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Need advice on how to approach a land owner


ceedaman
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Hello, I would like to ride my ATV in a field close to my house and I know where the owner lives but I've never been very good at asking for permission to ride in someone's field. I know they don't use the field at the moment and I want to come across respectful but it seems like people get offended so easily over simple questions. If you were going to ask, how would you start the conversation? I would like to build a respectful relationship as this person own quite a bit of land int he area. 

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As someone who often gets approached for people to hunt on my land, I would say that I don't find it offensive for someone to ask. 

I guess the biggest thing is that the people I allowed to hunt were people that had some connection to people I already knew. I don't want somebody with no connection to the area feeling like they have nothing to lose when they act crazy.

So my advice would be to find a friend or neighbor who is friends with the land owner. And stop over and introduce yourself with the friend of the owner. That will speak volumes and give you an 'in' with the land owner instantly.

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Probably the best way is to take a gift like garden veggies or some fruit of your own labor then ask if there are chores they need done in exchange for riding on their land.  Express an interest in maintaining their property so they know you won't trash it.  Friendships are reciprocal and not just one way.

That said, I would never let a stranger ride on my land under any circumstances because if they get hurt then I am liable.  Even if they wouldn't sue me, their insurance company could.  So I would have to know that person would lie to protect me which means they would have to have been a friend for many years.  The unfortunate reality of the litigious society in which we live is there is no way for landowners to protect themselves other than keeping people out.  And there are so many bad apples out there who promise one thing and do something else that from my perspective it isn't worth taking the chance.

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