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PSA on Lease Managers #8297818 06/17/21 10:22 PM
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I posted awhile back a PSA on looking for a deer lease. Now from the other side of the coin a PSA for those who accept the job of serving as a lease manager. I have done this for 13 years on one of the best ranches anywhere. I certainly made mistakes along the way but I also learned a great deal about the ins and outs. I made some mistakes but tried to learn from them. So here we go:

1. Not saying either is right or wrong but for me I never felt comfortable charging other members more $$ to cover my lease cost. IMO it takes away many of the common issues if the other lease members realize you are doing this job because you enjoy it rather than profit off of it.

2. Like any other "job" it has it's pluses and minuses. And at times trust me it becomes a job. For me, the hardest part of it was having to fill a vacant spot when one opened. To do it correctly, it takes a great deal of effort and time to first find potential members - then once you find interested folks you have to weed out those who you determine may not fit your group or the way the lease is run. On the flip side, when you put together a great group of hunters who all think alike and have the same goals then it is very rewarding. I have made lifelong friends of folks I never would have met if it were not for the lease.

3. IMO the "Golden Rule" for any lease manager is to understand that you have to follow the same rules that you are asking the members to abide by and no exceptions. Cannot have favorites, cannot ignore the rules yourself while you ask members to follow them, etc. And trust me there will be members who will ask you to bend the rules for them - do it once and you can never go back.

4. Understand that you will end up spending more money than the members if you factor in the time you spend organizing things. Many lease hunters do not understand that the long conversation a lease manager has with them then has to be multiplied by the number of total hunters on the lease. In our case we had 12 hunters so I would have similar conversations with 11 different members.

You also learn that in many cases you are the one cleaning out the camp house, mowing the camp area, ordering the water, paying the electricity, and on and on. (as a side note - the last thing a lease manager wants to do is to have to chase down money. If you commit to a lease and its cost then pay your bill when it is due).

5. Last but not least - some folks probably will not believe this but a good lease manager gets just as much enjoyment out of seeing one of their members kill a trophy as if they shot it themselves. Seeing member's kids kill their first deer or catch their biggest bass was just as rewarding as if I did it myself.

I get that some folks on this forum have experienced really poor lease managers. I have been on six or seven different leases over my 68 years of hunting in Texas so I also have experienced poorly run leases and they are no fun. So if you find yourself in a lease manager spot then do it the right way. If you are on a lease that has a lease manager then if they run the place the right way be thankful. That is all I got


You can't fix stupid
Re: PSA on Lease Managers [Re: tlk] #8297838 06/17/21 10:55 PM
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up One of my closest friends, may he rest in peace, handled a lease, including collecting money, for 20 hunter slots, for many years. To this day, I have no idea how he stood it. 'Course, he was a lieutenant on the ground, in the bad stuff in Vietnam, so I think he'd handled bigger problems.


...and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. Gen. 1:28
Re: PSA on Lease Managers [Re: Creekrunner] #8297843 06/17/21 11:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Creekrunner
up One of my closest friends, may he rest in peace, handled a lease, including collecting money, for 20 hunter slots, for many years. To this day, I have no idea how he stood it. 'Course, he was a lieutenant on the ground, in the bad stuff in Vietnam, so I think he'd handled bigger problems.



No doubt - if he was in Nam then everything else was simple - I served a the mayor of a town some years back and I have told friends that it was easier running a city than it was running a deer lease


You can't fix stupid
Re: PSA on Lease Managers [Re: tlk] #8297845 06/17/21 11:07 PM
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Can’t believe I got on here first. I’m on I20 and just had to pull over for a quick reply. I’ve known about tlks operation and I run a lease with more members than him and we have talked about how we see things very similar. I echo every single thing he says. Some guys on here absolutely hate lease managers and that’s ok but I guarantee you the guys on tlk and my lease appreciate us. For what it’s worth, a small lease may not need anyone in charge but when you get into double digit numbers of guys you better have a good leader or it’s chaos.
Thanks tlk for a great post and I may revisit this later.
Edit-well my posts are long so I wasn’t first….

Last edited by freerange; 06/17/21 11:08 PM.

