Sometimes the excitement of a new piece of hunting property can seem like you are holding a giant gold nugget, till a little more light is shed on the place, then the nugget just starts dwindling away. In August of this year we leased a piece of property that we have hunted before, but at no charge. This year we wanted to make sure and lease it to keep others off and give us that sense of comfort in knowing that our duck pond was secure. We killed over 100 ducks on this pond in the 2012 Waterfowl Season and didn’t really think there would be any reason to not lease it… for the right price?!?
With an abundance of duck feeding on this pond, we knew we were doing the right thing, especially since we guide duck hunts, we knew this would be a good little honey hole, but at the same time we were blinded to the negative aspects of the pond. We knew there was the probability of poachers and other trespassers because of no fence to surround the small 10 acre lot next to a busy county road, but we didn’t think it would be this bad. So far, broken bottles, trash, animal carcasses, shotgun hulls, beavers, syringes, and lily pads, have kept us on our toes and have given us quite the chore to clean this place up.
With all the negative aspects coming to light, we realized there are a couple things we are going to have change in order to keep our hunting top notch.
We cannot take a dog to hunt and retrieve our duck!. There are just too many broken bottles, syringes, and scr
ap metal laying around. Last year, we had a dog cut its foot open and could not hunt for 45 days. And it was not a cheap vet bill, but what hurt us most is we have to wait for our duck to float to a bank before we can pick them up, which can be a real time consumer if there is no wind.
People do not care if they are trespassing! While we were hunting, people would drive up and sternly say, “This is private property, you cannot hunt here!” and to our reply, “We know, the owner is hunting with us… and who are you?”. This happened on multiple occasions, even if the landowner was with us or not. At least the trespassers didn’t seem to hang around long after trying to scare us because they didn’t want us hunting over their weekend getaway fishing pond.
We went ahead and decided to start the “No Trespassing” process, but it still does not keep people from just driving around it. Hopefully, with a little clean-up effort and paying a neighbor to watch the place a little more, we will have ourselves a nice little duck pond to dominate for the upcoming season.
Leasing a great place to hunt can be extremely rewarding, but at the same time, make sure all the ducks are in a row so you are not bombarded with an all around clean up effort. It all may look like fun and games…until the dog goes down!