OK, things have been a little quiet in here for a bit so I'll ask a question...
Is it just me, or is it starting to seem like there are 50 hunters in every square mile? I just got a bomb dropped on me today. Turns out I have to share my primary hunting property with another idiot, and we're already a couple heavy... (To be fair I'm sure a few others feel the same way about me... this is family. the new guy is not )
If I look back in the last 20 years, I've lost probably at least 5x the property that I have left to hunt. I'm really starting to consider a move to a much less populated area. Getting to be way too much competition over a few acres to shoot deer.
Dang, sounds like you're from Michigan! Although MI is actually loosing hunter numbers, so much acreage has been broken up into small parcels, and the country has been invaded by city folks. Now some are good people, many are not. State land looks like a pumpkin patch. We moved way north and I have enough acreage for myself. I'd stop hunting if I had to hunt state land.
Be thankful you have some land to hunt. Most of us don't have any land permission so I personally am forced to pay ridiculous lease and outfitter fees. I live in extreme northern Illinois whose land is 98% privately owned. For my personal safety I wouldn't dare hunt any of the tiny amount of state land. The American marketing machine has transformed hunting into a rich man's sport. And hunting anything besides whitetail is simply beyond most guy's budgets, mine for sure. The only consolation is I can watch thousands of great hunts, from all over the world, on YouTube and I can shoot paper to my heart's content (and budget) at the range. haha
Another side to this is saving your pennies, buying a track, farm equipment, working the land and then dealing with trespassers and poachers and annual property tax increases to pay for illegals in $300/night hotels in NYC.
I have been in Tenn for 11 years and if not for my brother and an old friend buying land in Virginia I would not have hunted in 11 years. I did not hunt for at least 5. I went back to Maine for a week one year but that is futile in my region. I won't go near public land. I would have to drive many miles to find a reasonable piece of land to even buy to hunt on. And then compete with Californians with deep pockets for it. Not happening.
For sure it's a real s#!t show. My biggest mistake was moving away for several years. That lost most of the ground. Should haved stayed out west... Maybe. The crappy thing is being unexpectedly screwed by family. Really a bad move to lay this on someone a week or so before season. (Still pissed)