White-tailed deer hunting is big business across Texas and the rest of North America. Hunting leases continue to be a constant source of revenue for many landowners, and they hold the cards in the hunting lease game. Many states, like Texas, have little federally or state-owned land available for public hunting. As a result, private landowners control the major supply of deer habitat and huntable land. This position landowners a unique source of income from deer leases, as whitetail deer hunting is the most popular big game animal in the country.
With popularity comes great demand, and last time I looked there are a lot more people with no increase in hunting lands. In fact, the opposite is happening — land is being lost to development. This increased demand for deer leases combined with decreasing amounts of land only means higher lease prices for those looking to head out deer hunting. Since buying enough land is out of the question for many hunters, gaining independent permission from landowners with hunting land must be secured. This granting
the right to enter and hunt whitetail generates deer lease income for landowners with suitable whitetail habitat.
The price of a deer lease will vary from state to state and from location to location depending upon whitetail quality, habitat quality, deer density, bag limits, amenities and lease proximity to metropolitan areas. Lease fees can vary from a few dollars an acre to flat fees in the thousands depending on the lease agreement. Before any hunter enters into a deer hunting lease agreement with a landowner both parties must understand the details of the written or oral contract entails.
First, determine the duration of the deer lease and the price. Is it for a weekend, the archery season, the guns season, or year-round? What property are we talking about? What acreage is the landowner actually leasing and when can you access it? What are the legal animals that you can hunt? So you have a deer lease, but can you shoot turkey, hogs, rabbits, etc.? What kind of guns are allowed, or is it archery only? Can you place out deer feeders, food plots, and deer stands? Who else is on the lease and what about guest or the landowner or their family? Will they be hunting too?
It can be difficult for hunters to find a deer lease. Often times, available hunting leases with be on and off the market in a matter of days or even hours. In addition, there are some guys out there that act as middle-men in the leasing process. They lease up available lands and then sub-lease for a profit. They can help you find a lease or be your worst nightmare, but it depends on the individual. Before you lease land for deer hunting, first understand what you are looking for, then find a property that meets your needs and is within your budget. It can be a difficult process, but there are some very good properties that become available every year.
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