With rising prices on land access these days, a team effort is becoming a more viable option all the time to help share the cost and expense of private land hunting opportunities. And despite what you may have heard, the hunting club, or group lease option, may actually be more affordable than you think.
But a shared lease won’t come easy. There will be challenges to make it work. However, when done right, sharing a lease, and the gear that goes with it, is a great way to broaden your hunting options each season. Here are a few tips for success when it comes to sharing leases and gear with other hunters.
There was a time when paper maps plastered to a hunting camp wall or table was the only means of showing other lease members the lay of the land. With great excitement, hunters would gather around these maps to show and share their plans for the day or weekend of hunting. The nostalgia of this mapping system will likely live on for years to come, but these days, there is a more efficient way.
With smartphone apps like onX, the map sharing game has changed forever. With each lease member having the onX app loaded in their phone, hunters can now share maps and waypoints with other club members. You simply add/select a waypoint you want to share with lease members and tap the share button to open sharing options. You then share the map and waypoint via text message or email to other lease members. This allows for map sharing from the comfort of the couch, dinner table, truck, or tree stand. Gone are the days of having to wait around to review a paper map. onX allows for instant map access and sharing so you always know where you stand and where you’re headed.
Sharing Stand Locations
The old standard for many leases and hunting clubs is to sign in and place a push-pin on the map where you plan to hunt for the day. You’ll find these maps posted on hunting camp walls, or the barn wall for checking in and out before and after the hunt. Again, there’s a special excitement and camaraderie that comes when gathering around these sacred locations, however, they aren’t always the most convenient or efficient means of letting other hunters know what stand you’re planning to hunt.
The onX app allows you to easily share stand locations with other hunters across the farm. Every stand location can be entered into the app with the opportunity to add notes regarding wind direction and best options for that particular stand location. You can also color code pins, markers and waypoints to better organize the process for club members. The ability to share stand locations from the palm of your hand is a quick, safe and secure way to let other members know where you’re planning to hunt, or where other hunters need to be hunting.
Never before has scouting and gathering intel been so convenient as it is now for deer hunters. The trail camera game has been revolutionized with the introduction of cellular trail cameras. Long gone are the days of having to wait for trail cam photos to be processed for review. And now, with the introduction of the cellular trail camera, hunters don’t even have to set foot on the property to check a camera. Photos can now be sent directly to your smartphone for instant intel on what the deer are doing on the property you’re hunting.
Hunters can instantly share these photos with club members via group text messaging. It’s a great way to avoid excessive human pressure on the property from a large number of hunters going in and out pulling SD cards from a trail camera. The key is to obviously have club members that are honest and willing to share the intel they find. That just might be the biggest challenge in the process.
Access can be another source of strife among club members when it comes to how things should be done on a lease. Some like to limit things to foot traffic only, while others prefer to drive their ATV/UTV right to the base of their tree. The key is to establish clear guidelines that everyone can agree to, and stick with it. You don’t want, or need, any surprises when it comes to accessing a tree stand.
Once you have a plan in place, sharing access among club members can be a pretty simple task, particularly with the onX app. No longer do you have to physically walk or drive a hunter to a stand. You simply share the waypoint and turn them loose to navigate their way to the stand with the onX tool in their hand. You can even share a saved “Track” that’ll allow them to follow the trail right to the tree stand through the Tracker feature on the app. Say goodbye to orange flagging tape and reflector tacks. This app allows you to find your way to an unfamiliar stand, even in complete darkness. It’s a great way to share the best access routes with other club members to help eliminate unwanted pressure on your deer herd.
A few other things to keep in mind when it comes to access are gates and gear. Club members will undoubtedly want to keep things locked up. This is easily accomplished with key code or bluetooth lock boxes at gates, as well as clubhouse, barn, and shop doors. Master Lock offers a variety of options to keep your gates and gear protected from potential thieves, while allowing easy access for all your club members at the push of a button. It’s a great way to keep things safe, without having to worry about the hassle of dealing with keys.
Keep your hunting lease running smoothly this hunting season with a strategic plan to share and secure your game plan, and gear, throughout the season.
For a limited time, onX Maps is offering a 20% discount code only for Mossy Oak’s fans toward the purchase of its revolutionary GPS mapping tool designed specifically for hunters. Go to onxmaps.com and use the promo code, “mossyoak” to receive 20% off the normal price of onX’s Premium or Elite memberships.