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Hunter speaking to landowner
Contact the landowner while wearing street clothes and well in advance of when you wish to hunt.

Hunting land is owned either privately or publicly.

  • Public lands include the state and national parks, Bureau of Land Management properties in some states, and state and national forests. Everyone in the U.S. shares these lands. A town, a city, the state, or the federal government may manage public land.
  • Individuals, families, groups of people, businesses, and corporations also may own land. Private landowners may:
    • Own significant amounts of private land in some states.
    • Allow anyone they choose to enter the land they own.
    • Allow hunting on their property.
    • Charge a fee for hunting done on their property.
    • Allow no hunting at all.
  • Responsible, ethical hunters must show respect for the land and the landowner or manager just as they show respect for wildlife. It is your responsibility to know if you are allowed to hunt in a particular location.
    • Always ask for permission before you hunt on private land.
      • Ask well before the hunting season opens.
      • Explain to the landowner that you have successfully completed a hunter education course and know the basic safety rules.
      • Ask where you may hunt and what areas, if any, you should avoid.
      • If permission is granted, show respect for the land by leaving no trace of your activities. Pack out trash, bury any human waste, and pick up empty cartridges. If you hunt using an off-road vehicle, stay on established trails.
      • Never hunt near domestic animals or buildings.
      • Let the landowner know when you are leaving. If you have taken game, offer to share some of the meat with the landowner.
    • Show the same respect for the public lands that belong to all of us. People use public lands for many reasons, including camping, hiking, and watching wildlife. Respecting others’ use of public lands is part of being a responsible hunter.