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IFallsRon

Potlatch to lease hunting land

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Potlatch to lease hunting land

HUNTING LEASES: Potlatch Corp. will offer more of its land for hunting leases in 2005.
BY SAM COOK
NEWS TRIBUNE OUTDOORS WRITER


Polatch Corp. will offer another 70,000 acres of its land for hunting leases in 2005, much of it in Lake County, company officials announced this week.

Leasing opportunities were posted on the company's Web site today at www.pchuntingleases.com and the application deadline is Dec. 17.

Since 2002, Potlatch has leased 80,000 acres to hunters. Many deer hunters have taken advantage of the company's lease program to secure hunting tracts across northern Minnesota. Other hunters have been surprised to find land they once thought public to suddenly sprout "No Trespassing" signs after Potlatch leased it.

Potlatch officials say they started the program after some hunters approached the company asking if they could lease land. The company could see the financial benefits of leases, said Mike Houser, wildlife and sustainable forestry manager for Potlatch, based in Cloquet.

"But it wasn't just financial," Houser said. "There were garbage problems, dumping problems, ATV damage, damage by four-by-four trucks. We wanted an overall increase of stewardship of the land, someone out there with another set of eyes."

Lease tracts are offered in sizes from 40 acres to 400 or 500 acres, Houser said. Typical price for a basic 40-acre parcel would be $300 to $350 per year, he said. Prices are higher if the tract is adjacent to open water or public land, he said.

No hunting shacks are allowed but wall tents are permitted if they are removed by Dec. 31, Houser said.

Mark Johnson, executive director of the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association, sees both positive and negative aspects of the Potlatch leasing program.

"Minnesota is in a new era of private land use," Johnson said. "The good thing about the potential of leases is that it allows companies like Potlatch to keep their land holdings. The other thing is that it allows individuals some land land to hunt. The less good thing is that it also takes away those acres to a lot of other hunters."

Potlatch owns 320,000 acres of forest land in Minnesota. The company intends to continue leasing about 20,000 to 30,000 additional acres of land each year until about 200,000 acres are leased, said Ed Patrias of Bemidji, Potlatch lease manager for Minnesota.

Feedback from leaseholders has been good, Patrias said.

"What I hear is they're so tickled to have certainty of a place to hunt, and that's related directly to the safety factor. They can leave a son or daughter on a stand and nobody's messing with them," Patrias said.

Potlatch lands not under lease remain open to hunting by the public, Patrias said.

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I would be a little leary of leasing this land anytime soon unless you are already familiar with it. Most of the land that is leased has been open to public for many many years and the confusion is going to take a few years to resolve. Alot of guys are going to show up and hunt the posted land anyways.

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Who cares if "other guys" are gonna have a hard time adjusting. If land is posted, its posted and Trespassing is Trespassing.

It will only take a few phone calls to the CO or the Sheriff to cure that problem.

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Suzuki,
My brother and I bought hunting land in 1990, it was private and posted before we bought it but the locals didn't seem to think No Trespassing pertained to them. After we bought it we posted it every 100 ft. with nice new bright yellow signs, our wonderful locals, used the signs to pattern their shotguns. After a couple of conversations with them and a few phone calls to the CO and Sheriff, they don't hunt our land anymore. We also have become really good friends with another neighbor that lives there and he keeps an eye on the place for us.

Ole

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I'm not being a hardass. Trespassing is no different that enforcing slot limits or possession limits.

Should I be allowed to keep 25 crappies cause I used to keep that many when it was legal? Of course not.

Just cause someone else owns the land doesn't mean that you should still have rights to go there. Things change and ownership changes. People who want to trespass knowingly should expect to deal with the law. If you ask permission and I deny, then don't get all [PoorWordUsage]y and cry about it. It was never their land in the first place.

Ole said the same thing as me and it worked for him. I guess he just got lucky.

[This message has been edited by Powerstroke (edited 10-06-2004).]

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