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Hunter-Landowner Relations

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Unread 12-08-2012, 11:52 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Los Lunas, NM
Posts: 214
Re: Hunter-Landowner Relations

I tend to hunt public land only. One day my daughter and I were in the middle of the day cleaning up bottles and trash from a forest road. We figured we would take a break from hunting and anytime the family goes camping, fishing, or hunting we take extra trash bags. I noticed a vehicle had been coming down the road and was now stopped and watching us from a ridge top. After a while they drove down and stopped to talk. Come to find out it was the owner of a large ranch that borders the forest. Without even trying or asking I got the combination to his gate and a written permission to hunt his land.

Remember actions speak louder than words.
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Unread 12-08-2012, 12:26 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Allegan, MI
Posts: 1,369
Re: Hunter-Landowner Relations

Amen to that! I have had some free partial access the last few years to a small ranch that an older couple owns in Wyoming and the guy is in bad health. They try to be self sufficient and this year I almost demanded to help mend several miles of their fences and then also spent one day helping the Vet do pregnancy tests on their 40 cows and the neighbor's 60 head. I now have permission to hunt a good chunk of the neighbor's ranch and the older couple gave me a key for full access to their ranch, except for the first few days of deer season when two old guys that have hunted it for 40 years are there. The northeast sides of their ranches also border over 2,000 acres of public land that is basically landlocked and only hunted by a couple people that own property on the other sides of it, so that also opens up new territory. It pays off to offer help like that and even at 65 I'm actually having a lot of fun being a ranch hand! I may even go out for a couple weeks next Spring to do a lot more work roofing a small building that is in disrepair, more fence mending, and may even throw in a little turkey hunting in the Black Hills on the way out!
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Unread 12-08-2012, 12:53 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Pennsboro, WV
Posts: 383
Re: Hunter-Landowner Relations

I can honestly say I am embarrassed at the conduct of a large percentage of hunters, I've seen it from both sides of this relationship, while on public and private land. Take a look at some well used public land and ask yourself if that's how you would want your land treated. The reality is land-owners are trying to avoid the rubes. I personally am building a portfolio of letters of commendation from previous land-owners to prove I am not one of, "those guys" to any land owner that I proposition.

On the other hand, landowners aren't all virtuous either. I don't want to start going down my list, but I have dealt with, and so have some of my best hunting pals, a fair amount of fraud and manipulative dealing from landowners. Very painful. Just remember how bad being defrauded of your labors or "tokens of appreciation" would hurt before you invest them. I personally don't try to do too much work before the hunt, but that's a case by case basis, and I never give what I can't have stolen and keep a great attitude.

This relationship requires decency in character on both sides to work, not just on the level of one hunter and one landowner, but for the institution as a whole. Every time we, whatever our role in that institution, call on the government to solve our problems we give them the authority to solve them. This indirectly gives authority over all components necessary (determined by the courts) to solve the problem, even if the parties don't like the decision. If you want to preserve hunting for the next generation we better police ourselves.
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