Early in the year I got the chance of a stalking lease over about 240 acres for £900 a year. The ground holds Red, Roe and a few Fallow. The problem was the owner who I never met wanted to retain concurrent stalking rights as he stalked a large hill accessed through the woodland. I asked the membership for comments and if anyone had a similar arrangement that worked. I had a mixed bag of replies.
I decided to go for it for a few reasons. I have had a forestry lease for over 8 years which covered more than twice the acreage but only held Roe. I paid £1000 plus vat and was not able to keep any venison. When they started to fell areas on next door land and then within mine ,the rangers to protect the new trees ,lamped these spots weekly and it began to get harder and harder to see let alone shoot any deer. Last season I only shot three bucks and two does-not good value at all. So I gave up that lease in April and took up the new one.
I had reservations on it working but would like to report that so far its been a success. The place is a good three hours away and the owner can text me to say he is using the wood the night before which would dash at short notice an arranged stalking trip. Maybe I have been lucky but so far I have had just one message and that was for a Saturday and I work all of these.
I can take a friend which helps and mostly I do although my Sunday travelling -returning on Tuesday morning early is not to most folks ability. I went up last week, saw four mature Stags in a group and was lucky enough to get a good heavy ten pointer. I saw several small groups of hinds and two Roe Does. Alas no Fallow yet.
The best thing was getting a text from the owner to say he is passing through my town and has booked a meal at my restaurant. A good chance to get to know him and see how things stand for the future. I have waited so long for the chance of ground I think I have been very lucky to have got this chance. As someone pointed out-my forestry stalking lease gave the rangers concurrent rights so I am just as well off now.