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March 26, 2008

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Discussion Topic: On Buying and Selling Hunting Rights

Suppose you’re going to sell your 200 acre farm but want to keep the hunting rights on it. That shouldn’t be a problem, right? Actually, it’s a trickier issue than it may seem at first blush.

From The Dickenson Press:

During North Dakota’s 2007 legislative session, lawmakers placed a two-year moratorium on all property sales that would include retention of hunting rights so they could better study the issue. . . .

[A] concern that was raised during testimony . . . was the possibility that anti-hunting groups would come in to buy land, then turn around and sell it while retaining the hunting rights.

“We’re just trying to get ahead of the whole ballgame,” [state representative Lyle] Hanson said. “Say some big organization that is against hunting comes in. They could come in and buy and then sell it, but maintain the hunting rights.”

Check out the full article and tell us what you think.



That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard of.

Even if I had no intention of hunting the property I just purchased myself, I wouldn't do this.

Too many potential problems with this bit of genius. They should rename this the "moron clause".


Its been said for quite a while now that you can't legislate against stupidity.

I'm a bit perplexed by some anti-hunting group, purchasing hunting land, reselling the land, and keeping the rights. If I buy 40 or 160 acres, and you're hunting on it, I'll probably know that. If I bought the land, then posted it against hunting, how would I know you were there? If I didn't hunt, I would certainly have better things to do than sit in my truck, watching for trespassers! Then comes the pursuit of wounded game. If you came to my property line, following a blood trail, I would let you pursue that game even if I didn't like you. The animal probably will die, why prolong its suffering?

Just some thoughts on the dumbest thing I read today.


It may be dumb Yoop, but people do it all the time. It may not be "hunting" rights, but mineral and water rights are retained by sellers almost daily! It's called a covenent. I sold a piece of property in Colorado and could have put a covenent on it that the buyer or any future buyers could NOT raise hogs on that lot for the next 99 years and it would be recorded at the court house and could be upheld as law for the next 99 years!
Yep, it's nuts, but it happens.
I'm not sure what other states may call it, but in Colorado, it's a covenent!



I'd try and straighten out my above blog, but it's hopeless! But the covenent thing controls future owners and their activities!



We rarely own mineral rights up here. Many homes in the Copper Country have abandoned mine shafts beneath them. If a mining company wants to explore beneath your surface rights, you will be paid. If they need to develop on your land, you will be paid nicely. How would you enforce banning hunting without being there? Its just a ludicrous idea! In MI, game wardens and cops respond to trespassing after the fact. Only in response to a complaint. They're not going to carry plat books to determine if in fact you have the right to be there.


In Texas, Deed restrictions placed on a property are the only way to control a specific use. They can only be enforced by a Home Owners Association or an enity put in place for that specific pourpose by the person selling the property. The buyer does not have to buy that proerty that would have such restrictions and would op to purchase another property. Such deed restrictions have only a 20 year life unless renewed by the current property owners, or HOA. Water rights, Mineral Rights are different matters and when seperated from the Surface Estate stay seperate. Hunting rights are Surface rights like grazing rights and are leased out. The lease generally ends with the sale of a property. This would be a very cumbersome(expensive) way for anti hunters to try to end hunting. I am all for Anti Hunting Groups to buy up all of the land around My place so I would have the pick of the deer wandering off of their property onto mine. The State of Texas actually owns the deer not the land owner.


In simple pratical terms is this something to even worry about? If you were to buy a farm would you consider one that had hunting restrictions on it? Maybe if you really wanted to farm and were not as interested in hunting. However would you pay the same amount for a farm that didnt have hunting rights included? You would be dumb to. There would a depreciated value to the farm because of the loss of use of the land, plus the farmers ability to control animal damage is severly restricted. Say that you valued the loss of hunting rights at a random number of 10% of the value. If it was a million dollar farm would this animal rights group be willing to lose $100,000 to prevent hunting there? Even if they were how many times could they do that? say they did it 5 times before the lost to much money to keep going. Assuming 200 acres farms that would be 1000 acres of land wich is about the size of 2 state parks. Sucks, but it sure isn't going to really hurt hunting. Gotta love the free market.


I'll admit that it's been awhile, but I don't think Texas has the "water rights" controversies that are in place in some of the western states!
Texas, if not Pennsylvania, was probably responsible for the old "mineral rights" idea! A land owner can make a production company toe the line on keeping their well site "clean", but can NOT keep them from developing the "mineral"! To my way of thinking, surface and mineral rights should all come in the same package, but all this was developed long before I was born!



Certainly such laws vary from state to state but legislatively enacting a moratorium on land sales with retained hunting rights sounds like it deprives property owners of their rights without due process. A sticky wicket to be sure!

As a non-landed citizen I would love to see laws changed so that if land is open to hunting it is open to all licensed hunters; only restrictions being numerically limiting access to achieve safety or game management goals. This too takes rights to enjoy their property as they see fit away from land-owners BUT reinforces the long standing North American concept that game belongs to all the people. Diametrically opposed concepts.

I also doubt that we have a lot to fear, in the immediate, from such tactics. Cost and more cost to these groups.


Beggining of the end! This must be kept from PETA and other societies if idiocy or what was said might just happen! That law though is pretty stupid once you own the land you should control everthing about the land.

don m

Would peta spend 100,000-500,000 on something stupid ????
dose peta do stupid things ???




Logistically it would be impossible for anti-hunting groups to put an end or even significantly affect hunting through this practice. Hunters outweigh [and out-pay] anti-hunting groups dollars to cents so there is more chance for hunters to buy up available lands throughout the U.S. and conserve them for hunting than chance for anti-hunters to buy up lands, retain the hunting rights and limit further hunting. I'm not worried.


I think I am just as worried about the idea of hunting groups buying up tracts of land in the same vein. The result would still end with less land available for the rest of us and a subsequent further decline in our numbers.


We in Michigan are blessed with the Commercial Forest Act. This gives timber companies a tax break for keeping their land open to public hunting and fishing. I believe that this has really helped with getting folks into the woods, and making them more familiar with forest management.

If someone like PETA divested the hunting rights on property, and sold that property without hunting rights, how would that property be taxed? Could that political entity levee something on that right? The land would be worthless to me.

Up North Journal

Guys, you say this is crazy or stupid, it is happening right now with the Humane Society of the United States going under the name of The Wildlife Land Trust, www.wlt.org They are gaining what is called a conservation easement on land from people who give them this easement, that never expires. If a person gave them the easement and sold the land it still couldn't be hunted. HSUS holds the non-hunting rights on the land permanently! So don't think this isn't happening. Check out the link I posted above and see how much land has been given up in your state!

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