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I need some opinions. I have access to about a thousand acres just 25 min from my house (I live in a big city) that I'm allowed to bowhunt deer and turkey on. I'm not allowed to hunt during rifle season or the seven days prior, but any other time is open. The Older gentleman and his son both live next to each other about a mile away, and seem to have a pretty large cattle operation, but also grow corn and beans. They are very busy guys, and thus most of my conversations have been on the phone with the grandpa. When I first met him he drove me around to the different areas I was allowed to hunt on and showed me around. I always call prior to the season and make sure everything is its ok hunt still. I called him a few weeks ago and told him I killed my first deer, but they were out harvesting. They are genuinely nice people, and I really appreciate them allowing me to use their land, especially because they hunt it too. I mean, I wouldn't of allowed some 30 year old stranger, whose never hunted before, on my land. Being that I killed my first deer a few weeks ago I thought I would take them some snack sticks, jerky, and sausage, with a card and a picture of the deer. Then I changed my mind because they hunt already and I'm sure have plenty of meat, plus I think it doesnt really show appreciation and seems kind of rude in a way. So now I'm trying to think of other ideas as a way of saying thanks, without being a tight wad, but not overdoing it also. What would an appropriate gift be? I always send thank you cards at the end of the season, and I've offered manual labor a thousand times. I know they don't expect anything, but I really feel the need to do something. Any ideas?
Does he have gas tanks for his tractors ? I had a hundred bucks of gas delivered to an old guy that let me hunt his place about 25 years ago.... gas was much cheaper then...... He really appreciated it....
Lots of ideas. I think some jerky or snack sticks are very appropriate. A few bundles of the leather/canvas work gloves ($25/12 on Amazon). If you take a camera along, a couple framed pics of deer on their land or just scenic pics of the land. A Honey baked ham for Thanksgiving or Christmas. If they are Husker fans there are some options there.
Permission on 1000 acres isn't easy to come by these days.
Hard to thank them to much.
Agree, any effort would be appreciated. On a farm my dad and I have permission on for life we’ve improved some of the lane that runs the length of the farm. Installed a dranage pipe and some fresh gravel to secure it. It’s still there 15 some odd yrs later.
With the holidays approaching.....Fresh Turkeys....expensive Hams with a thank you card. With something for the wives....holiday flowers....gift baskets...If they have children....certain gifts....ask first. I have drove trucks in the past when they are harvesting if they are short handed....stacked hay...blown leaves on their property. I do know these types are very hard to accept your offers....I know exactly what you`re dealing with.
Maybe ask them what they'd like? I have permission from a guy that doesn't hunt so he gets all the antelope and elk he wants.
I for one like the gift card idea. If they raise cattle and hunt then they don't need meat, and let's be honest, a deer doesn't have that much meat on it so don't give it away. I grew up on a large farm like that and from my experience I can tell you that they are busy and maybe offering to help once a month or so may interest them. There are always jobs needing done and many require no skills just strong arms and back. Just a thought.
I had permission on a farm like that.close to home,great hunting.widow lady owner,helped with cutting firewood,helped on farm.kept coal bin stocked and stoker coal box filled.well,she passed,and daughter took over.no hunting anymore.I'd get the old lady a Kroger card,and she wanted chocolate covered Cherry's every year.if you got a farm like that ,ytreat the owners nice.it can be lost quick.
I have three L.O's, known them all quite some time. Two of them gave me keys to their tractors in case I need one to get deer out. I'm talking, great L.O's. I made it real simple. At Christmas, I give each a gift card to one of the finer, local restaurants for enough they can take wife/friend and have a fine meal. I enclose in a Christmas card with a handwritten note expressing my appreciation. Not needed but appreciated, especially by the spouse. My wife is the one who suggested that.
Sweat equity goes a long ways in my eyes. Go and help them around the farm. There’s always something that needs to be done. Trimming trees along fence lines, cutting firewood, helping to work cattle, etc. I’m not talking about a few hours on one weekend either. A thousand acres to hunt on doesn’t come easily these days.
I've done the same as Bowriter many times, they really appreciate the handwritten message and gift card. I also was sure to give them sausage and other cuts of meat once processed.
