So you are wanting to invest in hunting land, but where do you start?
We are here to ensure that you have the best possible experience when buying property, so we put together a list of five things you should keep in mind before writing any checks:
You do not want the land to be too close to a populated area, but you probably also do not want it to be so remote that it is inconvenient to get there. If you are not planning to build a cabin on the land, we recommend buying hunting land that is within 3-4 hours of your home, so you can realistically drive there before dawn and drive back home at nightfall. If you do happen to find great property that is farther away, check the area to see if there is a hotel nearby where you can stay.
Hunting Land Layout
Is it crucial to you that your hunting land is accessible by a road, or would you find it acceptable to only be able to reach it on foot or on an all-terrain vehicle? Are there any existing food plots on the hunting land or would you have to create those? What are the traffic patterns of the deer and the humans who live in the area? Before buying a piece of property, ask the current owner all of these questions so you are not unpleasantly surprised when you arrive for your first hunt.
Food and Water Sources
If you are to enjoy many years of successful hunting seasons, it is imperative to have plenty of food and water on the hunting land to ensure that deer remain in the area. You can add food and water sources (to an extent), but it is more effective and less costly if the land already has ample resources. Scout the land and make sure there are low hanging trees, shrubs, leafy vines, fruits, and berries for the deer to eat, and a pond or stream where the deer can drink. If there is not a sustainable water source, you may end up having to dig a well or pond yourself, which can be expensive.
Particularly during the daytime, deer tend to flock to areas that have ample tree cover and bedding, which makes them feel safe and comfortable. The deer will spend a large portion of the day in thick brush, tall grass, or even in a swamp. It can be more difficult to shoot accurately in this habitat, but you will be significantly more likely to find that big buck there than in an open field. One way you can make it easier to get a clean shot is to remove some branches and brush and create several shooting lanes around your deer stand.
Signs of Game
A piece of property can appear perfect in every way, but if there is no hard evidence of deer on the property, you could very well end up wasting your money by purchasing it. While you are touring the hunting land, look for buck scrapes on trees, hoofprints, and droppings, which are clear indicators that deer are present. If possible, set up some game cameras around the property before you make the decision to purchase, so you can see precisely how many deer are in the area.