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  • Writer's pictureGreg Kazmierski

A Guide to Buying Hunting Land

Buying hunting land is an incredibly rewarding and exhilarating journey pursued by many hunters. The quest to find the right hunting land, tailored to your specific needs and desires, can be both thrilling and challenging. Navigating this process, alongside the task of selecting the right lender and real estate agent, adds another layer of complexity.

This guide to buying hunting land is designed to provide valuable insights as you narrow down your search for the ideal hunting property such as good location and good access, alongside various other factors that directly influence your decision-making process.

We will also look into the financial aspects that are important as you purchase land, including determining if it is a better idea to work with traditional banks or specialty lenders.

prime whitetail property

Leasing a Deer Hunting Property vs. Buying Your Own Hunting Land

making a decision

As it becomes more difficult to gain access to good hunting land, many hunters are forced to choose between leasing a deer hunting property or purchasing their own property.

While both have their advantages, it is important to consider the pros and cons of each before making the big decision.

Leasing a Deer Hunting Property

Leasing a deer hunting property offers certain advantages. It allows you to access prime hunting land without the upfront costs and long-term commitment associated with purchasing.

Leases typically provide you with the opportunity to hunt on specific tracts of land for a designated period, often a year. This shorter commitment gives the opportunity to consider things such as trophy potential and activity on adjacent properties before deciding on any long term commitment.

However, there are considerations to keep in mind. Leases can come with limitations, such as restrictions on land modifications or limited control over the property.

Additionally, leases may not offer the same level of stability and long-term investment potential as owning your hunting land. Having the ability to manipulate the landscape and improve the whitetail habitat are great ways to improve hunting opportunities and increase the value of the land.

Buying Your Own Hunting Land

Purchasing your own hunting land comes with unique benefits that passionate deer hunters often find appealing. Owning land gives you the freedom to customize and manage the property to meet your specific hunting goals.

You have the opportunity to create and maintain prime whitetail habitat, strategically develop food plots, and implement quality deer management practices. Taking a raw piece of vacant land or recreational land and installing these practices is a great opportunity to increase the value of your investment.

While the idea of buying land seems to offer a sound return on investment, one must consider the extra costs that go into everything on top of the down payment or purchase price. This stage requires some advanced research, and is often the primary reason why many people choose to work with an experienced real estate agent.

planted whitetail property

Things to Consider Before You Purchase Hunting Property

When buying hunting land, several factors require careful consideration:

Budget and Goals

Assess your financial situation and determine a realistic budget. You will typically need to have at least 20% ready for a down payment when you buy hunting land.

Consider your long-term goals for the property. Whether you are planning to keep the property in the family for generations to come or use it as a potential investment opportunity can determine how much you allocate to projects and the rate at which you complete them.


Now that you have your budget, you can start to narrow things down based on location and property size. It will become clear as you narrow your search to buy hunting land that not all land is created equal, and certain locations and property sizes will be out of your budget from the word go.

QDMA whitetail property

The importance of location takes on many forms. 20 acres of the right hunting land in the right county tucked in between unpressured neighboring land filled with diverse habitat and an abundance of fruit trees can be more productive than a 200 acre piece of property in a low producing county surrounded by highly pressured public hunting land.

Using an app like onX Hunt can provide a 30,000ft view of an area providing valuable insight allowing you to narrow down you search for the perfect property. You can take this one step further and really get the details of a location by looking into local record book entries, driving the area, or even consider hiring a professional to help choose the right property.

Hunting Property Size

Now that you understand how many acres you are able to purchase will vary from one location to the next, consider the appropriate size of the hunting property based on your hunting budget and goals.

While substantial acreage allows for greater privacy, reduced hunting pressure, more food plots, and other habitat advantages, keep in mind that more land isn't always necessary and it is possible to optimize a small acreage property. Focusing on unique terrain features and diverse plant life can provide great hunting opportunities.

small whitetail property

Terrain Features

Having terrain features deer want to naturally use is a huge bonus when buying land. Look for diverse topography located near a wide range of primary food sources.

Focusing on distinct changes in habitat such as the edge of a row of pine trees next t0 an open field of grassy vegetation, or a natural travel corridor you know is loaded with deer trails can provide great templates for design. These features attract most deer naturally and can provide you with excellent hunting opportunities.

great tree stand location

How to Finance Recreational Property

Financing recreational property is an essential aspect of purchasing hunting land. Here are key parties involved in the financing process:


Seek out lenders experienced in financing recreational properties. Most traditional banks tend to focus on residential or commercial properties, and may misjudge the value of your desired property.

A lender experienced in land sales will understand the unique considerations of purchasing hunting land and can guide you through the loan application process.

Real Estate Agent

A knowledgeable real estate agent specializing in hunting properties can be instrumental in finding suitable land for your needs.

They can provide valuable insights, negotiate deals, and facilitate a smooth buying process. Remember to always work with a real estate agent that has your best interest in mind, finding one with great ratings and reviews from similar buyers is a great sign they are working for you and not just another sale.

for sale sign

Make Your Hunting Property Pay for Itself

Owning a hunting property can offer financial benefits beyond recreational value. Here are some strategies to make your hunting property pay for itself:

Building Equity

As you invest in your hunting land, its value can appreciate over time. By making strategic habitat improvements and implementing land management practices, you can increase the property's market value and build equity.

Land Specialist

Engage the services of a land specialist who specializes in whitetail properties properties. They can provide expert advice on improving habitat and maximizing the recreational and financial potential of your land.

whitetail habitat specialist explaining bedding area


In the whitetail world, there is often no bigger decision than buying your own hunting land. Consider your goals, budget, and long-term vision to make the right choice.

Owning hunting land allows for greater control, customization, and investment potential. By carefully evaluating your options, you can embark on a rewarding hunting journey on the perfect property.



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