Contributors to this thread:
Buying land W/O big bucks
As Pat is I am looking for land in OH. I have found a piece of land that is over 200 acres and has a lot of deer sign but very little big buck sign. They shared 3 poor quality pictures from game cameras that were maybe the same 2 1/2 year old and then a young 3 1/2 or a older 2 1/2 IMO. None of the deer in the pictures were over 125". The land owners hunt the property and I have found 7 of their ladder stands and 1 ground blind. They have not shared any pictures of big buck that they have harvested. There are at least 7 stands and one blind just on the other side of the property lines. The area appears to be hunted hard. There are 71 acres that were in soybeans and corn last year. There is still waste corn and beans in the fields with the deer still feeding on the waste corn. There is water, cover and food on the property but no sign of mature bucks and no pictures showing that mature bucks would big but it is Ohio. I would like to buy the property. The only thing holding me back is the lack of bucks over 140". It is the only piece that I have found in the area. Would you buy it hoping that you could protect some bucks and that they would get big?
I bought a 400 acre piece in a different area in Ohio in 1997 where a 110" 2 1/2 was considered big at the time. I have shot 6 bucks off of it that are in Ohio Buckeye Big Bucks that net 920". Five in the last 9 years. We do not have a lot 140"+ bucks but we have 1 -3 in the area most years. I am hopeful that I would have similar rests with the property I am looking at. Unfortunately I own the present property with a guy who thinks that he is near death and we may need to sell.
Can you buy your partner out? Keep your 400?
Buy your partner out instead of buying another piece?
I will tell you this I bought land and while walking it noticed four stands right on the line that I completely ignored. 8 years later still dealing with corn piles one foot off the line. It drives me completely insane and have told the family we are moving numerous times. You can deal with line sitters but it’s not fun.
My 2 cents we started over 2 years ago a farm where I hunted for 30 years was sold. I am fortunate to have several spots to hunt in southern Ohio and northeast Ohio . Every farm varies. As stated already talk to the neighbors. As Charlie suggested hang a cellular camera and take a look . Right now is a very good time to scout. I still have a trespass problem at one farm. The neighbors don't pay attention to property lines. There will never be a perfect spot always will be some issues. Buy where there isn't big bucks yes. Have fun and build it they will come. Major improvement in 2 years on a southern Ohio spot with food plots water and cover. Trail cameras are showing a couple 3 year olds that were not there 1 year ago. Make a plan and get some help work for hunts no work no hunt. All it takes is time and money Enjoy!
Good advice above. It's hard to predict. With every land purchase you will have surprises, both good and bad.
Remember that once you own it, you can do amazing things with simple tools like a chainsaw creating killer bedding cover, or changing (expanding and shrinking) plots to draw deer off the neighbors. Over time you can create the very best parcel in the neighborhood and your land can become the epicenter of buck activity. It takes work, but it's fun work.
And if corn piles on your border drive you nuts, or neighboring activities drive you insane, then perhaps you should reevaluate owning land. It's going to happen. Have fun and enjoy what you can control and don't fret what you can't. If at the end of the day, you are just too frustrated with the land? Sell it. Ohio land just keeps going up and unless there's a depression you can recoup your money.
We made the mistake of buying a condo in a resort town in Colorado at the peak of the economy in 2007. Then we all know what happened to the economy in 2008. Our property valuation on that condo finally got above what we paid for it just 2 years ago.
I'll never make that mistake again. If you have the money, and the patience, I'd wait until the next downturn in the economy, then buy when all real-estate goes on sale.
“Be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful.” Warren Buffett
I have access to multiple farms in Northern Ohio where I live encompassing thousands of acres. Turkey hunting is tremendous but deer (140 plus bucks) are tough to come by. Archery season there is almost no pressure but the areas get hammered by land owners during gun season. All deer are fair game with zero deer management. I'm grateful they've allowed me to hunt their properties for over 30 years but now I only hunt those during turkey season and hunt smaller plots for archery away from larger tracts. Don't get me wrong I still see big bucks but not nearly the numbers I saw 20 years ago.
