SO, outlined in black, which piece would YOU want? Both are roughly 25 acres, and the nearest woods or cover is roughly 1.5 miles away in any direction. The top (North) chunk is obviously all one "square" piece, bordered on one side by a river, all wooded with the exception of the 4 acre field in the upper left corner. Would probably hold more deer, but also a but harder to hunt.
The bottom chunk is basically 2 fingers, each bordered by the river or dead river on 3 sides. Would funnel deer easier making it potentially easier to hunt, but wouldn't hold as many deer as only about 12 acres is wooded with the rest open field (as of now). However, the finger that sticks up to the north would be a food plot, and will benefit from the adjacent woods and cover next to it.
But seriously, I think being 25 acres, I would essentially think of each piece as one spot. Sure you may hang some different stands etc, but it's not like you would want to have several people hunting one of those spots.
I like the North piece because you've got (slightly) more timber, and (slightly) more deer holding power. You've got a food plot inside cover which is great, you've got the river which is awesome, and you also have access to up to 3 different food sources using that one piece. That inside turn on the right side looks good assuming that ag is ag that deer like on that side. By inside turn I'm talking about that scoop of the field that borders the timber. It's really tough to say because I also don't have a scale on there, but both pieces are small enough that once the leaves fall you're looking at what 200? 250? yards across even the big piece of bush in the north piece. That means if you hang a stand in the middle, you could almost see all the way across. Especially if there is snow on the ground. No idea where in the country this place is, and if you get snow there. Any place that I would look at buying I always want to make sure that I have the potential to have a "rut-fest" in the bush. Meaning does need to bed in it and when they come in heat I want to have that amazing day when bucks move in and are chasing things all over the place. Are either of these places big enough to have that happen? I can't speak for the size dynamics of that area, and what size of pieces the deer hold up in, how many deer are around etc. I've also been looking at buying pieces and looked at a few pieces, and realized how small 40 acres and less really is. Sometimes we get what we get, but a 25 acre piece if deer are moving in the rut, they'll usually cover the whole piece and it almost doesn't really matter where you are as they'll come past you eventually.
If an active buck is moving through the southern piece, will he not move through the northern piece shortly thereafter? And vica versa? Maybe I've completely misjudged the size of the pieces, but that's my thinking. It almost doesn't matter. Which piece gives you the edge? Is the food plot the edge you need? Or is it the pinch on the southern piece? Or will the deer walking the eastern edge of the river simply cut across the field and hit the western piece totally skipping the "funnel?" Questions only boots on the ground can answer. Is it a deep river? Do the deer cross it? If not, that "funnel"may be an empty alcove, something deer don't even want to get caught in. So hard to say, neither piece is excessively large, and so holding power is prob similar. Maybe I've been to negative, but if you are wanting to buy a piece that gives you a number of different options, it's just really tough to do that on 25 acres and you may decide you want to look elsewhere. Maybe the piece is in an absolute mecca and all you need is a piece of the pie and this is it. Tough to say, but wish you luck regardless.
LBshooter - Agreed. 25 acres isn't much. But this area has some of the most fertile farm land in the country and there are very few areas to hunt or that have cover as it all gets farmed. This stuff is roughly 15 minutes from my house which you just don't find. Only myself, and occasionally my wife or son would hunt it, but that's it.
molsonarcher - Yep, all good points. There won't be much choice on a lease as this will be going up for action this fall and will sell.
ksbowboy - Good point. Not sure as I have not walked all of it yet..........CUZ IT CAN'T SEEM TO QUIT SNOWING!!! lol
APauls - lol GREAT POST! And all things that have went through my mind. That wooded finger on the south area is roughly 400 yards deep, by 150 yards wide. The top area is roughly 300 yards deep (east and west), by 350 yards north and south. In TOTAL, all of the wooded that you can see is roughly 70 acres. I hunt a similar area to this and the deer like to bed back by the river, and feed out in the fields. I would NEVER hunt very far off of the field edge and risk bumping deer where they bed. The only exception would maybe be a couple all day sits during the rut on the north area. With the prevailing wind being right to left (west to east) it works the best to set up closer to the field edge anyway. The river is not huge, but they do not prefer to cross it. My best hunting ground right now is only 40 acres, but it is the rut fest you speak of with great action all day. We hunt it smart and stay away from bedding, it's surrounded on three sides by a river, the 4th is a ag. The deer stay in there and just run circles. I am assuming/hoping that is what would happen on this land as well. Like I said, the closest cover from this is 1.5 miles away unless they travel the river bank and stop in a thin strip of trees. This is in North Dakota, so yeh, we get snow. I think you are right in the fact that any deer on the north, will eventually make it to the south and vice versa. The kicker is, I don't know who will end up with the other area, how they will hunt, if they will hunt, or what exactly they will do with it.
Skippy - It's almost $10,000 per acre.
Other than that, you could be bumping deer to access it every time you hunted. I definitely like the big block of cover better. Probably lest stand sight options though compared to the lower piece.
I realize farm land has gotten crazy expensive, but this isn't farm land. Do you think it will auction that high?
ROUGHCOUNTRY - Agreed. I would never hunt that food plot without a South/SW/SE wind. I would access it by hugging the river on the North side of the property and the stands would be on the East/NE side of the plot.
Shawn and LBshooter - to ME, having a property close, that I could hunt dozens of times, for 4 months a year, realistically shoot a 125-140" deer every year, with the occasional chance at a bigger one, is more worth it to ME than to have a property hundreds of miles away that I could only get to a few days a year if/when I draw a tag. Also property that I can not control who trespasses on because I am not there, and may or may not produce any whopper bucks that warrant having land in that state in the first place. This is all about location for me.
I just found out the appraised value is $8,500 an acre. The reason being is 1.) It is within a few miles of a large city, as well as 4 other small ones that are all growing. All together about 250,000 people. 2.) It is said to be going within a 2 BILLION dollar diversion that is to be built around these cities to prevent flooding. 3.) These cities are growing and expanding, developers will want this land should the city reach this area. It will be several years, if ever, to expand this far in my opinion.
grubby - Hey Josh. Agreed on stuff close, that is why this is so valuable to me! Overpriced? Yes. But my dream? Also yes.
In my dream world, after my kids are out of the house in 7-8 years, I would build my retirement home on this land. That is why the north piece has a small area of ag on the east side instead of following the tree line and field edge. I want that for a potential building site. The building site on the south piece would be about smack in the middle. If you extended the road that is on the bottom of the pic straight up to the point of meeting the black line, right there. If not, this is as much of an investment than anything I could always sell and make a nice profit. The land on the west side of the river, appraised for $15,000-$20,000 an acre. One 40 acre chunk of ag land recently sold for $20k/acre.
Best of luck to you as well in your land search!
It will hurt for a while but I think you are eventually going to end up saving in spite of the cost. Let us know how it goes and good luck.