How to Value a Hunting Lease

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Among the considerations hunters make during the various seasons they choose to hunt is whether or not they pay for a hunting lease. If a hunting lease is undertaken, valuing the lease appropriately is an important part of the hunting lease process. Whether the hunting lease is for a one-week elk hunt, or a season of goose hunting, several tangible and intangible factors should be considered when valuing a hunting lease.

Comparable leases, abundance of public land, and productivity of the land relative to the game hunted are all tangible considerations. The first step in properly valuing a hunting lease is to do some research and find out what similar leases cost. Be careful to make an "apples to apples" comparison here. The value of a lease for elk hunting on a 500 acre parcel known for monster bull elk, surrounded by over-crowded public land is not the same as the same 500 acre parcel if there is little game on the property and a good mix of public and private land surrounding the parcel. Similarly, one cannot reasonably compare the price per gun rate on a one-day goose hunting lease to a trespass fee associated with a successful bear hunt. Logic and common sense should serve as the metric here when comparing hunting leases. Sound research on comparable hunting leases, public land, and average game harvested from the land will serve to guide any hunter in the right direction when looking for a hunting lease.

The primary intangible factor that must be considered when finding a hunting lease is hunter motivation. Motivation and goals may serve to add value to a lease that other hunters may not find. If a hunter has only two or three solid days to hunt, there may be an intangible value to the hunter if private leases are already in place. If a hunter knows the area well, when seasons are busy and when public land is crowded, there may be value in a private lease depending upon when the hunt will take place.

Like any other aspect of a hunting trip, determining the need for a hunting lease and the underlying value of such a lease takes some thought, time, and planning. Taking time to compare hunting leases, examining land availability, and researching harvesting trends will provide any hunter with excellent insight into the underlying value of a hunting lease.
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