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Average deer lease cost by state?



By: BossBowman
Posted: 28-Nov-06

What is the average cost of a deer lease in your state? I know some of you guys just hunt public lands, but for those of you who lease I'm interested. I hunt in texas and the parks and wildlife department have started implementing antler restrictions, and as a result north texas is starting to catch up with south texas in trophy quality and prices are starting to go up up up. I'm sure the price of gas also plays into this. I'm not complaining I have a good paying job and can afford it. However the prevailence of $2000 a year leases is becoming more and more common and the hunting culture in texas is changing, the blue collar class seems to be getting priced out of the market and they're not happy about it.


By: Tradman & Huntress
Posted: 28-Nov-06

Tradman & Huntress's embedded Photo

Cost is directly related to "trophy areas" and how long the season is. Another factor that plays heavily upon cost is the length of the gun season. Texas is higher for the most part, but gun season is 2 months long, where-as some states it's only 9 days. Also, the number of Bucks you may kill factors into the equation.

In oklahoma, most average leases go for $3-$5 dollars per acre for a year round lease. (Rifle season is 16 days) The trophy areas go highly than that.

I've leased for several years and love it. I know who is hunting with me and can somewhat control what we harvest.

Matt Napper


By: ironhunter
Posted: 28-Nov-06

15 to 20$ an acre in some of the best areas of Wisconsin.


By: benderofwood
Posted: 28-Nov-06

Between 5 and 30 an acre here in Arkansas; depends who owns the land; ever since people started "trophy" hunting around here, the price of land and the lease has gone through the roof; I'm glad to have my 40 acres and am glad that Arkansas has over 3.5 million acres for public hunting; hate to see where deer hunting is going


By: Andy
Posted: 28-Nov-06

average 15-20 per acre here in Mississippi for average land, $40-$60/acre for some of the best, and this is 16th section land!


By: bowriter
Posted: 29-Nov-06

1983. I leased 2500 acres in three counties of middle Tn for $2750. I leased 640 acres in Hickman Co, TN for $225 and in 1998, I leased 400 acres in IL for $5000.


By: bowriter
Posted: 29-Nov-06

Let me add this. Hunters are not the most creative when it comes to negotiating a lease. There are leases and then there are leases and then there are ways to lease. There is even a way to lease prime ground that ends up costing you nothing.

But that kind of lease requires thinking of things besides deer.


By: Mighy Mouse
Posted: 29-Nov-06

I paid 8.75 an acre for my lease in Michigan.

160 acres, $1400.00 for the whole calendar year. Property could be used for turkey hunting, small game, coyote hunting, deer hunting and fishing (has a river on it).

I split the cost with one other person so it cost's me 700.00 this year. The landowner provided us with first option to lease the land for the next 5yrs so we will likely be there for at least that long.


By: Horn Donkey
Posted: 29-Nov-06

It depends on the kind of lease you are after.

My lease is $950.00 for 2200 acres. We have 20 members and a 130 inch minimum.

I have a friend who leases 5000 acres with 50 people for $900.00 and they don't have any trophy management rules. Their average deer is a 1 1/2 year old 6 pointer.

There are leases with 500 acres and 25 members who shoot everything that walks that cost around $500.00.

Everything is relative, and the equation is something like this:

# of Acres / # of Hunters X Trophy Potential Area = Cost of lease

I came from a lease that we had in the 80's and early 90's that was over 5000 acres and cost me $250.00 a year. Cost has jumped for sure, but so have the size of the deer I'm taking.

Good hunting everyone!


By: Ty
Posted: 29-Nov-06

Leases should be outlawed. It will sooner or later end our sport. To me it is no differant than selling the game animal itself. Our kids will never be able to find a place to hunt. It took a sport and turned in into a buisness.


By: JT
Posted: 29-Nov-06


By: JT
Posted: 29-Nov-06

Leases will not be outlawed but they are an unfortunate trend. The guys I hunt on here in Iowa are all plus 60 years of age and give us permission with no strings attached other than try and kill as many does as we can. Of course, we practice common courtesy and a respect for their fences, gates, not driving on wet ground, etc. There are three of us who hunt together and we give each farmer a smoked turkey or ham at the end of the season and they are very appreciative. I realize from articles and info on this blog that we are very fortunate.


By: Ty
Posted: 29-Nov-06

JT, that is how it should be.


By: bigbull
Posted: 29-Nov-06

"Leases should be outlawed. It will sooner or later end our sport. To me it is no differant than selling the game animal itself. Our kids will never be able to find a place to hunt. It took a sport and turned in into a buisness."

It'll happen sooner, not later. And you are absolutely right, most kids will have a very hard time finding anywhere to hunt, and probably fish too.


By: BossBowman
Posted: 29-Nov-06

"Leases should be outlawed. It will sooner or later end our sport. To me it is no differant than selling the game animal itself. Our kids will never be able to find a place to hunt. It took a sport and turned in into a buisness."

