Treat It Like It’s Yours
A hunt club and public land often have stipulations and many hoops to jump through to access the land, and then even more to actually hunt and harvest on the land afterward. Hunt clubs in particular, depending on the exclusivity, may have a waiting period for the board members to approve an application, with limits on memberships on top of that.
Public lands may not have strict limits on the number of people that can access them, but these lands are also used for recreation. Hunting parcels specifically within public lands are typically cordoned off from recreational trails and camping areas, and come with their own set of rules.
Limitations with hunting public land mostly come in the form of methods of hunting (such as no hunting with dogs), time restrictions, and gear restrictions (like nothing that will harm a tree) . This paired with the overcrowding of hunters, can sometimes lead to less-than stellar choices when it comes to finding a good spot on public land.
How to Keep Access
Now that you have access to some private land, you probably want to keep access to this land. Basic people skills and being a good friend will help foster a good relationship with the land owner. Although going above the bare minimum to show you genuinely care about the land and the animals on it, says a lot.
Quality deer management (QDM) practice is an important approach to take on private land that can lead to some great outcomes long term, and help the landowner out by maintaining equity in their land for you and them to enjoy. Remembering the four cornerstones of QDM (herd, habitat, hunting management, and herd monitoring) is key, not just the concept to pass young bucks.
Sharing kills is also another way to make good friends. Some hunters (or even the landowner) may not be able to get out and hunt as much as you, or just have a lower success rate. If they’re the type of people that appreciates a land-to-table harvest, sharing your kills if you’re able can be one of the most meaningful gestures you can make.