Sitka Gear
Hunting Lease Question
Whitetail Deer
Contributors to this thread:
'Ike' (Phone) 14-Mar-23
keepemsharp 14-Mar-23
Iowa booner hunter 14-Mar-23
KB 14-Mar-23
'Ike' (Phone) 14-Mar-23
4nolz@work 14-Mar-23
4nolz@work 14-Mar-23
Thornton 15-Mar-23
Missouribreaks 15-Mar-23
4nolz@work 15-Mar-23
Dale06 15-Mar-23
RK 15-Mar-23
Old Reb 15-Mar-23
goyt 15-Mar-23
Bigdog 21 15-Mar-23
drycreek 15-Mar-23
Iowa booner hunter 15-Mar-23
Thornton 15-Mar-23
4nolz@work 16-Mar-23
PushCoArcher 16-Mar-23
Bigdog 21 16-Mar-23
Matt 16-Mar-23
WV Mountaineer 16-Mar-23
Stringwacker 16-Mar-23
Missouribreaks 16-Mar-23
Thornton 16-Mar-23
Missouribreaks 17-Mar-23
Missouribreaks 17-Mar-23
Iowa booner hunter 17-Mar-23
midwest 17-Mar-23
bigswivle 17-Mar-23
'Ike' (Phone) 17-Mar-23
APauls 17-Mar-23
txhunter58 17-Mar-23
keepemsharp 17-Mar-23
RK 17-Mar-23
jdee 17-Mar-23
txhunter58 17-Mar-23
Bigdog 21 17-Mar-23
Franzen 18-Mar-23
txhunter58 18-Mar-23
Bigdog 21 18-Mar-23
Candor 22-Mar-23
Thornton 22-Mar-23
drycreek 22-Mar-23
Iowa booner hunter 22-Mar-23
Candor 22-Mar-23
grizzly63 22-Mar-23
Bigdog 21 22-Mar-23
txhunter58 22-Mar-23
Bigdog 21 22-Mar-23
txhunter58 22-Mar-23
txhunter58 22-Mar-23
RK 22-Mar-23
Quinn @work 22-Mar-23
14-Mar-23
Is there a best way to find a good lease? Brokers, real estate agents, some of those you see on YouTube per se…Curious and something I’m looking at to chase Whitetails seriously for the next several years…

From: keepemsharp
14-Mar-23
leasing is cancer and it spreads.

14-Mar-23
Expecting everything for free is the cancer

From: KB
14-Mar-23
Instead of relying on middle men with sight unseen options maybe go on a turkey tour in your desired region this spring and knock on some doors/build a few relationships. Local Coop and ag retail salesmen are probably the best resource on some names to start with. Might wind up with more acres for a better price than the advertised stuff. Plus you’ll get to lay eyes on it.

14-Mar-23
Thanks KB, was wondering about that…

From: 4nolz@work
14-Mar-23
HLN.com

From: 4nolz@work
14-Mar-23
Huntingleasenetwork.com (Not hln)

From: Thornton
15-Mar-23
Iowa- Apparently you never got to participate hunting where everyone gets to hunt. Those were the days.

15-Mar-23
Leasing is a great way to go, nobody should " expect " to hunt for free these days.

From: 4nolz@work
15-Mar-23
The County where I grew up in SW Iowa is still largely by permission although more and more is getting leased.

From: Dale06
15-Mar-23
I tried HLN. They were a pain in the ass. I specified several criteria in the lease I wanted. They ignored that and sent numerous lease options that were not close to what I wanted.

From: RK
15-Mar-23
Ike

What state are you looking to lease in?

KB was spit on. Also game wardens in the area you are looking to lease in are often a great resource

Any feed stores that have bulletin boards and even putting notes on ranch gates

Good luck

Let me add this little caveat to the anti lease faction. In 40 years of outfitting we have been involved in leasing 100,s of thousands ofacres. With the exception of maybe 15% of those acres came from the land owners contacting us. So with that being the case if you are anti leasing you are anti private property rights. I'm sure the owners with mineral rights should be sending you a check each month from his royalty checks also. Kind of like reparation checks

From: Old Reb
15-Mar-23
If someone wanted to outfit hunts on my property, damn right they would be paying a lease fee.

From: goyt
15-Mar-23
In my area of Ohio there is a shortage of available land to lease through agents like base camp. I think that some even require a membership just to be on their list to see properties as they become available. You may have to find something om your own.

From: Bigdog 21
15-Mar-23
Rk you are part of the decline in hunter.

