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JUST DUCKY - Leasing land and providing guide services for duck hunting is one of the more profitable wildlife enterprises for Arkansas landowners. (Photo courtesy Arkansas Parks and Tourism.)

Arkansas Wildlife Enterprises

Wildlife are often overlooked as an alternative income source for agricultural producers and non-agricultural landowners. When economic conditions are severe and profit margins slim, a wildlife lease could make a difference.

Improving habitat for one game species benefits many others, plus helps improve the overall quality of habitat in Arkansas.  Better habitat leads to sustainable, more healthy wildlife populations, a win-win situation for landowners and citizens of The Natural State.

Compared to intensive agriculture, wildlife habitat enhancement requires little input with potentially large gains. Cost-share incentives are available to those owning land in areas identified as critical habitat and marginal production. 

A wildlife enterprise is a type of agritourism operation. Agritourism is any activity, enterprise or business designed to increase farm and community income by attracting the public to visit agricultural operations and outlets that provide educational and/or recreational experiences to help sustain and build awareness of the rural quality of life. 

 If you are considering a wildlife enterprise, contact your local County Extension Office and ask about workshops offered periodically about learning the basics, marketing, legal aspects, and financial planning.  There are also resource materials available to help understand what it takes to operate a successful wildlife or agritourism business. 

Arkansas Wildlife Enterprise Publications

Just Getting Started

Wildlife Enterprises. Learn the basics and decide if this will be a good investment of your time, energies, and resources. 

Agriculture Diversification Through Agritourism (Agritourism Series) Learn about types of agritourism operations and potential benefits for your farm.

Assessing Your Resources (Agritourism Series) Assessing your resources is an important first step in determining whether agritourism is right for you.

Building Your Customer Base

Marketing Your Wildlife Enterprise Describes the three P's of marketing, plus tips for better understanding your customers.

Hospitality and Customer Service (Agritourism Series) In an agritourism business, happy and satisfied customers are key to business survival and success.

Liability & Financial Issues

Wildlife Leases and Liability Issues on Private Lands Information about types of leases, contract basics, insurance, release and indemnity agreements, and risk management for Arkansas landowners.

Legal Risk Management Issues.  The five main areas of legal risk in agriculture involve tort liability, contractual arrangements, business structures, tax and estate planning and statutory compliance.

Arkansas Recreational Use Statute.  This fact sheet provides readers with a general overview of Arkansas’ Recreational Use Statute, when liability can be limited and situations in which an owner can lose the protections of the law. It should not be construed as providing legal advice. 

Other Resources

Nature Trail Development on Small Acreages.  A practical publication with design details for constructing low-maintenance trails with minimal environmental impacts. 

Agritourism website offers links to social media and web-based education for Arkansans.

The Natural Resource Enterprises Program at Mississippi State University offers web pages and video tutorials about a number of wildlife enterprise and agritourism topics. Periodically, joint workshops are held in Arkansas. Check the calendar or call your local county agent for information.