Losing access

Shangobango

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Aug 5, 2019
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1,617
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Louisiana
God I hope your wrong about that. But the changes I've seen take place in the last 15 or so tells me you may not be.
Well if you want to travel and don’t mind roughing it there is a ton of public around here I can set you up on. Plenty of it is easy enough to access that the kiddos should be just fine. Get it while the getting is good lol.
 

bluespruce

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Joined
Aug 17, 2019
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75
Location
Illinois
I lost half my whitetail access a few years back so I understand. It's becoming more and more common and to a certain extent driving crowding in the western public lands I think.

While it's frustrating to have someone with bigger pockets lease or buy something out from underneath you, the number of properties that are subdivided or otherwise developed is downright worrisome to me as those properties are essentially gone forever. I'm seeing that with midwest farmland. Hunting aside, I fail to see how developing some of the best farmland in the world into a strip mall ends well.
 

Mallardsx2

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Apr 4, 2015
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In the last 10 years things have gotten really bad. If you have any or even limited access across private to public you should consider yourself lucky.
 

TheBenHoyle

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Dec 5, 2016
Messages
667
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Illinois
I also live in Northern Illinois so I feel your pain. The public hunting is just so aggravating. And trying to find private land to hunt is a struggle as well. I have been fortunate in the past to get access to some good spots, but I think the writing is on the wall for my most recent spot.

I would love to buy some land. I like the idea of doing habitat management and having a place to call my own.

My wife inherited a few parcels that she owns with her siblings, but none of it is hunt able (edge to edge row crops). I would love for them to sell so we could take some of that money and buy something with recreational potential, but it is hard to convince them. As an investment, this farmland offers a low return (farm rent less taxes against land value is approx. 2.25%) and we could be making more money if we sold and invested the majority in stocks and funds. But my inlaws all think, why sell land? Especially, why sell land to buy different land? It is aggravating.

But to be honest, as I window shop for recreational land I see very few promising prospects. A lot of it is expensive or too far away to be useful. Any way you look at it, owning land, hunting public, leasing or gaining access to private is a constant struggle and you will probably have to come up with new answers to "Where am I going to hunt this season?" every year or so.

Good luck in finding that next place.
 

SFC B

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Mar 2, 2013
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Colorado Springs
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.
First, I never even HINTED that a landowner would owe anyone access and I did say that I understand their position when faced with wads of cash. The problem in the Midwest is exacerbated not so much by locals looking to pay huge sums for big deer but by the combination of both outfitters catering to, AND the individuals themselves, largely from the Southeast, looking for bragging rights with deer bigger than they can get at home. If you were meat hunting etc then you are NOT part of the group I am describing......these are the dudes who buy only a buck tag, use trail cam footage to give bucks names (FFS) like "Big Bubba" , "Crazy Eights", "Drop Tine Danny" and then hoot and holler while high fiving over a beautiful animal. The folks leasing Midwest farms for trophies aren't managing ANYTHING. It is about money being spent to inflate egos.....period.
 
G

Guest member 25165

Guest
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.
Sorry to hear that pal...My dad and I just lost our land that we hunt on yesterday. Just got a call saying we were done and come get your stands. I wasn't expecting it and I've had a pit in my stomach ever since I got the call. It would have been 51 years that my dad has been on this land. Some of my best memories have been on that land. I hope you and your boys are able to make memories elsewhere and that good fortune finds its way back into your hunting life.
 

nick87

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Dec 12, 2014
Messages
6,757
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Northern Illinois
Well if you want to travel and don’t mind roughing it there is a ton of public around here I can set you up on. Plenty of it is easy enough to access that the kiddos should be just fine. Get it while the getting is good lol.
Appreciate the offer. I'll manage a few more spots I think. Well see how this plays out. Being backdoored by "family" on a place you've hunted your whole life is a warm and fuzzy feeling.
 

nick87

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Dec 12, 2014
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Northern Illinois
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?
Deer and waterfowl . Small game and trapping too I guess, I just dont do much of it anymore.
 

nick87

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Joined
Dec 12, 2014
Messages
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Northern Illinois
Thought a lot about it today, I'm two hours from the Mississippi river. If nothing else I'll buy a duck boat and give it hell. Admittedly I know nothing about rivers and even less about boats. I think learning to hunt safely and successfully could be a long long learning curve but a fun one. Who knows maybe I'll squeak out s few more years on the family farms, it ain't over yet.
 

isu22andy

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Jun 23, 2017
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292
Location
Iowa
Nick , Iowa’s getting to be the same way . Less family farms and a couple of the big wheels are buying all the ground and locking the doors . One way I’ve gained access is trapping nuisance beavers for farmers . Every farmer I’ve asked to trap has been grateful to get rid of them . Been offered cash many times … Granted this is just for coyote calling permission but I’ve grown to love to trap . Still bow hunt on the little property I have to hunt and share it with others . Bought a fishing boat as well . Figured I’d grow up hunting retire fishing unfortunately.
 

thusby

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Apr 2, 2019
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Greater Milwaukee Area
Thought a lot about it today, I'm two hours from the Mississippi river. If nothing else I'll buy a duck boat and give it hell. Admittedly I know nothing about rivers and even less about boats. I think learning to hunt safely and successfully could be a long long learning curve but a fun one. Who knows maybe I'll squeak out s few more years on the family farms, it ain't over yet.
Let me know if you need any info on the big muddy. I grew up duck hunting there around southern Wisconsin. It is a really good time.
 

