Could Fair Chase be Your Ticket to Private Land?

While all the buzz lately has been about public land access, let’s not overlook the undeniable reality that many of us will be seeking to obtain or maintain permission to hunt private land this fall. It’s simply a matter of logistics and percentages.

If you’ve been at this game for a while you know the game has gotten tougher. There is less private land available to hunt for a number of reasons beyond our control. What we can control is ourselves.

A guy who has uncanny ability to gain access to some of the best hunting ranches in Montana, finally divulged his secret. He had a bumper sticker made that read, “Eat Montana Beef.”  Clever, but we’re all not hunting, or trying to hunt prime grazing country and asking ranchers who made their living selling beef. How about a bumper sticker that reads, “Fair Chase Hunter?”

Asking and getting permission to hunt someone’s land is about respect. The owner must like and respect you. You must be able to project that you respect their land and the privilege to hunt there, respect its wildlife, and his or her rules. That’s a lot of ground to cover talking through a screen door, and actions speak louder than words. But, I’m a Fair Chase Hunter says a lot in few words.

It means you carry with you the respect they seek in how you go about your business. It says you’re the least likely of anyone knocking at the door to shoot up the place, leave trash or gates open. It says you respect yourself and the game, and they should respect you as well.

We seal deals with a handshake. Try speaking Fair Chase the next time you go to make a deal.

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