How Do I Gain Hunting Permission: Access to Private Land

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How Do I Gain Hunting Permission: Access to Private Land

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photo courtesy of blog.timesunion.com 

So, these are questions that I am asked almost daily.  How do I gain hunting permission?  I have my hunter safety and hunting license, but I have no where to hunt.   How do I gain access to posted or private land?   I lost my favorite hunting location to posted signs… What do I do?

These questions are simply answered by making a phone call.   In order to gain hunting access or access to grounds you would like to hunt in the future you must first obtain the land owners permission.  Ideally you have verbal and written permission before you attempt to access any private grounds, even if you are recovering a downed animal.   Asking first is always the right thing to do, even if it is very inconvenient.  

The first step is to politely call or knock on an individuals door who owns the property you are trying to access.   Land owners are more reluctant to give permission these days as they are liable for any person who enters their property, meaning they are at risk every time anyone steps onto their property.  Many times the lands owners are very friendly and are more than willing to allow you to hunt on their land, that being said it is always a great idea to be a good steward of the land.  If someone does give you access to their land, in order to gain future access you must establish a working friendship and relationship with this owner.   How to do this is simple, offer your free time to them to help with any chores they may have outside of “hunting season”.  This means donating your time to help mow grass, bail hay, fertilize fields, spread pesticide, plant tree fertilizer spikes,  dig trenches, put in water bars, plant seeds, etc, etc.   Land owners put so many hours into growing wild game populations, it is always good to see the hunters are more into the process than simply showing up on opening morning and expecting to hunt for free.  Hunting for free is a relative term, and trust me there is no free lunches here.   

If you respect a landowner and dedicate your time to helping their property, you will find yourself with more hunting access than you know what to do with.   If a property owner says “no”, then politely offer to come and be a “free” set of hands to help in the off season.   If they turn down free work hours, then move onto the next chunk of property.   Gaining access to land is simple, it all starts with building a trusting relationship with the land owner.  Remember its not always about the kill, its the process that defines the hunting experience and what we strive for as hunters.   If you don’t know where your going to hunt for your upcoming fall season, start asking land owners now and dedicate a few free hours to helping them out.

-Mission Alaska

Mission?  Gain hunting access to private property never hunted before.

-What’s your mission?

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