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Allowing Deer Hunting on the Farm

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  • Allowing Deer Hunting on the Farm

    I am at war!

    The deer have decided to have a festival in my garden this year. Have tried deer repellent - useless. Now to hot wire all around the garden and criss-crossed over top to prevent jumping in, also with aluminum pie pans all around, with a dollop of peanut butter on said pans so that the deer can lick it and zap the snot out of themselves. Thus run the recommendations from the farm store. So far, hot wire/pie pans/peanut butter seem to be doing the trick, but there are still hoof prints on the lawn, deer out here every night, using my water trough, my salt lick, possibly even my hay. Grrr.

    But that brings up the second suggestion from the farm store, not SSS but SBE (shoot, brag, and eat).

    I have always been wary of allowing hunting on my land. I have nothing in principle against guns or against hunting, but my land is an odd shape (you have to REALLY be aware of where the fence lines are, hard to see in the woods at times, so you know you are shooting on the right property), and of course, I've read horror stories of folks shooting horses. Granted, though, those horror stories were mostly city folks.

    Any night, I can see multiple deer on my yard. I could shoot them from inside the house. Hay man says I have some of the most attractive land for deer he's seen in a while. I am positive I have many deer on this farm.

    I'm thinking of allowing hunting this fall to thin them out a little and put the fear of the gun into those left. Screened hunters, of course, going with country folk and/or folk with ample gun experience. These deer are getting far too bold, and they seriously ticked me off over the cantaloupe last week. I've never deer hunted, but the idea of SBE is sounding more and more attractive all the time. DIE!!!

    What has been your experience with letting others hunt your land? Good/bad/things you wish you had done differently?

  • #2
    Originally posted by dressagetraks View Post

    What has been your experience with letting others hunt your land? Good/bad/things you wish you had done differently?
    I allow hunting on my land, as do my neighbors.

    My requirements:

    No guests/friends/buddies without asking permission first.

    For deer: Stand hunting only with firearm use (the land is pretty flat and I prefer them to shoot down rather than across; it's safer for everyone that way.

    I don't have that requirement for other species.

    Don't park trucks in the barn driveway because if you prevent me from going foxhunting, or coming back home from foxhunting - I will cloud up and rain all over you.

    No drinking or smoking.

    Hunting license required.

    Keep gates closed at all times. No exceptions.

    No second chances. One screw up and you're gone.

    Never had a problem - in fact they've been super nice, shared their venison, and helped me do things like repair fencing. They've also been my eyes and ears when I'm not home.

    If you're not sure how to vet a sportsman, your state game department may be able to help you. You might also ask at the local gun store/shooting ranges, etc. Some sportsmen prefer to hunt with a club - and those people may carry their own liability insurance (though if your state has a recreational use statute that may or may not be overkill)

    Others prefer to hunt alone (one young man asked if he could hunt here, alone, because it was the only time he could get away from his brothers.)
    Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
    Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
    -Rudyard Kipling


    • #3
      Ask your friends if they know anyone that hunts...or ask at the local feed store. My husband is an avid hunter and knows a bunch of guys that are responsible hunters. My feeling would be that word of mouth would be the best way to find someone.


      • #4
        Not sure if you have such a law, but farmers here in MI can get nusiance permits for deer year around. Some hire professional hunters to do the shooting, others shoot deer themselves. Our friend is a professional hunter, is always giving us venison, which he has processed and in the freezer, no more than 2 hours after shooting it. All is EXCELLENT meat in our meals!

        Another option is to lease land for hunting, make some money off the hunters. I see advertising in Craigslist, Farm News, looking for hunting land to lease. Another friend does leasing, uses the extra cash for her horses. They do have a large property, so several leases are firmly drawn out, easy for the hunters to access stands and have enough deer that they always get their limit. They have a contract with their leasers, everything spelled out. Horses are up close to the barns when hunting season (any weapon) is going on. That lease season runs from bows thru muzzle loading, rifles, back to bows and muzzle loaders, several months fall to winter. She is happy to have the deer removed. Just says they don't stay gone, other deer move on in!

