Labor & cost sharing

nchunter1989

Active Member
Looking to get some input here guys-

For those who have hunting or lease partners, how do y’all approach cost sharing for equipment,seed & stands?


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OkieKubota

Moderator
Staff member
We have an odd deer lease. It began many years ago and all we had was a couple hayfields and a huge are of big woods...approximately 1500 acres of a 15,000 acre ranch. We never plotted but we did upkeep the roads and camp area so we would chip in on gravel and use the ranch dozer to spread.

Fast forward to today...our hayfields are more toward our southern end and some members like to hunt fields so they plot some areas they had to fence away from cattle. The members who want to hunt over plots provide their own seed and equipment. The rest of use just hunt our big woods areas well away from the plots. Our biggest bucks always come from the guys hunting the big woods. There has never been a buck worth mentioning killed near a food plot...
 

j-bird

Well-Known Member
I'm not in a lease, but i will tell you that you are dealing with a subject that can be very volatile. IF everybody splits the costs then everybody gets an equal share in the decision making process.....yet too many cooks can spoil the broth. And that's just the actual bills....wait until you address the time involved. Some guys want no part of doing the actual work, some guys enjoy it, some guys claim they enjoy it, yet never seem to be able to show up for one reason or another. I hope you get some good advice, but your are dealing with a touchy subject and people have very different opinions and sometimes can lead to some "changes".
 

OkieKubota

Moderator
Staff member
We have an odd deer lease. It began many years ago and all we had was a couple hayfields and a huge are of big woods...approximately 1500 acres of a 15,000 acre ranch. We never plotted but we did upkeep the roads and camp area so we would chip in on gravel and use the ranch dozer to spread.

Fast forward to today...our hayfields are more toward our southern end and some members like to hunt fields so they plot some areas they had to fence away from cattle. The members who want to hunt over plots provide their own seed and equipment. The rest of use just hunt our big woods areas well away from the plots. Our biggest bucks always come from the guys hunting the big woods. There has never been a buck worth mentioning killed near a food plot...
Continued...at first we were asked to pay for seed and fertilizer but our lease is divided into sub-units and we only hunt our own sub-unit. I hunt a series of ridges at the northern most area or our lease. I hunt between 2 large hollows in an area that encompasses about 80 acres or so. My wife hunts another area of about 80-100 acres that joins my area. A good friend hunts about the same amount of ground just across the road/hollow from me. We enjoy hunting in the woods with all the hard mast and good daylight movement of deer. We are literally miles from a food plot. Since we don't get choices on seed or input on how plots are done and we don't hunt them it has been agreed we basically just take care of our own areas. The guys sitting the plots have built shooting houses...we sit in $65 wal mart ladder stands.

Roads and camp we all chip in on. Everything else is at individual discretion.
 

nchunter1989

Active Member
I'm not in a lease, but i will tell you that you are dealing with a subject that can be very volatile. IF everybody splits the costs then everybody gets an equal share in the decision making process.....yet too many cooks can spoil the broth. And that's just the actual bills....wait until you address the time involved. Some guys want no part of doing the actual work, some guys enjoy it, some guys claim they enjoy it, yet never seem to be able to show up for one reason or another. I hope you get some good advice, but your are dealing with a touchy subject and people have very different opinions and sometimes can lead to some "changes".

Luckily labor wise the other 3 guys dont mind working & working hard.When you start talking money, I start to feel a little resistance from a couple- A little back story- For the last 10 yrs that I have deer hunted the 1st 5 or 6, 2 of my younger cousins I basically took under my wing & took them with me hunting. While they were younger & didn't jobs & steady income, I didn't mind paying for seed, corn whatever.

3rd guy is my Dad, who is retired & always jumping at a chance to work & help out.I don't really expect my dad to shell out money all the time.

Fast forward to the present, they both have steady jobs & reliable income.But I get the sense that they still think providing everything is still my responsibility. Other then simply sitting down with everyone & breaking it down, I'm thinking of a way we can share cost of seed & planting supplies.Stands & blinds I consider a personal responsibility. I thought of setting up a lease type membership, say $50 a head.Or simply sit down at the 1st of the year & go over what the plans are.

On the flip side, I know even if I was hunting the property alone, I would still be spending money on seed & herbicide. But, the rule has always been No Work,No Hunt.

Am I being a miserly old jerk here??
 

nchunter1989

Active Member
Continued...at first we were asked to pay for seed and fertilizer but our lease is divided into sub-units and we only hunt our own sub-unit. I hunt a series of ridges at the northern most area or our lease. I hunt between 2 large hollows in an area that encompasses about 80 acres or so. My wife hunts another area of about 80-100 acres that joins my area. A good friend hunts about the same amount of ground just across the road/hollow from me. We enjoy hunting in the woods with all the hard mast and good daylight movement of deer. We are literally miles from a food plot. Since we don't get choices on seed or input on how plots are done and we don't hunt them it has been agreed we basically just take care of our own areas. The guys sitting the plots have built shooting houses...we sit in $65 wal mart ladder stands.

Roads and camp we all chip in on. Everything else is at individual discretion.

