How To Find Good Deer Hunting Land – Buying Great Hunting Habitat

Purchasing Great Deer Hunting Land

As some of you have seen or heard in my articles and videos my deer hunting land has been encroached upon by developers. This has pushed the larger bucks out of the area toward the large river that lies a mile away. I have also had people living in these developments stray unto my land during the archery season and walk right under my stand with their dogs. Now I do kindly ask them to leave, however enough is enough and I finally decided to look for a better deer hunting parcel further away from the small City I live near.

Finding the right ground is a labor-intensive process that may take months and possibly years. But, if you invest the time to do it right you will find what you’re looking for. I been looking off and on for the past 10 years, knowing the time would come when I will want to move further out, and that time is here.

What To Look For In Hunting Land

So what do you look for to make sure you are buying a great piece of hunting land? Well as in this article you need water, feeding area, thick cover, and bedding. Now since my trophy bucks have moved to a large river just a miles away I started looking at aerials along this river focusing on; woodland to cropland ratios, low land, high land, wood funnels (large game crossing areas between sections), ridges, and wood fingers stretching into the tillable land.

Once I find a couple of properties for sale I walk them 3 or 4 times and use my camera and a notepad to record the game (Deer, Turkey, Pheasant, etc.) sign and habitat (Water, Food Sources, Bedding, and Thick Cover). I also noted what the Woods versus Tillable land ratio is and what types of trees are on the property. I like to see 75% – 85% woods, 15% – 25% tillable (crops) and would even consider a few acres of wetland or pasture.

Here at a few things I look for:
1- The Woods must NOT have been logged within the past 30 years. If logged then only selectively logged.
2- Having a river on the property or near by is a big plus.
3- The woods needs to have major crossing areas from Crop fields, Water, and adjoining sections.
4- Major Deer trails packed to the mud, with a number of large scrapes and rubs.
5- Plenty of hardwoods such as Oak, Maple, Cherry, Walnut, hickory, etc..

The Hunting Land I Purchased!

I finally decided to purchase a 64 acre parcel just 12 miles North of my present location. The major river in the area runs across the North side of the property and winds down the West side. One major deer crossing comes from the West where there is 70 acres of tillable, 20 acres of woods, and then a narrow wood-line connecting to this land. On the East side are large parcels of tillable with multiple wooded fingers stretching out into the fields. From the deer sign it’s obvious there are Boone & Crockett’s in the area. Talking to the neighbors one took a 189 scored buck and the other a large 16 pt, but did not get it scored. So it’s going to be nice passing up those 135’s and focusing on those 175’s or larger bucks. I’m looking forward to doing videos on this property and sharing them with you.

The land ratio on this 64 acres is 81% Wooded, 16% Tillable, and 7% in pasture (grasses), which can be tilled. The river runs North approximately 200 yards from the property line and West approximately 400 yards away. I have seen many pheasants, deer, squirrels, rabbits, and signs of turkey, fox, and of course coyotes.

Don’t Rely On The Realtor When Purchasing Land

Purchasing land has gotten difficult over the past few years and it takes longer to complete the purchase transaction due to tougher County Regulations and Bank Requirements. Also any realtor selling land has the sellers best interest and of course their pockets, so have your own lawyer it will be well worth the money.

Also do not get discouraged as you will get through the process and your lawyer will help keep things moving. For this piece of Land it took me 3 weeks to get the bank loans approved and another 3 months to get the Purchase Agreement (PA) signed. Why so long for a PA to get signed, well this is what I ran into and was glad I had a lawyer from the beginning, he also wrote my PA. In this case the realtor’s best interest was NOT in the sellers or mine, but had different intentions. This realtor wanted the land or a section of it for himself and was delaying every step of the process, trying to either find a way to purchase the land or get the farmer or myself to sell him 10 acres. So I finally bypassed him and went directly to the owner were we worked out a Purchase Agreement. I then took legal actions against the realtor to keep the process from delaying any longer and within 2 weeks I had the land purchased.

