How much is a buck worth? About $160 per acre

By Peter Kent

Man in forestHow much is wildlife worth in determining the value of forestland? Forestry professor Tom Straka has devised a method to include the value of hunting leases in setting forestland value.

The method provides an economic tool for rural land appraisers and landowners to analyze new financial opportunities that include the value of a big buck or a covey of quail.

“Using Southern hunting lease revenues and a four percent real discount rate, hunting leases increased forestland values by an average of $160.25 per acre, certainly a significant contribution to value,” said Straka, adding that this model can be adapted to most forestland management plans.

Hunting leases offer added benefits by involving leaseholders in protecting the land and wildlife habitat from trespassers or poachers. Forests owned by families or individuals make up about 62 percent of the private forestland in the U.S. Roughly 12 percent of these small forest holdings are leased for hunting or some other recreational use, producing significant annual revenue.

For information: Thomas J. Straka, 864-656-4827,