Having a good hunting property will increase your hunting enjoyment dramatically. You will be much more excited to go out if you think you have a spot that has big deer on it, and often just having trail camera pictures of deer with big antlers will encourage you to go out more often.
Owning your own land that you can change to suit your wishes is best. Not needing to reacquire permission to hunt land is another benefit of owning your own. Limiting the number of deer taken off of your hunting land, letting small bucks go, creating food plots and bedding areas, limiting the number of hunters and activities on the property are all things which will improve your enjoyment and success in hunting deer with big antlers.
Tips for picking a property
2. You may need to choose between a large amount of land of questionable quality vs. a small amount of land with good quality. Consider if, or how, you could improve the lesser large property.
3. If a small (less than 80 acres) property for sale has a shed or cabin on it there may not be much room left for the deer.
4. A few large landowners for neighbors are better than a lot of small landowners. If your neighbors' properties are going to be hunted, then there will probably be the same number of hunters per property weather it is a large or small property. Therefore, fewer neighboring landowners, and hunters, are better.
5. Avoid properties near Indian lands. The Indians get special rules and can shoot whatever they want. They are not as interested in growing deer with big antlers as we are.
6. Avoid properties near public lands. The hunters that hunt public land will often not be as aware of where the property lines are and you will get a few more unintentional trespassers. They may also need to shoot smaller bucks in order to be successful.
7. Hunting land that has access to a stream, river, lake, or pond will be more expensive.
8. Hunting land that does not have access to a major road is preferable to one that does. Ideally your land will be far away from where other people will be. And fewer of the deer that live on your property may be hit by cars.
9. Land that is used for purposes other than hunting may have limited hunting opportunities. Camping, snowmobiling, berry picking, etc. are all fine activities that you may do on your land. Understand, however, that if you spend lots of time all over your land big bucks will find it a less desirable place to live.
10. A small woods in or near a large city may be surprisingly good. Big bucks are not uncommon in Milwaukee County, WI which is nearly all city.
11. Trees take awhile to grow. If there aren't any mature trees now it will be awhile before there are. Not that you need trees; brush is better cover and food, and you can hunt from tripods, ground blinds, or your homemade towers.
12. Food plots will be more effective if your potential property is surrounded by woods and marsh rather than farmland.
13. The whitetail deer with the biggest antlers will often live in the thickest cover he can find. You can create thick cover by cutting down trees, so a large area of mature trees can be dramatically improved by cutting some of them down on your property.
14. Just because one neighbor shoots every deer does not mean that you cannot be successful in hunting big deer.
15. Consider the distance from your property to where you live. The closer you are to your property the more you will be encouraged to hunt there often.
16. Big deer need big amounts of thick cover so a circular or rectangular property where you can have an area of cover is better than a long thin property where the cover you control is not large.
17. Hunting land can occasionally be found simply by driving around an area you like and looking for "for sale" signs.
18. Looking for hunting land is similar to looking for a house. Check out flyers, internet advertisements, keep an ear open to land for sale near your friends and relatives.