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Hoping this helps someone in need of an idea.
As hunters we like to show our appreciation to the landowners that grant us access to their land each year. I like to drive around and do my rounds at Christmas time, as the kids are off school and it's something we can do together. I used to drop off portions of roast, sausage, pepperonis etc from my deer, but I often worried that if they didn’t care for the meat, or possibly were even too afraid to try it, a package like that might even be overwhelming. For some a bottle of whisky or wine is nice, but then I’ve found myself worried about what sort of “image” that presents, or then there’s always the concern of perhaps causing someone to stumble who is recovering from addiction and so on.
So, two years ago I started going to an oils and vinegars shop and getting a nice black box with a premium oil and vinegar. I always think it gives off a classy gift vibe. I’ll usually pair this with a fine cheese of some sort, and one ring of garlic sausage. I find this allows them to “try” some deer, and perhaps even in some way feel “connected” to the meat that was taken on their property, but it isn’t overwhelming.
Post up some of your landowner gift ideas!
I had a hundred gallons of gas delivered to a landowner that let me hunt his place for years. This was around 1990.... I don’t remember how much gas was then. He had a big pig for gas in his yard for his tractor.
Walleyes, lots of walleye fillets. They always seem to go over good. Most landowners here have all kinds of meat and meat products from their own livestock. However not many of them find the time they would like to fill the freezer with fish. I am more than happy to oblige!
We always do gift cards to a nice restaurant and it's hand delivered along with a platter of homemade holiday christmas goodies and candy and a heart felt thank you and hug.
Kscatman76, that’s what I’d do. KSU grad, I assume?
I have calendars made with pictures of me for each months. The summer months are always their favorite. July and August I always have picture of myself in one of my speedo's fishing!
On a serious note a few years ago. I bought a dozen or so nice pocket knives and gave them out to landowners I hunted on. They were bokers and a friends wife worked for them at the time so I got them at cost. I think I paid twenty something each for fifty something dollars knives.
I gave a rancher a gift card once for a nice restaurant and he got upset, told me to never do that again, that he didn't expect any payment for letting me hunt and didn't like that I thought I needed to. So I never did again and we became very good friends after that. I helped him with ranch chores for a couple days instead, which he seemed to appreciate more.
Landowners are proud of their property, much of which has been in the family for generations. A nice, framed aerial or topo map of their property with a name placard would be cherished by most
A helping hand goes farther in my area. Most of the farmers here are a one man band. So just simple things like moving equipment or filling a planter are a big help.
One person I hunt on likes venison hamburger so I take them some every year. I have hunting on that property for almost 50 years. On another property I help the landowner by cutting firewood, trimming around the fields, or anything else he wants done. Of course he is a cousin and we often hunt and fish together.
Hmmmm tickets to Alan Jackson after he mentioned he liked him.....a handwoven rug from overseas to another guy......but 99 percent of hunting on public land...
I take my land owner Tuna fishing, we stop at the crab grounds and dump pots for Dungeness crab on the way out as well
Being on both sides of this, I give gift cards to local restaurants with a thank you card. Some that are short handed, I did their chores while they were gone on holidays or vacation. Some wanted some summer sausage or deer dogs or fish. Some just wanted a thank you! Get to know your land owner and it really isn't to hard to figure out what they would like.
I do the walleyes also and a visa gift card at Christmas.
Jaquomo X2, except I still buy many things for them even though I get scolded for it, I just keep telling them that I am so far behind with them I could never catch up. Also help move cattle, drive grain truck, branding, fixing fence, handy man things around the house etc.
Some labor and a bulk pack of work gloves is usually appreciated.