Thats hilarious, if that happened in texas the economy would take a huge hit in south as well as west texas. There are some towns like llano in west texas who make 90% of their income on opening weekend of rifle season. The hunting industry is big business here.


By: Stik'n String
Posted: 29-Nov-06

Hunting is a business and will continue to be so. Landowners in Texas are making far more money selling deer leasing rights than they could ever hope to by scratching out an existence by ranching cattle or sheep. The trend has been for those same landowners who recognize the economic value hunter's dollars are bringing to act as better stewards of their properties, thereby benefitting all wildlife which might otherwise suffer as a result of overgrazing and alternative land uses. Further, the increase in leasing and corporate hunting opportunities has lessened the prevalence of land fragmentation where farmers and ranchers can't make ends meet and wind up selling their land in broken up parcels. With that said, I admit I am playing devil's advocate. I hunt in South Texas which is arguably the most expensive place in the U.S. to lease quality land. This has certainly limited my access to good ground and I currently pay a whopping portion of my annual income to pursue whitetail each year. With very little public land in this state, what other choice is there? Fortunately, I am leasing from a rancher friend who is providing an 1800 acre pasture of PRIME brush country habitat to us for the bargain basement price of 7 bucks an acre. While that may seem not-so bargain basement to many of you, other parcels on the same 68,000 acre ranch are leasing to Houston and Dallas hunters who gladly shell out between $18 and $20 an acre for much, much larger holdings. The average price for quality land (meaning property containing deer and excluding quail hunting rights) in my region of the state is between $2,800.00 and $3,500.00 per hunter for year-round access. For "prime" acreage, the dollar figure is probably closer to $5,500.00-$6,500.00. I have a friend who gladly spends $10,000.00 for season access to a pasture of the King Ranch. Will these figures continue to increase in the future? Sure, as long as there is demand. However, blue collar joes are being priced out of the game at the same time we are increasingly becoming an urbanized culture. With fewer individuals actually doing the hunting, there will be fewer people willing to pay for access. That must have some affect on prices eventually, but who knows what that effect will be. Face it, hunting is increasingly becoming an elitist pursuit in some areas. How many mill workers and truck drivers do you know who are capable of spending the kind of money quoted above? Especially since that does not include the costs associated with getting to and from the lease and the costs associated with building a camp, blinds, feeding, etc. (none of which are typically included in the fee charged by landowners). Sad situation, but there is little else we can do other than end capitalism or try to make more money so we can share in the upward economic pressure being exerted on hunting access fees... sounds a bit like a "catch 22," eh?


By: Horn Donkey
Posted: 29-Nov-06

In Georgia, we just passed a wildlife bill which protects over 2 million acres of land for hunting for the next 50 years.

There are many trophy opportunities out there on public land in the form of quota hunts, and most of the people that lease land with me enter those quota hunts on an annual basis. Leasing is not going to end free hunting here in Georgia thats for darn sure. As for free hunting on private land, you can still do that. It just happens on smaller tracts of land.

I lease property so that I can see more game, know the people i hunt with, and maximize my potential for killing a big deer.


By: Mighy Mouse
Posted: 29-Nov-06

If you outlaw leases than you better outlaw land ownership to because there are a lot of landowners out there who won't let your kids hunt on their land either. Make all land in the world public and then we can have more threads dedicated to the struggles of hunting on public land.

My opinion is probabaly skewed because 1) I live in Michigan and we have tons of public land 2) I lease land to hunt on and 3) I have family that owns land that I am allowed to hunt on.

I just don't follow the "leases are the death of hunting" train of thought.


By: DeerSlayer08
Posted: 29-Nov-06

Why is it so bad for a farmer to make some extra money. I have a friend who was going to let me hunt 350 acres this year but someone wanted to hunt it so bad they paid him $5 an acre. So he let them hunt it. He didn't necessarily want to lease it for money but if some hunter is going to pay it then he will gladly take it. I have other land of his that I hunt so it didn't leave me high and dry. But it is the hunters that have done this to themselves and now it is becoming a way of hunting life.


By: grandslam
Posted: 29-Nov-06

This is a stupid question but why do you feel you should be given free access to private land that you don't own?

IMO, if you want the free access, use public land. For the landowner there are many expenses and if access to hunting defrays those cost, a hunter given access shouldn't mind paying for it.

Another option, purchase some land. In most cases, the capital investment is the obstacle. Exactly the reason you shouldn't mind paying some dollars to the person who has put his signature on the dotted line.


By: Ty
Posted: 29-Nov-06

Where I live now there is no public land to hunt at all. It is hard for me to think I won't be able to take my son hunting every weekend or everyday. Where I grew up we hunted anywhere we wanted and nobody cared. The city put the country back in me I guess. If I want to hunt now I have to fly 1000 miles home to my farm.


