Contributors to this thread:
Why don’t you get your own place?
After reading Lou’s post on losing a hunting spot, I got to wondering what are the reasons stopping many of you from buying your own little slice of heaven. Is it lack of funds, available land to purchase, logistics (distance to property), other priorities, etc?
Also, how many of you are leasing recreational ground?
You beat me to it! I still hunt on permission some and I do my damndest to keep those permissions but I love having my own land.
Here in CO the land prices are over the top. The small 2500 acre BLM chunk I used to hunt that became private through a land trade just sold for $5M. It is only good for elk hunting and inaccessible except by snowmobile from November-May. A wealthy guy bought it for a bowhunting spot for him and his buddies.
To your second question, this year for the first time in my life I'm paying a modest trespass fee to access a chunk of landlocked BLM where I used to hunt elk for free years ago. But the ranch family are friends, the dad had major health problems, and they can use the money.
Buying land just to hunt is a pretty dang expensive hobby.
But then again, most hobbies are.
I almost posted something in my thread about land (usually much bigger parcels) in the west being a little bit of a different situation than in the midwest and the east, Lou, however, that pencils out to $2,000/acre. Most decent recreational land here in Iowa brings $2,500-$3,500/acre and more. It’s just in much smaller parcels. Ag land prices have come back down some from the highs a few years ago, but can still bring $5,000-$10,000/acre or even higher depending on location and other factors.
I would buy a piece, if it was good hunting. But I don't want to be that jerk that bought some land and now the guys that used to hunt it for nothing are bitching me out on social media.
"I ain't got no money, but a damn sure got it made".
Land prices and distance are a big hurdle. For alot of people (me included) a land purchase would mean a second mortgage payment which is pretty challenging with kids, college loans, etc. I would love to buy a place on 40+ ac but those properties seem to have poor school districts, are over 1 hr from where I work (one way), and still cost a fortune!
I am happy that my parents have some property not too far away and I plan to add to it as I build some funds in the future.
99% of people are not going to buy land just so they can hunt on it.
Seems strange to me that people who own land, have mortgages, pay taxes and other improvements are considered " jerks" by hunters simply because they do not allow access to the general public. Maybe, just maybe, they hunt it themselves and allow family and friends to hunt. Maybe, just maybe, they do not want any hunting period? There is nothing wrong with either situation, they own the land and bear all the costs.
All hunters have a choice to own land, pay for access etc. Hunting is not an entitlement on private land.
I bought a piece that I can hunt, live, garden and do what ever the hell I want to on (almost ;))
while property prices are through the roof almost everywhere there are places owning a piece of hunting land isn't out of reach for even just a working man.
Not wanting to be tied down to hunting the same place year after year. I have no problem with private land ownership I just think we need to call a spade a spade and quit pretending the leasing/outfitting epidemic is in substance anything different than market hunting and private ownership of wildlife. It isn't what Teddy Roosevelt enisioned but it is what it is. Makes it all the more crucial to protect our public lands.
Some people lease cars and rent apartments, and some people buy them. Land is just another category of the same thing. Associated cost of both money and time are higher with ownership... but the reward and satisfaction are often higher too.
I’ve dreamed of owning a farm since I was literally 9 or 10 years old. I’m 36 now and the dream gets stronger every year.
I’ve got a few other priorities that come first, but I WILL be buying a recreational farm someday.
Most ppl wont buy ground just to hunt it?? How many guys invest money in the market? Land is an asset, one that they arent making more of and it only increases in value. The guys that "bought ground only to hunt it" 5, 10, 30 years ago are sitting on something that they could sell for a ton more than they paid for it. And just because you own it, that doesnt mean that you are "stuck" hunting the same place. I hunt public every year and love it, but when i need it, i have a place i can go hunt and have a pretty good chance of knowing im not going to have anybody coming in on me and hunt deer that arent seeing the amount of pressure.
I hunt public and it’s dang tough to justify when I have thousands of acres at my disposal. I have sure thought about it hard, though.
I think most reply’s are gonna boil down to $ in one way or another. I could probably afford to buy some half decent land and make it better. My hunting budget this year would make a heck of a down payment. However I really have little to no interest. I love the adventures of hunting and getting out in the big world.
I don’t think I would use it enough (even within 1hr of home) to justify the financial costs and time sacrificed from other hunts. Maybe if I was retireed and could really get the time into it I would feel different. Basically $ costs, time, trespassers, upkeep, etc. keep me from it. I have come to realize I only have finite time/money to do what I want and have to be mindful where I spend those resources. Hunting land just isn’t for me right now.
All that said I know guys who absolutely love their properties and guys who have had properties and sold them and not looked back.
And I would agree with t-Roy $5mill is a lot of cheese, but doesn’t seem unreasonable for 2500 acres even in my neck of the woods. Lots of guys out there with lots of coin!
It's different In the West, for sure. It's about scale. 80 acres won't get you much hunting unless something wanders through, and it may cost $500K or more if there's a small house on it and any sort of wildlife habitat. You can buy 10K acres for $1000 an acre. Around where I live near National Forest land prices can hit $30K an acre for smaller parcels with well rights (many properties in CO don't have rights to even drill a well, and pay to have water hauled in.).
