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phade
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Time has flown by with work and family, and my hunting partner and I have been chasing deer in 2-3 states for the past few seasons. Having an absolute blast. We're at it again this year.

That said, I've been in a position to buy hunting land and have been in and out of the shopping mode for the past year or so. I decided to make it a priority now. Thankfully at this point the financial considerations are defined and I can focus on finding the right place. So far, ground in NY hasn't interested me much. Most of what does, is high $ per acre due to development proximity or high-end ag land near that development area. I find it hard to see the ROI to chase down a 120-130" buck in most normal years. I'm trying to change my tune, but it's hard to justify.

I've also started looking outside the state. But as one would expect that brings in alot of Qs around how much use it would get, a cabin scenario, security of the land, etc.

Open to advice from those who have walked that walk before. What considerations did you make, what did you learn, what would you do different knowing what you know now?

Without getting very specific, I'm in market for up to a few hundred thousand dollars in purchase price, maybe a touch more if the income potential fits, too. 

 

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2 hours ago, phade said:

So far, ground in NY hasn't interested me much. Most of what does, is high $ per acre due to development proximity or high-end ag land near that development area

Ya it’s a crapshoot , I hear all kinds of prices near us . I just hired a senior Appraiser, from Farm Credit East , just to get a feel on what ours is worth , farmland has a ton of variables, ours has a ton of road frontage with utilities.

The report is due tomorrow actually. 
 

 

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When we started looking for our camp, we drew up priorities. 

First, within an hour of home so we could go up and use it just for the day without burning too much travel time. Year round access...within walking distance of pavement in the winter was ok. I was happy with a smaller (10 acre) chunk surrounded by seldom used county and state property.

Next, Good hunting elbow room within walking distance. By good hunting, I mean I dont mind ...Hunting! A high deer population was less important than a quiet area with plenty of woods to walk and potential. Sure, I would like a nice buck, but trophy potential is not so much of a concern. I got lucky. My small parcel is a frequently used highway along ridges, so even though I am limited what I can do to draw deer, they are there already.  I didnt start to find any properties I was interested in (and could afford) until we narrowed it down, then went driving the back roads looking at land, areas and for sale signs. Craigslist, Facebook etc. also is a good area to look.

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it's hard to assess without walking the property or talking to nearby farmers. timber or rentable/tillable acreage offsets any upfront cost by a lot usually. keeping land just for recreation isn't easy to justify. also you have to consider proximity to a substation or overhead lines. powerlines promoting trespass suck but as ignorantly move to "green" energy solar and other stuff can give you a property with net profit each year.

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22 minutes ago, Nomad said:

Ya it’s a crapshoot , I hear all kinds of prices near us . I just hired a senior Appraiser, from Farm Credit East , just to get a feel on what ours is worth , farmland has a ton of variables, ours has a ton of road frontage with utilities.

The report is due tomorrow actually. 
 

 

I am working with them too, in case I don't want to do a cash deal or other leverage opportunities. Interest is good comparatively, but still high just under 8%. Although if I were to go loan route, I'd plan on having it paid down/off in 36-48 mos. I wouldn't want to take on 8% for 10-20 years.

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13 minutes ago, Daveboone said:

When we started looking for our camp, we drew up priorities. 

First, within an hour of home so we could go up and use it just for the day without burning too much travel time. Year round access...within walking distance of pavement in the winter was ok. I was happy with a smaller (10 acre) chunk surrounded by seldom used county and state property.

Next, Good hunting elbow room within walking distance. By good hunting, I mean I dont mind ...Hunting! A high deer population was less important than a quiet area with plenty of woods to walk and potential. Sure, I would like a nice buck, but trophy potential is not so much of a concern. I got lucky. My small parcel is a frequently used highway along ridges, so even though I am limited what I can do to draw deer, they are there already.  I didnt start to find any properties I was interested in (and could afford) until we narrowed it down, then went driving the back roads looking at land, areas and for sale signs. Craigslist, Facebook etc. also is a good area to look.

Good point on getting to a priority list. If it's here in NY the one hour drive is what I defined it as, as well. That said, Mostly everything I am interested in, is close to development or prime ag land near the development lines (suburbia encroaching). Going further south is an option but I'm not sure I want to do that - I work in the city area.

Out of state seems like an equal likelihood too. I do think you are right that the best properties likely never hit the MLS network. I'm putting out feelers for sure.

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8 minutes ago, dbHunterNY said:

it's hard to assess without walking the property or talking to nearby farmers. timber or rentable/tillable acreage offsets any upfront cost by a lot usually. keeping land just for recreation isn't easy to justify. also you have to consider proximity to a substation or overhead lines. powerlines promoting trespass suck but as ignorantly move to "green" energy solar and other stuff can give you a property with net profit each year.

