By Bill Wade 1999

My dad, brother and myself have hunted deer together since my first trip in 1971. Over the years, we have hunted several pieces of land. A couple of the properties we were able to hunt for several years while others only lasted a couple of seasons.

Gaining access to private land has never been too tough. I frequently add coyote hunting ground to my list. Some the this ground I have hunted for over 10 years. Deer hunting though seems to present a greater challenge.

We have run into all kinds of problems over the years, ranging from jealous neighbors to property changing hands.

One neighbor to property we hunted, iced the cake for us when we scored and he did not. He got mad, complained to the land owner, and since the land owner has to deal with him as a neighbor, we lost.

Part of the problem is that we hate to give up on tradition and hunt separate from each other. Now my son is in the picture and this only compounds the problem. It is tough to get and keep permission for 4 hunters. My brother has a son that is just a few years from joining the group.

We thought of leasing ground but after discussing the horror stories and problems that can come with leasing, we opted to purchase ground instead. Eighty acres in Northern Missouri, should take care of us for years to come.

The transaction took place in late February 1999 and the month of March, found us tearing down the old farmhouse on the property. We had hoped to use it as a hunting cabin but it was too far gone. Dismantling to save the lumber, we ended up with plenty of usable material, probably will build a nice shed and drag in a mobile home.

The Department of Conservation has been out to the farm by request and is anxious to help in creating habitat. They have supplied us with phone numbers and contacts for getting ponds built and other soil conservation plans.

It is exciting to consider all of the potential the property holds for our future while learning of the history of the farm.

Part of the farm was given as payment for service in the civil war. We spoke with a direct descendent and learned some pretty interesting things. The property holds an Indian burial mound, and the only well and pump that worked in the drought of the 1940's. The house was built around 1880 and the property was farmed with horses until the 1980's.

I could get off track very easily with this, as I was fascinated with the history of the farm.

The bottom line is we solved the deer hunting problem. Hopefully we have taken care of our sons and daughters in the process and I am proud to be part of improving wildlife habitat. It is an area of hunting that I really have never had the opportunity to work on before and there is much to be learned.

Bill Wade