So buying land for hunting isn't an option unless you have a bunch of money like the guy who bought my old place.
As time goes on, it'll be less of an option. No better time than now.
i would not use it enough to justify it.
also like to use the cash to go on other adventures in different places for different things as opposed to buying the back 40 and that becomes what a hunt is.
Waiting for Genesis to chime in here telling us we are all nuts for NOT doing it.
i was looking hard at some farms in the midwest. I couldn't find one that had the right mix.....and I didn't want it to become public hunting for the locals.....and in reality i would only hunt it 2 weeks a year
I acquired part of a farm in MI and, yes, the land is worth $1500-2000 and acre. But, I can lease it for $100 an acre per year to be farmed, so that pays the taxes plus. The thing that sucks is, the owners beside me shoot anything so, a 110" buck is big
Going and borrowing money on land isn't what it used to be. Yes, I'm sure some of you farmers and big landowners have relationships with lenders to make special things happen. But, in today's world, that doesn't apply to the guy trying to buy a piece of heaven. Many lenders want a structure on it. Many lenders do not want two structures on it. Many lenders want 20% down for land with a structure on it. They want your debt to income ratio to be 40% or less for land with structures,. That is counting the loan for the land you are inquiring to get. Same applies for non structure land. It is just the economics of it. There just aren't many people in today's world that can afford to buy ground for hunting.
There are options for farm ground and such. However, that often doesn't mean the best for hunting ground. IT is just a different world today versus 30 years ago for the common guy trying to do this.
I don’t even desire to deer hunt on land that isn’t mine. I’ve grown from 83 acres to over 2300 acres in the past decade. It’s taken a lot of hard work and many sacrifices to get where I am at with it and I know the work will still need to be done the day that I die. My dream fits who I am. Others have their own priorities and that’s fine too.
As a kid I dreamed of owning hunting land and at age 30 in 1984 I bought my land in New York State for $860 per acre. After owning it for 30+ years, learning to archery hunt with family and friends I sold the two pieces for an average of $13,000 per acre. The land is 90 miles from NYC so it appreciated nicely. When I bought it I could barely afford it but I never thought it would be a great investment too:) It began as a dream and ended as a dream come true!
Now it’s on to the Midwest for “real deer”:)
what stops me... money ... even with a steady job, it isnt cheap to purchase enough land to do what I want ... I went the leasing route for a while, and that is expensive .. State land is free, so there are some knots heads to deal with, you get around that ... one lease I was on for two years was a disaster, trespassers, dogs, lousy access, noise from a damn rock/cement company and at $3500 per year for only 140 acres thru BaseCAmp... never again !!......I had more problems there in those two years than I ever did on the other place I spent 18 years on(7 mile drive), not to mention the 100 mile drive to get to it (one way !!) .... I can take the money and spend it on other things now... State land is free, 9000 acres (1200 on the other draw place) and it is FREE !! ...and I still kill big deer off of it, and its only a 40 mile drive to the main spot and only 7 miles to a draw hunt area i get into every year ... ...
I bought mine in 2009, 640 acres. It’s in west central Ks, where I grew up. Paid more than I should have, because it borders my brothers farm and he can look after it for me. At the time I bought it I lived 800 miles away, now I’m about 250 miles away. I bought it as a long term investment. I intended to hunt it but that was not the driving factor. As it turns out it’s a great place to hunt pheasants and deer. At this point, it’s not worth much more if any that I paid for it, but I have gotten oil lease money, pipe line easement, and CRP income from it. I paid cash for it and have received roughly half its purchase price in the above mentioned revenues. I’m looking at another piece nearby. It absolutely amazes me what we pay to have a place to hunt, either lease or purchase. It’s either that or take up knitting, I guess.
100% money for me. I like to hunt whitetails, but could never justify spending that type of money on hunting land. If I were extremely wealthy, I might do it, or maybe it wouldn't even interest me.
It's a matter of priorities, just like Moose said. I bought 94 acres 23 years ago, deeded an odd corner to my son, and built the house we live in a year later. In 2008, we bought 217 acres about 50 minutes away. Made do with a travel trailer for three or four years then built a 1200' cabin on it. Nothing fancy, metal sides and roof, yellow pine inside with cedar cabinets, but it sure is nice go spend a few days in while I'm hunting. I'm also on a 350 acre lease with three others for which I pay $500 a year. I'm basically a deer hunter, kill every hog I see (or try), with an occasional foray into Wyo for antelope or Central Texas for axis, S Texas for javelina, etc. When I was physically able I didn't have the time to hunt the West, and.....too busy making money. Now I have the time and the money, but there's no way I can mountain hunt. I wouldn't last a half day. So, for me, owning a couple places and leasing another, and hunting yet another by invitation makes perfect sense.
For you guys who own hunting property several hours from where you live, how do you keep trespassers out? Two of my good friends bought farms like that, primarily for hunting, and they have a terrible time with trespassing locals who used to hunt it before they bought it.
It’s hard to get rid of the locals that used to hunt it even if you live on it.
