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What to do when big-game hunting requires private land access

Hunting season is upon us, but before you load your guns and pursue your game, you want to make sure the land you’re on is not private property, and if it is that you have permission to be there

“Mostly out of area hunters come out here, they run over your private land, they have no respect for private property rights,” said farmer, Kraig Bare.

Bare is one of many area landowners who say they’ve found hunters coming onto their private land to hunt without permission.

“And we’re always glad the ones to give them permission to hunt when they come and ask as long as they stay out of your fields, you know they can hunt around the edges and stuff like that,” said Bare.

Unfortunately, they say those that don’t ask first end up disrespecting the land and sometimes even damage the crops.

“Would be no different than me going into their house in town and grabbing $500 off the counter every once in a while and walking out, and you know they’d be mad if you did that, but they think it’s alright to come out and run all over your land without permission and traipse around in your crops or chase wildlife that they’re shooting across your fields,” said Bare.

Some private landowners are part of the Fish and Game’s statewide program called ‘Access Yes’, which compensates landowners for public use of their private property.

“They’re able to hunt big game, upland opportunities, fishing opportunities, that they might not have otherwise,” said Fish and Game’s landowner sportsman coordinator, Duston Cureton.

So sometimes you can hunt on private lands, just make sure you have permission, Bare suggests asking for written permission from the landowners.

For a list of private properties under the ‘Access Yes’ program, click here.

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