From: drycreek
15-Mar-23
RK is merely stating the facts. Nobody should “expect” something for nothing, whether it’s groceries, a new truck, or a place to hunt. If you can hunt for free, more power to you, but don’t expect it. If you lived in my state you’d be used to “pay for play” by now. We have very little public land and the public draws here are like lottery odds, on top of that if you do draw the hunt may be disappointing as to game even seen, much less taken. Leases are here to stay.

15-Mar-23
Thornton- I started hunting in Illinois in 1978, you could get permission just about anywhere you asked. I remember having more places than you could possibly hunt. There will always be public land to hunt, for free. Expecting to be able to hunt undisturbed deer for free is luxury, not a right. I still have places back there that I can hunt for free

From: Thornton
15-Mar-23
I started hunting Kansas at age 12 in the early 90's. Dad sold crop insurance and knew everyone in the county. We had some family property and all our friends were ranchers. 10,000 acres of written or verbal permission at least. All the locals could usually hunt the same ranches if they asked, and we all got along. Sometimes traded work for permission, but nobody asked for money. I certainly wouldn't call it a "cancer" as you so snidely stated. What I hate is the greed that leasing brought, paying to push everyone out.

From: 4nolz@work
16-Mar-23
Dale06-HLN is under new leadership just recently.

From: PushCoArcher
16-Mar-23
Man the guy asked a simple question and it wasn't what's your opinion on leasing. Regardless of how you feel leasing is here to stay and if you want a level of control and quality leasing is your best bet without having to shell out huge money to buy your own place. The real estate agents in rural areas that sell farmland are usually pretty in tune with the leasing in their area. Probably the quickest most hassle free way to go about it of course you'll be paying more as that middle man price will be passed on to you. If you know what state and even better a region of a state I'd get on Onx find some landowners and start getting in contact with anyone who owns a piece that looks promising. I've found even if I don't get in contact with someone who can help I usually eventually get pointed to the person in that county who can help. If Oklahoma interest you shoot me a PM I can help you there.

From: Bigdog 21
16-Mar-23

Bigdog 21's embedded Photo
Bigdog 21's embedded Photo
North Dakota has it right.

From: Matt
16-Mar-23
“Rk you are part of the decline in hunter.”

Sounds like the landowners who contacted RK are at fault here. Are we now going to go down the path of judging those who own the land for their decisions on who they want on it? It’s a fool’s folly IMO.

16-Mar-23
I didn’t read any where that anyone said they expected free hunting rights. Just a bunch of guys who implied that to get their neck feathers up.

The disdain for leases has nothing to do with that. It’s the lost ability to hunt ground due to it. No farmer ever just gave permission to any who asked. Yet, people put up hay? Worked fence, helped with up keep and such for that right. With the lease presented, that was all gone.

It creates a set of problems for a lot of people concerning access. Just like it creates opportunities for others with exclusive access.

Right or wrong isn’t an option. It’s just the way it is. And, landowners have that right. And, they’d better keep it too or we are all screwed.

To the OP, if there is corporate ownership, contact their land office. For private, contact real estate agents or the game warden in that area. If you have the time, go to a local dinner one morning. The farmers will be there. Good luck.

From: Stringwacker
16-Mar-23
Leasing has been deeply entrenched in the southern part of the country for decades...probably a great deal of other areas as well. The really good land (low hanging fruit if your familiar with the term) has been long since taken by hunting clubs.

I just went through a search for a new lease myself. I was in an equity share arrangement that I had been a founding charter member back in 1982. It was an awesome arrangement, but the distance from my home, coupled with some underlying medical issues prompted me to sell it and look for something closer to home. I found out pretty fast that there were a lot of leasing brokers that were taking marginal lease lands at a high price and sub leasing at an even higher rate to the hunter for profit. Those arrangements were pretty dreadful and was good if you just 'wanted to go' hunting.

I eventually realized that I needed to look for clubs that were old established arrangements with prime habitat and do my own diligence in finding current members and contacting them. I eventually found a great established 40 year old club with 5K acres, a waterway system, low membership, and high deer densities just 13 minutes from my home. I couldn't be happier.

Whether this is applicable to the area that you want to hunt depends on where your looking; but I just thought I would share my thoughts given that I just went through the same process.

16-Mar-23
Leasing can be a nice alternative to committing purchasing land for hunting, especially in this Biden economy. There are also millions and millions and millions of acres of US public lands. Hunters should stop being cry babies and running down private property rights.