PECO, we bought some more land after the initial 400 and now own 505 acres. I am retired so it maybe difficult to buy 250 acres whereas if I sell I can just roll over the money into another piece of property. I have not ruled out buying it but I have to be sure that we still have enough cash to do what my wife and I want to do together otherwise it is not fair to her.
RIT, we have plenty of line sitters now. It is a constant challenge to recess deer movement and adjust. I even asked the state to outlaw baiting but they made it clear that that was not in the cards. There are feeders and bait pile by the stands off of the property.
Great white, thanks for the positive information.
Pat, those were my thoughts. We did it in Coshocton County and I am hopeful that I can do it again. The piece seems to be big enough and laid out so that I should be able to make it work. I am hoping that the present hunting pressure may explain the lack of big bucks. I looked at how North American Whitetails rated the trophy quality in Ohio counties and Coshocton county where I am now is rated at the top and the county that I am looking at is rated at the bottom but it is still Ohio. Entries into Buckeye Big Buck Club (BBBC) are also much higher in Coshocton county but so are the number of bucks shot. Additionally there are big bucks shot in the county that I am looking at. When I saw your thread about pictures of big bucks and the apparent reluctance of some commenters to even consider buying land w/o pictures of big bucks I decided to start this thread. I would like to have some confidence that efforts will be rewarded before I change counties.
GG, if I sell and buy in the same time frame the prices should not matter that much so long as things are relative and change the same with the market.
DJ, that is what I am concerned about.
Buy an insurance policy on him that goes to pay his heirs for his share of land.I think all land partners should look at this
"GG, if I sell and buy in the same time frame the prices should not matter that much so long as things are relative and change the same with the market."
True, but if you sold now at the peak of the economy, then waited for a downturn to buy, you'd be able to buy a lot more for the same amount of money. Of course, there are tax issues to consider, as well. If you plan to do a "like kind" exchange to defer capital gains taxes, then it may make sense to sell and buy all at the same time.
Matt, That is exactly what I plan to do. Let the cost basis for the land be adjusted up when I die. Until then I would like to roll it over. Paying capital gains reduces my buying power and screws up medicare payments for my wife and me for a year.
Habitat, I wonder what the premiums would be on a guy who may die soon? I can not imagine that the insurance companies would lose money. Could I even get a policy?
The farmer (land owner) invited me to join them one year during gun season. I was impressed with how organized they were but quickly learned that it would be tough for bucks to reach maturity. They take the entire first week off of gun and 25 guys push all day all week. "If it's brown it's down". Good luck with your search.
I think you have more questions and concerns about the referenced property vs answers and contentment. Me, I would pass on the piece of property. I is not mandatory that you purchase it.
GG, timing the market made a lot of guys penniless. I was in the market during 09 for my NY land and saw no material downturn for hunting and farm land. Vacation properties were an entirely different story. Timeshares and vacation condos got killed in the recession but hunting properties held steady. Land is a terrific hedge against securities and that’s one of the reasons we’re buying another property. I’m 5 years away from 60 and I plan to hunt on my investment property!
I'd say try to hold onto that first property by yourself or try & find someone like minded that can by his share out. I personally like properties with 75% big timber & the rest row crops. Deer need timber for safety & fields for food. Food is vital for late season. Food plots & tall grass can be planted, ponds can be built but planting 50-100acres of trees can be costly. Its also hard to manage a 200acre property when you have 4-5 hunters knocking out your core group of young 2.5-3.5year old bucks but if you have a big timber your more likely to hold them. One thing I think that's often forgotten is accessibility thru out the WHOLE property. The middle of the farm has to be accessed without busting all the deer out of the front of the property.
“Buy an insurance policy on him that goes to pay his heirs for his share of land.I think all land partners should look at this.” -A great idea, but I’d imagine that ship has long sailed.
"GG, timing the market made a lot of guys penniless."
