In a time when real estate is so expensive and unpredictable, investing in land you can hunt might seem daunting. But if you’re on the hunt for your own back 40 or an outdoorsman’s paradise, you can follow a few tips to make the process much easier. Here’s how to find hunting land for sale and seal the deal the right way.
Define Your Budget and Dealbreakers
Knowing how to find hunting land can be just as much a mental battle as a physical one. Before you go falling in love with a property that’s way out of your price range, determine how much you can feasibly spend on hunting land. Don’t forget to factor in the costs of any testing, surveys, inspections, and legal or realty fees. Ongoing taxes can rack up quite a tab, too.
You’ll also have to secure financing, which involves different requirements beyond buying a primary residence. Consult with a few lenders to find the best rates and get a better idea of what you can afford. Depending on the property you ultimately purchase, you might be able to work something out with the seller.
Settle on a few counties or areas you’d be open to, keeping in mind how far of a drive they are from your home. Do you want to be able to hunt before and after work for a couple hours, or will this be a place you need to stay for the weekend? Consider how much land you need to meet your goals. If you’re looking to manage a property for mature whitetail deer hunting, you’ll need more land than if you want to hunt migrating waterfowl. Keep in mind that some states have minimums for hunting land. If you need access to utilities, that will impact what land is suitable for you too.
Work With a Professional
The best way to beat others to the punch and get expert advice is to work with a professional. Realtors usually know what’s coming to the market before anyone else and can help guide you through the process. Dedicated organizations such as Mossy Oak Properties, Whitetail Properties, and LandWatch are staffed by knowledgeable outdoorsmen who understand the needs of hunters and what makes a solid piece of pay dirt. While some people like to save money by forgoing a professional, it could alternatively save you plenty of time and headache in the end–especially if you’re new to the world of real estate.
Stay on the Hunt
Even if you’re working with a realtor or other professional, you should continue the search on your own. Sign up for alerts on local, regional, and national listing websites and scour the newspaper. Keep your eyes peeled as you’re driving around for signs as well.
If there’s a particular area or piece of property you’d love to own but it’s not for sale, scope it out on an app like onX. You can get a bird’s eye view of the land, check out property lines, and gather landowner information. If it still looks great after you get more intel, don’t be afraid to knock on doors. The moment you find a piece of property you’re interested in, jump on it. Contact your realtor or schedule a showing as soon as possible. Competition can be high in some places!
Evaluate the Land
Pictures can be deceiving, and listing sometimes lie. Be sure to do your homework before making an offer on any piece of potential hunting property. Some factors to consider when looking for hunting opportunities on a piece of land include:
- What are the neighboring properties and owners like? Is it public land that gets hunted hard or private ground they only bow hunt? Do they have stands up on the boundary lines?
- Are there any food and water sources on the property? How about a quality habitat for the species you want to hunt? Do you see much sign as you walk around?
- How much of the acreage is quality hunting land? Is there a mix of timber and open fields? Is it steep, hard-to-travel ground or flat country?
- Are there easy-to-reach access points? Will you be able to hang and sneak into a stand without being detected?
- Have the previous owners seen/killed trophy animals on the property? If not, why?
Don’t be afraid to take a second pair of eyes with you. Hunting buddies can help you remember questions you didn’t think to ask. If everything is a go, make a reasonable offer as soon as possible. Again, this is much easier when you’re working with a professional.
If you can’t find land for sale that meets all your criteria, can’t afford the properties that do, or just don’t want to be stuck with debt, you can always consider leasing land. You might not have the same control and it won’t be a long-term investment, but this is a solid option for hunters who for some reason can’t purchase their own property. How to find hunting land doesn’t have to be difficult with the right tools at your disposal.