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Thread: Finding Private Land to Hunt

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
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    Finding Private Land to Hunt

    I've been hunting the past 3 years and still haven't got my first deer yet. I started bowhunting last year. My biggest problem I face is not having a place to hunt. There are 2 public hunting lands near me but they are over hunted. I just want to know how you go about finding private land and getting permission. Do you scout out areas and knock on doors? Maybe look up numbers and call around. Just need a little advice.



  2. #2
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    Oct 2008
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    Knock on doors. Advertise at local grain elevators as well. Good luck.
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  3. #3
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    Dec 2009
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    Go to the County Auditor's website and look to see if they have GIS Mapping then you can do look up of addresses and owner's name and boundry lines visually. If they don't have that you can still get owner's name of a particular property and then you can go ask......good luck, it's hard nowadays
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  4. #4
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    just keep knocking
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
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    VA
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    It depends on what you are looking for. Finding free land to hunt on these days has gotten pretty hard to do....not impossible, just few and far between. Your options may improve if you are willing to lease land or if you can find a hunting lease(club) to join.
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    Indiana, Vigo County
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    I've always done well by stopping and talking to the people. You wanna let the land owner get to know you as fast as you can. Tell them where you work, live and about your family. Re-assure them "you will be the only one in there". I always go by-my-self and I never take anyone to those spots. I have gotten permission from people who said "NO" right off but kept up the small talk and ended up being told "YES". I've been told how others have had permission to hunt their properties and they screwed it up. I tell them how I don't mess around and will only hunt there alone. I have 7 farms and large properties to hunt, I pick up and drop places all the time. Oh yeah, once you get a place go back in the off season and just talk with the land owners, offer to help out if they need something done.
    Good Luck!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    Get the ownership maps from the county courthouse. Then look for small tracts, as they are less likely to be leased than the larger ones. Small tracts as little as only a few acres can be some great hunting spots.
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  8. #8
    Free hunting land is fast becoming a thing of the past. Do not overlook small tracts of land. Often times no one wants to lease small tracts and these places are often overlooked for huntiing.

  9. #9
    As both a landowner who allows others to fish on my property and someone who hunts on other peoples land, my thoughts are:
    - establish at least a casul friendship with the landowner. Personal relationships go a long way.
    - offer to assist the landowner with any maintinance or chores he may have, put a little sweat equity into your hunting spot.
    - offer to share any game harvested, its a nice gesture
    - abide by ANY and ALL rules the owner puts out, even if they are 'stupid' in your mind.
    - know the bounderies of the tract you're hunting. I had a fool hunting a neighbors property shoot across a highway and kill a doe in my cow field. He lost his hunting privilages and spend a few days in lockup.
    - If you have to track game onto another piece of property, try to contact that landowner first. If you can't, be especialy respectful of his land when you're on it.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by madhatter45 View Post
    As both a landowner who allows others to fish on my property and someone who hunts on other peoples land, my thoughts are:
    - establish at least a casul friendship with the landowner. Personal relationships go a long way.
    - offer to assist the landowner with any maintinance or chores he may have, put a little sweat equity into your hunting spot.
    - offer to share any game harvested, its a nice gesture
    - abide by ANY and ALL rules the owner puts out, even if they are 'stupid' in your mind.
    - know the bounderies of the tract you're hunting. I had a fool hunting a neighbors property shoot across a highway and kill a doe in my cow field. He lost his hunting privilages and spend a few days in lockup.
    - If you have to track game onto another piece of property, try to contact that landowner first. If you can't, be especialy respectful of his land when you're on it.

    GREAT POST!!!
    I've got lots of land to hunt simply be being genuine, taking half an hour to talk to the guys, and offering to help w/ chores if they need it. I've donated a bit of trade work for them too. And when they asked for a bill, i laughed at them
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  11. #11
    bout have to know someone, otherwise other guys prolly hunt free too. Sometimes it's funny, will be 5 guys hunting the crap out of private land, surrounded by public land that nobody bowhunts.
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  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    I saw a rather brilliant ad here, it said something like "Got wild hog eating your crops and killing your animals? Call me, I'll get rid of them for you"

    Had to laugh, hope the guy got a few places to hunt for free from it..
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  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnstde View Post
    I saw a rather brilliant ad here, it said something like "Got wild hog eating your crops and killing your animals? Call me, I'll get rid of them for you"

