May 20, 2010
Hurteau: Hunting For Permission
By Dave Hurteau
So I’m thinking there must be some reasonable-sounding excuse for me to post a picture of a turkey on a whitetail blog and brag about how I called the bird in for my visiting brother-in-law, Geoff (at left), last weekend. And what do you know? Turns out there is: I know some hardcore whitetail hunters who claim they hunt turkeys primarily to get permission to hunt deer. Most of you get this, but for anyone who doesn’t, here’s the idea: Landowners are generally more willing to allow turkey hunting and if over the course of the spring season you can reveal to them that you are not a complete schmo (or hide that you are), you’ll have a good shot at maintaining access for deer in the fall.
I’m not savvy enough to pull something like that off myself, but with Geoff’s help, I might have accidentally begun the process. . . .
This past weekend, he and I struck a late-morning tom at the far end of a property I have permission to hunt. We couldn’t get the bird to come across a ravine, and at the noon closing, we figured we needed to be on the other side of the gully in the morning. It would be a long, bumbling walk in the dark getting in—unless we approached from the fields on the adjacent, posted, property.
“Why don’t you ask the farmer if we walk through his fields,” Geoff suggested. “Not to hunt his piece—but just to get where we need to be?”
So I did. Nice guy. Happy to oblige. And despite my sputtering, the conversation was going pretty smoothly, so I tried slipping this in: “Ahhh…well, would it be okay, you know, if we, maybe, hunted your piece… a little…?”
“Yeah, I guess that’d be alright,” he said.
When we got home, I checked my tax maps and just about fell over. In the end, Geoff got his first gobbler, and I got onto to 500 acres—a huge piece for around here. And I could be bowhunting it next fall. All I have to do is convince the landowner I’m not a complete schmo.
Hey, it could happen.