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Old 08-19-2007, 09:23 PM
  #3  
homers brother
Nontypical Buck
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: WY
Posts: 2,054
Default RE: Outfitters and lease hunting.

KF, have land values skyrocketed because farming has become more difficult, or have land values skyrocketed because it's "better" used for tract homes and private hunting preserves?

I'm probably the poster you refer to, so hope I'm saving you a search? My family included a couple of farms until recently. One was sold at estate auction to another farmer and remains in production today. The other was sold to a "very wealthy non-farmer" as you put it, to be used as a private hunting preserve. Interestingly, where you're now a farmer leasing land to hunters, our former neighbors now lease farm land from a hunter.

Ever considered leasing land to farm?

So, will farming and hunting one day beonly for the wealthy? No, you can still hunt most public lands (though we're not well-liked in some regions of the country, "gunowning rednecks", etc.).You'll probably never be able to till up some BLM land and raise a crop of dryland wheat.

"Simply lease the land yourself". Surprise - I do. A goose pit cost me $2400 last season, and it's not a choice one along the flyway. Just getting access to one ranch I'm aware of here will cost you $3000, $5000 if you shoot a five-point buck or better.

I can hunt a whole lot of public land for $3000. Problem is, so can lots of others. And when the pressure increases on public land, the deer (and elk) head for areas with less pressure, generally private land, often under a lease. Now you, the landowner, have a much larger huntable population on your land, available to your outfitter - and as evident by his higher hunter success ratios.Time to reno the lease the next time it comes up, right?

A high schoolfriend participated in this business for awhile years ago, though his reputation was great, and he had good property leased, the landowners raised the price on him after awhile and priced him out of the outfitter business and intodriving a haul truck in the coal mines.

This is where hunting IS becoming a sport only for the wealthy, especially if you live in an area bereft of huntable public lands.

Not sure how Kansas works, but in some western states, there's little attention paid to crop damage and depredation claimsand whetherthere's ahunting lease involved or not. So, as a taxpayer, is it right for me to be gated out of a landowner's property, yet he has a right to claim damages from"public" animals that I didn't have the opportunity to help manage?

No, I don't discount the economic reasons you cite, and I'll neither discount the criminally cheap price weAmericans pay at the store for aquality food supply (or that most of that doesn't go to the producer, but the processor). And I won'tsuggest you be denied the right to manage your property as you see fit, as long as it comes with some responsibility in the eventpublic wildlife in some way damages your property, or that you can't participate in any type of state- or federally-funded habitat improvement programs while the property is leased.

But, I hope you'llin turn also feel some of my frustration in listening to other hunters (some of thempossibly Kansans) complain about how "expensive" our licenses are, and that the federal government should step in and tell states what to do.

Maybe the states have "economic reasons" too?

I do appreciate your post here, since it does give an idea of the challenges faced by farmers. The more we know, maybe the less we'll all complain, eh?
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