Hunting leases increase the bottom line of landowners, but even more specifically, duck and geese hunting can produce a secondary solid stream of income for landowners, according to Jamie Barnes, co-owner of Barnes Realty, a company specializing in rural real estate.
Barnes said Mound City, Mo., is home to some of the best waterfowl hunting in the United States because of three factors: The Missouri River basin is a primary migratory path for waterfowl, it has an ideal habitat thanks to dozens of wildlife areas along the river and food is provided by the crops raised in the fertile soil.
Thus, offering waterfowl hunting leases can increase the income of landowners in the area.
“Land returns approximate 4 to 5 percent annually,” Barnes said. “This can be increased with duck blinds typically leasing for $6,500 each for the fall waterfowl season. A group of five or six fellows with gear can comfortably hunt from one blind. These same guys who like to hunt can pool their money and have a lot of fun during the fall season. For a couple dads with interested sons, it’s a terrific opportunity for father son/time, and it’s affordable. Couple this hunting lease income with a market cash rent lease, and you’re on top of the best investment you can have.
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“If your place has had some fantastic hunts over the years and has earned a reputation for being good, your three duck blinds could be generating $10,000 to $12,000 each,” Barnes said. “Yes, we’ve leased blinds for over $10,000 but these are really nice blinds, with close easy parking, and most importantly, the hunting is good.”
Barnes said some landowners question the value of flooding productive crop land to provide an area to attract ducks.
“Here’s where good property management comes in,” he explained. “One school of thought I’ve heard is ‘I’m not about to flood my productive Missouri River bottom farm and cause a yield reduction for a measly duck lease!’ I understand this hesitation completely, but with the proper management, the water is drained before the serious frost occurs, so there’s virtually no soil compaction or yield loss. We manage and oversee several waterfowl hunting areas, so if it seems a little daunting, don’t hesitate to call, we’re happy to help area landowners any way we can.”
Barnes noted another benefit to the Mound City area is the unlimited water supply in the Missouri River bottom.
“In other areas we’ve sold in, this unlimited water supply is not available, so the the water is provided by pumping out of a creek,” he said. “It’s cumbersome to say the least if all goes well, and what do you do if the creek has dried up, besides lease a spot in Mound City? Our suggestion is to set up the leases so the pump costs are divided equally between the lessees or blinds on site. This gives the hunter/lessee a little skin in the game so the pumping expense doesn’t get out of hand.”
Some of Barnes Realty’s current listings that would be good for waterfowl hunting leases include:
▪ 320 acres in Holt County, Mo. This irrigated land has an excellent income stream without any current hunting leases. It has four unused blinds and room for more.
▪ 250 acres in Buchanan County, Mo., an upland and Platte River bottom farm. A waterfowl pool is under construction for use this fall.
▪ 80 acres of row crop and waterfowl hunting land with AAA soil types on hard surface road access just north of the Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge. It has three good hunting spots, but needs new pits installed.
▪ 65 acres north of Bob Brown State Conservation area. It offers row crop land and waterfowl hunting with three improved shooting areas in good condition, two of which are leased for 2015.
▪ 65 acres south of Craig, Mo., with row crop land and waterfowl hunting. One new blind was purchased to be installed this fall and two others need improvement. It isn’t leased for 2015.
▪ 62.5 acres WRP land with pump at $2,250 per acre. It has three blinds and also is good for deer hunting.
▪ 136 acres WRP in the Corning, Mo., area close to the Missouri River. It has no blinds or pump, but is the cheapest hunting land Barnes has seen offered in a decade. It also is good for deer hunting.
Barnes said hunters, who are tired of not making the draw at their local public spot, should look at the lease page on Barnes Realty’s website at barnesrealty.com to see if there’s any available blinds that suit them.
“Lease it and give it a try, but remember we’ve converted several happy public hunters into happier private landowners just due to the convenience,” Barnes said. “It may not always give you the easy limits, but it’s a lot simpler and more comfortable hunting. There’s no need to rush out at 4 a.m. to claim your spot, and that money you’re spending could be an investment passed down generations.”
For information, contact Jamie Barnes at 660-851-1125.
Locations: 1706 B Prairie View Road, in Platte City, Mo.; 18156 Highway 59, Mound City, Mo. 64470; and 1711 Oregon St., Hiawatha, Kan. 66434.
Contact: Platte City office at 816-219-3010; Mound City office at 660-442-3177, Hiawatha office at 785-742-4580 or Jamie Barnes at 660-851-1125 (cell).