The legal side of hunting and leasing property can be a bit confusing.

If you have never done it before, it can seem like there is a lot to keep track of and getting everything right can be stressful. Whether you are the hunter, landowner, or a hunting club, The American Hunting Lease Association (AHLA) has everything you need to get started. We can get you all the right paperwork and walk you through what it means. Once you spend some time on it, you will find that it isn’t as complicated as you may have initially thought. A large part of an actual hunting lease is the hunting lease agreement. This is a form that both the hunter and the landowner sign that states all of the details of the hunting lease. This contains information like how long the lease goes for, who is on the lease, where the lease is at, and plenty of other important information. Although one of the most important sections is the “miscellaneous” section. This is where you can write in specific rules for your lease, as long as both parties agree to them.
If you already have a policy with AHLA, you can get started on your hunting lease agreement here. The AHLA’s hunting lease contract has been time tested for over 22 years and sets the standard for private hunting leases and hunt clubs across the country. The AHLA hunting lease has been reviewed by attorneys for both hunters and landowners and has consistently received praise and approval. Let’s see how it can help you on your next lease.

You’ll need one to file a claim

If something should ever happen on your leased property and you need to exercise your AHLA policy, you will need a hunting lease agreement to file a claim. Since this agreement lists out all the terms in your lease, it is essential for leasing agents to evaluate how the situation should be handled.
Keep in mind, your hunting lease agreement does not list out the details or premiums of your policy. That information will be reserved for a document between you and AHLA. So what you have in your hunting lease agreement is not going to change what happens with your policy, but it is required to use your policy if you should ever need to.

Set Specific Rules Around Your Lease

Every hunting property is a bit different, and that means that leases need to be flexible. Landowners often need to put additional rules on a standard lease that could impact the times a hunter can be on the property, what kind of vehicles they can bring, what kind of weapons can be used, or any other number of stipulations. Remember, the hunting lease agreement is between the landowner and hunters, so as long as the other party agrees, you can put just about anything you would like in the agreement. This is a great thing for landowners because if there is ever something that they want to make sure the hunter does, or doesn’t do, then they can put it in writing and have the hunter sign it.
Whether you want to put rules in the lease about your farm equipment that the hunter shouldn’t mess with, or specific details about a lock on the front gate and who will have a key to it, you can put as much or as little as you like in your custom hunting lease agreement.

When is the best time to look for and buy a hunting lease? In the most practical sense, the best time is whenever you can afford it!

January and February is a great time to look for a lease – many landowners may be looking for new hunters if they had problems with the previous hunters during hunting season.  Many leases will expire at the first of the year allowing you to take advantage of a property that has become available.  By securing a lease early in the year, you can plan your strategy and habitat management for the year and ensure that you have enough time to put in the work before hunting season arrives.

It is an extra tool for hunters.

As a hunter, finding a good lease can be tough. Oftentimes hunters will talk with landowners that may not have considered leasing their land out before and try to come to some sort of agreement. A lot of times these are verbal agreements that don’t hold much water. The majority of these verbal agreements are landowners that allow hunters to use their property for free since they are a friend or friend of a friend. Although these relationships can end just as quickly as they started.
As a hunter, if you find a good parcel of land that you would want to hunt, let the landowner know that you will put together a lease agreement with terms that you both agree to. Putting in some effort to keep you both legally protected makes you look well put together and having the terms written down in plain English will make the majority of landowners feel much better about allowing you to hunt on their parcel. Plus, you can still get an AHLA policy on a parcel that you don’t pay for if the landowner doesn’t require you to. So, setting up the policy and signing a hunting lease agreement is a no brainer, especially if the lease agreement and million-dollar policy is the factor that convinces a landowner to allow you to hunt their property.

Getting your hunting lease agreement squared away

It is a good idea for every hunter and landowner to have a hunting lease agreement. Usually, when issues come up after a verbal agreement, there is a lot of he-said she-said. With the hunting lease agreement, everything can be written down, and both parties sign it. This way, you both know where the other stands and exactly what should and shouldn’t be allowed on the property.
The American Hunting Lease Association also has the best hunting lease agreement in the industry, and it has been time tested for decades at this point. A hunting lease agreement is also required if you ever need to use your insurance policy to pay for any damages or legal fees. This agreement is also the best place to write out any extra terms your lease may have and have both parties agree to them.

Lastly, an AHLA policy and a hunting lease agreement written in plain English is a convincing tool for hunters that would like to lease land from landowners that are not quite sure if they want to lease yet. Having everything written down in a legal document makes both parties more comfortable, and with the AHLA template, it is super quick and easy to get your own hunting lease agreement filled out in no time.