BPSgrizz- I do think that getting a lease has some short term advantages even though I said earlier that leasing is not something i'm interested in doing. By leasing, you could evaluate many things for a fraction of the up-front cost it takes to purchase property and not be locked into something you'd possibly regret later. If you can get a lease near an area where you'd eventually like to purchase property, you can learn a lot more about the area, like how good/bad of a spot it may really be (even though every year is different), you'd likely get to know other property owners in the area, evaluate the true cost of having your own duck farm (how much you are really able to use it, upkeep, all sorts of misc. expenses). Gaining the experience of having your 'own' spot for a couple or few seasons would be worth the lease fees, in my opinion.
I've hunted BK Leach many times over the past 3 years and often run into other guys at gas station/cafe and have chit-chatted with them a bit. Those may be good places to try and connect with folks that may know about leases. its a long-shot though. I think its really hard to find a lease between STL and Hannibal; seems like most are word of mouth and apparently i've never talked to the right people! I've pretty much written off looking in that area. the places i've seen for sale are so ridiculously expensive; many are 5-10k per acre. But, you never know, if you keep at it long enough you may get lucky and find a hidden bargain.