Here is a funny story for a guy in NE we turkey hunted on. He was a older guy who's wife had passed away. He always enjoyed company and liked to visit. We would always take him to breakfast/lunch at a little diner that was about 10-15 mins from his house. Well it got to the point that when he knew we were out there. He would start driving through his river bottom and stumble up on us. I am talking like 7:30 or 8:00 in morning. He would always say something to the effect of "oh I didn't know you guys where out here, hope I did mess up your hunt, but since I am here you guys want to go get breakfast?" We would say sure and off to breakfast we went. Got to the point we did not tell him we were coming and after the first morning hunt we would go over to his house and take him to lunch at lunch time.
My daughter and buddies son both killed several turkeys out there over the year. We would send him a picture of them with their kill. He always would have the pictures hung up the next year when we showed up.
That wasn't all that funny, John. :)
Whocares what you think is funny! ;0-
I tap several hundred Maple trees every spring, I end up with 50 to 75 gallons of pure Maple syrup. The ranchers I give it to look forward to it every year. If I don't draw a tag and cant hunt there property that year I always mail them some at Christmas time.
Hickory Farms meat and cheese tray, with gift card. Never had any say I can’t come back next year, although I know a few that would like Scoots idea!
We deliver Honey Baked Hams. They seem to be real popular. It gives them a quick easy meal and the ladies of the house love it. We always bring a bag of dinner rolls too with a fancy mustard so they can make sandwiches. Usually the ranches/farms we hunt have some hired hands so the landowner always has something to feed everyone especially at harvest time.
I'd say Big Bear and Bou'bound Are the win so far
Landowners whether they are ranchers or farmers have the same issues in life as all of us. They worry about bills, taxes, schools for their kids etc etc
Cheese trays and fish are awesome but maybe not the total win win. Who knows though as everybody is different
Free labor.....and hopefully being a good neighbor/friend.
I just finished four days of cowboying out on my deer spot. He appreciates that more than any gift I could give. When we go out to dinner with our girlfriends after New Years, he will insist on paying, for the help I provide. He thinks getting four days of semi-skilled labor is a great deal for what he considers not much on his part. I consider it a bargain for the great privilege of bowhunting big deer for a month with the run of the place, electric hookup for my camper. Truly a sembiotic relationship.
For those hunting mostly public land what do you give uncle Sam the landowner? Tax money, slave labor, tears of pain, etc ...
My wife crochets,so she made them a thick blanket,,for the frozen tundra of Nebraska ...,i too offered some ranch help prior to next years hunt...
Redoak said: "I tap several hundred Maple trees every spring, I end up with 50 to 75 gallons of pure Maple syrup. " Hmmmmmmmm.... :)
I share the take with the landowner, which usually turns out to be my wife, and I pay county, state, and federal taxes to hunt those lands. I once got permission to hunt geese on a farm, and got my limit. I came back to thank the landowner and share the bounty. His gorgeous daughter answered the door and I was like a deer in the headlights, handed her a goose, said "Tell your dad, 'Thanks!' I wish he was my father-in-law". She smiled, and I left speechless, but I never went back. Stupid, youthful missed opportunity that was.
Free labor on the farms and properties I've hunted has always been appreciated. A case of beer, a couple packs of venison "goodies" or both is usually welcome as well depending on the land owner's tastes.
I most years get a shipment of Alto cheese from WI it’s a big hit down here in TN !
I distribute meat to a few who I know enjoy it.
MPauls, I like that. I've done the local restaurant gift card option, and more recently done a really nice gift basket from a local country store - it included things like oil/vinegar, fancy crackers, fruit, nice cookies and gourmet hot cocoa etc. They really enjoy it. That said, I only have one private land spot at this point so I dont have to buy for multiple folks.
One year we did a "monthly" box of citrus from Florida. They liked it the first month, when they were home... But they opted to spend the rest of the winter in AZ (they are artists and sometimes go places to paint), so most of the boxes were eaten by the house sitter. Keep that in mind if you get folks something - may be best to just get a one time nice thing vs a "subscription" in case they travel.
It's awesome to see everyone thinking of this stuff!
I am pretty much settled on Gift cards. One of my landowners asked me to stop - they are rich and they didn't need it. Another is a farmer who gives me coyote permission - I give him a gift card to TSC. Besides those two, I am the landowner and I give myself gifts all the time.
