Texas Hunting Lease Attorney
Hunting Lease Attorney Nathaniel Gilbert works to help provide landowners, farmers, and ranchers with quality leasing documents such as liability waivers, disclosures, and lease agreements for hunting leases.
No Surprise Fees, Change Orders Or Nonsense
Work Directly With
Launch your Company With An Experienced Business Attorney
Know What I’m Doing, and When I’m Doing it
Hunting Leases for Farms and Ranches
Whether you are looking to lease your property for the 1st or 50th time, consulting with a lawyer versed in the outdoors and hunting in your area is an absolute must. Hunting leases on agricultural land in Texas involve many factors such as liability waivers, statutory liability, contract negotiation, and safety concerns. Nate Gilbert is an attorney and outdoorsman living in South Texas and can help you protect you and your investment when crafting your hunting lease documents.
Hunting leases are gaining popularity across the nation as alternative income for farmers and ranchers. Nowhere is this more true than the midwest/southwest, especially in Colorado, Texas, and Kansas. From waterfowl leases of single, 30 acre ponds ranging into the tens of thousands of dollars to the mountain ranches flush with elk fetching nearly $150,000.00, the hunting industry is at an all time high and landowners stand to reap the benefits. Before you rush to get hunters onto your property, it is imperative your consult a knowledgeable attorney with experience in hunting and recreational leases. A qualified attorney can craft a lease that avoids the usual headaches and offers the highest profit with the least amount of intrusion.
This is a portrayal, not the actual individual
I wanted to make a PLLC for my new Pediatric Ophthalmology practice and I found Nate after searching on the internet. I read Nate’s profile and was impressed and gave him a call and asked all the relevant questions about the PLLC formation and was very satisfied with the answers and decided to go with him. Nate is professional, knowledgeable, efficient and finished the process in a very timely manner. To add to this, Nate did a meeting after the whole process to explain and educate about the new entity and its Company Agreement which is extremely helpful to prepare you for the next steps for your PLLC. He is always available for follow up questions. It was a pleasure working with Nate and I highly recommend him.
– Dr.C (Pediatric Eye Center)
Hunting Leases FAQs
- Determine the property you want to lease: This can be as simple as saying that you want to give access to an entire ranch or parcel, or drawing specific boundaries within those parcels. While leasing your entire ranch or farm for hunting access may seem easier and less “hands on” than taking the time to draw out specific boundaries and access points, exercising the control over your property can pay dividends.
- Find out what kind of huntable game you have on that property: It may seem simple, but you should take the time to document and find out what populations of wildlife you have on the property you’ll be leasing. If your deer or elk populations are good, determine as best you can the number that are using your property. If waterfowl or upland birds are using your crop fields, take a few days to track their movements to give a sound scouting report to your potential buyers.
- What kind of restrictions do you want to have on your property?: It may be that you want to restrict certain activities like the use of rifles or the digging of goose hunting pits in your fields. These restrictions belong in your lease and will play a large role in who wants to lease your property.
- Determine how much you want to charge: This is a hard question at times. The easy answer is to just implement a cost of what your property taxes are for that year. Your price will vary depending on quite a few factors including what you can prove about your property through scouting reports, trail camera pictures, or harvest reports from past hunters on your property.
- Get a good lease drafted that protects your interests: Take the information you’ve gathered to your attorney. Not all attorneys will know the ins and outs of hunting and what kinds of things to look for in a lease, so make sure either you or your attorney have a working knowledge of the hunting industry. You don’t want any surprises halfway through the season.
- Find the people that want to lease your property: Advertising your lease and finding the hunters that want your kind of lease can be a challenging feat. Several online resources exist to aid in the search process, but you may find more success in the long term dealing with locals in your area that you can develop a lasting relationship with.
In Texas, Colorado, and Kansas, many farmers are turning to hunting and recreational leases. Out of state, non-resident hunters looking to hunt in these highly coveted states often look for entire ranches or farms that may be available for lease, especially when seeking big game and upland. Having the entirety of the ground available for pursuing wildlife helps not only the hunter to take full advantage of the property, but also allows the landowner to drive up his price for leasing. Considering that having the entire property leased for deer hunting, though the season may be short, would most likely prevent the landowner from leasing the property for other species with longer seasons such as upland and waterfowl. This means that the landowner may feel free to charge the equivalent or more for a big game lease, even though there are fewer huntable days.
Big game leases are also special in consideration of “Trophy Availability.” The modern elk, pronghorn, mule or whitetail deer hunter is heavily concerned with the quality of the trophy and antler size of the animals on the property. Being able to show potential lessees certain quality animals will also affect pricing.
Many hunters and landowners alike are often tempted to use forms and template hunting leases from online databases. While it may seem simple to click the first link on Google and download the first hunting lease you come across, this supposed convenience could cost everyone on the lease more in the end.
Often, these leases are not state-specific and may not even be valid leases in your state. Other times, the renewal clauses are not clear or use certain phrases like “Automatic Renewal” that may obligate the reluctant hunter or landowner into another lease term against their wishes. It is important to understand every single phrase, clause, and word in your lease. Hunting is a fun activity and having a lease can be a great advantage to the diligent hunter, but it is imperative to remember that the lease is a binding contract and failing to abide by that contract can have lasting and expensive consequences.
