DEER30outdoors declares today National Land Owner Appreciation Day! I was going through the details of the team’s upcoming Maryland deer hunting trip and paused to take a moment to think about how much I appreciate the owner of the farm on which we hunt. For his privacy, I will keep his name anonymous, but this man allowed my father and I an opportunity to hunt many many years ago and continues to this day. If he had not, many of my most treasured memories hunting with my family and friend’s would not have occurred.
His generosity is sadly becoming a rarity, as many land owners are closing their gates to outsiders for hunting and fishing. I have asked for permission many times and was usually turned away. Most owners hunted themselves or their friends or family, and didn’t want any extra competition. Some don’t like strangers on their property or think that hunting is too dangerous with the discharging of firearms. That’s when I would try to explain that I was perfectly happy to bow hunt only. But it didn’t always persuade them.
I always try to repay their generosity with services like mowing the grass, watching over the place when they are gone, general maintenance, stacking hay, etc. I offer meat from the harvest, but I have found that most of those who have granted permission do not hunt and don’t care for the meat.
Whatever the case, take a moment to remember those that have granted you permission to hunt or fish. Whether it’s a friend, family member, or complete stranger, return their generosity by appreciating the opportunity, respect their land and property, and offer something in return. Its their property and they have no obligation to you. So when the privilege is given, do not abuse it. You will ruin your own reputation and spoil it for others to come.
So, thank you to all of those who have allowed me to grow my obsession for hunting and fishing over the years!