Losing access

thusby

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 2, 2019
Messages
1,498
Location
Greater Milwaukee Area
Any opportunity to hunt is good enough for me. Locally, we hunt squirrels late season on the properties that got leased up for deer. We hunt ducks in public marsh. We travel for big game.
 

DouglasR

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 9, 2019
Messages
2,176
Location
East central, Il
Damn, I added waterfowl to my license this year in hopes of convincing you to take me out this winter.

is it waterfowl and small game you’ve lost access to?
 

longbow51

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 2, 2020
Messages
1,222
I know how you feel. Used to have several ranches accessible to me. Slowly leased out to outfitters, both for big game and upland birds.

Can't really blame the ranchers though; tough business.
 

JShane

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 15, 2015
Messages
892
Location
Central Florida
I don't mean to be the philosophical captain obvious but change is the only constant. There is the right fit for you and your boys out there. There's no doubt you are already searching for it. But you may have to get over that fear of snakes and gators ;)
 

MarvB

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 5, 2001
Messages
6,565
Location
₵tral Oar-e-gun
Been there Nick and you’re 100% right in that it sucks and feels pretty damn defeating. I grew up hunting on my best friends property, nearly a section and only ten minutes from my house. Trained my Chessys there, hunted deer, quail, turkey, ducks and geese- nearly something every weekend or if not it was pulling bass out if the farm ponds. The city came along and wanted to expand their holdings around the nearby airport, his dad wouldn’t sell, but the City ultimately prevailed in court and the first couple hundred acres were gone. Buddy’s dad got so mad he wanted out of the area and eventually parsed most of it out… then died and the sister sold some more. My friend still lives out there in the old house and though it’s on 40+ acres LOADED with wildlife, the city refined everything around that area and incorporated it into the City limits, of course no hunting or shooting allowed now. The whole dismal affair took about 9-10 years but the writing was on the wall from the get go. My kids as well as my friends never got to see/experience how we grew up🙁

One other thought, when I moved back to central Oregon and knew I’d never be a “land baron” but we did what has been the next best thing (for us), we’re only on a couple of acres but are adjacent to 10s of thousands of acres of BLM. It provides opportunity we couldn’t have afforded and it literally right outside our door.
Moving can be tough but not enjoying what are both your hobbies and what you want your boys to experience is rough too! Good luck man.
 

greatwhitebuffalo

Active member
Joined
Aug 9, 2013
Messages
458
Location
Wyoming
Buy land. That said; be very careful. I know people who own property in some choice areas and can't draw the tags. i.e. - What's worse than not having land to hunt? -->Having land and not being able to hunt it.
 

MTLabrador

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 16, 2020
Messages
3,367
Location
Montana
That’s tough, and makes me appreciate all the public ground out west even more. Maybe try to budget some additional time and money into more trips to Montana, Wyoming, etc. There’s still lots of easy deer tags, cow tags, fishing, bird hunting, etc for your kids to have a blast.

Every time I get a little annoyed at the increased tourist traffic out here in the summer and fall I try to remember situations like yours are why a lot of them are here. Good luck finding something close to home for them, and I hope you can get them out here to show them what they own too.
 
Last edited:

Ben Lamb

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 6, 2010
Messages
17,446
Location
Cedar, MI
That's a pisser. Sorry.

Break out the maps and do some paper and E-scouting with the kids for spots close by for small game & birds if possible. Make the effort to get them out, regardless of the drive time. If you're in Northern IL, I would imagine that a 2 hour drive could get you into some public land or accessible lands.

Instilling a passion for outdoors in your kids is a noble endeavor. Good luck.
 

wllm

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 9, 2015
Messages
14,970
Location
Boston
Ahh no worriee I'm just worried about where it is going as a whole for all of our kids. I'm afraid it going to be the "kings deer" before
I ever thought it would be. Sad to watch it unfold.
Went for a long run yesterday, did a loop on the new bike trails that were put in on the BLM and ran back to my mom/childhood house. This used to be the way I would walk to friends houses, walk into town before I could drive, etc.

