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Legal Aspects

In today’s world, leasing land based on a handshake agreement is asking for trouble.  Oral agreements for leasing are not advisable.  Miscommunication between the user and the landowner, or an accident on the property, could result in a lawsuit.  Being prepared for the unexpected is the best safeguard against potential liability and risk.  The effort taken to set up a sound lease agreement from the start will avert potential problems later.

Laws and regulations change quickly and can vary by state and local governments.  A basic understanding of the legal framework of wildlife law and federal/state regulations is important when planning your wildlife enterprise.

The only sure way to obtain the best possible hunting lease agreement and the most specific information concerning legal interpretations in your state is to consult an experienced, local attorney.  Sample leases can be referenced to assist you in developing a lease agreement tailored to meet your objectives.  This section will help you plan and prepare for that meeting.  You will also need to contact your insurance agent about coverage for hunting to protect your liability, particularly if a fee is charged. To overcome liability and improve marketing opportunities, forming or joining a landowner cooperative may be an option.

Learning Objectives for this module:

By the end of this module, you should be able to:

  • understand liability and risk management issues pertaining to wildlife enterprises,
  • describe the benefits and limitations of recreational use statues,
  • define baiting and understand what practices are legal and illegal for hunting waterfowl and doves,
  • understand the functioning of landowner cooperatives,
  • understand who owns wildlife, and
  • describe the components of a hunting lease and the importance of obtaining legal advice.

Disclaimer:  This web site information is provided as an educational tool and is not a substitute for individualized legal advice.  Anyone wishing to implement a lease agreement should consult an attorney and insurance representative in your state, as state statutes and legal interpretations may differ from state to state.  Any information on this web site incorporates general information, but particular legal interpretations of statutes may be different in your state.  Utilization of these materials by any person constitutes an agreement to hold harmless the authors, the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service, and the University of Tennessee for any liability, claims, damages, or expenses that may be incurred as a result of reference to or reliance on the information contained on this web site.
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