I knew this day would arrive, and here it is. The hunting lease my family and I have been a part of for the past 15 years has gotten so expensive I can no longer afford to be a member.
1970s – To be on a hunting lease in the 1970s you had to know someone who was a member of the lease. Then that member had to put in a good word for you. A lot of leases had a waiting list of people who wanted to be a member.
2000s – Hunting leases are begging for members.
In the past 30 years we have seen a shift of people who live in rural areas, timber companies have gobbled up land, parents are not introducing their children to hunting, and most importantly, timber companies are being bought up by invest firms.
The great depression of the 1930s saw a shift of people living in rural areas to living in urban areas. The reason for this shift was simple, and that was to find a job.
As the people who were left in rural areas started to die, their property was left to the children who had moved to rural areas. The children who had moved away had no use for the land, so they did not pay the property taxes. Various counties across the nation seized the land for overdue taxes. As the land was auctioned off guess who bought it, the timber companies.
In essence, we allowed timber companies to buy up unwanted land, then charge us for access. […]