John's Journal...

Take the Guesswork Out of Deer Leases

Should You Form a Club on Your Hunting Lease and How Should You Govern Your Hunting 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.Click to enlarge

When leasing a large block of land, more than likely your lease or hunting club will have several members. To develop a lease that's affordable for everyone, you must know how much to charge your members. To determine the price to charge each member, add together the price of the lease, the cost of planting and managing food plots, an estimation of any utilities used on the lease, the cost of maintaining roads and a 30-percent additional charge for unexpected expenses. If the club or lease doesn't need this 30-percent charge, the club can use the monies to help reduce the dues for the following year. But unforeseen problems such as hurricanes, tornados, earthquakes or flood damage will require extra money the club hasn't anticipated spending. Trees and debris may cover roads.  A flood may wash out culverts. Perhaps the club must replace roads as well as fences or gates that someone has backed into accidentally.

How to Govern the Lease:Click to enlarge

The very-worst system of governing a hunting lease is a democracy. When too-many people make decisions, often everyone becomes dissatisfied. Hunting clubs based on democracies rarely last more than a year or two. However, I've belonged to hunting clubs run by benevolent dictators that have continued for several generations. I once belonged to the best hunting club ever with the most game, the happiest members and the fewest problems - Lake Hollala in Central Alabama. When anyone joined this lease, he received a letter that stated:  "As a member of this lease, you are an invited guest of John B. Lee. Mr. Lee owns the lease, makes all the rules and solves all the problems. If you don't like Mr. Lee's rules or the way he Click to enlargesolves problems, please hunt somewhere else. If you can't abide by Mr. Lee's rules and his decisions, you'll be asked to leave the lease. There will be no voting and no discussing how the lease will be run. We're happy to have you as a member of this club and as one of Mr. Lee's invited guests."
This club functioned very effectively for several generations of hunters. I strongly recommend the benevolent dictator system of governing a lease if you consider leasing land for hunting and taking in members to help pay for the lease.

A productive hunting lease can provide the best opportunity to bag the most and the biggest bucks for many outdoorsmen. I have spent some of the most enjoyable hours of my life hunting on private leases and fellowshipping with the members of the lease. As more and more sportsmen attempt to find better hunting lands and more quality animals to hunt, they will lease more property. Then all of us will find less public hunting available. If you don't belong to a lease now, consider these factors for either developing a lease or joining a lease.  If you want more and bigger bucks to hunt, you'll have to pay the price that leasing land requires.

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 5