animal headed your way.
If they are all there for three day hunt ya, that's crowded. 15 hunters/sq. mile.
 
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