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Hunting & FishingLeasing LandOwning Land

Owning vs Leasing Private Hunting Land

April 3, 2024

Access to private hunting land is a dream for many hunters, but it could be a reality! Hunters can achieve this goal of private access by either buying and owning a piece of property or by leasing a property from another landowner through a hunting lease. As a hunter, deciding whether to buy or lease land can come down to several factors.

Benefits of Owning Hunting Land

Owning a piece of hunting land has several benefits but the reality is that buying land isn’t feasible for all hunters. One of the biggest hurdles in buying land is the downpayment required by land lenders. Different from buying a house, land lenders typically require 20% down on the purchase of land. For those able to make this down payment, rural land has historically appreciated and can be a great investment, while also allowing you to hunt and manage your own private hunting paradise.

With ownership also comes the freedom to make improvements and changes to the property as you wish, these improvements can be anything from building a house/cabin on a property to simply putting stands and trails anywhere you wish.

Hunting Land Management Practices

Another benefit of owning a hunting property is the ability to employ game management techniques to improve the habitats of specific types of game you want to hunt, like establishing food plots, bedding areas, travel corridors, and more. This freedom may not be possible on a hunting lease since lessors and lease terms often limit what you can do on their property. 

Land ownership also comes with the security of knowing all decisions made regarding the property come down to you, the owner. These decisions may affect the quality of hunting, ranging from deciding when to cut timber, what crops are planted, and the ultimate decision of when it is time to sell a property. Land being leased is often sold, leaving lessees with no other option but to find a new place to hunt. Owning hunting land means you have complete control of all decisions regarding the property and can establish a hunting haven for years or decades to come.

Benefits of Leasing Hunting Land

For those looking to have hunting property without the large upfront financial commitment or management responsibilities, while still having more flexibility, leasing hunting land can be a great option.

More Cost Effective

Leasing land can allow hunters access to much more acreage than is financially feasible through buying. Access to more land offers more hunting opportunities and can allow several people to hunt the same property without impacting each other’s hunting. Being on a large lease with multiple people can be a great way to stretch your dollar and access a lot of land without breaking the bank.

More Flexibility

Hunting leases are often on a year-by-year or season-by-season basis. This can give you the freedom to change leases if the hunting on a particular lease isn’t meeting expectations or if you have changes in your life such as a move. This short-term commitment can allow you to evaluate your options each year without being tied down to a particular property for the long term.

Fewer Responsibilities

Leasing land can also allow you to avoid the responsibility that comes with land ownership. When leasing land for hunting you can avoid responsibilities such as paying property taxes and property upkeep and maintenance. This can save you time and headache and allow you to focus on the property for the sole purpose of hunting. 

If you are looking to find a place to hunt whether it be through buying or leasing, reach out to me at or contact your local Land Professional today. We have the contacts and resources to get you started on your journey of having private hunting access!

About the Author
Anders Land is a Certified Land Specialist that grew up in the small town of Manning, South Carolina. He found his love for hunting and fishing at a young age and spent a large part of his childhood in the outdoors with his father and grandfather. After graduating from Manning High School, Anders attended the University of South Carolina where he graduated with degrees in Real Estate and Management. His education in real estate as well as his passion for the outdoors led him to the great state of Texas to peruse a career in Farm and Ranch Land Sales. After working in Texas for 2 years, Anders moved back to South Carolina and joined National Land Realty to continue his career in land sales in the place he calls home.