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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
We have a few properties that we train on - all owned by people that we know, and most of them have a small understanding of what we do. There is a piece of property that I've been eyeing that would be really nice to train on - but I don't know the owners. So, when you approach a stranger, how do you go about asking permission? I mean, how much do you tell them about what you do? I'm in a sales position at my "day job" :rolleyes:, so talking to strangers is not an issue for me. I'm just trying to figure out what my "hook" is. You only get about 10 seconds to hook someone before they start to lean towards telling you to take a hike and leave them alone.

So, what do YOU say in the first ten seconds when you approach someone??
 

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I just tell them like it is. I just recently got permission from a guy in a similar situation as you describe.

I was eyeing an area that was perfect in my eyes, so on my way home from work when I saw three trucks near the gate, I just stopped and started talking. I asked if they knew who was the owner for the property, and one guy said that he leases it. I explained that I wanted to train my lab for retrieveing and would really like to train there, because I had been eyeing it for about a year. I told him that I know how frustrating it is when people are on property without permission and I gave him my number, then waited for a call.

The next day, he had lost my number, but was flagging me down on the roadside at a stop sign, because he remembered me and the fact that I took the time to ask for permission. So he gave me the combo to the lock and told me where he had another piece of property with a pond on it for training as well.

I am a stong believer in just asking.

Good Luck, Mark
 

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"Would you like to have cleaner carpets?" No wait... that will get you the business end of a gun.
 

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I just did this yesterday.I had some spots that interested me. We live in a terrible spot for training. The good training is 1 1/2 hours in either direction. The close spots either lack water or you can't shoot. I need some closer spots so I went banging on doors. I brought my best behaved dog with in case they wanted to see what we do. I had some dummies,etc. I didn't bring guns or anything to worry them about liabilities,etc. I brought business cards and cards to our retriever photo site so if they could look at dog training photos to see what we do on their own time if they want too. I got a few doors with nobody home,and one possible lead to call on Tuesday. I have another maybe,just a hayfield at a horsefarm but I'll take it if I can. They sound positive but need to ask their co-owner(sister). It's just like knocking doors on Halloween only you say "Trick or Training" when you knock.
 

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The only time I've had an issue was using a Popper in city pints. Be up front and tell them EVERYTHING. Trucks, ATVS, Popper's etc.
 

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I just did this yesterday.I had some spots that interested me. We live in a terrible spot for training. The good training is 1 1/2 hours in either direction. The close spots either lack water or you can't shoot. I need some closer spots so I went banging on doors. I brought my best behaved dog with in case they wanted to see what we do. I had some dummies,etc. I didn't bring guns or anything to worry them about liabilities,etc. I brought business cards and cards to our retriever photo site so if they could look at dog training photos to see what we do on their own time if they want too. I got a few doors with nobody home,and one possible lead to call on Tuesday. I have another maybe,just a hayfield at a horsefarm but I'll take it if I can. They sound positive but need to ask their co-owner(sister). It's just like knocking doors on Halloween only you say "Trick or Training" when you knock.
Howdy I. B.!
How do we get to the photos site?

HPL
 

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PPPPPP. (You know the drill.)

A phone call or a letter won't cut it, any land owner will want to judge you in person, face to face.

First yourself .... be clean and tidy, reasonably smartly dressed and in a clean vehicle. Have a few cards made up with your name, address, home phone, mobile and email details. It should also carry a brief status of your insurance. Take a trained and steady dog, but keep him in the vehicle. No guns.

Find out who owns the land, have a name you can use, and have some local names that you can give as references. If he's a farmer don't interrupt his lunch!

If you do get hold of him, just introduce yourself, state your business, and ask an open question. "Hello Mr Doomladen, Joe Slitmethroat at Swamp of Despond Farm advised me to contact you. I'm an amateur gun dog trainer in need of some land to train on; Joe thought you might have something suitable. Are you familiar with gun dogs and their training at all, some sort of water, a lake or a pond is what I'm looking for."

Smile.

I do something like this pretty regularly when looking for woodpigeon shooting and I've hardly ever been refused, card as below.

Woodpigeon Control Service

Safe and reliable pigeon shooting on arable crops by a CLA and BASC member. Sound moderated guns can be used if preferred.

Eugene Molloy

01686 ****** or Mobile ****** 15270

£20,000,000 Public liability insurance through BASC. References available.


Eug (Posted this as HPL was doing the same above)
 

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I watched a nice piece of land (vacant) with some great water on it for 2 years, but I never saw a person on it.
So I went to the local county courthouse and got the name and mailing address of the person who pays the taxes on it.
I wrote him a letter introducing myself. I told him what I do with my dog and why his pond would be so great to train on.
I made sure to tell him that I would air my dog before I came there and that it was my goal to leave the land as I found it. Basicly he would never know I was there.
I also included a pic of myself and my dog with some ribbons. I thought it was important that he had a face to go along with the letter.
When I sent the letter I had no idea if I had the right guy or if I would even get a response. I also included my email address and phone number to make it easier for him to respond to me.
He sent me a email within a week. He loved the pic of my dog and thought it was cool that I was so impressed with his pond. He gave me permission to use his land as much as I wanted. :eek:
I printed a copy of the email and keep it in my truck just in case i get questioned my somebody.
 

