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A Tennessee Landowners Perspective

By Larry Graubner

porch swing - Sharing the Land caps.jpg

Sharing the Land

Graubner farm – Tennessee


My name is Larry Graubner and my wife and I own a farm in Middle Tennessee.  We bought the farm in April 2017 and it had been abandoned and it was run down.  We have spent the last 6 years clearing land for food plots, building hunting blinds, planting trees, tearing down an old house and decrepit sheds. Built roads, cleared brush and hauled tons of trash from the farm including over 100 automobile and tractor tires.  We have burned brush piles as big as houses and during this process built a cabin, sheds and barn.


My wife and I are in our 50’s and have full time jobs.  We have spent weekends and evenings over the last 6 years working on our farm and raised three sons who have also helped with the farm chores and who hunt deer.


When you own a piece of land, the work never ends.  Tractors and chainsaws help, but there is always fencing down after a storm that must be repaired to keep the cows in their pastures and downed trees that are blocking roads that have to be cleared.  There are tree stands to inspect and lifelines and safety straps to replace.  There are buildings to build, equipment to maintain- the work never ends. The work is enjoyable, but more help is definitely appreciated.


I met a young man in his 30’s (Rich) who used to work at the same company.  Rich is originally from Pennsylvania but after serving in the Army and moving to Nashville, he found himself without a place to hunt.  He started coming to the farm to help us with anything that needed to get done, tearing down old structures, clearing and burning brush and he started squirrel hunting with one of my sons.  A couple years ago, he deer hunted with us.  On his first hunt, we were in a blind and three does walked out after we had been in the blind for 20 minutes.  Not wanting his hunt to be over so quickly, he watched them approach to 32 yards before he decided to pass and come back and hunt another day.


Earlier this year, we spent some time chain sawing brush at the back of a food plot.  I appreciated his help as working 9 months before deer season isn’t something everyone wants to do.  There are plenty of people who want to come hunt without doing any work.  It is more rare to find individuals who want to do the work longer before hunting season.












The turkey season opener in Tennessee was Saturday, April 15 and we went out before first light and we called in two gobblers before dawn.  I shot one and later that same day, we set up another pop-up blind in a back pasture and we called in a second turkey which Rich shot.


I had bought some Sharing the Land hats and Rich and I enjoyed some time on the porch talking about our turkey hunts and enjoying our friendship.  Sharing the Land and the “It’s not ours, it’s just our turn” philosophies are something my wife and I embrace.  We know we can selfishly hoard our farm and keep it only for ourselves, but we have found much more enjoyment working with others and letting them hunt in return for their work.

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Rich's gobbler with Larry.jpg
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