The Holy Grail of Hunting Lease Must Haves
If you are reading this article, we will assume that you know what basics are needed to keep game on your land. In any hunting situation food, water, bedding and security are the keys to attracting and holding game. If you can locate or create an environment that offers two or more of these features, your odds of having a successful hunting experience are greatly enhanced.
So, for the sake of this article, we will call those the Big 4 and assume that any property you are considering would offer at least one and maybe more of those.
However, when you are looking for a quality lease and the most enjoyable hunting experience possible, there is much more to consider. Here is our list of the Top 4 qualities of a good lease.
There is nothing that will ruin a hunt before it starts like poor or overused access points. If you can only access a farm or even a tree stand from one direction, you should strongly consider other options. While deer hunting, you may see the same deer in an area night after night and be tempted to hunt that same area. Rest assured, once you use the same trail to walk in or park at the same spot for more than a couple of nights, the deer (especially mature bucks) know and the gig is up before you ever climbed the tree. Ask the landowner what areas you can park, talk to neighbors about possibly parking on their ground and walking in from a new direction. You may even have to cut a trail through some brush to get to a particular stand. Whatever you do, never access the same stand the same way more than three times in a row. This is the biggest mistake young and inexperienced hunters make.
3. MINIMAL PRESSURE
This one isn’t as obvious, but still easy to get a feel for. Pressure is the last thing a mature buck wants to deal with. In fact, he won’t. Although you can control the pressure on your own lease, what is the pressure on adjacent farms like? How can you figure this out before paying for your lease? It’s fairly simple really. By taking a drive around the area you can make some pretty clear observations. Hunters are notorious for hanging trail tape at access points. Is there a lot of pink/orange tape hanging on roadsides? Do you see multiple pull offs where trucks are parking? Lastly, you may want to ask neighbors if they hunt or allow others to hunt. It’s impossible to control what occurs on other property, so it’s best to give yourself a good picture early.
2. LANDOWNER RELATIONSHIP
There is simply no way to overstate the importance of a healthy and friendly landowner relationship. Having someone that actually lives or works near the lease is invaluable to keep a watchful eye on the property when you can’t be there. They should know what types of trucks you drive and be able to identify them easily. Some landowners want to be called every time you hunt and want the right to refuse access occasionally. As a leasee, if you have met your landowner and developed a relationship, you shouldn’t have to call to hunt. When you build trust with your landowner, you will enhance the overall experience and hopefully build a lasting friendship.
There is simply no animal, activity or pursuit that is worth your safety. When you look at a lease and consider safety, consider the previous three features. Is the landowner forthcoming and thorough when disclosing possible dangers? When you access your treestand, do you walk in an open field or do you have to ease down a steep embankment? Remember that a lot of your activity while hunting will take place in the dark. It’s even a good idea to consider local hospitals or emergency response if you have a pre-existing health condition. Simply put, there is simply no reason to risk your health or put your family at risk by hunting carelessly. A simple and affordable hunting lease liability insurance policy will also protect you against unseen dangers.