Here are some tips to help you gain access to the private resources hunters fantasize about.
Private land almost sounds like something naughty or forbidden. It is certainly rare in today’s world of hunting.
Remember way back in the good ‘ole days when finding a place to hunt was simple? There were ample opportunities and tons of land that people didn’t mind you hunting on. What changed? Why has private land become so hard to find?
Those who have shown no respect for others’ property have nearly ruined it for the rest of us. You must be more considerate those who have littered, trespassed, destroyed roads by ATVs and trucks, and, most of all, taken deer illegally or left deer behind for landowners to find. You and I must prove ourselves to be trustworthy to these doubtful landowners.
If you want to find some private land, drink some coffee. A coffee shop is the ultimate information resource on anything local. Some of the prospective landowners might just frequent the cafés and coffee shops; they’re a good point of contact for you as a deer hunter.
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A landowner, especially an attentive landowner, would expect to gain something from a partnership from you as a possible hunter on their property. So how do you sell that?
Give and take
What do you have to offer? More than you think, if you are willing to put forth the effort. You must be prepared to take some responsibility if looking for permission to hunt. This means showing up at times other than just to go hunting. If these landowners have kids or grandkids that hunt, you can strike up a deal to improve the property for hunting for you and the kids.
Say some bad weather blows through your area. A chainsaw coupled with a willingness to help clear fallen trees goes a long way.Learn how to mend a fence and it will speak volumes with property owners.
Have you ever chased a cow? If the landowner you wish to hunt on has cattle, I suggest you practice your “cow whispering” when rounding up the herd.
Another way to lose your private land privileges is to leave a mess or not show respect for the property. Treat it like your own and you will reap the benefits.
First impressions matter, so make a good one. Don’t show up in full camouflage hunting attire. When approaching a landowner, try to show more than just your hunting interests.
Small talk like where you work, mutual acquaintances, football, and other normal stuff breaks the ice. It’s a good idea to make contact and then return later to formally ask what you can do to earn trust with them and hunt on their property.
An individual who owns good hunting land and has not leased it to hunters already has their reasons. A responsible, motivated hunter can overcome all these by showing respect for the land and appreciate the opportunity.