I have bought one piece of property. It's not worth a darn for hunting. I bought it cause it lays next to the house I bought. I know there are special cases where this doesn't apply, but for the most part. If you have to borrow money to buy land, it's not a good investment. Yes you will probably be able to sell it for more than you paid for it. But could make better returns elsewhere. So as far as buying land just for recreation, not me. I will put my money elsewhere and just hunt public land
I live on 200 acres but most years there’s not a buck on it that will get me excited. If and when I can afford more land I’ll buy some. To me leasing is like short term life insurance, 20 years worth of payments and not much to show for it. Where I live it probably takes 1500-2000 acres to produce a 170” deer, I used to have access to twice that. I can’t afford to rent or buy that much and I’m not paying for 140” deer so I get what I can without paying for it.
I guess the short answer is money. If I were to hit the mega million I’d have lots of land, lol.
Property does not have to be large or break the bank in some areas. I bought 25 acres for $33000 in 2006 . It’s produced 3 140-150 inch deer and 2 close to P&Y and lots of does .Also several turkeys. Just have to be careful how I hunt it. Southeast Illinois
Ambush - if you bought someone's freebie piece of private ground they hunt on, do you think you'd really care what they said on social media?
I wouldn't ; ^ )
You may ponder of cost of land but remember, they ain’t making any more of it. Like Charlie said, it can be a great investment.
HDE, no. I’m only on two sites and this is the only one I post on.
I’ve got some good private land. One close that I hunt and a few that I haven’t hunted in years. I’m actually smoking some salmon right now for when I go visit one big piece that I don’t hunt. They’re just good people and now friends even if I never shoot another animal there.
I’m happy to be so lucky.
My brother and I have built a cabin in the Missouri breaks on the 8 acers we bought paid $22k for the land. We have public land all around us. There was a good ranch that's loaded with elk that just sold for 22 million. My $460 a month SS keeps me out of that Market Between the BLM, State And Block Management Lands And The CMR wildlife refuge at 915000 acres I have 1000Ss of acres to hunt and I only have to pay taxes on my small place about $900 a year
I've got just under 200 acres a few hours from Bigdan. Deer, pheasants, Hungarian partridge, sharptails, ducks and a few geese. Trout once they grow a bit.
With all that I seldom hunt at home. Just like to roam and have taken my best muley in Dan's area.
It was run down and I've planted a lot of trees and brush. Not the place it was 20 years ago.
It was overpriced but I'd kept a house as a rental and sold that to pay half down. I have a great view, see animals all the time and the nearest neighbor is 1.6 miles as the crow flies.
If you do the economics it's probably better to spend 10-20K a year on outfitted hunts and see the world.
I'll never buy whitetail land to hunt because I'll never live in whitetail country. WT hunting is something I do 1-2 weeks per year so I'll hunt public or pay part of a lease here and there.
I will, though, absolutely own land in either WY or NM within several years. Possibly in MT or CO. I was on schedule to have my down payment in 2019 or 2020, but my oldest daughter got into a prestigious art school for highschool that has a tuition north of 6 digits for the entire 4 years combined, so that's gonna set me back, but I'll have it eventually.
What I'd like to have is either a section of land that's checkerboarded and has 4 sections around it that are BLM or National Forest that are land locked, giving me access to 5 square miles of huntable land, or I'd like to have a smaller parcel in the back of a ranch that gives me access to public behind it that's difficult or impossible to access. Or both. I'd also consider a piece that's surrounded by private, but big enough to hunt on exclusively.
In WY, I'd prefer to have the section so that I can get the LO tags since if I wasn't a WY resident, the small parcel behind the ranch wouldn't help me since it's getting harder and harder in WY to get tags. But what I've seen thus far, is that WY is more large ranches and the checkerboarded stuff with good elk hunting is more in CO and MT. There's certainly places though.
I've almost pulled the trigger twice on two different pieces in NM.
I'm being patient because I'm probably not going to buy another place and I want it to be perfect.
“If you do the economics it's probably better to spend 10-20K a year on outfitted hunts and see the world.”
My point of view exactly! ( Just wish I could stick to that budget!!) But I certainly wouldn’t argue with anyone who takes the other opinion either. Different strokes for different folks.
I can see your point , I love to travel to hunt but that adds up to a couple three weeks a year, I love walking in the door after work, grabbing my bow and heading out for the evening .
I own 100 acres of timbered hill property in Eastern Oklahoma next to a wildlife refuge. I acquired it 25 years ago with plans on hunting it every year, as it is frequented by whitetail and turkeys......and occasional bear. I have yet to bowhunt it!!! Just never had the time when working and hunting other critters.
My brother-in-law has hunted it and has taken a few deer and turkeys off of it.....he maintains the road for me and monitors it for trespassers since he lives nearby, so I let him hunt it. I'm hoping now that I'm retired I can go back there and arrow one of those little bucks! My point being, if you're not going to hunt a property regularly, it probably isn't worth the cost in today's world. I got lucky and bought it for $250 an acre back then.
Idyllwild. Got a kick out of your post. Here in MT you can't hardly drive very far before you go from whitetail to muley and back.
Guided in WY and we had both not far from each other. In SD there is a big field in the badlands where the whitetails enter from the east and the muleys from the west.
Another thing about my breaks House is these guys drop by
Land is a pretty solid investment so I am looking for the right piece. In May everything that looked at had been cut, was being cut, or was planned to be cut. Love to get 50 to 100 adjacent to public land.
