by Zack Groet, D&DH Subscriber
Growing up in western New York, I was fortunate enough to grow up in hunting family. This was especially true for deer hunting. We were also very fortunate that my dad had permission to hunt an old farm right across the country road from us.
My dad spent almost his entire up bringing hunting this area. As young kids, I remember looking out our kitchen window looking into the fields to see how many deer were out there. Or the times after dinner my mom would walk us through the field. We’d look down a small hill to see the deer coming out of the woods to feed in the evening. If I was lucky, I’d go sit with my dad on occasion. Year after year, this was where I grew up.
When I was old enough to hunt I spent every chance I could over there. My brother and I spent countless hours hunting there together.
Unfortunately, in life all good things come to an end. I recently learned from the landowner I’ve known forever that our permission is no longer granted. A fellow hunter came in and now pays a lease to my old friend.
I struggle with this in a bunch of ways. How does it get to the point where we need to lease land to deer hunt? Why are we forcing ourselves in this direction? Let’s say a typical hunting lease is $2,000 dollars. And let’s say each deer you harvest produced 50lbs of meat. If you harvest three deer, that’s almost $14 per pound, not including all the other costs associated with deer hunting. Where’s the sense in that?
Has it gotten to the point in hunting that people will spend thousands of dollars a year on leases to hunt for big bucks? Do some people just need that ego fix? Do these people who overtake land through leases think beyond themselves and the almighty antler?
It’s sad that my young son won’t be able to walk in the same footsteps as I did on that land. We won’t take walks and hunt together.
My takeaway from all this is to always enjoy what you have to the fullest. Great chapters always end. It’s time to start a new one. I’ll always be thankful to my old friend for all the memories he graciously gave me all these years. I feel better after writing this, and I hope no other hunter has this happen to them.
D&DH says: As land access becomes more restricted, the premium for hunting opportunities continues to climb. This pushes many hunters to public land. Get tips for hunting these areas in this downloadable episode of Deer & Deer Hunting TV.