How to Hunt Property Lines

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It seems no matter how large the property you hunt, the best spots are at or just beyond the property boundary.  Maybe that’s because the adjoining property isn’t hunted, is a sanctuary or sorts, or you are suffering from “the grass is greener” syndrome.

Ask Permission

If you believe that hunting success is more likely on the other side of the fence, don’t hesitate to ask permission to go there.  Often the prospect of asking a stranger to hunt intimidates us, but when done properly, may well provide the access you seek.  Additionally, if you hunt near a property line there is the possibility that a wounded animal may cross onto that property before expiring.  Private property rights are sacred and trailing an animal does not give you the right to trespass.

Ethical Situations

I hunted a farm in Illinois and the owner gave me a thorough walk-through so that I knew the boundaries.  Along the way he pointed to a neighbor’s tree stand that was built on the boundary line and only faced his ground.  Although the stand was on the neighbor’s property it directly faced us and the man clearly planed to shoot across the line.  Such situations are a confrontation waiting to happen.  Trespassing is trespassing, clear and simple.

Careful Thought

Darren McDougal gives this topic a thorough analysis and his conclusions and cautions will make you think and perhaps avoid a difficult situation.  Here’s his take from the Realtree website:

In the outdoor world, few things are more controversial than hunting property boundaries. As time goes by, it seems greed drives more and more hunters and other outdoor enthusiasts to do illegal or unethical things. It’s not because they can’t decipher right from wrong. It’s because people test and even stretch the limits, rationalizing stupid moves and seeing just how much they can get away with. Trespassing intentionally – regardless of how far one goes across the line – is illegal and irrational. Whether it’s hunting, snooping or otherwise, we simply have no business on private land for which we haven’t gained permission to be on. Not only is it illegal, but it’s liable to make neighboring landowners into enemies rather than friends. That’s a given

https://www.realtree.com/deer-hunting/articles/how-to-hunt-property-lines

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