There is a basic core scouting principal that you should apply to either public or private land whitetail hotspots. Whitetails are creatures of edge and it is pretty easy to find potential areas to scout by seeking diversity and habitat changes withing your scouting efforts. There is a simple rule of diversity to live by, when it comes to scouting for habitat that holds the highest number of deer per acre.
*Here are a set of public land Hunting Patterns, that I have used to harvest over 20 public land bucks since the late 80s, in 3 states.
Any block of cover on public or private land that have you have narrowed your efforts to, can be analyzed to see if it passes the diversity test. Simply add up the exterior total measurements of the parcel you are scouting, and then compare that to the linear amount of habitat edge within that parcel. I have found on the best public or private lands across the entire North 1/2 of the country, that the amount of linear edge in the inside, is several times greater than the exterior measurement total.
It doesn't matter if it's elevation change, food plot edge, habitat changes, age of timber variety; it all equals edge. The higher the amount of linear edge that you can find on either a parcel you are going to buy or lease, or on public land, most often will produce not only the greatest whitetail potential, but the potential to hold the most wildlife species in general.
*Check out how these 5 Public Land Rut hunting tips helped me place a tag on this real nice Ohio public land buck!
High value stands of hardwoods or pine thickets need not apply, when it comes to finding your next outstanding whitetail hunting grounds. Whether you are scouting public or private land, whitetails and many other wildlife species gravitate to habitat with a variety of edge. Does your current hunting parcel have enough? You can be certain by making sure that you have several times more linear feet of edge on the inside, than on the outside of the area you hunt.