It may your dream to own a beautiful ranch, and hunting may be your passion. The great thing is that you can find a ranch with hunting land available that allows you to effectively hunt right on your own property. And just like finding a ranch, you can go through virtually the same mediums to find the land. However, there are concerns when buying any land if you plan to hunt on it.
We’re going to be discussing the basic ways that you could find a ranch, and then going to discuss the many considerations that you’ll need to make before purchasing the property.
Finding Ranches for Hunting
The truth is that you’ll need to look into local laws and jurisdictions about hunting. In most cases, if the land is outside the city limits, you’ll be able to hunt on it because you own it. But, there are some instances when you can't hunt on your own property.
If you’re simply looking for a ranch, you can use the following avenues:
Online Searches: It’s safe to say that searching for homes online is the preferred method for all new homebuyers. It is so much faster and easier to find dozens of homes right from your computer, and then go and look at these homes with a realtor if you wish.
Classified Ads: A dying medium, classified ads in the newspaper still provide you with up-to-date information about homes in the area. You'll also find many magazines at local grocery stores with home listings from local realtors. This is a good avenue, but you don’t get the same overall functionality that you get with an online search.
Real Estate Agents: One of the first places that people go when they look for a home is a local real estate agent. These are professionals who will be able to guide you through the ranch buying process. If you tell your real estate agent that you want to buy a ranch for hunting purposes, they can help you find the right property.
Auctions: There's a good chance that you’ll be able to find local auctions through the government, banks or other auction sites that are selling ranches with lots of acreage.
I highly recommend that you find a piece of property with a lot of acreage. Not only does this allow you the opportunity to own a large piece of land, but you also have fewer worries when it comes to local laws if you own a large property.
You may also want to think about simply building your own ranch on a large lot of land if you cannot find the perfect opportunity in your area.
Concerns with Buying Ranches with Hunting Land
You may find the perfect ranch only to find out that you cannot hunt on the property. This is definitely something that you need to be cautious of. There are a variety of different measures you can take to ensure that the property you buy will allow for hunting:
City Limits: If you live close to town limits, there’s a great chance you will not be able to hunt. You want a property that is outside the city limits, so you don't pose a risk to other residents.
Local Ordinances: Local and state laws vary. In the state of Ohio, it is not illegal to hunt in your own backyard. But a local city ordinance may prohibit hunting unless a special permit is issued to you.
Safety Zones: In some states, safety zones are set up. This is the case in the state of Pennsylvania. Safety zones allow you to hunt within them as long as everyone within this safety zone is in agreement that you can hunt.
Distance Requirements: There are always requirements on how far away you have to be from a person’s home when hunting. For example, in the state of New Jersey, you are allowed to shoot a bow within 150 feet of a person’s home. But if you are closer than this, it is legal to hunt in the area. Guns have much a further range than a bow, and in some states, bow and gun range restrictions are the same.
There also be a major concern if there are any schools in the area. If you are planning on hunting in an area where there are schools, you’ll be very limited with your options. Schools and local governments do not want any hunting near school. There’s simply too much of a potential for a student to get hurt in the process, and you want to make sure that your potential property is not within a school zone.
Aside from this, speak to your local DNR about hunting in the area. These professionals will help you understand your options in terms of hunting, and if the ranch you decide to purchase will allow for hunting. You also need to be cautious about hunting seasons, and hunting permits. Oftentimes, you will need a hunting permit or license if you plan on hunting. There are also many states were hunting and trespassing laws allow for others to enter your land unless you have the proper signage displayed.
If you do not want someone to enter onto your land, make sure that you research these laws beforehand. In one state, you need to have a sign that is 144 in.² or bigger that states hunting is not allowed on your property. Trespassing laws are very important for you and your family, and you should know them if you do purchase hunting land.
Remember, state laws can be overridden by local city ordinances. Always look at both state and local city ordinances to ensure that you have the right to hunt on the land you purchase. There’s also a chance that in the future, these laws and regulations may change. Stay up-to-date on local and state laws, and make sure that you adhere to the proper licensing and seasons for hunting.
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