| Posted: Thu Oct 04, 2007 7:46 pm
In response to a request on a thread in this category, I will share some of the things that I learned while looking for new properties.
A) Look for property that has some drainage. Hunting a flat piece of ground is much more difficult that a property that has some rolling character or some slopes and hills.
B) Focus on properties that have East or North East facing slopes. Deer like to bed on such slopes, as the prevailing wind will filter down over the top to act as a warning system for anything that may approach the ridge. They can also look down hill to the East to see what's coming up the hill. Buck LOVE to bed on slopes like this. Not much sense in asking permission to hunt a property that doesn't hold the promise of success. You need structure for a high rate of success.
C) Look for signs that the owner has some respect for his property. 20 junk cars in the front yard is a bad sign. Keep driving. Look for property where the owner takes care of the place. If they respect their own property, they'll appreciate it even more if you show that you respect not only their property, but the privilege of hunting it as well.
D) Don't "look" like a hunter when you pay the landowner a visit. Slob hunters and poacher types wear camo 24/7. Some even wear camo to their weddings. Show up looking respectable. You want to come across as an upright person - a person who cares just as much for the land owner as you do the permission to hunt there. They have to respect you. I usually wore a pair of nice jeans with a polo shirt and a newer pair of running shoes. First impressions are everything.
E) After the door has been answered, I usually used this line; "Is there any possibility that you could direct me to the person that I would need to get permission from to hunt on the corn field back there?" Depending on their reaction, then you proceed in a number of directions.
1- If they seem hesitant: "I'm not looking to hunt with a firearm, just a bow and arrow".
2- If they seem open: " I'm mainly interested in archery, but I might also be interested in doing some muzzleloading".
F) If they grant permission: "Is there anyplace you DON'T want me to park my truck?"
G) You may also want to sweeten the pot: "I'd be more than willing to get rid of some woodchucks or coyotes for you".
H) Also doesn't hurt to throw this in: "Is there anything in particular that you'd like me to keep an eye out for you?" "I'd be more than happy to report anything that seems to be out of order."
I) I got permission to hunt 4 different properties in the past 3 years, 2 just in this year alone, by cold calling the owner on the phone. Court House records give you the name, the phone book gives you their number.
You get the drift.
You may also ask if the owner likes venison, and that you'd be more than happy to share the harvest.
There are so many people who just "invade" private property, that I've found that folks really appreciate someone who take the time ti ask, and that they are also humble and sincere in their appreciation of said permission. A hand written thankyou card in the mail also doesn't hurt.