Turning private land into a hunting paradise takes time and effort but is well worth it in the long run.
So you finally got your own hunting land? To turn it from just your private land into a hunting paradise will take a lot of work, but it can be done. Private land means nothing if it isn’t properly managed and cared for, but if the proper effort is put forth, the hunting paradise you have always wanted can be yours, even with a small piece of land. You just have to know what you are going for and then put in the time to actually reach those goals.
Private land is the perfect place for long-term planning. You can do all those things you’ve always known would help your hunting game but didn’t want to do on public land. Let’s take a look at some of those things and how you can use them to turn your private land into a hunting paradise.
Land management plays a vital role in the number and quality of animals on your property. The hardest part of land management is finding the thin line between not doing enough and doing too much. Many new land owners will have wildlife officials come out and walk your land with you and then offer advice on the best land management practices for you.
The key thing to remember is that the animals should be comfortable moving around on the land and that means always having access to food and water. If your land doesn’t have these things, you should consider finding a way to add them.
Cut paths to give your game lanes to walk and travel freely throughout your land. Don’t over-cut, you still want to leave plenty of cover but the animals will usually follow the path of least resistance.
Food can be one of the biggest factors in determining where an animal population spends their time. Long-term food sources are vital in turning your private land into a hunting paradise. You have to think long term and also prepare for year-round food sources. Food plots that you plant in spring/summer to come up just before hunting season are great, but if your animals have nothing to eat all spring and summer then it may all be for naught. Take a look at some of these non-traditional food plot ideas and incorporate what works in your area to make sure your property has plenty of food sources all year long.
A water source, while not completely essential, can make your property that much nicer for your potential game, but can also increase your hunting and fishing opportunities. A small pond can easily be stocked for fishing, and at the same time gives you somewhere to hunt waterfowl. Just one more aspect that turns your private land into a hunting paradise.
Building on your land
This is a topic that will vary with personal opinion and with property size but almost everyone will need to do some kind of construction or work on their land. For most, this will come in the form of stands and blinds, but for some it may even mean building a house or cabin to stay in during the season.
Stands and blinds are something you should put a lot of thought into before you start buying or building. True, you can always build more, but remember the more you disturb the area, the more likely you are to scare off your animal population. Try to plan your stands or blinds to have more than one use. A bale blind can be used to hunt deer, turkey, predators, crow, waterfowl, and more. This type of blind, if placed strategically, can have much better results than building four or five different stands on your property.
Quality game management and hunting
The last aspect I will cover of turning your private land into a hunting paradise is quality game management and the actual hunting of the land. The most important thing to remember is, don’t over-hunt it. This can be very difficult, especially for someone hunting private land for the first time. The advantages it offers can make you want to hunt your land every day of the season but don’t. I know many people who have done this very thing, over-hunted what was prime hunting land, only to spook the game or harvest too much of a population and run the rest off. It takes years, even decades, to rebuild a stable population after over-hunting. Enjoy your land, but make sure you still have animals around to enjoy next year as well.
Owning hunting land is a special privilege and can be one of the most amazing things you own in your lifetime. But it comes with responsibilities so be respectful, mindful and humble about your new land purchase.