A poll by huntersurvey.com found that 23 percent, or one in 4 hunters, lost access to private land they had hunted for years, or at least had their access to that land significantly restricted. Looking inside those numbers, 52 percent of the respondents who had lost access said their hunting time was reduced as a result; 11 percent said the loss of land/access kept them from hunting altogether. In short, they threw in the towel.
Land changes ownership…properties are sold and subdivided…well-off sportsmen and clubs lease up ground–all reasons the average deer hunter is getting squeezed off the best lands with the best deer hunting. This loss of access is the biggest threat to whitetail hunting. How can we retain our numbers and bring in new hunters if there is less and less good private ground to hunt?
When I was a boy growing up in VA, I could hunt almost anywhere I wanted. Today, all those lands have been developed or locked up. Today I could never have developed to be the hunter I have become.
How has loss of access affected you? Have you lost your best properties in recent years? Are you hunting less because of it? I suspect some of you are.