I did it my whole life.... there's no trespassing signs everywhere now. Part of me wants to rage and start a battle as I think there is clearly a prescribed easement. I never asked permission and I've openly used that path as access for 20 years, hell I have a treehouse still on the property, honestly probably could claim adverse possession, but it's also my mom's house and I don't live there anymore. So 🤷‍♂️

In my specific case it's a bunch of boomers from wherever moving to CO to live out their remaining years in some John Denver fantasy and are absolutely destroying the access to public lands.

Solution... I think we need to change the culture. The current culture is MINE MINE MINE.

I think it come by example, I don't own land, but when my wife and I inherit her parents place I plan on letting a whole lot of folks/ kids on there to hunt. It's gonna be the informal wllm1313 BMA. Parking lot with 2 spots, first come first served, walk in only sign the register look at the map for no hunting area and have at it. Likely my kids will never shoot more than a forky on the property after that happens, but whatever.

It will likely drive some family members nuts as "You just don't do that" but I'm sick of the western mentality of landownership.

Also I'm sure as hell not going to give folks hiking/biking/ dog walking or kids playing in the woods a hard time. ( Not that my in-laws do, they are pretty great about that access)
 

Steiny

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 4, 2003
Messages
705
Location
North Central, IN (the corn belt)
This is a common problem in the midwest and nothing new. Also doesn't help that clean farming and development have scraped clean and eliminated much of the huntable habitat that once was. I saw this stuff coming a long time ago and sacrificed to buy land. Myself and a couple buddies also lease a great farm in a neighboring state to be assured we have a good place to hunt there, it's quite economical.

From what I've seen. people just get comfortable hunting the same old spots, then when faced with something like this, many simply give up. There is a ton of great public hunting ground in IL and neighboring states where you could kill quality deer and other game if you are willing to put in the time and effort. If you want a little better situation where you will have a place all to yourselves, leasing a property is not that difficult or expensive either.

You're going to have to get out of your comfort zone, drive a bit harder from home and expend some time, money and effort if you want to hunt. Might take a couple years to figure things out and be successful, but the trips are always fun regardless.
 

SFC B

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 2, 2013
Messages
3,992
Location
Colorado Springs
I feel your pain. I grew up in a nasty part of Indy, nobody in my family lived outside the city or had any land and I didn't start hunting until I was in my 30s. While in the Army my wife and I thought about and wanted to buy some land and be by her family in N IN .......with land prices it became clear that would only end up being a couple of acres (the county they live in is basically owned by about 20 farm families and property pricing borders on monopoly). Through a fraternity brother I was able to garner access to a little 150ac farm where my boy shot his first deer. It is a sweet little place where the owner leases the tillable and house while keeping 10 or so head of cattle for himself. The fields are split between corn and beans.....if you can't shoot a deer on the cut corn you just aren't trying. About 5 years ago now the "leasers" came knocking offering to pay $2500 to $3000 just to hang 2 stands per season. Owner apologized when he told me but I understand his position. I also got to hunt with another fraternity brother on a small group of farms that he and 6-7 families worth of guys had formed a bit of a coop on in another IN county. One of the guys had a nice pole building with a walk in cooler, processing equipment and a kitchen that they had a bit of a clubhouse in and the farms they hunted (beside whatever land they owned amongst themselves) were generally owned by elderly folks with no kids around. The guys would help with the farms and keep deer numbers from destroying crops. About the same time as the other.....in came the leasers with the same types of offers........everything leased out.

While it sucks to me to see not just the access, but the subculture of locally oriented hunting friends and the help they offer owners in cooperation disappearing for straight $$$$$$$. I understand the allure of the $$$ to the owners. What I DON'T understand are straight WT trophy hunters. I don't understand offering thousands of dollars a year just because you want a "big rack" to put on the wall. I feel it is a symptom of a glory killing movement that is more worried about the "insta gram" photo ops than having a camp and filling the freezer.

I think I have found a way to own some land and try to carve out a piece for my family in the future but it will be about a LOT of compromises and changes.
 

