DIY Hunting on Private Land
Base Camp Leasing
HF Staff Remarks
We’re excited to be working with Base Camp Leasing to provide you with additional resources to access hunting opportunities.
Base Camp Leasing provides hunters with the opportunity to lease top private hunting property in the Midwest and Eastern United States. From timber country to rolling hills and farmland, you can lease the property that fits your budget and hunting goals.
It's hard to believe that it was 15 years ago that I started Base Camp Leasing. I had just moved to Indiana after a short stint in Iowa, pursuing my career as a commodities broker. Growing up on the family farm in southcentral Kansas always afforded me plenty of hunting opportunities. So here I was, transplanted in the Hoosier state, working in the agriculture industry, and I couldn’t find a decent place to hunt. I tried the public land thing, but it just wasn’t for me. I didn’t feel safe and wasn’t really tolerant of people walking under my stand at primetime. I knew I couldn’t be the only one in this boat, so out of frustration, more than anything, I created Base Camp Leasing in August of 1999. Little did I know the market for this service would be much larger than I expected.
The internet was really in its infancy then, and I could find no other companies doing what I envisioned. Leasing hunting rights started in Texas in the 1920’s and was very common in the South, but it was an educational process for Midwesterners. I bought some website development software, and after some exhaustive due diligence I was open for business.
Whitetail hunting is the core of our business, but we do offer some upland and waterfowl opportunities as well as other large game species. Turkey hunting is also very popular among many of our lessees. Unless stated otherwise, our leases include the hunting of all legal game species for a full year from inception of the agreement. You don’t kill trophy Whitetails by chance. It is very important to have a farm that is not disturbed and overhunted. Lack of pressure, in my opinion, is the single greatest reason for success, and that is why our model involves one group of hunters per property. You don’t have to worry about who was in that stand the week before and if they knew what they were doing.
For starters, hunters need to sign up on the website for one of three memberships. There is a Basic free membership which will enable you to lease any existing properties on the website and receive email notification of properties after notification has been sent to paid members. 8 Point Club members receive the email notification 1 day before Basic members for an annual fee of $49. Wall Hanger members receive the email notification 1 week prior to 8 Point Club members for an annual fee of $169. This is our most popular membership as some states are very competitive and the head start is imperative to secure a quality lease.
We encourage our members to inspect the hunting lease first, but that is not always feasible. Directions and permission to inspect the land can be obtained directly from the website. Our local agents, who are avid hunters, inspect and describe each and every property as accurately as possible. A non-refundable deposit is required to secure that lease. It is first-come, first-served. Once a deposit is placed on a property, the property is marked as “pending,” not allowing other hunters to lease it. This is the reason for a non-refundable deposit.
From the time a deposit is made, you will have 7 days to pay the balance in full with certified funds and send in the signed lease agreement with your hunters listed. There is an additional $75 fee required per lease that enables us to cover your entire group with a $3 million liability insurance policy. At that point, you will be given the landowner’s contact information and can access and hunt the property. We understand the value in building that landowner/ hunter relationship.
We want you to enjoy the leasing experience, but this is hunting. There are no guarantees. Do your research and find a property that fits your budget, needs, and expectations.
Landowners Like the Professional Management
We are constantly on the lookout for quality land throughout our territory. We consistently stay nearly 90% leased while adding hundreds of new properties annually. Landowners who contract with us are covered with the same $3 million liability policy. The lease is actually written between the landowner and the hunters with systems in place to protect Base Camp’s interests. The majority of the lease price goes to the landowner, and we handle the entire leasing process. Landowners use our service for many reasons, but the most common one we hear is that they don’t like dealing with all the people asking to hunt their land. Too often these people have very little appreciation for the privilege they have been given and landowners are then left to deal with issues they have caused. This is a recreational sport. The best seats in the house are generally more expensive and offer a better experience.
The most amazing part of this journey for me has been how little the business model has changed. We seem to have gotten something right from the beginning. Base Camp Leasing will put over 7,000 hunters in the field this year across 22 states. We continue to improve our systems but plan on just doing more of the same in the years to come – find quality hunting property, set up exclusive hunting rights at a fair price, and let the hunters do the rest. The best part about this business is the fact that a trophy has a different meaning for almost everyone. It’s all about the memories that we help create. The satisfaction of creating their own success is a trophy in and of itself to many hunters.
Visit www.basecampleasing.com to learn more about available leases and membership options. As a Base Camp member you can be hunting some of the top private land in the country. Landowners can contact Base Camp Leasing through the website or by calling 866-309-1507 for a free information packet and quote.