HighDesertSage

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Apr 6, 2013
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Sage Brush to Corn Fields
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.
Don't forget that dramatic increase in cost of living. That's what eventually drove me out of CO. No longer fiscally responsible to live there. 1632234809233.png
 

D_Walt

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Apr 15, 2020
Messages
394
Having lived in Texas my whole life some of the leasing conversations at times strike me as funny - not that I don’t understand why it’s frustrating for many, but that it has been pretty much the only way 90% of hunters down here get to hunt and it is just a given that your lease is going to cost some $$.

On the flip side I would also say, private lease holders spend tremendous amounts of money to improve habitat and increase game #’s and maximize what they can get out of their lease expense. So there is real benefit for most everyone involved.

So many self righteous western/public hunters lament and ridicule private land mangers who are feeding and intensely managing whitetail herds in other parts of the country because many western guys are used to unlimited access and (what used to be) readily available tags for deer, antelope and elk and don’t understand access issues that face the rest of the country. Private land guys making private land better, landowners getting more of an incentive to hold the land - it’s not all downside. Good hunting Access is rare and expensive in most of the country - AND IT WILL CONTINUE TO GET MORE SO IN THE COMING DECADES.

I would wager all I’ve got that any decent private hunting ground near you will be leased in the next decade or so…if it doesn’t get paved or covered with houses. Can’t say I like it, but it is the way of the future for most, and guess what? As the Rest of the country fills up with people and mini-malls the tidal wave headed to the West will only grow - it’s not letting up in our lifetimes. Plan your hunting accordingly…
 

wllm

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Dec 9, 2015
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14,970
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Boston
Having lived in Texas my whole life some of the leasing conversations at times strike me as funny - not that I don’t understand why it’s frustrating for many, but that it has been pretty much the only way 90% of hunters down here get to hunt and it is just a given that your lease is going to cost some $$.

On the flip side I would also say, private lease holders spend tremendous amounts of money to improve habitat and increase game #’s and maximize what they can get out of their lease expense. So there is real benefit for most everyone involved.

So many self righteous western/public hunters lament and ridicule private land mangers who are feeding and intensely managing whitetail herds in other parts of the country because many western guys are used to unlimited access and (what used to be) readily available tags for deer, antelope and elk and don’t understand access issues that face the rest of the country. Private land guys making private land better, landowners getting more of an incentive to hold the land - it’s not all downside. Good hunting Access is rare and expensive in most of the country - AND IT WILL CONTINUE TO GET MORE SO IN THE COMING DECADES.

I would wager all I’ve got that any decent private hunting ground near you will be leased in the next decade or so…if it doesn’t get paved or covered with houses. Can’t say I like it, but it is the way of the future for most, and guess what? As the Rest of the country fills up with people and mini-malls the tidal wave headed to the West will only grow - it’s not letting up in our lifetimes. Plan your hunting accordingly…

And this is why we hate non-residents.

How would you feel if a bunch of western state guys moved to Texas and convinced the DNR to manage all species, set quotas, get rid of all exotics, ban baiting, high fence, set strict rules on methods of take, no trapping big game aka pigs, etc. impose hunting values of a different area on Texas.

Leasing culture has come into these states with NR moving in... in most cases it's not a local idea. So that's the gripe, not that private management doesn't have it's merits or that putting a monetary value on habitat is inherently bad. The issue we have is that access was open then some A-hole from Texas moved into my mom's neighborhood and decided that he owned the BLM and tried to block off the entire community which had been using it for decades.

It's a bunch of rich dudes moving to MT and creating a leasing culture where it never existed.

Also..."spend tremendous amounts of money to improve habitat and increase game #’s"

:rolleyes:
1632250407868.png
 

D_Walt

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Joined
Apr 15, 2020
Messages
394
And this is why we hate non-residents.

How would you feel if a bunch of western state guys moved to Texas and convinced the DNR to manage all species, set quotas, get rid of all exotics, ban baiting, high fence, set strict rules on methods of take, no trapping big game aka pigs, etc. impose hunting values of a different area on Texas.

Leasing culture has come into these states with NR moving in... in most cases it's not a local idea. So that's the gripe, not that private management doesn't have it's merits or that putting a monetary value on habitat is inherently bad. The issue we have is that access was open then some A-hole from Texas moved into my mom's neighborhood and decided that he owned the BLM and tried to block off the entire community which had been using it for decades.

It's a bunch of rich dudes moving to MT and creating a leasing culture where it never existed.

Also..."spend tremendous amounts of money to improve habitat and increase game #’s"

:rolleyes:
View attachment 195163
Yes, I will stand by the “spend tremendous amounts of money to improve habitat and increase game #’s” statement. And I’m not just talking about feeding corn for bait when hunting. I mean large scale habitat/brush/forest/food plots etc. Big $’s because it can bring big in $’s or dramatically increase recreational opportunities for the ones spending the $.

Hate nonresident’s all you want- they are coming in droves to hunt and resettle permanently because the places they came from no longer hold the opportunities they seek, be it hunting or financial or general lifestyle. Quite literally the reason that current residents of the western states either moved there or their great grand-pappy did. Tale as old as time…
 
Joined
Aug 31, 2021
Messages
31
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.
Does Illinois have any available IRAP properties in your area? Give me general area and let me do some scouring and see what I can come up with.
 

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