FISHERS, Ind. — Base Camp Leasing, Inc., pioneered the hunting lease industry in 1999, when president, Steve Meng, moved across the county to the Midwest and couldn’t find a place to hunt.
Base Camp Leasing, which has 30 employees, is now in most states where hunting leases are a common way for hunters to secure hunting land, often going back to the same lease/same piece of property year after year.
Base Camp Leasing provides a service of finding hunters and handling the paperwork when landowners want to lease the hunting rights to their property. Hunting rights are an additional source of income at no added expense to the landowner.
“When Meng founded the company in 1999, part of the process of getting landowners on board was to educate them about hunting leases and how they work,” said Ellen Knowling, company spokesperson.
“Now most of the landowners they speak with know someone who has had a good experience with leasing their property.”
The company takes pride in its track record of having no serious hunting related accidents in the past five years.
In 2012 Base Camp Leasing expanded into Texas and is looking forward to the opportunities that such a large state will bring. Hunters in the Midwest continue to pay the highest price per acre due to the quality of the hunting experience and the size of the bucks found on farms from Kansas to Ohio, said Knowling.
Knowling also noted there will continue to be growth in the hunting lease industry as more and more farmers and landowners look for creative ways to cover their expenses and property taxes.
“The hunting lease industry is still in growth mode as more people become familiar with the concept, as hunting land gets harder and harder to find, and as farmers look for ways to reduce wildlife pressure on their property. Increased game on their property can lead to crop destruction and lower profits,” she said.
As the older generation sells their property, the company sees some turnover in hunting leases. Quite often the new buyer wants to continue the relationship and decides to keep listing the property with Base Camp Leasing.
Knowling said the company has lost some leases due to clear cutting in preparation for gas drilling, but it has not yet become a big factor.
Knowling said the company plans to continue providing excellent service and peace of mind for hunters and landowners.
We want everyone to be in a win-win situation,” she said. “The landowner can feel good knowing that conscientious sportsmen are enjoying his property.”
Liability insurance for landowners is included as part of the Base Camp Leasing listing agreement. A $3 million dollar liability policy is included on every lease.
Knowling noted the company has a high number of satisfied landowners and hunters who sign up year after year.
“Usually when a client withdraws from the program, it’s for one of two reasons: either because they’ve sold their land or their family members are at an age where they want to hunt the property themselves,” she pointed out.
Base Camp Leasing’s experienced personnel will meet with landowners and answer questions they might have.
The free information packet includes samples of the paperwork and information about hunting leases. Base Camp Leasing retains a fee for services, but there is no out-of-pocket expense for the landowner.
The company is open 8 a.m-5 p.m. Monday through Friday. To reach them, call 866-309-1507, email ellen@basecampleasing or visit basecampleasing.com.