Platte unit Nebraska

Sailor_Nate

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So me and a buddy drew mule deer tags in the Platte unit Nebraska we have never hunted mule deer and this is our first time hunting this style of spot and stalk open country. I'm from the east coast and now hunt east Texas so i'm use to tight cover that you cant see more than 10 yards. We are hunting rifle season (i know we are going to die from to many people and they don't have deer) Has anyone hunted that unit that can pass on anything they learned hunting there? i searched on here and didn't see anything on Platte unit. The plan is to start at the canyon access land be there a few days before to scout and possibly one of us making a trip beforehand. i have talked to one other person about it and got some good info. Just looking for the little things that you figured out that you didn't think of that type of thing. Anything you guys could pass on about mule deer ive been reading and Escouting as much as i can. Watching as many videos to try and learn how they act to the best i can from that.

Thanks Yall
 

Andrew12gauge

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May 17, 2015
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Those canyon access lands are pretty thick with Cedar, didn’t see a lot of deer in there when I hunted it, did see one guy pull a nice muley out of there by sitting over water. All in all the platte was a lot tougher to hunt than I ever expected. Lot of deer around but they like to hang on private


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Sailor_Nate

Sailor_Nate

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Those canyon access lands are pretty thick with Cedar, didn’t see a lot of deer in there when I hunted it, did see one guy pull a nice muley out of there by sitting over water. All in all the platte was a lot tougher to hunt than I ever expected. Lot of deer around but they like to hang on private


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Thanks man i found a few water holes i was thinking about watching that might be a day of scouting.
 

Plainsman79

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Aug 11, 2018
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Nebraska
The canyon lands you’re referring to are thick tangled messes of cedar with pretty low deer densities. On some years, water could be a decent option but most years that water will be frozen in November in Nebraska.
 
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Sailor_Nate

Sailor_Nate

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The canyon lands you’re referring to are thick tangled messes of cedar with pretty low deer densities. On some years, water could be a decent option but most years that water will be frozen in November in Nebraska
Thanks for the info. Its still way more open than im use too. Where else should i look if not there?
 

Andrew12gauge

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Thanks for the info. Its still way more open than im use too. Where else should i look if not there?

To explain the canyon access areas, the hillsides are covered in cedar and then there is some open grass on the tops of the hills and there are little runways down in the bottoms of open grass. I saw a lot of deer sign down in the bottoms but I would sit all day and never see a deer. You can’t glass those areas from distance because of the tangled mass of cedars on the hillsides, and you can see all the hilltops but it seems the deer generally avoid getting on those hilltops during daylight hours. That limits you to either still hunting along the canyon bottoms, or sitting and waiting and hoping one comes by. I had better luck staying north of I-80 in the sandhill type country but your access options are much more limited up there. We knocked some doors and found places to fill our doe tags but nobody wanted to let us shoot bucks. My buddy shot a 1 1/2 yr old buck on a walk in area and we ended up filling 4 doe tags, I also had to stare down a 165” buck on some private where I had permission to hunt does and let him walk, because the landowner had specifically told us we could not shoot bucks. If I had it to do over again I think I would be making a trip out months in advance and doing all you can to secure some private land access


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Sailor_Nate

Sailor_Nate

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To explain the canyon access areas, the hillsides are covered in cedar and then there is some open grass on the tops of the hills and there are little runways down in the bottoms of open grass. I saw a lot of deer sign down in the bottoms but I would sit all day and never see a deer. You can’t glass those areas from distance because of the tangled mass of cedars on the hillsides, and you can see all the hilltops but it seems the deer generally avoid getting on those hilltops during daylight hours. That limits you to either still hunting along the canyon bottoms, or sitting and waiting and hoping one comes by. I had better luck staying north of I-80 in the sandhill type country but your access options are much more limited up there. We knocked some doors and found places to fill our doe tags but nobody wanted to let us shoot bucks. My buddy shot a 1 1/2 yr old buck on a walk in area and we ended up filling 4 doe tags, I also had to stare down a 165” buck on some private where I had permission to hunt does and let him walk, because the landowner had specifically told us we could not shoot bucks. If I had it to do over again I think I would be making a trip out months in advance and doing all you can to secure some private land access


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Thanks man thats some awesome info. I see it and it doesn't look thick compared to what im use too. i saw some land up north of 80 that might be a decent place to start. I have looked to see if I could find people offering paid trespass access but haven't found anything. my buddy is going to go when he gets off the boat so hopefully well have a little boots on the ground time before hand. Thanks again for taking the time to pass this info on.
 

xOttox

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Lived here my entire life. Public land will be a zoo, private land is hard to come by even with a trespass fee. Your best bet is north of 80. Also get here early and start knocking on doors. They're still some folks that will let you on their property for nothing; it's hard to come by but possible. Also check out the public land access page for the state. Public can be pretty crazy even in the early season with bow hunters. Our mule deer populations aren't that strong which is why most folks won't let hunters on their property after them, those that do will have limits on what you can take.

For what it's worth the rancher that lets me antelope hunt won't let me near the mule deer. His family is the only ones allowed near them. Good luck to you.

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Sailor_Nate

Sailor_Nate

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Lived here my entire life. Public land will be a zoo, private land is hard to come by even with a trespass fee. Your best bet is north of 80. Also get here early and start knocking on doors. They're still some folks that will let you on their property for nothing; it's hard to come by but possible. Also check out the public land access page for the state. Public can be pretty crazy even in the early season with bow hunters. Our mule deer populations aren't that strong which is why most folks won't let hunters on their property after them, those that do will have limits on what you can take.

For what it's worth the rancher that lets me antelope hunt won't let me near the mule deer. His family is the only ones allowed near them. Good luck to you.

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Thanks man i know its going to be crazy we are going to just go and hunt hard and see what we can do. Thanks for the info. Just happy this is my first hunting trip traveling out westish so im just happy to hunt different terrain.
 
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Nebraska
I second everything that was said by xOttox above. One thing to also keep in mind is that Late Season Elk hunters will be out in that area during that time as well, so hunting pressure will certainly be high. Depending on the weather, consider glassing the south facing hills in the mid afternoons. Yes it’s thick with cover but that doesn’t mean you won’t spot a nice shine from a bucks antlers bedded down in the cover. I’ve seen bucks in the past sunning themselves beneath the cedars on blue sky days. As mentioned already, don’t overlook water sources. Stay safe! Good luck!
 
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Sailor_Nate

Sailor_Nate

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Thanks guys. Hoping to get it done plan of being there all week so once the weekend warriors are gone hopefully we’ll be able to get both tags filled!
 

String&stick

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Gonna be a tough hunt, but working in your favor is all of the fields should be harvested by the time rifle season rolls around.

Don't be afraid to go look at some stuff that looks like "pheasant country". As deer get pressured and moved around they may go lay down in a CRP field, or the 4 plum thicket bushes over yonder that don't look like they could hide much.

There's not much public in that unit, but I wouldn't limit your self to a mule deer, you just as likely could see a decent mule deer.

Unfortunately Nebraska's limited public access and new found favoritism to land owners with a special season (I own land and still disagree with this new season) will make things difficult for those relying on public land. But with luck maybe some pressure on private land the weekend before will kick some deer onto public for the normal opener.

Best of luck,
 
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