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Hunters invest in game-rich land

April 11, 2005|by JAMES M. WOODARD/Copley News Service

Q: Are there any new market niches emerging in real estate?

A: Since I started writing this column I thought I'd covered all types of property transactions. Recently, though, I learned about a growing market niche I had never before addressed.

Demand for land useful to hunters and fishermen is growing significantly. Here's how an item in Field & Stream Magazine describes it:

"Frustrated with crowds on public lands and diminished access to private grounds, outdoorsmen (whose annual economic impact is in excess of $70 billion) are increasingly investing in hunting grounds.

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"Owning game-rich land isn't just for millionaires anymore," said Sid Evans, the magazine's editor-in-chief. "With all the pressure on public lands, guys are lining up to buy their own hunting property - so much so that some real estate agents have begun to specialize in this category."

Many hunters pool their money to buy larger or more desirable plots of land, often with the help of a surprising partner, Uncle Sam. In some cases, outdoorsmen purchase farmland and convert it to wildlife habitat, making them eligible for U.S. Department of Agriculture land conservation grants.

Sometimes hunters maintain arable land as a source of added income by leasing the rights, or farming it themselves.

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