        We have the highest car/deer accident ratio in the State, gladly would watch hunters remove more. Deer are more nusiance than fun to watch. Not as bad as when my SIL had them dancing in her backyard in CITY OF Rochester! We were eating Thanksgiving dinner and deer were on the patio, checking flower boxes, while we were holding the rabid family hunting guys from running outside to just bash the 10pt over the head to get him! Deer moved back when outside door opened, but didn't run. There were other deer with nice antlers, along with MULTIPLE does and their old fawns wandering everyone's back yards in the suburb. Insane, and she said sometimes there were even MORE out there.

        Glad the electric is working for now. But they do get tricky, so be prepared for losses in the garden. Sometimes they just bull thru the wire and pull everything down. I have had to fix our electric fencing the last two years when antlers get snagged and he fights free. I dislike deer a LOT. I am GRATEFUL they are not Elk, like our Northern friends have to deal with. They are REALLY destructive and eat the stored hay outside, even with high fence around it. Almost can't keep them out because of their size and muscle in breaking things. My FIL is the one who always says "Could be worse" and he is right!


        • #5
          Would bow hunting be an option?
          I wasn't always a Smurf
          Penmerryl Sophie RIDSH
          "I ain't as good as I once was but I'm as good once as I ever was"
          The ignore list is my friend. It takes 2 to argue.


          • #6
            Originally posted by dressagetraks View Post

            I'm thinking of allowing hunting this fall to thin them out a little and put the fear of the gun into those left.
            deer out of season have no fear of guns or really people whatsoever.

            shoot them yourself,anyone can get a nuisance permit

            Production Acres,Pro A Welsh Cobs
            I am one of the last 210,000 remaining full time farmers in America.We feed the others.


            • #7
              I'll just add that, if your land is an odd shape, get with your hunters early on (now is good) to discuss their hunting strategy. One of the safest options would be selecting specific locations to put hunters (raised stand or ground blind), then marking out which parts of the circle around the blind are 'okay' for shooting. The shooting alleys can then be marked--mowing/clearing, streamers of surveyor's tape, etc. Really, if you're in it for varmit control rather than sport, clearing a safe shooting area (clearing underbrush or lanes ~100 yards from each stand) and encouraging the deer to spend time there (salt, corn, apples, bait-- whatever you're allowed to use in your area) tips the odds heavily toward your hunters.

              I know a lot of people who feed their families on venison. Folks like that are glad to remove some tasty young does from your herd.

              ETA: Now is also a good time to talk to your neighbors. Particularly if your land is small or oddly-shaped, your hunters may need to go on a neighbor's property to retrieve a deer and must have their permission to do so (here, you must have written permission). A deer shot in the vitals, especially if it's already running, can travel a surprising distance before collapsing.


              • #8
                Definitely consider bowhunters -- and a slab of backstrap as a "fee".

                Stand placement is not willy-nilly. A good hunter will spend considerable time scouting the area and probably will place trail cameras to determine the best locations, so you need to make arrangements ASAP.
                The inherent vice of Capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings. The inherent virtue of Socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.
                Winston Churchill


                • #9
                  Do you have a dog? Most deer (around here, anyway) avoid farms with dogs - easier pickings elsewhere! We like our deer and protect our gardens so that we don't have a problem - but I do understand your frustration.


                  • #10
                    The farm where I board allows one person to come out and hunt. The area of the farm he hunts is at the back of the farm away from where the horses are pastured. When he comes to hunt he writes on the message board in the barn where he is hunting on the property(there are two large hayfields with some woods all around the edge and in between) and the times he will be there. He bow hunts and does not use a tree stand. He also comes and hunts turkeys. When he is finished (sticks to his time frame) he comes back to the barn and erases his message. The farm is big enough that you could go out for a little trail ride and stay clear of where he is hunting. In the fall, I always wear blaze orange if I venture out of the ring.