hunting on private land

How to get and keep permission to hunt on private land

Here are some practical tips from an experienced hunter on how to get and keep permission to hunt on properties, something that can seem harder than scoring a record sambar trophy. 

The problem that faces all hunters is convincing landholders that we are respectable, responsible people who can be trusted and who will do something useful for them. 

We will not only help them get rid of unwanted pests, but do odd jobs and inform them of anything that’s not quite right.

First things first: join a hunting club. 

Hunting clubs are a good start as you will get insurance cover that might make the difference between getting onto a property or not. If you somehow cause expensive damage, the fact that your insurance covers these things will ease the minds of property owners. 

Get to know a few of the club members who do a lot of hunting and then try to learn as much as you can from them. You will not get anywhere by being a know-it-all. Usually, if you ask a few questions and show that you are willing to learn, generous members will take you under their wings. 

If you are lucky enough to be invited on a hunting trip, ask what they expect of you. Pull your weight with all camp chores, gate opening and the like. 

Most importantly, never go back to that property without being invited by the person who took you. This is about being trusted and respected.

To find your own properties, start asking politely when you meet the right people, and spend time driving around knocking on doors. 

Dress respectably when visiting farmers, and don’t be impatient if they are busy. It doesn’t hurt to make a complimentary remark on the state of their farm, or front garden, or cattle or whatever. Most people are more likely to talk to someone who shows an interest in what they are doing. 

You will get a lot of knock backs, but eventually someone will give you a go. 

When you finally do get that green light, it is then up to you to make sure that you are always welcome back. Here are a few elementary rules that you should abide by.

1. Farmers don’t like to be rung late at night, so when arranging a visit, always ring at a decent hour to ask permission.

2. Farmers don’t like to be pulled out of bed late at night or in the early hours of the morning without good reason. If you get bogged or stuck, it’s your own fault, so get into it and work out how to get out by yourself. Don’t go unnecessarily ringing the farmer for help.

3. How would you like a garbage bin full of rubbish and broken glass dumped in your back yard? No? Neither does the farmer. Take your rubbish with you when you go. Leave the campsite clean and tidy. 

4. Leave the gates as you find them, unless instructed otherwise by the farmer. This goes for open gates as much as it does for closed ones.

5. Stay on the tracks provided unless told otherwise. Definitely don’t drive over cultivation, whether it has been harvested or not, unless given permission. Crop damage is expensive and you’re out there to prevent it, not increase it.

6. Don’t get lost and become the subject of an expensive, time-consuming search. Familiarise yourself with the property, purchase a GPS, know where you’re going.

7. Don’t cause a bushfire! A small fire will suffice for cooking and warmth. Have an adequate fire break and never leave your fires unattended; put it out.

8. Help out. Always ask if there are any odd jobs that you can do. A little bit of help, maybe lifting something heavy or helping muster a few cattle goes a long way in good relations. Offering professional services can be very well received; a mate of mine asks about their computers, as he is an IT expert. 




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