Our mission at LocaCarnivore is to support and encourage people to hunt their local areas (within a three-hour or less drive from home). For some hunters, it is a difficult challenge, often because there is little or no public hunting land nearby.
Out west, we’re fortunate. Most land is public; either state, county, or federal, and those lands are so vast, the hunter density is low, or at least tolerable. For example, here in the Northern Rockies, there are at least six major public land areas less than an hour’s drive from the sprawling LocaCarnivore headquarters. We can even walk out the back door and onto public land if we desire. We’re lucky, and we know it. So what do you do if you’re not so lucky, other than move?
Simple, get permission to hunt on private land. How hard could that be? If you’ve ever tried, you know it’s a struggle. Fear not though, LocaCarnivore to the rescue! We keep a constant eye out for important information which will help you as a locacarnivore hunter. We just came across this wonderful video about how to gain access to private land. It’s not just informative, it’s also well produced (don’t you just hate those jiggly, out of breath basement vids people dump onto the internet?)
These three guys have some excellent advice. Here are a few things we’d either reiterate or add.
- Persistence is key. Don’t get discouraged. You will get 100 “no’s” for every “yes.”
- When you go knocking on doors, dress well. Take a shower, brush your teeth, get a shave, etc. Treat this moment just as you would a first date. People will size you up in the first five seconds they meet you–don’t fail the personality test.
- Treat every landowner like solid gold, because they are. They control whether you will face winter with a full freezer or be in line at the food bank.
- Treat private land better than you would your own. Leave it just as you found it every time you visit. If you see some obvious trash, pick it up. Leave all gates as you find them, etc.
- When the hunting season is over, send the owner a thank you card, or stop by and thank them in person. Let them know how special their land is to you.
- Take everyone along who will hunt with you. Take your wife (you do hunt with your wife, don’t you?), take your kids, or take your buddies. Nothing is more annoying for a landowner to have given you permission and then ten of your rough and ready pals descend on their land like the Visigoths sacking Rome.
- Be yourself. Disclose your full intentions up front. If they don’t like you, don’t worry. Thank the owner for their time and attention, ask if they know anyone else you should talk to, and then get off their land the same way you came in.
- Work with your local game department. Chances are, the wardens know landowners who are hunter friendly and the fact they referred you can open doors. Here at LocaCarnivore, we’ve established on-going relationships with owners after hunting their property on a game damage permit. They see you know your stuff, are considerate, and you helped defend their crops from marauders.
- If you ever have a problem while on someone’s land, get in touch with them immediately. The fact you may have damaged something accidentally will play much smoother if you fess up than if you try to sneak out the back and hope they won’t notice.
Here’s the great video we promised you. Enjoy, and good luck.
Other helpful stories you’ll like:
Keep Out! Gating the American West and the Death of the Working Class Hunter
Looking for Places to Hunt in Michigan?
5 Unexpected Places to Hunt Game Animals for City Dwellers