City leases site to hunting club

Published 11:45 am Wednesday, September 27, 2023

VALLEY — At its Monday meeting, the Valley City Council held a first reading of an ordinance to lease a 370-acre site to a hunting club. The city-owned property is located near the Chattahoochee River between old Shawmut airport and EAMC-Lanier Hospital. It was formerly known as the Scott property.

The River Bottom Hunting Club has offered to pay $3,670 for a one-year permit starting on Sept. 1, 2023, and expiring on Sept. 1, 2024. It’s the renewal of a one-year lease that was approved approximately one year ago. The individuals making the agreement with the city include Steven Bledsoe, Jake Power, Michael Landrum and Jason Osborne.

Rifle fire is not permitted on the site. Deer hunting will be by bows only; shotguns may be used for turkey hunting. There is a number of stipulations in the agreement. Members of the hunting club agree to access the land without damaging existing roads and fences, and all game will be hunted according to state law. Firearms will be allowed on the land to those who are 18 years of age and older. The lessees have agreed to protect the timber, trees, land and forest products on the land from possible fires. They are not permitted to set, cause or allow any fire to be on the land.

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All campsites or gathering places on the land must be kept free from litter, trash, garbage and any kind of waste. Members of the club are not allowed to cut, permit to be cut or otherwise destroy any living tree on the property. They are allowed to use dead trees if they need to. They are also permitted to construct deer, turkey and duck blinds. No nails or spikes can be driven into live trees unless prearranged with the lessor. The lessees can leave tree stands on the property after hunting season with the understanding it’s at their own risk.

The lessees can maintain food plots, green fields and wildlife openings on the site. No new construction or planting can take place without the lessor’s permission. The lessee must have liability insurance of $1 million per injured person and $5 million per occurrence. There’s also a requirement of $1 million per property damage occurrence and $5 million in the aggregate.

The lease can be approved by the council following a second reading at the Oct. 9 meeting.