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Realtor reaction when I ask this request
I’ve been looking at hunting land in Ohio. Every parcel claims fantastic hunting and great trophy quality. Almost all of them have feeders and trail cams, but not all.
For those on my short list I ask them to have the owner pull every card and upload all photos to a google drive. The props without cams I ask permission to set up a Moultrie Mobile camera. All the photos are sent to me in real-time.
The looks are priceless. If I don’t buy the land I let the landowner keep the camera if I can’t get down to pick it up. I figure it’s a small financial sacrifice when you’re spending potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars on a hunk of land.
Only downside is my window is closing as bucks start to shed but I can generally identify a mature buck without antlers.
Realistically it’s only useful as an additional data point to actual scouting for rubs, scrapes and other activities. And in all honesty the props that allow it without hesitation says a lot about their confidence.
Thought I’d share this in case you guys ever look at remote properties.
Does any of the landowners have previous pictures for you to look at? Or past shoulder mounts or euros? Would give you more intel after they lose horns if you're worried about not getting enough info before shedding. I wish you luck on finding that special property! Any trail cam giants for us to drool over?
Couldn’t you just hire some locals for beer and do a deer drive through the properties? Count and catalogue.
I'm not sure how big the parcels are that you're looking at but...A property void of bucks in February could be loaded during hunting season. I rarely get pictures of mature (3+) bucks January through August. Habitat, herd density, macro habitat, etc. all effect seasonal shifts. I'm sure you're aware of this, if not it's worth considering. I like where your heads at though, the cameras are a very small investment compared to the land itself. I'd focus a camera or two on potential trespassing locations.
I have bought and sold at least 30 properties in the last 10 years. All in Iowa....It is quite easy to separate the fly shit from the pepper. I ask them to take me to the exact location the picture was taken so I can match the landscape to the picture. If I can't it's over I move on.
Solid idea Pat. Thanks for the post
The family selling the property we're looking at now is Amish so they don't run trail cams. They won't let me put up a wireless cam unless I am under contract. Not sure what to think about that. The sign is amazing here, rubs, scrapes everywhere, deer trails are incredible. They have redneck blinds with feeders and they are pretty hard core trophy hunters. Not sure if they think it's too invasive or they are afraid it will discourage me from buying the property if I don't see many deer. If it's the latter, the fact they won't allow me to put a cam in front of their feeder discourages me more than if they did.
Maybe they’re just afraid you’ll get a picture of them! ;-)
Just pick an area and make local connections. There's lot of suspicion of faraway landowners. As there probably should be.
A buddy of mine hunts in Amish and has a lease. Unfortunately his lease does not keep the Amish hunters off the land whe he's not there, he has to put up with it, has no choice. I guess that's wherever you go as an outsider but it sure makes paying for private hunting land alittleless palatable.
Pat, maybe the Amish don’t like electronic cameras? Only half kidding but the way they view electricity and photos for that matter, does that play into it?
My concern would be what type neighbors you would have for each parcel your looking at. Unless your looking at a 1/2 section of land or more. Land itself can be mended and manipulated to hold and grow great deer. BUT only if the neighbors and you are on the same program.
The Amish connection is interesting. The hunt I did in Iowa had several leases to work with. The farmer/guide/outfitter who did the hunt said he lets the Amish come thru towards the end of the season and drive the properties to thin out the deer population. After reading Pat's situation.....I wonder if the Amish deer driving is a common thing??
Hahahahaha, yeah, the Amish deer driving is a common thing to put it lightly.
When you walk in to a potential deal with a couple of hundred thousand dollars in your pocket........... The realtor shouldn’t care if you want to sit nude in a treestand on the property and play guitar............... Ha !!!!
In my experience the good places don't stay on the market long enough to do stuff like that...
Go under contract, lock the property up. What your describing is a part of the inspection. If the property is unacceptable based on inspection, terminate the contract and get your earnest money back.
