Alternative 1: Public LandHunting public land may not be the most appealing way to shoot deer or especially shoot trophy deer. But hunting public land can be productive and is a much less expensive land alternative.
Here is an interesting article about hunting public land for trophy bucks.
This article has some other ideas about hunting public land.
I particularly like the second point about having a back-up plan if someone is in your first choice spot.
Anytime you hunt it is good to have an an alternative place to hunt in case something happens to your preferred spot. If something happens that inconveniences you you should have a plan to move elsewhere, carry a deer on your wife's car, etc. without the unexpected event preventing you from hunting.
If you happen to live in Kentucky this website has an informative list of public hunting places with driving directions and some details about the land.
Alternative 2: Deer OutfittersAnother alternative to buying hunting land is to spend that money on guided deer hunts, deer farms, or deer ranches.
Instead of spending lots of time money and effort on your own land, which has its benefits, you could instead spend a week or two a year hunting around the world with a good chance to shoot a really big deer, and spend less time improving your own land. I think that this could be a really good idea.
Benefits to hunting a ranch or game farm-not limited to the species of one location
-hunt whitetail deer one week, red deer the next week, and elk the following week
-travel the world while hunting
-learn firsthand where the big deer are: Texas? Illinois? Wisconsin? Alberta? Spend time in each!
-you don't need to buy, improve, maintain, or pay taxes on land
-your odds at a big deer are good
-you may not need to be a skilled hunter in order to have success
-you can schedule trips for when you can afford them, property taxes occur every year weather you can afford them or not
-If you just want to shoot a buck, or a buck of a particular size, you can go to a high fenced farm and shoot exactly what and when you want.
-spend time in the company of guides and camp owners who a passionate about hunting
Disadvantages to hunting a ranch or game farm-could be expensive, even more expensive than owning your own land
-there are good and bad guides and farms
-no satisfaction from growing your own deer plots and deer
-additional travel expenses
So, if you don't want to buy your own land, then there are alternatives to purchasing your own.