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Choosing the Right Hunting Lease for You!

 
Expectations.
 
This is the first and most important question to consider before you pay for a hunting lease.  What are the expectations of you and your hunting group?
 
A popular misconception is that if someone is serious enough to lease land, they must be hunting exclusively for trophy animals. That notion is simply not true. In fact, most of the hunters that we meet are more interested in a quality hunting experience first and foremost. If you are a hunter, you know that many aspects make up the overall experience and harvesting trophy animals is only one of those. Safety, game population, access, landowner relationships, scenery and location are just a few of the important components of a successful and enjoyable lease.
 
For example, a father that wants to introduce his son or daughter to hunting will need a small safe lease  with easy access to good hunting areas. This means that it might be smaller than a lot of leases, simply to allow a nice easy walk to their tree stand site.  The deer population should be high to allow for the kids to see deer more times than not. If you have ever hunted with a child, you know that the more times you go and don’t see game, the less likely they are to return the next time. A short drive from the house is also a good idea if you are taking along a young hunter. The less time you spend on the road, the more time you can spend in the blind or tree.
 
Senior hunters are strongly represented in the leasing industry. Men and women that have hunted for decades and still enjoy sitting in the woods and harvesting an occasional animal are looking for leases with easy access and several good ground blind locations. This group of leasees regularly search for that perfect spot that will allow them to sneak in and set up on the ground, while still providing an opportunity to take a quality animal. Typically, they enjoy the scenery and photo opportunities as much as the harvest.
 
Of course, if it is that buck of a lifetime that you are after, you will need to do your homework. Research states and counties that have the potential for trophy animals. Consider the terrain and bedding/feeding opportunities for the deer. What about pressure? Is it possible that you can hang stands near the middle of your lease and try to minimize the pressure you put on the deer? These thoughts and more should all be considered before a decision is made to choose a lease.
 
When you pay for a lease, there will most certainly be a level of pressure you place on yourself. If you have chosen the wrong lease given your stated expectations, that pressure will haunt you. You will be disappointed in the leasing experience and may choose to not lease again.
 
So, write your expectation down with your hunting partners and choose the right lease to help you enjoy your time afield this year.  You will be happy you did.