Whether because of a change in ownership, land use or competition, hunters lose hunting leases every year. Leaseholders should never have to worry about losing their leases to other groups, and they can secure them for longer terms if the property is properly cared for.
Whether purchased or inherited, property owners are proud of their landholdings and want to do everything they can to maintain and improve their property values. Landowners lease out their hunting rights for two basic reasons: for policing and keeping road accesses maintained, and of course, the revenue. With property taxes adding to other costs of ownership, landowners rely on lease payments as a source of revenue. The last thing a property owner wants to do is have to spend their property revenue repairing roads, gates, ditches and litter-collection services.
Landowners own property as investments. Beyond the lease payments, they will earn income off these properties in timber sales, farm-rights leases, and future potential land-development uses.
Even though hunters have total access to these hunting properties and all legal hunting rights, the lease doesn’t give them free pass to destroy roads and mistreat the property. When access is disabled from improper use by hunters, this can disrupt their income streams, and that will not be tolerated. Hunting leased land is a privilege and a small price to pay for the hundreds of hours of recreation and the bounty of wildlife removed in a single year.
Hunters on leased lands should always make strides to leave only a small footprint on the land and make every attempt to retain the natural beauty of these parcels. Drainage ways should not be impeded, and access roadways should be treaded on lightly. Misuse can rack up large invoices from heavy equipment contractors to return roads to safe travels.
At no point should trash or other refuse be discarded on land while under a hunting lease. All trash should be packed out.
Leases are a privilege, and if hunters take extra-special care of the land, they can expect annual renewals. Most landowners who are comfortable with the hunting parties will entertain a multi-year lease option. Not only can a multi-year option guarantee hunting for multiple years, it can also lock in the lease rate as well.
If hunters take care of the land and their landowners, they can expect to retain these properties as long as possible and at a reasonable lease rate.