Five Things To Consider When Buying Hunting Land

It was September 25th and I received a call from my son approximately 30 minutes after sunset that evening.  On the other end of the line I hear, “I hit a buck.”  I asked, “Did you hit him well?”  My son responded with a confident, “Yes!”  We proceeded to find a fantastic 8-point buck about 40 yards from his deer stand.  Some of his buddies were with which made it pretty special.  I told my son on the way home that we have harvested over 15 deer on that chunk of ground including this nice 8 point that evening and a doe which happened to be my son’s first archery deer the season before.  That “chunk of ground” is less than 5 acres. 

As a real estate agent, I help people find great hunting land and help them maximize the potential of that land.  There are several factors to consider:

1. Size – As noted above, size doesn’t matter if it’s the right “chunk of ground.”  Most landowners want 1,000 acres of contiguous property where they can manage for big bucks.  I would argue that more isn’t always better.  Take note of the smaller parcels in your hunting land search area and the fact that each of these smaller parcels may hold different bucks.  You do not need those large tracts of land.  After all, some metropolitan areas have some of the largest bucks in the U.S.  If you want 1,000 acres, split it up between 4-5 parcels.

2. Location – This is one of most important factors.  Most hunters want land they can afford (which makes complete sense) but having land closer to “home” may be a better scenario and here’s why.  Most affordable land is far from any population center and good for nothing but hunting.  Think about how often you would hunt land 4 hours from home.  If that land is 15 minutes away, you can monitor that land, plant food plots with ease, hunt an evening during the week, and use it several times a year.  If that big buck shows up on that cell camera, you can be there the next day to ambush him.  That property usually located within an hour from home would be ideal.  It may be more expensive but you will be able to enjoy it more.

3. Real Estate Expert – Of course I would recommend using a Realtor! I would use one that knows about conservation programs, government agencies, cost share, land values, hunting areas, etc.  Find someone who knows the area and knows hunting.  Take advice from the experts in the area.

4. Neighborhood – What is the neighborhood like?  Do the neighbors get along?  Do they have similar management styles? Your Realtor should be able to help with this question a little.  As we all know, prices of everything seems to continue to climb and land is no different.  After all, they are not making more land.  Today, there are parcels being divided into smaller chunks and one of the only ways to effectively manage wildlife is to work together.  That 10 acres can turn into thousands of contiguous acres of habitat and fantastic hunting.  

5. Hunting Land Partnership – This can be a sticky issue but if this is the only way to afford that piece of heaven, this might be your option.  Choose a partner or two to share in the cost of property.  A word of caution would be to clearly lay out a plan on hunting the property, maintenance, and other issues that may come up.

You are in control.  If you’ve never felt the freedom of owning and/or managing your own land, you should.  Make some of those sacrifices and get some of your own.  It may be 5, 10, 20, 40, or 1,000 but it will be yours to create that legacy!  It will be your own “chunk of ground.”

Nate Hylla is a licensed Real Estate Agent with Central MN Realty and the CEO of Kanati Land Management in Central Minnesota.