Do you daydream of hunting from your own backyard? Do you seek solitude in rural environments? Perhaps a hunting property is right for you. However, before you go out and start looking at hunting properties, there are a few things you need to know before buying a hunting property.
About this Guide to Buying a Hunting Property
As hunting real-estate experts, we are here to help you find the ranch home of your dreams. Our knowledgable team not only has decades of experience, but we also live and breathe the hunter’s lifestyle. In this guide to buying a hunting property we’ll cover:
- Tips and tricks to help you get started with your hunting property search
- Expert advice on what to look for when finding the perfect hunting property
- Things to understand before you decide to buy a hunting property
1. Understand the Hunting Ranch Location
Before you even think about visiting a property, first decide where you would like to look. You can be as broad or as narrow as you wish, but keep in mind, the more land area you cover, the more options will be available to you.
When you’re considering buying a hunting ranch, you’ll also want to keep in mind the distance to the nearest town. Think about the logistics of needing an item from a store in a pinch. Also, consider what you’d like to hunt. If you’re interested in hunting elk, you probably don’t want a hunting property in the Great Plains.
2. Set Your Budget
Now that you know where you would like to look for a hunting property, you should set your budget. What are you willing to spend on your hunting ranch? Start by making a list of your must-haves (buildings, lodges, tags, acreage, etc) and create a budget from there.
Simply buying land may be cheaper upfront, but without any hunting cabins or utility tie-ins, living on the land might be difficult. Plus, you’ll eventually need to spend money to build.
Buying a pre-built hunting ranch is the easier choice, since everything will already be there for you, but you’re obviously purchasing the buildings on the land too.
Don’t forget to consider travel costs when setting your budget, as this can quickly add up when searching for the perfect hunting property.
3. Find a Realator Who Specializes in Recreational Properties
The most important thing to know before buying a hunting property is to know how to choose the right ranch realtor. You don’t want just any realtor, but instead seek out local, passionate hunting property professionals. Choose a realtor that shares your passion for hunting. Finding a realtor that specializes in recreational properties is essential for making a good buying decision
4. Get a Lay of the Hunting Property Land
Once you start looking for hunting ranches, you’ll want to get your hands on some topographical maps and visit the property. Think about the landscape and topography. Where would the elk and deer be? Are there wild birds? Does the land look well managed? Is it accessible? Give yourself a chance to examine not only how you would use the hunting property, but how the animals use it as well.
5. Take Cover
Is there cover on the property for wildlife, or just wide-open plains? Deer and elk love to have cover (think bushes, trees, tall brush or even swamps), and you’ll want some too, so be sure that the property has plenty of healthy coverage to support larger herds.
6. Know the Habitat
Get a history of the land management. Do those practices align with your own? Do you have the understanding, knowledge, and equipment to keep the land managed properly? Understanding the habitat is essential for maintaining a beautiful, healthy hunting property.
7. What’s with the Water?
Although we won’t dive into water rights here, it’s still important to understand the sources of water before you buy a hunting property. Do you own the water rights? How many sources of freshwater are located on the property? Since all animals need water, you can consider if there is space to build a pond to provide water.
8. Meet Your Neighbors
Even though your neighbors may be miles away, it’s still important to get a grasp on the local community. Ask if they are fellow hunters and if they practice quality land management. Discuss if they drive deer and elk to their property as well. Feeling like you’re connect to the community is important in rural communities, so don’t be shy and introduce yourself if you’re seriously interested in the property.
9. Understand Local Regulations
Before you go buying a hunting property, be sure to check up with local and state hunting regulations. Learn about the rules and regulations for owning a hunting property. Ask your realtor if any owner tags come with your property. Is there a rulebook for property management you need to follow? Have a solid understanding of the things you need to know and do with the particular property you’re looking into.
10. Check for Signs of Game
Lastly, someone can tell you that you’re purchasing a hunting ranch, but take the time to see for yourself. Ask if you can set up game cameras on the property. Take a walk and look for scat, buck scrapes, and game trails. Try to visit the property later in the day or early in the morning and see if you spot any wildlife. This search will give you a better idea of what you’ll find on your new hunting property.
Overall, buying a hunting property is a thrilling experience. There’s nothing more rewarding than making a dream come true. Harrigan Land Co is here to help, with our team of passionate hunting and real estate experts, we’ll find you a hunting property you’ll love.