3855WIN

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 17, 2014
Messages
2,206
Location
Mississippi
I feel your pain. I grew up in a nasty part of Indy, nobody in my family lived outside the city or had any land and I didn't start hunting until I was in my 30s. While in the Army my wife and I thought about and wanted to buy some land and be by her family in N IN .......with land prices it became clear that would only end up being a couple of acres (the county they live in is basically owned by about 20 farm families and property pricing borders on monopoly). Through a fraternity brother I was able to garner access to a little 150ac farm where my boy shot his first deer. It is a sweet little place where the owner leases the tillable and house while keeping 10 or so head of cattle for himself. The fields are split between corn and beans.....if you can't shoot a deer on the cut corn you just aren't trying. About 5 years ago now the "leasers" came knocking offering to pay $2500 to $3000 just to hang 2 stands per season. Owner apologized when he told me but I understand his position. I also got to hunt with another fraternity brother on a small group of farms that he and 6-7 families worth of guys had formed a bit of a coop on in another IN county. One of the guys had a nice pole building with a walk in cooler, processing equipment and a kitchen that they had a bit of a clubhouse in and the farms they hunted (beside whatever land they owned amongst themselves) were generally owned by elderly folks with no kids around. The guys would help with the farms and keep deer numbers from destroying crops. About the same time as the other.....in came the leasers with the same types of offers........everything leased out.

While it sucks to me to see not just the access, but the subculture of locally oriented hunting friends and the help they offer owners in cooperation disappearing for straight $$$$$$$. I understand the allure of the $$$ to the owners. What I DON'T understand are straight WT trophy hunters. I don't understand offering thousands of dollars a year just because you want a "big rack" to put on the wall. I feel it is a symptom of a glory killing movement that is more worried about the "insta gram" photo ops than having a camp and filling the freezer.

I think I have found a way to own some land and try to carve out a piece for my family in the future but it will be about a LOT of compromises and changes.
I’ve worked shift work for years. I’ve been in a leasing situation so that I could easily hunt before or after work, and so that I could hunt with my son after school and also on weekends when I had to work. We trophy hunted and filled the freezer with does. It’s called management and it’s the best of both worlds. I was happy to pay the landowner for the opportunity for quality deer and turkey hunting.
For Midwest deer hunters, it’s similar to living in Augusta, Georgia. Would you expect to play Augusta National Golf Course for free? You are living in an incredible area for whitetails. It will cost a bit to enjoy the high quality hunting. The landowners don’t owe you hunting welfare.
 

ElkFever2

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 4, 2019
Messages
3,981
Location
Iowa
What I have seen over the last 18 months is that leveraged money “wins”. I’ve experienced 3 windfalls during this time: COVID payments, a hot run on stocks, and property value increases. My initial thought was great, I’m that much closer to being able to buy recreational property. However, I quickly learned that others in a similar position are using that same equity as a down payment for property today instead of prioritizing other financial goals, which increases demand and prices. I’m not willing to play ball on those terms, so to speak, so I’m priced out, possibly forever.

Right now I’ve decided to just dedicate those same funds to destination hunting. It’s far less convenient, and not very realistic for kids and young people, but at least it’s affordable.

For the time being, in IA one can still gain private access to small and marginal properties by knocking on lots of doors. Probably the #1 reason this works is we have a NR draw for deer, where even landowners must draw, so demand for access is significantly lower than many other Midwestern states.

My public deer spot this year is a mile off the road through thick and nasty stuff. Not much company back in there, which is great, but a downside is my kids are unlikely to want to trudge back in there through briar-choked ravines until/unless they catch the bug and want it bad enough.
 

noharleyyet

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 15, 2004
Messages
33,068
Location
TEXAS
... but this just exacerbates the problem. The more you commoditize access the less free access there will be... though flipside if you give a $ value to habitat people will preserve it on their property.

I'm torn on it.

That ring ain't going back in the bell.
 
Use Promo Code Randy for 20% off OutdoorClass

Latest posts

Forum statistics

Threads
101,715
Messages
1,627,307
Members
31,807
Latest member
Jared123
Top