Troy, You need any help on the farm? :) :) :)
I hunt a neighbor's land and watch his house for him in the winter while he winters in New Mexico. I give him venison when he returns in the spring and cod and halibut when I get back from Newfy in late summer.
Lol Nick, you beat me to it :)
Are they married? I have always followed Bowriter with the restaurant gift certificates. A Happy wife is a Happy life!
I'm with Bowriter on this. A gift card to a nice restaurant with a thank you note would be greatly appreciated.
Another thing you could do is put in some "sweat equity" by volunteering to help with ranch work. Millie and I did that when we were stationed in Lubbock in appreciation for receiving permission to bird hunt (dove, quail, pheasant). By the end of our first year we had sole hunting permission for a little shy of 2,000 acres of land.
Point is to do something nice, thoughtful for your landowners.
My buddy takes the landowner and wife out to dinner.
Both grandpa and his Son are married, and i have met the 12 year old grandson, who impressed me very much. I have offered to help with labor countless times, but he always declines. I've stopped by the shop many times while out checking cams or what not to see what I could help with, but they are always gone. Ive considered giving gift certificates, but wasn't sure if they would use it with the city being a half hour away. After hearing it from everyone it seems like a great idea. I'm thinking I'll get a gift certificate to a nice restaurant, tickets to a Husker football game, a card with a nice handwritten note with the picture of the deer I harvested inside. Then while talking with them I'll make it a point to explain that I'd really like to help with labor or jobs they need help with. Should I do this for both grandpa and son or just grandpa?
Do something for both. You don't have to go overboard, sometimes that sends the wrong message too. I never gave permission in order to get something in return. Sometimes what people have me was a little embarrassing.
Where I deer hunt now, the rancher thinks he's getting a good deal because I cowboy for him for four days during roundup. I think I'm getting a good deal by hunting his ranch. He got sort of mad at me once when I have him a gift cert to a nice restaurant, told me to not do it again.
your gonna have to push him outta the way to work! there proud people and wouldn't ask anyone to do something they wont do themselves,,,, just do it! don't ask crab a shovel drive a tractor, cleaning stalls will get noticed rather fast washing cars and trucks will not only make them shine but you as well ..bring everything so you only have to ask where's the spigot, shows him your prepared ! good luck oh and bring the miss`s fresh fish MikeC
I'm in the same boat. I'm always racking my brain over things I can do for a friend that let's me hunt his place. Problem is it's 6 hrs away, so helping them with their cattle is not really feasible. Can you build anything? Like a nice firepit or swing or Adirondack chairs? Sometimes it's not about the money but how much thought and effort went into the gift.
Do you have any particular skills that could be offered? Are you a mechanic? , lawyer?. I have three big ranches, clustered together that I got permission on years ago. I haven't hunted them for several years now, but I always drive the five hours at least once a year just to visit. They are just good people to.
If I had a good year fishing, I take along some halibut, a few salmon slabs for the BBQ and some smoked salmon. I also make sure its during the "downtime" after the harvest. Most field farmers don't have time to gab during harvest time.
Something unique that you have access to, (product or service) that they may like can be meaningful and appreciated.
Being sincere and thoughtful goes a long way.
"your gonna have to push him outta the way to work!"
Mr.c, that's a bad idea.
Like said you should just do some work to help out with out being asking- just show up and mow the lawn or something. Also target the women for gifts!
I'd only get football tickets if they are fans, since going to a game is a lot of time commitment plus parking, food, etc. and don't get them during hunting/Harvest season !
Well bowriter and I agree on something once again . If there is a nice restaurant within short driving distance a gift card and note at Christmas time goes a long way . Do not be cheap . Include enough for 4 meals Incase they want to take friends . Offering to help out is second , in most cases , to what Bowriter suggested . I am on both sides of this issue so I have a appreciation for what means a lot . If they do not know you well they will be hesitant to let you use there equipment to help out , but you can do things you notice need to be done with just sweat. Always ask first . “ I notice there are some bushes starting to grow in that south fence line if it is ok with you I could clean them out for you .”
The biggest gift of all is simple respect. Do not overhunt, or bring guests, and if they hunt themselves do not shoot what they are after. Help them manage the herd to meet their objectives, not your's.