By: BossBowman
Posted: 29-Nov-06

"Face it, hunting is increasingly becoming an elitist pursuit in some areas." I have a few friend blue collar friends I still keep in touch with from high school who have given up hunting all together, they just can't afford it. Back when we were younger a really good deer lease cost $500 tops in our area, in a little over 10 years that cost has more than quadrupled, but the deer herd has also gotten better, so what are you gonna do?


By: SERBIANSHARK
Posted: 29-Nov-06

buy land.


By: Droptine
Posted: 29-Nov-06

Here in Louisiana we are blessed with so many wildlife management areas( public land )that your choices are endless,its up to you how far you want to drive,in the south just like most other places those that have much are willing to pay much to hunt on leases,i myself cant justify spending $500-$1ooo a year to hunt when i can hunt a kill my share of deer for free, only catch is you have to deal with heavily pressured deer and the crowds of people. JMO.


By: LoweBow
Posted: 29-Nov-06

Leases average between $5-$10 per acre in Kentucky. Depends on the area, size, and type of land. My father leases out 5 of his farms and guys are in line to pay $10/ac. for 40-150 ac. plots. It's crazy!


By: rooster
Posted: 29-Nov-06

Ya know I read the line about "our kids not being able to find a place to hunt", and it made me think about something. Awhile back the son of one of my best friends called me to ask me if I would submit applications for he and his dad to re-join the bird hunting club I belong to. Now my buddy had been a member, an officer even of the club at one time but decided to quit when the dues were raised. I don't think he or any of his 3 boys have been hunting since. But the thing that bugged me most was when the son stated that he wants to go hunting but "just doesn't know anywhere to go". Now I live in NW Ohio and we have plenty of public ground both nearby and throughout the state plus Michigan is right around the corner. i kinda scolded Brian and told him that I didn't want to hear that he didn't know where to go and that all he needed to do was look at the DNR websites for Ohio and Michigan and he could find more ground then he could hunt in his life time. Nothing to do with leasing but I think it illustrates how some people want someone else to do the finding for them.MO


By: centex
Posted: 29-Nov-06

Deerslayer hit it on the head. Hunters, not landowners, have created this monster and now we don't like it. We, the hunters, are the ones that bought into it with the push of hunting parapanlia such as camo clothes, hunting videos, etc...We are the ones that created this billion dollar industry.


By: Droptine
Posted: 29-Nov-06

Centex,just to clearify and add my 2 cent's to what you said, its the Trophy hunters that created the monster,your average guy that just wants to hunt and enjoy the outdoors dose'nt much care about the size he's just glad to be able to go.So driving up the cost does not benifit him at all.MOst guy's i know that hunt on these hi dollar leases use feeders and food plots as tools to bag there game,nothin against that,just for me there is no greater feeling of acomplishment when you walk in,scout,use GOD given woodsmen ship and harvest a deer on public land that hundreds of other hunters have been walking around on.Those folks that have a need to impress everyone around them out of selfish pride have created the hi cost of hunting in our great country! Again JMO!


By: centex
Posted: 29-Nov-06

Droptine I agree. But even the average hunter buys all the camo, deer calls, and videos. The " Trophy Hunters " have just taken it to the next level and are the front runners now.


By: SERBIANSHARK
Posted: 29-Nov-06

droptine, first change your handle to nubbin. than consider the fact that the plots also feed these deer though winter months that deer can't find food. secondly, how about the nutrition it provides for the overall herd.

so we do it for antler only..o.k. whatever. but, all the deer benifit, the entire herd.

camo propaganda? what are you 80 years old? if you want to hunt in a plaid red/black shirt go ahead.

i'm over 40 and my dads 70, and when he says thing like "we used to kill them smoking cigars sitting on stumps and we used did great. i ask him where's the proof, he always says things like deer were much smaller back than..lol.

he now has shot more 130-180 class monsters than i care to name. funny, he's never seen wearing those plaids anymore.


By: C.Beck
Posted: 29-Nov-06

Hey DROPTINE!! OH I MEAN NUBBIN!! Your handle tells all!! How can you stereotype people that way?? Unless you hunt with flintstone arrow heads and home made arrows you should look at yourself in the mirror and say...... oh Im one of THOSE guys that drive up the cost arent I?!?! Maybe you get JUST as excited to shoot a doe as a DROPTINE buck...... then why your handle?? any one up for a little hippocracy??


By: Droptine
Posted: 30-Nov-06

SS & C.Beck you guys must not be able to read,cause i clearly said i did not have anything against foodplots are feeders,your name calling shows just how ignorant you 2 realy are,everyone has a right to there opinon,i would love to kill a big trophy buck,we all would, but to me taking one on there terms is the ultimate! Every man for him self,i was'nt trying to make enemys,JMO.


