If you are a landowner that owns an awesome piece of property, perfect for hunting and all-around outdoor recreation you have probably asked yourself “Should I allow hunting on my land?”.

So what do you do?

While it might seem like the courteous thing to allow people who ask to hunt on your land to do so, have you considered all the components of letting people hunt on your land?

  • How can I minimize risks that happen when people are on my land?
  • How can I limit the number of people on my property?
  • Can a revenue be made from this?
  • How would a hunting lease work?


How To Minimize the Risks

It’s just land, right? What could go wrong? Well, actually a lot of things can happen on land. Especially if you are not there to supervise it. A few of the high-risk activities include:

  • Hunting
  • Fishing
  • ATV
  • Camping
  • Swimming
  • Hiking
  • Trespassing

While all of these things are typically safe under the right circumstances, that does not mean you are trouble free. Any one of these things could lead to a situation where a person on your land attempts a lawsuit against you in the wrong situation.

Also, remember that trespassers on your land can still file a lawsuit against you if they are injured on your land. Whether they have permission or not, they can make an insurance policy that much more crucial.

Risks on your land are inevitable. It’s people mixed with nature, which makes an extremely unpredictable duo. Even though there is no way other than to not allow people to use your land for hunting, there are ways to lower your chances of accidents on your land.

With a Hunting Lease Agreement, it provides for a liability insurance policy that can help reduce the risks of having people injured or damaging your property.  It also includes a release of liability clause that will help further lower your risk of having hunters leasing your property.

How Can I limit the number of people on my property?

By now you have figured out that your property has become very popular among friends and acquaintances that know how amazing it is for hunting and other recreational opportunities.  You now have the problem of fielding all their requests to use your property to suit their recreational needs. You may allow a group to use your property one season and they take that as an approval for every year after that and may start bringing friends.  You may also forget who you’ve allowed to hunt and end up with several different parties that cross paths on the property.

Let’s not forget those that don’t ask permission to be on the property and use it as a recreational ground for themselves or even just as a cut through on their way to another piece of land.

How can you manage all these people wanting to use your land?  By putting together a Hunting Lease Agreement, you can use that as an iron clad statement that says “this is the only group of people allowed on my property.”  This will minimize any questions when other groups ask to hunt your property.  It can also help to reduce trespassing by having a steady, known presence on the property to ward off those uninvited guests.

Can a revenue be made from leasing my property?

Yes, yes it can!  Whether you own and operate a farm or cattle operation, use the land for timber or have a property that sits empty year-round, you can lease out the property for hunting to earn an income stream that makes your ROI on a piece of property worth the investment.

The costs of owning a piece of land and the inputs into maintaining it or running an operation on it continue to rise. A passive income from leasing the rights to hunting can help offset those costs and even help contribute to a profit!

How does the hunting Lease work? What is a hunting Lease?

It’s simple. Down south, where they have thousands of acres for lease, there are big hunt clubs. They might have 150 members in a Hunt club and that club leases 15,000 acres and have done it for several generations. That’s how leasing got its start.

The Midwest has not quite got into leasing like their southern counter parts, but it is starting to catch on, especially as liability, risk and the rising costs for land inputs continue to climb. In the south, Hunt Clubs typically have dues and by-laws for the larger ones. In the Midwest or out East, there will be four or five guys on a lease with no by-laws, and they are considered a hunt club.

A hunting lease is a simple agreement between a landowner and hunter or a group of hunters to allow hunting on a property. In exchange for a fee, the hunters are granted access to the property for hunting and/or recreational rights. What makes the hunting lease so attractive to landowners is that they establish the rules and set the limits of the lease. A good example would be a landowner that only wants hunters to hunt whitetail deer with a bow. The landowner can then add that limit in the written lease, effectively not allowing firearms to be used. Landowners need to keep in mind that by limiting the opportunities to hunters, they may affect the value (price hunters are willing to pay) of their lease.

An arrangement that will make both hunters and landowners happy must have two components. The first is a written lease agreement that includes a release of liability. Anything less than a written document, signed by all parties, leaves too much room for confusion and eventually a poor relationship. The lease agreement provided to BCL customers is a tried-and-true agreement that will fit the hunter’s and landowner’s needs.

The second “must have” component is a hunting lease liability insurance policy. Without a proper liability policy, you simply put too much at risk. When you invite hunters onto your property, whether for free or a fee, you assume some responsibility for their safety. A hunter that falls into an abandoned cistern/well breaking a leg, may claim he wasn’t informed of the hazard and seek compensation. A good hunting lease liability policy will protect you against these types of claims.

Ready to lease your land?

When you decide that you are ready, it is a good idea to get a leasing agent involved that can help you determine the value of your land based on the land type, wildlife signs, accessibility and size of your property.  This will help you be competitive in the market.  They can also help you determine what components you’d like on your hunting lease agreement for your hunters before the property ever hits the market.  Whatever you decide for leasing your land, make sure it suits you and the needs of your property.

Enjoy the extra revenue and peace of mind of having someone on there that will help take care of your property!