Do they have an old outbuilding that needs a coat of paint?
During the holidays, I send our land owner gift cards and the wife makes candy buckeyes and coconut clusters. I also give him work gloves and pitch in to help with firewood when the opportunity arises.
Lots of good ideas already have been shared...I'll add a word of caution. I knew a landowner once that allowed some guys on his land and they in turn bought him a 1/5 of whiskey every year. It was good quality stuff...the only problem is the old boy didn't drink! :)
I asked him why he politely accepted the gift every year and never said anything...he just shrugged and mumbled something. While the faux pas here didn't really hurt anything, it didn't really help anything either. Whatever you decide, make a solid effort to determine what they would value/use.
I've done all of the above but in the end, cash won and I was out either due to leasing or selling the property to another hunter. :'(
Yep, great advice above. The main things I've done in the past have been hit on-- 1) be respectful and play by the rules of the land, 2) help with any work that needs to be done out there (and don't be afraid to offer), 3) gift card with thank you card, and 4) meat.
I have done a lot of different things over the years, some not so good. As mentioned, I used to give sticks/sausage but most of them already raise livestock so they don't need the meat. Booze, (Which I have done) isn't good IMHO. Unless you have a drunk! (Which is why one LO appreciate a 1/5th!) I do gift cards to the local farm store. And I mail them so they cannot turn them down.
Booze not good, Z? How come? If the LO will use it and appreciates it, I don't think it's a bad choice. I'd appreciate it and I'm (mostly) not a drunk! :)
On the two properties I hunt, they are very hard working people and almost NEVER go out... We did a few cards, but I don't think they used them. The last few years, I jus leave an envelope at Christmas with cash in it... I put a note in saying that I greatly appreciate them and their kindness and wish them Happy Holidays. They have little ones, so I usually say something like... If you don't need it or want it, spend it on the kids:)
I have also rounded up two of their horses that got out and headed them back to the stalls on foot. The walk was about 1.25 miles down a dirt road, they were very grateful for that! Me and my buddy are the only ones allowed to hunt several thousand acres. We follow every single rule, and never hesitate to jump in and help in any situation. we have been wearing hunting clothes and helped in situations were we dealt with diesel fuel and oil. Just make yourself very available if the occasion ever arises! Actions speak louder than words, and anything will be appreciated. Oh, we also don't over do it on the cash, it's usually just 2-3 hundred total per family. That is very cheap hunting rights!
Ambush I don't mean knock him over or anything lol just do it before he does my whitetail spot is 6 hrs away and I deliver this 600 miles round trip LO couldn't have been happier he was so happy he gave me a gallon of Crown lol
Do you have and kneepads??? You would be surprised what some would do for a great piece of property to hunt.
Mr.c, I’m surprised you made it there at all, never mind in just six hours, with that old beater!! lol.
Or is that what it looked like after the crock of Crown? haha.
Cuts, I had to giggle when you said the nice restaurants were over a half hour away. We live on a farm and if we go to the city to eat out it is an hour one way and some times one and a half hours to some places. We don't have places around the corner here. The quality of life is better though. Don't hesitate to give them a gift card, I know we would like some thing like that, usually we get a thank you. I had one guy that did help out now and then and that was appreciated. You are very fortunate.
I always give out my wifes jams,,,, I mean even the amish, think its better than theirs,,,,, if she could franchise them, I could finance some good hunts,,,,,
Other than that, I will help out if needed, and yes I do give out gift cards, in particular gas cards....................
ABSOLUTELY POSITIVELY include the grandson or anyone else that has anything to say about you hunting the property. The grandson will definitely appreciate being included and the grandfather will most likely appreciate you even more for including him (and his wife).
Cuts, TRUST ME ON THIS!!! O&H Danish Kringle. Google it. You can have it shipped anywhere and cost is very affordable. Order a pecan and apple for the older guy and pecan and cheesecake for the younger one. Also, order one for yourself. They are amazing and a standard thank you gift that I use. Do not get just any Kringle either, make sure it's O&H. I've lived here my whole life and they are a staple in my city. Don't question this advice. Just DO IT! You will not be disappointed and neither will they. I prefer apple, strawberry or raspberry but pecan is by far the most popular among men and cheesecake is the most popular among women.