I would certainly do due diligence as you noted. Property security for me will be big mostly because I don't get alot of time off so when I am there and off, I don't want issues. I'm approaching it right now purely for hunting purposes - anything I get in form of income or tax relief would be bonus. 

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Your priorities as far as an almost exclusive piece of land out of state strictly for deer hunting as opposed to instate for family recreation AND hunting are difficult for most here to consider.    I could never justify that even if I had yours and Nomad’s money.   :)

After so many years, chasing whitetail deer out of state could become ho humm I’d think.  
 

Is this a solo deal or is your partner an owner too?

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I, personally, could never justify buying land to hunt in NY for a single species of deer since Bear is so luck driven. For a few hundred thousand you could spend $10K/year and hunt wherever you want and chase a variety of game with no strings attached while the rest of $ grows in investments anyway.

That being said, my Dad disagreed with me since he already did a handful of out of states and was getting older. So he bought land in NY solely to hunt. He knew from 30 years experience there's no booners in 3N and he'd likely never shoot a 120", but he wanted something under 20 min drive so he did it anyway. He found 30 acres of non-buildable land (so taxes are low) that joins 50 acres of stateland that is landlocked. So he got 80 acres to hunt for the price of 30. And honestly, we have done really well killing 9 bucks 2.5 or older in 6 seasons.

My biggest fear if I were you is keeping trespassers off property out of state, unless you feel really comfortable with the neighbors watching it or something. 

Good luck and I definitely look forward to following along.

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I'm in a similar position, albeit a bit of a smaller price ceiling.  I own a 30 acre parcel and a 96 acre parcel already (96 acre parcel was inherited) about 2 hours from where I live and it's hard to find the time to get there to do the things that I know need to be done.  I'd really like some land in out of state (Ohio, Kentucky, other ...) but, given my experience with land that's only two hours away, I can't see how owning land out of sate and several hours further away would really work out.  That being said, I'm constantly looking for decent deals on property and almost put a purchase offer in on a large-ish parcel within 30 minutes of my home (if there hadn't been an unexpected easement on that property, I likely would have bought it).  Knowing what I know now, I would have saved the money on the 30 acres and put it toward something closer to home.

 

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A buddy that lives in Colorado bought a piece in Missouri, 10 hour drive from home.    He just retired and is in the process of building a small cabin.   Hunting there should be decent but that nagging doubt of neighbors trespassing would always be there.   
 

10 hours…..NFW.  

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I got 35 acres a few years ago for a steal and have had great success there. My main considerations were drive time from home (under 1hr), road frontage for access, the nature of the surrounding land being conducive for deer, and of course the price. The adjoining 65 acre parcel came up for sale this year and although I was tempted I couldn't justify spending so much for a hobby when the current parcel is working out just fine.

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1 hour ago, Lawdwaz said:

I could never justify that even if I had yours and Nomad’s money.

You spelled Moog wrong .

One way I look at buying land is, you’re just transferring one asset into another . We’re currently looking at condos in Fla online , if we end up doing it ,we’re just shifting assets ,although HOA and taxes come into play , but a year of that is less then two months of renting there by far .

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53 minutes ago, Lawdwaz said:

Your priorities as far as an almost exclusive piece of land out of state strictly for deer hunting as opposed to instate for family recreation AND hunting are difficult for most here to consider.    I could never justify that even if I had yours and Nomad’s money.   :)

After so many years, chasing whitetail deer out of state could become ho humm I’d think.  
 

Is this a solo deal or is your partner an owner too?

Wife and I have been diligent about avoiding lifestyle creep for the most part while our income has grown materially. She is supportive and encouraging in this endeavor. While I will certainly use it as hunting recreation, the land value will serve as one vehicle to carry wealth forward whether that be retirement or estate.

My hunting partner would not be an owner. But I don't have concerns about giving him the keys to the kingdom. Like a brother at this point in my life.

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21 minutes ago, Nomad said:

You spelled Moog wrong .

One way I look at buying land is, you’re just transferring one asset into another . We’re currently looking at condos in Fla online , if we end up doing it ,we’re just shifting assets ,although HOA and taxes come into play , but a year of that is less then two months of renting there by far .

Consider homeowners insurance too, that is eye opening.   (In Florida of course)

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I often talk about my hunts at my buddy's in Columbia county and really like his set up primarily because of his neighbor. He is extremely lucky to have a guy across the street who "knows everyone" and can do and teach him everything farm related. Bonus- he doesn't hunt and has bunches of acres that he is generous sharing.
Meeting the neighbors would be a priority of mine if I were not going to be there year round.


