A hunting lease is a simple agreement between a landowner and hunter or a group of hunters. In exchange for a fee, the hunters are granted access to the property for hunting and/or recreational rights. What makes the hunting lease so attractive to landowners is that they establish the rules and set the limits of the lease. A good example would be a landowner that only wants hunters to hunt whitetail deer with a bow. The landowner can then add that limit in the written lease, effectively not allowing firearms to be used. Landowners need to keep in mind that by limiting the opportunities to hunters, they may affect the value (price hunters are willing to pay) of their lease.
An arrangement that will make both hunters and landowners happy must have two components. The first is a written lease agreement. Anything less than a written document, signed by all parties, leaves too much room for confusion and eventually a poor relationship. The lease agreement provided to AHLA customers is a state-of-the-art template that can be customized to fit any landowner’s needs. It has served as the industry standard for private landowners and leasing companies for several years.
The second “must have” component is a hunting lease liability insurance policy. Without a proper liability policy, you simply put too much at risk. When you invite hunters onto your property, whether for free or a fee, you assume some responsibility for their safety. A hunter that falls into an abandoned cistern/well breaking a leg, may claim he wasn’t informed of the hazard and seek compensation.
A good hunting lease liability policy will protect you against these types of claims. The AHLA, unlike other companies, requires that all landowners are listed as “Additional Insureds” for your protection. In most cases, a landowner will either require the hunters to provide a policy, or simply make the purchase themselves and pass the cost onto the hunters. IMPORTANT: Most homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover hunters or guests that have paid a fee to hunt.