Within an amish community, oh my... 2Xs what JTreeman said... If its brown, its down... You're definitely gonna need somebody to patrol it during gun seasons...
Amish you say? You sure those are deer trails? Prob from the 20 kids running around making them. From what I know amish will shoot everything. No pictures....no deal
That is a great idea on the mobile cams . My guess with the Amish is they may have some objections to it from there beliefs. This type of in depth research is perfect for your goal of acquiring a turn key farm with a known quality of Deer. Another tactic that may help if you made a multi day trip is to return in the eve and spotlight fields. Having good binos and possibly your video camera will help. I was invited to an open house of a large, very well known southern iowa property. The showing started with Lunch then a tour of the property . Dinner then glassing right before dark then finally spotlighting the same fields. The open house was well done and the property sold for over 10 million in days.
No technology but feeders are okay? Makes sense.
Where I live, you want to STAY AWAY from Amish farms as they shoot every damn deer they see. They don't care about antlers, they want the meat but they kill everything. I hope it is different up in OH.
Amish reputation has been stated. No laws pertain to their deer shooting or where they do it. Can be shrewd in business dealings as well.
Hans: if you try spotlighting in the state I live in you better not even have a 22 shell under the seat or in the ash tray.
No Amish anywhere near this property. An Amish guy owns it currently who lives 90 minutes away. He owns thousands of acres in northern Ohio and Pennsylvania. Bought this property strictly for hunting. It sucks because I have no trail cam history like all the other properties I looked at.
Walked it again today and found some giant trees tore up from this season.
Of all the properties I looked at nothing comes close to this for trails, rubs, scrapes. Not in Licking, Muskingum, or Adams. Problem is the price is ridiculous IMO. I had no idea what OH land was fetching. My place in NY would be 2 million in East Central Ohio.
I have several buddies who grew up in Amish country in PA and OH. They tell me that posted property means nothing to the Amish. Deer quotas men nothing to the Amish. And, it is a yearly battle keeping Amish folks from running anywhere they please on property they have been told to stay off of. The kicker is, one of these friends is actually Amish too.
Just something to consider.
Is the 90 minutes by truck or horse and buggy? GL.
In Ohio you better not be spot lighting from a vehicle, that is illegal. Even using the vehicle's headlights to shine wildlife is illegal.
Best of luck with your property search...
Let's not assume just because someone is Amish they violate hunting and trespass laws. Amish in our area of WI are very respectful of property lines and hunt following the law. Some of the best deer hunters, including mature buck hunters, are Amish. In fact, one of the biggest QDMA Branches was made up almost entirely of Amish. It was in Ohio. BC
Sounds terrific. When I bought my first hunting land in 1984 there were no trail cameras so I walked the property, saw deer sign and snagged it. Maybe forget the technology side of your decision and go with the eyes and ears:)
I like Grasshopper's idea. A 30 day due diligence shouldn't be an issue.
I have an Amish community within a half mile of your hunting land in OH and 3 of the adjoining land owners are Amish. I know them all and I am friends with them. I have zero problems with the Amish trespassing. They do shoot a lot of deer but I do not think that they exceed the bags limits. They also let friends and family hunt their land. I share pictures of some of my bucks with the owners and they seem to be holding out for bigger bucks and letting some smaller bucks walk. All of my trespassing problems are from non-Amish which can get bad if not enforced with fines.
Ditto what Charlie says. While it would be preferable, unfortunately not every decision can be made with hard proof beforehand. Sounds to me reading through the lines like this property trips your trigger and it's time to get down to the nitty gritty. Do another walk on the property to help make the decision but sign doesn't lie.
Are you worried about the integrity of the seller? I'm a fair to decent woodworker and with the right rasp and chisels a guy could fabricate some wicked rubs. Overall though, the volume of sign can't be manipulated. Spend as much time as you can talking to neighbors. Bring pictures of bucks. Even non hunters see animals driving to and from their home. Some may say "Oh ya there are big bucks here but when you show them a picture of a 110" they say wow that's bigger than anything I've seen. Others will aren't impressed buy a 140 and those are the ones you want to hone in on. Have some stock pics on your phone to show them. As we know Amish and electronics don't mix, so it doesn't surprise me. Give it another walk, talk to neighbors and work some magic.
