Hunting on public land is fantastic, but every hunter should also experience the unique joy of hunting on private land. Hunters who try both know they provide distinctly different experiences.
This guide explains how private land hunting differs from public land hunting and offers several ways to access private hunting lands.
Public Land Hunting
Most people hunt on public land because they can easily find access to it. Unfortunately, that means public lands often get overhunted. While that can make for a challenge, it can also leave you with many empty hunting trips.
Private Land Hunting
Private land hunting provides a different hunt through exclusivity. By limiting the hunting done on their property, private landowners can craft the perfect habitat for the game and the perfect environment for the hunters.
Utah allows hunting on private land unless the landowner posts that they want no trespassing or hunting.
How do you get access to private hunting land?
You have several ways of accessing private land to hunt on, from reserving a private hunting resort to asking a rancher for permission. The best option for you will depend on what you want out of your hunt and your budget.
Try these ideas to gain access to private hunting lands.
Invest In An All-Inclusive Hunting Experience
The simplest way to ensure a fulfilling hunting trip is by opting for an all-inclusive hunting excursion at a mature, pristine high fence hunting ground. These high-end hunting ranches are virtually resorts.
Not All Private Hunting Land is the Same
Any private ranch could call itself private hunting land. But, some privately owned land makes for terrible hunting grounds. For example, a junkyard could be private land, but you probably don’t want to hunt in one, especially if you plan on eating your kill. Choose the private land you hunt wisely.
In Utah, high fence ranches, like West Canyon Ranch, issue permits from the state, limiting the number of hunters on the land and putting more protections on young game. Those limitations cultivate a prime selection of mature animals to hunt.
Exclusive facilities each offer unique perks to give you a hunting excursion unlike any other.
- Get your flights, lodging, licenses, and field dressing all included.
- Hunt mature animals.
- Get thousands of acres for your party to hunt without competition.
- Eat meals prepared by a private chef.
- Streamline your hunt with a private hunting guide.
Any or all of these incentives can make your private land hunt a memorable one.
Hire An Hunting Outfitter
Booking a hunt with an experienced outfitter is another option for a great outing. Most outfitters guide you on a hunt through private land. They may even lease a hunting ranch like those discussed in the section above.
Hiring an outfitter may seem like adding a middle man, but on the other hand, they usually have established relationships with the ranches and can negotiate bulk rates. They can also streamline your excursion to focus more on the hunt and less on the accommodations.
Book A Semi-Guided Hunt
A semi-guided hunt can be more affordable than a full-on outfitted excursion. Let your guide show you the lay of the land and the traditional hotspot. Then after a day or two, they can leave you on your own to hunt.
Lease A Private Ranch
Pay trespass fees or a lease agreement to a ranch or private landowner to get permission to hunt their land.
You may struggle to find available properties because everybody wants a good hunting ground. Wildlife or fish and game agencies often partner with ranch owners to encourage the development of more good hunting land. They can help you find ranches open to hunting.
Get A Walk-in Access Property Authorization Number
Speaking of local wildlife agencies partnering with private landowners, the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources leases private land for public hunting. The agency and the hunter must abide by the rules agreed to by the landowner in the lease.
To hunt on Walk-in Access (WIA) properties, you need an authorization number. You can register for an authorization number free online. You must have your authorization number on you at the time of the hunt.
Knock On The Door and Ask
If all else fails, simply walk up to the door and ask the owner when you find a private property you would like to hunt. They may say no, but they may begin negotiations. It will help if you establish a relationship with the landowner.
If you take this approach, look for a good parcel of hunting land. The ideal land will have most of the following features.
- Signs of the wildlife you plan to hunt
- Sufficient acreage to support a healthy wildlife population
- Woodlands and/or wetlands
- Adjacent to other hunting lands
- Places you can hide and wait easily
- Multiple entrances and exits
With such a variety of ways to access private hunting land, you could find yourself on the hunt of a lifetime soon.
Is it legal to hunt on your own property?
It may be legal for you to hunt on your property, but it depends on many factors, including the location of your property, the size of your property, what species you intend to hunt, the season, and whether you have a permit.
If you own a large piece of land in a rural area, you can likely hunt on your property, but you must still obtain a tag for the game you intend to hunt. You may own the land, but the state owns the wildlife.
If you intend to allow other hunters to hunt on your land, you may qualify for programs offered by the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources that help you get a tag or reimburse you for using the land during hunting season.
Do you need a license to hunt on private land?
Yes. You need a license to hunt on private land, even if you own the land. That’s one of the reasons to book your hunting excursion at an all-inclusive, private hunting ranch, like West Canyon Ranch. “All-inclusive” means the facility handles everything, including the licensure.
Why West Canyon Ranch is a Hunter’s Private Land Paradise
Discover the unmatched experience of having over 4,000 pristine acres of hunting grounds you don’t have to share with anyone outside your party. That’s what you get at West Canyon Ranch. We continually cultivate our mature game and pristine landscape and have for generations. But the beautiful, sprawling land is just the beginning.
West Canyon Ranch provides everything you need for the perfect hunt.
We handle your flight, lodging, and licensing. We provide delicious meals prepared by a professional private chef. Your hunt at West Canyon Ranch comes with a professional hunting guide to help you navigate the vast area. We also field dress your kill for you.
Come get the optimal hunting experience at West Canyon Ranch.