May 14, 2013
In just the last four years, Cory Peterson’s outfitting business has doubled in size to nearly 60,000 acres of deer- and turkey-rich ground in Nebraska’s Sand Hills. But Peterson, who also farms corn and raises beef cattle in the area, didn’t pursue many of his leases. Instead, neighbors came to him, offering to lease their land for annual payments that range between $1 and $3 per acre.The main reason Peterson’s Hidden Valley Outfitting has grown? His neighbors find it increasingly difficult to allow free public hunting.
“Most traditional farmers understand the idea that hunting is something that should be free,” says Peterson. “But these guys have had gates left open by hunters, cattle shot by hunters, and water tanks shot by hunters. After a while, they just run out of patience.”
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