Agree with Charlie R. If you can afford it, I'd seriously consider buying based on my eyeballs.
No camera=They just don't trust you. I Agree with Charlie use the sign you have.
Good advice. We spent the day talking to neighbors. It confirmed some things and created a new series of questions at the same time. Got some really great intel on trespassing, theft and deer population. All very positive. Only remaining question is trophy quality and unfortunately I couldn’t find anyone who didn’t refer to bucks by their weight. Obviously not dealing with anyone who visits Bowsite or PY!
Man, buying land for recreational use is such a crap shoot. I've scored big on one and "kind of meh" on another.
Cams...that's a tough one. As one poster mentioned, running a cam or two now may not tell you anything about the quality and movement when it actually matters. Same goes for trying to correlate a pic w/ actual topography. Same goes for dates. I love it when I find pics on real estate (or hunting) postings that say 2008 here in 2020. Guess what the seller (hunter) claims. "Uh...yeah I forgot to reset the date after resetting the cam." As you said, it's a small financial investment if you're willing to dump said cams. But don't take the results to the bank. Pretty much anything under a section, unless you hold the only bedding/timber or feed w/in the surrounding areas...it's tough to guarantee that "I saw awesome deer on pics and a wall, so that means I'm assured of continuing that success." Deer move. Patterns change. Hunters...well, hunt.
If you have found a candidate that rises above others in terms of direct sign and habitat quality, at least you're in the game. You may have to still work you're butt off re-developing the land to improve your odds. But in the end, deer sign don't lie. People do :) IMO, Rec land is down the list in terms of overall investment and portfolio development. Whatever you buy, be comfortable w/ the expenditure and be willing to live w/ the results. Having you're own land to play in, develop and potentially benefit from is a blessing and a worthy pursuit. It's called "recreational" land for a reason...
If possible, I’d try and ask around (cafes, sporting goods shops, local co-op, etc) to see if you can get any leads of names/numbers of any guys in the local area who have a reputation of consistently putting the better bucks on the ground. Especially in rural areas, a few of those guys are generally known, if you ask around. Those guys could probably give you a pretty good idea of trophy quality in the area.
I don't know Pat, for "hundreds of thousands of dollars" I could go a lot of places. Then you have to keep other folks off the land so you can have it. Doesn't sound like a wise expenditure to me, but it's your money.
Get soil maps and crop yield history of course.Beans and bucks grow from dirt.
Record books can often be siphoned for trophy information with a general area. When I look into an area I always take the name of a town and just google "________ buck" ex "Melfort buck" or whatever. I'll spend a couple hours plugging away through google and town names. Or I'll do the town + "whitetail, buck"etc. All kinds of keywords can be used. You'd be surprised what you can dig up. From summertime photos on weather stations, to news articles about poaching with deer to the standard grip and grins. This method has usually helped me determine what kind of trophy quality is in a given area.
If you know the land is good, and has that special "something" that makes it a good piece, and you've talked to neighbors and you feel confident in the surrounding pieces and owners and deer populations it sounds like quality is the only thing left. Using the above methods should give you an idea. After that, it comes down to hammering out a price.
I'm always surprised when some guys give advice on doing something else with the money. No one has any idea if the buyer is using their first dollar or their last dollar for the purchasing, and it really doesn't matter. Everyone gets enjoyment from different things. Owning and working the land is more fun than the actual hunting for some people, and therefore is worth more to them than a guided hunt. Not to mention that not EVERYTHING in life has to be a great investment. If an individual is happy with their financial circumstances, they can happily use money in something that is a terrible financial investment, but a wonderful investment into the things they love. Ahh the beauty of a free country.