Buying large tracts of land just for hunting seems like buying a Ferrari just for driving in my eyes. Sounds great, but really? I guess I'm a few rungs down the ladder.
Thought real hard about it but decided I'd rather spend that money on adventures, time with kids and grandkids. Would consider a lease if the right place came along but not actively seeking one.
I continue to look for a piece close to home. They do not come along often and have bid on a couple but they went over my budget. I know that I want my own land but struggle with it taking away from trips all over the world. I also know that buying my own land would lead to out of the country adventures every 5 years or more, rather than yearly. And it sure is fun getting the hell outta Iowa. Im very lucky in the fact that I will have private land to hunt until the day I die. Though it is shared with family members.
LKH, the entire idea for me elk hunting. If it had deer on it too, that'd be a bonus.
Feel fortunate to have enough acres to go duck and goose hunting, turkey hunting, even a little fishing along the San Juan river, not many deer a few come through once in a while.
I have a small hunting cabin that I built on 80 acres that backs to natl Forest giving me good restricted access to otherwise tougher accessed forest. It is in an otc unit in CO. Have had it for over 20 years, one of the best things I have ever done. Six years ago I bought a good 60+ acre whitetail property a state away. Haven’t had a single issue with trespassers, the hunting is good (not great), having a blast working the land, and the value has more than doubled in six years. I don’t mind the drive. Great investment and a ton of fun. I am not rich by any means, just sane with my money and priorities. Maybe I got lucky twice?
Buying hunting land is a big investment that doesn't always make sense for everyone. I decided to by 40 acres about 3 years ago. I was actually hunting this land and planned on doing so into the foreseeable future. After making considerable investment into food plots, stands and blinds on the property I decided to make an offer. The owner of the land asked me why I wanted to own the cow when I was getting the milk for free. Great question, but things change, people change, and I didn't want to take a chance on having to find a different hunting spot in the future. It's mine now, and I go there almost daily and smile. I've got an awesome place to hunt, get landowner tags every year, and have the peace of mind that this won't change unless I want it to. My kids will enjoy it also, someday.
I have a 140 plus acres in NY. I havent hunted it in about 6 years. Taxes on the vacant land are almost 7K a year. When i purchased it and the adjacent Similarly sized property which i already sold, hunting was a very disstant Axillary Benefit. I think youd need to see a head shink if you think buying property for just hunting is good idea in NY.
The flexibility of leasing makes sense to me. Besides, I've owned property before and the trespassing abuse that comes with absentee ownership was absolutely counterproductive. A modest cabin or "permanent camp" property in National Forest makes sense, as well. Tens of thousands of acres from one location is awfully cost effective...
Trial153, Those taxes are insane.
I like owning for many reasons. #1. Good investment, my ground is worth 12x what I paid for it. #2. I enjoy helping to grow the animals more than hunting them. Haven't killed on myself in years. #3. I have great friends that share the work load and it's fun being in camp with buddies and watch them get excited about harvesting an animal. #4. I'm now able to trade hunts with others. Have two fun guys coming from MT to shoot some whitetails this year. I could go on and on... Every one has different wishes and styles and that's what makes the world an interesting place. Shoot straight my friends!
This is the only thread I've ever spent time looking at where people are. If I lived 'out west' I doubt I would ever consider anything more than an acre or two to live on, and hunt public land. In the east, 100 acres is a sizeable chunk that can provide just about all species available at some point. 100 acres in WY, CO,MT etc probably not worth it to me. After a half hour, you're done.
I would say stop waiting and do it now. Land is not getting any cheaper. My regret is I screwed around and didn't buy more sooner when it was $500-$1000/acre. I was 29 when I bought my first 80 and I only made $10/hr and mowed 25 yards. I had a house that was paid for but only worth about $40k and I used it for collateral. The place has been the most rewarding thing I've ever bought and I no longer worry about losing all my spots to leasing. I've killed quail, doves, ducks, geese, turkeys, whitetails, armadillos, rabbits, and coyotes on it. The possibilities are endless and my next projects are a barn, cabin and bigger pond. I'm a blue collar person myself and I'm still able to hunt several states a year if I watch expenses. My land payment is only $650/mo with $200 in taxes a year. I get $3000 back in farm rent and yearly dividend payment. I know several guys that pay $850 just for a truck payment. Sad thing is, that truck will be worth very little in ten years.
For me it would have to be the right piece of property. I’m fortunate enough to have a place I’ll hopefully be able to hunt for many years to come. That said, I don’t take it for granted. If i were to move back to OK or KS I probably would buy some property. As long as I live in the west, I don’t see it happening. I miss the time you can put in on your whitetail and turkey spots.
We just moved and bought a house on 5 acres, it's not a lot of land but I'll be able to teach my girls to shoot on it, hunt rabbits, and it will be my backup plan for putting a list B deer in the freezer if the rest of the fall hunts aren't successful. I'm thrilled with it so far!
I have zero interest in owning hunting land currently. There are better venues to invest money and I doubt I ever live somewhere that I’d utilize the land enough to warrant it. I did buy a whopping one acre up here in alaska to set up a bear/fish camp on in order to have a more permanent place to stay than tent camping. Dozer work just finished up and should have it in place by next spring.
