Accessing private land with quality wildlife habitat has become the single greatest hurdle facing hunters in the United States. The US Fish and Wildlife Service conducts a national survey every 5 years to gain insight and useful information into the hunting, fishing and outdoor activities of Americans. The results of the 2016 survey were published in late 2017 and revealed a disheartening and industry threatening trend. The number of people hunting in 2016 compared to 2011 was down over 2 million. That figure represents a 16% decline in hunters afield in just a 5 year period. Obviously, that trend cannot continue if we intend to pass on an ethical hunting lifestyle to our children and grandchildren.
The American Hunting Lease Association is determined to do its part to secure the future of hunting in America. In response to the troubling trend, the AHLA has developed and launched LeaseSpotter, a hunting lease listing service for landowners and hunters. While other services may be similar, AHLA’s LeaseSpotter is 100% FREE for both landowners and hunters.
While other services may be similar, AHLA’s LeaseSpotter is 100% FREE for both landowners and hunters.
“The simple truth is that we recognize the need to reverse the decline in hunter numbers and that starts with making access to quality habitat easier for everyone”, notes AHLA Chief Operating Officer Sean Ferbrache. “Frankly, that effort doesn’t start with hunters like some may think. It actually starts with the landowner. We wanted to offer landowners an avenue to market their property with a clean, easy process from an organization they already know and certainly trust.”
LeaseSpotter provides landowners with a secure marketing tool that walks a landowner through a simple 5 step process that creates a professional listing complete with pictures. Once the listing is created, the landowner has a final review and can publish it on LeaseSpotter for hunters to review and consider. Requests or questions from hunters go directly to the landowner and the listing can be removed as soon as the landowner finds a suitable hunter or group of hunters. The landowner maintains complete control throughout the entire process.
“We have heard horror stories about hunting lease listings on Craigslist and other sites and we wanted to do everything possible to make sure that doesn’t happen here. So, every hunter and landowner that uses LeaseSpotter must create a free account before they are allowed to list or browse listings. This helps us maintain a level of accountability,” added Ferbrache.
If left to the exclusivity of private landowners, LeaseSpotter would be a tremendous asset to anyone searching for a quality lease. However, the AHLA recognizes the important role professional hunting lease brokers play in the process. Through the American Hunting Lease Association’s Certified Associate program, brokers are able to list their available properties as well. As more brokers enroll in the program, the number of listings will increase dramatically.
“Allowing the professional hunting lease companies and foresters with hunting leases to use LeaseSpotter is what puts it over the top in my eyes”, stated Ferbrache. “Now hunters don’t have to spend hours on their computer, searching for the smaller leasing companies that may have the listing they want. Hunters and hunt clubs looking for ground to hunt, can simply monitor the LeaseSpotter and know they are seeing a large portion of the available leases.”
What LeaseSpotter means to hunters and hunt clubs is clear. As more landowners make their farms and properties available, it means more opportunities for those seeking a quality hunting experience. LeaseSpotter allows interested hunters to search a wide array of leases from across the country or a narrow search of available leases in a particular state or in a specific price range.
With the addition of LeaseSpotter, the American Hunting Lease Association continues to serve the needs of hunters and landowners everywhere.
“Our staff works daily to educate and inform landowners how beneficial a hunting lease can be, added Ferbrache. “ the upside on a hunting lease is undeniable. Landowners are recouping some of the operating costs they have on land ownership like property taxes, as well as addressing trespasser issues and crop depredation. On the other side, hunters are gaining access to private land and hunting it with their small group exclusively. It’s a win-win.”
The American Hunting Lease Association has provided the tools and guidance needed to make the hunting lease arrangement mutually beneficial since 2010. Over 5000 hunt clubs from across the country take advantage of the AHLA hunting lease insurance package, which includes a fully customizable lease agreement.
“We will continue to do everything we can to make hunting and hunting leases as safe, ethical and worry-free as possible. That is a promise” – AHLA COO Sean Ferbrache
According to COO Ferbrache, the hunting lease concept will prove to be the most versatile tool we have to ensure the future of hunting because it affords private landowners the opportunity to generate revenue and maintain ownership of their farms. This, in turn, will ensure that habitat remains intact and pristine.