Agri-tourism offers added value to farmers and landowners in the way of hunting leases. A private lease can ensure the landowner knows who has access to their land during hunting season and helps curb pressure from others.
“The best deal for the landowner is that they’re going to get some money for basically supporting the wildlife through habitat and feed,” said Dan Burden, program coordinator for the Iowa State University extension. “The added benefit is that with the amount of pressure, it ends up being such a hassle for many landowners that they just don’t let anyone on their property. Unfortunately, they are losing out on some revenue that way and some good relationships with people that would help look over their ground.”
Burden says having a lease could allow farmers and landowners to turn away the flocks hunters who want to hunt on their ground. There are different ways to start the process. Advertising in a publication or putting up a notice at a local sportsmen’s club are ways to take a do-it-yourself approach. The other avenue would to be to go through some sort of a broker.
Another suggestion is for farmers stick to a one-year lease to not be locked in with anyone that could turn out to be a bad apple. As for landowners renting their farmland, Burden has more advice.
“I would strongly suggest they landowners in those cases make sure that any hunting or fishing on that same property is not part of the farming lease agreement and kept separate,” Burden said. “What you can do if you are a landowner is to have separate leases for different types of hunting.”
When you come into those types of lease agreements, Burden says talk to your client to see how interested they are in helping to make improvements to your land. There might be someone you don’t want to charge as much or at all, because they are willing to do a great deal of work on your property.
If a landowner wants a more hands-on approach, Burden says they should make another consideration into agrotourism. An example of this would be clay target ranges and archery ranges.
More information can be found online, at the Ag Marketing Resource Center’s website.