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Outfitters and lease hunting.

Old 08-19-2007, 05:52 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2007
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Default Outfitters and lease hunting.

I registered specifically to respond to an old thread I saw somewhere on this forum(that I cannot find now) about outfitters and lease hunting, ie the poster was unhappy to put it mildly that so much land has been leased by outfitters.

I am a farmer with about 2500 acres of very good hunting land, most of which I lease to an outfitter. I am not all that happy about it, but I do it for economic reasons. In my experience, the "free" hunters I use to deal with were much less respectful of myself, my family, and my property than those who pay to use it. In case many of you are unaware of it, farming has become an increasingly difficult business the last 20 years,and land values have skyrocketed.........just as hunters have to competewith the very wealthy for land to hunt, farmers have to compete with very wealthy non-farmers for land to buy to farm.

There is a simple solution to this, as hunters simply lease the land yourself. I think you might be surprised what you could get for $1000 a year. In my own case, I would be more than happy to cut out the middle man, because what I am receiving and what he is charging are far apart, and I am providing the one essential thing, the land. I have no idea how many different hunters are going through my property in a years time, I know it is at least 10, so a group leasing the land is not a problem for me or most other people. Approach landowners with a degree of understanding that you are both in the same boat, competing for land against some very wealthy people. Keep several things in mind, first, you must respect the fact that the farmer owns the land, his word must be law, second, the most money may not get the place, it helps if the landowner actually likes you. Don't BS us, we can see that a mile away and it pisses us off. Little things like helping put in some cows, fixing a little fence, or a simple thank you for letting us hunt go a long way. DON'T show up on Sunday afternoon and ruin our time with our family by trying to make us think you care how harvest was, we like a little time to ourselves. Leasing good hunting land doesn't have to be out of reach of the majority of people, it would be easy for 5-10 guys to go together and beat most outfitters price. Just remember, you still don't own the land, you have to respect the farmer/rancher who does. Believe me, I long for the good old days of just 20 years ago when everyone hunted our land for free, and I could buy all the landI wanted for $400 an acre.
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Old 08-19-2007, 08:29 PM
Boone & Crockett
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Ponce de Leon Florida USA
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Default RE: Outfitters and lease hunting.

It's your land and you have every right to lease the land if you want to. I've been part of groups for a long time that leases land (mostly timber company land). I spend about $3000 a year to make sure I have a good place for myself and my grandsonsto hunt and don't have any regrets.
I was approached this year about being part of a outfitter arranged lease based in Missouri. The first year you pay $1500 and then each year threafter you pay $1250 with a guarantee of having a certain number of farms to choose to hunt available each weekend. No hunting during the week on any of the land. Mileage is the only reason I didn't join.
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Old 08-19-2007, 09:23 PM
Nontypical Buck
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: WY
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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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Old 08-20-2007, 02:06 AM
Nontypical Buck
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Location: Tennessee
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Default RE: Outfitters and lease hunting.

We also lease our land from a landowner, not every hunter doesn't.

The guy we lease from isn't a farmer, to my knowledge, though he does plantcorn one year, and soybeans the next, and this year cotton, that's still an area we're allowed to hunt, it's a part of the lease.
Since they don't grow wheat there, we don't have to worry about them summerfowling and scaring away the deer.

Anyway, the landownerdoesn't live there,he lives further down the road or something, so we just give him the money, and leave him alone, that's the way the landowner likesit, that's the way we'll have it.....
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Old 08-20-2007, 07:33 AM
Fork Horn
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Location: Colorado
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Default RE: Outfitters and lease hunting.

NICE POST! You hit the nail on the head.
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