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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
No offense to Coldwater but I was wondering what everyone thought about paying to hunt.This is a subject that really bothers me.Today it is hard enough for an average joe to go out and get permission to hunt private land infact almost impossible for most.The reason I bring this up is because one of my farmer connections,whom I never thought would lease out land has done so for goose hunting.granted,I still get top spots but the fact is he gave in to big money.Same thing with bowhunting, I have one perticular spot I have hunted for 8 years only when conditions are right and have scored some nice racks. The land was vacant for 6 of 8 years,last year someone moved in and leased hunting out to someone this year.Again I am still allowed to hunt for free but the fact is hunting is becoming a rich man's sport like golf. I work year round for my hunting rights only to have guys stummble in on opening day with a wallet full of money and act like they are king of the land ,I have hunted there long before them but they think they own the land because they have a handshake deal with the owner.
I really think that its ashame hunting has become something of a business instead of its intended purpose of allowing people to get away from it all and relax,instead we are going to have to have lots of money and be first in line like at the mall during christmas to get a good hunting spot.NOW DOES THAT SOUNG LIKE HUNTING TO YOU???
 
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Get used to it.

Private property is just that. Private. Economic realities of owning undeveloped or farming tracts dictate that all feasible sources of income be realized.

Now, on a brighter note. One must not need be well heeled to enjoy the privledge of hunting on another's land. Even on properties where I've obtained access pro bono, I ALWAYS insist on compensating the owner monetarily and obtaining a written agreement. The amount is unimportant, and even mediocre negotiating skills can land you a lease for $1.50 per man per acre. A couple hundred bucks a year is a sneeze in the bucket compared to all the other expenditures. And this one locks you in...

Most of us with productive leases don't stroll in on opening morning, either. It's a year round job with a lot of the legwork getting done at this time of the year. Mostly, it's about relationship building.

Additionally, if you've ever lived in another state east of the Big River, you'd realize that Michigan has a diproportionately HUGE amount of state and federal land available to it's residents.

There are options...
 

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I agree with you that hunting is becoming a lot more expensive, and permission harder to get. However, I am priviledged to have permission on several farms, and approach the farmers every year about leasing. And I can guarantee you that I am not a "show up on opening day" hunter. What I see as the value in all of this lease business is, that your stands are only hhunted under the right conditions, and you know that you are the only one in the immediate area. I tend to get a little aggrevated with the "show up on opening day hunters too. Take last year when on opening day at 8:30 a.m. I was watching a beautiful buck work the thickets toward me, when he seemingly for no reason bolted, A few minutes later here comes a guy that says he is friends of the farmer, and says he has never been in that woods before and then asks where a good place to hunt was. Now he had just as much right to be there as I did, so I was nice to him when I explained the flaw in his ethics of entering the woods at that time of day. My point is that a lease in this situation would have made the guy who was obviously not that serious about the sport look elsewhere, and not ruin a serious hunters morning. Not to mention that this is a way for the farmers to recouperate for some of the crop damage.

Now I am not saying that I wish for all land to be leased and become a bidding war, just that I don't think that they are all bad either.
 

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My family leases 80 acres in the Harrison area. We took the lease because of some of the bad apples that are out there. Getting 2 treestands stolen a year is not good. I agree with that hunting is becoming a rich mans sport at that is unfortunate. Obtaining permission from farmers to hunt with a handshake is like pulling teeth. I almost gave firarm hunting when on public land opening day I had 10 of my new best friends sitting around me. Since obtaining the lease I once again enjoy firearm season. :)
 
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you folks need to talk to people in the South and South West. They pay big time dollars for hunting land to lease every year :) I think in the next 15 years a lot of the private land will be leased to people for hunting rights.
 

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I agree that it is only going to get more expensive for private property hunts.
My advice is to cherish and maintain the property you already have so you can cherish it for a long time to come.
Over the years I have gained permission to bowhunt on a few large parcels of private land. Respect is a two way street. I never hurt or litter their property. I leave no signs of my presence after the hunt. I Always offer a helping hand with chores during the off season. I also hike my climber in every time I go out. But the thing that has always made the largest impression was my yearly Christmas baskets. Every year I get one deer turned entirely into salami, slim jims, and snack sticks. I go to Meijers and buy big wicker baskets and just fill them to the brim with exotic cheeses, crackers, and venison goodies. I stick a bunch of pointsettias in there with gold grass and a bunch of big red bows with a Christmas card thanking the landowner for their kindness. I give one of these baskets to every land owner that is generous enough to let me play on their property (whether I made it to their farm that year or not.). I have found that the farmers start looking forward to my baskets every year, and they always ask me to come back to hunt their property.
I hunt some of the best property in the state and have yet to pay a dime.
There ARE other ways to show appreciation other than $$$$.
Your time and effort can be just as valuable.
Hunt
 

