By Mike Bodenchuk, Editor-at-LargeEditor's note: Last month, we looked at over-the-counter and leftover tags as possible cures for draw disappointment. If you have your heart set on hunting the American West this year and don't already have a tag, a landowner tag may be your only viable option. Here's the scoop.
Landowner tags are available where there's a lot of private land and a need to limit harvest. In some states, landowner tags are available but only to immediate family members of the landowner. In Idaho, for example, landowner tags are transferrable, but the landowner may not sell or market the tag. I've hunted cow elk numerous times on Idaho landowner tags that were provided at low cost or free, as landowners use hunting pressure to move elk from their hay meadows and prime grazing lands.California
) offers transferrable landowner tags through its Private Lands Management program as an incentive for landowners to allow more wildlife on their lands. Tags are available for elk, deer and pronghorn, though the latter are extremely limited. Landowner tags are the only practical way to obtain a Tule elk permit, but these are often booked years in advance. Landowner tags are available for black-tailed deer, but they may not be necessary because of the availability of OTC tags. See the website above for a list of ranches that offer landowner tags....