Yeah in a area that large, it makes sense.I'm guessing though there is a yearly membership fee to cover the lease?
 

OkieKubota

Moderator
Staff member
Yeah in a area that large, it makes sense.I'm guessing though there is a yearly membership fee to cover the lease?
Absolutely...we pay the landowner the lease fee and then anything we do additional is on us. We got together and bought a covered carport and had it installed over our common eating area. We take care of the electricity, we take care of the roads,and we take care of the camp as a group. The plots are individually done by 2 members...everyone else hunts big timber. 10 lease members and the most ever there at 1 time might be 7...fairly low pressure for that large an area...
 

buckdeer1

Well-Known Member
No you are right to expect the help.I know several guys that have went together and purchased land and some that have leased.You better have everything in writing either way.If I purchased land with someone I would suggest dividing the land so you each have half and then getting life insurance to do first right to buy incase of death and also first right to purchase if the other ever wants to sell.State how the price will be decided.Same rules on me no work no hunt and always have safety harness or hunt from the ground
 

Chainsaw

Well-Known Member
I have been very lucky that my best friend from sixty years ago volunteers to kick in. He has bought rednecks, ladder stands, BOB seed and has voluntarily given me a check every year to help with planting costs. He lives away and will be retiring soon. The ultimate will be if he can spend time here each year with us working on habitat projects together. Other than him and when Dad was with us who worked and gave 150% in all avenues, the cost and time has pretty much been on my shoulders except this year my son came up for a week in the spring and we worked on projects together; it was the best of times.

What it boils down to is that we, us on the forum are a bit different;we'll put in a zillion hours, and spend a lot of dollars to improve our hunting land. Those that don't do this don't have a clue of the costs involved and don't have the same passion as we do.That is just how it is; we are all a bit over the top as Bullwinkle has described me at times.

The biggest kick though in all of this is sharing it with old friends and especially seeing a friends son shoot their first deer (haven't had any daughters up yet but they would be welcome of course). And my wife and I enjoy the property all year long where many, many deer choose to stay.

This is on property we own;if it were a lease partner deal then the expenses would be shared as equitably as possible.
 

DocHolladay

Well-Known Member
Every lease I have been on, we all just pay the lease note and then buy stuff out of pocket and everyone uses it. This new lease, the first two seasons, we paid the lease note and everyone chipped in on seeds and such. This lease year, we actually raised the price for everyone so that none of us end up spending more than another. We were paying $265/member, but this year it was $500. That covered, protein feed, seeds, land clearing(made new plots), and I few minor things. We ended up having to get everyone to throw in another $50 each to get the lime. Now, if we wouldn't have had new plots made(it cost us $800 to have someone do it), we would have had money left over to carry into the next lease year. We have made plans now to buy a new stand every year out of the money once the lease is paid, protein feed is bought and plot seed, fert and lime(if needed). We should hopefully end up with a surplus from here on out. So far it has worked out on several leases and should continue. The hard part is, we have one or two members that start strong with helping and end up not doing much in the end.
 

j-bird

Well-Known Member
Share the cost, means sharing the responsibility which means sharing the power. I, like others have stated, am a property dictator! My way or the high-way!! As such I say what goes where and you are right in that I would be spending the time and money anyway, so I see it as why should I give up the control? If they come up with ideas or "suggestions" then sit down and talk about the costs of doing so....otherwise you have to decide if you really want to go down this path. if they are really willing to help with the work, that alone is far more than many folks get from "guests", so make sure it's worth poking that hornets nest. If they say "no" do you really have the spine to tell them they can't hunt any more? Very slippery slope......
 

nchunter1989

Active Member
Share the cost, means sharing the responsibility which means sharing the power. I, like others have stated, am a property dictator! My way or the high-way!! As such I say what goes where and you are right in that I would be spending the time and money anyway, so I see it as why should I give up the control? If they come up with ideas or "suggestions" then sit down and talk about the costs of doing so....otherwise you have to decide if you really want to go down this path. if they are really willing to help with the work, that alone is far more than many folks get from "guests", so make sure it's worth poking that hornets nest. If they say "no" do you really have the spine to tell them they can't hunt any more? Very slippery slope......

Exactly- And I do have the authority to say that if it came down to it, along with the “ testicular fortitude” to deal with it as well. I’ve already dealt with a little attitude a few years ago when I told them guests were no longer allowed per the LO. One guy actually quit hunting after that but called me up this August asking if he could participate this year.

The LO just revised the harvest limits for this year, based on the lack of deer we are seeing on camera, & the low numbers from others in the area.
I’m fine with it,one or two deer is fine with me because I understand this area doesn’t have the density for 4 hunters to tag out. Or even take 3 each. So after that conversation It may be just me & dad lol.


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alldaysit

Member
I fund it all myself and just have fun. I take vacation and do everything I can on my own time. When one of my brothers or buddies has the time we have fun. Just don’t ever give the help the bag of clover and have them spread it. Give them the rye.

This is part of the reason I am trying to find the easiest way to plant on a budget, because that is now the largest time consuming event I have. It’s taking away from other habitat and hunting projects that are imperative.


