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Average lease rate
Opportunity came up to lease a whitetail property in MT. 600 acres. Close to home and has some decent deer. Probably have a good chance at a 130” type deer or a little better but not much more. Landowner did not have a price in mind yet. I did a little research but don’t know a lot of guys that do this up here. I was told $5/acre. What’s the going rate for that kind of access and quality? I’m sure every state is different so looking for comps out west. Thanks
There are a lot of variables to consider before arriving at your price:
Are you leasing by yourself, or as part of a group?
Are you leasing for a year and seeking hunting rights for multiple species (if present)?
You'll also need to work out if there's a cabin or RV hook-ups for your use.
Having said all that, it could be worth $3K for year round access.
I would be the only paying person. Could bring anyone I want though. Basically would have the Hunting rights to do as I please. Turkey, geese and ducks are available too. The spot is 40 mins from my house so no camping needed.
Average deer lease in Arkansas is $5 per acre. Some are $2 per acre, some are 5, many are $6.75 and some are $100 an acre if it includes duck hunting.
This is very, very sad. Unfortunately our sport has gone this direction. The leasing companies have advertisements all over now, even in my small-town paper! It's truly becoming a pay-to-play game.
From what I've seen, $3K seems significantly on the low end of what that land could bring, especially with the addition of waterfowl. However, I have no knowledge of leases in MT. If the landowner wants to maximize his profit and limit his liability, he will go through one of the leasing companies. Obviously you want to avoid that, so making the right offer that you can both feel good about is important. Where I am in NY, 80 truly crappy acres that I feel have little/no potential for deer lease for around $2K. It's really sad.
Well, it is what it is. Landowners have the right to lease, and I have the right to lease from them.....or not. Leasing has been a way of life here for as long as I can remember, and most are in the $10 acre range. E Texas will be cheaper than that, Central and S Texas more. I leased 1400 acres in Central Texas for 18 years until I was priced out of it and the drive got too long. It had deer, turkey, quail, and dove, and we made good use of all of them. It was a target rich environment for a bowhunter wanting to fill the freezer. Most years I killed 4/5 deer, enough for my immediate family and my two grown daughters families. So it all boils down to this: Is it worth it to you ?
We pay for everything else, why not hunting ? Those non-res tags, gas, and supplies ain't given to you ! It's worth something to have a place that's close enough to learn how to hunt.
How is a deer lease pay to play and evil. But spending the same or more on western hunts/tags and such is not considered "pay to play"? Doesn't matter if it's a lease, gear, atv, tractor, implements and so on. It's still technically pay to play.
You cozy up to that landowner and become is long lost buddy. Help him out big time ....Friends don’t charge friends!
Back to the OP's question. I haven't hunted in MT yet but I'm going to speculate that the 600 acres is mostly open and probably grazed by cattle. That makes it a lot different than 600 acres that are brushy/wooded. Any open areas that are heavily grazed by cattle would be nearly useless for hunting. But the creek bottoms will be great. The lease rate should be based on: how much huntable land there is, how close the ranch is to your home, how close the ranch is to a town/city (this will drive the rate up), and how badly you want to keep the lease in the future. You may have other options and your priorities may be different.
Overland- public land is free and is is still hunting. I think you might be one of those guys who thinks he should be able to hunt the best spots for free. It is not sad that a landowner in America can make money off his investment.
Elkstabber is on the right track. Land in the west isn't the same as 80 acres of hardwoods and ag land in the east. I have a 900 acre section that I hunt and the deer are only in 20 acres of it. I wouldn't pay $5 an acre to lease 900 acres with good hunting on 20 of it, but that is the way things work in the west. Lots of wide open grazing and ag land. How much of that 600 is good hunting and how many species are on it. If it's heaven on earth then you might be paying $5k. If it's fairly typical then you might be paying $2k. All depends upon the attractiveness and the competition for your lease.
Thanks for the input guys. I think you've helped me nail down a general range to offer him.
Yes, there is a fair amount of grazing land but it also has river bottom and excellent bedding areas that hold deer. The landowner used to only have 200 acres and most of it was grazing, his fields went to the edge of the trees but not down to the river. I used to have a couple stands there but quit hunting it because the neighbors allowed too many people and they hunted it all wrong pushing deer everywhere.
It was one of those things and I moved on. I didn't pay anything to be there and the owner was happy to have me.....least thats how he always made me feel. We developed a good relationship. I ended up putting him and his guys to work for some stuff we do and stayed in touch even though I wasn't hunting there. Skip forward to this week and the landowner was offer the opportunity to buy out his neighbor, a price he can't refuse and he wants to do it. So he called me up and filled me in on the fact I would be able to hunt all of it but he is looking for some help to make sure he is financially able to make the payments on the additional land. It will take a couple years in my mind and some judicial hunting, to get this place back on track deer quality wise but it sure has potential. I have 4 boys and this is river bottom 40 mins from my house. Pretty incredible set up as far as that goes. We can hunt deer, turkey, upland, duck and geese along with private access to fish the river or camp there whenever we wanted. It would be a full on recreation deal and great place for me to have for my boys to hunt as they get older. Turkey used to be a draw in this area but it became general tag this year. My two older boys filled turkey tags there this year.