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Mtnman_ I agree completely! I was able to overcome the "money to hunt" problem. I turned it into a "work for hunt" solution. I help a farmer in Applegate Mi.Once a year I stop in around planting time and ask if I can help in some manner, drive a tractor, shovel stalls, fix an out building. Now I don't spend a weel srtaight helping out but I will spend a Saturday and half a Sunday. THis helped to build a very good relationship with the landowner. It shows that I'am responsible and hardworking and care about his farm. In return The farmers wife makes us a great meal, we visit and talk about hunting seasons past and where the deer are today. THen I hit him with the best question of them all, " Do you know anyone else that may let me hunt if I ask." Using local as a character refrence when asking permission is golden. You may be suprised how fast your hunting connections can grow. In the last 8 years my hunting partner or myself have killed at least one buck on the opening day of gun season. We have enjoyed simmilar sucess with a bow and recently discover several coyote packs in the area. All because we are not affrid to pick up a shovel and help. ----This concludes Song dogs editorial on farmer relations
 

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Mtnman198, I lease as little as I have to. Some Farmers are offended that you would ask to lease a farm, they think your trying to be a hog and trying to get all the game yourself. It can be a very touchy situation. I've lost permision before by trying to lease it for the above reason. Southern Indian and Southern Illinois Is all leased for hunting, if it isn't, either the landowners hunts or it doesn't have any game.
Like it was said above though if you lease hunting property you know all that will be hunting it and when it is hunted. That is very important because I don't care what you like to hunt the animals will only take so much pressure before they get skittish and don't come around much, kinda like gun deer season. I believe it is a going to be more and more difficult to get permission without leases. We have several areas in SM that are leased by city dwellers. They pool there moneys and now they have private land to hunt. Becareful though about your approach to the landowner about a lease I have found it can be a touchy feely situation. I also know of leases that the land owner knows that the leasee's will not be down untill the weekend and during the week they lease it to other people so if you can't watch it periodically you better make sure the land owner is a person of there word.
 

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welcome to the future i lease land to hunt i do plumbing for land to hunt and i kiss two sweet little ole ladies butt to hunt by doing yardwork and cooking them dinner.and there are still way to many yahoo's who truely beleive thier nieghbors owe them the right to hunt.it is a privledge and must be treated as such.
 

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Coldwater, no offence but I know for a fact it isn’t that hard to get permission in Illinois like a lot people say it is (bowhunting for deer). I heard the same thing about Kansas before I went last year and received permission to hunt private property. If you go to the Bowsite and visit the Kansas forum you would think that non-residents and outfitters have leased all the land. I just don’t think leasing is as common as a lot of people think. I know it’s tough to get permission in southern Michigan to hunt private property but I don’t think it has that much to do with leasing.

I would agree with you that some farmers could get the perception that you want to hog all the hunting for yourself with a lease.

Tim
 

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Personally I would not pay to hunt anywhere. If it comes to a point where you can't hunt without paying I won't hunt. Besides of all the deer I have shot none have been on private land. It is not a easy thing though driving from Flint to Gladwin or AuGres or maybe Standish after working all day isn't easy,but it is worth it. State land is abundant in Michigan plus you have the hunter access program. There are four locations within 10 minutes of my house in the hunter access deal which I take advantage of at least a couple times a week during bow season. Michiganders have nothing to complain about when it comes to hunting we've got it made. It may not be convient all the time but when go the extra mile you have a bigger sense of accomplishment. Give the farmers a break it is a tough lifestyle and they do what they have to do.

