2012 - Volume #BFS, Issue #12, Page #34
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Service Offers Stress-Free Leasing Of Hunting Land
If you own land that has wildlife and you aren’t using it, leasing it to a group of hunters could net you $7.50 to $22.50 per acre annually. And Base Camp Leasing will take care of the paperwork and liability insurance for you.

    Steve Meng started the business in August 1999 when he moved to Indiana and couldn’t find a place to hunt.

    “I figured I wasn’t the only one,” says Meng, who started Base Camp Leasing out of Fishers, Ind. Since then, he’s expanded the business to 24 states including the East Coast and Midwest.

    Meng has agents in different areas that inspect property to make sure it meets criteria.

    “Cover is the biggest asset,” Meng says. “The property needs to have qualities that hold game, such as trees, grass or brush.” Generally, 40 acres is the minimum for a lease.”

    Once the land is approved as a good hunting site – usually for whitetail deer – Meng determines a per acre value from $10 to $30. Base Camp Leasing receives 25 percent of the fee.

    If someone selects the property, the landowner receives a contract that includes the maximum number of hunters allowed in the party. That party has exclusive right to hunting rights on the property – even the landowner cannot hunt there. The leaseholder is responsible for posting the land with signs provided by Base Camp Leasing.

    “Our landowners include a lot of larger farmers who have more property than they can hunt,” Meng says. “The biggest reason they come to us is that they are tired of being bugged by hunters. It’s easier to say it’s leased. We also have a lot of absentee landowners who inherited the property and live out of state.”

    They like Base Camp Leasing’s service because it saves the hassle of the paperwork, includes liability insurance, and the income helps pay taxes. The people who lease are paying a premium price and are most likely to respect the property. The business provides insurance for landowners and hunters with a $3 million liability certificate. If they choose to, landowners can meet the hunters before signing a contract.

    States vary greatly on the kinds of people who lease the land. In Indiana about half are non-resident. In Kansas, nearly 100 percent are non-resident. In Michigan, all are residents.

    “We consistently have 85 to 90 percent of the properties leased at all times,” Meng says. “Deer hunting is biggest, and there’s quite a bit of waterfowl demand. Turkey hunting is sometimes a bonus.”

    He recently added Minnesota and Wisconsin, and landowners in any of the states he works in (see map on website) are invited to call him for a free information packet that lays out the process.

    The arrangement has worked well for many hunters, including Meng, who now has land to hunt in four states.

    Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Base Camp Leasing, 10412 Allisonville Rd., Suite 101, Fishers, Ind. 46038 (ph 866 309-1507; www.basecampleasing.com).

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2012 - Volume #BFS, Issue #12