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Landowner disrespect = posted land

To the editor: I want to share with you a couple of upsetting situations that I have run into this year both happened while talking with landowners about hunting on their property. Living in a state with limited opportunity on public lands, I, like many others have come to rely on the generosity of landowners who allow access to their land. Heres a brief overview of both situations. Landowner 1 has always allowed people to hunt on his land and never really asked anything in return. I have always stopped and asked permission, not because I had to, but because it is the right thing to do. This spring when I stopped he was very upset and stated that the land would be posted this fall and nobody would have access. He went on to explain that people had been driving ATVs and trucks all over his land and tearing up the fields. He also stated that a hunter whom hadnt asked permission had given a young man (whom had asked) a hard time about where he had put a stand up. Landowner 2 has also kept his land open to hunting and fishing and has only asked that we dont drive into the fields to park, but park in the lot across the road instead. I stopped the other day to ask permission and found that he was extremely upset about the way people were treating his land. It seems that people are using his field, a secluded hayfield on the River Road, as a place to spin their wheels and throw their trash. He went on to explain how frustrating it was to have to put up a gate to keep people from destroying his property. After our discussion, I went and looked at the field that he was talking about. Its obvious that there has been a lot of vehicle traffic into the field, and he has a right to be mad. In both of these cases, it seems that it is not just the hunters that are driving all over the land, considering that most of the damage occurred during the summer. But it will surely affect all of us when the land is posted, and once the posters go up, they rarely come back down. Although Im not sure the posted signs and gates will stop the jerks causing the destruction, they will certainly keep the majority of the responsible hunters out. Basically these morons are a minority, but they are ruining it for everybody. Im sure the culprits wont read this but I have a suggestion: the next time you want to access private land, ask permission, park your vehicle, and walk in. Lastly, let me address the landowners. I want to thank you for the allowing us access to your land and the game that inhabits it. I ask that when the time comes to post, you consider allowing access to the people whom have always respected your property and your wishes. Matthew A. Norris Starksboro

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