HUNT HARD HUNT FREE

OSAGE2ORANGE
 

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in this day and age, I can't fault a farmer for leasing his land; we have all heard of horror stories of dangerous stray shots, litter, ect by tresspassers, et al. A farmer who leases his land knows who should be on it an who shouldn't....tresspassers can't use the old "I'm a friend of so-n-so and he said it was alright to hunt here". Plus in this day and age of housing developements and all the yuppies wanting to live "in the country", then griping about the smell from the pig farm down the road and trying to shut it down, I can see were a farmer would want to lease. It may be the only way he can keep his head above water, keep the farm in the family, and keep the developer's from his door. I consider myself fortunate that I had the experience of working of a farm for a few summers when I was a kid; makes you appreciate what you have, what is important in life, and where your food comes from. I think all urban and suburban kids need to spend a summer WORKING on a farm; might not have all the crap going on in society that we do today.
But getting back to the original thought of the thread.....you don't necessarily have to "pay" with cash; you can barter your services or help out on a few weekends when there is hay baling or fence mending or something else that needs doing. If you don't want to do that, there is always state and federal land (and the HAP program is, at least technically, a "pay-for-hunting" program...you pay for it with your license dollars). But then there is the crowding, the opening day "hunter-wannabees", the lack of game.....unfortunately, it is not a perfect word.
I also wouldn't begrudge the guy who pays for a lease; he may be the only one who has access to the land, but he still has to scout where the deer are, put up stands in the right space, ect. He may have put up with all the stuff on state land while going through school, and now that he has some spare cash, this is what he wants to do with it so he can have a better hunt. I can't fault him for wanting an area to himself....after all, don't we all want that?
If you are fortunate to have someone let you hunt thier property free of charge, consider yourself lucky, and THANK THEM REPEATEDLY AND OFTEN!
 

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Tim, I was talking waterfowl hunting. It's real big down there. I wouldn't have the slightest idea about leased land for deer hunting. I hunt leased land in SM that is leased by deer hunters,I do not hunt deer on that land but waterfowl and only after all the deer seasons are closed and with the land owners permission. Basically what people pay me for is my scouting and equipment and access to the area where the birds are at. When I make a big set up of dekes and blinds I have several thousand dollars setting in the field. Some people go just to learn stuff too. I would pay to hunt from time to time down south but haven't made the time yet. I think the majority of hunters that hunt out of State probably pay some type of guide fee's or something. I think in Canada you must go through an outfitter to hunt.

[This message has been edited by Coldwater Charters (edited 01-24-2001).]
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I guess what I am getting at is I think it robs some of us who are willing to devote ourselves year round for a chance to hunt of the pure enjoyment involved with getting a new piece of ground to hunt.To me getting new land each year is as good as the hunt itself,when I knock on a door and ask and come to an agreement of what is expected to hunt I can't wait to call my hunting partner and tell him the story,"hey all we have to do is pick a few pumpkins in the fall or bail hay,trap woodchucks,fix fences,etc.. to hunt some prime land.I think alot of hunters who pay to hunt cut their seasons to short,this can be a year round ordealand based on the topic "why do you hunt"I think many of you would really enjoy the hard work of earning a hunting spot through labor.Not only are you building a lasting relationship with the owner you get to see all the creatures year round.How many hunters have never seen a deer in the woods in velvet?I know a few.
As far as the lease your land so you know who is on it issue,The owner already thought he knew who was suppose to be there,No matter the method there will always be tresspassers on our hunting grounds.
I just don't want hunting to turn into a "MONEY GAME" I personally think it pits us against one another and turns us into greety hunters instead of a close nit group of sportsmen like we use to be.
 

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i personally live on a farm and i think you'de be surprised at how many farmers would actually let ya hunt for a little bit of sweat you put in for em. we haven't had anyone come to our doorstep and ask permission to hunt in a lot of years. on 140 acres we have 5 people hunting with a gun and only 2 with a bow and it's awesome. the others who hunt here besides myself and my dad help us on the farm and other work throughout the year. i have A LOT of land that i can hunt because of just stopping and jumping on a haywagon when they're bailing and then asking if i could hunt this fall and i haven't been turned down yet! my point is if you're willing to work for the right to hunt on private land then you can, and only for a few hours of hard work each year! just my 2 cents
Moe
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
moe, you hit the nail on the head with that comment,Thats how I have aquired all my land to hunt.I think it gives the hunter a greater respect for that persons land,I feel you are more apt to manage the land then to use it and abuse it on a lease property like some of the guys do in my area.I am not saying all leasees abuse the land but i think there thinking would be more on the lines of "I paid my money I don't owe the owner anything else"It seems strictly business.Like you said if something is going on and you pitch in that is worth more than money!
 
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