I've had only a few invites from online, and I've only offered a few. Ditto for most of the face-to-face relationships I've had. It's funny, but most of the folks I would appreciate hunting with are booked up with family, and most of the guys that are anxious to hunt with me have dark clouds over their heads.
An example of the latter: We had a new guy start at the wire foundry, just before I left. He was a oddball to say the least. Right away, as soon as he heard I had land, he was on me to come out and "shoot things." As I dug deeper, I found out he'd gotten in a row with the last unlucky landowner when the landowner had chastised him for shooting up a fencepost with his AR-15.
Example of the former: I bowhunted deer with a fellow in 1999 who had acreage in PA. I was laid up with a bad foot, and he offered to drive me to a stand on his ATV, if only I'd drive to PA. I did. We had a great time. I still see him once or twice a year in the off season. However, he is bound by family tradition to hunt at home in PA. It's a bummer, because they now hardly see any deer during season in PA, and he'd like to get to KY and bag something substantial. He's also a schoolteacher and can't get away during the Fall.
Just giving out letters of permission seem to be a problem. In 8 years, I've only written a handful of letters, and in nearly every case I've regretted it. I wrote one letter for a guy to hunt deer for one season, and he was back with his buddy in the Spring hunting turkeys without even stopping by to say hello. In another case, a letter of permission to traverse the property, given to a neighbor's leesee, got morphed into a letter of permission to hunt and copied and given to friends. As it turned out the fellow wasn't even the neighbor's leasee of record.
One problem I see is that this isn't like baseball or golf. Baseball has an explicit rule book. You can travel anywhere and play baseball and the rules will be the same. You can't even go to your next door neighbors and expect that the house rules on hunting will be the same. It also isn't like golf. Golf has less than 2 dozen rules, but part of the game is that everyone tries to stick to them to the best of their ability. In hunting, it gets weird. It gets beyond the state rule book and Fair Chase in a fat hurry and rapidly descends into a semi-tribal clan ritual. Most of the important house rules are never spoken of, and nobody even remembers them until one gets broken.
"Oh, didn't we tell you?"
I mean what happens if they put you with Uncle Fred, the one with bad eyes, and he shoots a hen? I got out to one guy's place, and he let me camp out behind the barn. Just before I turned in, he told me his older son had escaped from the mental hospital and might be heading our way and that I should keep an eye out. I've shown up at a deer camp and sat down at the fire with my little dram of scotch and found out a) This was a dry camp b) No one in their right mind would ever drink around a campfire c) I was seriously suspect for having thought to transgress this prime directive. I guess that mistake was partially offset by the time I showed up to hunt with guys that were eager to try the killer weed somebody had brought. Motel 6, here I come.
Some day I'll tell you about the gay turkey hunter I ran into a few years ago-- Man, what a mind bender!!! You see all these models posing in the hunting magazines in the lastest fashion of camo, but until you see it in flesh for real, you never stop to think what they do AFTER the photo shoot.
Hmmm, sex, drugs, mental illness, wanton destruction of property, criminal disregard for hunting rules . . . mmmmm. . . yep, that pretty well covers it. This is why the shaman usually hunts alone, and why I treasure the people and the times when it has all clicked and gone well.
I think this parochialism is something that hurts hunting, but it's also something that's part of it. We can't just show up at the hunting park and pick up a foursome. Part of the joy of hunting is that is not like baseball and it is not like golf. It thrives because and despite its eccentricites.