Editor’s Note: Our society teaches that more is better, so therefore your odds should be better to take a nice buck if you have more land to hunt. But in many sections of the U.S., we’re hunting deer that may be smarter and more than aware of what’s happening in the woods than the hunters are. More deer hunters today are proving the validity of the old adage, “Less is more,” especially when hunting big bucks. Most hunters search for large tracts of land to hunt, thinking that the more property they have to hunt, the more and the bigger bucks they can take. But if you intensively manage small sections of land or hunt at lodges offering small places to hunt, you often can take more and larger bucks than those who hunt sizeable tracts.
The 60-acre-or-less lease can support good hunting for two to four hunters, if you have the right combination of land types, hunting pressure, deer management and limited access. When you’re considering a 60-acre-or-less lease, find out the amount of hunting pressure exerted on the properties around those 60 acres. If people have hunted the land heavily surrounding the 60 acres you want to lease, then more than likely, you won’t have the number of deer you want to hunt on it. However, if the surrounding region has had moderate to light to no hunting pressure, you may can concentrate a large number of deer on your lease.
Also, you need to determine when you’re looking at a 60-acre lease, whether the area contains a large deer population. You usually can check with close-by landowners or conservation officers to learn this information. Next, look at the type of habitat on the land. The ideal 60 acres must have a field or an opening you can plant to attract wildlife and deer. Too, the land needs a thick-cover region where the animals can bed and hide and an area of hardwoods where the deer naturally will feed.
Any time you:
* can find three converging habitats in a region with limited access;
* have the opportunity to manipulate that habitat by planting; and
* know that very few, if anyone hunts around the property you lease, then you have an excellent chance of developing 60 acres you can hunt successfully throughout deer season.
Often these types of properties can be found in rural communities and suburbia. Also deer hunting on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ (https://www.usace.army.mil/) land, U.S. National Forests (https://www.fs.fed.us/recreation/map/state_list.shtml) and your state’s wildlife management areas that can be accessed mainly by water.
To learn more about hunting deer, go to John E. Phillips’s book, “How to Hunt Deer Like a Pro” at https://www.amazon.com/How-Hunt-Deer-Like-Pro-ebook/dp/B007D3H08M, available in Kindle, print and Audible versions. To receive your free book on “How to Make Venison Jerky,” go to https://www.dropbox.com/sh/itouigq8uvrh8u1/AADtiETp26LJ3uWNq__ioKrGa?dl=0.