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Any given day on any given outdoors media the cries to get the youth of America involved in hunting and fishing can be heard. The fear of these sports becoming extinct is frightening and intolerable. To combat these fears many of us have taken to openly volunteering to introduce young boys and girls to a passtime that we all cherish dearly. I am one of these volunteers. However, I find it more and more difficult to get young people involved in a sport I love dearly yet am losing faith in. Due to life being unpredictable and ever changing I recently made a move to the Lafayette area which has forced me to give up my duck lease in the SE portion of the state. One that Ive spent many youth hunts on with kids of friends and colleagues. Longing for the thrill of early winter days on the pond and the excitement of whistles over decoys, I began my search for a lease in my area of operation. I responded to a classified from this very sight and was appalled at the cost of enjoying a hobby!! The advertiser wanted $5500 per blind. Really?? The use of an 8'X4' piece of property for a few months hardly dictates this kind of moneitary gain. This is one example and a quite expensive one to boot. However, I have found others in the $4000 range. This is absolutely ludacris!! My brother and I work overseas and occassionaly get to enjoy half a season together if we're lucky. Due to the price gouging I will be hanging up my waders and not be allowed to get involved in the sport. I cant afford it. Greedy land owners have driven the prices so high that the average Joe can no longer afford to enjoy a once favorite passtime, much less be able to allow others to be introduced to it as well. For the prices being asked in the local area we have decided to take one or two guided trips a year elsewhere. So while those high dollar leases are lining the pockets of land owners, my dollars are headed north! We are pricing ourselves out of a sport, pricing oursleves out of what once was a family activity. Shame on us, we are the ones to blame!
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   deerman24
YOU ARE SO RIGHT. LAND OWNERS ARE REALLY STARTING TO CHARGE HIGH PRICES FOR LEASES. THE MAIN REASON IS THAT PROPLE ACTUALLY PAY THE MONEY. THE CLOSER TO A BIG CITY THE HIGHER THE PRICE. DEER LEASES HAVE GONE UP SO PEOPLE ARE ADDING MORE MEMBERS TO THE ROSTER TO MAKE UP FOR THE EXTRA COST THUS STRESSING THE DEER HERD. THERE IS NO END TO IT, THE PRICES WILL KEEP GOING AS LONG AS PEOPLE ARE WILLING TO PAY. SAD, THE COST OF HUNTING IS SO EXPENSIVE MOST PEOPLE WON'T GET INVOLVED IN THE SPORT.
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When I moved from Bayou Lafourche to Port Allen I experienced the same thing. When I called the number on a sign off of highway 190 and the guy told me $5500 I almost threw up. However after exploring the area a bit more I found options. Indian Bayou encompases almost all of the swamp north of I-10 from the Henderson Levee to the Atchafalaya. It has some good duck hunting. It's free. Sherburne WMA has a great spread of land too. Thistlewate is thick with palmettos and huge deer. My lease is $500 a year. I didn't find it for about 5 years of living here. We have wood duck hunting and deer hunting. Sometimes finding an affordable lease is harder because most people don't opt out of them. You will find the price goes down for the lease the further away from population you get. As far as the price of those blinds around Lafayette you will not hear me bashing those guys. There's a lot that goes into that 8x4 blind. Most of them have aluminum or steel box blinds in place. There is maintanence to the levee system and water pumping system. There is the cost of fuel to maintain the water system. If I had to do all that to 1 pond it would cost at least $4000. Remember that the ponds near you aren't natural like they are in the marsh. Most of those high dollar ponds you can drive right up to. No boat ride in the dark. No pirogue paddling. Very easy access. I think it's a very high price to pay I do agree. However,taking advantage of what they can get for those properties is what I call 'free enterprise'. Thats what made America. They didn't take your hunting away. Urban sprawl did. If you take your money to another state to hunt you won't hurt any land owners. You will hurt locals that depend on that money for a living. Those are hard working Americans. I know what I'm saying won't be agreed on by everyone, but it's how I feel.
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Im with ya boots.... ive been in my lease since forever... my grandpa and some family and friends started our lease at whiskey bay over 40 yrs ago... i pay 1100 a yr for dues and if this lease is ever lost i wont join another one... i hunt sherbourne and IB alot as well in addition to a few hunts in North LA at some WMA's there. Louisiana has great public opportunities.... you may even want to look into spending that 4k and getting a solid hunting/fishing boat and going into some WMA's south of lafayette... or even out by lake charles... you'd have to pay gas but that 4k investment would mean fishing opportunities for you and your brother in the off season and lots of memories scouting and huntign during the duck season.... i know that most of my fondest memories hunting have been with family and friends but never about just the kill, mostly about the adventure of getting to that point. I would be glad to show you aroung sherbourne and im sure theres others here that would show you around other WMA's. dont let those prices deter you from the sport we all love.. Theres lots of young future hunters that would LOVE just sitting in your boat watching the sunrise over a beautiful decoy spread....... sorry so long. thanks guys. Corey D
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I have to say I agree with what your saying, but those ag fields aren't cheep to flood. Even if it was yours it would still cost a butt load just to put water on it. I have seen though the cost and availability of places to hunt has gone through the roof or even if you wanna pay its still hard to find one. I know for a fact this is the reason my dad and just about everybody except me in my family quit hunting. I do most of my hunting on public land now,but thats getting worse and worse every year. I have seen the number of people on wma's tipple at least as far as duck hunting is concerned in the past couple years. I know last year was seamed like there was a person behind every tree or 20 yards and I hunt during the week as well id hate to see the weekends. I do know that on some of the costal wma's where you have a little more water to spread out its not as bad, but on places like sherburne last year I was having to get there at 4am just to have a spot to shoot a few wood ducks. I know this is the reason I am gonna go like you said make a few out of state hunts this year the hunting is just so much better and there are place ive been in the Dakota's and canada where you might not see a person all week now thats what I call the real sportsmen's paradise !
