Best Areas in the US for Buying or Using Hunting Land
Whether you’re an avid hunter or thinking of investing in hunting land to lease, you’ll find plenty of areas that offer premium hunting land in the U.S. While the Midwest is home to some of the best hunting and fishing spots in the country, you’ll also find great opportunities on the West Coast as well.
Here are some of the best areas in America for buying or using hunting land.
You don’t have to travel far outside of Laramie’s city limits to find ample hunting opportunities. From pronghorns to deer and elk, this area is a prime location for hunting big game. After all, they’re more antelopes in the state of Wyoming than people.
Bird hunters can target waterfowl before the first freeze-out, and also enjoy a short window of opportunity to target grouse up in the mountains. Laramie boasts a decent population, too, and a median income of $37,657. Land here is cheap compared to other parts of the state. You can purchase 40 acres for under $100,000 in the area.
The North Platte River runs right through the downtown area of Saratoga, so you never have to travel far to find hunting opportunities. Pronghorns, elk and deer flock to the nearby prairies and mountains. The town is also revered as a world-class fishing destination. The town boasts a smaller population of 1,690 residents. As of the 2000 census, the median income for households was $37,135. As far as land prices go, you can purchase 150+ acres for under $250,000 in prime hunting locations.
For big-game hunters, Cody, WY is a paradise. With milder weather, this area offers more opportunity to hunt mule deer, elk, bighorns and pronghorns. But you’ll also find opportunities to target black bears during certain times of the year. Named after the famous Buffalo Bill, Cody has a population of 9,520 and is situated at the western edge of the Bighorn Basin.
Salmon, ID may be named after a fish, but hunters will find ample opportunities to hunt in this area. For one thing, Salmon is the gateway to the River of No Return Wilderness, which is a 2.4 million acre protected wilderness area. It’s the largest contiguous protected area in the U.S., and is home to bighorns, black bears, elk, mountain goats, mule deer, elk and whitetail deer.
You’ll also find mountain lions, gray wolves, coyote, lynx and red fox in the area. On top of this, you’ll find another million acres or so of wilderness near the town. With so much open land, Salmon is both a hunter’s and land investor’s paradise.
Wingshooters can also access excellent waterfowling along the Salmon River where you’ll find some of the best chukhar hunting in the area. Land prices can be a hit or miss in this area. There are some spots where you can purchase 5 acres for under $40,000, and other areas where 8 acres will cost you well over $150,000.
Southeastern Idaho is a paradise for pheasant hunters thanks to the Pheasants Forever acquisition, which encompasses 2,700 acres. Altogether, the area offers 21,000 acres of pheasant habitat.
* South DakotaDeadwood
Deadwood South Dakota offers a low population, favorable cost of living, and ample housing opportunities. Throughout most of the year, the town maintains its Old West vibe, and the holiday season is a prime time to hunt mule deer and Merriam’s turkey.
The town’s current population is just 1,288, and median income is $37,935. Land prices are favorable here, too. You can purchase 6 or more acres for under $100,000, and some of these lots already have utilities (a serious bonus).
The Gateway to the Black Hills region, Rapid City boasts a population of 67,000 and a host of different hunting opportunities. With cold water streams, mountains and lakes nearby, you’ll find ample opportunities to hunt mule deer, whitetails, elk and Merriam’s turkeys. Traveling further outside the town will give you opportunities to hunt sharptails, pheasants and prairie chickens. Over in the grasslands area, you’ll find coyotes, pronghorns and prairie dogs. Land prices are a little pricey here. Expect to pay about $10,000 per acre for premium hunting land.
James River Corridor
The James River corridor area is great for pheasant hunters. Local farmers have enrolled roughly 85,000 acres of land into a CRP. All of this land is open to hunting, too.
Situated in the Cache Valley, the town of Logan is excellent for waterfowl hunting thanks to the nearby marshland. As of 2010, the town had a population of 48,174, and that number is estimated to have grown to 48,997 in 2014. According to the 2000 census, median household income in Logan was $30,778. Median income for families was $33,784. Land prices are relatively affordable in the Logan area. Expect to spend over $100,000 for 4 or more acres.
Vernal is situated south of the Uinta Mountains and north of Book Cliffs, making it smack dab in the middle of the one of the best big-game hunting areas in the West. The area is home to world-class mule deer and elk. Like other areas of Utah, there is limited tag availability, but trophy quality is outstanding. The town boasts a smaller population of 10,344, and the median income was $53,230. Land prices are favorable. You can purchase nearly 20 acres for about $80,000.
* MontanaThompson Falls
Thompson Falls is a secluded town just west of the Rocky Mountains. With a small-town feel, this area is surrounded by massive bands of national forest. Lolo and Kootenai are the two most accessible areas, and are home to ruffed grouse, elk, turkeys and whitetails.
Outside of town, hunters will find lots of big-game opportunities, especially in the Flathead National Forest. Some hunters say that this forest is the best spot for trophy whitetails. You’ll also find great opportunities for bear hunting in the spring.
Whitefish has a small population of just 6,649, the median income is $43,643. The cost of living is higher out here though. Five acres will cost you about $200,000.
These are some of the best areas in the U.S. for hunting land, but remember, prime hunting areas don’t necessarily offer cheap land. Certain areas in states like Texas, Iowa and Ohio are also highly recommended. That said, you may make a nice return by leasing the land. Of course, you can also use it for personal hunting adventures and simply enjoy your investment.
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