July 6th, 2011

Having just finishing up two grueling months putting together a turkey hunting video, I sort of look forward to the next two months doing more preparation work for the coming seasons. While much of JULY for me is spent preparing my animal scents and lures- (tincturing, bottling, distilling, compounding, formulating, labeling, etc.) for market, it’s also a time set aside for securing hunting and trapping permission.

While hunting turkeys I’m also looking over terrain for possible deer hunting or trapping opportunities. After chasing a big old late season long beard this past May, he led me to a piece of property I never knew existed. You guys know the bird I am talking about; the one that gobbles at you and keeps walking away! Well, one day out of shear frustration I followed Mr. Long beard…you got it, he led me to a big old orange poster sign. After doing a little research I was able to find out who owned the property. The owners were more than happy to let me hunt and best yet I ended up killing that bird and finding an unbelievable 50 acres to hunt bucks.

Securing permission is often looked down by many hunters and trappers; we spend a lot of money on equipment, vehicles, books, seminars, etc. But when it comes to asking “permission” we often have a lot of excuses. Nobody likes rejection, but if you want great places to hunt or trap its inevitable, you have to ask permission. We live in a day and age where hunting and trapping are under constant scrutiny; we don’t need to be labeled trespassers also! Ask permission!

Here are some tips about gaining permission:

  • Once I find a parcel of land I’m interested in, ask around who might own the land. Sometimes it’s easy other times its almost impossible. Ask family, friends, police, neighbors adjoining the property, local assessors office, or pick up a landowners plot book for that county.
  • When asking the landowner “be presentable”. Neat, clean clothes, washed, etc,. Remember you’re the one asking for the “rights”. First impressions are everything! I don’t normally like to start the conversation off by just asking for permission. A little small talk can go a long way here.
  • If permission is denied be polite. Thank them and try asking again next year.
  • If permission is granted be sure to follow up again before the season. Get to know the family and their names, even the dogs if necessary.
  • Always leave them a card with all your information on it, such as address, phone number, vehicle type and plate number.
  • Respect the land, just because you where granted permission doesn’t mean you can do what you want! They granted you permission not all your friends and family. You’ll have to ask for them also. Don’t build tree stands without their permission, don’t drive your truck or four-wheeler all over the land, don’t cut fences, leave garbage. We all owe it to ourselves to respect the landowner and his land. Be sure to work out the particulars about where they would like you to park, what gates to close or not open, etc.
  • Finally, when the season starts, I call my landowners and let them know I’m about to start hunting or trapping. When the seasons over or I’m done I let them know and also leave a small thank you card in the mailbox.

Securing permission is one of those things I like to get done before or by the month of August. This leaves me plenty of time to get in and scout and maybe get to know the landowner better. Over the years I have acquired more land than I could possibly hunt or trap, much of this just happened because of landowners talking among themselves. You never know what a landowner will say so my best advice is ASK!

Good Scouting …… Kevin Kishel

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