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I appreciate all the posts from you guys as well as keeping it a sociable conversation. Many of these reports turn into name bashing contests. You all have enlightened me and all bring extremely valid points to the table. I do understand that it is expensive to operate this type of business. There is time and money spent in everything we do. However, is it really that expensive? One blind every other levee(if youre lucky)in a field that is more than likely still flooded from crawfish season or mother nature herself. That pump and well is pricey to run, understood, but $5K expensive? Not asking for a five star pit blind with a guaranteed limit every hunt. I can sit on a levee and shoot the breeze and make those memories just as easy in a place that costs half that and be perfectly happy. Due to the high prices more people have started hunting public land, and if youve been there, you know what a hassle that is!!!! Hunting in the marsh wasnt all unicorns and bunny rabbits either, and after the boats and all the expenses probably just the same price per bird. Once you get out of a lease its nearly impossible to find another. Im one of those hard working Americans and only want a little time in the outdoors to make some memories with friends and family but what these guys want to charge for it, I might as well go up north and get treated like a king with tons of birds a couple times a year. Its the same price. Its actually a shame, I miss the rice fields and love south Louisiana. But we got greedy and are chasing away good people. If I cant find a decently priced place Ill only be pulling out the Beretta when headed to Arkansas. Sorry but thats the truth. Lower the prices and keep those dollars in the local economy. I wish you all a good summer and stay safe. HDG
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When the season starts holla at me and we can go shoot some wood ducks. Das some gumbo making stuff there.
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Unfortunately it’s the name of the game. It just so happens to be a hobby shared by wealthy people who don’t mind dishing out 5000+ to be able to walk up to a blind. I can tell you from personal experience though if you’re willing to do the work and put more effort into a hunt there is public land that is better than most these high dollar leases. See there lie's this misconception of many. The high price does not equate to more ducks or better duck hunting, no it is for ease and convenience. Your money goes to not having someone take your spot, easy walk or drive to your blind, and a comfortable blind. With that being said lets go back to the original statement at hand. The youth and how the prices have made it hard to take these kids hunting. Well there is an option for that and that’s public land. There are thousands of acres of public land out there that has in most cases better duck hunting. The downside to that is you have to deal with the public and you also have to put in a lot of work to find great spots. With that being said what lessons does a kid learn from that? He learns that things aren’t easy in life, if you want something bad enough you have to work for it, if you work hard and do your homework there are great rewards in the end, and last but not least “man duck hunting is awesome!!!” So with that being said I think there is something still positive in taking a youth hunting but on public land even if its teaching him how to be a respectable fellow hunters by pointing out the negative actions of other public land hunters. One of the things that can be done and we’ve seen this past year in Bayou Sauvage is having youth only areas. Of course we have the extra week opener for youth but designated areas for youth only wouldn’t be a bad idea as long as it was used as intended. What we lack the most of in this state in my opinion is public land managed for waterfowl. If you go to other states a lot of work is done to make wma areas specifically intended for waterfowl and managed that way. We do a good job for it with deer but were lacking in the waterfowl dept.
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   e-man (R)
As long as leasing can be written off as a buisness expense the prices will keep going up because some have the money to pay up front and write it off on the back end on taxes.
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All of the expenses mentioned are legitimate, but don't forget liability insurance that the farmers carry. That can't be cheap. Also, you may have to do like I did, go in with three other people. It isn't perfect, but we make it work (except for one of the guys that won't ever wear a face mask, you know who you are).
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You know Bill collector, I have friends that do that too. They split the cost and share hunt days. That might be just the answer he needs. That way its $1K each. With so many days in the season, it really is a good way to get one of those cushy places to hunt. They combine their decoys and end up with a huge spread too.
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All good comments and suggestions. Ive thought about finding a few guys and spliting the cost but as I mentioned, Im new to the area and dont know anyone to split one with, much less anyone to trust that much. Guess itll all come in due time once I get to know a few folk around the area. Ill check out some of the public areas as well but that didnt turn out too well the last few times Ive tried. White Boots, thanks for the invite and dont be suprised when I come a calling! Love to shoot Woodies.

Again, thanks for the info fellas. And thanks for keeping this a civil discussion. Stay safe. HDG
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i got a lease one time and that was the last time. i was stuck in a blind with no ducks and 1800 down the drain. i went back to hunting sabine reserve as soon as it opened back up after ike. it can suck hunting public land and sometimes frustrating but if your the working type and don't mind it, you can kill and be very successful. i don't fight the crowds anymore, i leave the house with 15 min to spare after getting set up for shooting time. did i mention we totaled 275 ducks for the season. yes we hunt a lot but its proof that work pays. sometimes i switch spots and leave the house early. i may have a bad hunt and not kill anything but next time i will have found where ducks are going and where their flyway is. most people go public hunting once and have a bad experience but its something u have to stick with until you perfect it. its not hard its just patience. im sure you kno all this but im just trying to encourage u to stick it out. btw lacassine is awesome if u can find ducks and a pond but its hard to hunt. sabine is wide open marsh.
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