Have you ever wished that you had your very own hunting property? The hassle of having to knock on doors seeking permission to hunt would come to a halt. No more handing over thousands of dollars to lease land or pay an outfitter. Buying property is not an easily task and should not be taken lightly.

What kind of property are you in search of? That is the first question you need to ask yourself. Are you looking for land to be used solely for hunting or will the land be utilized for other things? Besides hunting many landowners use their land for fishing, camping, ATV use, as well for a home or cabin. I recommend writing on paper what your needs will be for the property before you ever begin your search. This will help you determine what property is best suited for you.

Knowing where you want to purchase property is an important factor in the buying process. There are many factors that goes into deciding the location of the land you wish to purchase. How far will you travel? Do you want to build on it? Are you looking for land near certain landmarks?

Having a good understanding of what you can afford to spend is priceless when buying property. You need to know how much you can put down on a down payment, what the interest rates are, financing terms, will you be able to bring income in off the property, and what your current financial standing is.

Work with a loan officer in the area where you want to purchase land. A loan officer will be able to look over your credit report, as well as other information he receives from you, and then tell you what you can afford. It is scary to say how many people have found the perfect piece of property, placed an offer and had it accepted only to find out later they cannot get a loan. Always talk with a loan officer from the beginning.

Now that you know where you want to buy property and you know what you can afford it is time to take a look at your hunting needs.

Do you need property that will be dedicated just to deer hunting? Or, will you be hunting turkeys, small game and upland game too? Will you be planting food plots to attract wildlife? Are you a bow hunter, gun hunter or both? How many people will be hunting on the land? The answers to these questions will help determine how big of a tract of land you will need.

Here in Illinois there are many different types of terrain to choose from. My family has ground in the river-bottoms overgrown with small saplings that deer love to bed in, agriculture land with an abundance of food, mature hardwoods and anything else you could imagine. We also have brushy timber, cattle pastures and CRP Fields. Having an understanding of what terrain features you are interested in will help the selection process.

Many landowners dream of owning a hunting cabin or other dwelling that can be used during hunting season. However, not all land is good to build on. Even if you are able to find land suitable to build on will you be able to have access to the building location. You need to know what you would like to build, how far from the road, do you want a view, are utilities available, etc…

Only about one-fourth of available property will be good to build on. Knowing what you need in order to build on beforehand will make it easier when determining what land is suitable for your needs.

One other thing to keep in the back of your mind is if you are looking for a return on the investment you made purchasing the property every year. Do you want a farm that can pay for itself or at least cover the cost of taxes? Many farms provide income from CRP, crops, hay, pastures, and timber.

If this is the first time you have purchased property it can be a headache. Work with an expert that specializes in the type of property you are looking for. Above all else when purchasing property take the time to be sure that you are buying what meets your needs as well as what you want. You might not get a second chance to obtain your dream property.

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Jason Houser
Jason Houser is an avid traditional bowhunter from Central Illinois who killed his first deer when he was nine years old. A full-time freelance writer since 2008, he has written for numerous national hunting magazines. Jason has hunted big game in 12 states with his bow, but his love will always be white-tailed deer and turkeys. He considers himself lucky to have a job he loves and a family who shares his passion for the outdoors. Jason writes full time and is on the pro staff of two archery companies; in his free time, he fishes and traps as much as possible.