I see the draw to land ownership by those who live nearby, but I’d rather invest my money in something that makes me money and then go travel and hunt elsewhere. Different strokes as they say.
I've struggled with this decision for several years and to date, have not pulled the trigger on buying property. It is definitely a financially drive decision on my part. I could buy a smaller tract, but not sure that would make me happy? If I invest more $$$ for a larger tract, that detracts from funds I currently use for out of state adventures. Really enjoy those trips and just not willing to give them up yet.
Its easier and cheaper to complain about losing property then it is to work and buy your own. For me, the type property and amount of property I'd like, its just not going to happen. Priorities I guess.... 2 kids, college, bills, ............ how much are a few deer worth? Can I justify $100,000 or whatever, just to shoot a couple animals??... Trust me, If I'd come in to a large amount of money, I'd buy!! I guess I will just keep losing property to hunt and keep on complaining about it....
Where I live in the Northeast it's not feasible unless you go north to ME, NH or VT. In my opinion those states don't have the best hunting opportunities. Around Boston there is no land unless you want to pay up to a half mil for a bldg lot. Around here we hunt woodlots and backyards, anything bigger and better we travel out of state.
I purchased 45 acres and two bedroom cottage , with two car garage in northern Michigan. Dumped almost 60k into it making it very nice. New metal roof, electric upgrade, knotty pine on all walls and ceilings, insulation, Windows and doors etc. Did 99% of work with help of my wife. Made good plots etc. Shot a real nice buck there 2 years ago. Bigger than anything I have taken here in Ohio. Can sell for 200k. I am 63 . Divide that by 20 , I then have 10k per year to spend on hunting / fishing trips . Makes me think . Property taxes and insurance is $2400 a year. 6 hours from home. CWD is two counties south of our property. After 30 years of taking many whitetails ,time to try other species , before I get too old too ??? Makes me wonder . How much is owning property to hunt deer worth ? To each their own and everyone is at a different point in life.
I live in VT. I am pretty busy with work and I wanted to have a place where I could hunt with my kids and my dad whenever I have the time. 100 acres next to our house became available 5 years ago for $2000/acre. It is invaluable to me to be able to get home from work and be in a stand on my property in 5 minutes. Many nights I only hunt for 45 minutes but at least I got out. Without owning this land my hunting opportunities close to home would be limited. We have logged the property which had a significant amount of mature maple and ash. The logging generated some $ and created roads and clearings which are now food plots. I enjoy working on the land in the summer. It is not like hunting Iowa but we shoot some deer, turkeys and grouse every year. I am certain the land is worth more now than when we bought it. I see it as an savings account that my family and I can enjoy. I will make money when it is time to sell and and we got to enjoy it greatly while we owned it.
120 acres of MO farm land owns me. Probably about doubled in price since Robin and I purchased it in 2007.
Spent about 6 hours on my tractor spraying this weekend. Stan my hunting buddy came up from IL and we put together a couple tripods I bought at a deep discount at the end of last year.
Spent the evenings sitting on the porch watching some does, bucks and fawns come to our beans. Saw two toms in the food plot.
Doesn't get much better for me. The farm is paying for itself with the habitat work, farm and CRP income. I would buy more, but starting to feel the tank getting lower at 59.
If you have ever wanted land, find a way to let some own you for awhile. Leave it better than when you first set foot on it, and no other explanation is needed.
And if you never felt the bug, that's OK as well.
My wife and I have the money to buy land but the major sticking point for me is paying higher property taxes. If there was no such thing as property taxes and I didn't have to continually pay for property that I already paid the asking price for, I would do it and just keep passing the land down through my children and grandchildren.
A long time ago, my grandad gave me 40 acres of woods that was connected to the family farm in N Minnesota. I hunted it some for bear and deer, but then I moved to Colorado and all it did was grow wood ticks and mosquitoes for the taxes I paid.
I had it logged off and let some relatives hunt it occasionally, Ended up giving it to the neighbor hunting camp as it was adjacent to their hunting land.
I have no plans on buying any land. I can hunt hundreds of thousands of acres - elk, MD, WT, pronghorn, turkey, coyote, ducks, geese, etc - all within 3 hrs of my house.
On the other thread I told about how the farms that I grew up hunting while in high school were all developed into neighborhoods by the time that I had graduated college. This motivated me to buy my own land.
Living in Virginia my wife and I purchased 150+ acres before having kids. We live on it and have longer than usual commutes to work. The kids go to public school; if we lived closer to our jobs we would have to pay for private school because those school systems are so bad. So there is some economic benefit if the public school is better in a more rural area.
The land wasn't purchased primarily for hunting, but was purchased so that we could live in the country and experience the freedoms that come with country living daily.
Examples: 1. Deer are seen crossing the driveway a couple times per week. 2. We swim and fish in the pond at any time we feel like it. 3. We plant a garden every year that depends only the soil, sunlight, and our ambition. 4. We shoot bows or guns at any time at any distance. 5. We can choose to cut down 100 trees or plant 100 trees. 6. I can do a controlled burn as large as I want and don't need to ask for any permission.
And there are responsibilities: 1. Gathering firewood for winter. 2. Maintenance of fence(s). 3. Keeping the driveway mowed and maintained.
