From the July Issue of VA Outdoors Magazine

Many hunters are looking to take advantage of the large network of hunting leases that become available on a regular basis. Often times these can be prime pieces of property where long term leases can be negotiated. To someone leasing for the first time they may be completely in love with the property and not think about the fine print in the lease agreements. Here is some advice and points to consider before you settle on a property to lease.


Six Means the Same Six
When landowners, whether private or corporate landowners, lease property they want to insure that the lessee is going to be a good steward of the land. The land isnít just a monetary investment for them. Some hunters are under the impression that if they lease a property that has a maximum number of six hunters, that it means six hunters this week and six different hunters the next week. This isnít always true and can be a breach of contract and could result in losing your lease. Most language states the six who sign the lease agreement are the only six that may hunt. Your insurance policy, whether supplied as part of your feeís or done on your own, will have stipulations as well.


Growing Food Plots
The first thing any hunter dreams about is what food plots should be planted. This is another area that can be problematic if you donít look deeper. Your management company will tell you what properties have stipulations on planting food plots. Remember you are agreeing to the right to be able to harvest game not to plant as you wish. Some properties already have existing food plots or areas where plots can be maintained. Any grey areas should be fully worked out in advance with the landowners, make them aware of your game management plan. If your management plan isnít in-line with the land owners then maybe it isnít a good fit.


See the Property First Hand
Hunters shouldnít just rely on topo maps or satellite images from Google maps. Meet the landowner or management company at the property and walk the property. Be sure to inspect any buildings on the property, what types of condition are the wooded areas, are their water sources, etc. Building a relationship with the landowner is important, especially if you would like them to renew your lease. At the same time be sure you understand the condition of the property and that it is suitable for your hunting group. If there are buildings or structures you will be responsible for their condition and repairs if they become damaged by your group.


When you donít have access to private hunting land of your own, leasing property can be the next best thing. Be sure to fully read the contract and ask any questions. Leases are often times major financial commitments so be sure that the hunters you go in to a lease with are committed as well.

From the July Issue of VA Outdoors Magazine