Mirr Ranch brokers are often called upon by seasoned hunters to help them find the best big game hunting property for sale in the region. Whether they are an archery or rifle hunter, we know a thing or two about finding the best property for your hunting needs.
Big game is defined as larger game animals, such as all species of deer, sheep, and antelope, which include elk, mule deer, bighorn sheep, and pronghorn antelope.
We sat down with ranch broker and hunting specialists – Jeff Hubbard and Jared Souza – who together have several years of experience in hunting, outfitting, leasing land, and representing hunting buyers, to discuss the top considerations when buying a hunting property.
1. Species Preference & Hunter Method
All of our brokers mentioned that the first questions they ask when beginning conversations with a hunting buyer is “What is your species preference?” and “Are you a rifle or archery hunter?”
The answer to these questions help determine the following about the property in question:
- Seasonality – Is the hunting ranch a good fit for the crucial time frames for hunting that particular animal with that method?
- Migratory Patterns – Does the property have the right animals at the right time of year?
- Climate & Elevation – This will vary depending on the needs of the hunter, but typically archers will want northern facing aspects, while rifle hunters will need southern facing aspects .
In the same breath, our guys will also ask this ranch buyer the classic quantity vs. quality question: does this hunter prioritize high numbers of game, or certain genetic characteristics and qualities.
2. Adjoining Public Land
Exclusivity is key for our seasoned hunters, and adjoining public land affords some rare opportunities. Depending on the hunter, our hunting brokers are either looking for:
- Exclusive access to public land from their property – The more difficult it is to access that part of public land by public hunters, the better.
- Hunting property is located near a public access point – Public pressure can push herds on to deeded land, creating a wildlife sanctuary.
3. Access to Tags
Goes without saying, but you will need to find a hunting property where you can legally hunt. Controlled by each state’s wildlife division, the amount of hunting tags or permits available is determined to help control herd size, health, and genetics, as well as protect or improve the health of the ecosystem the animals reside in.
The four basic tags available are:
- Over the counter tags
- Limited license tags
- Landowner preference tags
- Cooperative programs between private landowners and state agencies (for example: Ranching for Wildlife)
Little known fact: Between hunting and the revenue raised by these permits (which goes towards managing and conserving animal habitats), hunters actually do more monetarily and physically to conserve and protect the environment than any other group in the world. So remember to thank a hunter the next time you see one!
4. Feed, Cover, and Water
A hunting property will need to have feed, cover, and water to attract animals who need to eat, drink, and take shelter. Sometimes properties naturally have these three necessities.
Other properties may have developed agriculture or tilled acres growing corn or alfalfa that creates a huge natural magnet for big game animals and new travel corridors which otherwise wouldn’t exist.
And lastly, some hunting ranches will need to undertake a habitat enhancement project to optimize these essentials elements.
Most of our hunting buyers are seasoned hunters who have hunted all over the world. While you can pour over Department of Wildlife reports, these buyers are selective, and need experienced hunting professionals like us to determine where the right property is for specific genetic characteristics and qualities, as well as older-average age classes.