Hunting land isn’t just for birds, especially in the South. From the Mississippi Delta to the rice fields along the Gulf Coast, land with waterfowl has long been a great investment. Some investors buy and sell these tracts purely for speculation, and others for Mallards and Gadwalls. The really savvy do both.
West Tennessee and Eastern Arkansas, along the banks of the Mississippi River, feature duck hunting at its finest. Need some proof? Then head to Stuttgart, Arkansas, population 9,376, and home of the World Duck Calling Championship. Now you a believer?
If facts and figures matter, then check out this article in the Memphis Daily News, which highlights investors who are focusing on rich Arkansas river bottom. Jeff Barry of Barry Properties in Memphis started buying and selling land in Eastern Arkansas more than 20 years ago. With two hunting-hungry metropolitan areas – Memphis to the east, Little Rock to the west – and nothing but flat undeveloped land in between, Barry started buying and selling prime hunting land instead of developing subdivisions in suburban Memphis.
While the residential market in Memphis (and everywhere else for that matter) stagnates, the demand for land where people can hunt at dawn and still be in the office in time for a morning meeting continues to grow. Being familiar with the area, I can attest to the fact that one bag his limit in Arkansas and make the easy drive across the I-55 bridge to downtown Memphis with plenty of time to spare.
Memphis-based Ducks Unlimited, a conservation organization whose aim is preserve and improve waterfowl habitats nationwide, works with Barry to place conservation easements on the property to reduce the tax burden on properties as well.
The returns? Barry tells the Memphis Daily News he’s seen year-over-year returns of 15 to 30 percent. He even recounts the story of one buyer who purchased a parcel and immediately sold it for a 25 percent gain. The investor then used his profit to purchase four more parcels, which he own to this day. That’s nothing to quack at.