With the conclusion of the spring gobbler season, I would all of you hunters who hunt private lands to express their appreciation to landowners for the privilege of hunting on their land.
You need to remember access to hunt on private land is a privilege provided to you through the generosity of the landowner.
Access to hunting land is one of the biggest challenges facing all hunters throughout the entire United States. There are many ways hunters can show their appreciation, such as:
- Visit landowners to thank them for being allowed to hunt on their property.
- Follow up with a personal note after the season, thanking the landowner for the opportunity that you have been provided.
- Consider providing the landowner a token of your appreciation, such as a gift certificate to a local restaurant or grocery store, a gas card or something that you personally know they will appreciate.
One of the most exciting and memorable experiences of the season for many of you was mentoring a young hunter during youth weekend. As part of the mentoring process, it is important for our young hunters to realize that if the heritage of hunting is to be preserved, they must respect landowners and their land as well as express appreciation for the privilege of access. As another step in the mentoring process, give them an opportunity to offer thanks to a landowner. Have them go with you when you present your token of appreciation to the landowner and let them thank the landowner personally.
The actions of each hunter are a reflection on the whole hunting community. The impression that you provide not only determines if you have a place to hunt, but also that of all hunters.
The Ohio tradition of turkey hunting will only continue if we all follow the basic principle of landowner relations: Treat the landowner as you would like to be treated and treat their land as you would like yours to be treated. As your experiences of the recent season become memories, take a few moments to reflect upon the partnership between wildlife, hunters, and most importantly private landowners, and consider what you can do to ensure that these important relationships stay strong for future generations of sportspeople.