Maybe you’re not a landowner. But the idea of having a little piece of property to hunt on all to yourself is something you’ve always dreamt about. No more arriving hours before dawn to beat other people to your favorite duck hunting slough. And definitely no parking wars at the entrance to the wildlife management unit you’re trying to hunt. The problem is that owning a property may just be out of reach for many people. While most hunters don’t realize it, hunting leases are surprisingly affordable in many cases. They’re not as exclusive as you might think, and with the information listed below, you will have an even easier time getting one. So if you’ve been pouring through hunting lease classifieds, but all the best hunting properties are unavailable, here are the steps you will need to take.
How to Find a Hunting Lease
You think it’s time for finding hunting leases, but you’re not sure where to start. The easiest place to begin is with our lease spotter map. You can narrow your search down by state and find hunting land for lease very easily. Each listing usually includes pictures, a description of the property and landowner, what activities would be allowed, the acreage, and what the lease price is. So if you’re interested in the Midwest for big bucks and turkeys, you can search specifically for Illinois hunting leases, for example, and see what options you find.
If you’d prefer to strike out on your own, you can identify properties you’d be interested in and just do the old-school method of driving up and knocking on doors. Some landowners really dislike this as they have been burned before, so you’ll probably have to face a lot of rejection using this method. But if you find the right landowner in the right mood, it might just work out for you both. Below, you’ll find a few ways you can make a good impression and be more likely to get a yes out of the landowner
How to Convince a Landowner
If a landowner really isn’t interested in hunting leases for their property, there’s probably very little you can do to change their mind. That’s just how it is. But if they’re not totally against the idea, there are several things you can do that might change their mind.
One of the most important things you can mention is that you’d insist on using hunting lease liability insurance (i.e., hunting club insurance). Liability is a scary word to a landowner when they’re thinking of allowing a stranger to use their land. But with one of our policies, both the landowner and the hunter would be covered in the event of an accident. You can get a free quote for hunting lease liability insurance on our site and include up to seven different landowners at no additional cost. The cost scales based on the acreage covered and each policy includes a basic American Hunting Lease Association membership and a fully customizable hunting lease agreement template. This really impresses prospective landowners because it shows you’re serious about your commitment to responsible and safe hunting.
Other subtle tactics include bringing one of your kids along for the visit. Most people will be more receptive to the idea if they see your intent is to teach a child how to respect their land. Just make sure they are on their best behavior when you show up for one of these requests! Additionally, you can offer to help out around their property (e.g., cut some firewood, maintain some fences, fix something, etc.) as a perk of the agreement. Similarly, make it clear that the landowner gets the final say in everything and that you’d be willing to only take does or help with some predator control first – anything you can do to earn your keep a bit.
When to Find Hunting Leases
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! But it does take time to get a hunting lease set up, work through the details, and get your insurance. So if you’re really hoping to get out for opening morning of deer season and you’re just approaching landowners three days beforehand, good luck with that.
Think about what would be most convenient for the landowner too. For example, most row crop farmers are beyond busy in the fall when they’re harvesting their fields, and the last thing they have time for is to chat through a farm land lease. The same would go for the spring planting season. On the other hand, they would generally have much more availability during the winter or summer months. This would be a better time to approach them and work through the details.
Hunting leases don’t have to be as complicated as you think, especially if you use the tactics above! In addition to these tactics, there are many resources provided in the links below for both hunters and landowners to make the creation of a hunting lease relationship smooth.