Urban Bowhunting Series, Part 1: Selecting a Property and Asking Permission

Hunting opportunities exist closer to home than you might realize, maybe in your neighborhood or even your backyard. Many urban areas provide convenient bowhunting access, and some offer liberal seasons with surplus game. That means more time hunting and potentially more venison in the freezer.

To take advantage of urban bowhunting opportunities, you must first find a property and then ask permission to hunt it. In the above video, Taylor Chamberlin, an urban bowhunting expert, provides tips to get you started.

Securing access to private lands can be challenging. You might feel nervous, even intimidated, asking strangers for permission to hunt their property. A little local knowledge can help, however. Landowners who are most receptive to hunting often had gardens, flowers and shrubbery annihilated by hungry deer.

Chamberlin uses apps like OnX or county GIS Maps to find properties near large woodlots in neighborhoods. Deer use that cover to move safely through populated areas. Once Chamberlin locates those trails, he contacts the landowners.

You’ll boost your access odds by networking in your community, and demonstrating that you’re a responsible, respectful bowhunter. Knock on doors and tell property owners that you’re not selling anything, and that you want to discuss managing the deer herd.

Apps help you determine property lines and areas to avoid. Photo Credit: ATA

Outline the services you provide, and how you would safely bowhunt their property. By explaining and demonstrating that you’re safe, discreet and responsible, and that you’ll hunt their property with respect, you’ll get most landowners to at least hear you out. That’s also a great time to explain the liability waiver that state wildlife agencies landowners.

If you secure permission, ask landowners to walk their properties with you, and ask where they see deer. Also discuss logistics like field dressing, where you should park, and if they want you to contact them before each hunt.

By using tips from our video, and persistently and politely seeking access, you’ll obtain a stack of permission slips and a freezer full of venison. Stay tuned for Part 2 of our video series, which covers urban bowhunting strategies, staying discreet, and what you must do after each shot.


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