I've helped landowners preg-check cattle, mend fences, plowed their drives after heavy snow storms, rototilled their horse arena, and repaired rotting decks on their house. I think all of those things were more appreciated than any gift I could buy them.
That's pretty funny, Trapper. I do similar to Jaq with a cattle rancher friend of mine where I stay in North Dakota for pheasant hunting. He and his wife kind of adopted me years ago and I stay right with them like family. And occassionally Janet manages to invite one of her single friends over, just by chance, to meet their pheasant hunter. But I manage to outsmart her. Anyway, I help Henry with the chores everyday when done hunting. I've helped with weaning hundreds of calves, fixed fence, rounded up and moved cows by horseback, sorted heifers for shipping, etc. Came in one day and he was doing pregnancy tests on bred heifers to ship. He said, come here, this is something new you can learn to do. That's where I drew the line. No way! Offered to go pick rocks! But it sure is fun going there and helping out. Pheasant hunting is great.
Brotsky....Are you and Kia coming turkey hunting again this year??!! ;-)
Similar to Grey Ghost and others, I had a few landowners in Oklahoma that I helped build fence, chore for them when they went somewhere, vaccinate/brand cattle, general repairs, pour concrete, etc. I would also keep them well stocked in fish fillets. MPauls brought up a good point about the alcohol thing.
I’m very fortunate in that, like Pat, I’m the landowner now, but I do have one other landowner that I have permission to walk across his field to access the backside of my property. I give him and his wife venison salami/sticks/ brats/etc every year.
One of my landowners likes Grey Goose L'orange Vodka, so I bring a bottle when he signs my permission. Then I bring or send a gift card to him and his wife to a restaurant at end of season.
Another is a Convent, and the Sisters are all great. They love the venison, cakes, or anything else I bring. I also take care of any wildlife problems they have throughout the year (I do wildlife control for a living).
I picked up a great property this season and don't really know the owner very well, so it'll be gift cards to him until I know more of his personal life, along with wildlife control as needed.
It's easier getting gifts for my landowners than it is for my wife. Lol.
We own a Frazier fir tree farm here in East Tenn and we always take a Christmas tree and wreath to landowners in Ohio and Illinois
when I hauled seafood to NYC & Boston I could get 1# lobsters for for 60$ a dozen I never got nothing but big smiles & thanks when I gave landowners a box of lobsters before x mas. these days there's a good seafood restaurant by my house all the locals go to & I give out gift certificates from the restaurant. another great gift especially for a working farmer is a carhartt jacket with the farm name embroideryed on it what makes this such a great thank you gift is EVERY time they put it on they'll think of the gift you gave
I have given a monetary token to help toward land tax payments. I have also given gift cards for land owner favorite restaurants. This token allow the landowner to share with his family members.
Both seem to have been appreciated
We do tractor work as needed(older retired couple),cards/flowers on the holidays and some walleye's for sure.We are the caretakers when they are away; usually six months of the year.Last of all were are good friends;go to dinner ect.
We normally do a gift card to a nice staek house as we know the property owners like a certain place and we accompany that with a couple bottles of fine wine. I have bow hunted the same place since 1992. This year we are gonna do cash and put a little note in that says "some standing corn would be nice next year!! LOL!! Shawn
On the Ranch I pig hunt on, I always bring the Landowner elk and venison. Even though the Landowner doesn't hunt anymore, his Wife was brought up in a hunting family, and knows how to prepare it.
They are always very happy to get it.
Yup gift cards from Fleet Stores.Just bought 6 today.The 'right' Fleet chains have things that suit any family member.I know 2 of guys I give to,turn them over to their kids.
