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Old February 29, 2012, 09:06 PM   #19
Senior Member
Join Date: January 28, 2006
Posts: 1,380
Once I echoed the frustration of those who have difficulty gaining access to farms where the ranchers are complaining about hog damage. In Oklahoma, I faced the same thing.

I went to a local peanut co-op and talked with the manager in my first week there and he bemoaned the sad state of affairs with the pigs. I offered my services, with a kid or 2 in tow under my supervision, to go out anywhere and hunt them or set traps. He gave me close to 2 dozen names/numbers of ranchers he knew personally to call.

I gave up after the first dozen, as they all said no, some rather rudely.

At first, I was confused. You could hear the locals talking about the problem in the diners, Wal Mart, farm stores, etc.

Then a local farmer sought me out after a chance meeting. He had 450 acres with cattle and asked if I would take a stab at thinning the herd. I went out there with my kids and had a blast (pun intended). As I got to know the owner better, he confided that the reason most ranchers are leary of letting folks onto their land is that they have been burned multiple times. Equipment stolen, or shot up, planted fields driven through, animals left to rot, deer poached out of season, their dogs shot, etc. To summarize, a few slobs ruin it for the rest of us. 1 rancher has this experience, shares it with others, and before you know it, everyone is against strangers coming onto their property.

By them leasing out their land, there is the perception that if you pay for it, you'll behave better.

And so that others will learn from my lesson, I almost messed up my own good deal. I set a circle trap for pigs, and didn't get back to check it for 3 days. I SHOULD have called the landowner, who was out there almost every day and let him know. I just got too busy flying local training sorties, and after spending 14 hours trying to train someone to fly, just didn't have the energy to drive the hour round trip to get out there. A heffer forced his way into the trap and sat there for 2 days. He was not in too good of shape when the owner found him. Although the landowner was generous and forgiving, I still feel bad about that and it was 4 years ago!

This same landowner, while we were out there, had someone drive by and shoot his dalmation from the road adjacent to his property, as well as put a couple rounds into his barn, proof that there are people out in the country up to no good.

So, word to the wise. If you earn the trust of the landowner, always go above and beyond to take care of them and their property.
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