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Giving Back to Landowners

by Neal McCullough 7. June 2011 11:46
Neal McCullough

One of my favorite ways to secure a hunting spot is creating value with the landowner where I would like to hunt.  Over the years this has been a very successful way to not only find good hunting land but also meet great new people. This past weekend Grant and I spent the day helping a landowner clear trails at one of our best hunting spots in Pepin County Wisconsin.  It was a little bit of hard work, but I have found that creating that value for the landowner in return the value we are getting (hunting rights) was a great trade.  If you don’t have equipment you can rent from many local rental shops.

Local Rental Shops will usually have Brush Cutters/Mowers/Saws to rent for the day at very reasonable costs.

After getting the equipment for the day we loaded the truck and headed to Pepin to meet the landowner and help with trail clearing and brush cutting.

A little hard work and spending time with the landowner can go a long way.

This is just one example but below are many more additional tips for landowner relationships when getting/keeping hunting access.

• Gain permission on any land you plan to hunt, fish, scout, or even walk on. - This is a no brainer and be sure to respect the owners wishes; who knows maybe next year they will change their mind.
• Ignorance of land boundaries is not an excuse to trespass! – Spend the money on a plat book and learn the “lay of the land”

Plat Maps like this one are available for every county.

• Communication! Communication! Communication! – Keep lines of communication open (email/call/text) and let them know what you are up to, keep them in the loop.  Most of the time I’ve found they are interested in when you will be there and what you are doing.
• Watch out for tractors, gates, buildings, and other equipment – You are a guest on the property, treat it with respect.
• Keep the current crops/livestock in mind when you hunt – You are sharing the land WITH the farmer; remember they have a job to do as well.
• Offer to help the farmer in whatever way you can – Whether that is monetarily through a lease or just helping clear brush.  Always give be giving back!
• Pack in, Pack out – If you bring it on the land be sure to take it with you.  This applies to garbage, but also to your hunting equipment.  Make sure you talk with the farmer regarding removal your tree stands each year.
• Thank you notes – This simple gesture at the end of the season can seal the deal for next year.  Write a short note to the landowner; let them just how much you appreciate the chance to hunt!

After a hard day’s work, treat yourself to a bowhunters favorite activity... some deer scouting and trail camera hanging!

I hope this season you take a little time to appreciate the land you get access to, and more importantly, the landowner.
See you in the woods,
Neal McCullough

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