Several land owners with different taste One likes fine wine , another farmer friend and his wife recent sold there cows and have more time on there hands They love basketball so we get them a pack of tickets for 10 games to the local boys and girls college games (UWGB) Anther gift I give is paper products (toilet paper ,napkins, toweling and heavy wipes ) my wife and I both work for a paper mill
Weed eating lots and lots of weed eating in the summer...That’s plenty, but I help with anything I can do for them if asked .
I keep bees so I always set aside a couple of dozen quarts of honey to give to my neighbors who let me roam around on their land and I also help with chores when I can.
I knew a guy who had his son marry the farmers daughter in exchange for long term hunting rights. She was uglier than his old bull so it really was a win win for the hunter and farmer and daughter but the son was the loser in that show of gratitude
Me and my wife make a bunch of food for harvest meals every year. I usually smoke some pork or brisket and she makes salads and desserts. I bring a folding table and chairs for a meal right in the field.
If I had to guess, I'd say that the guys I hunt on would just as well prefer I stop by for some conversation, rather than get a gift. I used to do that a little more, but these days it seems I don't get by as much as I'd like. Offering to help hasn't really worked for me; they usually decline the help. A small gift that shows you thought a little about what they might like is what I try to go for when I get gifts, but we also usually try to bring them some goodies like cookies at Christmas, etc. If a landowner is expecting you help with the taxes or get him several hundred in gift cards a year, you might as well get ready to look for another spot or pony up for the lease, imo. Although, I suppose that could be considered a small "gift" if you are hunting thousands of acres.
A handwritten letter of appreciation along with some green. In the letter, I like to explain how the time on their land is a gift to me, and perhaps something they might not fully understand. I always tell them that I know you never ask, or expect anything, but here is something you can use to either buy yourself something, or gift it forward. I always do two nice fish fries with them, and they always get summer sausage and jerky. When giving cash, I give it to them a solid week before Christmas comes, so they can use it when it might be most needed.
Cash or gift cards, that provides them some flexibility. No trinkets.
I fix fence, fix equipment, help move cattle, branding etc, drive them places, anything they need and also give them gifts if I know things that they need and can use.
We make maple syrup also, and give it to landowners. I like to joke that deer season starts in late January, turning maple sap into venison.
Without a doubt the best landowner gifts I ever have given out we're 1st when I was hauling seafood up north lobsters get cheap in the winter time. I could get 1lb or less (chick) lobsters for $60 a dozen. Give a landowner a box with a dozen lobsters and just watch em smile.
2nd is a nice Carhartt jacket with their name and the farm or establishment name embroidered on it. Every time they put it on they'll remember where it came from.
I gained access to a great bear hunting spot on a cornfield and I asked the land owner if he ate wild game and he said no so 15 minutes down the road is a meat market so I get him a gift card there every year.
I've designed and created blue prints for landowner house remodels, repaired decks and fencing, plowed snow in the winter, fed livestock and pets when landowners are away, helped brand and preg-check cattle, rototilled horse arenas, changed flat tires, and had my wife bake key lime pies for hunting access. Yeah, I'm a whore.
Gave lobsters one time to an elderly couple they loved that. This we cut and split 2.5 truck loads of wood for one lady that we hunt on.
I heard Embryoklahoma gives back rubs, and sometimes front rubs, just a rumor
2 different landowners both in thier nineties give my family and I exclusive permission to bowhunt we give one venison breakfast sausages and ring bologna and the other fresh garden veggies and cheese from the local cheese house where my son worked. When we head out west cheese always come with us being from Wisconsin they always remeber you.. one of our long time property owners in Iowa loves fresh honey my dad makes and this spring my buddy and I had thier 3 kids and them at thier farm a lunch fish fry with Eire walleyes. The just kept sayin it was the best fish they ever had. It was on thier place and in an hour they were right back to work. At the end the old man said his son had 360 acres he was buying and it was half timbered. Known one was gonna bowhunt it but us. It’s all about timing. :)
Local Honey goes along way.
I’m from Vermont, which is the largest producer of Maple Syrup in the US. I usually give a jug of the sweet stuff.
