Having always stalked deer for free on friends’ farms, I don’t have a clue what sort of money to offer?
Are there any guidelines I can follow or is it all down to how many deer need to be culled each year, rather than acreage?
My own view of this is that since the landowner wants his deer controlled and you want some stalking, a fair system would be based on sharing the venison – or the value of it – on a 50-50 basis.
If you take all the venison, then you pay the landowner half its value.
If you also intend to make money from the enterprise by taking out paying guests, then matters are somewhat different and you will need to have a suitable agreement with the landowner; perhaps that you take the stalking fee and he receives the trophy fee.
Under such circumstances, the landowner may simply want a fixed annual return and you will have to decide just what it is worth to you.
And only to you; not to anyone else.
Which makes it impossible to advise on what might be reasonable.
Much depends on how far you have to travel to and from your stalking; how many deer will or might need to be culled and an estimate of the value of the venison.
You need to make a decision on whether that number is short term or sustainable and whether the deer are itinerant or resident – it is easy to make Fallow and Red migrate if you shoot them too hard.
Will carcass recovery be simple, difficult or impossible?
Also, is there a game shoot on the same ground and will it allow you to stalk during the season etc etc.
The list is nearly endless which is why I cannot advise on what might be a fair rent for an unknown piece of ground because it depends solely and entirely on what you think it is worth to you and what you are happy to pay.
Don’t get into an auction and never pay more than you think it’s worth because then you will always be unhappy.
And that’s no way to enjoy your deer stalking.