People, Places & Events
AgriView: Deer Hunting Season is Just Around the Corner
Special to The Monitor
ATHENS-Deer hunting season is just around the corner.
Deer hunting is big business in Texas. Lease hunting for deer continues to be a source of revenue for many Texas landowners.
Texas landowners hold a unique position for lease hunting.
Unlike many other states, Texas has little federally or state owned land available for public hunting.
Thus, the private landowners control the major supply of huntable land. This position affords Texas landowners an important source of income.
Location of the deer and not the ownership of the animals, however, generates the revenue.
In Texas, all indigenous wild animals such as white-tailed deer belong to the state. As such, the state can regulate taking of game through hunting laws.
Although the state regulates when, how and how many deer may be taken, the state cannot authorize trespassing on privately owned land.
Permission from private landowners must be secured. Granting the right to enter and hunt generates the income for private landowners.
Historically, permission to hunt was granted for the asking.
In modern times, however, Texas landowners have begun exacting a price for this privilege in the form of an agreement commonly referred to as a hunting lease.
Depending upon the size of the lease tract, the abundance of game and the amenities available to the hunter, prices may range from a few dollars per day to thousands of dollars per season.
The lease may last a few hours, a few days, several weeks or the duration of the hunting season.
The so-called Texas hunting lease is not, in fact, a lease but rather a license.
Technically, a lease is a contract that conveys exclusive possession or control of land to another for a specified period.
A license, on the other hand, grants permission to do something that otherwise would not be allowed or would be illegal.
Because the typical Texas hunting lease does not grant the hunter exclusive possession or control of the land, it is better characterized as a license.
Granting the hunting lease takes numerous forms. It may be given orally on the payment of a specified amount of money.
Or, it may be given by way of an elaborate written document covering all aspects of the hunt, including how the landowner's property may be used.
Whether the lease is oral or written, the landowners and hunter should concur on key issues before consenting to the agreement.
By doing so, each party knows what to expect and thereby avoids possible misunderstandings. The terms of the agreement may affect the lease price.
A sample lease form is available at the county Extension office.
Trinity Basin Conservation Foundation
The goals of the newly formed Trinity Basin Conservation Foundation are to improve the quality of life, economic sustainability and ecological integrity of areas associated with the Trinity River Basin through a coalition of local communities, NGO's and stewards of private and public lands.
Conserving rural farms, ranches and forestlands by providing strong incentives for good land management appears to be a key in maintaining our land-based assets. In addition to on-the-ground management, this also requires support from urban areas.
Therefore, an effective conservation strategy must include both urban and rural interests. Consequently, landowners, municipalities, and extension factions must work together to achieve common goals.
Gov. Perry's September announcement of support for the conservation initiative in the Trinity Basin goes a long way toward making this sort of cooperation and accomplishment possible.
In launching this program, Perry announced that the Texas A&M Institute for Renewable Natural Resources will work with the Trinity Basin Conservation Foundation to produce results for rural and urban people in the basin.
Among the issues Perry foresees as important projects for the Trinity Basin team are:
Analysis of land use and groundwater recharge to obtain an understanding of how groundwater recharge in the basin responds to changes in vegetation and land management.
The results will be used to predict how land use change might impact groundwater recharge in the basin and analysis of land use and surface hydrology to predict the influence of land use changes on flood plain capacity and changes in surface hydrology.
The results of these studies can produce alliances between rural landowners and urban residents by showing how landowners can conduct money-making practices that solve water supply problems for urban interests. Certainly, other benefits and projects will be studied by the Trinity teams.
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