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November 21, 2006

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Discussion Topic: Are Out-Of-State Hunters Pricing You Out of Hunting Land?

Nonresident hunters unquestionably help local economies. But some South Carolina resident sportsmen complain that out-of-staters are putting the price of hunting access out of reach. This from the Associated Press:
. . . . resident hunters say the influx of out-of-staters is driving up the cost of leasing land to hunt on for "people who have been leasing hunting land for generations," said Mickey Herring of Columbia. "A lot of people from Florida come up here and offer two or three times the money and take property out from under them.

It also drives up the cost of joining hunt clubs. The cheaper ones are $700 a year with high-end clubs having dues in the thousands.

"We're just average working people," said Doug Richbourg of West Columbia. "We don't make the kinds of money they do. We can't compete with them for land."

Check out this important article. Then give us your opinion below. Is this a problem in your state? Is there a solution?



I'm one of those guys from Florida. It is a vicious cycle. We go north to hunt because the damn yankees come south to live. The developers buy the land and kick us out. The remaning land is leased to the rich folk who can pay upwards of 8-10k a year for membership in a good club. I feel sorry for the folks in Georgia, South Carolina, and Alabama but we will continue to go north and it will only get worse.


I'm not getting priced out where I live yet, but I think it will eventually come to that--given what's going on in the rest of the country. I have friends in Texas and Iowa who pay in the tens of thousands for their leases. If it ever comes to that around here, I'll be out of the running for sure. I'll have to take up darts or birdwatching.


Here in the Northeast, there are no such things as leases. I hunt in Connecticut and Maine. Even in Connecticut, one of the highest population densities in the country, we have plenty of public land to deer, turkey and small game hunt on. In fact, the deer population is so high, many private landowners welcome hunters. In Maine, most of the land is owned by timber companies who have an open access policy. As long as private land is not posted its legal to hunt on, though the State highly recommends asking permission 1st.

mike teeters

Here in Kansas,nonresident hunters play an important role in our economy.Although,for the resident,it is getting tougher to hold onto to good hunting properties because big out of state $$$$ are purchasing prime habitat.The current administration has no reguard for the resident hunters.

dave gordon

same happening here in Northern New York (way north, like on the canadian border). local farmers who used to trade hunting in the fall for help haying in the summer can't pay their increasing property taxes and have to lease out their land to out of towners. I can't afford that on $35,000 a year. All I have to offer is my hard work and a hand shake, that used to be worth alot, not anymore.

Craig Henderson

Pennsylvania has a vast State owned Gamelands system. However the available private land is turning to lease which will push many of the current hunters out of the sport. The recent change in the season laws has reduced the deer heard to historic lows and hunter interest decreases in line with oportunity. No one will pay a lease to hunt deer that simply are not there.

Vince Aparicio

I've lived and hunted deer in southern California all of my life. I was fortunate enough to meet a hunter, from New Mexico, who invited me to hunt in his home state many years ago. Over the years I have seen the cost of hunting rise at a moderate rate yearly. This past November it rose by $90.00 for non resident hunters like myself. The friends I have made over the years have made it worth every cent. But the state of N.M. has gone to a draw system, for both resident and non resident hunters that makes it difficult to hunt the better quality areas. I am afraid that the cost, and the quality & quantity of deer, have not kept pace and I am sad to say that I may have to look elsewhere to justify the brow beating I take from the "little woman" for returning empty handed! The almighty dollar is winning this battle!


I live in Florida and it is sad about all the developers and yankees coming down to the South and ruining all the land. The yankees come down here and talk about southerners and how they hate the south, good they can leave.


Hunting is fast becoming a commodity and will soon be available to the well heeled only.


i hope fishin dosent get to the point where i must join a club in order to bag a fish.

Ralph the Rifleman

So far, there is plenty of Public Land here in Michigan, but private clubs are very popular(and expensive)for those able to afford it. Well, at least it keeps some hunters off the Public tracts!


I live and hunt in Illinois. Fifteen years ago my friend and I saw this problem coming and bought our own place - $400 per acre. At the time, there was lots of ground available for less than $600. Now this rough ground is selling for 2500-4000. As we suspected, we soon lost all our other hunting places on private ground. Outfitters catering to out of state hunters lease up most of the ground around us. The only exceptions are guys like us, who could afford to buy. At current prices, only the very wealthy can afford to buy. This scenario has had two effects. Local hunters have no place to hunt. Foreign hunters shoot fewer does. This has caused the antlerless population to explode, resulting in overbrowsing in much of the habitat. Where will it end? I don't fault any of the participants. The farmers and outfitters are only trying to make a buck. The foreign hunters want a piece of our whitetail paradise. However, even without fault, I think the current practice, if allowed to continue, will devastate our finest areas. Out of State permits for archery are currently on a statewide basis. This causes the problem to be concentrated in what are perceived as the best counties. I would suggest quotas on a per county basis, which could allow a balnce between competing interests and a healthier, better balanced herd.

Brandon Siegfried

I live and hunt in Colorado. Hunting leases are threw the roof in price the past 5 years. Additionally the out of state hunting license fees have more than doubled. An out of state bull elk tag will cost you $500 in Colorado. In Utah it now costs $83 for a big game preference point. After compiling 3 points in previous years for $3 a piece I had to quit building up my points this year for a trophy hunt I had hoped to take in 7 years. It would of cost me nearly $800 to build up the the necessary points for a trophy tag and then I would have to drop $400 for the actual license. My father and brothers no longer come out to hunt Colorado with me since it is so expensive. Its sad that we treat our fellow American worst than illegal aliens when it comes to out of state hunting. We are all Americans and should be able to hunt in our country at a reasonable rate. We can't control private land but we should be able to control state wildlife agencies.

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