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Can I Shoot a Deer on My Property? | What You Need to Know

Recreational hunting is a good sport that allows you to source your own food and keeps you active at the same time. And while others usually get a lease for land to hunt game on, others would even consider buying land for this recreation.

You are allowed to shoot deer on your property if your acreage is big enough, your neighbors live far away from you, and it’s deer hunting season. Regulations can vary wildly based on your region, so be sure to check the laws in your area.

Here is an excellent resource for looking up hunting laws in your state.

Shooting Deer on Your Own Property

Cartoon Deer with Crosshairs on it

Depending on your circumstances, it may or may not be illegal to kill deer in your backyard. These factors include where your backyard for hunting is located, the time of the year, and your closeness to other dwellings in your yard. As previously mentioned, different states have different restrictions and laws, so it’s best to look up these laws on your state firsthand.

Does Deer Season Still Apply on My Property?

Deer season applies to private property. Poaching can carry a stiff fine of up to thousands of dollars and face prison time if you get caught. You can also get your hunting privileges revoked. It’s not worth the risk.

It is essential to observe deer season to give the deer population time to procreate when off-season. Else, you will end up killing all of them, and you have nothing else to hunt for the next hunting season. This is why states set the rules and regulations up in the first place.

How Many Acres Do You Need to Shoot Deer?

There is a rule of thumb regarding land size and hunting animals. The bigger your animals are, the bigger the land should be. For example, it would be difficult to hunt deer if you have less than 5 acres of land. This is because it would be too hard for them to move here and there.

As a general rule of thumb, you need to have at least ten acres of land or more for deer to move freely. You also have to make sure that your land has a source of water and food for them to survive and enough space to walk around and live peacefully.

Are 40 Acres Enough to Hunt?

40 acres is more than enough to sustain enough deer to hunt. You may want to take active steps in order to keep and hold them on your property.

Here is an excellent article on the topic.

How Many Deer Can Live on 100 Acres?

It can be a bit tricky, especially if you are weak with numbers, but keep in mind that for a 40-acre parcel of land, you typically could have at least eight to ten deer inside. Thus, keeping that computation, you likely have at least 18 to 20 on 100 acres of land.

However, this number can vary wildly from region to region, but this is a good rule of thumb. If you have ever stumbled across one or more deer early in the morning or late at night by accident, then it’s a good sign you have a decent number in your area.

Related What Does Moon Overhead and Underfoot Mean?

How Do I Find Good Hunting land?

Buying your land to hunt game on is a good choice, especially when you regularly do this recreational activity with the company of your family and friends. So, if you’re looking to buy your parcel of land for your recreational hunting activities, here’s everything that you need to know.

When looking for good hunting land to purchase, you should consider the following factors:

1. Your Budget

Before everything else, it’s crucial to take into account your budget and be realistic about it. After all, you wouldn’t want your recreational activity to burden you financially. Other than the budget needed to purchase the land itself, you will also have to include other expenses to add improvements to your hunting land if required.

Ideally, if you have a regular team of friends and family members that you go hunting with, you can try partnering up with them when purchasing hunting land for a better budget and more options. As long as you can adequately discuss your plans and management regarding the parcel of land, I highly recommend that you do this.

2. Location of the Land

First, consider how far your hunting land will be from your home. You don’t want a long and tiring journey just to get to your destination. And if you live in a city, you’re also better off not purchasing land that’s too close to the town you live in, as there will most likely be lesser game to hunt.

Next, familiarize yourself with the land’s rules and regulations regarding hunting, zoning, other animal populations, and the like before you make any decision on buying that land. Besides, you don’t want to waste your money on terrible hunting land.

Finally, when finding the ideal location for hunting, it’s also best to purchase land that happens to be nearby hotels and motels. This is very important to consider if you can’t stay overnight in your hunting land.

3. Sources of Food and Water

It is favorable to check if your desired hunting land has plenty of food and water sources for animals to consume. Check out what types of plants, trees, and other vegetation sprouts in the area and mark out where those locations are.

