Buy Hunting Land Series: Finding A Bargain Tract

Ed Fickey | March 1, 2021

Stephen, Wade, David and Doug were all setting around the office looking at the latest issue of GON.

Stephen says, “This magazine is full of real estate ads. How does someone look at all these ads and find the best bargain?”

Wade answered, “That’s easy enough, just look for the one closest to where you live and get a great price!”

Doug said, “I’m not so sure that works. I don’t mind driving a couple hours to get closer to where I grew up for hunting land. And I can get more land for my dollar there.”

David took all that in and asked, “What makes it a bargain?”

About that time Frank walked into the room. He says, “I’m looking for some land for my family. I want at least half open pasture, a water feature like a pond or rocky creek, a decent barn and home on there and within 30 minutes of my office. Where can I get a deal on something like that?”

Will spoke up and asked Frank, “So what price per acre would be a deal for you within 30 minutes of the office?”

Matt and Randy had been listening to the conversation. “Let’s all look through these ads and see if we can come up with a plan. Some way to figure out what makes one property stand out.”

Zach looks up from his computer and asks Patrick if he shared his new listing just north of town with Frank. That may well be perfect.

Then Jenna pipes up, “Every piece I think is going to be a deal ends up holding the whole world together and becomes priceless!”

What if this was a real estate office where they were all acreage real estate agents? Do you think this conversation would really take place? I can tell you as a matter of fact, probably. It may not be exactly in these terms, but the reality is perspective and expectations drive a lot of what is discussed.

Let’s look a little deeper.

Budget and hunting desires are key questions to answer before a land search begins.

What defines a bargain? We could say a bargain is defined as buying something that satisfies most of your requirements for a price below the expected price one would normally anticipate paying. That comes close, provided there are not items you really want or need that are left out, or terrible things added in.

No water on the property for example, or void of any hardwoods, would not be great attributes.

Discovering your hunting land used to be a non-permitted dump—now you know why you got such a deal on the place.

In the discussion at the beginning, Frank may be hitting on what a bargain or deal is. If he can find a property that is big enough for his needs, has the attributes—a barn, home, open fields, and close enough to the office for a reasonable price—that may well be a bargain if it can be found.

Now look through those listings in GON or online. Define what would be a great deal for you, it may well not be seen as one for me. If you can buy cut-over timberland for $800 an acre, that may be a deal. It might have a creek on it and the hardwoods along the creek were not touched. Now we are even better. It is just the right size/acreage we are looking for. Getting warmer. I’m only 25 and I’ll still get to see probably two plantings of pines to harvest if I buy it now. Warmer. It is within my two-hour maximum drive from home/office. Very warm. It is surrounded by 4,000 acres of QDMA managed land that had several Booners taken off.


On the other hand, $5,500 per acre, 30 minutes from my home with a swamp on one end and the rest in mature mixed woods, a long creek frontage and pond site with power, county water and dirt road access may well be a bargain in someone else’s eyes, for sure.

I could mention Stephen may have said, “It is a good thing I can find a phone number or email on these ads. I think I’d just call a couple of these guys that appear to know what it is I’m looking for. Maybe they can save me some time and effort, probably some money.”

I have to agree with that. If you see the same folks offering new properties in every publication, it is probably because they sold the others!

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