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Old September 21, 2000, 10:06 AM   #1
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Location: Floating down the James River in VA
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Since I moved into the Charlottesville,VA area last fall, this will be my first hunting season down here. I hunted mostly public land, or land that friends owned in NY and MD. Now I'd like to hunt some private land down here in VA, but I don't know any landowners and the one lead I had fell through. So... How do you guys get the word out that you want to hunt private land if you don't anyone who owns any???????? Anyone use newspaper ads? Websites?
Thanks for any ideas guys.
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Old September 21, 2000, 11:07 AM   #2
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Join a gun club in the area, join the chamber of commerce, knock on land owners door (well before the season) and ask for permission to hunt. A lot of land owners won't mind at all if you are polite, never hurts to offer to do some work around the place if they need it. Basically anyplace you find groups of people to converse with on the topic of hunting. The local Co op could be a great place to start, they sell supplies to all the land owners in the area, they should be able to point you in the right direction. The more people you talk to in your new area the better your odds. Good luck.
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Old September 21, 2000, 12:12 PM   #3
Robert the41MagFan
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The trend towards hunting private lands seems to be gaining popularity though out the country. Fewer hunter and a largely untapped resource of game. But be very careful when using these lands. Many land/lease operators (SLIME!) are closing the average hunter from lands that would normally be open to all hunters. Forcing hunters (largely locals) to travel large distances to hunt or not being able to hunt at all.

This is happening primarily by two means. The leasing of public lands by ranchers, who then give preferences to fee hunting organizations (usually they go by the name something ____ outfitters or ____ ranch. You fill the blank ). Another method is by these same "fee hunting organizations". They simple lease private lands that normally would be open to all hunters. These organizations, outfitters or even a private farmers or ranchers are out to make a few bucks on YOUR game. Most command a prices as high as $5000 to hunt game that belongs to ALL hunters, but even a small fee would be considered unethical. Game animals are all bought and paid for by your tags. Game animals on private land belong to YOU, not the private property owner. The private land owner can control access to his property, that is his right. But to charge you for something that he simply does not own is not right.

For those of you traveling to other state to hunt, make sure that it's not a hunting club that you are entering. When you do that, it shuts locals out of THEIR game. And those local hunters that hunt private lands, if the land holder wishes to charge a fee, tell then to [email protected]# off. These guys are all contributing to the slow death of this sport.

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Old September 21, 2000, 01:07 PM   #4
Calif Hunter
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Join Date: May 10, 2000
Location: La Palma, CA, USA
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Robert - The whole subject of private land access and game animals is a very complex one, involving many rights of various factions. I agree, though, that hunting is headed towards becoming a "rich man's sport," just as in the old feudal days in Europe. I don't like that. This is due to many factors: the "family farm" owner trying to hold on in the face of rising taxes and lower prices (combined with the ineritance tax, which means that he can't leave his farm to his children since it's worth millions on paper) and thus trying to make a little extra money, the game depredations on his crops, his private property rights, the damages that have been done in the past to his property by "hunters," (usually unauthorized trespassrs and poachers, but we get lumped together) and the potential liability he faces by letting people with guns onto his property. I'm not in favor of this by any means...I own no land and find my own hunting opportunities diminishing daily. I have no solutions, except to think that we need to find a way to keep our public lands attractive and supportive of wildlife populations. Then perhaps less if the wildlife will gravitate to private land. Better use of our license fee funds? Better management practices? I have no answers, really, not being an expert in the field. Lke you, I recognize the problem, though, and hope something gets done!
PS - another factor, of course, is the buying up of land by anti-hunting rich folks and corporations!

[This message has been edited by Calif Hunter (edited September 21, 2000).]
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Old September 21, 2000, 01:22 PM   #5
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Fortunately, I ran across some very nice farmers. They agreed to let me hunt on their land as much as I want if I do them one BIG favor, hunt groundhogs on their land too. When they said that, the biggest smile litup across my face
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Old September 21, 2000, 03:34 PM   #6
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Jeeze, you have to hunt ground hogs toooooo?!?!?! Man, those guys are real slave drivers.. Did you tell them what a hard bargain they drive???
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Old September 21, 2000, 08:59 PM   #7
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Speaking as a landowner, I would say step one is stopping and asking. One of the most irritating things I deal with is when I am hunting on my own property and come across a tresspasser on a hunting trip of his own. Inevitably his first question is "Who are you?" Not a good way to make a first impression! Abide by any rules he may have and thank him after hunting and let him know how you did, let him share in your success. A really nice touch is to not only not litter (obviously) but pick up your hulls and brass after shooting at the game. Just my 2 cents.
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Old September 21, 2000, 09:20 PM   #8
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One other thing I do is, I usually give them some steaks when I butcher the deer. Sometimes I give them jerky too.
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Old September 21, 2000, 10:02 PM   #9
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Oh yeah, on the subject of "having" to hunt groundhogs, just twist my arm! hahaha
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