"you either spend a ton of money on a large tract of land or you have good soil to start with"
What happens if you have neither a large tract of land nor good soil to start with??? I live on 15 acres with the house sitting on the 'front' 5 acres. With the way the neighbors built their houses, don't have but one place to safely shoot any more. But there are no high fences within 5 or 6 miles, so the deer migrate around as they forage for food.
Good soil?? The plat of land I live on is called "Hilltop Acres" for a good reason - it's on a ridge line overlooking a valley. Ridge lines mean only two or three inches of topsoil before hitting bedrock.
But the deer are plentiful and I'm grateful to be living where I can still shoot deer only 5 minutes out my back door. I don't hunt for 'trophy'. I hunt to put food in the freezer. If I get a 'trophy' (okay, so I got one on opening day that could easily be called a 'trophy' buck), then it's the icing on the cake so to speak.
We do get one (trophy buck) passing through occasionally, and even then occasionally manage to put it into the freezer. But it's spending the time in the woods, sometimes with and sometimes without the children that matters to me the most.
Well that's my $.02 worth on the subject anyway . . . . .