Gaining Access | Permission to Hunt
Hunting Land Acquisition | The First Step
Hunting properties can be expensive, as well as hunt clubs. There is no doubt that deer hunting your own tract of land, or leasing large amount of land with numerous hunters in a club is a great way to experience hunting success. Of course, there are also ways to gain permission to hunt prime tracts of land. Not only is it possible, hunters do it every year and have great success. Here is how you can too.
The first step is to narrow down where you want to hunt. Your county GIS maps can provide insight on who owns the tracts of deer hunting land and the acreage of each property. Keep in mind that you are not purchasing the property so there is no need to be picky. Also, the larger the tract the better, but many quality deer can be managed and killed on small out-of-the-way properties. Don’t make the mistake of overlooking honey holes due to lack of acreage.
Once a tract is narrowed down, approach the landowner and politely ask them about their property. Someone may already be leasing the land, or they may not allow hunting at all, but there is only one way to find out. The most desirable time to approach a landowner is on the weekend and during the middle of the day. Unless you are hunting out of state or hours away, avoid calling. Meeting them in person is the best route to take. Of course, making a phone call to set up a meeting time works well. Also keep in mind that some landowners may not hunt, therefore you should be sure to present yourself as a respectable, law-abiding hunter. Even going so far as to wash your truck or tuck your shirt in. There are no second first impressions.
Another surefire way to lock down a nice tract of land to hunt is to offer to do yardwork or a helping hand on the property throughout the year. Keeping grass mowed, cleaning their yard after storms, and completing chores whenever possible will show the landowner that not only are you serious about your hunting privilege, but you are also a respectable individual. Poachers and unethical hunters are not the type individual to work hard for success, therefore you won’t find them offering a helping hand to a landowner. Some States have a law requiring written permission to hunt a property, but this is also beneficial even if it is not the law. You should take every precaution to ensure you are known as an ethical hunter who follows now only state game harvest laws but also the rules of the landowner.
Bow hunters usually have to work harder for everything in the deer hunting world. Close encounters, scent elimination, and blood trailing are not unique to bow hunting, but are much more prevalent than other types of deer hunting. Gaining permission to hunt land with archery only equipment is one facet of the hunting world where bow hunters have an edge on the competition. Centerfire rifles have long ranges and shotguns are just as noisy, but a bow is quiet and lethal. By telling the landowner you will hunt with archery equipment only, you will increase your odds of gaining permission.
Now is the time to start knocking on doors to gain permission. By following these steps you can go ahead and begin the scouting and prepping endeavors for this fall’s hunting adventures. There are many mistakes made annually by deer hunters, don’t let missing out on an opportunity to hunt a prime tract of land stop you from filling your tag. Go ask them!
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