So as you may have read in my previous posts or articles, it does get very frustrating these days trying to find a decent place to hunt deer. It gets frustrating seeing a nice big patch of woods nearby, seeing a bunch of deer every morning or evening on the way to or home from work. And usually seeing a bunch of “No Hunting” or “Posted” signs surrounding the property.
I don’t know about you guys, but I really DO NOT like knocking on doors! I get nervous. I feel like everyone that has posted signs up are anti-hunters before I even pull in the driveway. I know this is not always the case, but the worse case scenario is what’s always in my mind as I’m on my way there. I’ve got a couple friends that seem to never fail at getting permission to hunt. They also happen to be salesman, and good salesman at that, so maybe that has something to do with it?? I myself am not a salesman. I am just a normal guy trying to get access to a spot for me and my kids to hunt. I know there are awesome tips and tactics for getting permission to hunt private land, which we can definitely get into during another post. But this post is about another option. An option I never thought I would dive into!
When All Else Fails
Like I mentioned above, I hate it but I do try! I knock on doors, I ask, and my answer is usually this:
- We love animals (no way you’re shooting our precious)
- We hunt this property ourselves
- I already have guys hunting here
- We don’t want to be liable for any accidents
It gets old doesn’t it? I just don’t have that knack I guess. Like I said, some guys are good at it, some guys (LIKE ME), are not. So I actually started researching about something I never thought I would research about, Leasing Land For Deer Hunting!
Don’t Judge a Book By Its Cover
I have to admit, I really didn’t know much at all about the whole leasing land for hunting thing. Actually, when I was younger, I really never heard about it at all. That’s because I really don’t think it existed back then. But I have to say, over the past 10 years or so, I believe this has been growing and growing in popularity. So I admit, I didn’t like the whole idea at first. I just thought it was about a bunch of wealthy land owners trying to get more wealthy. And in some cases, this very well may be true. But the more people I talked to, and the more research I did, I found there are legitimate land owners out their, willing to lease their land for a reasonable price. Are they making some coin? Absolutely, but you, the hunter, are also benefiting as well!
Reasons for The Land Owner to Lease
Well #1 is obviously money! But trust me, you can find land owners that have reasonable rates. Some will lease by the week or by the season or by the year. But you have to do some research to find a price range you can handle. This will mostly depend on acreage and other things.
I would say #2 is the fact that they are just not letting anyone hunt their property. Yes, they may not know you upfront, but they know you must be serious if you are willing to pay some money to hunt their property. This does ease their mind a bit.
# 3 – Controlling the overpopulation. Protecting their crops, bushes, shrubs, trees, or gardens.
And # 4, I would have to say is the money! Lol.
Reason a Hunter Should Lease Deer Hunting Land
I could come up with a ton of reasons for this. And I can first hand let you know that it has been an awesome experience for me the past 3 years. Yes, I’ve only been involved in a lease for 3 years. One property in PA, where I’m from, but also 1 property in Ohio! My outlook has certainly changed on the whole subject. I love it! I did luck out and found a couple leases that I thought were very reasonable in price. For the amount of land and the time we get to hunt it. But the benefits for me are as follows:
- I get to hunt by myself or with 2 to 3 buddies that I went into the lease with (which also helps with the price if the land owner allows a few of you to hunt depending on the size of the property)
- You can not only really scout that property out yourself, but usually the land owner has a good idea what the deer on his or her property are doing! Every little bit of info helps
- They usually don’t mind if you put trail cams up or permanent tree stands
- Creating a good relationship with the land owner can open up opportunities at other properties (Hey, Spencer has been hunting here for 3 years, he is a very responsible hunter, respects my property and is safe. He always offers some venison to us if he gets a deer. If you’re having trouble with too many deer on your property, give Spence a call!) Sounds corny but it works.
- No “fluorescent orange army” to deal with!
- You may be a PA resident and get a lease in Ohio like me. So now instead of shooting one buck, I get the excitement of possibly getting a PA buck and an Ohio buck! And there are way too many advantages to write that made me sway my thinking about leasing land.
Find Properties and Cover Your Butt
There are a lot of websites you can search to find leases. My absolute favorite and the one I use the most is THE AMERICAN HUNTING LEASE ASSOCIATION (AHLA). Word of mouth or your local bowhunting shop is also an option. One thing I will say, and one thing I do is insure myself. That is why I like the AHLA website so much. It’s a one stop shopping site for leases and lease insurance. It has a nice search engine for properties available for lease in a bunch of states and the insurance for these leases are very reasonable in price.
God forbid something happens on the property you are hunting, you have peace of mind that you are covered in all ways. Hunter lease insurance will cover you both as the hunter and the land owner.
If leasing always left a bad taste in your mouth, give it a second thought. I did, and I’m very glad I did. Not every landowner is out there to rip you off! There are some good guys out there still. And plenty of states with hunting properties to choose from. Thanks for reading and good luck this season!
Yours in hunting,