With hunting season upon us, many outdoor enthusiasts are suiting up and sighting in to grab that trophy buck or fill a tag, and quite a few of them are doing it on private land that they do not own. According to a study by the US Fish and Wildlife Service, in 2001 there were 982,000 hunters leasing land, averaging about 229 acres each at an average price of $2.27 per acre.
The reason behind the popularity of leasing private hunting land has much to do with the increasing scarcity of public land. In many parts of the country, with little in the way of public land resources, what is available can become quite crowded during hunting season, leading to interference from other hunters and a lower quality hunt. By leasing private land for hunting, outdoor enthusiasts have more control over the conditions of the land, and often the chance to hunt bigger or more exotic game than can be found on public land.
Hunting Lease Types
Non-Fee Access: Some landowners allow hunters to hunt on their land for no fee at all, usually with just a verbal or written agreement. This is beneficial for both parties; hunters get access to quality game and landowners – who are often farmers – are spared from having their crops used as food plots by local wildlife.
Exchange of Services: Sometimes landowners don’t charge a fee for hunters to hunt on their land, but rather request that the hunters provide a service to maintain access. This can be as simple as keeping an eye out for trespassing, or something more involved such as repairing fences or maintaining food plots.
Fee Hunting: Many landowners elect to charge hunters a fee for hunting their land, using these fees as an extra stream of income. There are three basic types of fee hunting agreements.
Daily Hunting Leases: These less formal leases are the easiest way for landowners to jump into generating income from hunters. Since the hunters will not be spending much time on the land, landowners don’t need to be as selective in choosing lessees. However, since the hunters won’t have much time to acquaint themselves with the land, these leases sometimes include other aspects such as guide services, hunting dogs and transportation.
Short-Term Hunting Leases: These leases usually last for a week or a season, and are ideal for landowners who want to host multiple hunters throughout the year. Short-term leases are recommended while hunters and landowners get to know each other, before they consider entering into a more long-term agreement.
Long-Term Hunting Leases: Typically spanning a year or multiple years, long-term hunting leases usually allow a certain hunter or group of hunters exclusive use of the property during all hunting seasons. These types of agreements often work well because both parties will have a stake in the long-term ongoing health of the land and its wildlife population.
Regardless of if you’re a landowner or a hunter, there are many benefits when it comes to leasing hunting land. If you’re interested in finding the perfect land to lease or hunt on yourself, visit the all-new UnitedCountry.com today to get started.