Tips for Turkey Hunters on Good Landowner Relations

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CONCORD, N.H. – Hunters getting out for New Hampshire’s spring turkey season (May 3-31) can do a lot to help promote positive landowner relations, according to Charles Miner, Landowner Relations Coordinator for the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department. 

“Practicing good landowner relations is the key to maintaining access for present and future generations of turkey hunters,” Miner said.  He noted that more than 70% of New Hampshire’s land is under private ownership.  “To maintain the hunting tradition, we have to act on the fact that access to private land is a privilege provided through the generosity of the landowner. A few basic strategies can make a world of difference.”

Tips for turkey hunters on fostering good working relations with landowners include:

  • Plan to obtain landowner permission, whether the land that you would like to hunt is posted or not, as landowners appreciate knowing who is on their property.
  • Remember that you are the guest of the landowner.  Treat their property with the same care and respect that you would if it were your own.
  • Never park your vehicle on lawns or block driveways, roadways, trails, crossings or gates; always leave gates or other barriers the way you found them.
  • Use of a truck, car, or ATV on private property requires written landowner permission.  If granted permission, understand clearly where you can and cannot drive or park your vehicle.
  • Do not walk through crops, and always cross fences in a manner that will not break or loosen wires or posts.
  • Become familiar with boundaries of the land you have permission to hunt, surrounding properties, recreation areas, farms and active logging operations.
  • Do not hunt near buildings, livestock, active logging operations or hiking trails.
  • Always ask the landowner for permission if you plan to construct a ground blind.  Written permission is required if your blind will damage a tree or result in cutting of trees. 
  • If you are bow hunting and make a shot into a field, always retrieve your arrow.
  • Carry out all trash, including that left by others.
  • Remember that access to hunt is a privilege provided to you through the generosity of the landowner.  Make every effort to express your appreciation and offer to assist with tasks that the landowner needs help with.
  • Follow up with a personal note after the season thanking the landowner, and consider providing the landowner a token of your appreciation such as a gift certificate to a local restaurant.

Turkey hunting has become a New Hampshire tradition, one that will continue to flourish if we follow the basic principle of landowner relations: Treat the landowner as you would like to be treated, and treat their land as you would want yours to be treated.

For further information on the Landowner Relations Program, or to get involved with the program, please contact the program office at 603-271-3511 or e-mail access [at] wildlife [dot] nh [dot] gov.