Hmm...if you have the cash to buy land now, I'm not sure how waiting for the next inevitable downturn in the economy would make you "penniless". I have a good friend who was sitting on a wad of cash after selling his business in 2007. When the economy crashed, he started buying up small homes that were under foreclosure for peanuts, then he'd rent them out. Now those homes are worth 3-4 times what he paid for them. He's tired of being a property manager and landlord, so he's selling them off for huge profits. I wish I would have had his foresight back them.
But I do agree, quality land/aceage does weather recessions better than other real estate, so market timing isn't as critical.
Pat not everyone enjoys or loves the thought of hunting over a pile of corn. To each his own but when it’s 30 yards from what would be a nice swampy sanctuary that gets blown out every year I can also not like it if I choose.
It appears you need to talk to Pat about buying your partner out!! Everyone wins!!!
You need to buy the partner out. Otherwise cash out and put it in a good investment. You should be able to buy a good hunt every year with the interest, an none of the hassle and work of being an absentee landlord.
I know it’s not the popular line of thought on BS, but i tend to agree with wildwilderness. I think you figure out how to buy out your partner (the insurance scheme isn’t gonna work) or cash out. Would it be an option to keep your 250 and let him sell his 1/2? That seems like you both get what you want.
I personally can’t imagine going from a Ferrari to a Ford Fiesta by choice, then work really hard on it to maybe get a Ford Taurus in a few years if it all goes perfect.
If you have the money, buy as much land as you can! I am currently selling a killer farm in Clark County, Illinois so I can buy a larger piece in Edgar County, where my lodge is located on my larger farm. The Clark County farm has bigger bucks on it now than my Edgar farm, but I want to have all of my property in the same county. If anyone is seriously interested, feel free to PM me.
16 years ago I bought 100 well positioned acres between 2 big 400 acres parcels on each side. No big deer back then. We adopted a policy that guests could only take does and we (son and I) would not shoot bucks under 140 or otherwise mature. I have since added 54 more acres. We found our biggest issue was trespassing. It took over 5 years to convince the trespassers that we were serious and lots of man hours patrolling and running folks off. The message got through. Buy property where the neighbors don’t allow hunting or manage it, keep trespasses off, don’t shoot small bucks and you will have a success story. It takes work. We now hunt 160+ bucks every season. Some much larger.
You guys with money put far too much emphasis on a property having big bucks before you purchase it. Here in Kansas, it is not uncommon for the transient bucks to be the biggest killed. I bought an 80 acre property ten years ago that was brome hay, and very few bucks visited it. I converted it to cropland and I've seen as many as 23 deer on the front field and 13 of them were bucks. I've killed several 140" to 150"s on it and two years ago there was a booner that spent the summer on the place. Turkeys show up every spring now, as do hundreds of waterfowl if I plant corn. My point is, it is maybe a better decision to buy cheaper land and convert it to a wildlife haven.
Pat lives a couple of states away, probably limits some what his ability to improve the land until at least after retirement.
Thanks for the input guys. We are talking about splitting the property but there does not seem to be a good way to split it fairly. Also the way that the property lays out with bedding areas, food plots. sanctuaries etc. it would be a challenge to maintain the hunting quality w/o controlling a core 400 acre piece.
I appreciate the fact that bucks move around and that changing a few things on the piece I am looking to buy can draw the better bucks. My concern is the general area having larger bucks. It sounds like there is a pretty even split between guys that would and guys that would not buy property w/o it presently having big bucks in the area.
At the present time I really enjoy owning land and trying to out smart the whitetails on it so that is my path for now. I can tell you from first hand experience that it certainly can be a lot cheaper just to book hunts but we all have our hobbies.
Anyone can look at a good finished product and say it is good. It is the people with vision that can look at something rag-tag and see the potential. Maybe you are one of those people, maybe not. Some people also think they see potential where there is none. It's a fine line.
I would search out land that abuts unhuntable land like a wildlife sanctuary or town/state owned land.