I had a nice conservation with a lady the other day at physical therapy in Canton. When asked if I still hunt woodchucks, I told her that yes I do.  She stated that she has a bunch of them on her property, especially around the house and barn.  I have hunted on that property previously, by permission of course.  

What really disturbed me and should all of you, is that she told of local hunters trespassing on her property. I was shocked to hear their names because I know most of them. 

They all own suitable lands to hunt upon. She does allow some deer hunting; you just need to ask.  She only allows so many hunters per day. That is reasonable. 

Many landowners allow deer hunting if you are polite and do not ask to hunt the first few days. Remember that.

Some of the private lands where I avidly hunted deer in the past have similar conditions. I obtained permission to hunt on two adjoining farms, after the first Wednesday. 

By that time, the hunters had enough after the first three days. Since they were farmers, it is quite understandable.  It is hard to hunt deer and keep up with the twice or thrice daily milking of a herd of daily cows.

One neat trick that I have used is to ask to hunt deer on a farm where I have permission to hunt woodchucks. 

Many years ago I stopped at a farm near East Troy. When I introduced myself and inquired about hunting woodchucks, the farmer told me this: “I know who you are. It’s about time you helped us back-roaders.” One never forgets statements like that.

I noticed several nice permanent elevated shooting stands on his large main farm. Curiously I mentioned that he and his sons and others must be serious deer hunters; and they are.  He told me that giving me permission to hunt woodchucks did not include deer.

Again, just being curious, I asked him if maybe I could hunt a day during the second week. He stated that “yes,” I could. 

He further stated that after the first few days, none of his gang hunts until the two Saturdays and maybe one or two other days when his gang may team up with another farmer to put on a few drives. I never did hunt deer on his property; Lord knows I have many places to hunt deer. 

Still, one can sometimes get permission to hunt on private lands if one is patient and maybe asks about hunting the second week.

Moral: always get permission in advance. It is just a reasonable and courteous thing to do. There is NO excuse for doing otherwise. It is no wonder that many landowners do not allow non-family and friends to hunt on their property.

Get outdoors. We have some of the best lands, sights and sounds here in the northern tier. God loves us!