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Gaining Hunting Access

By Andrea Shortsleeve, Department Private Lands Habitat Biologist

Finding a quality hunting spot and asking for landowner permission to hunt can be a daunting task. Here are a few tips to improve your chance of gaining access:

Do your homework.

  • Start asking landowners for permission BEFORE the hunting season starts.
  • Bring a map to explain where you’d like to hunt and to demonstrate you know where the property boundaries are.

Be respectful.

  • Arrive in clean, non-camouflage clothes.
  • If it’s a new landowner on a property you’ve previously hunted, don’t assume you’ll get permission again.
  • Be mindful of a landowner’s time and potential inexperience with hunting and firearms.
  • Avoid knocking on someone’s door at dinnertime.

Provide references.

  • Bring a business card with your contact information, it can help give you context as a stranger showing up unannounced.
  • Bring a list of other property owners who have given you access in the past and can act as references.

Show gratitude.

  • Offer to help with a project the landowner has in exchange for permission.
  • Follow-up by sharing your observations while out on the property, sharing your harvest, or with a card acknowledging your appreciation.

Remember you are a guest.

  • Follow landowner requests; treat the property better than you would your own.
  • Hunting on someone else’s property is a privilege. The best way to ensure you’ll have the privilege again next year is to be a good guest this year.