Acquiring a hunting lease is not hard, but finding one that satisfies specific standards is challenging.

Story and Photography by Bob Zaiglin

Now in the seventh month of the year, discussions as to where we might be hunting deer this fall begin to materialize.  The answer could be as simple as remaining on the same lease, but if not, how does one locate another hopefully better place to hunt.

Acquiring a hunting lease is not hard, but locating one that will satisfy your demands, especially if your standards are extremely high, is challenging.

First of all, deer hunters must remember that patience plays an integral role in the development of a quality deer herd.  Relinquishing what initially was considered a quality piece of deer real estate cannot be based on one or two seasons.

It must be understood that management of a property doesn’t begin until the contract is signed.  Seldom if ever will one find a lease that has an abundance of trophy racked bucks on it, because if it did, it would still be leased.  Exceptional deer come later following the application of sound management.  In reality, deer born on the lease that first spring following its acquisition are six years away from providing evidence one made the right decision signing the lease. But this does not apply to the habitat — it must be there from day one.  And it should be diverse, providing deer a quality diet throughout the year.