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!