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Hidden Gems – Small Tract Hunting

Author: Michael Wardlaw

August 29, 2018

Missouri is just days away from opening day of whitetail season. For landowners, this is when the long, hot hours in the fields give way to the dreams of the trophies that will roam your fields and hardwoods in the fall.

It is also the time of year when, as a land sales specialist, I receive calls from outdoorsmen who are looking for the right property to fit their needs.  And before you count yourself out of owning ground of your own, you need to understand that in the Midwest you don’t have to own a large tract of land in order to tag trophy whitetails.

A good friend of mine repeatedly states, “give me the right acre and I’ll kill a booner every year.”  And honestly, he isn’t lying.  Year in and year out he will find a monster buck lurking in small tracts of land that get overlooked.  Sure, 500 acres would be nice to manage, but if you can afford 5 acres with a little work and knowledge you can have success as well.

“When looking at smaller acreages to hunt, I like to look for the good funnels that will pinch the deer through my property,” said Land Specialist, Joe Ogden.  “If the area produces big deer, all you need is the right funnel to bring the deer through.”

Ten acres with a pond and bedding areas sets up nicely when you have agriculture adjoining the property.  With the addition of a food plot you can have a home run.

“A well-placed food plot in the center of your property can bring deer in from neighboring properties, and also cause them to bed closer to your property if not on it,” says Ogden.

Each region will have its own characteristics and features to look for.  However, if you can work with food sources, water, and bedding opportunities… you then have a property with potential.

Small tract hunting is simply a different way of looking at hunting.  For some, this is the way they prefer to hunt.  For example, I have a client who looks for property with a mix of tillable ground and hardwoods.  Once he buys the property, he quickly sells the tillable portion and holds on to the 10 – 20 acres of hardwoods for hunting.  This is creative way to hunt trophy whitetails.

So, if you think small tract is for you, I wholeheartedly suggest you give this a try.