Start Improving The Habitat right Away

This Spring I will start planting Apple Trees, Plum Trees, and fruit trees that produce small fruit for the grouse and pheasants. The pasture area I will put a few apple trees in and let it grow for deer bedding and the pheasants, mowing it once every two years. Since I have plenty of tillable (corn & beans) with oak trees (acorns) along the edges I will not need to put in any food plots. I will however put in a lot of apple trees since it cheap and easy to grow and graft them. For Winter I will leave a few rolls of corn standing and build a wire cylinder to place whole corn (with cob) in for the Pheasants. The tractor lanes going through the woods will be planted to a mixture of Clover & Chicory. I will also start clearing dead trees, downfalls, and thin areas to allow sunlight in, improving the vegetation in the woods.

How Do You Hunt Squirrels – Best Hunting Tactics

Hunting & Eating Squirrels Are Both A Treat!

If you have not eaten squirrel you are missing out. Now I”m not saying it’s as good as Grouse, but it’s not bad. The meat is dark, a bit stringy, and tasty when pan fried or in the crock-pot.

Now how do you hunt for squirrels and is there one strategy better than others? Is there a method that will produce more squirrels on average or with less time spent in the woods? Yes, there is I’m going to explain to you the best way to hunt these critters.

How I Figured Out The Best Hunting Strategy For Squirrels

I started hunting squirrels at the age of 8, when my dad gave me my first gun for Christmas, a single shot 22 Lever action. With this single shot 22 rifle I learned quickly the best method for hunting Squirrels and bring home plenty for my mother to cook a meal for the entire family.

By the time I hit High School and known for my hunting success in the area (Squirrel, Deer, Pheasant, & Grouse) I was tag with the nickname Kentuck, which I guess meant the Kentucky Kid, even though I was from Michigan.

Now when it came to Squirrels I consistently out hunted my friends and just figured they were screwing off or did not really take hunting as serious as I did. But I found out later they did not really know how to hunt squirrels and I never thought about telling them my strategy.

Well after the first couple of hunting trips I discovered that the Squirrels, like any other wild animal, will hunker down when the woods is disturbed and it would take me all day with my single shot 22 to bag a few. I also discover by moving through the woods the squirrels would run to their nest, jump into a squirrel hole, or hide in one of the many crotches of the tree. So I took some time and thought, how can I hunt in a way not to spook the game. So here is the strategy I came up with and it worked like a champ!

Squirrel Signs Of The Woods

First I could hear the big Fox Squirrels Clucking so this told me where they were. Next I noticed at times I could see the leaves at the top of the tree moving, then there was the noise of something dropping from the trees, which were acorns or the shucks from those acorns. Now that I know how to find the squirrels how do we hunt them so we can take more than one before seeing them disappear?

Best Squirrel Hunting Strategy There Is

Squirrels will hunker down if you move too much or start walking through the woods looking for one to shoot. So first listen for them, once you hear one move in on him slowly and find a good place (vantage point) where you can sit and wait them out. Yes them, as if there is one there are more and they have already seen you and hunkered down, so patience is your first priority.

Now take a seat for 15 to 20 minutes and watch and listen. When you finally see your first squirrel don’t move, don’t get up, and don’t shoot, just keep watching and listening. Before you know it you will see another and then another as they get active again. Once you have 3, 4 or more squirrels working take note where they are and decide which one you’re going to take first, second, third, and so on. Base your decision on a strategy such as the furthest and most difficult one to shoot first.

Now you’re ready, but don’t go after them. I found out even with an old single shot I can take a squirrel at 50 to 60 yards, so don’t move. Shoot your first squirrel, when he drops make a mental note of where he is and take aim on the next squirrel. You see if you move the squirrels will hunker down again, but with just the loud 22 shot going off they seen to just hesitate, but then continue with what they were doing. Now take the next one and continue this until you have them all down.

I guarantee you that you will out hunt your friends that are carrying semi-auto 22s, 410s, or even a 20 gauge. So give it a try and good luck!