Thought I'd share this...it is a study done back east, but I think you can draw some conclusions about western hunting from it.
The short story is that Penn State did a study of a 114,000 acre portion of public hunting land and counted hunters in various locations. In the forest of the east the blaze orange wearing hunters are highly visible from the air after the trees lose their leaves.
What did they find?
- Hunters were three times less likely to hunt an area for every 1/3 of a mile from the nearest road.
- Hunters are 1.5 times less likely to hunt an area for every 5% increase in slope.
- 87% of hunters hunted on 56% of the land available.
Now I imagine that guys in the west are more willing to walk than these Pennsylvania whitetail hunters, but you can still draw conclusions. In this case if you were willing to walk a mile from the nearest road you would see NINE TIMES fewer hunters than you did in the first 1/3 mile.
On this map yellow denotes high hunter concentrations and blue denotes areas of few if any hunters. As a backpack hunter guess where I'd be?