Average Price of Kentucky Hunting Land
A few weeks ago, we reported the average price per acre for raw land in six regions across the nation. Now, we are diving deeper and looking at the regions on a state-by-state basis. The first state we will report on is Kentucky. While the state average price per acre of hunting in Kentucky – around $1,600 – is the lowest among the states we sell land in, prices vary across the state.
We looked at every tract of hunting land we sold in Kentucky, compiledthe data and then looked at it on a regional basis. Below are our findings for the different areas:
1. Jackson Purchase Region: $2,409 per acre
Counties: Ballard, Calloway, Carlisle, Fulton, Graves, Hickman, Marshall, McCracken
Comprised of eight counties (Ballard, Calloway, Carlisle, Fulton, Graves, Hickman, Marshall, McCracken) the Purchase region is surrounded by water on three sides – the Mississippi River to the west, the Ohio River to the north, and the Tennessee River to the east. The Tennessee River was dammed in 1944 to create Kentucky Lake, a first-class fishing and boating destination.
The great hunting rivals the quality fishing. Thanks to the fertile river valleys and a large agricultural economy, the area provides plenty of food for deer. Although this region doesn’t have the most record-book bucks in the state, it regularly produces Boone and Crockett bucks (six in the last four years). The waterfront land, excellent farming and great recreational land is why the Purchase Region is the most costly per acre of hunting land in the state. But, ask the residents that live there, and they will tell you it’s well worth it.
2. Bluegrass Region: $2,105 per acre
Counties: Anderson, Bath, Boone, Bourbon, Boyle, Bracken, Campbell, Carroll, Clark, Fayette, Fleming, Franklin, Gallatin, Grant, Henry, Harrison, Jefferson, Jessamine, Kenton, Lewis, Mason, Mercer, Nicholas, Oldham, Owen, Pendleton, Robertson, Scott, Shelby, Spencer, Trimble, Washington, Woodford
Famous for breeding thoroughbreds, the Bluegrass Region also produces some giant deer. It kicked out six Boone and Crockett book bucks in 2014, including a 198-5/8” non-typical from Nicholas County.
“Kentucky” means “meadow lands" in several different Indian languages and was specifically applied to this region. The hills roll and the ground is excellent pastureland due to the high content of calcium in the soil.
This region has a lot of deer, and a lot of hunters, too. It has ranked at the top of the deer harvest reports over the last 10 years. One reason for that may be that the residents of Lexington and Louisville, Kentucky’s two biggest cities, spilling into rural areas during hunting season.
There are deals to be had in the region. This piece of land offers a little bit of everything the region offers – hardwoods, rolling hills, a pasture and pond – in one of Kentucky’s top deer hunting counties for a price of $1,775 an acre. Be sure to add this listing to your “My Whitetail Properties” favorites if you are ready to buy some hunting land close to Cincinnati, Louisville or Lexington.
3. Pennyrile Region: $1,747 per acre
Counties: Adair, Allen, Barren, Breckinridge, Caldwell, Casey, Christian, Clinton, Crittenden, Cumberland, Green, Hardin, Hart, Hopkins, Larue, Livingston, Logan, Lyon, Meade, Metcalfe, Monroe, Pulaski, Russell, Simpson, Taylor, Todd, Trigg, Warren, Wayne
The Pennyrile Region, comprised mostly of farmland, accounted for 13 of Kentucky’s 33 record book deer in 2014. Drill down on the data farther and you will find that two neighboring counties, Pulaski (6) and Wayne (2) produced eight of the trophies.
Features of the Pennyrile area include tens of thousands of sinkholes (known for gobbling up classic Corvettes), sinking streams, streamless valleys, springs, caverns and exposed limestone rocks gradually withered down to uncover fertile soil. Mineral properties are abundant in this region, especially in the fluorspar district (Crittenden, Livingston and Caldwell County), which still contains a substantial reserve of fluorspar and zinc in deeper deposits.
The Pennyrile region is a diverse landscape, from farmland to caves, minerals to timberland, and of course, excellent hunting.
4. Western Coal Fields Region: $1,695 per acre
Counties: Butler, Daviess, Edmonson, Grayson, Hancock, Henderson, McLean, Muhlenberg, Ohio, Union, Webster
When you think about great deals on trophy deer hunting land, this region immediately comes to mind. The mineral-rich land produces several heavyweight deer each year, especially those in the non-typical category. Distant from major cities, pressure seems to be lighter than other areas of the state.
Much of the land is reclaimed strip mines; replanted as natural grass plains, young hardwoods, pine stands or a combination of all three. These great sources of cover, coupled with agricultural fields in between, provide abundant hunting opportunities. While strip-mining may have a bad reputation among environmentalists, the land that is left behind can produce some great bucks and plenty of turkey.
5. Knob’s Arc Region: $1,520 per acre
Counties: Bullitt, Estill, Garrard, Lincoln, Madison, Marion, Nelson, Rockcastle
A narrow swath of land dissecting the Pennyrile and Bluegrass regions, the Knob’s region consists of hundreds of conical shaped hills formed by erosion. The knobs rise from the calcium-rich pastureland of the Bluegrass Region. It is truly beautiful country that quenches many recreational desires, including hunting, hiking and rock climbing. And, the famous Kentucky bourbon distillers call this land home, so we can raise a glass to that.
6. Eastern Mountain Coal Fields: $943 per acre
Counties: Bell, Breathitt, Boyd, Carter, Clay, Elliott, Floyd, Greenup, Harlan, Jackson, Johnson, Knott, Knox, Laurel, Lawrence, Lee, Leslie, Letcher, Magoffin, Martin, McCreary, Menifee, Montgomery, Morgan, Owsley, Perry, Pike, Powell, Rowan, Whitley, Wolfe
Covering an area from the Allegheny Mountains in the east across the Cumberland Plateau to the Pottsville Escarpment in the west, this region is known for its coal mining. Most family farms in the region have disappeared since the introduction of surface mining in the 1940s and 1950s. However, the state is trying to reintegrate farming in the area with training programs, easier financing of land and infrastructure improvements.
We can report that the value of land we sold during 2013-2015 increased 34 percent over the land we sold in 2010-2012. Prices jumped from $764 per acre to $1,204 per acre. This may be due to displaced coal workers returning to farming. Also, the presence of a re-introduced and flourishing elk herd may have something to do with the increase. Elk and bear add diversity to the game options of the mountains of Eastern Kentucky, and from an investment standpoint, it seems to be a strong buy.
There are many ways to rank the best deer hunting states, from size to numbers, but Kentucky is not known just for fine bourbon, college basketball teams and legendary horses anymore. It's a recreational and investment hotspot. We hope this information helps your search for Kentucky hunting land, and if there are any more question we can answer, contact one of our Kentucky land specialists today.