Have some respect or ruin it for the rest

by Oct 28, 2012Uncategorized

Have some respect or ruin it for the rest

A hunting license does not authorize you to enter private property without permission.

Last week, my friend Robin and I got into a conversation about hunting on private vs public lands (and about hunting on Sundays, but that’s a different blog) and the lack of public land around to hunt on. IFW says 94% of land in Maine is privately owned which makes hunting hard if you do not own land to hunt on.

I am fortunate. The three pieces of land that we hunt on make up about 430 acres and are owned by my parents and grandparents. We have allowed people to hunt on the land as long as they asked and did not use four-wheelers. I hunt in a small town where everyone knows everyone else and knows where they hunt/own. It is a community where the rules and verbal requests to hunt on certain parts of land are taken seriously.

This year, we posted a new piece of land to keep people off of the logging road and away from where my tree seat is. We don’t expect to have problems, but with a new logging road popping up, there can be temptation. It was the first time we have ever actually posted land.

But what ruined it for me was something that happened Saturday.

Dad and I built our Sky Condo 5 years ago. It sits on the edge of the woods and a small field and is on route for the deer traveling between food and beds. The property abuts one other owner named “Bob”. On Saturday, at about 3pm Dad and I were waiting for some deer movement when I spotted a hunter in the back left corner of the field. The hunter walked along the field/woods line and then started walking towards us. We got the binoculars out to see if we knew who it was and we didn’t. The hunter stopped, waved to us and kept coming towards us. He got to about half way down the field before he turned around and took his time going back from where he came from.

We are baffled. “Bob” knows that we hunt and knows that we hunt in the Sky Condo so we can’t imagine him telling someone in his hunting party to come onto our property to hunt. “Bob” has all of his land posted so a random hunter would have a hard time stumbling onto our property. As a result of this, we are posting all of our property. It makes me (and Dad) a little sad to think that we can’t trust people to ask before they come onto our property, especially as we were sitting and hunting right there.

I know that the battle between public and private land is a huge issue for hunters but unfortunately this one has ruined it for other hunters on our land. We will continue to let some people hunt with permission, but they will be surrounded by yellow posted signs as they walk into the woods.


  1. The world if full of inconsiderate people. The problem is one person ruins it for 100 considerate people. Still it is always good to talk to the person involved. There could have been a good reason.

  2. I know. We have seen people pop in there before Bob bought his property but they would see us and immediately leave, not walk towards us and then take their time leaving. Now, we will post our land and then be selective about who we allow to be where. It takes the fun and sharing out of it for us too.

  3. My biggest fear is that one day private property and canned hunts will be all there is in this country. I have access to private property…limited as it is, it is precious to me. To hunt public and private lands, the difference is amazing. I always see deer on the private property. I understand where you're coming from, and it is just an absolute shame. You have to do what you have to do…I weep when I think of those inconsiderate people. The biggest threat to hunting is access to property, as it disappears, so will "most" hunting.
    once when I was out on my friends parents land, I knew I was crossing into their neighbors land, and even though I was given the thumbs up to do so, I realized I couldn't remember their names…for fear of running into someone else and causing embarrassment or stress to anyone, I turned around and headed the other way, only to return when I knew exactly whose land I was on….how hard is it to do the right thing on other people’s property?

  4. It's one thing to realize someone else is there and leave immediately, but to keep walking is unimaginable. It makes me want to yell "WHAT were you thinking?"at people like that but you know they weren't thinking at all.

    I get into it with hunters who shoot too close to my house, from the tarred road, into my property, etc. I have posted "by permission only" before and I'm sure I will again. It hurts to have land you work hard for, pay for, manage for wildlife, etc. and have your experience ruined. Landowner respect is going by the wayside. I'm fortunate to live close to privately owned timber management land where hunting is open to all. All that land around and still, they show up here being stupid.

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Meet The Author

Erin Merrill, author of And a Strong Cup of Coffee, is president of Women of the Maine Outdoors, a senior writer for Drury Outdoors, a contributor to the Northwoods Sporting Journal and passionate all things Maine, Hunting, and the Outdoors.