Gas Prices Have Hunters Exploring Local Opportunities

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Corey Graff
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Gas Prices Have Hunters Exploring Local Opportunities

Postby Corey Graff » Thu Sep 04, 2008 8:50 am

NEWTOWN, Conn. -- For many hunters, that 300-mile drive to deer camp may be put on hold this year. Unwilling -- or unable -- to spend more on gasoline than licenses and lodging, many hunters are checking out their options closer to home.

Recent surveys have shown that this is a national trend among American hunters. According to research conducted by Southwick Associates', "40 percent of hunters indicated that rising gas prices will cause them to reduce their outdoor activities or reduce their travel distance."

Realizing that gaining access to both public and private land can be one of a hunter's most daunting challenges, some state fish and game departments have developed innovative programs to address the problem.

Pennsylvania, for example, provides the public with detailed maps that show areas accessible by local hunters. These include state game, forest and park lands, and national forest property, totaling over 3.5 million acres. Through a "landowner cooperator" program, an additional two million acres of private property have also been opened up to the state's hunters.

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) recently unveiled a state-of-the-art mapping program using Google Maps. It's a user-friendly service especially valuable for those new to hunting or new to the state. "Every hunter knows scouting is key to success, and these Google Maps make it easy to start scouting at home," said Matthew Keenan, ODFW's Access and Habitat Program Coordinator. The map features state wildlife areas, national wildlife refuges and private lands open to hunting through the state's Access and Habitat and Upland Cooperative Access programs. Each area even has a descriptive bubble that provides information about the principal species hunted, size of the area, access periods and special regulations.

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG), working with sportsmen and landowners, provides sportsmen access to private land and through private land to public lands with a program called "Access Yes!"

"The 'Access Yes!' program is an exciting opportunity to get sportsmen and landowners together to improve habitat, increase hunting access and benefit private landowners. An additional benefit is that landowners and sportsmen get to know and respect each other," commented Jim Unsworth, deputy director for IDFG.

In 2008 IDFG has made 444,735 private acres accessible to sportsmen and access to an additional 381,310 acres of public ground by working with private landowners. "We are doing our part to keep our hunters hunting at home in Idaho," said Unsworth.

These programs, and similar ones in other states, have received significant funding from the National Shooting Sports Foundation, through its Hunting Heritage Partnership Program.

The NSSF helps sportsmen and women locate places to hunt at

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RE: Gas Prices Have Hunters Exploring Local Opportunities

Postby ranwin33 » Thu Sep 04, 2008 3:32 pm

Gas prices won't keep me from deer camp this year. 
But I never thought the day would come when I considered $3.50 gas a deal.

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RE: Gas Prices Have Hunters Exploring Local Opportunities

Postby schlupis » Thu Sep 04, 2008 4:58 pm

I dont care if gas prices were 7.00 a gallon I still wouldnt miss deer camp money well spent..

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RE: Gas Prices Have Hunters Exploring Local Opportunities

Postby DeerCamp » Thu Sep 04, 2008 5:13 pm

Wont stop me one bit! Ive saved up all year long for this. I knew that it was going to be bad, and I wanted to take advantage of the other hunters who cant make it out. Im hoping that this will also let the young deer grow where I go.
"If I pull the hammer and shoot this young buck, he's dead. But if I pass on him, the next hunter might not shoot so straight."

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RE: Gas Prices Have Hunters Exploring Local Opportunities

Postby mag30079 » Fri Sep 05, 2008 8:52 am

I won't hunt half days anymore to costly. I'll be picking my days more carfully, and make less trips.

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RE: Gas Prices Have Hunters Exploring Local Opportunities

Postby bckklr » Fri Sep 05, 2008 10:40 am

im fortunate ,2500 acres 10 minutes from the house all to my lonesome its the tractor fuel thats gettin me between this weekend & last i will have bush hogged 300 acres & turned about 7 acres for food plots with offroad deisel 4 bucks a gallon it is hurting the ol bill fold
adapt & overcome

Robert Rowland
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RE: Gas Prices Have Hunters Exploring Local Opportunities

Postby Robert Rowland » Fri Sep 05, 2008 12:27 pm

The gas prices hurt me every day I go to work, but not during hunting season. I can walk or ride the 4-wheeler to hunt places around the house.
I do miss deer camp and the old hunting ground but it's also nice to be right here at home too.

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RE: Gas Prices Have Hunters Exploring Local Opportunities

Postby howhill1 » Fri Sep 05, 2008 3:14 pm

my primary ground is 5 min from my house so thats not an issue. however i will have save back a little more our annaul late season excursion, its about a 150 mile drive one way.
"please join the N.R.A. as well as your state rifle association! these are critical times for ALL gun owners. Be informed, be active and stay vigilant"

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RE: Gas Prices Have Hunters Exploring Local Opportunities

Postby Knockdown » Thu Sep 18, 2008 5:21 pm

The area I want to hunt this year is 103 miles one way. I lived in that town for 13 years and that is allowing me an easy out for this year as most of my family lives there. During gun season I have 7 days that I am going to stay at an uncles 5min from where i want to be. I did not, however, make any scouting trips or do any prep for this year. I will count on past years work carrying me through...and the fact that the area is packed with deer. Has me a lil nervous though.

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RE: Gas Prices Have Hunters Exploring Local Opportunities

Postby OHhunter » Sat Sep 20, 2008 6:56 am

shouldn't have to much affect my hunting, everything I hunt is within about 10 miles less from the house.  Hate it for the guys have the long haul too hunt.   Maybe with the high prices it will keep some of the recreational ATV riders out of the woods, that have no respect for property lines or land owners.




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