Keep your gratitude higher than your expectations. RWH
Re: PSA on Lease Managers [Re: freerange] #8297906 06/17/21 11:57 PM
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Originally Posted by freerange
Can’t believe I got on here first. I’m on I20 and just had to pull over for a quick reply. I’ve known about tlks operation and I run a lease with more members than him and we have talked about how we see things very similar. I echo every single thing he says. Some guys on here absolutely hate lease managers and that’s ok but I guarantee you the guys on tlk and my lease appreciate us. For what it’s worth, a small lease may not need anyone in charge but when you get into double digit numbers of guys you better have a good leader or it’s chaos.
Thanks tlk for a great post and I may revisit this later.
Edit-well my posts are long so I wasn’t first….



Key word in your post (Chaos) - and one I have used many times - I have unfortunately been on leases with a large number of members, no rules that were enforced, and no lease manager - the result ?? Chaos (translation? a free for all)

Now if you are on a family or small lease? May be a different story - all may get along and things run well - otherwise watch out


You can't fix stupid
Re: PSA on Lease Managers [Re: tlk] #8297920 06/18/21 12:15 AM
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I appreciate the work a lease manager puts in. I’ve done it a couple times on smaller places, and it wasn’t very rewarding. Guess it all depends on the group of hunters.

Re: PSA on Lease Managers [Re: tlk] #8298128 06/18/21 11:39 AM
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Yup.....I agree with what you are saying here completely.
It's no easy task that is for sure and one that a passive or timid person should not even attempt.
I'm not saying you have to be a drill sergeant but It takes a level headed, understanding person that is willing to listen but that can also be firm when needed.

I think one of the biggest things needed is a good set of rules that are to the point and that everyone understands completely before writing their check to get on the lease.


High fence, low fence, no fence, it really doesn't matter as long as you're hunting!
Re: PSA on Lease Managers [Re: tlk] #8298822 06/19/21 12:23 AM
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These guys are saints. Getting people from diverse backgrounds to unite for a common purpose. If you don't like way they rule, get out.

Re: PSA on Lease Managers [Re: tlk] #8299954 06/20/21 04:06 PM
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Kudo's to the good lease managers out here! I was a ramrod for 15 years on multiple ranches before I finally got together with the last land owner and switched our ranch to a trophy hunting operation. The straw that broke this camels back was the hunters that just didn't think the rules applied to them, even after looking me in the eye, signing contracts and shaking hands.

In the long run the decision to convert to outfitting allowed us better control to manage for quality deer, and we made as much or more money, with a LOT less headaches. Those of you who complain about how your lease manager runs the situation should do your best to see both sides of the coin, and thank the guys who step in and do the job. Otherwise you could end up like the hunters on our lease did... SOL.


To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target.

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Re: PSA on Lease Managers [Re: tlk] #8300006 06/20/21 05:31 PM
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I have to believe being a hunting guide would be worse that being a lease manager. As a hunting guide, you don't get near as much flexibility in picking your clients, and just about every client is expecting a successful hunt no matter how well they shoot and how much effort they put into it. Lease managers, on the other hand, have greater control over who joins the lease, and clients have an entire season to fill a tag.


Dan

Re: PSA on Lease Managers [Re: tlk] #8300040 06/20/21 06:12 PM
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I have managed and hunted a lease in NW Tx for 15 years and we have had as many as 25 hunters and currently 18. Being "in charge" has its ups and downs. The upside is being somewhat responsible for the joy and happiness that so many hunters and their guests enjoy. Almost everyone out there has killed their best ever buck(150s to 167) and lots of kids have killed their first ever deer(and other critters.) The downside is being responsible to write that check to landowner regardless if you have enough guys or if some are late to pay. Its hard to go into all the responsibility, communication, time, money, stress etc.
I recently found another lease with only 4 of us that has bucks a full 20" on average bigger than the other place. A dream place. Im in charge there too but just 4 of us that I hand picked so its pretty easy to run. Im considering picking up more country from that landowner but unsure if I really want to get into lease managing a bunch of guys over there too. Im getting older and I kind of like "just hunting" on this property.

Last edited by freerange; 06/20/21 06:13 PM.

Keep your gratitude higher than your expectations. RWH
Re: PSA on Lease Managers [Re: Texas Dan] #8300057 06/20/21 06:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Texas Dan
I have to believe being a hunting guide would be worse that being a lease manager. As a hunting guide, you don't get near as much flexibility in picking your clients, and just about every client is expecting a successful hunt no matter how well they shoot and how much effort they put into it. Lease managers, on the other hand, have greater control over who joins the lease, and clients have an entire season to fill a tag.