I hunt for free, and in Texas. I asked the land owner if I could hunt and he said yes, and I do like deer meat. I give him the back straps. He has a family gathering for Thanksgiving and I bring him a full pork loin for that. Sounds good to me.
A couple of framed Ariel photos of their ranch/ farm, one for each. Never expected and I'm sure they would really appreciate it.
I love to hunt but I love to ice fish just as much. My farmer get a few meals of fresh fish, an Easter ham, dad's homemade sauerkraut and homemade jam. I also bring a box of chocolate and a Christmas card with a gift card to the local ag store. The farmer thinks the world of my wife and is so happy when she gets a deer so we print a picture off for him with her deer. Lastly, we report everything and let him know what is going on during the year with trespasser or the neighbors. I always tell him to save the jars and we will fill them up again.
Do something his wife may like. Ranch wives are amazing, hard working people, and if he can keep her happy, his life is good.
I own land with a great bird cover on it. Open to anyone, just stop and say Hi if I am outside working. I hunt other people's land and feel that they should be able to hunt and fish mine. Just the way it is up here.
I always did a top end fruit basket at Christmas with a handwritten note of thanks. Didn't feel like it was overdoing it and got the point across that I was very thankful. One of them called my wife (before cell phones were everywhere) and thanked her! Luckily, my wife knew how hard I worked to find places and let the LO know that was just a small token of my appreciation.
I've helped vaccinate a fair number of cows to help out. Offered to do that for the fellow in Wyoming that lets me hunt pronghorns on his property, but we'll see if he takes me up on it. a 20 pack of MGD in bottles seems to keep him quite happy when I visit.
How about a nice pendleton blanket for the both of them.
I remove nuisance wildlife for a living. One of my LO lets me hunt in exchange for critter control. It was my idea, not theirs. They went from a customer to a LO.
Another gets a bottle of Grey Goose l'orange vodka when he signs my permit, and a gift card to a restaurant for him and his wife at the holidays, along with a note with my gratitude.
I've brought fresh killed turkey, home grown chickens, venison, and baked goods to other home owners.
Here is the #1 aspect of good landowner relations. It is not about a gift or sweat equity. It is about being a friend. Treat them as a good friend and that is just what they become. Drop by for a visit, not work, or hunt or anything, just to say hello and chat. Call them every now and then and ask how they are doing. Invite them to meet you for lunch for no reason but to go to lunch. Simple things like that, are worth more than any gift. BUILD a relationship on friendship, not acreage.
I had a landowner who was a friend also. Owned several thousand acres in Brown County Ohio. Great deer country.
One night he called and asked for some tracking advice. He new I was on midnight shift.
I said give me 45 minutes to an hour And I will be over. He new I took one of my 5 personal days per year to help him track.
I? also annually transported hay and ran the tractor with the hay rake in tow every single year. I? begged to let me run the combine and Both Tom and his Dad Harry said (Kelly not a fing chance) lmao
I was given permission for life after that.
Lmao skip forward 10 years and he got tired of farming sold his farm for a blue fortune, and then bought a lake front house with a 1 acre lot....
funny stuff Ambush that old chevy was not quite ready for a road trip! after reading the thread even I got some new ideas to thank my LOs I don't think the cheese cake would make it to him lol id eat it MikeC
Like Lou mentioned I am always in trouble with my landowner friend as when I hear them talk about something they want or need I just buy it for them. They always give me grief and want to pay for it, I just tell them that it is cheap for what I am getting but they think I work too much helping them when I am there. I help brand, move cattle, drive grain trucks, mend fence and fix things around the house/ranch etc. For this I get a place to stay in their house and they feed me also, not sure I could ever do enough to cover all that.
Everyone who has commented here has one thing in common, we have all met some great Americans. I have had coffee, been invited to parties, graduations, and spent the night in L.Os homes. I have had some outstanding hunting provided by these folks over many years, and I will remember it for the rest of my life. I always tried to show my appreciation in some small way and while some were hesitant to take it, I know it was appreciated. Just a tip: don't give liquor unless you are sure it is OK.