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29 minutes ago, crappyice said:


Meeting the neighbors would be a priority of mine if I were not going to be there year round.


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Great point about neighbors. On my Dad's land we met the neighbors immediately. The one hunting neighbor we exchanged recovery rights and stay in touch year-round. In fact, you met the kid when we were fishing one day. small world.

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I, personally, could never justify buying land to hunt in NY for a single species of deer since Bear is so luck driven. For a few hundred thousand you could spend $10K/year and hunt wherever you want and chase a variety of game with no strings attached while the rest of $ grows in investments anyway.
That being said, my Dad disagreed with me since he already did a handful of out of states and was getting older. So he bought land in NY solely to hunt. He knew from 30 years experience there's no booners in 3N and he'd likely never shoot a 120", but he wanted something under 20 min drive so he did it anyway. He found 30 acres of non-buildable land (so taxes are low) that joins 50 acres of stateland that is landlocked. So he got 80 acres to hunt for the price of 30. And honestly, we have done really well killing 9 bucks 2.5 or older in 6 seasons.
My biggest fear if I were you is keeping trespassers off property out of state, unless you feel really comfortable with the neighbors watching it or something. 
Good luck and I definitely look forward to following along.
I was gonna say something similar about spending that money on other hunts around the country and around the world for that matter. Sounds like you do a fair amount of whitetail hunting already and there's alot more critters I'd like to check off my bucket list personally. Some guys are just obsessed with whitetails and I respect that but if I had that kind of cash I'd be out west chasing an elk or in newfoundland for a woodland Caribou. To each his own though. Hope you find what you're looking for

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2 hours ago, 518BowSlayer said:

I was gonna say something similar about spending that money on other hunts around the country and around the world for that matter. Sounds like you do a fair amount of whitetail hunting already and there's alot more critters I'd like to check off my bucket list personally. Some guys are just obsessed with whitetails and I respect that but if I had that kind of cash I'd be out west chasing an elk or in newfoundland for a woodland Caribou. To each his own though. Hope you find what you're looking for

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I’m sure I’ll still do that at some point. Elk and maybe a ram hunt. But once those trip hunts are done, the money is too. Land will always have some value to cash back in if truly needed on some level. As Nomad said you’re transferring asset classes.

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I’m sure I’ll still do that at some point. Elk and maybe a ram hunt. But once those trip hunts are done, the money is too. Land will always have some value to cash back in if truly needed on some level. As Nomad said you’re transferring asset classes.
That's a good point

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Land should have diversity woods / fields and a water source.

Most timberland in ny is hi-graded.  You may have big trees but if you dont know the type/ species you can buy a barren wasteland as ecosystems go. You can change that but it takes years and  a  lot of effort.  Properly managed the property will pay for itself. In timber value and recreation.

My place started out as a hunting camp. But i soon discovered all my free time was being spent here. So i built and moved.  Its an hour and 15  min to work  but i couldn't afford what i have anywhere  near the suburbs.  

As for 130 in plus bucks they are here but most dont want to put time or effort in to get them. Proper habitat is key and a large enough parcel to allow them to grow up. 

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If were to have the funds to purchase a large chunk of dirt, it would definitely be out of state and most likely out west. Getting into a state that offers more diversity of species. Montana, Idaho, Utah would be on my short list to look into. Being able to hunt many species of big game in a relatively small area and also the amount of "state land" thats available to get lost on is a big draw. 

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2 hours ago, G-Man said:

Land should have diversity woods / fields and a water source.

Most timberland in ny is hi-graded.  You may have big trees but if you dont know the type/ species you can buy a barren wasteland as ecosystems go. You can change that but it takes years and  a  lot of effort.  Properly managed the property will pay for itself. In timber value and recreation.

My place started out as a hunting camp. But i soon discovered all my free time was being spent here. So i built and moved.  Its an hour and 15  min to work  but i couldn't afford what i have anywhere  near the suburbs.  

As for 130 in plus bucks they are here but most dont want to put time or effort in to get them. Proper habitat is key and a large enough parcel to allow them to grow up. 

Preach!  My favorite poster, thanks for your insights.

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My family owns a large tract of land that has been in our family for years . One simply couldn't afford that many acres in today market.  Its 2hrs from home which is nice for day trips or one can stay over if needed . Had we not owned that land I always said I'd like 100acre within an hour of where I live . Problem with that is land is sky high in these parts , you have to go further west by camp or north to adks.

My dad always says, land is the one thing they aren't making anymore of .

Good luck

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