Finding Land Access

Discussion in 'Michigan Whitetail Deer Hunting' started by Hark85, May 3, 2018.

  1. Hark85

    Hark85

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    what advice do you all have for someone new to the sport who is looking for private land access? I'm very apprehensive about hunting on public land. To give you an idea of why... my dad used to hunt back in the 80's but after he lost access to the private property he typically hunted on, he gave public land a try. He said that as soon as the sun came up, it was like a war zone with bullets zipping passed his head. (He's never been hunting since by the way...)
     
  2. d_rek

    d_rek

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    I think for firearms deer season opening day - Nov. 15th - on public land pretty much all of the stories you hear about overcrowding, orange army, bullets flying, etc. - are probably mostly true.

    But archery season... i've been on public land midweek and have been the only car in the lot from the time I got there until the time I left. Oh and i've seen a bunch of deer on public land too. I've also never bumped into another hunter on public.

    As for getting permission on private land you should start networking with family, friends, coworkers, and acquaintances from places you frequent. Let people know you're looking for some place to start hunting in the fall and tell them exactly what kind of animals you want to hunt and what you're equipment choices will be. If you can't net some property through your social network then you can start knocking on doors. From what I understand that's an art form entirely unto itself.
     

  3. Hark85

    Hark85

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    Thanks! I appreciate the insight.
     
  4. Bucman

    Bucman

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    Knocking on doors is an art. Be humble, kind and knowledgeable of laws protecting the land owners. Get some release forms to have signed just in case. Be prepared to be told no. Go alone or with whoever you plan to hunt with only. Don't wear camo and come off as a redneck hunter. (I can say that because i am one) First impressions are key. Be honest about your intentions. Never ever get cocky if your denied, you may get a second chance if your cordial. i have and have secured many places to hunt in and out of state.
    Oh and never bother farmers when they are busy planting or harvesting. Find the appropriate time to visit not to early or to late.
    Good luck
     
  5. skipper34

    skipper34

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    Your dad must have been hunting public land in southeast Michigan. Ain't at all like that on public land in northern Michigan anymore. All depends on where you hunt. Our camp is in NELP public land and in the last 10 years I have yet to see another hunter in the woods during firearm season. In archery season we don't even see any camps. Our success rate is near 100%.
     
  6. Eric Bee

    Eric Bee

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    You may also tell them that you are willing to trade some of your labor for the right to hunt. You could also get a card with your name and tel #, if they are somewhat hesitant at first.
     
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  7. Hark85

    Hark85

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    Good to know!
     
  8. jatc

    jatc

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    Good advice, but I actually had better luck mailing the landowner a handwritten letter asking for permission or an opportunity to at least meet with them and talk about permission. I just find most people tend to get very wary and super defensive when a stranger shows up out of the blue and knocks on their front door. Sending a letter doesn’t put them on the spot to answer.

    30 years ago I would knock on the door, but not anymore. The world sure has changed.
     
  9. brewster

    brewster

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    I like all of this, the card with a will work for hunting privileges may come in handy for the property owner. Now is the time to go.

    I've had lots of people offer to hunt on my property, friends, acquaintances and strangers. When the conversation moves to asking earlier and helping on the set up and work involved; I get the I don't have time to do that line.
     
  10. QDMAMAN

    QDMAMAN Premium Member

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    Don't focus on JUST large parcels. Many 5-10 acre woodlots in semi rural areas can be productive.
    As an example, 2 friends of mine in Ohio hunt in subdivisions in the greater Columbus area and much of their access came from stopping a talking to people mowing their lawns or weeding their flower beds in the middle of the summer. They have dozens of options when the season opens and both have average buck scores over 192" on their top 10 bucks.
     
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  11. bowhunter426

    bowhunter426

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    Like QDMAman said start small. I started with 10 acres of private and after 2 years I was able to secure another connecting 25 acres. 35 acres total. I respected the 10 acres as though it were mine doing clean up etc. The neighbors liked what they saw and came to me asking for help in exchange for hunting access. Won't work for everyone but it worked well for me. That 35 acres has been some of the best land I have ever hunted.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2018
  12. Old lund

    Old lund

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    I had a similar experience as above , my sister owned 20 ac and the neighbor opened 40 that they let no one hunt not even family , but after a few years of her watching me hunting she came over one day out of the blue and gave me permission to her place too. She liked that she always saw me come at legal time , never unloading at running deer , and always came and asked if it was ok to go retrieve a deer that ran to her property .
     
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  13. thegospelisgood

    thegospelisgood

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    I went on the County Parcel locator and looked at tracts that I thought were promising. I then wrote the landowners, included a resume, stamped/addressed post-card for checking yes/no/not at this time, try back later.

    I actually got 100% return on the cards, and one wrote a kind letter sharing why they were saying no...

    I secured a few spots this way, and have retrieval/non-hunting access on another and allowed to hunt their property lines...
     
  14. nothbound

    nothbound

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    If you have good enough camo who worries...