Many hunters talk about their spots, or even their super secret spots that they tell no one where they are or take anyone with them. Well, this is true if you hunt public or private land in many cases, unless you have a good friend and are willing to share in your knowledge and share your "spots".
I hunt two very small land parcels of land, both in total only sum up to about 5 acres of private property. I mainly bow hunt and they are very hit or miss locations. That being said, 98 percent of the time that I am in the woods it is on public land. Normally, I am hunting Loch Raven. However this coming fall, I hope to branch out and possibly try Liberty for bow hunting and possibly make a trip to Maryland's Eastern Shore to Pocomoke State Park for some muzzleloader hunting and/or bow hunting.
Hunters are always asking do I know of any private land to hunt on. Well, the honest answer is no, and in fact, I have been looking for private land to hunt for a number of years now with little success. Unless you know someone, have something to trade, or are willing to pay for the rights to hunt on private land it is tough if not impossible to come by in the central part of Maryland. Like many of you, paying for hunting rights seems a little outlandish when there are so many deer and so much land out there, yet sadly the main reason you get a "no" answer is that the landowner does not like hunting so they do not allow hunting on their property. The second most common answer is that the landowner wants privacy and does not allow anyone on their property. The third most common answer that most people get is that the landowner already allow someone to hunt on their property.
Have you heard these before?? I have heard them all, some of them in a not so nice way, others were very nice about it but just were not willing. Yet, the answer is almost always no.
This brings me to the question, is private land really something you can get permission to hunt on in this day and age, or has it become near to impossible and a worthless cause?
We have all been on our way home and seen deer in a field like the photo above and say, hmm wonder who owns that land. Many of us make a note of this and go back and ask homeowners or landowners in and around that area before the next hunting season, but what are your real odds of getting a "yes"? Slim to none?
I consider May and June the best time of year to ask for permission to hunt on someone's land because this gives you an opportunity to help out on the land and/or the rest of the summer to get to know the landowner and allow them to gain your trust. It never hurts to offer to help out on a farm, or help fix fences on the property, or whatever type of work might need done on the property. Sometimes simply offering to cut a lawn might give you an "in" with the landowner and perhaps this would be a nice bargaining tool to get hunting permission. Another is that there are people out there that like deer meat, but do not care to pursue hunting. However, they may be willing to allow you to hunt on their land in exchange for meat. Nevertheless, you know what they say, be kind, be courteous, and generous in your offer and it will increase your odds of getting a "yes". Even more, if you do not ask, you will never know the answer.
What do you think? Is private land still something obtainable, or is that something that went out of style in the 90's?
To take this one step further, is private land a problem to get in other states, or is this just a localized problem to Maryland or the Mid-Atlantic?
I would love to hear everyone's thoughts and opinions on the subject so leave a comment!