In the end, my clients that have used form or template hunting leases end up paying more to fix the situation created by using the form or template hunting lease than it would have cost to have a competent hunting lease attorney draft a custom-tailored lease in the first place.
- Provisions and Restrictions
- Terms and Renewals
- Liability and Insurance
Landowners in Texas often lease their property for hunting or fishing to individuals, outfitters, or private clubs. While this can be a lucrative endeavor depending on the abundance and quality of game available on your ranch, there are some main considerations to take into account before allowing anyone onto your property.
The most common question I get as an attorney dealing with hunting leases or even just hunting permission, is liability. Is the landowner liable for hunters or fishermen who get hurt on their property while engaged in those activities? The answer is “maybe.” Landowners who allow free use of their property for recreational use are protected by state statute in Texas. However, when you charge a fee, such as with a lease agreement, you may need to work out a liability waiver for all those individuals participating in any activities on your ranch. This is a major concern that you will need to work with your attorney as well as insurance carrier on in order to make sure that you are well protected.
This question will have all kinds of answers, and those answers will entirely depend on 1) what you are comfortable with and 2) what exists on your property. For the latter, it is simply a matter of looking at what you may have available on your property—A piece of property without ponds or river access or crop fields will likely not attract many duck hunters.
It goes without saying that leasing a property for hunting should come with some kind of assurance on the part of the landowner that there is game of the type considered on the property, and opportunity exists to hunt these animals. Just because you have acreage with some woods and open pastures, does not necessarily mean you have a huntable population of deer on the property.
Attorney Nathaniel Gilbert in San Antonio is an avid hunter and outdoorsman, and uses his unique background in the outdoors industry to help landowners, farmers, and ranchers draft hunting leases that maximize protection for their family and their land.
The other part of the question is a much more complex answer: what kind of hunting are you comfortable with on your property? If your property is less than 50 acres, and your home or farming operation sits in one corner of the property and you run a few cows on the other, it may not be in your best interest to allow rifle hunting on the property. Similarly, if your property backs up against a school or neighborhood, constant shotgun reports from dove or duck hunters may not make good neighbors.
When I work with a client looking to lease their property for hunting, one of the biggest things we talk about is what kinds of hunting they want to have or are comfortable with on their property. This is a huge consideration and one of the main reasons why we advocate so hard against using a form lease from the internet with no specific clauses regarding what is allowed or is not. Being able to work with your attorney to craft a specific hunting lease for your Texas property is immensely important—those specific clauses stating what kinds of hunting methods and means are allowed on your land will be the rule book anyone hunting your property has to follow, and it is critical those rules are well drafted.
CUSTOM TAILORED; REUSABLE FOR YEARS TO COME; SPECIFIC TO YOUR PROPERTY AND NEEDS; BASED ON YEARS OF HUNTING LEASE DRAFTING AND EXPERIENCE WITH TOP OUTFITTERS IN THE WORLD.
Crafting your hunting lease is a multi-step process that begins with a general meeting with Attorney Nate Gilbert about your property. What kind of hunting do you want to offer? What kind of amenities? How many people? The goal is to get to know your property and the reasons you are looking to lease it for hunting.
After this initial meeting, Nate will craft your individualized hunting lease based on the rules and privileges that you have listed, as well as your old hunting leases and documents if such exist. The lease will be drafted according to your specifications combined with the extensive experience of Attorney Nate Gilbert when it comes to hunting leases. Once the lease has been drafted, usually within 2-3 days, the first draft will be sent to you or your managers for review.
But you’re not done yet!! Once you have reviewed the lease, you will schedule another appointment with your attorney to go over your lease in detail. We will review each clause and rule together and make sure that we understand exactly what we mean when we put certain words or phrases in your hunting lease not only so that you can understand what we’re trying to accomplish, but so that you may explain it to your hunters or outfitters if they have questions. After this meeting, you’ll have your final drafts emailed to you in a format you can use for years to come.
Hunting Lease Pricing
BEAR PROOF OUTFITTER STARTUP
Becoming an Outfitter package includes formation of your outfitter company as an L.L.C., your personal, custom tailored, DORA (Colorado) compliant outfitter services contract, and a liability waiver providing the utmost protection to you, your employees, and your business.
BEAR PROOF OUTFITTER CONTRACTS
Custom tailored contract for outfitting services with several options regarding rules and regulations for your personal outfitting situation. All outfitter contracts for Colorado outfitters are compliant with the rules and requirements for outfitter contracts from Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies, Offices of Outfitter Registration.
BEAR PROOF LIABILITY WAIVERS
Professionally tailored liability waiver for use in your outfitting operation, including custom provisions for firearm usage, watercraft or motor vehicle, climate, terrain, and many more options depending on your unique circumstance. This is not a “one size fits all” document and must be custom tailored to your specific outfitting needs.
Leasing documentation for your outfitting operation on property not owned by you or your outfitting operation. Outfitter Hunting Leases include provisions on fixtures such as blinds, tree stands, and lodges, as well as clauses determining installation of food plots and use of motor vehicles on property.