Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Public or Private Land Use

So what's your flavor,public or private land use.This question is offered to any outdoorsman or woman.If you enjoy hiking,fishing,hunting,rock climbing,etc what do you prefer and why?I don't actually expect any responses just think about it.I started thinking about it after I read my brothers post on it here . Great post but as Brothers we do tend to slightly disagree on some things.After reading his post I generally understand his mindset.He is a Father working multiple jobs with little spare time.So in the spare time he does have he wants his outdoor activities to flow nicely as we all do.For his situation,leasing land is ideal and more power to him.In fact I have hunted his farm lease and thoroughly enjoyed the laid back not in a hurry feel.However sometimes I have to do things that fit my bill.

The Gut Runner II before new trailer,love my boat

A short background on my outdoors experience.At 32 I am a master of nothing outdoors but interested in everything that has to do with hunting,fishing,minimalist survival etc.I have been fishing since I was a small child with my Dad.I didn't start using artificial baits until about ten years ago.I consider myself a good but not great fisherman.I went deer hunting for the first time about 8 years ago and didn't hate it but it's not for me.Running dogs through the woods chasing a 75 pound deer while twenty grown men line the trees surrounding it,not for me.My brother took me duck hunting around the same time period,my early twenties,and I was immediately hooked.Even though I never even got a shot at a bird until my fourth hunt.It started with a stationary blind,went to field goose hunts,then to guided hunts trying to learn and now I have my own boat.What I don't have is my own spots because I hunt on public property.So what if I took the money I put into the boat every year and leased a field or a farm?

Nothing better than watching your buddy bust a green head on public land

This is where a few of the problems lie.The financial aspect would be the number one culprit.Let me break this down because it's the big one.I spend between 3-5 hundred dollars every year to improve my waterfowling experience.Everything from new decoys to grass mats to hide the boat.Two years ago i bought a brand new engine,pow 2500 bucks.Last year a brand new trailer,pow 1100 bucks.Not to mention the every year licensing fees that cost me around 80 dollars just to hunt out of the boat.So why not give it all up and lease a farm.Because I can't afford it!Seriously I know it seems like I spend a ton every year just to keep it going but the decent leases aren't cheap.I could join a club on the Eastern Shore of Va,which I was invited to do,for a price of 1200 dollars a year.So what would I get?Access to a few decent fields that hold geese late in the season and a few ponds that hold residential mallards until the first freeze.I have hunted there,had a great time and seriously thought about joining.So why not private land?Maybe it's because I'm stubborn.Maybe I like the feeling of accomplishment when I put my boat on birds that I found.Maybe I'm an idiot.One thing is for sure,if I had the money this wouldn't be an issue,I would do both,in South Dakota,in retirement.I can use the boat to get around to more than one area,I can and do use it for bass fishing all Spring and Summer.I'm really just searching for a solution.Unfortunately money doesn't grow on trees.All this talk about hunting has me geared up for September Goose season,bring it!


The Downeast Duck Hunter said...

We in Maine have a unique deal, there is no Sunday hunting but also have access to unposted property without permission (although encouraged). In addition we have public access spots that realistically don't have much pressure. So I really don't have much experience in dealing with the land use you must contemplate, but much like your brother I want my spare minutes to be without hassle and aggravation. I can see myself either buying property or leasing if I were forced into that position.

On another note, the difficultly for coastal duck hunting has become the gradual development of oceanfront homes and the 300 feet window that you can discharge a firearm (unless you have permission). Many traditional spots in my area have been purchased by non-residents and just by putting up there home near the water eliminates the hunting. I do have spots on properties that friends own, but there are some other awesome spots that no longer are accessible other than by boat just outside the 300 feet but it isn't the same.

Excellent post Tug, got me thinking and comparing. Take care,


Rabid Outdoorsman said...

Tug, glad to see you in line with my way of thinking! See my response to leasing land on your brothers blog tomorrow!!

River Mud said...

Ha ha, it's just choices. I appreciate this outlook too, T, and I will go ahead (whether you want me to or not) and repost this on my blog on saturday.

I appreciate the hard work and time you put into hunting. It's clear you are passionate about it, and I can even say that I'm proud that you do it differently than me. Good for you.


Coloradocasters said...

I appreciate both public and private land. In many aspects the worst thing about public lands is in fact the public. However, I can’t truly respect someone who hunts\fishes exclusively on private land and shamelessly brags about their prowess as a result. To fully test one’s skill they have to compete with the masses on heavily pressured habitat. But if you want a slice of optimum…private property is your best bet.

Stumbled across your blog via OBN and now following.

River Mud said...

@ CC - we call that the "Bill Dance" attitude. "Hey y'all, I just caught 60 5 pound bass in 4 hours usin' this new banjo minnow's awesome!"

When in fact, we know that he is fishing on a private lake that has not been fished all year, and in fact, the bass may have been heavily fed up until the week before the show.


tugboatdude said...

Hey Swampy thanks for letting me steal your post.I appreciate everyones different view and maybe it has got me thinking about the subject matter again.Every state is different,rules,opportunity,lease cost etc.The other thing is what do you plan to do on the land,hunt,fish,take pictures.So many ways this could go as to what is better.I guess whatever works for you then keep doing it.Thanks for reading and Coloradocasters,WELCOME!