And there are drawbacks: 1. The internet service is terrible and expensive. 2. People will trespass and poach if you don't prosecute them.
Financially it is difficult to make a piece of land into a good investment, unless you buy it to develop it. Undeveloped land costs a lot more to finance than a home, which is subsidized by the government. What I mean is that a home mortgage is a tax write-off, which is the government's way of subsidizing the home construction industry. The government rarely subsidizes undeveloped land.
Most undeveloped land is a poor investment from a purely financial standpoint. Cutting timber helps to make some income. Enrolling in USDA programs (CRP, EQIP, etc) also helps wildlife and makes some income. Even the timber companies in my area are seeing how land ownership isn't financially wise and they are selling off their lands.
This past weekend we went berry picking in the woods. We picked almost a gallon of wild blackberries and made a pie. These are the priceless memories that we bought the land for.
It definitely seems to be something that some people have the urge to own land and a lot just don't. For those that have that urge, they will often make some sort of sacrifice or find some way to make it happen. For me, I've worked hard for roughly 10 years earning far less wages than I "should" be, but doing it in a family business and working towards ownership. I now run the company and am partners with my brothers, and recently the company decided to make an investment in some land ;) Thankfully the owner of this company is giving me permission to hunt it ;) While running a business has a lot of drawbacks time-wise, stress-wise, I am thankful for this as for the company it is pre-tax dollars and personally it would have been after-tax dollars. I am very excited to hunt the new pieces this year, and am confident after watching land for a couple years that I bought well, and could sell in a month for more than I paid. Neighbour is a cattle rancher and runs cattle on about 30% of the land that pays the taxes. I can't wait to be sitting on land that I have control of. Hoping to frost seed some clover and alfalfa next year and see what happens. Saw a giant bear there, and there are also turkeys and coyotes.
my wives always said that
If I lived where a reasonably-sized piece would provide hunting for whitetail and turkeys, I'd definitely own a hunting place. In the West, that just isn't feasible due to the amount of land needed. So as a compromise I have a few acres on a trout stream that's very close (1/2 mile) from National Forest
I bought my farm in 1991 at $3000 per acre. Sold a 5 ac lot 16 yrs ago for $12K per ac. Then 4-6 yrs ago 2 pipelines went across the far side and I got a fair amount. Bottom end is the whole farm ended up free and have money in savings.
Plus I have private hunting for myself and immediate family. When I bought the farm everyone came out of the woodwork and said 'great now we have a place to hunt'. My response was 'it's private for me and the immediate family'.
I forgot to mention that the farm now is worth 4-5 times what I paid for it and overall it was a free land purchase since the pipelines went across a unused spot.
I own a small piece of ground. 20 acres that butts upto the national forest. Here’s the problem. We built a nice cabin on it. Electric and running water. The county in which we did this in has had two tax audits due to tax increases. We pay for having the amenities on the property. We must also pay the higher taxes which tripled since we are non residents of that county. It’s not all what it seems. And, it owns you. Not the other way around.
Elkstabber brings up good point. If you don't live on the property just expect trespassing and poaching with some vandalism on the side. No Trespassing signs?? Hahahaha Poaching and trespassing are a way of life in some areas.
I had my own land to hunt until a gun nut moved in and drove me nuts shooting all the time. So, solitude gone I moved on and sold it. Got a buddy that just bought 480 acres so I have that to hunt which I am thankful for. Good thing about Minnesota is we have lots of good public ground if you know where to look.
I got 60 acres with a house for sale 40 miles north of Minneapolis, MN. Great deer hunting and all kinds of wildlife but very few are interested in owning acreage. One party that looked at it deer hunted but the house didn't have room for his pool table, didn't buy it, go figure.
If I had not started a family I would already own land. No regrets on that though. Well I do own 5 acres, but I basically consider that a yard. For me, I'm not real keen on buying 20 or 40 acres, but I might consider the right piece. Otherwise, for the most part, you have to have $50k - $100k+ laying around (with some exceptions) to make the down payment around here. Not a lot of people do.
Elkstabber wins.... love it. Ed F
I totally understand not having the funds to dedicate to land simply for recreation. I guess my thirst to own ground was due to being born and raised (to ten years old) on a 1200 acre place and roaming all over it. After that, we moved to Dallas, and an unhappier kid you couldn't have found. Ee did move back to the country, but I never forgot the big city. I swore when I was a youngster that I'd own my own land one day, and if I had the funds, I'd still be buying more. I was fortunate enough to make some money in the last twenty years or so, sell a construction business, and start a consulting firm, so instead of putting all of it in the market, I bought some land with part of it. I put a lot of work into it, and now the initial investment has probably doubled. Still, it's up for sale, mainly because I'm getting old enough that I just don't need the aggravation of taking care of it any more. If and when it sells though, I know I'm gonna miss it.
Ed: I wasn't trying to win anything. Just wanted to point out some pros and cons for people who haven't thought about the various angles. In the end it's the experiences and memories that count.
Have a place that I share with wife’s family. Doesn’t get hunted hard by other members. Nice setup so far and more than I could afford myself.
Lots of varying interesting viewpoints, both for and against buying your own property.
