While most states offer abundant access to public lands for hunting, there’s always that intriguing patch of woods where the deer are rumored to be plentiful. Or that hidden lake where ducks are known to flock. But often times these appealing areas are privately owned.
Potlatch Preferred Broker Charlie Chernak, of Bear Island Land Company in Minnesota, understands the lure. “You may want to hunt on private land if you’re tired of sharing your area with other people,” he says. “Or you may want to set up a permanent stand. You can’t do that on public land.”
He says the essential first step to using private land for hunting is to contact the landowner and ask for permission.
Also, here are some other key tips:
- Ask permission in advance. Don’t show up at a landowner’s residence early in the morning of the day you want to hunt. Plan ahead.
- Be courteous and truthful. Respect the owner’s time by offering a brief explanation of exactly when and what you’d like to hunt on the property.
- Respect the landowner’s conditions and rules. You are a guest on the property, so treat it with care. Don’t litter, and pick up any litter you may find.
- Hunt only in the areas designated by the landowner. Don’t drive or park on any roads or trails other than what has been specified.
- Practice safe firearm handling and be a good example to others by hunting ethically.
- Don’t assume that the permission that’s been given is for a lifetime. Be sure to ask again at the start of each season.
- Let the landowner know when you’ll arrive and depart and provide your name, phone number, and make, model and license plate of your vehicle. If there’s an emergency, you’ll be glad you did.
- Don’t erect any permanent tree stands or structures without permission.
- Be appreciative. A handwritten thank you note or a bag of fresh game is a great way to show appreciation.
Once you’ve enjoyed the experience of hunting on privately owned land, you may want to take the next step. “Often you’ll have to pay for the privilege to hunt on someone else’s land,” Chernak says. “Why not buy a piece of Potlatch property and enjoy the privacy of your own land?”
To connect with Charlie Chernak and the Bear Island Land Co. team or any member of Potlatch’s Preferred Broker Network, we invite you to visit our website.