Losing access

nick87

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Dec 12, 2014
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Northern Illinois
I know this isnt the norm for this site being a public land hunting forum and all. Where we live public hunting isnt really a thing just the way it plays out, I wish it were believe it or not. I've got access to a few small pieces of private through family which is more than most and i feel guilty about. However in the last two weeks I've lost a good chunk of and was told today that the majority would only be available for one more year. Sucks especially when you've helped said family with field work for years and taken them out of state hunting to Wyoming and Montana. I don't really care that much except for the fact that in a few more years when my two boys are old enough to hunt I dont think any of my local spots will exist. Forever all I've wanted since I was a teen was two boys to take hunting. Now that I've got the two boys I'm watching every piece of accessible ground slip through my fingers. I'm not sure what the answer is, buy property? (No matter how I crunch the numbers it's just not feasibe), lease something which isnt a great financial move, or move somewhere where there is more public lands? Idk I'm probably just bitching too much with a bs problem. However after much thought the last few days it really is an eye opener how much access will be lost over time and some day I'm afraid what we've all taken for granted will be thing of the past, not having access to take my kids/grandkids hunting someday really scares me. Maybe just time to face the reality. Rant over.
 

LCH

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Dec 9, 2013
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Southern Indiana
If moving to an area with quality public land hunting is a real possibility, I would go that route.

If it's not (wasn't for me), I think buying is the next best thing. We recently got a new place. Sold our other house with 3 acres, and were able to get into a larger house on 46 acres for only about $50k more.

I'd still rather be living in the west, but having a little chunk of habitat to manage here in the midwest is probably the next best thing.
 

8andcounting

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Dec 16, 2013
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2,321
That sucks . In the Midwest (eastern ND for me) there’s very little public land . Basically if you don’t own it or have a close friend or relative your screwed , even then , things change . Best to own . Obviously not feasible for everyone I understand that. I’m lucky , I got some land given to me but also took a chance when I was about 22-23 and bought a good chunk of awesome River bottom for $500/acre . At the time that was high now it’s a steal and I have it paid off . Guess my point is if your going to move to Montana or Wyoming or somewhere like that with a lot public opportunities then do it sooner than later . If your not, then buy some land . If you can like I said I know everyone situation is different
 

marshman

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Jul 10, 2017
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577
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Southwest Washington
As I have gotten older I have realized this over lost hunting ground; over time things change for sure. It takes constant work to maintain different places to hunt over the years
 

BrentD

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Feb 3, 2018
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In the middle
I know how you feel. Same happened to me last year, after 25+ yrs. It was a good run, but it's over now.
 

rtraverdavis

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Oct 20, 2016
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2,667
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OREGON
I don’t think you’re bitching nor is it a bs problem. It’s a genuine soul-drain to come to terms with the fact that your kids won’t have the same opportunities as you. Maybe this door closing will lead to another one opening, like, say, out west.
 

kiwi hunter

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Jul 21, 2013
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here in nz our lands are hitting the stratosphere in monetary terms so im looking to shift to australia where i can afford between 1k ac in nsw to 3oo acres ac in victoria for the price of fifty here
 

nick87

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Dec 12, 2014
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Northern Illinois
Looks like the perfect opportunity to relocate if you can talk the family into it
We talk about it constantly, I'd take a 50% pay cut, and a big step down in benefits, and not know a soul to help watch the kids if the wife works at all . I know some people do it, but I'm not sure how. If we didnt have the kids it would be a lot easier.
 

nick87

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Dec 12, 2014
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Northern Illinois
Should of stayed in school instead of trying to cut a fat hog in the ass at the age of 18 probably would of helped.
 

JustinsDad

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Apr 3, 2020
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313
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Oakview CA
I hear ya. I grew up hunting two local ranches. We’d have “work” weekends on the ranches building barns, doing weed abatement, running new water lines, building shooting ranges, you name it. Great times and my kid grew up on them as well. Being able to hunt on them was just a perk. Well, recent deaths in both families ended up in sold properties. One is turning into a vineyard property and the other will likely get developed. We have lost both of them. At least my son got to hunt on one of them with me. We’ll go from full limits of quail most of the time to struggling to get 6 or 8 birds a day on public land. I totally get where you’re at.
 

Gellar

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Jan 31, 2014
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2,312
Location
The Driftless Area
Sorry to hear about your loss Nick. I know how you feel. When I lived in Illinois (pike county) it was right when deer hunting was becoming crazy stupid. Brothers would turn on each other because one would want to hunt the family farm with his kids and the other wanted to lease to an outfitter. I lost a ton of good hunting ground. At first I switched to more waterfowl because you could get permission for that and the that blew up even crazier then deer. Finally forced me to move, although a move was always in the plans.
 

R.K.

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Jan 24, 2017
Messages
427
Location
MT
If you don't own it, you will almost certainly lose access eventually. That's the unfortunate consequence of living in the world that we do. Whether it is sold, leased, undercut by family that wants to start hunting, developed, etc- money talks, and you typically don't get access to private places that are actively managed.

I'll never get to hunt the places I did growing up- the same ones my dad grew up hunting. One farm in particular stands out in my mind- The hill ponds where we used to jump shoot wood ducks, the sinkholes we skirted looking for squirrels. I won't get to sit under the giant hickory that towers over everything else around, with it's single escape limb. It was enormous when my dad rode his bike down the road with his .22, and it was even larger by the time I first laid eyes on it- a true giant that I have never found the equal to. This was where I learned to hunt, and I'm sad to see it go.
 

Shangobango

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Aug 5, 2019
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1,213
Location
Louisiana
I feel your pain. I have part of the old home place I grew up on leased for 3 more years and then that’s a wrap. By then that will be 40 years of history on that 1000 or so acres that I will be saying goodbye to. The place is really a shell of what it was due to logging and drainage work anyway. Still stings.

The situation with hunting access will probably only get worse as time goes on. The simple fact is that there are too many people on this rock and the population is steadily growing. Unless something changes I would wager hunting as we know it will not exist in 30 years. The kings deer, as you said.

I have no idea where you live now but keep in mind there are much less expensive places you can move to besides the west that also have great access to public land and plenty of opportunities for work if you are willing to commute.
 

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