How To Hunt Small Properties

By Justin ZarrOctober 6th, 2022

Tom Alford is a determined hunter who is able to successfully get in, shoot a buck, and then get out of small permission properties. Here are a few of his main tips for both gaining permission, and targeting big bucks on smaller properties.

Check it out in the video below.

Lots of Road Scouting

The beauty of small acreage scouting is that you can conduct much of your scouting efforts from the road. Driving potential hunting areas can make the scouting chores quick and easy, too. Spending the first and last hours of the day behind the wheel of your truck with optics in hand can help quickly narrow down a great opportunity to punch a tag.  

How To Hunt Small Properties
Scout from a distance. Don't get in too tight and blow things up.

Only Ask for a Short Window of Time

The “aim small miss small” mentality for shooting works equally well for gaining permission as well. Don’t ask for a lifetime of permission, or even year-round permission. Ask for a short window of opportunity. Ask for the chance to hunt the bow season, or maybe even one particular week. Keep it short, and your chances for gaining permission go way up. 

Offer Goods and Services Instead of Money

Chances are good the landowner won’t need or want your money for hunting access. Instead, offering goods and services might be of greater value. What can you offer the landowner? Can you offer your skills around the property? Mowing lawns, bushhogging, or mending fences can often be of great value and the perfect way to get the greenlight for hunting access. 


Find the Best Cover/Ambush Spot

Small properties can produce big results when you find the best cover combined with an ideal ambush point. Typically, small properties are overlooked when it comes to management and maintenance. Overgrown vegetation across the landscape can make for ideal cover for deer. Don’t overlook these locations. Find the perfect ambush spot, and you may have find your next best honey-hole. 

Focus on the Access Points

Access is everything on small properties. It’s easy to run deer completely off the property when hunting small tracts, so make sure you pay attention to how you get into the best spots. Use creek access, or cleaned up trails to minimize noise and visibility by any deer in the area. 

hunter walking

Persistence will be key when hunting small properties. There will be times when you sit without seeing any deer activity. Deer often make the rounds and may be off the property for a day or two. However, the persistent hunter will be in the right place at the right time when those deer circle back through the small tract of ground you’re hunting. 

Justin Zarr
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General Manager at Bowhunting.com
Justin has been bowhunting for more than 30 years and co-hosting the popular bowhunting show Bowhunt or Die since 2010.  He lives in the NW suburbs of Chicago with his wife, 3 children, and semi-smelly dog.
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