Recreational leasing is becoming commonplace. With the recent end of the 1997 spring turkey season and perhaps more importantly, the IRS tax deadline, you may be asking yourself what you could have done to capitalize on some extra income. If you are thinking about the possibility of leasing, now is the time to begin planning for next year. Although recreational leasing is not for everyone, it can, under the right circumstances, generate extra income.
There are many ways to implement a recreational lease. They can be tailored to fit your personal situation. Day hunts, seasonal hunts, or yearlong hunts are all possibilities. You can even be species specific. For example, if you like to deer hunt, then consider leasing for quail, turkey, or waterfowl. Or, if you will be calving in the spring and are concerned about hunters in the pasture, don't lease that pasture or area of your ranch for spring turkey season.
Fishing leases can be a viable option as well. There is also a wide range in price. These prices are generally based on location, the type of hunt, and the species hunted. Also, when considering price, don't rule out the possibility of bartering.
Just like anything else, this enterprise can present new challenges. Setting goals for your wildlife program, maintaining good public opinion, interacting successfully with people, advertising, establishing harvest quotas, minimizing interference with livestock, and minimizing liability risks are but a few. These can be worked out.
There are many examples in Oklahoma and Texas. We have a working recreational lease in place on the Noble Research Institute D. Joyce Coffey Ranch. This lease has been in operation for almost ten years and is a demonstration for the benefit of anyone interested in developing a recreational lease of his or her own. During this time, we have encountered many situations that have led to minor changes in our lease agreement.
The Noble Research Institute D. Joyce Coffey Ranch Recreational Lease Agreement as well as a publication entitled "Oklahoma Hunting Leases" are available by contacting the Noble Research Institute. If you are interested in developing a recreational lease, feel free to contact one of the Noble Research Institute Wildlife Specialists.