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Most bowhunters occasionally hunt on private property. Treat the landowner's property as if it were your own. Maintaining a friendly relationship will ensure that you have a place to hunt from one season to the next.

  • Ask permission before entering private land. Trespassing is usually a criminal offense—you can be arrested, prosecuted, fined, and even jailed. Getting permission to hunt on another person's land is both a law and a courtesy.
  • Contact the landowner well in advance of your hunt. Obtain permission for companions who may come with you, and check with the landowner each time you plan to visit.
  • Follow the landowner's restrictions on when and where you may hunt.
  • Leave gates open or closed as you find them (or as requested by landowner).
  • Drive only on existing roads approved for use.
  • Don't walk across newly planted fields or areas with crops ready to harvest.
  • Don't litter, build campfires without permission, or drive spikes or nails into trees that may someday may be harvested for timber.
  • Leave livestock undisturbed.
  • Use portable tree stands or portable ground blinds rather than permanent structures, which are unsightly, may damage trees, and eventually become unusable because of weathering.
  • Don't leave the remains of field dressing in places where it would be easy to view or smell. Bury, hide, or pack them out. Be especially diligent about this if the landowner has pets that might find a gut pile and drag parts of it home.
  • Show your appreciation to the landowner by offering to share your game, helping with some chores, buying a small gift, or saying thanks in some other way.
Bowhunter dressed in street clothes talking with a landowner
Contact the landowner while wearing street clothes and well in advance of when you wish to hunt.