Getting Access to Private Land:Quick Tips
January 13, 2020
By: Stephen Arnold
Credit Where It’s Due
I want to start by giving credit where credit is due. Shout out goes to Steven Booksh, for his article titled How to Get Access to Private Land which gives some great insight and tips to getting that hard to come by permission to hunt private land. Check out his article here, I highly recommend you give it a look. This article is going to be somewhat of a continuation of his awesome composition, including some of the more in-depth and grittier things to consider when trying to obtain permission.
Consider Everything & Anything (Within Reason!)
As sports men and women, we aren’t afraid of a little hard work, sacrifice, and preparation. In fact, most of us know it all too well, but how about in the context of getting permission to hunt on private land. All three of these staples can hold a special place in obtaining permission to hunt on private land depending on the circumstances, so consider these tips.
Photo by Jesse Orrico
- Don’t be Afraid to Work for Permission – As everyone knows, nothing in life is free, it all comes at a price. When asking landowners for permission, don’t be afraid to offer to earn your keep. Make it known that you’re willing to help out around the property, within reason of course! Stopping by to help rake up some leaves this time of year isn’t such a bad trade off when you stop to think about it. Helping to remodel a bathroom may not be within reason just to get permission to be on a small parcel. But hey, whatever it takes to get that big buck on the ground! Consider coming to terms with property owners on helping out around the property in exchange for permission to hunt on their land.
- Food for Thought – Everyone has their reasons for what gets them in the woods, whether it be going after a big trophy animal, the experience of the hunt itself, or maybe to fill the freezer. For those who are lucky enough to harvest an animal, consider offering a portion of your kill to the landowner that was nice enough to give you permission to hunt on their property.
- Preparation – When it finally comes time to talk to property owners, be sure to be prepared. Start with what you’re going to say. Prepare something before hand and memorize it. You don’t need to memorize a whole book, but be sure to bring some talking points. Avoid talking about religion, politics, and money, these points can be controversial.
We can’t stop there. Be sure to dress appropriately, don’t be afraid to pull out all the stops. A suit and tie might not be necessary, but get rid of that bedhead, trade in the sweatpants for a decent pair of jeans, and ditch the camo t-shirt for one with buttons and or a collar. It will make a world of difference when you show up and talk to a homeowner, showing them you are serious about what you have come to do. There is a reason that top salesmen shop up to work in a suit and tie and not their crocs. Your attire will help with your first impression.
Consider making some kind of pamphlet or field staff resume as part of your preparation, maybe even laminate it. To put into context why this could be important, imagine you are a salesman for a minute. It is a proven statistical fact that by showing a buyer the information you are telling them, increases your chances at a sale. Make sure it highlights some of your talking points. It can include almost anything you think tells your story.
- “I strive to protect the integrity and well being of the lands I hunt, therefore I make sure to never liter and I pick up trash I see around the property.”
- “I hunt with only a bow and arrow” (I include this point because some homeowners can feel very strongly about guns and for a number of reasons emphasizing hunting with a bow can be your friend.)
- “I hunt to provide food for my family” or “I hunt and donate all harvests to food shelters in need.”
Everyone’s points will be different and there are hundreds of thousands of ways to customize a card that will help earn you permission. This is where knowing your audience can help create a strong product to help in your endeavors.
Photo by Frances Gunn
Pull It All Together
Using even just one of these tips can seriously increase your chances of gaining success to hunt on Private Land, but collectively, these tips, as well as Mr. Booksh’s article, can add a whole lot of fire power to your arsenal. I want to leave you with just a few things. Remember to never give up on asking for permission because a “no” one day can turn into a “yes” the next. NEVER be discouraged. It won’t be easy and there is a good chance that you will hear quite a few “no’s”, but it’ll all be worth it when you finally get permission, allowing you to pursue the buck of a lifetime. Be sure to always be respectful, no matter the answers you receive. Most importantly have confidence in yourself and have fun!
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