Hunting Lease Rules

According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 12.5 million people hunted throughout the U.S. in 2006. If you want to lease your land to hunters, have the proper rules in place to ensure a safe and profitable venture. Put your rules on a written lease agreement and have it signed by the lessee. Rules here are for illustration purposes only; consult an attorney to design your own.

Hunting Licenses

Licensed hunters know what types of animals can be harvested.

Hunters must have valid hunting licenses. Licensed hunters are educated on hunting laws and have taken a safety course. Licensed hunters are given tags limiting the number of animals they can harvest. Hunting laws vary from state to state; be aware of your state’s laws so you know your lessees are compliant.

Firearms

Set rules regarding the safe and proper use of firearms.

Include rules on the use of firearms. The University of Tennessee suggests the following: All firearms should be unloaded during motor vehicle transport, at camp and near buildings, and during non-legal shooting hours; firearms must be in cases when not in use; no shooting across roads or property lines; and firearms should be handled as if they are loaded at all times.

Drugs and Alcohol

No one should hunt while under the influence of alcohol, drugs or prescription medication that may impair the safe use of firearms or vehicles.

Liability

Set a rule that you’re not liable for accidents on your property such as snakebites.

Hunting is an inherently dangerous activity, so set a rule that you are not liable for any accidents involving firearms, falling trees, hidden ground openings, poisonous plants and animals or any other hazards.

Fees

Deposits ensure your property and equipment such as deer stands

All fees should be paid up front. Some landowners charge per acre, while others charge a flat fee per day, weekend or week. Ask for a refundable deposit to ensure the protection of your land, campsites and equipment such as deer stands.

Camping

Be sure your lessees know your campsite rules.

Set rules regarding campsite locations as well as regulations on campfires, littering and noise. The University of Tennessee says to allow open fires only on campsites; campfires must never be left unattended. Declare check-in and check-out times, insist that campsites be cleaned of any trash or equipment and predetermine the number of campers allowed.

Vehicles

Set rules on the number and types of vehicles allowed on your property, and where the vehicles can be parked and driven.

Blaze Orange

Part of safe hunting is wearing the appropriate attire.

The University of Tennessee recommends all hunters and guests wear 500 square inches of bright orange on the head and upper body during certain times. This is an important safety precaution designed to keep hunters and guests from being shot.

Pets

Lessees should be solely responsible for the pets they bring.

Many people bring dogs to help them hunt, so make sure your lessees know they’re responsible for pets. Don’t allow pets on neighboring property. The lessee shall be liable for any damage or injuries caused by his pet.