Beware: Pitfalls of Leased Land
The landowner walked down the fence at 8:00 am… banging a stick on the old fence and on the fence posts, calling out loudly and blowing a coach’s whistle all the while.
From my vantage point in a 20’ + tower stand, I could see – and plainly hear – him coming.
The three does that were feeding in the center of the bean field clearly heard him, too… and made haste in the other direction.
I watched as he made the corner of his property and turned and followed his fence line at a 90 degree angle – doing the same antics as he walked up the other way.
This was not the first time he had done this… heck, it was not even the second.
When I accosted him the first time he did it, he rambled on incessantly about how “we were going to shoot him or his grandchildren… and a man could not even walk his own property without someone holding a gun over his head”.
It was obvious that he could not be reasoned with and it was obvious that he was set on ruining any hunt or hunts that he could.
This was a small lease and it adjoined his property for about 25% of the property line, but it was easy for him to disrupt a little 88 acre piece of property.
The game warden was contacted and informed us that as long as the antagonistic land owner was on his property, he was powerless to do anything about it.
This is just ONE of the pitfalls of leasing land – and this happened to me on a 2010 lease in South Carolina.
Had I known this was going to happen, I would have chosen not to lease this farm…
Here are many other pitfalls of leased land that I think all hunters should be aware of:
- Hunters on adjoining properties that hunt right on the property lines and may even shoot deer across the lines
- Houses that border your lease boundaries – the tenants or owners often feel they have a right to hunt “behind the house”
- Easy poacher access, particularly for open fields or agriculture fields that border fairly well traveled roads
- Leases that have very difficult access – you may have road access at one section, but do other sections have difficult access – like creeks that are not easily crossed but you do not have access from the other side of the creek
- Leases that may flood when the rainiest seasons come along
- Leases that may be subjected to partial or even total timber cutting
- Leases that adjoin dog hunting clubs
- Leases that have dog problems simply from local dogs that live at the surrounding houses
- Leases that do not foster good relationships between the hunters and the farmers that lease the land for agriculture
- Leases where expectations and requirements – on both sides – are not clearly spelled out and discussed between the land owner and the hunters
- Leases where land boundaries are not very clearly spelled out and understood
- Leases that lack an understanding (even a written agreement) about the duration of the lease – in that someone may take a lease, put in plots, upgrade the roads, put in a rifle range and deer cleaning station – only to find that the landowner then fails to renew the lease
There are many other problems that could arise – but these are certainly some to be aware of.
Leasing a property – when the conditions are right – is a great way to gain a private place to hunt. Many incredible memories have been made on leased land.
Understanding the pitfalls, doing your homework and asking the right questions before taking the lease, however, will go a long way toward making sure you take the right property in the first place!
The attached image shows the lease from 2010 - the yellow boundary was my 88 acre lease and the red boundary was the property of the disruptive land owner. He was not a deer hunter - so he was not trying to stop us from harvesting "his" deer - he was simply being spiteful!