Maps & Permission To Hunt

Posted by Kevin Eason September 16, 2012

 September 2012. All the preseason work is done and all we can do now is wait.

“Sausage Feast” is behind us. The grueling 3 day event / party of processing last year’s harvests is all but a memory. Once again, what a great memory it was. We thanked all our gracious land owners with care packages of venison goodies and fish and the ongoing preparation for 2012 whitetail deer season is on.



My style of preparation starts with studying “Maps”. I don’t know why but I just love maps! The internet is a great tool that makes it easy to study and understand the farms or tracks of land that I’m interested in. Once I’ve identified a general area that intrigues me for whatever reason. Maybe I saw a big buck in a field or cross the road, maybe someone else told me about seeing one or maybe this area has a reputation for producing some big bucks. Whatever the reason, this is where I start.


A good online map, GoogleEarth, for example will show you everything you need to see to get you started. I like to look at the big picture first. Identify the biggest sections of woods, and then follow the hedge rows, fingers, and smaller woodlots that lead to other sections of woods. At this time I might be focusing on a couple mile area. Then I start to break it down. First by identifying the potential food sources within each area and the travel routes that the deer might take to go to and from them.


Now that I broke it down to manageable sections of land I go to another site and do a parcel search to find out who owns the land I’m interested in. In many cases the property boundaries are outlined over an aerial photograph allowing me to see exactly who owns the land. You can usually find out everything you need to know.


Now the fun part begins. Going door to door and asking for permission to hunt. This is not the easiest thing to do but it’s a numbers game and in time it becomes enjoyable and sometimes very rewarding.  I don’t only talk to the land owners of property I’d like to hunt but will usually talk to every house along the way. Even though it might not be the piece I’m interested in they might be able to offer some insight to the other properties or the people who own them. The key is being personable and try to learn everything about you can about everyone. Rejection is the norm but even after being rejected you have to be respectful of the landowner’s decision and I generally continue in a conversation. This has proven beneficial many times and in some cases has developed into great hunting property and great friends.

So all that door knocking and rejection finally pays off with a yes. “YES”! Now I refer back to my original aerial photographs and think back to the notes of all the folks that didn’t allow hunting. Regardless of the amount of acreage these can be sanctuaries and studying the routs to and from them might be key to harvesting that once in a lifetime buck. I also make notes of all those that do hunt and try to identify escape routes from their property that might lead into mine.  I generally like the thinner fingers/funnels for both scenarios.



These on line maps are so advanced that they can give you the ability to see the elevation changes, identify the ridges and valleys and is some cases get a snap shot photograph and panoramic view from ground level.  I often put pins on the on-line map that give me the GPS locations of good looking spots. I can usually find them in the dark with my cell phone.
Now all the preseason work is done and all we can do now is wait.




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