February 05, 2019
Check out this video to learn how to manage your small track of land to bag your trophy buck.
KNOCK ON DOORS
It’s also possible to gain access to hunt on private property by knocking on doors to ask for permission to hunt. This won’t be as easy as it once was, but it’s still possible. Getting permission to bowhunt can be much easier than gaining access during gun seasons. Being willing to shoot does on farmlands where crop damage is a common problem can open some doors, and so can offering to help out with chores in exchange for hunting access.Bowhunter John Benedict from Auburn Hills is an expert at obtaining permission to hunt deer on private lands in southern Michigan, and he’s shot a number of Boone and Crockett bucks on those lands.
“I spend as much time hunting for permission as I do hunting for deer,” John told me. “A lot of people give up too easily when trying to get permission to hunt private land. If one person says no when they ask for permission to hunt, they get discouraged rather than asking the neighbor. I always ask the neighbor. And if I get permission to hunt from the neighbor, I go back to the person who said, ‘No,’ and tell them if they see me or my vehicle around, I’m not trying to sneak on their property, I got permission to hunt from their neighbor.
“They will sometimes give me permission to hunt then, too. If they don’t, I ask if it’s okay to follow after a deer on their property that I shoot on their neighbor’s land.
“If I hear a report about a big deer, I always follow up on it. Rather than assume it’s a false report or someone is exaggerating, I try to find out as much as I can about where the deer was seen. Then I refer to plat books to find out who owns the land and try to get permission to hunt. Once I have permission to hunt, I get aerial photos and topo maps of the area. I also refer to county maps.
“If I see a big buck while driving, I don’t drive on by like most people do,” Benedict commented. “I pull over and figure out exactly where I am, so I can find the place on maps. Then I try to get permission to hunt.”
Benedict said he has a resume ready to give any skeptics he encounters. As a retired member of the military, John said he used to wear his uniform when asking for permission to bowhunt.
Exceptional Recorded Deer
TOP MICHIGAN B&C BUCKS
Hunter: Troy A. Stephens
Owner: Michigan Whitetail Hall of Fame Museum
All-Time Category Rank: 37
Measurement: 246 2/8
Hunter: Picked Up
Owner: Ronald A. Waldron
All-Time Category Rank: 146