Gaining Hunting Permission - Why It Can Be Hard

By Alex Comstock

Gaining hunting permission on private property can sometimes be a tricky thing for hunters to accomplish. For a number of reasons, some find it particularly hard to garner permission to hunt on private property. Those that find it hard usually end up hunting just public land, and sometimes might not even hunt because of it. But this leads me to a bigger question, and that’s why can it be hard to get permission? That’s what I’m going to explore today, and then talk about how you might be able to avoid these particular issues.


It Can Be Easy To Give Up After a “No”

A big reason I think that it can be hard to gain permission on private property is because after receiving one “no”, it can be easy to give up. One of my biggest pieces of advice when attempting to gain hunting permission is to have a list of properties. Unless you’re only wanting permission on one specific property, having a litany of properties is a good way to go, because you’re inevitably going to get a lot of no’s. In fact, when I’m trying to gain permission on additional private property, wherever the general area is, I try to pick 10-12 properties to ask permission on. In most cases, I know I can get permission on at least 1-2 pieces for every 10-12 I ask. Long story short, don’t give up after a no. If you do, getting hunting permission on private property will be difficult for you.

Hit The Same Property Yearly

One thing that I feel as though is a deterrent for people getting permission on hunting property is after they receive that no, they never check back again the next year. A good example of this is the property I shot my Minnesota buck on this past fall. I had hunted it years ago, but had lost permission in 2015. I just so happened to move when I lost permission, but upon moving back to Minnesota in 2017, I reached out to see if I could get that permission back. The landowner informed me that no hunting was going to be happening on his property. Well the following year, I decided to stop by and ask again. This time, he wanted me to have a talk with his wife and assure them both that it wouldn’t be dangerous for them since they had kids, a dog, etc. I assured them and let them know if they didn’t want me to check in, they wouldn’t even know I was there. Ultimately, I got that permission back and a couple months later, I shot my 2018 Minnesota buck. If I hadn’t continued to ask permission on the same property two years in a row, I wouldn’t have had that property to hunt on, and wouldn’t have shot that buck.


My 2018 Minnesota buck, shot on a piece of private property I had to ask permission on two years in a row before being able to hunt it.

My 2018 Minnesota buck, shot on a piece of private property I had to ask permission on two years in a row before being able to hunt it.

Ask At The Right Time of Year

The last reason that I want to touch on when it comes to why I believe it can be hard for deer hunters to get permission on private property is when it comes to what time of the year you should be asking. It’s one thing if you stumble on to a piece of property in October and want to hunt it, but in my personal opinion, your chances go way down during the fall. The biggest reason I think is because people want some time to stew on it, and if you ask to hunt tomorrow, they may just default to no.

On the other hand, if you ask permission in the spring (or even early summer), you could start with asking permission to turkey hunt or shed hunt. If you get permission to do that, you can start to establish a relationship with the landowner, and then throw in the idea of deer hunting in the fall. Don’t pressure the landowner into an immediate answer, and tell them you’ll check back in a few weeks or so. This way, if the landowner you talk to needs to talk to any other family members, or simply just needs to think about it, you can give them time. I’ve found this to work much better than asking during any other time of year.


When it comes to securing hunting permission on private property, it isn’t necessarily the easiest thing and every year it seemingly gets harder and harder. But if you work at it, have a plan, and stick with it, you can no doubt add some hunting ground via private property to your arsenal for this upcoming fall.