I am a hunter and have a B.S. In Wildlife Ecology. I can tell you that state laws regarding licensing to hunt on your own land vary from state to
state, but if your state requires it, then I would recommend purchasing the license, as it's not worth the potential fine. If you are a true steward
of your land and look forward to hunting in the future, then you should have no problem purchasing the license, as the proceeds go towards the
protection and sustainability of wildlife.
The main reason states have it set up this way is because wildlife migrate and; therefore, what is on your land today was on your neighbor's land
yesterday. Too many court battles have been fought over this issue (i.e., feuds between neighbors), so the states step in and assume ownership in
order to please all parties involved. All parties involved also include the average citizen, whom place an intrinsic value on wildlife, simply by
knowing that the wildlife exists in the event they so choose to partake in the nature experience.
Now, if your land is overpopulated
then most state wildlife agencies will allow for additional harvesting permits at no extra charge.
Now, I want to go back to something I addressed above, sustainability
In Texas, decades ago, the Eastern Turkey was hunted until there was regional extinction, due to lack of understanding about sustainable populations.
The state went through tremendous efforts to reestablish populations in the decimated areas. How did they do it? With revenue generated from
licensing. Why did they do it? Because (1) the citizens demanded it and (2) turkeys are a part of the natural environment, without which, other
segments of the ecosystem may fail, causing devastating ecological consequences.
A license doesn't cost that much, it promotes sustained wildlife and protects adjacent landowners rights to the same enjoyment.
As a side note, I will let you know that game wardens do not require a search warrant to come onto your premises and they can confiscate illegally
taken game, guns and vehicles used in the taking of illegal game. Fines can be steep and jail sentences can be, and usually are, imposed.
EDIT: to add a link to information about the efforts to reestablish Turkey populations in Nebraska.
[edit on 19-4-2010 by Aggie Man]