Editor’s Note: Thousands of acres of land throughout the country home trophy bucks. Often the landowners don’t hunt these properties. But they also may not allow anyone else to because they’ve had bad experiences with hunters in the past or can find no benefits in letting someone hunt their lands. To have a big-buck hotspot no one else but you can hunt, solve a landowner’s problem before you ask permission to hunt.
A prime hunting area I found several years ago provides the classic example of how this theory works. I knew one of the landowners in our county, Mr. Stewart, had some trophy-class bucks on his property, although he wouldn’t permit anyone to hunt them. Mr. Stewart had leased his land to hunters in the past. But they’d left his cattle gaps down, and his cows had wandered out onto the highway. The hunters also threw trash down throughout the woods. Stewart had enough land and money that he didn’t have to lease his land out for deer hunting. In February, I ran into Mr. Stewart at the barber shop and told him, “I heard you had a terrible time last spring with the coyotes killing and eating your calves as soon as they were born. I’m a good coyote hunter, Mr. Stewart. If you want me to, I’ll come over to your land and take-off as many coyotes as I can.”
“How much will you charge me to get rid of the coyotes?” Mr. Stewart asked in a gruff voice. I explained I wouldn’t charge anything, because I liked to hunt coyotes. I told him I appreciated having the opportunity to hunt the coyotes on his land. Throughout the rest of the spring and summer, I did just that. Each time I took a songdog, I’d go by his house to show him or his wife the critter.
In late August, Stewart said, “You know, John, I never even realize when you’ve hunted on my property. I don’t see any signs of your hunting, except the dead coyotes you bring in each time you come over to my place.” I mentioned then that I’d seen two big bucks in the back corner of the broom sage field down by the creek. I suggested, “Mr. Stewart, if you’ll put up a stand down there before hunting season, I believe you can take one of those big bucks when the season begins.” Stewart told me he didn’t have time to hunt and didn’t allow anyone else to hunt his land for deer. However, he thanked me for telling him what I had seen.
At the beginning of September, I discovered a spot in Stewart’s fence where a post had broken. Although some of his cows had walked through the hole, they hadn’t wandered far. I quickly herded them back into the pasture and used a log to hold-up the barbed wire. I hurried back to Stewart’s house, told him what I’d found and suggested if he had a post handy, I’d go back down to the pasture with him and help put up the fencepost. While we mended the fence, Stewart asked, “John, have you seen those two big bucks down by the creek recently?” “Yes, sir,” I answered. “Why don’t you hunt them this season if you’d like to,” Stewart said. “But if you take them, don’t tell anyone where you’ve found them, or that I’ve given you permission to hunt on my property. You’ve solved my coyote problem and watched over my land like it’s yours. I believe you’ve earned the right to hunt the deer on this land.”
“Mr. Stewart, if you’ll allow me to hunt deer on this property, I promise if I see a buck and a coyote at the same time, I’ll shoot the coyote first,” I earnestly explained. “Then I’ll try to take the deer.” Stewart smiled and said, “Okay, John. I want to see one of those big bucks if you bag him.” For the next four years, I took two or three nice-sized bucks and a large number of coyotes off Stewart’s property every year. I had my own private big-buck hunting grounds no one else could hunt, and Stewart lost far fewer calves to coyotes than he had in years past.
To learn more about deer hunting, go to John E. Phillips’ books and learn the tactics small property owners have used successfully by checking out John E. Phillips’s book, “How to Hunt and Take Big Buck Deer on Small Properties” at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00OOC2T0Y#, available in Kindle, print and Audible versions. To receive your free book on “How to Make Venison Jerky,” go to https://www.emailmeform.com/builder/form/Ece3UZVcOo52cKPJcL.