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Courtesy Goes A Long Way When Asking To Hunt On Private Land

With dove, forest grouse and big game archery seasons underway, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game is reminding hunters to get landowner permission before entering private property. Landowner-Sportsmen Relations Coordinator Adam Grove believes the key to gaining permission to hunt private land is common courtesy and advanced planning. "I've found in talking with landowners that a little courtesy goes a long way," Grove said. "The hunter who plans ahead and asks permission well in advance is often welcomed, while those who don't ask or wait until the day of the hunt, may not get the same kind of welcome." According to Grove, asking for permission is crucial in the relationships between landowners and hunters, and it only takes one trespassing violation to ruin access privileges for other hunters. "Hunting private land is a privilege, not a right," he said. "If hunters respect private property and show their gratitude afterward, they can establish a relationship with the landowner that both will appreciate." IDFG encourages both hunters and landowners to utilize the Landowner/Sportsmen Courtesy Cards that communicate important information such as name, phone number and vehicle description. The two-part, pocket-sized booklet of six cards provides hunters with a handy way of exchanging essential information with landowners, who in turn, feel more secure knowing who's hunting on their property and how to contact them. Landowners grant permission a number of ways, including face-to-face, by telephone, in writing or by posting signs that explain the type of hunting allowed and the conditions that may apply. IDFG provides property owners free signs that address the issue of respecting private property. The signs include "hunting by permission only," "road closed to vehicles," and "safety zone." For more information, drop by Fish and Game's Lewiston office at 1540 Warner Ave., or call 799-5010.