Give Your Landowners A Hand

Turkey seasons are winding down like a bowl of Doritos at a Super Bowl party. Unfortunately, some of you might have missed the boat while out and about.

That boat was securing additional hunting permission for the fall deer seasons. Your turkey haunts might double as your whitetail property, but sometimes the two don’t always reside on the same property due to habitat considerations. That means you might need more than one farm to get the job done.

If you did miss the boat, don’t worry: The ship hasn’t sailed yet. It’s early enough in the scouting season to acquire additional permission. Farmers are always busy, so plan your visits with thoughtfulness. Try to plan your stops during windows when you can catch a landowner in the yard, at the barn or right after the dinner hour. Don’t try and flag them down as they are planting a field of corn. Seed and time are expensive.

You also don’t want to go into a landowner meeting without some trade items. If you plan on leasing or paying a trespass fee that’s up to you—and your bank account. Only you know the price to play in a given zip code. For others, a better option is to consider utilizing alternative ways to open the gate.

First, make sure to utilize any social networks to get on land before you write a check. Church, volunteer projects and community foundations all offer ways to meet landowners. Next, offer sweat equity for hunting enjoyment and barter labor for hunting rights. If you’ve been hunting the property, make notes of labor projects you could complete to aid the landowner and maintain hunting permission.

An area always in need of repair is fences. Old buildings need repair or paint, weeds can be sprayed, outbuilding roofs always need shingles and firewood has to be cut before winter. Toss the idea out to the landowner and donate a weekend or two from your summer to help their cause and yours. After chores are done you can put up some trail cameras, clear shooting lanes and erect treestands. Your new friendship may even result in some farming help to establish a few fall food plots.

Another easy way to thank a landowner is to swap professional services for hunting permission. If you are a financial advisor, offer to help with investments. If you are a mechanic, offer to fix a tractor. If you own a tire shop, give the landowner a cut on repairs. Be creative. Hunting seasons are still a few months down the road, but that doesn’t mean you can slack off after the gobbling dies down.

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