Millions of Americans enjoy deer hunting, and while hunting on public lands is an option, most hunters eventually want their own hunting land. But not all land is suitable for deer hunting. Here is a look at three factors to consider when looking for the perfect parcel.
The location in relation to your residence is an extremely important consideration. The further your hunting land is from home, the harder it will be to get out in the woods, not just during hunting season but the rest of the year, too. Unless the land includes a cabin, the property you choose should be close enough to home that you can easily get there and back home again in the same day. And even if you are going to park a recreational vehicle or rough it with a tent until you can build a permanent structure, the land should still be within 2-3 hours from home.
Hunting deer successfully requires far more than just showing up during the hunt. Proximity will enable you to enjoy your land more often and do the scouting and land care you need to do before hunting season.
Once you find a piece of land you are interested in, you need to assess its accessibility. For example, what roads do you need to take to get to the land? Are the roads rugged backcountry roads that would be difficult to traverse without a certain type of vehicle, such as a 4-WD truck?
Would you be able to get into your land if there was a lot of snow on the ground? Would you need an all-terrain vehicle or even a snowmobile? The land you consider should be easily accessible with your vehicle and in all seasons so you can fully enjoy the property year-round.
Just because a property is located in a rural area, it doesn't necessarily mean deer will be there. Like most living creatures, deer need food, a nearby water source, and suitable shelter. Any deer hunting property you consider should have plenty of shrubs, deciduous trees of various ages, and lots of cover. Pine plantings are good areas for deer to bed down as the needles provide a soft, warm bed as well as allow the deer to easily see predators. Properties with apple or other fruit trees, as well as berries and nut-bearing trees or oak trees with acorns are well-suited to deer. Fields provide cover for deer, especially fawns.
While the land you buy doesn't have to have water, a nearby source is imperative. Even a small creek is sufficient. If you find a piece of property you are interested in, be sure to walk it all and look for signs of deer before you buy it.