A Brief Introduction About the Hunting Lease Agreement
When you have hunting land for lease, you agree with another party who is interested in paying you for utilizing your property for tracking purposes.
An agreement where the owner of the hunting ground (lessor) agrees to an individual who is willing to pay for it (lessee) is known as a hunting lease agreement.
This agreement protects the owner of the land as the hunter has to abide by the guidelines and regulations while using the property as per the agreement.
The agreement legally protects the hunter as it grants him or her permission to hunt on private property.
The agreement contains the details regarding the duration of the lease, the seasons and days during which hunting can be allowed, the fee per hunter, and so on.
On signing the document, it becomes legally binding for both the owner as well as the hunter.
Who Takes the Hunting Lease Agreement? – People Involved
When the landowner of a property is legally permitted by the Department of Fish and Wildlife as well as the local laws to lease out his or her land for hunting purposes, a hunting lease agreement needs to be entered into. The hunter, who will be using the land for sport or recreational hunting, needs to have a valid license.
The hunting lease agreement, therefore, has two parties involved who are the owner of the land or lessor and the hunter or the lessee.
The agreement clearly states the rights and responsibilities of both parties and breach of contract will have legal implications.
Purpose of the Hunting Lease Agreement – Why Do You Need It?
The purpose of the hunting lease agreement is to protect the rights of the landowner or lessor and the hunter or lessee.
If the hunter violates the guidelines or regulations with regard to hunting on the property of the owner, then the contract is terminated, and the hunter will have to pay the penalty. The agreement has all the details relating to the frequency of hunting, restrictions like no hunting on Saturdays, forfeiture clauses, and the license fee to be paid per hunter.
The hunter, by virtue of entering into this agreement, has the right to hunt on this property.
The cost of a hunting lease is affected by the size of the land, the quality of the game found in that area, accessibility to the land as well as the distance from the city.
The hunter has to specifically mention in the agreement that he or she is eligible to hunt as he or she has a valid hunting license. The license permits the hunter to hunt for certain specific animals, and hunting animals not mentioned in the license is considered illegal.
The owner should have permission as per the local laws to lease out the land for commercial hunting.
Contents of the Hunting Lease Agreement – Inclusions
A hunting lease agreement contains all the information relating to the leasing out of the private property by the owner and the use of the property for hunting by the hunter.
Here are the contents of a hunting lease agreement:
- Add names of the parties to the agreement: The names and addresses of both the lessor and lessee should be included in the lease. If there are more than one lessees, then the details of each lessee should be included in the agreement
- Include the Lease Duration: The duration of the lease may range from a few days to several years. The specific length needs to be stated. The Statute of Frauds mandates that leases over a year need to be documented. The notice for termination as well as renewal of the lease should also be mentioned
- Type of land being leased: A clear description of the land being leased through a photograph, diagram, text or legal metes-and-bounds will ensure easier resolution in case of dispute
- Lease fee: The lease fee will depend on numerous factors like duration, the species available for hunting, the method of hunting allowed and the size in acres available for hunting
- Method of payment: The mode of payment, either lump sum or in installments, needs to mentioned in the lease.
- Applicable laws: The laws of the state applicable to the lease
- Forum clause: The location or court where disputes between the two parties will be settled
- Lessee insurance: The lessee may be required to get hunting lease insurance by the landowner to protect the rights of both the hunter and the landowner from a third party claim
How to Draft the Hunting Lease Agreement?
While drafting the hunting lease agreement, the following points need to be kept in mind:
- Parties to the agreement: The names and contact information of the hunter or hunter need to be included in the agreement
- Total hunters allowed: The limit on the total number of hunters allowed need to be mentioned
- Land description: The land can be described in terms of size, through a diagram or in words.
- Fees payable: The fee which is payable by the hunter including the mode and frequency of payment needs to be mentioned
- Information about the kill: The hunter needs to inform the landowner regarding the animal killed and the disposal details
- No warranty of success: This means the lessor does not guarantee that the lessee will be successful in killing an animal
- Transferability: The agreement should clearly state the rules with regard to subleasing the land to a third party
- Applicable law: The laws applicable to this agreement will depend on the state in which the agreement was drafted
- Right to inspection: The landowner might want to inspect the land during the lease to ensure the safety of crops and livestock
- Erection of improvements: The agreement will state whether the hunter is allowed to erect any deer blinds or tree stands.
In case of a hunting lease agreement, the owner and the hunter can negotiate the rate of the lease depending on the area of the land, the quality of the game, the type of hunting permitted as well as the duration of the lease. Once they come to a price that is mutually agreeable, it can be included in the agreement.
Benefits & Drawbacks of the Hunting Lease Agreement
The benefits of having a hunting lease agreement are:
- Protection of interest: The interest of both the lessor or landowner and the lessee or hunter are protected through this agreement. The landowner is assured of the lease fee mentioned in the agreement at the frequency given provided the size of the land, quality of gaming are as stated in the agreement. The hunter has the right to hunt for a specified game in the land provided he or she does not cause any damage to the owner’s property.
- Charging fee: By virtue of the flexibility clause, the landowner can charge different fees to different hunters, and the hunters cannot share the fee charged to them
- Fair price: The hunter can inspect the land and, based on the quality of facilities, can make an offer to the landowner.
The drawbacks of having a hunting lease agreement are:
- Termination of agreement: The termination of the agreement can take place if the landowner finds that the hunter has violated a clause and the hunter cannot make a claim on the balance fee paid
- Liability of hunter: It is very difficult for the landowner in some cases to establish the death of livestock due to the negligence of the hunter. In such cases, the hunter cannot be penalized.
What Happens in Case of Violation
The hunting lease agreement is used by a landowner and a hunter, where the latter wishes to use the land owned by the former for hunting animals.
Both parties to the agreement need to adhere to the laws of the state, or else the agreement will be declared null and void.
The agreement ensures that the interests of the owner or lessor and the hunter or lessee are not compromised. The hunter will get the lease fee as and when it is due as per the agreement at the given frequency. However, the owner has to provide the facilities or infrastructure mentioned in the agreement and the species of animals that the hunter needs should be available on the property.
When it comes to Tennessee hunting land for lease by the owner, you can take the support of our experts who can draft this agreement for you.
If there is a violation of any term of the lease by the lessee, the lessor has the right to terminate the agreement by giving notice to the lessee, not just suing the lessee for the damages suffered. If this clause is added in the agreement, the nature of the notice should be clearly mentioned as well as the refund of payment or security deposit is permitted.
When it comes to an opportunity to earn from your land which has a certain animal species or to enjoy hunting for the game is concerned, there is no better option than going for a hunting lease agreement.
The owner or lessor is assured of a fee for leasing out the land to the hunter, and the hunter has the right to hunt for the game mentioned by the owner and permitted by local laws(1).
The owner should get approval from the concerned authorities before leasing out the land and has to get the land registered accordingly.
The hunter needs to ensure that the weapon used is certified for killing in a specified game.
The owner needs to ensure that the hunter follows the rules and regulations mentioned in the agreement, failing which the agreement will be terminated after giving the kind of notice specified in the agreement.
It is important for both the owner and the hunter to decide on the terms and conditions before signing the agreement.