So, now you own property! What to do with it? You’ll have to pay taxes on it, and there might be some upkeep to attend to, but that’s okay, land is an investment unlike any other. It can make you money in a handful of ways while you still get to enjoy it.

The opportunities to make some money vary with the size and location of your property. In general, you’ll be able to make enough money to cover all the year-to-year costs associated with your land. Its value is going to increase, but kick the value into overdrive by adding a passive stream of revenue.


Deer are the most abundant and sought-after game species in North America. Some sort of deer species resides in all 50 states and they are the chief driver of revenue for most sporting goods companies. Plus, landowners all over the US can make money leasing their land to deer hunters. Deer are thrilling and rewarding to hunt and relatively accessible to many Americans. When you combine that with the fact that they’re delicious, it isn’t surprising that hunters would pay to lease hunting land.

Hunting Lease Value

Leasing your land to hunters is the best way to make some extra cash off your property. It’s the easiest and simplest way too. There are hunters who will pay to have access to your land regardless of your state. Most hunters chase whitetail deer, and if there are deer on your land, hunters will come.

Many deer hunters chase turkey and other game species as well. An abundance of other critters can make your land even more valuable. Knowing the species on your property and talking with other landowners to see what they’re charging per acre will give you an idea of your lease value. If you’re in an area that’s known for trophy deer, leases can fetch many thousands of dollars per year.

If you don’t have a huge piece, don’t worry. Leases as small as 20 acres still present a viable option for income. If you’re in the Midwest cropland, chances are wooded plots are smaller but richer in deer and game, particularly trophy deer. A lot of absentee landowners lease out farming rights as well as hunting. Both can pay nicely.

If you’re in the Southeastern pines or in the heavily populated Northeast, you might have fewer options for agriculture, which makes hunting leases your best bet to make a few bucks. In the wide-open West, you might have a monster tract that’s flush with game or barren as a desert. If you have a huge plot of land that’s largely void of game species, there are still ways to make your land work for you.

Natural Resources

If you think there might be oil or natural gas under your land, look into it without hesitation. If you’re not sure, and your neighbors are raking in profits from natural resources, you’d better investigate. There are a whole host of legal issues pertaining to accessing subterranean resources, so it’s best to get a professional involved from the outset.

People with natural resources on their land often enjoy a steady revenue stream that lasts for years and if you don’t have the best land for farming, but still want to make money off your land, the black gold is a good option if you can find it.

Timber Harvesting

If you’ve got a heavily wooded piece of ground, those woods could bring you some serious dough. Depending on what you want to use your land for, you might consider logging. If you plan on hunting or leasing to hunters, a quick way to recoup some of the money spent on the property is getting timber thinned or cut.


Thinning is where a logging crew comes in and takes the trees that they need, leaving the majority standing. How thin the remainder will be and what kind of trees will or won’t be cut are agreed upon beforehand. Thinning is great for the overall management of your land. It promotes new growth and reduces the likelihood of disease spreading.

Select Cut

Select cutting is like thinning but on a smaller scale. It focuses more on taking/leaving a particular kind of tree (most often hardwoods), and is not as widely practiced. Plus, it might not be worth a logging crew’s time to come in and take a few trees off a plot. If you have enough land, chances are better they’ll make the time.

A word of caution, most people are ignorant of the prices of lumber, particularly how much a load of hardwood goes for. Educate yourself by calling a local mill (one that’s NOT associated with the logging crew you’re using) and find out what you should be getting before you accept a price from the logging crew.

Clear Cut

The last option is clear-cutting your land. While this will yield the most for your timber, it also opens up the possibility of another revenue stream: livestock and farming. Although in the short term, all the activity from logging is going to make deer and other animals scarce on your property.

  • Little to no maintenance – compared to a house or a car this is little maintenance to keep your property up and running
  • Flexibility to do what you want with the land – there are several options you can have as money maker for your property – ranching, farming or hunting lease
  • Long term appreciation – land will become more valuable overtime and you can benefit from its appreciation
  • Minimal costs and expenses- utility bills, vacant land insurance and other costs are minimal compared to owning a building or a house
  • Health advantages – you’ll have the opportunity to get out on your property to enjoy the fresh air and recreational activities the land has to offer.

Livestock & Farming

If your land is partially cleared or you plan on clearing it, you can take it one step further. Make more money by adding some livestock once grasses have returned to the freshly-cleared area.

Adding even just a few head of livestock opens up a world of revenue that does require a little more hands-on involvement. It’s extremely rewarding and a great way to get more in touch with your property, and your neighbors, while having access to choice meat whenever you like.

There are some upfront expenses such as fencing, gates, and the like. Overall cattle and other livestock will pay for themselves faster than you might think. Plus, you can also lease farming out to other companies, and make money that way.


If you own a property there are plenty of ways to make money. You can use it as a tool to help you grow financially or allow it to cost you money. Hunting leases, natural resources, timber harvesting, and farming are all great options for landowners looking to make some money.