Considerations for Leasing Hunting Land in Florida
According to a report by the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the number of people participating in hunting is up 9% nationwide from their 2006 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation report. The recent rise in the number of people who participate in hunting activities has consequently led to an increased demand for high quality land that is suitable for hunting.
For those who own land that can be used for hunting activities, this means they can use this as an opportunity to lease their property, and generate cash flow. If you are a land owner that is contemplating leasing your land for hunting, here are a few things that should be taken into consideration.
Florida Hunting Laws
Each state has their own set of laws that address rules and regulations pertaining to hunting activities that occur within the state. Florida, in particular, has many laws and regulations that address hunting activities including hunting license and permit requirements, fees, season dates, age restrictions, and safety provisions. As a Florida land owner, it is wise to be familiar with Florida hunting laws prior to providing any hunting leases in Florida, and to make sure that all hunters that participate in hunting activities on your property are aware of these laws as well. For more information on Florida hunting laws, please visit the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission website.
Available Game on the Property
Prior to leasing out hunting rights to your property, it is recommended to establish the type of game species that are naturally occurring on the property, their population size, and growth rate. Indigenous game species to land used for hunting leases in Florida range from small game to big game including white-tail deer, wild boar, alligator, Osceola turkey, duck, and quail. It is also very important to ensure that your property provides a sustainable environment for the game including a reliable food supply, easy access to water, and shelter.
In order to understand your property’s true potential, it is highly recommended to have the property evaluated. To start, determine the amount of acreage that is suitable for hunting. This information will help determine the capacity limit for the total number of hunters that the property will support. An evaluation of the property will also help determine the type of game that is available to hunters on the property.
Written agreements (hunting contracts) for Florida hunting leases, are commonly used between land owners and hunters. These contracts grant the hunter the right to use the property for hunting activities for a specified amount of time. The contract should specify in detail the purpose of the agreement, amount due to the property owner, transferability, as well as terms and conditions. To ensure that you are properly protected, it is very important for the document to clearly state the terms of the agreement.
It is the responsibility of the land owner to provide a reasonably safe hunting environment. If an incident were to occur on the property, the land owner would be legally liable for any claims. For this reason, it is important for land owners who are considering using the property for hunting leases in Florida to have adequate hunting lease liability insurance coverage.