How to Start Leasing Farmland and Pastures for Hunting
Farmers are some of the hardest-working people in the country. They work crazy hours (especially during the planting or harvesting seasons) to fit as much as they possibly can into the day and sometimes night too. Their hard work fuels the country. But you never know as a farmer when Mother Nature will throw you a curveball. What happens when a sudden storm or unseasonal weather ruins your best-laid plans? What about the hungry (deer) mouths just waiting to eat your crops before you can harvest them? What about the relentless pursuit of earning every cent you can from the fields, cattle pastures, and land you’re working? Leasing farmland for hunting can solve a lot of the problems you face. Plus, if you only use your farm for row crops, hayfields, or pasture, another revenue stream could be long overdue. There is a long line of hunters just wishing they could have their own farm, and leasing yours for hunting is a good way to benefit multiple parties. Here are a few reasons why you should consider leasing your land to hunters, and how you can get started as soon as possible.
Video – Making a living off the land is not for everyone. But understanding how to utilize the resources wisely to generate a payday is a big part of a landowner’s success. Every farmer has a plan to generate revenue for the year from row crops to timber harvests to CRP, making sure that you are sustainably working the land is critical.
Benefits of Leasing Farmland for Hunting
There are many reasons you should consider allowing a hunting lease on your farm. First, there’s a lot of demand and interest in farm land for lease across the country, as we mentioned above, which generally means you should be able to find multiple lessees. But here are just a few more examples:
- Remember what we said about wildlife damage? You might enjoy seeing wildlife on your property from time to time, but deer really like agricultural crops, sometimes to the point of destroying them before you can harvest a field. There’s not much you can do about it except to remove some animals. Leasing farmland for hunting is one of the most effective ways to remove problematic wildlife and discourage future use. By keeping wildlife populations balanced, your crops are less likely to be damaged and the environment wins too because deer aren’t over browsing their natural habitats either.
Picture: Leasing farmland for hunting is one of the most effective ways to remove problematic wildlife and discourage future use.
- What about the storm idea ruining your crops? Well, hunting leases can’t stop an act of God from happening. But they can provide a passive side income stream to help offset the cost of your lost crops. Unless you’re a lottery winner or heir to a millionaire, you need your land to make you money so you can keep living on it – plain and simple. Leasing your farm land helps you do that.
- Leasing farmland for hunting also helps keep trespassing to a minimum. As a busy farmer, you don’t always have time to patrol your boundaries and keep thieves, vandals, or trespassers out. But when you lease your land, someone else is invested in keeping your property safe and secure and it adds another pair of eyes to keep it that way.
- Hunters are usually more than willing as lessees to help out with some farm work or chores once in a while. If you’re just running out of time or need another set of hands for something, you can usually depend on a hunter to help you.
- Finally, leasing gives you an incentive and reason to improve your land. Sometimes you just run out of time to do anything that’s not necessary for your farm, but lessees will typically pay more for a hunting land lease that has some improvements, such as a camping spot/cabin with electricity or water. Alternatively, you can improve the access to your property, clean up any debris piles you have, or just allow lessees to clear new land for food plots. Even a recent timber harvest is your woodlot is a benefit for hunters as plenty of deer will use the fresh cut for bedding and a food source. Additionally, you could use some of the income you generate from your lease to pay for more improvements to the property.
Picture: Hunters keep an eye on your land when you’re busy, they can deter trespassers, notify you of any concerns like broken fences, and might even trade some hunting opportunities for some chores or help around the farm.
Concerns with Leasing Farmland for Hunting
Naturally, most people are a little suspicious of this idea at first. They don’t necessarily like the idea of sharing their land with a stranger for several different reasons. Here are some of the most common concerns landowners like you face, and the potential solutions to them.
- Nobody wants to deal with liability of any sort, and it can be nerve-wracking to let someone else hunt on your land when you know you could be held responsible for an accident. Luckily, we offer hunting lease liability insurance to cover both the landowner and hunter in the event of something unfortunate happening. This protects you both, but also makes your property more attractive to a lessee because they have that security and peace of mind.
- When someone starts looking for hunting land for lease, they obviously envision it being a mutually beneficial situation, and you probably think that way too. With Base Camp Leasing, we prepare a professionally written hunting lease agreement that outlines all the important details. If you only want to allow a certain type of hunting on your land (e.g., only turkey hunting because you don’t hunt turkeys), that’s okay. The agreement lists everything out in black and white. That way, there are no gray areas that often cause debates and frustration in a leasing situation.
- Will it even be worth the effort? How do you know your farm is worth leasing? You could browse a bunch of listings and look for comparable properties to get an idea of the range of prices for different hunting leases in your area. But the simple answer is to just ask us! One of our professionals can physically assess the size, layout, and location of your property and determine the fair land leasing prices in your area, so you can know right away whether leasing farmland for hunting is right for you.
Picture: Even cattle pastures, hay fields, unruly fence rows or wood lots can offer fantastic hunting opportunities. A side income without a lot of work or changing the land’s current use…makes a lot of sense!
How to Get Started
If leasing farmland for hunting sounds interesting to you and you hardly ever get out to your back forty anyway, leasing farm land to eager hunters could work for you. And if you’re still wondering about how to lease your land for hunting, reach out to us. We have a vast hunting lease network and can guide you through the process. If you are interested in seeing how our hunting land leases work, please fill out the form on this page so that we can contact you and get started.