Every outdoorsman dreams of owning land, but who can afford it? Well, with some thrifty planning, that could be you! Hunting property can be more than just your own private playground; here’s how to leverage your land so that it’s more of a money-maker than a money-taker:
Form an LLC
The first step to maximizing profit is minimizing cost. The simplest way of paying less for a piece of land? Splitting it!
Turn your hunting buddies into business partners by forming a Limited Liability Company (LLC). It might sound complex, but with a little preparation, it’s surprisingly simple. An LLC allows business partners to pool their resources, share ownership of a property, continue to pay taxes individually rather than as a single entity, and ultimately protects each partner from personal liability.
Use state programs
HAP. A&H. PLPWP.
No, the alphabet soup above is not the result of an overworked, underpaid writer falling asleep face-first on their keyboard. Rather, it is a small sampling of the many state programs set up to pay property-owners who open their lands for public hunting.
If you’re looking at hunting property for sale in Michigan, for example, the Hunting Access Program will pay you up to $25 per acre and allow you to choose how many hunters are permitted on your lands and what kind of game they can harvest. Oregon land-owners, meanwhile, can apply for grants from the Access & Habitat program in exchange for providing public access to their lands. In 2018, Wyoming’s Access Yes (formerly known as the Private Lands Public Wildlife Program) raised over a million dollars for the purposes of paying property owners who opened up their lands.
To date, 26 states have adopted such programs, with more likely to follow.
Buy, improve, resell
Pining for a property that’s beyond your means? Maybe you already own land but it’s not quite the parcel of your dreams. Luckily, you don’t have to settle. Work your way up to the property you want by flipping what you have.
“Flipping” is a real estate practice wherein a person buys a piece of land, invests time and money into improving that land, then resells it for more than they originally spent. Improvements can be as simple as removing junk and dead trees or as involved as creating trails, planting plots of food, digging water holes, and establishing spots for hunting blinds and stands.
Flipping can take time and, early on, making a profit can seem like an incremental process. With patience, though, it can pay off in a major way.
There’s more to life than hunting
Wrong! For you, the main draw of a piece of land might be its utility as a hunting ground, but for others, your property could hold even greater potential. And if that potential is something they’re willing to pay for, all the better.
For instance, you can rent cropland to local farmers, or even grow and sell fruits, vegetables, and herbs yourself during the growing season. Don’t like waiting for crops to be in-season? Trees grow year-round. Harvest timber, or if you have enough land, lease it to a lumber company. If you’re feeling crafty, you can turn your own locally grown wood into furniture or other saleable items. Set up an outdoor shooting range. Install solar panels and sell their energy to utility companies. The possibilities are endless.
When properly maintained, hunting land is a constantly self-renewing resource. If you own property, you will never be without options for making money. You worked hard to get that land; so make the land work hard for you.