"The family selling the property we're looking at now is Amish so they don't run trail cams. They won't let me put up a wireless cam unless I am under contract. Not sure what to think about that."
If you are interested in this property, make an offer however extend the buyer inspection period to around 45-60 days with a close around the end of May. You are abiding by their request and you can put trail cams on the property during the inspection period. I don't know what the laws are in Ohio, but in AZ buyers have a 10 day inspection window and can cancel for ANY reason during this 10 day window and get their earnest deposit back.
I wouldn’t count on there being the ability to rescind a Realestate contract on a raw land project. Most of those types of provisions pertain to Homes and home loans. Most savvy listing agents will leave a “Jump out “clause to leave the option of a better offer. It is a sellers market in many areas. If a truly very good deal comes around it is important to be able to act very quickly.
I got trail cam pics. Apparently the guy who drives the Amish hunters around put one up and sent the pics to the realtor. We’re making an offer today.
Obviously the pics confirmed the sign we saw on the ground.
Now, the fun begins. Never negotiated with a wealthy Amish person before.
Good luck Pat! That's exciting, I hope it works out for you.
Glad to hear you have some good land on tap Pat, hope it works out. Yet another place to make blood trail "games" for "us"...
Now, for the love of all that's holy in this world, put up question 5 would ya :) (kidding!)
Sweet! Hopefully, everything goes smoothly. How many acres is the property (if you don’t mind saying)?
I bought my farm in Illinois from Amish about 15 years ago. They did not want to negotiate - at all.
Is the Amish driver the one who’s been deciding the answers to the BTC?
Good luck. Decide early if the brain rules or the heart. Neither one is bad.
I put in an offer this evening.
Troy, 130 acres.
The biggest bucks ever to roam my farm never stepped foot in front of my cameras.
Good luck with the offer, Pat.
STAY AWAY FROM THE AMISH WHEN IT COMES TO HUNTING!!!!!
Wishing the best for you Pat! I see a bunch of new thread potentials if this can happen for you!!
Hope your offer was under 300
Here's an OHIO trail cam picture for you!!!
Picture is no good without GPS coordinates...8^)
or at least the county that buck lives in.
Lack of mass suggests young deer.
I've never heard anything positive about hunting near Amish. It's been said they kill everything that walks by.
I wouldn’t shoot. It doesn’t have ears
Did they take your offer.
I live in Belmont County and work on the weekends for coal company in the Egypt Valley Wildlife area. It is sickening to watch the amish vans go buy during gun season with a trailer in tow piled high with deer, anything from fawns on up. They do nothing but deer drives and slaughter anything that runs in front of them. They wear nothing that even resembles florescent orange. They must be exempt from all the rules an regs. And as someone said there's a lot of wealthy Amish now with the oil an gas boom in eastern Ohio.
Forrest, still negotiating but it’s looking good. Neighbor and I spoke. He’s hardcore QDM, bowhunting only guy, shot a 150 last year, saw several bigger including a 180. Farm down the road has a 200 NT that still lives. Gave me the full scoop on the property. Sounds great.
pat, sounds like you've found a good piece.
I can comment on the Amish as well, I've hunted all over Ohio, mainly on Public. anytime their is guns involved I would see lots of Amish hunters. I never saw just one either. We walked in on a piece of timber or coal owned property and we where 3 miles from the closest road and ran into 15 Amish hunters. crazy the ground that they can cover as well.
Pat, Not near all of the amish deer hunters are strictly meat hunters.(I'm amish myself) There are many different types of amish, and what they're allowed to do and use varies a LOT! A good bit of the amish hunters that I know, (and I've spoken to some in Ohio) are SERIOUS trophy hunters,spend a lot of money to buy and maintain hunting land...use trail cams and most of the latest gear to achieve there goals to grow and shoot 150" Plus deer! Again...I cannot speek for the hunters in that area.
Barf, you described the Amish guys that own the land now to a "T". They are serious trophy hunters, they refer to deer as 150's 145's etc. They have a driver that occasionally puts up a trail camera.