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Knocking on doors?

Curran

Senior Member
Supporting Member
7,629
132
Central Ohio
Let's face it. When you're knocking on a stranger's door to try and ask permission to hunt, the batting average for success is probably pretty low. BUT with hard work, and persistence it can still be done fairly regularly. I try to set out each year to maintain the current places that I have permission on, as well as to gain at least 1 new spot. I figure if I gain at least one new place, it's been a good year.

Most of my knocking is done in the spring & early summer, but I still have a few more places on my list that I'll try & get to soon. The biggest thing I've tried to do is break the ice right off the bat. I know when a stranger knocks on my door, I don't always answer, and when I do open the door, I'm usually guarded. But when you have a good opening, you can put people at ease. One of the things that I've said in the past that has gotten a chuckle out of some people is, "Hi Mr. (insert land owners last name), don't worry, I just want you to know I'm not here to sell you any magazine subscriptions, or candy bars."

They'll probably still say "no" but the visit might at least be pleasant, and that could open the door next season if you come back. So, what's your approach when knocking on doors to try and gain permission to hunt a new property?

Let's hear some ideas on what help you out with finding access to a new spot to hunt.
 

Gern186

Senior Member
Supporting Member
9,169
156
NW Ohio Tundra
I just introduce myself and if they don't recognize me at first I just say "Don't you know who the hell I am?" That usually get's me in the doorrotflmao


Jk, I like to introduce myself and usually try to find out something about them beforehand, like who they might be related to or work with or go to church with, etc. If they don't really know me I will tell them who I work for and my job duties and that will make them familiar with me on some level.

I have gotten some really good permission from doing survey work also....
 

DJK Frank 16

Senior Member
Supporting Member
9,359
121
Hardin County
The problem is, there are a lot of idiots out there that are making it hard for us responsible hunters to obtain permission.

The most commons responses I get are "so and so got a truck stuck in my field" or "last year I found a doe that had been left lay after shot". Crap like that give all hunters a bad name and leaves the land owners with a bad taste in their mouth.

Usually I come back with something along the lines of "I understand what you are saying, I've had a lot of good hunting spots ruined by these types of idiots". I show them that I have courtesy and respect for them and their property. That will usually change their opinion right there, when you relate with them on the "bad hunters" out there.

Just last year I stopped and talked to an old man that was dead set he wasn't letting me hunt. I said "OK no problem", but we kept on talking about his farm, and past experiences and other hunters, etc. Next thing I know he asks me to see my permission slip, he takes a look at it and goes, well hell you hunt everyone around me, you might as well hunt my place too... rotflmao

But that's just an example of letting them know you are an honest, down to earth, guy who will give them respect. If they say no, I always smile, shake their hand, and say "no problem have a nice day", that leaves them with a good impression of you for next time.

The key is numbers though, there are always going to be those that are dead set against letting one hunt, so if I want to obtain two or three new properties, I always plan on having 8-10 to ask, because that is usually the ratio of yes to no's around this area.

For the properties I already have permission for, a stick of summer sausage or a bag of jerky goes a long way as a gesture of your appreciation for them letting you on.
 

Buckslayer

*Supporting Member*
3,166
76
Jackson County
I have gained at least three places to hunt each of the last two years. I have had a couple people tell me to come back closer to season so I have decided to start waiting until around july/august to approach the majority of my conquests. I typically just introduce myself, I always know their names as I look up the properties I want to hunt on the county auditors website to ensure I am asking permission from the correct owner. I tell them I am a bowhunter looking for a place to hunt at first and once I have acquired permission I ask if they also allow gun hunting. The usual answer is my family or friends gun hunt here but no one bow hunts. That is fine with me because bowhunting is what it is all about for me. When I get turned down I usually say it never hurts to ask and make small talk for a few moments and head down the road. I also send christmas cards thanking the property owners and I have also given some deer meat.
 

bowhunter1023

Administrator
Staff member
46,677
249
Appalachia
I make my living by driving the country side and stopping to knock on the doors of strangers, so trying to get hunting permission comes second nature to me. It is all about selling yourself and its as much a talent as anything IMO. Some guys have trouble getting things across and that can hurt, so I believe a little bit of practice is always a necessity. Know what you are going to say when you get there. "Hi, my name is Jesse Roush..." At that point, I do my best to draw a parallel between me and them. Like Chad said, know something about them if at all possible before stopping by. With me being from typical "small town America", those connections are often easy to make. If you have to do this on the fly, do a drive by or two before you stop and see what you can learn. Do they have cattle? Can you talk cattle? What about crops? Ask how planting season was. I try to make a friend before I drop the bomb of "hunting permission" in their lap. If I have nothing, then you go straight for the throat and tell them you are there to bow hunt. I never ask to gun hunt because I don't need land to do that on and it is SO MUCH easier to get permission to just bow hunt.

Be yourself, be confident, polite, and show them you mean business. Show up with slips that are filled out. I have a packet I carry with color copies of my drivers license/hunting license on one page, a color photo of my Jeep/quad/trailer that I pull with me most of the time, and my slips are filled out with "bowhunting only" in the notes section at the end of the slip. I've found both in gaining permission and in doing my job, that TOO many people in my shoes fuck around. When you show them the fucking around is over with and you are a reliable, trust worthy, hard working individual, they fall like dominos...
 

