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Spring time is land leasing time

March 04, 2009 at 07:05 PM

Gatehouse News Service

Illinois hunting and fishing

Kilcherman info

Jim Kilchermann is an outdoor sports enthusiast and a writer for The Freeport Journal-Standard. He can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

With spring fast approaching, it is the time to get busy if you are a hunter. Spring brings many activities to the sportsman. Turkey season will be upon us soon. It is the time to scour the bedding areas and feed plots looking for shed antlers from the big whitetail that got away. But most important of all, it is the time to look into leasing hunting land.

I remember when I first began hunting, I could go practically anywhere I wished and hunt. There was no fear of being asked to leave. This was a different time in the hunting world. Sadly, this was also a time of my youth. It’s sad now because I took it all for granted. Trudging through the swamps and fields of mid-Michigan became second nature to me. The thought never occurred that I should treasure this easy access to hunting land.

Driving past most wooded areas today, a person can not help but take note of the numerous posted signs. “Keep Out” appears to be the only message many landowners wish to convey.

But do not get me wrong, I do not think this is a bad thing all together. I applaud the landowner for taking care of his property. Careless and reckless people have helped to spoil the easy access to hunting land. Couple this with the destruction of habitat and the growth of towns and communities, and there becomes a land shortage.

Hunters have seen the advantage of leasing hunting rights from landowners for years. They can hunt quality ground without fear of encountering others. They can pick and choose the animals they wish to harvest, ensuring good genes are allowed to be passed on. Perhaps most importantly is the peace of mind that comes from knowing they have a guaranteed place to hunt. Likewise, the landowner also has peace of mind in knowing who is on their property and knowing who is responsible for the maintenance of the land.

Pollution, fires, destruction of fences and the accidental release of livestock are just some of the problems landowners face every time someone crosses their property line. Crops are also often vandalized, leading to lost revenue for the farmer. It is no wonder that the leasing of hunting rights has become so popular. Everybody benefits.

This brings me to my yearly ritual of placing ads asking for the privilege of leasing a piece of hunting ground. Should I succeed, and with the landowner’s permission, you just might see me putting up a few posted signs of my own. Until next time, remember, it’s a great outdoors.

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I know prices will vary depending on Geographic location and parcel size. Does anyone have an idea of what the going lease rate per acre might be for east central Illinois?

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/12 at 01:20 PM

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