WON Landing Page March 2022

Marti Davis Afield: On how to secure private property for hunting

So, you don’t own any hunting property? No problem. There are other options available. One option would be to find a lease – whether it’s your own personal lease, group leases with friends or from companies that lease large tracts of land. Another option would be to get permission from a landowner to hunt his or her property.

How to find private land to hunt

Get outside and drive around! Early morning and evening are the times when deer and turkey are more apt to be out feeding. Locating an area that has wildlife is the first step. Another option would be to talk to the local mail carriers, UPS or FedEx drivers. They are outside every day, and they see areas where deer and turkey are located. Once you narrow down a specific region in your area, you will need to figure out who owns the property. Sometimes that can be as easy as going up and knocking on the door of the house.

Marti keeps all of her hunting gear at the ready! Photo courtesy of Barbara Baird

Marti keeps all of her hunting gear at the ready! Photo courtesy of Barbara Baird

But, what if the land is vacant? There are several ways you can determine who owns a piece of property. Sometimes it’s as easy as talking to the neighbors, other times it might take a little detective work. Some county assessors offices have an online map that will give you the information you need, such as the name of the owner and how much acreage is in that parcel.

Another option would be to purchase a copy of your county’s plat book. You can usually purchase a copy from the assessor, the courthouse or extension service. These are handy when you’re out driving around looking at properties. Not only can you see who owns the property in question, but also it will give you the neighboring property’s information.

Marti Davis Afield is sponsored by HERCAMOSHOP.com

Marti Davis Afield is sponsored by HERCAMOSHOP.com

Some resources that I recommend when looking for properties and especially when hunting new properties are the following:

Google Maps – This is handy for getting a bird’s-eye view of the properties.

Scoutlook – This is my favorite resource for aerial photos. Not only can you get the aerial view of a property, but also you can mark stand locations, structures, trail cameras, etc. It also shows the weather for your location. I use this on my iPhone and my iPad. You can also log in to the program via Internet explorer.

MyTopo – If you like a foldout, in your hand map that you can make notes on, you can order custom topographic/aerial maps from MyTopo.

How to ask for permission

I like to talk to the landowner in person, although sometimes that isn’t possible or convenient. If it is possible, I will simply knock on his or her door. I recommend you do this before the hunting season. Don’t show up at someone’s door, dressed in your hunting clothes, with your gun slung over your shoulder. Make sure you don’t show up at dinnertime, either. Ask if you have caught the landowner at a bad time. If you have, ask when would be a good time to come back and visit. Find out if anyone there hunts on this property. If not, then ask if they would consider allowing you to hunt. Also, always ask permission before bringing any other hunters onto the property with you.

Landowners let Marti put her hunting hut up on the property. Photo courtesy of Barbara Baird

Landowners let Marti put her hunting hut on the property. Photo courtesy of Barbara Baird

Keeping a relationship with the landowner

First and foremost, treat the property as if it is your own. If you go through a gate that is closed, make sure to close it behind you, especially if there is livestock on the property. You don’t want to be responsible for a farmer’s cows or horses getting out on a roadway or into the wrong pasture.

Don’t leave trash behind, and make sure to pick up any that might already be there. Offer to help out around the property during the off-season. A little manual labor can go a long way to foster your relationship with the property owner.

Let the property owner know what vehicle you will be driving so they know it’s you that is parked there. Also find out from the landowner if they have given permission to any other hunters. Then you and the landowner know who should be on the property and who shouldn’t.

A little hard work is worth the reward.

A little hard work is worth the reward. Photo courtesy of Gretchen Steele

Share your harvest with the landowner if he or she likes wild game. I haven’t met very many people that turn down sausage or jerky, when offered. When the holidays come around, remember the landowner.  I’m sure he or she would appreciate receiving a card or a gift certificate to a local dining establishment.

Bottom line, common courtesy and respect will go a long way in obtaining permission to hunt on someone else’s property. Hey, it also goes a long way in life in general.

  • About Marti Davis

    Marti Davis is a staff member for Browning Trail Cameras, WoolX and Mossy Oak. She is an authority on most types of hunting in North America, and very active in mentoring the next generation of young hunters.