From: Thornton
16-Mar-23
Not crying. I bought a few small properties with plenty of birds and deer. Shot my 3 biggest whitetail deer, mulies, turkey and elk on public. Used to lease, but gave it up as prices caved to deep pockets from the South. I didn't care the landowners still let their families hunt and subleased to Walk in Fishing or coyote or bird hunters. Everyone that leases here now locks it up for a year and only hunts for a week, yet forbids anyone to coyote hunt, or even fish or small game hunt. It is now the King's deer, and nothing more, and these rich assholes keep trying to buy my spots to push me out.

17-Mar-23
Some people work very hard to become " rich assholes " . I like hard working people, poor or rich. Too bad much of America is no longer what I would consider " hard working ", many barely work a 5 day work week. I worked hard so I could buy my own recreational land. Nobody will ever push me out !

17-Mar-23
Unfortunately some hunters voted for Liberal Socialism, same as the anti hunting groups HSUS, ASPCA and PETA.

It is also obvious some in the hunting fraternity are at war with landowners and personal property rights. It is no wonder free access is closing, and will continue.

17-Mar-23
Most Anti- leasing hunters are not against leasing, they just don’t want to spend their own money on a place to hunt. One of the leases I I had, the landowner contacted me to lease it because he was sick of the leaches running all over his property.

From: midwest
17-Mar-23
Has this been helpful, George? ;-)

From: bigswivle
17-Mar-23
I knew who was gonna derail it before I clicked on it

17-Mar-23
Well, dang...Thought it might be a hot topic, but not to crazy! Thanks guys...

Actually looking at all options, public, private knock and talk and Outfitted...

Being in the Left Coast (Matt's fault) not like I can scout easily and such...I'll figure something out, just want to chase Whitetails...Thanks guys!

From: APauls
17-Mar-23
While it certainly is delightful that some people let me hunt for free, I can not believe that some people believe that is the way it SHOULD be. The fact that society used to be that way is awesome, and if that was the norm I'd be right there in there doing the same thing. But society has moved on, and it just makes sense.

Is there a single thing that YOU own that you allow any Tom, Dick, or Harry to use free of charge? Your truck if they need to move perhaps? If you live in the city maybe put strangers up for night? Or are those things that if a stranger asked you would maybe entertain the thought or renting if even at all. Generosity is wonderful, but there is a reason it is called generosity. Land has costs, upkeep etc. The fact that someone lets me use it for nothing does not go unnoticed, and I am immensely grateful.

From: txhunter58
17-Mar-23
Don’t forget to check with taxidermists in the area you are interested in

From: keepemsharp
17-Mar-23
Lloyd must be a taxidermist?

From: RK
17-Mar-23
Lloyd maybe a taxidermist. But great advice

That's what you meant to say keepemsharp, right ?

From: jdee
17-Mar-23
A friend of mine used to lease his families ranch in Kansas out for deer hunting. This started about 20 years ago. A big named outfitter leased it for quite a few years then after probably 10 years the rancher took it back and ran his own hunts. They had all the tv hunters hunt that ranch plus anyone that could get a spot, it had about 4 or 5 miles of River bottom full of cottonwood trees and great deer. I asked him how that outfitter ended up leasing the ranch and he said the outfitter had put an ads in a local papers looking for deer hunting land to lease and he answered the ad.

From: txhunter58
17-Mar-23
Lol. Nope, I am a veterinarian and rancher who leases. My ranch has been in my family since 1908 and we just put a conservation easement on it to make sure it is never subdivided, ever.

Just like John Dutton said on Yellowstone: someday my family may not own it, but it will still be intact.

From: Bigdog 21
17-Mar-23
A hunter wanting to lease is one thing, usually not much harm done and sometimes the local man that's been hunting there for years get to stay on part of it. Now outfitters tying up huge areas is usually not good they are being paid. To hunt big deer. Not many paying for does and spikes. But if the land is tied up . Hunting as designed to manage the heard isn't being met. And a farm can end up with more does and small buck doing more crop damage. And the heard isn't being managed. Now getting to hunt local ground on friendship with farmers usually means more doe and small deer taken maybe buy none picky hunters and there wife's and children. Plus getting more kids a better chance to hunt.

From: Franzen
18-Mar-23
I am against high and excessive taxes, but I pay all that are due. I work in an industry that would benefit substantially from my vote going to liberals, but it never does. I even own my own land (well the bank does, but I'll pay the taxes, so I'm going to count it), but I'm generally not in favor of leasing. How is this possible? I must be against my own rights? Fact is, being against leasing and being a proponent of property rights are not mutually exclusive concepts. Anyone claiming as such must be well entrenched in their own little world. The good news is, I have no mechanism to force anyone not to lease, nor do I desire one. However, I'll still be against leasing for the damage it has caused to hunting and the concept of the North American model.