I was blessed by great word of mouth for our operation, and always had a waiting list to hunt. I could be choosy on who I allowed to book. I did still run into some bad apples over the course of 20 years guiding, but once they left the property I could wash my hands of them. And good hunters tended to turn into good friends and always got an invite back.


To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target.

www.NewHopeEquine.com - Health and Healing through Horses.
Re: PSA on Lease Managers [Re: freerange] #8300154 06/20/21 08:36 PM
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Originally Posted by freerange
I have managed and hunted a lease in NW Tx for 15 years and we have had as many as 25 hunters and currently 18. Being "in charge" has its ups and downs. The upside is being somewhat responsible for the joy and happiness that so many hunters and their guests enjoy. Almost everyone out there has killed their best ever buck(150s to 167) and lots of kids have killed their first ever deer(and other critters.) The downside is being responsible to write that check to landowner regardless if you have enough guys or if some are late to pay. Its hard to go into all the responsibility, communication, time, money, stress etc.
I recently found another lease with only 4 of us that has bucks a full 20" on average bigger than the other place. A dream place. Im in charge there too but just 4 of us that I hand picked so its pretty easy to run. Im considering picking up more country from that landowner but unsure if I really want to get into lease managing a bunch of guys over there too. Im getting older and I kind of like "just hunting" on this property.



You made a good point that I left out - I was personally responsible for the entire cost to the LO (which in our case was a wad of money) - it added a lot of pressure if I had to replace a few hunters. I also had to answer to the LO when a member would make a mistake or broke the LO's rules -

anyway I would do it all over again because the pluses outweighed the minuses over the long haul - I cannot imagine having 25 hunters to keep up with


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Re: PSA on Lease Managers [Re: tlk] #8300288 06/20/21 11:25 PM
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I'm managing a 961 acre pine tree plantation lease in S.E. Louisiana for a group of ten great guys. We've had the lease for 21 years and seldom loose a member. It's a bit of a hassle - but also rewarding. We haven't had any membership turnover in the last six years. I've found that keeping the rules clear and simple, and assuring they apply to everyone on an equal basis is the key. A while back the guys starting calling me "The Dictator". Now they just call me "The Big Dick". But at least they smile when they do.


If you can't laugh at yourself, give me a call. I'll gladly laugh at you.
Re: PSA on Lease Managers [Re: BayouGuy] #8300290 06/20/21 11:27 PM
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Originally Posted by BayouGuy
I'm managing a 961 acre pine tree plantation lease in S.E. Louisiana for a group of ten great guys. We've had the lease for 21 years and seldom loose a member. It's a bit of a hassle - but also rewarding. We haven't had any membership turnover in the last six years. I've found that keeping the rules clear and simple, and assuring they apply to everyone on an equal basis is the key. A while back the guys starting calling me "The Dictator". Now they just call me "The Big Dick". But at least they smile when they do.



enjoy every minute - if you get the right members it is golden


You can't fix stupid
Re: PSA on Lease Managers [Re: tlk] #8300380 06/21/21 12:50 AM
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Hunting leases sound horrible to me. I have never been on one but they all seem like a bunch of drama. Maybe you get lucky and get on one with friends but over time that will change. Then you have to deal with the landowner, the guy with the cattle lease, whatever. For me hunting is my relaxation and I don’t want anything to mess it up so I bought a place to hunt. Financially it was a dumb move because I go to my ranch less than the average person with a lease probably visits their lease and for what I paid I could be on a very nice lease for the next 75 years or so and I will be lucky if I have 20 years left hunt but whatever.

Re: PSA on Lease Managers [Re: tlk] #8300418 06/21/21 01:18 AM
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My experience with hunting leases has been universally bad. Equipment missing, unauthorized people hunting your blinds, leases members that are complete a------- why did you shoot my deer, etc.

These days if I had to lease I would not hunt. If you are a Lease Manager, treat everybody fairly, have no heyboys or favorites, and expect to do things that your lazy leasemates won't.

Just my .02,
LeonCarr


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Re: PSA on Lease Managers [Re: tlk] #8300983 06/21/21 07:22 PM
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I have zero experience with the lease boss etc. relationship. Was on a very small lease owned by some long distance family for 2 years and the remainder of my 20 year lease was on the same property same owners. We got the lease listing out of the san antonio express classifieds back in 1989-1990 range. If everyone does what they said they will it all goes ok. 20 years and can honestly say we never had a cross word between us and to this day still keep up with them though we havent leased from them in many years.


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