Opening day for those who use a firearm to hunt deer in Western New York is this Saturday and among all the things to keep in mind, it may be time to brush up on your property boarders and permissions.

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One of the biggest pet peeves that most people who own land have is dealing with trespassers. For whatever reason, there are some who simply will not pay attention to "POSTED" signs and ignore boundaries.

The weather looks fair for the opener this weekend with the chance for some rain over much of the Western New York area. With a record number of licenses sold this year and many people with more time to hunt because of COVID lock-downs, you can expect there will be more company in the woods you hunt as compared to other years. My suggestion would be, if you have some time, check your POSTED signs and perhaps ask if your neighbors have allowed any new hunters access to their land this season. It may be that someone is new to the area or the woods and have no clue whose land they are on.

If you are someone that hasn't hunted in a few years, I would also make sure that you have a permission note with you at all times. There is also a chance that the property you plan to hunt on has been sold or has been acquired by someone else who either doesn't allow hunting or doesn't allow any other hunters.

We just got some land this year and I am so excited to hunt it for the first time ever this weekend! I have wanted my own piece of land my entire life and now that we have the three boys, I have even more emotional attachment to the property we own. It's not much, but it is OURS! I am looking forward to hunting but at the same time, I am nervous about who I may encounter in the woods after the sunrises this opening day.

I POSTED our land, have spoken to the neighbors, and tried to make it very clear that we prefer that nobody else comes on our place to hunt this year. It is difficult because there are those who have "always hunted" this area and may feel like it is their own regardless of new owners or boundaries.

But the truth is, every private piece of land you are on, (not land owned by New York State) has someone who is paying property taxes and, in many cases, a mortgage on it and should be respected and treated like any other property someone owns.

Our boys, Hank and Teddy love being in our new field!!
Our boys, Hank and Teddy love being in our new field!!

This will be my 27th opening day of deer season and it is going to be as special as the first one now that my family has a place of our own to hunt on. Honestly, it is not even about the deer anymore as much as it is about the experience and the memories that we are about to create. I can't deny that I get excited when I see a large rack coming through the woods or hearing the sound of deer crunching on the crisp leaves on a clear morning. But there are so many other great aspects to hunting season that bond us as hunters and outdoors enthusiasts.

Mistakes happen. And yes, I have found myself on the wrong property on occasion and try to get back to where I am supposed to be as quickly as I can. But there are lots of good APPs to help keep you on the land you have permission to hunt on and a little extra planning can help avoid a bad encounter with a landowner and help make this opening day one to remember!

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