F—- U Sito. I give em’ the sausage. As in four rolls of of summer sausage. Two jalapeño and two regular. They love it. :)
Since I started beekeeping a few years ago I now give fresh local honey along with the usual fresh fish.
Forty years ago, we had a custom sign made up for one of our favorite ranches. We researched his cattle brand and had the name of the ranch and his brand carved/burnt into a big length of shaved juniper, Then the artist stained and sealed it. It was intended to hang horizontal across the entry of the family ranch driveway. It was absolutely beautiful. This was in the late 1970s and cost us $400. ($100. each) which was a lot of money back then. I happened to drive by the ranch twenty years ago and it was still leaning against his shed. Oh well!! bw
The landowner who let me hunt his 10k acres I made him a knife. Everyone can use a good knife.
I used to do something like this too, give game meat, but some people were vegans and I was embarrassed that I didn't get the gift right.
A gift card to the wife and 40cal ammo to the husband. What they like more then anything is for me and my hunting buddy to help him cut wood for his wood stove to make it through the winter.
These make good gifts. Warthog V-Sharp knife sharpener. I love mine, works great, quick & easy. Great for hunting or kitchen knives.
Last year I ordered some Powder River Premium Beef and had it delivered to their house. The landowners were very appreciative of it.
I have read this thread with interest . The common theme is we all show our appreciation. I try to visit with the landowners in the off season. A half hour visit not related to hunting is a nice gift . Helping on a chore while you chat is even better. I have been friends with one neighbor for years. He recounts how we first met. Within five minutes of meeting him I was under his bailer. I found and fixed a small problem. We still take the time to visit every year.
Boubound I'm just curious, are you still married to the Lil Ole farm gal?
Have done many things over the years. This year we took the landowner (elk hunt) some halibut, whiskey, and some rustic art work as a gift. My experience is anything that is unexpected is very well received.
My landowners get venison jerky, snack sticks, summer sausage. steaks and a "Thank You" card..
I serviced grain dryers until semi retiring 3 yrs ago. I still have my shop and have repaired electric motors for 47 yrs, since I was 20. The farmer where I hunt has a computer controller dryer . I do preseason service on it each fall , saving him $600-700 a year. Each morning and evening I check the dry moisture calibration ,either before or after hunting, when he is drying corn. One point of moisture above 15% or below costs him big money . Plus he gets all his electric motors repaired for free. A win win situation for both of us . No one allowed to hunt his farm but my wife and I . Deer ,coyote hunt and cut out firewood too.
One of the fellas that let me bear hunt on him was in his mid-80s and couldn’t get around or hunt anymore. He mentioned not having elk since he was a little boy, but said he sure remembered the elk meat from the year he lived up in Washington. Then he mentioned only trying bear once in his life when he was a boy at school lunch, he traded some kid part of his lunch in order to try some bear meat that the kid had brought from home. After bear season I brought him by some elk steaks and ground bear/bear roasts. He was over the moon. I usually spent about an hour or so visiting with him each time I’d check cameras there.
Another land owner I would move/check his trail cams since he lived 7 hours from the property, knew he loved fish so left about 50-75 filets with a handwritten thank you note in his cabin when I left.
The landowner I ended up killing my bear on owns 1500 acres and has just recently killed a brown bear and a 380” bull elk…. Still deciding on how to go about gifting him because that’s about all a guy could ever ask for!
They said never to bring alcohol in Bowhunters ed class. I used to do some of the sausage, brats, snack sticks but they shoot a lot of their own deer.
Framed pictures of the place on the farm, goodies for the kids on the holidays, help with the snow fence, watering trees,etc.
5 days of ranch work and I can hunt deer or elk on 25,000 acres. Eat like kings at the main house and when hunting season comes we have a house to stay in.
I hunt and fish the same property mostly. Different times of year I take them homemade blackberry and sand plum jelly, homemade deer jerky and summer sausage, fish filets, and on occasion have provided some carpentry/handyman services.