By: goatman
Posted: 30-Nov-06

How would you like to pay $50 to $75 an acre? I don't here in west central Illinois. Getting closer to England all the time. And we rank close to the bottom in public ground. Another subject that farmers don't like to talk about is welfare. We as tax payers are still paying them subsidies for their crops. Some are over $800,000 back here. Sorry for not feeling sorry for the farmers.


By: squid
Posted: 30-Nov-06

Just some food for thought.

Those that own land have the right to do whatever they want with it. It is benefit of owning property. No hunting, hunting, leasing, no leasing...whatever they want to do...it is their decision.

The days of free hunting private land are dwindleing. The cost of land and taxes make it difficult for land owners to not look at leasing.

One other thought provoking question...would you knock on someones house, ask to have access for the season, sit on the couch, take food from the fridge and free roam in the house? NO....so why do we assume we should be able to do the same thing on someones property to hunt?????

Squid


By: BossBowman
Posted: 30-Nov-06

I agree we as hunter have caused the problem, the only solution is for everyone to refuse to pay higher prices, not likely to happen. One area where I know the hunters dictate how much they pay is in the east texas piney woods, most leases there cost around $250, the hunters there are so stingy they refuse to pay much more than this and if not allowed to hunt for this price they poach.


By: John Scifres
Posted: 30-Nov-06

Guys. Be considerate and stick to the question asked. Start your own thread if you want to make a different point.

Leases in IN run the gamut from $1-10 and acre and more.


By: Africanbowhunter
Posted: 30-Nov-06

LA is higher than texas

Ranch across the road wnet for $7000 for 600 acres Next ranch over went for $27.000 for 4 hunters.

Tink in texas


By: grandslam
Posted: 30-Nov-06

Goatman, where does the money for public land come from? It's bad to subsidize the farmer but when it comes to your hunting, it's okay? Iowa, like IL, needs more public land. Respect for the landowner (farmer in many cases) may get you access to more hunting opportunities.

I don't disagree that every program has it downfall and certain individuals know how to capitalize on the system but I certainly would hesitate to tell a hard working individual that provides us with one of the least expensive food sources in the world that they are on welfare.

Hey Squid, what's for dinner tonight? Thinking about bringing the whole family! LOL


By: Stik'n String
Posted: 01-Dec-06

This is another way to think about leasing:

I pay around $2,000.00 a season for 1,300 acres of prime whitetail habitat which I share with only four other guys - all of whom I chose to be in our group and all of whom are hardcore traditional bowhunters. There is no cabin on the pasture, but the landowner has been kind enough to allow us to hook our trailers up to A/C and septic free of charge. We have full, unlimited access to the property year-round, which includes fishing in the summer, hog hunting whenever we feel like it, predator hunting (if any of us cared to do it) turkey hunting in the spring and fall and being able to use the place year round for whatever fun and recreation we choose.

We don't have to pay a mortgage on land which typically costs in the neighborhood of 3,000.00 per acre in that region (did I forget to mention the ranch is located only 45 minutes from my home?), we don't have to pay taxes on the property, I don't receive an electric bill each month, I don't have to worry about the well or whether a fence is down, I don't have to mow the place... need I go any further? $2,000.00 equates to a measly $166.00 per month. Most of us these days spend double that or more on a single car payment!!!!! That is not much more than the cost of my cable T.V. bill, for Pete's sake, and less than most folk's ATV payment. I spend nearly $2,000.00 for a DIY drop camp elk hunt in Colorado that lasts only one week.

I am not wealthy, but I love to hunt and share the outdoors with my friends and my family. To me, what little I have to spend is well worth the quality of the experience leasing affords me the opportunity to enjoy. I am only suggesting that you may wish to look at this issue from a slightly different angle.


By: BossBowman
Posted: 01-Dec-06

You've got a good deal for the year round thing, but most of the 2 grand leases I'm talking about in north texas are deer season only, from jan 7th till sept 31st you're not allowed to step foot on the property.


By: Stik'n String
Posted: 01-Dec-06

BossBowman, you are correct. I hunt a small pasture of a 68,000 acre ranch near Corpus Christi in the South Texas brush country. There is no question it is prime land and there is no question that I am getting a very fair deal (I have known the rancher's family for years). I stick with my analysis of leasing even if I were paying double the figure I mentioned before. I love hunting and I use the place frequently. I could never, ever afford to buy the same piece of property for even remotely close to what I am spending and would not want to deal with the maintenance headache anyway. JMO


By: guidermd
Posted: 04-Dec-06

well said squid, i agree. how many hunters allow farmers to roam their real estate for free? expecting a "priviledge" such as hunting for free always is a little selfish to me. fair is fair, and raising money is no different than raising crops or raising beef. lets hear if for the farmers who feed all of the people on this site.


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