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What is free range?

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  • What is free range?

    I have been wondering about the term "free range". Do some of these farms down south have fence all the way around the property? Say, for example, someone has 12,000 acres fenced in, is this not considered free range? Even though I've never hunted anywhere that I felt like I was hunting in a cage, how many acres would be enough to be considered free range? What if you had 20,000 acres with fence on 3 sides and a large river on the 4th side. What would this be considered? I'm sure I'll get alot of different opinions but that is what I'm wanting...Thanks, Eric
    EricL

  • #2
    hmmm

    Originally posted by EricL View Post
    I have been wondering about the term "free range". Do some of these farms down south have fence all the way around the property? Say, for example, someone has 12,000 acres fenced in, is this not considered free range? Even though I've never hunted anywhere that I felt like I was hunting in a cage, how many acres would be enough to be considered free range? What if you had 20,000 acres with fence on 3 sides and a large river on the 4th side. What would this be considered? I'm sure I'll get alot of different opinions but that is what I'm wanting...Thanks, Eric
    Good question,

    But I think you would have to take the type of animal and the terrain into consideration. For instance for a whitetail in a thick oak forest would need less area to be free roaming than say a buffalo on the open grasslands.

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    • #3
      Free Range

      I believe it has to do with the hindrance and the ability of the game to come and go from a designated area as they please. There are lots of "trophy" game farms all over the country. I've seen them in North Carolina, Texas, Wisconsin. They make me sick actually. The farms sometimes have exotics brought in and sometimes they simply want to manage their trophy specimens.
      This goes on quite a bit with whitetails, there's a relatively big market for trophy whitetail sperm and they will breed their own strains of huge trophy whitetails. The farms will then put up high rising fences to the heights that no animal can cross, in or out.

      Needless to say they are disgusting.
      Marc Theiler

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      • #4
        Neither

        Pretty sure that it came for the old cattle days. Free range meant that anyone could use the range to graze their cattle on and it was wide open without any fences. Remember the barbed wire wars of the west?

        So today if you apply the term to wildlife, they would have the ability to move around the countryside unrestricted. But we all know that there are some limitations to that today. Fences, highways, shopping malls: so free ranging animals are almost a thing of the past except out west where thousands of acres are available and the animal is capable of roaming around its own habitat.

        Patriot Life Member NRA
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        • #5
          For me it boils down to the fence, no matter how much acreage within it. If wildlife can pass over or under the fence (as in a barbed wire fence intended for cattle or horses), it's free range. If the fence is designed to keep the wildlife inside, it aint free range. End of story, and I don't care if its 250,000 acres inside the fence.
          "Lay in the weeds and wait, and when you get your chance to say something, say something good."
          Merle Haggard

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          • #6
            I think it would have to mean that the animals are unhindered and able to move where they want. Roads and urban areas dont necessarily restrict an animals movement, but many animals avoid those areas (some happily move into it though - whitetails, coyotes, rodents, etc) Fences and barriers constructed to keep animals in/out prevent free range.

            Keep in mind the process of breeding between populations. Free range critters can move from one population to another to mate. Animals restricted by barriers such as fences are limited to what they can find inside the boundaries (even if the boundaries are large, it still limits movement).

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            • #7
              2nd

              I second what brownbear said. If someone else wants to do it thats there thing, but they wont get my money!!!!!!!!!

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              • #8
                If you gotta pay to hunt it, it aint free range.
                "96% of all Internet Quotes are suspect and the remaining 4% are fiction."
                ~~Abraham Lincoln~~

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                • #9
                  I do not Agree

                  Say you have put in for a tag all your life and before it ends or you are incappable of continuing on you go to 1 of these out closures to harvest an animal you could never have gotten in the free range. Problem - NO! With so much desease and poaching if you want one go and get it. Free? aint nothin free we all pay one way or another.
                  Louie

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                  • #10
                    akres

                    Originally posted by Akres View Post
                    If you gotta pay to hunt it, it aint free range.
                    You haven't been to the lower 48 lately have you. Every farmer is charging big bucks to deer hunt. Why do you think so many come up here caribou hunting. It's cheaper than leasing land for a couple of weeks.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Akres View Post
                      If you gotta pay to hunt it, it aint free range.
                      Its not just the lower 48, like the previous poster mentioned. In Delta many (most?) hunters pay an access fee to hunt the bison on private land. The animals certainly are free ranging, as they aren't constrained by any fences, etc. They choose to spend their time on private land, and many hunters choose to pay an access fee to hunt that land. Nothing wrong with that, as far as I can see.

                      As for paying to hunt high-fenced animals, though, I tend to agree.

                      -Brian

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by FBKShunter View Post
                        You haven't been to the lower 48 lately have you. Every farmer is charging big bucks to deer hunt. Why do you think so many come up here caribou hunting. It's cheaper than leasing land for a couple of weeks.
                        Yup, or a group of guys with money get together and lease up the land for the whole season for years at a time. That's what happened in our old duck hunting spots in Montana.
                        A gun is like a parachute. If you need one, and donít have one, youíll probably never need one again

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                        • #13
                          Yup, and a $100 trespass fee for deer or fishing on major parts of Afognak, more if you want to hunt bear or elk. No wildlife fences there.

                          But I look at it this way. I'd rather pay the fees to farmers, ranchers, native corps, whoever, if that helps them make a living without subdividing and selling the land for houses. That's a bigger threat to hunting in many L48 states than the fees. If they're having a tough time making it in agriculture, I'm willing to help them out simply to keep the land from growing asphalt and flower beds.
                          "Lay in the weeds and wait, and when you get your chance to say something, say something good."
                          Merle Haggard

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                          • #14
                            Good point.

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                            • #15
                              Yep

                              What's really sad is that it pushes a lot of very passionate young people out of their god given natural heritage. And it's happening all over the country.
                              Everyone and their brother now has their hand out, it's the new American way. Either that or a bunch of surgeons, politicans, dentists or the like go up and buy thousands of acres of land in the south and really push the country boys off the land they've hunted with their familes for years. I've seen it happen all over the south. They form hunt clubs and charge unreal amounts of money for a yearly membership, it's the new American way. It's the nickel and dime you to death philosophy that we now live and abide by. Our government is a beautiful role model for this way of life. Maybe it's greed or maybe people are just getting squeezed to death in order to make a living and enjoy a few days of escape. Either way I don't see it getting any better, not just yet anyway. All we can do is pay our daily tolls and not let it bother us too much.
                              Marc Theiler

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