Sounds like a real nice place Matt that you have some fond memories of already and a good relationship with the owner. I'd offer him as much as I could afford within reason, not only for the hunting but to help out a friend.
Thats a great point Brotsky.
This whole time I was pretty much selfishly thinking about the hunting and what it was gonna cost me. Thanks for mentioning that. It is a good opportunity to help him make this happen for him and his family. He could surely get more money from someone else on the lease if he wanted to maximize the financial side of it.
His neighbor could too, on the sale of his place if he listed it. Said he wants to make sure it stays farmland and goes to good people that won't develop it.
With four boys and it being so close I'd be real inclined to offer a long term lease, like maybe 10 years or more. This would be especially good for the landowner who would like to be able to depend on steady income over a longer period. Lots of people don't know this but land loans are MUCH more expensive than home loans. By more expensive I mean the interest rates are much higher. Land loans end up costing more because of this.
Totally with you elk stabber. Thats what he's looking for too. He wants long term.
He is getting a smoking deal on the land based on the old timer neighbor who is wanting him to buy it from him and not list it to be sold for top dollar. My guy is trying to find a way to make it work for him and his family as it was unexpected to get the opportunity to purchase it. The price is very good for him.
I have has leases in Indiana, Ohio, and here in NY. Ohio I paid 1500 for 800 acres. Just deer hunting rights and there was only about 40 acres of woods. I kept it 3 years and killed one good buck. Indiana I paid 10 an acre for 900 acres with 6 other guys. We killed plenty of deer but we were priced out of it in 2 years. Farmer leased it for 15 grand to a bunch of NYC hunters. NY we have 150 acres and pay 600 for 3 of us. I have hunted the property since I was a few days old with my Dad so I gave been hunting it over 53 years. Finally the farmers kid wanted help paying taxes. I would think 5 an acre is more than fair if you feel you can kill a good buck on it and maybe lease with a friend or two! Shawn
Are you in the financial position to buy it or part of it? If it is the right piece, and you can turn it into great hunting there's no security like owning the ground. While land isn't often the #1 investment, it can often be decent. You're also not paying a lease in perpetuity, where the second you stop paying, you don't have a place to hunt. If your friend the farmer is having a tough time coming up with the cash, maybe you can split it with him or something, depending on your financial situation.
Location, location, location.
Location #1: Close to home Location #2: Good variety of woods, and riverbottom Location #3: Good variety of species.
3 for 3 in my book. For the price and what you get, I think it sounds fair.
Apauls- I wish I could. You are right too. Would be way better to buy a portion of it. I'm not there yet but someday I will be.
I always figured mine on number of legitimate bowstands I could have on said property.Allowing for entry/exit,impact of surrounding properties and wind direction that don’t blow over other sets etc.
Some properties layout great and bring more,more timber ushers more standsites thus brings more,more topography brings more due to better entry/exit.
Hardwoods will bring more than not due to more possible standsites.
After a few years of analyzing your area you will get the hang of it and “worth” will be a lot easier to triage.
^^^^No doubt. I looked at some pieces for sale recently where in 50 acres (about 30 of it bush) it would provide literally 1 maybe 2 stand sites. Sounds crazy to believe until you realize it's a 300 yard square with smallish trees throughout. No terrain differences to make one spot better than another, and 300 yards when the leaves are down is nothing.
Somebody about had you swindled APauls. That would be about 18.5 acres, no where near 50. A typical square 40 is 440 yards square. This sounds like a great deal all around. Glad to know there are still good people out there, who are sometimes motivated by more than the dollar.
APauls,I would say with your short growing season establishing timber would be time consuming,so you would need an as is approach other than providing soft edge,bedding,plots etc.
If the Lord willing, I will be able to hang a stand in a tree I planted in 2 more years
Does the landowner's family including extended family and friends also have hunting rights? You would be surprised how many 2nd and 3rd cousins show up when grandpa has some hunting land.
$3K for over 600 acres is a steal if it is a good property and you have control over it .... while I had a great property for 18 years, I and a buddy leased another for $3500 and it was only 140ish acres but was thru Base Camp Leasing... I had more trouble with trespassers and dogs in the two years we were on it than the full 18 years on the other place, plus that 140ish acres was a tough spot to hunt with limited access routes, esp. if the wind was wrong... I learned my lesson from that darn place .. If I found another around here that large for that price and had control on it and it had good potential, I'd jump on it in a heart beat .. I'm back on state land now, still kill some nice deer, but the pressure is intense from others, I'd take good private (as long as I have control on 'em) any day over the state lands, esp. around here even though the state lands are "free" so to speak...
Look at the rates Montana pays for their walk in type public areas. Start from there and figure what it is worth to you. What are the property taxes? Factor that in. What would it cost for you to own the same property? If it is good stuff throw a good healthy price his way in order to price out any competition, no low balling if it's good. It sucks when you work hard to create a great hunting spot on a lease and after three or four years it finally gets good then others move in and price you out or steal it away.