Does starting your own hunting club sound like something you would be interested in? If it does, it might be easier to do than you think. If you have a group of trusted friends and family that are as crazy about hunting as you are, then it is definitely possible for you to start a hunt club of your very own.
Creating a hunt club can also come with some added benefits that you might overlook, especially if you are looking for hunting land to buy or lease and maintain. Using a hunt club to achieve your hunting interests and goals can be a great route to go if you can find partners to work with. Running a hunt club is a lot of hard work, but it can also be very rewarding. Let’s take a look at the steps to starting a new hunt club.
Lease or Purchase Land
This is the number one thing about starting a hunt club. You have to have land to hunt. This can come in the form of leasing from a landowner or outright buying land to dedicate towards hunting activities. This is where your first benefit of creating a hunt club comes in.
When leasing or purchasing land to hunt on, it can become expensive. Splitting the cost of a lease or the mortgage to purchase land between members of your club can really help drive down the individual cost of hunting year in and year out. So instead of having to convince your significant other to solely purchase land for hunting, the cost can be split among friends, family, and other members of the club.
Keep in mind when leasing or purchasing land that you know roughly how many hunters you plan on allowing to hunt and how much acreage you are planning on utilizing. Make sure you go big enough to handle your club for the foreseeable future but not too big that it can’t be managed.
Members and Membership
Establish who the most important members of your hunt club will be and what roles they will fill. Your key members can make or break your hunt club, so it is wise to keep your group small at first until you establish a routine and figure out exactly how things will work in your hunt club. Make sure that you know the members and can work together through issues. It’s easier to add new members than it is to kick members out.
Also, decide what parameters and grounds you will have for adding new members in the future. This isn’t an answer that will need to be answered right away, but it is good to discuss amongst the founding members for the future of the hunt club.
Meetings and By-Laws
It is always important for any type of club or group to have regular meetings and to establish a set of rules and laws that all members need to abide by in the operation of the hunt club. Without clearly defined rules and by-laws, a hunt club can quickly turn into a mess where members feel there is no clear direction of operation. Establish clear rules and by-laws for every member to follow and how the hunt club’s operations should be conducted.
Having regular meetings to ensure that everyone is on the same page is important, especially right before major events of the year or hunting season.
This is also a good time to elect officers who will help establish order and keep the responsibilities of the hunt club in line. These people should be responsible and trusted by the whole club to carry out the daily business of the hunt club.
Hunt Club Business
Treat your hunt club like a business. Decide collectively on a name, know who the leadership is, and keep track of everything so that there is a record of all happenings inside the hunt club. Know what the overhead expenses are and how you will cover those expenses every year. This isn’t just a fun club for buddies to blow money on.
If you operate it like a business, it will ensure that your hunt club will be around for years to come. It will also help you blossom your hunt club into something bigger than you ever imagined that will bring pleasure and joy to members for the foreseeable future.
Get Insurance for Your Property
Whether you are leasing or purchasing property, be sure that you have an insurance policy that covers any accidents or incidents that may occur inside of the hunt club. Unforeseeable things are bound to occur over time and making sure that your hunt club is covered and insured is vitally important.
The American Hunting Lease Association provides insurance policies for hunters that gives coverage and peace of mind to hunt clubs and hunters alike. The insurance policy that American Hunting Lease Association provides $1 million in coverage ($2 million for the upgraded option) with no deductible. It has member-to-member coverage and covers every hunter listed on your lease. There is also guest liability coverage, fire damage liability, medical pay, and liability from tree stands and ATVs used for hunting.
Getting insurance for your hunt club to cover any incidents or accidents is a no brainer and should not be neglected. Don’t have your hunt club ruined after an accident because you didn’t have insurance.
Just because you are starting your own hunt club does not mean that you have to do everything on your own. Check with your state’s DNR or Fish and Wildlife organization to see if there are grants or funds that could help your hunt club operate. It is worth looking into because it could really help advance your hunt club.
Many of these grants or funds will come with stipulations and special rules that your hunt club will have to follow to gain access to the support you are seeking. Much of it will probably have to do with habitat and conservation methods that the state is looking to implement. But this is a good opportunity to take if it helps keep your hunt club operational for the long haul.
Now that you have seen the main steps that it takes to start a hunt club and how possible it is to make it happen, don’t hesitate. There will be hurdles to jump over, but don’t let that stop you from achieving your hunting dreams. Just make sure that you are insured along the way, and you will never have to worry about the natural liabilities that come along with hunting.
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