abuse of privilege

James J. Kruse kruse at nature.berkeley.edu
Wed Aug 27 19:46:13 EDT 1997

On Wed, 27 Aug 1997, Ted Ryznar wrote:

> >Sorry, but as a private land owner I personally wouldnt  want Tom, Dick
> and Harry on my land either. Land owners have been besieged with 4
> wheelers, hunters, garbage dumpers etc for years. Not to mention several
> land owners I know who were sued when someone was on their property without
> permission and fell in a ground hog hole and got hurt. Deer hunters are
> famous for putting large numbers of  nails in the largest and best trees
> for their deer stand which they use for 5 hours the first day while they
> sleep off the binge of the night before. After a while you just dont want

Okay, as a Lep-hunter and a deer hunter, and by choice someone who opts
for private land more often than public land for outdoor activities, let
me say that responsible persons requesting said permissions to hunt or
just trapse about should:

(a) speak with the land owner, tell them who you are, what you are going
to be up to, and tell them about what they want to know: will you be
around the cowpens bothering the cattle or not, will you be hammering
nails in trees or not, are you looking for endangered species (a
legitimate concern for many landowners these days), etc.  Ask if there are
areas of the property to be avoided. Speaking to landowners is a type of
art and should be taken VERY seriously.  You should be very up-front
and attentive to instructions. Talk down to them and you won't do well.
First impression is all you have.

(b) Make the effort to go back to the house and show them what you found.
Share a story. Bring over a couple venison steaks and thank them again.
Be the person you would allow back on the land again someday, don't be a
jerk!  If you really are one (a jerk) and are just pretending, most
farmers are very good judges of character and will see right through you.
A small time investment makes all the difference.  Like I said, its an art
and should be taken seriously at all times. 

As a land owner, I would suggest you take a minute to listen and ask
questions. Insist on what areas of the property are to be avoided,
transportable deerstands, etc. If you don't trust the person, don't let
them on (you should be able to tell after a minute of listening).

I can't speak for all lepidopterists, but I think it's safe to say that
most are responsible enough to respect guidelines laid down by landowners,
and there are also plenty of hunters that do not hunt drunk or hung over, 
or construct permanent blinds in trees. Maybe it's my rural Wisconsin
upbringing, but this is all common sense and common courtesy to me. 

Sorry to indulge this tangent and write such a long note, but I work hard
on relations with private land owners.

Jim Kruse

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