I bought my home farm (87acres) in 1997, from my from my granpa’s heirs. It has been in our family since the 1930s. My Dad owns 350 acres that adjoins it. I literally grew up on this ground, hunting, trapping and fishing on the river and the crick that runs through both properties. I built my house up on the hillside overlooking the river valley.
The second farm I bought 5 yrs ago, was almost by accident. I was just at the right place at the right time, with the right price. It is 114 acres, with 30acres of tillable and the rest in timber, and is only 2 miles south of my home place.
The last farm I bought was 2 years ago, and it adjoins my Dad’s property as well as almost touching my home piece on the south end. It is 75 acres, 55 of timber, & 20 acres of tillable. I wasn’t in the market for this last farm, but the option of buying adjoining land to your own rarely happens, so I had to bite the bullet and buy it.
Several guys have brought up the property taxes issue. In Iowa, we have , what is called the “forest reserve”. Basically, if there are a minimum of 2 contiguous acres and 200 trees per acre on timbered land, you do not pay any property taxes on those acres. There are a few stipulations. You cannot graze cattle on it. You cannot lease hunting/fishing rights on it. You can log it, with a few very minor stipulations involved with that.
I have some of my ground enrolled in CRP, cash rent some additional tillable acres to a friend, and another 15 acres in 11 different food plots. A couple of years ago, I logged off and sold enough soft maple to make a year’s payment on the farms, and this winter, I will sell enough walnuts along with select cuttings of various oaks, ash, etc. to pay, at least, another year’s payment. The farms generate enough income to pay close to 2/3rds of the yearly payments (not including timber sales). We also make additional payments on the principal monthly. I hate debt and I look forward to being debt free in the next 2-3years.
I’ve been on quite a few adventurous out of state/country hunts and plan on doing a bunch more in the future, but there is not anything that I enjoy more than working my own ground, working on food plots, habitat improvements, etc. I am extremely blessed in that, unlike several that have posted on here, I live on my land and do not have to travel, sometimes a good distance, to get to it. I can walk out my door less than 200yds and be in one of my best whitetail stands.
For the amount of money it would take to get a piece of land I can go on more guided hunts all over the world than I have years left to take them.
Secondly, How many weeks a year could I be on that piece, and how would I keep other people, who didn't lay out all that money, take advantage of my "little piece of heaven"?
Buying that land is kind of a dumb idea IMHO.
Buying hunting property can be a good investment. I bought property in southern Iowa in 2001 for a price of about $850 per acre. Similar land in the county sells for $3000-3500 per acre today. I bought my property strictly for recreation and figured if I could get my money back whenever I was ready to sell that it would be just fine. Wish I had bought more property! Can't play will my 401K investments but I sure can play and enjoy my land.
I hunted NM, CO, OK, KS and Canada last year and I had zero trespassers. Buying land has never been a dumb idea.
17yrs ago I paid 44K for a 38 acre mix of mostly woods and pasture in SW WI. That's about $1,150/acre. Recently two neighbor properties of undeveloped land sold for $3,300/acre and I think my place is a lot easier to hunt. Sure I could have taken a few hunts for that much but in my opinion nothing beats owning this land. I am picky but I have taken several good deer off it. Over the years my wife and I have improved it with the intent to retire here as well.
Anyhow, as I approach retirement age I really appreciate what land ownership has given back to me. It is hard to explain but my wife and I enjoy the work and seeing the place grow to what we imagine. My wife's family was pretty poor growing up and I know owning this land feels like an accomplishment for her. I know she loves watching the deer from the window of our park model trailer and never imagined she would own a place like this as a young girl.
So, like all things it is what you want out of life. My land appreciated 3x its cost if I had done nothing to it. The pay off has been so much more though to me.
t-roy also reccomends discussing land purchases with your spouse before purchase:)
That’s only IF you have the time to do it, Charlie! In the fast paced world of land acquisition, sometimes you have to let the chips fall where they may! Once the cash rent checks and hay sales checks started rolling in, I got to move back into the bedroom ;-)
I own some land in west central WI. and love owning my own place, wouldn't trade it for anything. I live in MN about an hour away, lucky enough to have a great neighbor that keeps an eye on it. When I can I will buy more. theres just something about having your own place to hunt or do what ever you want on. I work all week with people the last thing I want to do is fight and compete with other hunters on public, the public hunting around my area is so over hunted and crowded its sad! What means the most is I can teach my two boys how to hunt here and pass it on to them. I have a couple places to hunt by permission in MN and have lost many also. If anyone is on the fence on deciding to buy property I highly recommend that you do its totally worth it!
I once asked a CPA friend of mine how he could justify a trip every year to a game preserve. He told me that he could pay for one week trip to a trophy managed preserve cheaper and easier than buying his own place, paying taxes, plus all the time and money put into food plots, etc. I guess it all depends on your situation and time and or money restraints.
JB- a CPA would be the last person I would ask about making a hunting purchase. All the CPA's I know are numbers ideas minds only and if the final number doesn't add up in their minds it's a no go. One CPA even thought to carry a 90% loan on your RE so you could claim about a 25% of your interest as a deduction on your IRA taxes. When I explained my idea of no interest on a RE loan. His only come back was but your losing 25% deduction of your interest amount. Yes I don't but I didn't piss the other 75% of the interest amount away. He never could come up with a good idea except 'your loosing 25% deduction of your interest.'
