Consider Hosting Hunters on Your Property
Finding ways to augment revenue streams by your agricultural operations can provide financial resources to manage your expenses. Alternative uses of your farmland can bring in additional revenues. It can also increase the value of your land as you expand its utility. Americans spend roughly $90 billion each year on hunting-related expenses. Opening up your property to groups of hunters can be a good way to generate additional income. Here are some key points to help you decide if hosting hunters is the right move for your operation.
Increased Profitability with Minimal Investment
If you’re considering utilizing a portion of your land for hunting, the good news is maintaining an environment for wildlife generally requires doing less rather than more. Allotting a small portion of each crop to be eaten by wild animals native can attract a healthy population of deer, pheasant and other game. In most cases, you can start a small operation. Also, over the years you can provide accommodations and hunting-related services to your guests through a series of gradual transitions that may include the following:
- Allowing hunters to use your land for a fee.
- Providing hunting licenses and guides for hunters.
- Stocking the property with game animals to ensure ample targets for hunters.
- Selling ammunition and weapons for hunting expeditions.
- Hosting catering and/or restaurant meals.
- Establishing bar service for after-hunt celebrations.
- Offering accommodations complete with room service.
This tiered approach allows you to test the waters for each level of investment and can be financially beneficial without major upfront costs. Companies like the Hunting Lease Network offer practical help for farmers interested in leasing their land to hunters. It’s important to keep in mind that in most states, you can sell ammunition and provide hunting licenses if you go through the necessary permit-process from the proper authorities. However, be sure to check with local and state officials for compliance. State wildlife and conservation groups can also provide added help in navigating regulations when hosting hunters on your farm.
Customized and Complementary Hunting Options
Deciding on the type of hunting you will allow on your property can be simple, especially if you already have a population of deer or waterfowl on your farm. Ranchers who manage free-range grazing pastures can typically expect at least a small population of deer on their properties. A few simple steps can help you increase the number of whitetail deer that live on your farm or ranch:
- Allowing natural vegetation to grow in unused areas of pasture can provide inviting habitats and ample food for whitetail deer.
- Controlling brush and overgrowth will ensure clear lines of retreat for deer and improved terrain for hunters.
- Fertilizing along tree lines and in forested areas can increase the amount of food available to these herbivores.
- Especially during the winter months, supplementing available vegetation can attract deer to your property.
Similar strategies can provide waterfowl and pheasant with adequate cover and preferred food sources. By taking steps to make your property attractive to these animals, you can enhance the appeal of your farm.
Owner-Operated or Lease Options
Depending on the management plan of your farm and the number of employees you are willing to devote to these tasks, it may be more financially feasible to lease some parts of your commercial farmland or pastures to outside companies. This can increase the funds available to your operations without causing undue disruption to your current workflows and staffing arrangements. Leasing your land seasonally or on a case-by-case basis may be a good option if you want the added income but don’t necessarily want to manage the endeavor yourself.
Customizing a Plan Just Right for You
Taking the time to consider what accommodations you’re willing to make once you allow hunting parties on your land. This can also help you decide on the right arrangement for your needs. Leasing your property during the winter months can offer income without impacting your ongoing operations. If you have the available funds and the wildlife population, it may be worthwhile to invest in one of these companies to attract hunters and embark on a secondary enterprise on your existing property.
Allowing hunters to pursue their interests on your commercial farm or ranch can help you achieve new avenues for revenue without significant interruptions to your regular routine. A small initial investment could potentially produce a continuing source of added income, allowing you to enjoy improved cash flow and increased resources for further expansions and acquisitions in the future.