Editor’s Note: Those 150- to 200-acre tracts of land you’ve always dreamed of having, your own little piece of heaven, may be finally within your reach. You’ll want to plant a garden, have a pond, have a dove field and attempt to take a deer or a turkey off this land. Maybe you’ll get to see geese or waterfowl landing on your pond, or perhaps you’re not a hunter, but enjoy seeing wildlife. The real-estate agent has told you, “This property is loaded with game.” Before you buy or lease, you’ll want to know how much wildlife you can really expect to see on the property, or you’ve already bought it, you still can learn more about the wildlife on your land.
Most of the time when you lease land for deer and turkey hunting, you have to depend on the landowner’s credibility about how much game is on the property. The landowner may say, “Oh, we’ve got plenty of big deer. Over a year ago, one fellow took a buck that scored over 180 Boone and Crockett points.” What he doesn’t tell is that the last people who have leased the property have taken every deer on it that can walk, and now there aren’t any deer on the land. Unfortunately, you won’t find out until hunting season has started, which is too late because you’ve already signed the lease and paid your money. So when or buying leasing land for hunting, the old caution still applies, “Buyer beware.”
Following the Buyer Beware philosophy, why not ask the landowner if you can set up two or three feeders and trail cameras to inventory the property before you lease it. Within a week or two, the feeders and the cameras will give you a more-accurate picture of the size and numbers of deer and turkeys that are on the property. You’ll be able to see by the pictures:
* the buck-to-doe ratio of the herd;
* the size of the bucks on the land;
* the number of deer and turkeys you’ll have an opportunity to hunt;
* the health of the herd; and
* the number and species of other animals on the land, including hogs, coons, coyotes, bobcats, squirrels, etc.
By using a feeder and a motion-sensor camera, you’ll have a better picture of the wildlife population on the land you want to lease. These tools can help determine a better, more-accurate price when you’re negotiating the lease.
To learn more about hunting deer on this land, go to John E. Phillips’s books at https://johninthewild.com/books/#deer to see Kindle, print and Audible versions. Check out “How to Hunt Deer Up Close with Bows, Muzzleloaders and Crossbows” https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00A2A6ZG6#.