So it boils down to this in my mind. If you don't care about food plotting, or improving the land for investment or potentially living there eventually, then buying recreational property is probably not for you.
It's kinda like buying an RV, some folks like to pull a trailer, park for awhile, spend money on upkeep, etc. Others, like me, would rather stay in a motel, and when I walk out the door I don't look back. I get that, but I don't see it that way when it comes to owning land. I enjoy the process as well as the hunting.
I live in OH. buying land here is nothing more than buying land that someone else will ruin for you. Ohioans are criminals by nature and will never follow laws pertaining to trespass. With a large population of Amish (who dont follow any laws) it would be a waste of time and money. Leasing isnt even worth it in this state. Owning out of state (where normal people reside) isn't worth it because of the lack of time to use such a property. Thats why I dont own anything/Anywhere.
Sounds like a wise decision........for everyone!
Many, in fact most, people invest money into personal enjoyment activities. These may include traveling, drugs and tobacco, alcohol, sporting events, toy automobiles, shopping, gambling, boating, country clubs, memberships, etc,etc, etc.
I find enjoyment out of owning and improving properties for multiple use, including hunting. I do not look at that as a poor investment of money and mind. Accountants tend to ignore the mind and recreational assets of an investment.
tractor time is integral to my mental health
Where I live you have to patrol any land you own or buy to keep trespassers out. Land adjacent to mine used to be un-posted for ever, and I have hunted it all my life. Two years ago some guy leased it from the farmer that owns it, and posted it. I went to his door and politely asked him if I could hunt it. Got a rude 'No'. What a #$%^&*. So I went down on my land during season last year, on my right of way to the edge of the farm, and there 100 yds into my land sat a plastic bucket with a camo cushion on it, and another 50 yds from that, also on mine. was placed a 3 legged stool. It could have been no one but the guy who leased. If it were anyone else's, it would have to have been a trespasser on their land, or mine. Would you like to wager a guess as to where that stool and bucket now reside??? That's right, in my shed. :) Buying land can be both an advantage, and a detriment when you have people that don't respect others' lands invading it.
BTW, in case you're wondering, I had permission from the farmer to hunt that land all those years. He could not grant me permission once the 'new' guy leased either.
My cpa thought it was a bad investment buying Illinois timber for $500 per acre but 23 years later it is sold for nearly $5000. I had a few trespassers over the years but overall it was a tremendous move. I hope the Iowa spot will be just as much fun.
In Montana there are 33 million acres of public land, plus millions of acres of timber company land open to the public. So there is really no reason to purchase land for the purpose of hunting, unless you wanted a place where only you could hunt. Of course, if you purchase a place that only you can hunt, isn't that taking away some from the challenge of it all?
Many purchase for multiple use such as ranching, farming, and hunting. Hunting with a selfbow and cedar arrows is always a challenge, anywhere on earth.
Flyingbrass.............when was the pic of that clover taken? My clover will get to looking almost that good, but the summer sun/heat wreaks havoc on it! It always comes back though.
Irishman- I once had a place that only I was allowed to hunt and it was no fun because it was so easy. When I hunt public I only hunt where other people are hunting to make it a challenge. Going way back to the hidden pocket was just to easy.
Missouribreaks - to each his own. Whatever works for you. Personally, hunting on a piece of land that the public doesn't have access to, and limiting the competition does not appeal to me. And 1boonr, I think that finding that hidden pocket of public land, way back, is part of the challenge, something that anyone else could have did if they had the ambition. I do primarily bowhunt, but I'd get way more satisfaction out of killing an elk 10 miles back in the mountains with a rifle, than killing "old droptine" with my cedar arrows and stick, by the game feeder, on my ranch in Texas when he shows up waiting for it to turn on at 6pm. That is the thing about hunting, it's whatever works for you. I have a friend who has a ranch with hundreds of elk on it. He drives out on it about half an hour before dark, sits in his pickup and smokes, then when the elk show up, he gets out and shoots one. He "harvests" an elk, and is happy. Everyone has their own idea of what hunting is all about, and what they want to get out of it.
If I lived out west with countless acres of public land and animals with enormous home ranges I don't think I'd purchase a significant amount of land. On the east coast it's possible to own small acreage and have great hunting for multiple species. When we finally decided on a general area on the planet to call home, the first thing we did was look for a piece of property we could afford.
Owning land is more of a way of life than pure recreation. Land facilitates an opportunity not rely on others for everything required to keep you alive, it provides a place to teach your children the things in life that really matter.
I'm with Elkstabber, picking blackberries with my children and making a pie are priceless experiences.
I suspect there are a number of us who enjoy land ownership primarily to hunt unpressured game....period. It's not necessarily about feeders, plots, cameras, game farming or trying to outdo the other guy. It can be about hunting animals which are not manipulated, managed, or documented...animals which behave as they do without the constant presence of man affecting their lives. I own a farm and I could care less about enhancing it for wildlife. I do enjoy hunting deer which feel fairly secure and have no problem moving about throughout the day.
I have always enjoyed enhancing habitat for wildlife. Giving something back to conservation, rather than simply taking. Just something to do I guess, fun stuff.