Mike

Dignitary Member
Supporting Member
14,381
166
Wood Co.
I always offer to lend a hand with things and I always thank them with walleye fillets. :smiley_bril:
 

Huckleberry Finn

Senior Member
15,973
135
I've only asked for permission to hunt land once from a total stranger, and he said yes. Felt pretty damn good.

He said no pretty quickly and we stood there and shot the breeze, talked about who we knew, etc. Long story but it all worked out.
 

Diablo54

Senior Member
7,083
114
Outside
If you can have a friendly appearence,carry on a friendly conversation with the landowner,connect with them in some way or another,and most importantly prove that your a responsible person your chances are alot better.
 

camofry

*Supporting Member*
I pick up a lot of my hunting places when doing Wildlife removale. I have so much land to hunt and trap that I have still just got in the habit of talking the land owner into letting a few hunters or trappers in just to help on some of there troubles. When a landowner has been burnt, it hard to get some of them over that.
 

Darron

Junior Member
273
0
Dayton, Ohio
I am a waterfowler as well as a deer hunter and I have some excellent duck and goose hunting spots that I picked up years ago. As of about 5-7 years ago I can count on one hand the amount of "yes's" I have gotten. At least around here, gaining acccess to deer and waterfowl is extremely tough.

Having said that it seems like anymore when you go get access to hunt a parcel of private land they have others hunting. Many times its several different groups. At least that has been my experience. I always ask how many others hunt the property. If they start listing people that's a red flag. You might as well hunt state land since most private parcels are small.

My best bowhunting spot, besides my own property, is a 90 acre parcel of land about 20 min from my house. I share it with six other hunters. One of the six is my buddy who takes a 140"+ off of it every year. He hunts during the week when nobody is there hunting. I go there on the weekends (work during the week) when I don't feel like driving down to my farm and I usually can't even find a spot to park.

90% of the time if they let you hunt they either A) have others hunting or B) will allow others to hunt. This isn't a big deal if the owners restrict the amount of hunters, but many owners don't realize this and allow everyone that comes by knocking. Obviously its their property and they can allow as many as they want to hunt.
 
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RedCloud

Super Moderator
Super Mod
17,107
160
Somewhere OHIO
It has taken me a few years to gain the ground I have. I started out with a single property that I knew the landowners from years ago. I have slowly over the years asked the neighbors and told them I hunt on so and so's property. It is amazing how word gets around in the county of a good or bad hunter. I now have a good size place to hunt but that also comes with a ton of others that hunt the same ground. Luckily for me most are strictly gun hunters so I as a bow hunter get free roam most of the season :).
 

Huckleberry Finn

Senior Member
15,973
135
I went 3/3 and got permission to groundhog hunt on about 500 acres tonight. I know it's a heck of a lot easier to get permission to shoot varmints, but I was pretty happy and it was good experience asking landowners for their permission. 2 very easy "yea not a problem" and a weird lady whose farm I probably won't go back to. (I know its too late in the season to do any serious ghog popping, but the roommate with the new rifle wants to go...)
 

Curran

Senior Member
Supporting Member
7,629
132
Central Ohio
I went 3/3 and got permission to groundhog hunt on about 500 acres tonight. I know it's a heck of a lot easier to get permission to shoot varmints, but I was pretty happy and it was good experience asking landowners for their permission. 2 very easy "yea not a problem" and a weird lady whose farm I probably won't go back to. (I know its too late in the season to do any serious ghog popping, but the roommate with the new rifle wants to go...)

That's a good approach though. Starting off w/ some Ghogs one year, getting to know the people, and easing into the "deer permission" conversation at a later time.

Congrats on the new spots Huck!!
 

rgecko23

*Supporting Member*
7,466
0
Massillon, Ohio
I had this huge conversation with this "know it all" last thursday about how he won't let anyone hunt his property cause of insurance reasons, then his buddy chimed in as well. I said don't let some dirtball hunter from before ruin it for everyone else. I said, I dont know one person who is going to sue "you" cause they fell out of a tree not wearing a harness! hes like no way, you dont understand blah blah blah...I just said "whatever man" you probably dont have any big deer anyway LOL. I'm usually a pretty nice guy, but when someone tries to lump me in with a group of slob hunters I get offended.

Thats why its hard to get permission anymore, some dirtball guys out there shooting too close to someones house, or leaving trash, etc. (all this guys examples) I hear this as a reason all the time around here. sad!
 

swamp_donkey819

Junior Member
anyone ever call a random landowner up thats strictly agains allowing strangers to hunt there land and actually get permission that way, i called a guy today who was actually totally against bow hunting his land but allows a few select people to gun hunt it, well he put me on this list as next in line, all this from over the phone. his land is like a refuge for deer on this other property i hunt, but its good that he was actually really nice about everything and gave me the opportunity to gun hunt, would much rather bowhunt the land cause of all the deer that hide in there
 

dante322

*Supporting Member*
5,417
132
Crawford county
I keep in mind that, for the most part, these folks are used to being asked for hunting permission. If its a good piece of property I guarantee you arent the first one to ask. I started out in early spring looking for permission to turkey hunt. given the fact there arent any turkeys around here, it seems that there arent very many people asking for permission to hunt them. I had no problem getting multiple properties to hunt birds on, but most of them said no to deer hunting for one reason or another. My plan is to go back next spring with a token of thanks for permission the previous year (most likely a gift card to bob evens or something), Ask for permission for turkey season , and then inquire about deer season again. Who knows, it might work.