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If a person inherits the hunting rights that are deeded and recorded, can the land owner force one to give the hunting rights back to him just because he wants to sell the land?

  • 2
    That depends on the jurisdiction. – user6726 Apr 5 '18 at 20:23
  • The original sale that was recorded stated, " Sold to Ernest Waters for $1.00 and other valuable considerations, all the hunting rights on all my land." Signed Feb 7, 1987 with the parcel numbers recorded on the sheet as well. A lawyer did not draft the document. Both my father and the original owner of the land have passed away. Is it worth taking to court? – Shelby Apr 5 '18 at 21:38
  • The current land owner wants me to relinquish all hunting rights over to him. He is wanting to sell the land but no one wants to purchase it without the hunting rights. – Shelby Apr 5 '18 at 22:00
  • @Shelby: This is very location dependent. Can you tell us where the land is? – sharur Apr 5 '18 at 22:47
  • Conecuh County, AL – Shelby Apr 5 '18 at 22:50
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If I inherited the hunting rights that was purchased by my father, deeded and >recorded, can the land owner make me give the hunting rights back to him just >because he wants to sell the land?

There is a legal term for the hunting rights your father purchased: "personal easement in gross".

Unfortunately, it appears that you probably did not actually inherit the rights because personal easements in gross (unlike commercial ones) are not inheritable or transferrable:

Because noncommercial easements in gross are treated as a right of personal enjoyment for the original holder, they are generally not transferable. Recreational rights such as hunting, camping and fishing are the most common examples of nontransferable, noncommercial-easements in gross.

To be clear:

Usually, a personal easement in gross terminates on the death of the easement owner.

Therefore, unless Alabama has a law that explicitly makes personal easements in gross inheritable/transferrable (which, upon quick search, does not appear to be the case, but you really should talk to a lawyer to find out for sure), you actually do not have any hunting rights on the land.

Because the owner of the land thinks that you still have the rights, you have two options:

  • Try to convince him (e.g. tell him to talk to a lawyer) that you do not have the hunting rights, so there is nothing for him to worry about; OR
  • If he still wants you to explicitly relinquish any hunting rights in the unlikely case you have them, you can do so for a consideration (e.g. $1 or whatever you agree on). This would be a contract between you and him that will give him (and his prospective buyers) a peace of mind.
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    What makes this sale of the hunting rights an easement verses a profits à prendre, which is transferable? – Shelby Apr 6 '18 at 11:07
  • @Shelby Good question. It looks like profit-à-prendre and easement are different things in Europe, but the same in the US (where easement is used for harvesting/hunting rights too and not just for right of way). – Greendrake Apr 6 '18 at 11:29
  • In Colorado, a personal easement in gross is assignable absent expressly language in the easement to the contrary. This is the modern rule. – ohwilleke Apr 11 '18 at 4:04

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