Virginia Hunting Land – The Options

private Virginia hunting land

Every year hunters in Virginia wrestle with the this age old question… Where Should I Go Hunting In Virginia? And every year the 3 most common options for hunters are: Private Virginia Hunting Land, Public Virginia Hunting Land or join a hunt club.

In this article I will discuss the pro’s and con’s of each.

Public Virginia Hunting Land

This is the most common option for most hunters in the State of Virginia. The primary reason why is because the cost of land is high. Most just can’t afford to buy land just to hunt on. Another reason is most farmers are not set up for hunting. They have livestock of some kind and they don’t want hunters mistakenly shoot a cow. The cost of a cow and calf is approximately $2000 today.

Besides, they don’t want their livestock stressed out with hunters shooting their guns around them. In addition to all of that the farmers don’t want the liability issues. We live in a sue crazy culture at the moment and if someone would get poked by a sticker bush they would want to sue the farmer.

Moreover, hunters have a bad reputation for leaving trash on the ground and tearing up the fields with their pick up trucks. Simply put, farmers don’t want the stinkin headaches hunters bring with them.

Besides, the gov’t owns lots of rural land they love to open up to hunters. Renting it out to hunters accomplishes 2 things: it’s another revenue source and it helps manage the wildlife population. An added bonus it pays for the rangers who patrol the public lands creating jobs.

The downside to hunting public land in Virginia is: Safety. Coming out alive is considered a successful hunt for most hunters who hunt public land. The public land is full of knot heads who don’t care about anyone but themselves. I could go on about this but don’t have enough room here.

The one other primary downside to hunting public land in Virginia is there is no land management for hunting. There are no food plots or mineral blocks to help grow the game larger. There is no select cutting or hinge cutting for food or bedding areas. The game lives wild off what ever nature can provide.

Private Virginia Hunting Land

This is the best of the best option bar none. The primary problem with private hunting land is the cost. Purchasing enough land to actually hunt costs hundreds of thousands of dollars. The cost of the land initially is just part of the equation. Having equipment like tractors, rippers, disc’s, bush hogs, planters and a tiller to put in food plots, costs thousands of dollars.

For example, I have a Land Pride 7′ tiller and it costs just under $5000. In addition to buying the

Private Hunting Land In Virginia

Pond Lot 2

equipment you have to buy fuel to put in the tractors, grease all the bearing and change oil and fuel filters at least once a year. Then it takes labor to operate the equipment and seed and fertilizer to put in the ground.

In addition to all of that you have to run a bush hog over the land at a minimum of twice a year to keep the weeds from growing up. In our land management program we also create barriers to steer the deer through specific paths to enter the food plots. Cutting trees for barriers requires chainsaws and more fuel and labor.

The best thing about private land is you don’t have to worry about knot heads. You have the property to yourself and safety is not an issue. You can take your kids and your buddies hunting on your property when ever you want without being hassled by the Rangers because you broke one of their rules. If your budget can make it work this is by far the best way to go.

Hunt Clubs

Hunt clubs come with a multitude of hassles. The best type of hunt club is one where 5-6 buddies rent a piece of land and they all share and share alike in the work and the costs. Sharing equipment that each bring to the table, and running for fuel and seed and showing up at least 8 weekends per year is the best of the 3 options.

This option eliminates the initial costs of the land, which is a tremendous savings. It also eliminates the financial and labor burden for a single person. The problem is there are very few of these types of hunt clubs around because it costs each member a larger investment than being a member of a hunt club.

The majority of hunt clubs have 20 – 30 members or more. There is a hierarchy of who is in charge and who is the lowest guy on the totem pole. The guy in charge gets to make the majority of the rules (that favors him and his family) and he gets the best hunting spots on the properties.

The reason for the large number of members is so they can control lots of land. The more money you can raise the more land you can rent. The downfall to that is the more land you rent the more work that needs to be done. This means the more weekends you have to be at the hunt club working.

Virginia's Next Generation

Popa’s Buddies

We have a lot of supporters who came from hunt clubs and the number one rule that caused them to leave was hunting with kids. Most hunt clubs bar anyone under 16 yrs old to hunt on the property. Some lower this to 14 yrs old if dad is a member and very few will go to 13 or lower.

What if your the lowest dude on the totem pole? You have to work your butt off, pay the same amount as the President for what… to get the worst hunting spot on all the properties and you can’t take your kid hunting on. This is the primary reason why hunt clubs are always looking for members.  Serfdom might work in England but it doesn’t work well with the American country boy.

One more reason members leave hunt clubs is they can’t take their buddies or adult kids as a guest. If your son is visiting with his family for a long weekend, dad can’t take him hunting for a day or 2. The president can but he is the guy who makes the rules.

Hybrid

Looking over all of these options I knew there had to be another option. I thought about in a perfect world what would work: How about a done for you deal where all you had to do was show up, the food plots and tree stands were in place and you just got to sit in the woods and hunt. No B.S. from rangers or hunt club Presidents about you breaking some rule.

You were permitted to bring your buddies and kids and hunt on private land without fear of safety issues. Then you were given a part of the farm that only your group would be in.

This model sort of exists and is another option for hunters. They call these ” Hunting Outfitters”. The majority of them charge $2500 – $3500 per week with a huge fee for shooting a big buck.  The fee is not for mounting the deer head it is just a fee that adds to the bottom line of the company.

In a perfect world you would be able to hunt for under $100 per day. Look and see what we put together for supporters on our farm. Hunting-Land

 

 

1 Comment

  • jerry morton

    Reply Reply November 14, 2016

    I would like to hunt on your land if you will let me I’m 56 years old and have been hunting for 44 years so I know what I’m shouting at I do shout in till I see what I’m shouting at. thanks Jerry Morton

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