Great, uncrowded hunting areas are as difficult to find as a nonpartisan in the mainstream media. That’s why when you do find one, it’s imperative that you keep it a secret. Of course, the hunting-partner factor comes into play. Do you reveal your spots to a buddy when you pair up to hunt predators?

Keeping public-land Meccas quiet is critical. Sure, it’s public access, but you may have spent years in an area learning it and becoming successful due to this intimate nature. Locations like these often require hardy access thorough scouting and multiple trips to find the sweet spot. With the advent of GPS technology and the ease of ATV access, productive public-land parcels are becoming as rare as finding a coyote that has never heard an e-caller.

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If you hunt a private property you also have reason to worry if your hunting location is revealed, especially if it is a true honey hole. Not only do you have to worry about others crowding into your bit of heaven at the hand of a carefree landowner, but you also have to fear Daddy Warbucks. He or she could show up with an unlimited amount of finances to lease or purchase the property you’ve relied on to acquire fur. One day, you may have access to a great farm or ranch simply with a hardy-handshake agreement only to return the following year to discover the deed has switched hands.

That’s why trust between hunting partners is so important, and anyone you hunt with understands that sharing a location while on a hunt doesn’t automatically make it their own. It only takes one slip of the tongue by a trusted hunting friend to open the floodgates for other hunters to invade a hushed hunting location.

Before I bring a new hunting partner on board and introduce them to my favorite honey hole, I set the ground rules. You can, too. Tell them you are sharing a property and trust that they won’t tell others or, if it is private, hunt it without you. Agree to do the same with properties they share with you. Being up front and direct is the best way to avoid friendship fallout later. If a situation arises where either of you wishes to bring a nephew, niece or uncle along on a future hunt, discuss it openly — not in the awkwardness of the moment. And, if you really don’t want to share with others where you hunt, don’t. Take them hunting, but to a location you could live without if the word gets out.

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Hopefully setting the ground rules before you take a hunting partner to a favorite hunting location will be the recipe to avoid hunting-partner fallout later.