When it comes to misconceptions about hunting leases, some folks have plenty.
If they are successful, hunting leases give you and your pals a prime hunting spot during open season.
Since you’re not in public hunting grounds, you’re not competing with every guy with a gun and a dream of bagging a 200-inch deer.
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But before you hand over cash for a hunting lease, make sure you know what you’re getting into and avoid common misconceptions about hunting leases.
1. Your access rights include entry through the homeowner’s property
Yes, you agreed to rent property for the year. No, that doesn’t mean that a parking space is included. Some homeowners are happy to let you park in their driveway and walk through their land to access the lease area. Others see this as a violation of their personal property.
To ensure the lease goes well, iron out access rights before you sign and be respectful of whatever the owner decides.
2. Leases give you 24/7 access
Ultimately, you’re leasing someone else’s land and you need to respect their access right too. They may still live on the property, graze livestock there, or use the land to grow crops. Knowing when you can and cannot access the site is an issue of safety and good hunting etiquette.
If a landowner needs access, he should lay out in the lease specifically when he will be on site. He can set daily hunting hours and limit your access to the land during set times or days. Most landowners are reasonable and can work with you to come up with a schedule that works for everyone.
3. When you’re leasing the land, you can plant a veggie buffet to encourage more game
On a long-term lease, plan to iron out land management issues in advance. Some landowners will gladly allow you to plant crops to draw in the deer.
Others will definitely not be happy to find that you’ve sown clover all over their field.
4. You’ve leased land, so the whole family can come
It’s natural to assume that you can bring your son, your uncle, your friends, and your drinking buddies down to the lease. From the landowner’s perspective, the environmental impact of this is huge.
A landowner can limit the amount of people on the land at one time and can even impose a quota. Before you bring everyone down to your new lease, make sure of the game they shoot, and verify if it will count against your quota.
5. The landowner should expect some damage from hunters on the land
It’s a hunt and not a garden party. If your drive across the land damaged the fields, that’s to be expected, right? Wrong. A landowner can seek reimbursement for damage caused by hunters during a hunting lease. Consider getting liability insurance to protect yourself from damage claims.
With any new hunting lease, keep it to a year until you know that you like the landowner and the property. If all goes well over the term of the lease, negotiate a longer term next season.
Have something to add? A question to ask? Leave it in the comments.