JVSA offers private land hunting tips
September 13, 2017
Hunting season has arrived. Here are a few tips from the Jefferson Valley Sportsman’s Association.
1. Hunting on private land is a privilege, not a right. As a hunter, you are a guest on someone else’s land. Hunting on block management areas can be discontinued during the season for individuals who don’t follow the rules. Block management areas can be withdrawn from the block management program if public hunting becomes too much of a headache for the land owner.
2. When is the best time to ask for permission to hunt? Before the season is best if possible. The worst time is during the rancher’s Thanksgiving dinner. Late morning or late afternoon are probably the best times of day. Avoid meal times or when they are obviously busy.
3. It is the hunter’s responsibility to know the where, when, and how you can hunt. What pastures or blocks of land are open for hunting? What are the definitive boundaries and landmarks? Is your permission granted for all season, a portion of the season, or just the day? Are there required parking spots? Is the permission granted for only walk-in hunting or are there roads or two tracks that are open for vehicles? Is game retrieval allowed by vehicle?
If the area is complicated consider asking for a pre-season scouting trip or during the hunting season incrementally familiarize yourself with the area.
4. Pick-up any litter. Even with the best of intentions, litter can get blown out of vehicles and not seen in the dark.
5. In general, leave gates as you find them. If a gate doesn’t look as you think it should, contact the rancher to see how the gate should be left.
6. If walking through a pasture with cattle, go around them rather than through the middle of the herd. It might be best to walk along the far fence so you don’t spook them. In this situation, you should leave your dog at home.
7. Minimize damage to the route and land from your vehicle. If the road is sloppy wet and your vehicle will cause damage, park and walk. Gently enter and exit parking areas so grass and soil are disturbed as little as possible.
8. Keep your vehicle as weed seed free as possible. If your vehicle has traveled through weed infested areas, consider washing it before the next outing. Don’t forget the under carriage and wheel wells.
9. Be careful not to start a fire from your vehicle. Be especially careful when the grass is tall and dry and the weather is hot and windy.
10. Report hunters or anybody violating the law to law enforcement. Have the Tip-Mont number (1-800-TIP-MONT), game warden’s, sheriff’s and rancher’s number in your cell phone.
Make a quick report to the authorities so they can gain any other information before evidence or information is lost.
11. Consider offering to help the landowner with one of their projects where they could use an extra hand or use a specialized skill of yours.
These are just a few tips that might help you gain or maintain hunting privileges on private land. Have a great hunting season.
Jefferson Valley Sportsman’s Association.