    Had to laugh, hope the guy got a few places to hunt for free from it..
    You're not from Kentucky are ya? I have seen the same ad on craigslist and Newspaper.
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  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    Ohio
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    Best advice I ever found (right here on AT) was to call the ODNR and ask them for the deer damage list. They will give you 3 counties to pick from and then send you a list of all the people in those counties that reported crop damage from deer. The list gives you their names, address, and how many acres they reported damaged. You then can look them up and obtain their phone number and mailing address (sometimes it is different then the property they reported damaged). I did this last year with great results. I wanted to go to these people personally but everywhere was so spread out and to drive around and may or may not catch these people home or whatnot did not seem practical for me. So I typed out a letter and started sending them out. I googled earthed all of the properties to see which ones looked like they may be good (some people will report damage to a couple acres or may not have any woods whatsoever so this can help). I sent out 20+ letters last year with 3 responses.

    The first person called and asked if I was interested in coming out and shooting a doe with my bow on a crop damage permit if odnr gave them to him. He never called back but from the conversation he may of not got the permits. Second guy called and asked if I was interested in a crop damage permit. He ended up giving me one and it was good for 5 deer and I ended up taking one with a shotgun and one with a bow. The third guy called back and said I can have permission to hunt his 900 acres of land where I took a 8 point with my bow and saw deer every day I was out. He has given me permission this year again along with my brother in law. I think the deer damage list is a good thing to obtain and will certainly increase your chances of getting some private property to hunt. Hope this helps out.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
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    Hunt Licking Cty, Ohio
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    Do you go to Church. Fellow parishioners are open to letting you hunt. I have gained access to several tracks of land through my Christian brothers at church.
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  16. #16
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    Aug 2011
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    Yes, you have to network. Check with folks at church, work, school, etc. Anyone that you can think of. Be willing to trade out work or $ to hunt. Bowhunting is sometimes easier to get permission. Some landowners don't like guns, noise, etc. Or, they fear they may have more risk with guns. Also, be willling to put it in writing that you will not hold the landowner respsonsible if you get hurt. Landowners do have a lot of legal risk allowing people on their land. You might show them your hunter education card, bowhunter safety courses taken, if you have, etc. Quite honestly, it's not easy - it can be sometimes - but for the most part hunting ground can be very hard to find. You really have to work at it... Good luck!!
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  17. #17
    Figure out what you have to offer and try to barter......offer services or money in exchange to hunt. Just offering to pick up trash on the ground goes a long way with most landowners. I am pretty picky who I ask to hunt on but have never been turned down. I always develop a relationship PRIOR to asking for permission though. I'm also a landowner and someone I don't know nocking on the door gets a resounding NO every time! Acquaintances get invited a LOT though. Just food for thought.
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  18. #18
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    Hunting property holds a certain value to the land owner. Remember you are asking to use land that can be rented, least, outfitted. If I have a sweetcorn patch and sell sweet corn. How can I let you come in and pick some for the asking? Now if you want to come in and tll the ground, plant the corn and pick it for me I'll give you some for the asking.
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  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Eaton, OH
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    Thank you guys! Your suggestions are very helpful. I've knocked on a few doors in my county and have gotten no every time. Thanks for the suggestion on the crop damage list, I will be calling this week. I go to Church with one person that has hunting land, he only let me hunt twice then he pretty much said I'm on my own. People are very protective over their hunting land.

  20. #20
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    VA
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    Really like the idea of getting the list of people who have crop damages.
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vindicator View Post
    You're not from Kentucky are ya? I have seen the same ad on craigslist and Newspaper.
    LOL, nope Arkansas. Guy must get around!
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnstde View Post
    LOL, nope Arkansas. Guy must get around!
    Must be catching on! Apparently it works
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  23. #23
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    Getting permission can in today's hunting world can be tough. A lot depends on the area you are asking. One thing is to remember is that no matter how many times you are told no, that you may only be one knock away from being told yes on a great farm. Persistance will go along was. Here is an article I wrote a few months back about Acquring Permission In Quality Areas. Check it out....you may find a few things that have worked for me may also work for you. Good luck! Here is the link to my article;
    http://trophypursuit.com/chris/2012/...quality-areas/
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