By Alex Comstock
As I sit here and ponder how I am going to get permission to hunt a few properties this summer, I started thinking about some of the ways that have been successful for me in the past, and if there was anything new I could do in the future to attempt to secure permission. The whole act of acquiring permission on private land is a funny thing to me. It can be an uncomfortable thing to do, yet the worst thing that can happen is for somebody to say no to you. As a landowner, it can be somewhat uncomfortable as well to have a person on your property that could potentially disrespect it. If you want to get permission to hunt someone's land, it may take a little creativity...
1. Work For It: I mean this literally. If you walk up to somebody's front door, ask for hunting permission, and follow that up with offering to help around the person's house or do random yard work, you should automatically be viewed in a positive way by the landowner. If they know that you are willing to take time out of your life to put in work to earn your right to hunt their property, there is a much better chance of them giving you the nod, and letting you hunt their land.
2. Don't Go Straight For The Kill: One way I have been able to secure permission on private land in the past is by easing my way into it. For whatever reason, I've found that landowners will be okay with someone shed hunting, mushroom hunting, or turkey hunting their property in the spring, but if you ask them to deer hunt right away, they will turn you away. I think it's because the spring activities seem less intrusive, and a lot of landowners deer hunt themselves, even if it's only during gun season. If you can get permission to use someone's land for anything at all, and show them that you will respect the property, you can start to establish a relationship with them, and maybe the following fall you can bring up deer hunting to them. This is a strategy that has worked well for me in the past.
3. Immerse Yourself In The Local Community: This is something that I want to do more of; especially this summer. What it comes down to, is that in a lot of situations, people want to know who is using their land. A lot of areas I seek to gain permission on are out in rural areas, where a majority of the landowners are farmers. A lot of farmers go to the same couple diners or cafe's in their respective towns, and it isn't hard to swing by these places, grab a bite to eat, and chat it up with some people. You talk to the same people a few times, they start to get to know you, and then one day you can turn the conversation to hunting, and bring up how you are looking for some property to hunt on. A person may be much more likely to let you hunt their property if they've talked to you a few times, and established an opinion that was favorable to you.
Conclusion: Like I said at the start of this blog post, the worst thing that can happen when asking a person for permission to hunt their property is a big fat no. Once you get past that, there can be a certain amount of strategy that goes into securing permission. These three things that I just highlighted might be an option for you, and they could help you get permission on your next piece of property.
To read more about getting permission on private land, click on the link below.