For instance, if you’re hunting for deer, take note that they usually eat weeds, grassy foliage, and non-woody flowering plants. From there, you can determine if you need to add more plots of food and strategically place them for animals to eat.

A trip to a locally owned gun or bow shop is often a great resource. Most owners or employees will know the lay of the land and whether there are enough deer in the area to make it worthwhile to buy land nearby.

4. Land Layout and Its Terrain

You also have to study the layout and the terrain of the land you will purchase for hunting game. This is because you will have to check where to situate your cabin if you’re ever planning to build one for you and your company. Ideally, it’s best to develop your campsite near the main road not to disrupt the living animals in the area.

Furthermore, you also have to study the land layout and examine the behavior of the animals in the area. For example, do they live on that land, or do they happen to be passing by? You can inspect for any traces of animals living in the area by looking for animal trails found in the land. You can also ask the seller of the land for further details about this.

So, to get the most out of your purchased land for your recreational hunting activities, it’s important to take into account all these details.

Why Am I Not Seeing Deer on My Property?

You may not be seeing deer because either there aren’t any (or many) on your property or it is because you are looking at the wrong time. Settle for at least half an hour in your area, then wait for the deer as patiently as you can. That means you should be there at least half an hour before the sun rises and sets if you plan to hunt in late afternoons. For those who want to pursue in the evening, be prepared to be covered in darkness while waiting.

Another reason for the lack of deer in your property could also likely be your land’s inability to attract deer into your area. As previously mentioned above, you also have to make necessary improvements to your land as needed to attract deer into your property.

What Can Attract Deer to My Property?

Deer can be attracted to your property if you have an abundance of food and drink for them to stay in your property. Thus, it would be best if you considered planting crops such as soybeans, peas, corn, alfalfa, turnips, and the like on your property to attract them inside the fences.

In addition, they also like eating nuts such as acorns and chestnuts. Make sure that your property has a source of clean, running water for them to drink because it will also attract them more to your property. The point is never to leave your land barren and filled with wild grasses.

Restrictions on Hunting in the US

Deer With Rack in a Residential Neighborhood
This can either be a pretty sight or just a tease for a hunter

While all 50 states allow hunting during the year at some point, there are still some form of restrictions imposed among eleven states in the US. These are due to the “blue laws” created way back during the 19th century, where states prohibited Sunday hunting in order to get citizens to attend church on those days mainly. Some states have strict bans for Sunday hunting, while other states have certain exemptions for it.

As for other restrictions, there are only certain periods where you can hunt specific animals. For instance, deer hunting starts in September for some states, while others begin as late as October or November. Deer hunting seasons usually end in December or January, depending once again on the rules imposed by the state.

Legal Weapons Used in Hunting

Part of the rules and regulations that you should note in recreational hunting is the options for hunting weapons that you can use to track fish and game. Not all kinds of guns are allowed for hunting, such as machine guns and pistols.

The most common type of gun used in hunting in the United States is rifles. There are a lot of different designs and models for rifles, and most are legally allowed to be used for hunting. These include semi-automatic, lever-action, bolt action, and break-action rifles.

However, there is a limit on ammunition for guns used for hunting. You cannot bring more than the designated amount, or you will be faced with penalties. The most acceptable rifles used in hunting include those that shoot .22 caliber or more considerable ammo. Of course, you can always check with your state’s guidelines before hunting to ensure that you have the best weapons for your game.

Parting Shot

Hunting deer is allowed in states during a particular time of the year. Therefore, it’s essential to pay attention to other laws imposed in your state regarding hunting. In addition, you must have a hunting license and the other needed requirements before you can proceed with your recreational hunting activities.

Always consider the guidelines set by your state’s environment and hunting agencies before you commence with your hunting. This includes the right weapons to use for hunting, the start of hunting seasons, and if you are also considering buying land for your hunting game. These are essential points to consider because all of these will help you have a rewarding and memorable hunting experience that you will surely love.

For more, check out What Can Deer Smell? (How To Avoid Detection).