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Jerry D

Member
Make rules from the get go. Set times and dates. Annual work dates like the 1st Saturday of August and September. This way they can mark the calandar a year in advance. Start time 9am. Don't put a start time and guys will not show up or arrive in the afternoon.

If they are unable to make the work day. You put $100.00 into the pot for example.

Get money from the guys for all materials and scrounge to save some money. Get the money a year in advance so you don't have to chase guys down and get money for the next year's hunt at the beginning of this year's hunt before the season opens.
If you don't make rules and collect money you will be taken advantage of and be out money from your own pocket.

Believe me I know.

Some examples from my hunt camp...

Me: Hey you coming to the work day?
Member 1: I'm not sure, it's my only free weekend. (Single guy, no girlfriend)

I planted this years food plot by myself.
1 guy showed up at noon and we had to leave at 5. It's a 1.5hr drive home.

Another 2 guys said they would be aiming for 10am arrival. They never showed. They never said they weren't able to make it.
 

PineSapJunky

Well-Known Member
I am fortunate between my in-laws and myself we own a good parcel of land. To help cover the costs of running a place year round I took on some members to help pay for expenses.(food plots, protein feed, fertilizer, etc.) I've done this the past 6 seasons having to find new members every season because I would let the slackers go. This is my 7th season on the place and I've decided to go at it alone. I've have enjoyed myself more this season than I ever had. Money wise I'm out a little more but work wise it's about the same. I've actually met all of my habitat goals for the year ahead of schedule, I'm getting more daylight pictures of bucks than I ever had. I think a lot of this is due to past members waiting until the last minute to get things done and adding too much pressure onto the place before deer season and not letting the wildlife reset before hunting pressure started. I have one guy (family friend) that is still with me. He s the only one beside myself with any equipment and has always given more than he took. I told him that he was more than welcome to hunt but I wouldn't be taking any money. Just wanted things to be more relaxed. Came home last Friday to find all of the food plot seed and fertilizer sitting on a trailer. He had gone out and bought it all for his contribution without being asked. Knew right then I made the right decision. Guess what I'm saying is. Give someone a chance to disappoint and they'll never disappoint you that you were right. I happier doing things alone

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Mennoniteman

Well-Known Member
I have been very lucky that my best friend from sixty years ago volunteers to kick in. He has bought rednecks, ladder stands, BOB seed and has voluntarily given me a check every year to help with planting costs. He lives away and will be retiring soon. The ultimate will be if he can spend time here each year with us working on habitat projects together. Other than him and when Dad was with us who worked and gave 150% in all avenues, the cost and time has pretty much been on my shoulders except this year my son came up for a week in the spring and we worked on projects together; it was the best of times.

What it boils down to is that we, us on the forum are a bit different;we'll put in a zillion hours, and spend a lot of dollars to improve our hunting land. Those that don't do this don't have a clue of the costs involved and don't have the same passion as we do.That is just how it is; we are all a bit over the top as Bullwinkle has described me at times.

The biggest kick though in all of this is sharing it with old friends and especially seeing a friends son shoot their first deer (haven't had any daughters up yet but they would be welcome of course). And my wife and I enjoy the property all year long where many, many deer choose to stay.

This is on property we own;if it were a lease partner deal then the expenses would be shared as equitably as possible.
Good one Chainsaw; "we food plot guys are a bit different" You've got that right, who in his right mind would put a thousand dollars worth of crops out to shoot five hundred dollars worth of meat? Half the fun of deer hunting is hanging out in camp with friends and family, but a perpetual tightwad is a deal breaker, just the same as going to a restaurant, going fishing, sharing a garden, or ridesharing to work. If they don't pay their own way find friends that do. The best buddies are like the one Pinesapjunky mentioned that pay ahead without asking.
 

MarkDarvin

Well-Known Member
I am fortunate between my in-laws and myself we own a good parcel of land. To help cover the costs of running a place year round I took on some members to help pay for expenses.(food plots, protein feed, fertilizer, etc.) I've done this the past 6 seasons having to find new members every season because I would let the slackers go. This is my 7th season on the place and I've decided to go at it alone. I've have enjoyed myself more this season than I ever had. Money wise I'm out a little more but work wise it's about the same. I've actually met all of my habitat goals for the year ahead of schedule, I'm getting more daylight pictures of bucks than I ever had. I think a lot of this is due to past members waiting until the last minute to get things done and adding too much pressure onto the place before deer season and not letting the wildlife reset before hunting pressure started. I have one guy (family friend) that is still with me. He s the only one beside myself with any equipment and has always given more than he took. I told him that he was more than welcome to hunt but I wouldn't be taking any money. Just wanted things to be more relaxed. Came home last Friday to find all of the food plot seed and fertilizer sitting on a trailer. He had gone out and bought it all for his contribution without being asked. Knew right then I made the right decision. Guess what I'm saying is. Give someone a chance to disappoint and they'll never disappoint you that you were right. I happier doing things alone

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I work alone. The only time I have help is when I am cutting down some large trees.

Once you accept and embrace working on your own, you right-size your projects and plans and cannot be thrown off by missing a man for a two man project. I busted my @$$ this season working by myself, but I actually exceeded my work goals for the year.
 
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