I also don't understand the idea that society has moved on. If society moves on and bans all hunting and weaponry, are we just going to say okay "society has moved on"?

From: txhunter58
18-Mar-23
I don’t agree that society has moved on with the issue. What has happened is that many property owners got tired of people trashing their property. I realize it’s a few bad apples that ruins a bunch, but for whatever reason, not all of today’s society is going to treat your property with the respect that you want it to be treated. It has also become harder to make a profit running a ranch or farm. I lease part of my ranch to pay those taxes, and a few other things, but I also take family, friends and make it a point to take some kids hunting every year who have never hunted so it’s not just an either or.

I’m sure you don’t want me setting up a tent on your front lawn where your house is do you? But some people may allow friends or people who pay them to set up a tent on their property. Totally support your right not to lease, but as you said, that’s where your control ends

From: Bigdog 21
18-Mar-23
It's about $$$$ as everything, farmer heard guy down the road is getting payed good money so he ask how and by who. He wants his peace of the pie to. But his to do so.

From: Candor
22-Mar-23
Land rates should be standardized nationwide based on the aggregate number of antler inches on the property. Our alternative minimum income from our federal government should fund it. ridiculous.

Leasing and paying for our hobbies and indulgences is part of an economy based on capitalism. Expecting to hunt for free is akin to me expecting to be able to use someone else's private airplane for free.

Capitalism and a pseudo-free market is far from perfect but IMO is closer to perfect than any other system, ever. If you are against leasing you likely struggle understanding capitalism or you just dislike it.

From: Thornton
22-Mar-23
I don't lease out anything I own, and it will be donated when I die. A cascade of negative events started when leasing became prevalent in our country. As an outfitter told me once, "The landowners like our money, but they really don't want us here".. I'm fine with capitalism, I run a business on it, but I think the state should put more emphasis into WIHA and keeping landowners happy so the public can enjoy their properties. Most of the landowners around here understand blue collar locals cannot afford a lease, so they let them hunt after the money goes back home. Always laughed when a NR tells me they have exclusive permission.

From: drycreek
22-Mar-23
Being anti-leasing is just like being anti-hunting in that both of them are tending to someone else’s business. I can explain it to you, but I can’t understand it for you.

Blessed is he who expecteth nothing, for he shall not be disappointed. Drycreek Chapter 1, Verse 1

22-Mar-23
Blue collar locals can’t afford the lease but they can afford going to the bar and eating out. If they would just cut back on some of that , they would be able to afford the lease. Some of those non-residents do just that

From: Candor
22-Mar-23
I agree with that, Thornton. I would love to see the state leasing more lands. Before that can happen most states (with MO perhaps being the one exception I know of) would have to either raise taxes (and if that occurs they eventually spend the money elsewhere) or become more efficient in their operations (and that is highly unlikely).

From: grizzly63
22-Mar-23
One problem I see with leases and tying up vast acres up is the inevitable over population. The land owner then complains to the GFP that he needs to be compensated for providing for their animals. As a result, we , the locked out ones, get to help support his leasing through taxes. Thats a crock. Or he uses crop depredation laws and leaves alot of carcasses to rot. Which in my opinion is a sin. But we are free and can do as we please.

From: Bigdog 21
22-Mar-23
Leasing is good . But then hunter numbers are going down. Average Joe isn't going to pay big lease so him and his future hunter's can squirrel and rabbit hunt. It's not always a bow are big game hunter wanting to hunt are trap. Money is why farmers lease they had no problem allowing hunting before but money talks and young kids walk. Nice

From: txhunter58
22-Mar-23
“Being anti-leasing is just like being anti-hunting in that both of them are tending to someone else’s business. I can explain it to you, but I can’t understand it for you.”

Hit that one out of the park.

From: Bigdog 21
22-Mar-23
I can't see any of use having a lease on property at 18 are so but I bet you had a place to hunt.

From: txhunter58
22-Mar-23
The question asked was for suggestions on how to find a lease. It’s pretty funny actually. Every time a version of this question is asked, it always turns into a lease haters thread. Guy asked a simple question, and deserves a simple answer, but the haters can’t stay away.

From: txhunter58
22-Mar-23
“ can't see any of use having a lease on property at 18 are so but I bet you had a place to hunt”

I have zero idea what you are trying to say.

From: RK
22-Mar-23
Spot on 58. Just an FYI in spite of the responses going off the rail I have on good authority that the OP is headed in the right direction with his request

Not possible to understand BigDog. He has the Biden stumble around the English language syndrome

From: Quinn @work
22-Mar-23
Candor,

What if you have a lease, go out to eat and then the bar after? :). Happens a lot I bet?

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