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Getting permission to hunt private land...


tjhunter

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I live in the east metro and I'm looking to gain access to bowhunt deer on private land. I'm looking for any suggestions on the best way to get permission. What has worked for you? Is it best to just go and knock on doors? What do you say? Let me know if you have any suggestions.

tjhunter

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TJ, since you will be bowhunting you will have an easier time getting permission over a deer hunter with a shotgun or rifle.

The big thing I've found is to be friendly, smile, dress casual, state your name and where you live clearly when you first meet, look the farmer directly in the eye, give a hardy hand shake and then ask directly what you want.

Some farmers can't spend the time chit chatting and are happy to tell you yes or no right away so they can get back to what they are doing. Others, and they will let you know, are willing to b.s. with you for awhile.

If the farmer says NO. Thank him anyway and ask him if he knows of anyone in the area that might let you hunt. If the answer is NO again, thank him again saying something like "Thank you for taking the time to listen to me and I hope I haven't disturbed you too much. Have a nice day"

Three years ago I said the very same thing looking for a turket hunting spot. By the time I got to my Suburban the farmer asked how many will be hunting. My answer was just me. He said what the heck you seem to be a likeable enough guy and showed me where I could and could not hunt and told me where and when he'd been seeing turkeys during the day.

If the farmer gives you permission right away engage in small talk about where he's seen deer and ask if there is any place he does not want you to hunt.

Also, if you get permission, whether you get a deer or not. After the season is over take him over a frozen turkey or ham. He'll appreciate it and you'll have hunting rights for years.

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Just remember one key thing......

Make a good first impression. I know thats a bit open-ended, but do everything it takes to ensure the people you are going to talk to; look at you and are not immediately making an assumption about you or what your motives really are. You have only moments to start things off right.

Pretend you are going on a job interview. When you interview for a job, you do what it takes to sell yourself as the right guy. Same here.

Foot hit all the major points right on the head.

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As much as I love interviews and trying to make a good impression, I get more nervous asking landowners for permission to hunt somewhere than I did asking girls out on dates. smile.gif

Girlfriend or NO girlfriend, If I didnt have a place to hunt, I wasn't happy.

Last year our hunting party helped an elderly gentlemen with some repairs he was making on his farm for a day in exchange for permission to hunt geese for early goose season. We were glad to help out.

After the hunt we showed him our harvest and thanked him. He said anytime. smile.gif

WAG

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I'm not a big fan of asking people for anything, especially permission to hunt on their land. However, I've found if you are just a polite person (you should be anyway) you're going to have better luck. Introduce yourself, chit chat if they have the time, and ask away.

If you get permission......TREAD LIGHTLY!!!!!!!!! Shut gates, pick up empty shells, etc. After the hunt offer up some goodies. At the minimum send them a Christmas card, and make darn sure you stop by and thank the landowner in person.

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TJ, couple more things.

Pick a time to visit the farmer/landowner when you think he will not be busy. Milking, meals etc: are not a good time.

Also don't try and impress him/her with your knowledge of farming. I have a buddy that always wants to show the farmer he came from a farming family (trouble is he hasn't lived on a farm for 40 years). Usually doesn't work. One time a farmer asked him where he got his ideas from, a cereal box or watchin TV. We got permission and the farmer got a good laugh.

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Thanks for the great ideas. Other than knocking on doors, are there any other ways of getting access - placing an add in a newspaper, networking with co-workers and friends, or any other ideas?

huntertj

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I have seen posts at grain elevators.

A farmer hang out if you ask me.

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Definitely networking with co-workers & friends is a great way & how I've gotten most of my permission. I try to find out if they have any good land they'd let me hunt or know people who do that might. That's how I've gotten almost all my access. You do have to be extra careful there as to not strain friendships or work relationships. I always error on the side of caution in this situation & take that slow, if I can't get a good read on it. You may find out a landowner's okay with you hunting somewhere, but your friend hunts there too & doesn't like it that you're going to, then you probably shouldn't hunt there anyway. It's easier to replace hunting land then good friends.

I've also found pieces of property I wanted to hunt & asked friends & family who's land it is, what they know about them, do they know them, etc. I think it helps if you can find some common friends, knowledge, or interest you can touch on with them. A connection to a good friend of their's can override if for some reason they just don't like your look at first impression. People are funny, we all probably have good friends, who did nothing wrong upon our initial aquaintance, yet we still didn't think we were going to like them.

Looking at a plat book, can help you figure out owners & recognize names if they suggest a neighbor to talk to or they say they see deer back by so & so's line, whatever.

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