What to Look for When Choosing Land for Your Next Hunting Camp
One of the best parts about our corner of the world is its natural abundance. Northern Louisiana and Mississippi are blessed with lush forestland, fertile soil, a warm climate, and thriving wildlife. For those outdoor enthusiasts searching for a great plot of hunting land, the good news is, it’s also affordable.
If you’re searching for a plot of hunting land to purchase, how do you tell which properties are better than others? Below, we go into some of the characteristics of good hunting properties that may help you on your search.
Turnkey Hunting Camps Vs. Undeveloped Land
Many great hunting properties are great because they’ve already been cultivated over many years for the specific purpose of hunting. So, while you’ll likely pay a higher price for a turnkey-type hunting camp, you won’t need to spend your summers building roads, clearing food plots or installing blinds.
However, if part of your dream is to develop the camp yourself, your price tag could be lower, but you can make the camp exactly the way you want it.
Land Features for Types of Game
Many hunters like to hunt all types of game, but some specialize in one animal or another. Below are some land features that cater to specific types.
Hunters want big deer, and big deer are healthy. To cultivate a camp that lures in trophy whitetails, the property should have agricultural fields, water holes, small and large food plots, forest with a mixture of hardwoods and pine and sections of overgrowth that serve as bedding areas where deer can hide and feel safe. Whitetails have a keen sense of smell and hunters should be able to access deer stands quietly without being detected. Always be aware of wind direction and set up deer stands that can be hunted with different winds.
Land and deer behavior experts at Realtree.com designed an idealized 150-acre hunting plot for whitetail deer. Keep this type of setup in mind while you look at potential properties.
Hunting ducks is all about creating a safe haven—conserving wetlands and keeping birds fed. You can create duck ponds yourself with low-lying areas and a water source, but an ideal plot of land has multiple wet areas already. Keeping one or two of these areas as a sanctuary for ducks will encourage ducks to stick around for nesting and then come back next year (and maybe invite their friends).
The American Farm Tree System published a guide for cultivating turkeys that outlines their basic needs. You’ll need the following in order to support a turkey flock:
- Reliable water sources such as a creek, spring, or pond
- Mix of open fields, pasture, and forestland
- Forest that contains large-diameter hardwood trees for roosting
- Food sources should include grass, grain, fruits, nuts, insects, and young vegetation
- Lots of room: one bird per 30 acres, one flock per 640 to 800 acres
Choosing a Location
Building an overnight camp on a small hunting property runs the risk of disturbing wildlife. So, if you have a smaller plot of land, you will probably be driving there from home. For many hunts, you’ll want to be in place a half hour before sunrise. How early do you want to get up, and how far are you willing to drive? Make sure you enjoy your land by making it easy for you to access.
Property taxes in Mississippi and Louisiana are some of the lowest in the United States. The ad valorem assessment ratio for most hunting land is 15% in Mississippi and 10% in Louisiana, but the final tax bill can range depending on what county or parish your property is located in. In addition to your ad valorem tax, you’ll pay county taxes as well.
During your property search, contact the county or parish tax assessor. They will be able to tell you the exact tax rates for the current year as well as any exemptions or abatements for that property.
Real Estate Search
Start searching for properties for sale by using the Lands of America database:
Financing Your Hunting Camp
Southern AgCredit specializes in financing land used for hunting and recreational use. Our loan officers are experts in rural land, and many of them are hunters and outdoor enthusiasts themselves. When you contact one of our local offices in Mississippi and North Louisiana, the team can show you a wide variety of financing options, including:
- Attractive fixed, interim-fixed or variable rates, and options to convert to another rate product at a later time
- Flexible terms, including long-term options
- Rates can be locked in before closing
- Finance up to 80% of purchase price
Contact the Southern AgCredit branch closest to you, or fill out the loan interest form below, and a representative from Southern AgCredit will be in touch with you soon.