Stop Trespassers From Poaching on Your Property
If you are like most whitetail deer hunters, the last thing you wish to deal with on opening day is a two legged intruder strolling under your stand and ruining your hunt.
The most dedicated of us invest large amounts of time into preparing our property for hunting season. This investment helps to increase the size of the herd and quality of the deer living there.
As part of this investment, you've probably spent the entire Summer season growing food plots and manicuring your land. You've turned it into a huge buck sanctuary. So now, you want to reap the reward when hunting season arrives.
To help prevent issues with poachers throughout the whitetail season, I have a few suggestions you should follow to prepare your property. Some of these techniques are actual physical prep work that need to be done on your property and others are to help with any potential legal ramifications.
Make Your Property Borders Safe and SecureClick thumbnail to view full-size
Enlist The Help Of Neighbors
One of the first and quite frankly best ways to secure your property is by asking other property owners around you to help. To be honest, they probably have a vested interest as well, especially if they are deer hunters too.
So, if you have owned the property you hunt on for any length of time, hopefully you have a great relationship with next-door neighbors. If you do, they can serve as additional eyes and ears when you are not around.
How do you get them to help you?
Be a good neighbor. Offer to assist them with tasks around their property. This not only builds good rapport with them, it helps them with something that they need to get done and provides you an opportunity to have a greater discussion with them.
While you're helping them, speak with them about the deer herd. Focus the conversation not only about helping to keep poachers off your property (and theirs, because you will look out for them) but talk about how you can improve the quality & quantity of the deer that frequent your area.
As you may know, most deer remain within a two mile area. They eat, bed and breed all within that area. Talk about starting a deer management program of sorts between your properties. If you can get them to commit to a plan of action with regard to a management program for these whitetails, it will improve the quality of bucks throughout the area, not simply on your lot.
This is important, the more help you have with this the better. A quality management program allows you to feed these deer the different types of food that they need throughout the year. If you feed them the right stuff, they will grow huge bone and they will want to remain in the area, because they can find all the nutrition they need.
So keep in mind, unless you have countless acres, bucks will roam onto and off of your land as well as your neighbors. So working together benefits everyone.
Fix Fences On Your Property LineClick thumbnail to view full-size
This may seem like a no brainer, but you would be surprised how many land owners I talk to figure, if you can see the fence, even a broken one, that should be enough to keep people out.
How wrong they are!
Take the time to make any needed repairs to your property lines. This is definitely something that is time consuming and of course labor intensive, but well worth the effort. If you don't make the necessary repairs, besides having human visitors, you're likely to get some food plot freeloaders such as livestock that may roam through your inadequate fencing.
Fix & Add Necessary Signage
As you roam around the perimeter of your property, make repairs to the signs and markers along the whole border. When you do, it be precisely what you need to inform anybody of the exact location of your property line.
How and where should you set up these signs?
It is equally important to place new signs as you repair the old ones. Make sure that they can all be seen clearly from all angles. This means that there should be no obstructions from branches or trees so that they are easy to read from a distance. The final element to consider when posting these signs is that each sign should be visible from the last. This provides a continuity to your property line.
What should these signs read you ask?
Use the KISS method here. Keep It Simple.
Hunters are passionate people. Sometimes we are not the most subtle characters on the planet either. As such, we often say things that are definitely not "politically correct."
Most hunters would probably put up a sign that reads something like "Trespasser Will Be Shot." And while we probably are truly thinking it, we can't post it. If something does happen with a trespasser on your property, you just open up the door for a multitude of issues.
The bottom line is the signage you use should be clear and certainly not threatening. Use something simple like, "No Trespassing."
Secure Every Vehicle Entrance
Do you have more than one entrance for people to drive onto your property?
Most property owners who hunt on their land often have multiple points to enter from with their vehicle. While this is convenient for the purposes of property upkeep, it makes it difficult to stop trespassers from getting onto your land.
So, the more entrances you have, the more gates you will need to secure. Make sure each gate is signed and padlocked. This not only makes it difficult for vehicles to drive onto your property, but if someone want's to, they're going to have to cut the lock, which is a criminal act.
During hunting season especially, it is best to use a primary entrance. This should be a gate that is relatively easy to monitor and keeps any vehicular traffic on your land coming through only one opening.
Consider Using TechnologyClick thumbnail to view full-size
Technology advances every day. These advancements can be the property owners best friend.
Embrace technology and use security cameras to help secure your entire property. Now these cameras don't need to be hard wired into a control room that's monitored all day long (although while I think about it, how awesome would that be).
A better idea and one that is probably more affordable for the average hunter is using trail cameras to keep track of the borders of your property. These days, new camera designs can send you images and video directly to your cellular phone.
How awesome is that?
But, even if you cannot manage to afford any of these high tech gizmos, you can likely pay for a sign telling would-be trespassers that your property is monitored by video 24/7.
This is not a perfect situation, but it would buy you some time to start purchasing trail cameras slowly to help monitor your property.
At the end of the day, this sign might be all you need to keep a potential intruder off your property.
Tell Us What You Do
Do you use cameras to help keep trespassers off your property?
Have Someone Live On The Property
Finally, does your hunting property have another house on it?
Many property owners don't necessarily live on the land that they hunt. But, if the land your hunting on is not your primary place of residence, but it does have a house or trailer on it, think about leasing it to a reliable friend or relative that can see to things when you're not there.
Doing this has an added bonus of being a potential revenue source for you as well. But, perhaps, in the interest of mutual benefit, you should consider some kind of discount to entice them to be your eyes & ears especially during hunting season.
Some of these enticements could include a discount on rent, giving them exclusive rights to hunt on the property or perhaps giving them some of the venison when you fill your tag.
Either way, you have a caretaker for the property.
Pulling It All Together
Taking a little time to mark your hunting property now will definitely save you from having unwanted headaches throughout deer hunting season not to mention, potentially more and better whitetail to hunt when the time comes.
Getting your land properly signed and secured will not only help eliminate human poachers, but the four legged kind like cows.
The benefits go far beyond that though. If you do have your land properly marked and secured and trespassers are found there, then they are subject to criminal prosecution.
And, should things need to go down this unfortunate path, then the likelihood is high that the charges brought will stick because you have done your due diligence as a responsible property owner.
© 2015 Keith