January 30, 2019
Check out this video to learn how to manage your small track of land to bag your trophy buck.
PRIVATE LANDS, LEASES AND BROKERS
If you don’t want to spend the money on an outfitter, or you want a little more hunting privacy than what public ground offers, you still have options. Southeast Indiana is full of once-in-a-lifetime bucks, and private ground holds many of them if you can obtain access to the land … especially, land that has not been hunted in some time.
Indiana is still a state where a knock on a door can produce results for hunters looking for open property. Do your homework, and there is a good chance you will be granted permission to hunt what might be some of the best whitetail ground in the state. Study county plat books to become familiar with who the landowners are before asking for permission. Work your contacts and acquaintances. Always be respectful to landowners, dress in clean attire when meeting them, and offer to do some hunting-related odds and ends around the place in exchange for hunting privileges. Just the idea of asking to help is often enough to gather the landowner’s respect, but sometimes they will take you up on it! If they do, it’s a cheap price to pay to be able to hunt some prime whitetail ground. At the end of the season, a thank-you note, a small gift or anything else you can do to show your appreciation will go far toward securing permission for the following season.
Leasing ground is another option. In fact, many Indiana landowners lease their ground to hunters, providing complete access to the farm without worry of other hunters. Leasing ground will cost some bucks, no pun intended, averaging about $19 an acre. Find a 200-acre plot, and this can add up in a hurry; but remember, you will have the land to yourself for hunting purposes. And always make sure the contract specifies you as the only lease holder and that the landowner will not allow other hunters onto the property.
And when you can’t readily find a tract of land to lease, think outside the box: You might find land through social-media channels, especially if you join one of the state’s deer-hunting groups. Perhaps, you can search Craigslist and other public-posting shopping sites. You would be surprised what you can find on Craigslist in the way of hunting ground.
Leases can also be contracted through a land broker/leasing agency. Internet searches typically reveal the local land brokers who might provide some options for you. You may even find several to choose from, and in popular hunting regions, many will already have hunting land lined up waiting for hunters. Don’t be surprised to pay a small fee for these services, in addition to any leasing fees.
Do your homework before leasing any ground from anyone. Talk to the landowner about hunting pressure, deer food sources and the quality of deer on the land. Before signing the lease, ask the landowner for permission to walk the ground, so you can scout out deer activity on the property. Some landowners might even let you hang trail cameras in advance to agreeing to a lease, just so you can see what is living on the land.