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Nevermind the "hook". Be a person,not a salesperson.It might take more than the 1st 10 seconds.
Tell them what you need and why,and why their property would work,if you get that far.
JMHO
 

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One local chicken farmer tah has a great pond never buys a meal at Zaxby's.
Most people I know let me train just by asking. No sales pitch, just ask and tell the truth.
MP
 

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Tracy:
First find out if they are an Alabama Fan or an Auburn Fan. Change your bumper stickers if you need to.

Apple pies work great. Also let them know that you are part of AKC and what you do.

Good luck.
 

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It never hurts to offer a helping hand....Most property owners/farmers/ranchers/etc.etc. have much work ,maintenance,up-keep to do on their property. Many will ask to use it, FEW will offer to help with the work.

Has always worked for me.
 

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In my experience most people are so surprised that someone is actually asking they will allow you to train or hunt on the property. It is amazing how awestruck a person can get when someone goes about doing things the right way.
 

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Good post, I have had a hard time with this one a well. For me though, it is asking to hunt. Two different things: Back in the day, it was relatively easy to gain access to bird hunting. Times, they are a changin! I am very fortunate to have long term relationships with some landowners. Never been a salesmen, just honest. That's it! And, it is a genuine relationship.

I still hate to ask that question," Can I hunt on your property" Not easy, never comfortable. But, I am in the trenches at times.


I have hunted ducks/pheasants on one property for 24 years in Colusa. Frank has become a close friend since I first asked right out of college. In fact, he took me up flying last year to check out the butte sink ( 87 years old and an incredible pilot).

We have maintained a friendship, and we do dinner (Louis Cairo) a few times a year.

And, when something is needed (only happened a few times )I will be there in a heart beat. Incredible person--WWII generation.

For dawg training, I would think most that have water would understand and give access. Technical ponds more difficult for obvious reasons.

It does come down to integrity and honesty, and respect for the land. My neighbor has trespass issues once a week , and he chases all of them away. But, I have never seen him say no when someone comes and asks politely to fish the river. I don't think he is alone.
 

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It never hurts to offer a helping hand....Most property owners/farmers/ranchers/etc.etc. have much work ,maintenance,up-keep to do on their property. Many will ask to use it, FEW will offer to help with the work.

Has always worked for me.
This is the route I took and it has paid off. When I am out on someone property I pick up any old barbwire, trash, hay bail strings, anything that could hurt a calf. I also offer to help. I just spoke with one of my land owners and offered to pay for some swinging gates and help install them. Every Christmas they get a bottle of Gentleman Jack and a Christmas card with my dog, now dogs on it. This past hunting season we earned big brownie points by keeping the geese off the ranchers wheat, a plus for everyone.
 

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I have a Mock Letter that is used by my brother and I for permission to hunt(Bow Only) on private land. People enjoy a letter sometimes more so than the face to face where a little pressure might exist.

Always declare the amount of time (or lack thereof) you plan on spending there. Most folks immediately think the same thing;
“They’ll be on our land 25 hours a day, 8 days a week”…“we can’t have that!”
Assure them up front that will not be the case and remember it down the road.

Tell them that you declare to be 100% responsible and liable for ALL of your actions while utilizing their land.

Two biggest points to make;

1) Tell them you’ll follow up with them on (SET A DATE & TIME) via Phone.
-BE SURE to follow up ON THAT DATE & TIME! This is vital and will show your willingness to commit, be faithful, and your ability to be a man of your word.

2) Pledge and offer your labors and oversight of said land if granted permission. Meaning that you’re willing to CLEAN UP, CUT GRASS, PILE BRANCHES, Pick Cherries, Bath Horses or clip their Komodo Dragons nails. WHATEVER they need done on said land you are asking to use you need to be willing to do.

I know this sounds a little outlandish but here’s why I say that. Most folks I deal with that have land are elderly or are in their 50’s to 60’s and just don’t have the time to do some of these things and to be honest some 50 to 60 year olds don’t have the energy or health to get out there and get it done either these days. In this way they don’t have to pay you, you just want access to their land. Helping them out doing whatever they need done is a great sign of commitment and effort on your part. The reality is that if granted access they’ll most likely never ask you to do anything anyway. But having it as an option is a huge plus. Also you don’t have to ask to pick up trash around their Land/Pond if granted access. Doubtful they will scorn you for beautifying their land.

Be warned, old folks, especially widows, will work the crap out of you! Lol but Hey! It’s the cost of not having your own land right? Suck it up!

I can e-mail you the Mock Letter if you want. Let me know.

*Warning* Also be prepared to deal with the owners family. Sometimes the communication between them is not good. You might be fishing in a pond you got permission for and the Uncle shows up pissed OFF and attempts to run you off. ALWAYS just run off. Never argue with a family member. Tell them ‘John’ gave you permission but if they’d like you to leave you will. Then call the property owner and tell them what happen. Let them deal with their own family. It’s just the nature of the beast, each family has assholes in it and sometimes you run in to them. Always take the high road and be polite, courteous and apologetic, while leaving if need be.







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