Every year we go through the process of finding that one more spot to hunt. This could be a hand shake private permission, or a lease.
Where do you start?
We start with maps and plot books.There are multiple apps that you can buy the plot books on making it much easier, but not necessary. Find some areas that you think might be good and mark them all down. The more spots you can find that look good the better. This is a game of numbers.
Once you find the ground you will have a name. Sometimes a quick google of name and county the land is in will give you a address and phone number. We have found that it’s always better to go in person. If you can’t find where they live a phone call is the next step. If you can’t find a number and have an address send a letter. Letting them know your interested with a phone number to reach you.
Get used to being told NO.
You will get a lot of no’s. They might have someone else hunting, they don’t allow anyone on their property etc. A few thing that have helped me with this is have a personal liability insurance policy. This will cover you if you get hurt. It also puts the land owner at ease and is beneficial to you if you ever did have to use it. Also have a lease agreement paper ready to go. Make sure and put all rules in there and also make a document saying that you won’t sue the land owner for any accidents. You can find multiple lease agreements off google some are good and some are bad. I use these often and just change the names and areas to coincide with area.
No doesn’t mean no next year.
Start a relationship with the land owner and send him a letter or make a friendly visit every year and ask again. Maybe sweeten the pot with some deer salami. We have asked for the same property for five years and finally got the opportunity. Don’t hound them, just remind them you are still interested in the ground and keep a friendly connection with them.
Keep the relationships strong with the owners of the ground you already hunt.
Don’t get so wrapped up in finding a new spot you forget about the spots you have. A simple phone call or meeting with the land owner asking them if they would like any deer meat or any work you could do for them goes a long way. Keep these relationships strong and make sure they let you keep hunting there. We try to do anything we can to keep what we have. From taking care of bird nest to doing prescribed burns.
Dont Give Up
Like I said, you have to get used to No. It is hard to keep going when knock after knock you get told no. But the first yes is so worth it and you never know what kind of deer could be on that property.
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