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When Hunting for Land, Think Big….Picture

October 15, 2014
  • Facts & Insights
  • Hunting & Fishing
  • Tips For Buying

As the uniform green canopy of summer turns into the brilliance of autumn colors a common topic on minds of many is the hunting season that lies ahead.  Whether the passion stems from the sport, sustainability, health, connection to nature or good old-fashioned tradition, hunting captivates many this time of year.

If you are a Buyer in the market for a recreational ranch or hunting parcel there are many things to consider. Here are some  general guidelines as you explore a recreational ranch purchase.  A qualified broker can be a tremendous asset during the buying process, as they have the experience to help find the ranch that best fits your needs and the resources to expedite the search process.

Determine your hunting objectives.  First and foremost, whether it is big game, upland-game birds, waterfowl or a combination of all of them – does this property and surrounding land in fact host these species? And are the animals there during the season you want to pursue them? Do you see evidence of animal trails, nests or tracks? What season is the most important to you? Are you primarily an archery hunter?  Or is the general rifle season more important? As an example, there are several mountain properties with good elk populations during summer and early fall, which coincides with archery season, however often the elk move to lower elevations after the first snowfall which is typically well before the general rifle season.

Location and composition of the land.  What is happening around a property can often have a dramatic impact on the hunting opportunities on a ranch. Where is this land in relation to its surroundings? Does it border public land or agricultural land? What type of habitats, such as wetlands, rivers, cropland and trees are on the property or surrounding the area? Is the terrain realistically appropriate for your style of hunting? Is there a dryland or irrigated-crop base that can supplement your recreation objectives and provide annual cash flow?

Neighborhood.  Who are the neighbors and what are their interests and views on hunting? This is important to consider because what neighbors are doing with their land can influence what is happening on the land you are interested in.  Are there any local influences that  can be disturbing to wildlife?  Are there any development pressures in the area or general opposition to hunting?  Or are they planting crops that will be beneficial in attracting wildlife? A little investigating can go a long way.

Local Knowledge.  No one knows the area better than those that spend the most time on, around and getting across it.  Swan Land Company has the experience and resources to connect you with the local experts.  There are several important questions to ask yourself and others when exploring an area. Are there any population density studies for the game species?  Is the current habitat suitable for your wildlife objectives?  Or will it need some management put into place before it is a productive hunting ground?

Licenses.  Another very important aspect to consider when buying a recreational ranch is the availability of licenses for you, your family and guests.  Some areas have restricted licenses for certain species and it is important to know you can get the appropriate tags as either a full-time resident or non-resident hunter.  Every state, whether you are in Montana, Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, just to name a few, each have specific laws and regulations for hunting.  Be sure to contact the Department of Wildlife for the state where you are considering purchasing land.

A qualified ranch broker understands all of these variables and can be an excellent source of information that will provide valuable assistance during the process of buying a recreational ranch.  Feel free to contact any of the qualified brokers at Swan Land Company to answer any questions you may have regarding the purchasing of recreational ranches. Call 866-999-7342 or via email: [email protected]