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Lease, Guide or Freelance?

Waterfowlers should consider their options on how, when and where they hunt 
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  • photo by Robert Russell
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Lease. Avery pro-staffer Jeremy McIntyre of Yuba City, California, has leased the same pit in a rice field for the past four seasons. Overall, he has been satisfied with the experience. "Leasing gives you stability, convenience and a measure of control over your hunting circumstances," McIntyre says. "When you lease a spot, you know where you are going to hunt. You can leave your decoys out, which allows you to use a larger spread, and you have the flexibility to go on short one- or two-hour hunts when you don't have much time."

 The biggest drawbacks to leasing are expense (a seat in a blind rents for $1,000-2,500 per season in McIntyre's area), a lack of mobility if the birds go elsewhere, and the effort of working with a landowner to manage the hunting area.

"Things just change sometimes," he adds, "and a lease that used to be red hot will go cold. You've got to be careful not to pay big money for a spot that may no longer be any good."

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