Next Thursday, late muzzleloader season opens up...and of course, it's NOT in the same unit where I previously hunted this year. Nope...instead, it's an area about 45 minutes away from here, out in the wheat fields that make up the start of the Palouse.
There is very little, as in NO, publicly owned land in this area...it's all privately owned farms...and roughly half of that is posted no hunting. In actuality most of that land is leased by a couple of local hunting clubs. Of the rest, there is a decent amount posted 'feel free to hunt', as well as a few 'hunting by written permission' properties. Because I had hoped to shoot something earlier in the year, I had not put much effort into pre-planning for this late season. It's really kind of a 'target of opportunity'...only a 45 minute drive from the house, and an opportunity to putz around a few places to shoot a doe.
The goal of heading out this morning was to learn how accurate my maps are, and to learn how many of the 'feel free to hunt' websites listed on the Fish and Wildlife Departments website actually exist. Any deer I saw would be gravy.
Turns out there was a fair amount of gravy.
The only real hiccup is that these deer were on a piece of land posted 'hunting by written permission only'...and with the season only a few days away, what kind of dirt-bag is still trying to get permission to hunt on private property.
This kind of dirt-bag. I mean...the worst they can do is say no.
They didn't say no...but they haven't said yes yet. In this case, the landowner would rather just not say 'yes' to someone he doesn't know...there are liability issues, and...'earning' it issues, neither of which I begrudge them. He pointed out that the hunting leases on the properties around him charge upwards of $1500 for access. He would like to see people put in $200 worth of value around the farm....either helping with labor stuff, or donating supplies, or whatever else you can think of...which all makes perfect sense. That's kind of the reason I started trying to find a place for my daughter to hunt back in August...so I had time to earn that opportunity if it was expected. In this case, I saw so many deer on this property today that I couldn't NOT ask.
So, I'll send the guy an e-mail with details of my skills(strong back, weak mind), and see if he has an opportunity to schedule me in over the next few weeks. If not, I'll take my chance on a few of the 'feel free to hunt' properties.