How to Find A Place To Hunt (Private Land)

The key to find hunting land that is not public land is found in the pocket of the landowner or farmer.

The sooner the individual sportsman realizes that facet and starts doing something about it, the sooner he’ll enjoy a nice private piece of land to hunt on. The land owner is the keeper of the key to good hunting locations. We have been told that all wild game belongs to the each and everyone of us, but the state controls the game laws. The control of habitat belongs to the landowner.

The land owner can lock the door to all hunting on his land or he can be generous with his hospitality.

There is an easy approach to the use of the land owner’s magic key. This is simply through the use of common courtesy. The farmer is a busy man, It’s no pleasure for him to stop in the middle of his day and force a trespassing hunter to leave his land. More often than not he suffers the insult for that’s what trespassing really is. Imagine, you work hard and pay for your land and pay taxes every year and then someone just thinks they can walk onto your property anytime they like. Not to mention firing weapons near livestock and homes.

The farmer never forgets the people or instances that he has had to ask hunters to leave his land. He usually knows his rights and before long, no Trespassing sign go up. He must do this for protection of his own property. I once heard a group of hunters talking and one of them said, “if it ain’t posted, I’ll hunt on it”. I asked the man, do you own property ? he said yes, I got a house and yard. Notice he didn’t have livestock or a farm that he worked and paid for. I will also bet you, if someone walked into his yard and started digging holes in it he would be mad and run the off. It’s the same thing, if it ain’t yours, you leave it alone.

The farmer is generally a sociable person. He spends a lot of time alone working the fields and doesn’t have a lot of time to socialize. He usually accepts and returns courteous and friendly company. Try approaching a farmer on a rainy day when he usually can’t get into the fields to work, it may take a few trips because a farmer usually has things to do no matter the weather.

The farmer or landowner resents being “talked down too” from big shots who seem to have all the answers who have very little knowledge of land ownership and the problems the farmer may have faced in the past or cares nothing about them.

A hunter who is looking for land and is not friendly or courteous, will find themselves still looking for a hunting spot. There are some ways to make friends with the land owner, they may be called the Ten Commandments of Land ownership Courtesy. Practice them and you’ll seldom have trouble in securing permission to hunt certain property’s. These are not law sort of speak, because some landowners have been done wrong so many times that they avoid hunters like a busy street on a Friday evening rush hour. An example I once found was a land owner didn’t allow hunting on his property and when he went to ask the hunters to leave, one of them aimed a gun at him and said we just shot a deer and we aren’t leaving with out it. These men got arrested and the property was posted after this.

So let’s look at 10 good ways to get permission to hunt on private land.

Always go to the land owner in person, if possible to ask permission. Remember for every no you get, your that much closer to a yes.

If you get permission, only hunt the area’s the owner designates. They own the land. If you don’t like what they have given you, then don’t hunt it. Never go on ground he doesn’t want you to.

Respect his fences and gates. Never cut a fence and only cross at the fence post. Close all gates that you open. The last thing a farmer has time for is to stop what he is doing to chase livestock.

Never shoot near houses or livestock.

Leave his fruit and crops alone, If you want something ask and pay for it. My grandpa once had some coon hunters who stole all his vegetables out of his garden. That stopped anyone but family from hunting his farm again.

Never drive across fields in your truck or Atv’s. I promise you if you have to get the farmer to pull your stuck truck out with his tractor or if you leave ruts from an Atv in his field. He is probably going to ask you to not come back.

Ask the farmer about if he wants you to shoot crows and predators that are in season that may damage his crops or livestock.

Share your game with him. Ask if they want some of your harvest.

If you learn from the land owner that he has a favorite thing, spend a few dollars and bring him a small gift every once in a while to so your appreciation for him allowing you to hunt on his land.

Treat his land and act the way you would want someone to act, if they were a guest on his land.

Never go into the house or be alone with the land owner’s wife. Never !

These are simple rules of common courtesy that any sportsman can and should practice to the benefit and pleasure of all concerned.

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