John's Journal...

Take the Guesswork Out of Deer Leases

How to Find a Productive Deer Lease

Click to enlargeEditor’s Note: Hunters today lease land to deer hunt in ever-widening numbers. With a large number of deer hunters requiring better hunting opportunities for bigger and older age-class bucks, most of them realize that to obtain these goals, they must lease land, institute some form of deer-management program and possibly begin some type of feeding program for the deer.
Here are some guidelines to follow when leasing land to hunt where you've never hunted previously.
* Consult that state's department of conservation or a comparable agency. Find out which three to five counties in that state produce the most and the biggest bucks. Generally these counties have the least amount of land to lease, and the leases will cost more there tClick to enlargehan those in other sections of the state.
* Ask for the names of three counties in the second tier in both numbers and quality of bucks. These counties probably have more and less-expensive land to lease.
* Call the state's wildlife biologist. Ask him where you'll find the deer density in each county the greatest, what areas have the most trophy bucks harvested, and whether any landowners have land to lease.
* Contact the conservation enforcement officer in the counties where you're considering leasing land. Ask him if he knows of any land available for Click to enlargeleasing or a landowner who plans to terminate a lease. Inquire about trouble spots where the most hunting and poaching violations occur in that area. Also talk to the conservation officer about where you'll find quality land in his county that no one ever has leased, and landowners you possibly can contact. Perhaps they've had problems with hunters in the past. If you can get to know these landowners, offer to solve some of their problems, and prove to them you're worthy of their trust, they may lease land to you.
* Learn of the availability of any corporate land owned by utility, timber or manufacturing companies no one has leased, or if some corporations may consider closing their lands to public hunting to lease it to responsible individuals who will improve the amount of game on the land and the access to the land.Click to enlarge
* Check with colleges in regions you want to hunt to determine if they have land you can lease.  Many universities have property willed to them by alumni. No one else may have approached them about leasing that land. You can give the college the opportunity to realize a profit from otherwise underutilized land.
* Go to the county courthouse, and study land ownership maps to try and pinpoint overlooked pieces of property you may lease. Oftentimes, you'll locate quality hunting land held by estates owned by absentee landowners. By contacting the heirs to the land, you may lease overlooked hunting land.

Tomorrow: How Much Land Do You Need for a Quality Deer Lease

Check back each day this week for more about "Take the Guesswork Out of Deer Leases"

Day 1: Consider Belonging to a Deer Lease for Bigger Deer and Better Hunting Opportunities
Day 2: How to Find a Productive Deer Lease
Day 3: How Much Land Do You Need for a Quality Deer Lease
Day 4: What You Will Pay to Lease Hunting Land for Deer
Day 5: Should You Form a Club on Your Hunting Lease and How Should You Govern Your Hunting Lease?


Entry 552, Day 2