The last thing you want to deal with on opening day is a trespasser walking under your stand and blowing up your hunt. This is especially true if you’ve spent the summer growing food plots and manicuring your property into a big buck sanctuary. To avoid problems with trespassers during the hunting season, follow these strategies now.
First, have a good relationship with neighbors. They can serve as extra eyes and ears if you don’t happen to live near the land you’re managing/hunting. Offer to help them out with chores and urge them to join you in a Quality Deer Management (www.qdma.com) program thus boosting the quality of bucks throughout the region, not just on your property. Remember, unless you own thousands of acres, bucks will wander onto and off of your land.
Next, define your property boundaries. Begin by making sure all fences are stretched and not sagging. This guarantees trespassers can’t use the excuse “I didn’t see the fence.” It also helps keep out food plot freeloaders such as cattle that might wander across an ineffective collection of wire. Last year a friend of mine from Wisconsin lost his food plot to hungry bovine, but luckily he had time to get a fall plot in before hunting season opened.
As you wander your property boundaries, fix visual markers along the entire boundary to notify anyone of the boundary. Place signs within site of each other and make sure they are durable, visual from a distance and marked with a clear warning that’s not offensive. Signs that say “violators will be shot” often annoy and even encourage risk takers. Whereas a sign that simply says “no trespassing” provides everything including the ability to prosecute if you catch a fence hopper.
Another chore includes securing other entrances and installing a main gate that channels all traffic through one opening. Invest in a high-quality steel gate or consider having a welding shop create a heavy-framed gate for you.
Surveillance should also be considered. If the property does have a livable home consider renting it to a trusted person that can watch the property for any invaders. You can also trail cameras to monitor the boundaries of your property. New models can send you images and video via cell phone coverage or satellite. Lastly, even if you can’t afford the high-tech gadgets, you can afford a sign advertising surveillance. Many homeowners purchase surveillance warning signs even though they don’t actually have any cameras. Sometimes that’s all it takes to make a crook or trespasser think twice.
A friend of mine from Kansas was showing me photos of bucks on his property when a trespasser popped up on the viewing screen. My friend knew the trespasser, but that didn’t make the person’s actions any more legal.