“No, we don’t really need anybody else in there. We’re going to handle it for whitetails.”
I wasn’t all that shocked with the reply to the query I’d simply requested the brand new landowner:
“My father and I’ve hunted that piece for years; would you thoughts if we continued to?”
Respectful and well mannered as he was, I nonetheless discovered it onerous to stave off the frustration and disappointment. It wasn’t a lot the actual fact he was from “away,” or that he had referred to as me, his native Sport Warden, to pay particular consideration to his coveted new property. It additionally wasn’t as a result of he occurred to be a brother of a former coworker and buddy. The piece of woods was particular.
On it, at 18 years outdated and a dozen or so yards from an apple tree, my father took his first deer with a slug fired from a Remington 870 Wingmaster 20-gauge shotgun. It was one in all our favourite grouse spots the place for years, family and friends loved cool October walks alongside a small path identified regionally because the “Bulldozed Street.”
It was the place I’d seen my first beaver entice set, the place I’d ridden numerous miles on ATVs and hunted woodcock alongside the sting of a beech ridge. However identical to that, with a verify and signature, our already modest looking space shrank by 160 acres.
Within the years since, a number of different items within the space have bought and what was as soon as a pair thousand acres of accessible looking land is now peppered with no trespassing indicators. We’re lucky that a few the bigger landowners have allowed us to proceed looking however with restrictions on when, the place, how and what for.
It’s simply not the identical.
Being of meager means and existence, none of us might afford to purchase any of the land. You possibly can guess nonetheless that if I had been in a position to, I might have bought each single sq. inch. It’s a stupendous thought and one I usually daydream about.
How great to have a couple of thousand and even a number of hundred acres to take pleasure in in exclusivity? Loads of room for household and some good pals to hunt in consolation, confidence and with out fear of one other hunter strolling anyplace close to their stand. No competitors, the place the deer, bear, turkeys and different sport felt like ours.
Slightly piece of heaven all to ourselves.
Though, I’m wondering if I had some land what I’d say to all the parents who referred to as my quantity on the “Entry by Permission Solely” indicators alongside the borders. In spite of everything, with a purpose to take pleasure in particular landowner privileges, like taking part within the landowner antlerless deer allow drawing, the property would should be saved open to looking, together with looking by permission.
What would the vetting course of be? Which hunters could be extra deserving or particular than others? Possibly youths on youth days. Possibly veterans on well-deserved particular hunts. Possibly disabled or in any other case bodily restricted individuals. Possibly I’d host an annual hunt for girls who’ve proven an curiosity in looking somewhat later in life.
All of them sound like implausible candidates to me and there are a number of giant, privately owned parcels within the state that cater solely to simply these varieties, which is great. Whereas that’s all properly and good, what about those that don’t fall into such a selected class although?
I couldn’t exclude the outdated fellow with two acres that butts up in opposition to the property and who’s hunted it neary. How might I say no to the man with two younger sons who simply moved in down the street and desires a spot to show his boys to hunt, simply as his father had with him? What about the remainder of the individuals on the town who’ve misplaced their looking areas through the years to the identical form of scenario?
It’s occurring increasingly more as of late. Giant items of property are being purchased up, posted and erased from the listing of as soon as accessible looking grounds, forcing increasingly more hunters onto much less and fewer land. Some are hunters themselves, simply making an attempt to flee a destiny so many others face.
Some are nonhunters who wish to personal a chunk of our stunning state to take pleasure in in peace and quiet with no real interest in permitting any sort of entry. And when you consider it, who can blame them? It’s their land and their proper, however is it proper?
There’s no approach round it. Discovering good locations to hunt and entice in our state is getting more durable and more durable. Fortunately, us Mainers are a beneficiant lot for essentially the most half and for those who knock on sufficient doorways, you’re prone to discover a place to place up a stand or two.
It wasn’t lengthy after my conversion with the brand new landowner that I got down to discover how he’d ended up all the way in which down in our neck of the woods from the northern a part of the state. Oh, the irony. It seems he and one other one in all his brothers had misplaced a lot of their conventional looking space as a result of land altering palms round them. Boy, am I blissful they had been lastly in a position discover a place all to their very own. I simply want I knew the place the remainder of us will go.