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sep0667

Land of the Whitetail
Well, closed on a property yesterday. I've been working my butt off the past 10 years out of school now and dreaming of this for longer. I've pinched pennies and done side hustles that most people I know laugh at and think i am crazy. Well, I have a paid off house and now own a recreational property. I feel I may have bought when the market is at peak and is likely to drop, but it wont be down for long, it always comes back. Feeling a little nervous as I am not very liquid now and equity heavy, but now that the deal has gone through I am happy.

I initially didn't plan to do anything to the property. Was just planning to let it be how it is and enjoy owning my own dirt and hunting it. I may still do that for a couple years, but all of a sudden I'm beginning to think about what I can do to enhance the property..hold more deer, create cover, food, security. Turn it as best I can into a wildlife haven. I started watching some Whitetail Habitat Solutions on youtube and they have me pretty excited. I'm totally new to any sort of property improvements etc. Not sure what I want to do yet, if anything. Kicking around some ideas in my head. I dont have any equipment, anything I do will be all by hand/manual labor. I don't have a tractor or implements, and wont for a bit. Anyone have any other suggestions for ideas like the whitetail habitat soluations on youtube or any other good sources to generate some ideas?
 

Brett Morris

PMA Member
Congratulations, let the fun begin!! You can make a heck of a difference with a chainsaw. I'd watch everything you can find on YouTube related to improving your farm. WHS has some good ideas but I can only watch so much of that guy before I'm burnt out lol

Let's hear some details on your farm. When I first bought my farm I posted some aerial pictures and got input from IW members. Was fun to see the different ideas that people had.
 

sep0667

Land of the Whitetail
80 acres. Ringgold. The general area is mostly ag fields with strips of treed creeks and crp scattered around. My property and timber bordering it seems to be the best cover in a mile or so east and west, i think it should be a good hub for the immediate area. 1-2 miles east & west is significantly more timber/cover. The front half is mostly tillable. Back 40 is all cover. Not much for hardwoods, lot of hedge and cedar. Some oaks scattered around. Decent topography, its not flat.. I think it use to be a cattle pasture. Very thick cover now. Year round creek flowing through it. Tons of turkey sign and deer sign. Turkey droppings everywhere. Lots of scrapes and heavy trails.

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Daver

PMA Member
Congratulations, let the fun begin!! You can make a heck of a difference with a chainsaw. I'd watch everything you can find on YouTube related to improving your farm. WHS has some good ideas but I can only watch so much of that guy before I'm burnt out lol

Let's hear some details on your farm. When I first bought my farm I posted some aerial pictures and got input from IW members. Was fun to see the different ideas that people had.
Egg-zackly on the chainsaw. Easy to make great improvements quickly with one. But...understand what you are doing first. You can also screw up your timber big time if you don't know your species, etc.

A couple of very key things in my mind...and FWIW, I have been working on my place for 20 years now...

1. Take "before" pictures...you will want to look back at them later. Don't ask me how I know. :)

2. Develop a plan before just tearing into things. My strongest suggestion on the plan...build it so the deer want to come/stay in the center of your piece. If you do something sweet on the edge of the property you are inviting neighbors to hunt/visit the fence line. Second strongest suggestion in this area...build your plan so you have bullet proof entry and exit routes to your stands/blinds. You can hunt the same deer over and over if you can stay undetected...or you will have often just one quality hunt if you are blowing deer out while hunting or entering/exiting. Although the caveat to this is if someone can drive their truck/tractor into the area after dark to rescue you. Then you can extend the freshness of the area. :)

3. I did plenty way before I had even a reliable chainsaw. In fact, one area that we still refer to as "Stumptown" was first created as a clover food plot by me using a handsaw, manual labor to drag the trees off and then fire to remove the leaf litter. All I had at the start was a lawn mower, used to mow fire breaks in the leaves, a handsaw to cut the trees, which made for the stumps, an inexpensive sprayer to later control for weeds and a simple bag seeder...oh, and a hand torch to start the fire and a couple of rakes.

A quick look at your map tells me that you have a lot of good to work with there and should be able to really build something awesome. I would guess that access to stand sites may be your struggle...unless you can come across other lands to get there OR build some routes to your "back" 40. Good luck, I am confident that you will develop a love for that place that will last the rest of your lifetime. Congrats!!
 

Bow_and_Arrow

Bow_and_Arrow
Congratulations! You will love hunting and working on your own property! I know how you’re feeling as it’s such a blessing to own your own dirt. We closed on our property in January 2020 and this last hunting season was really cool. To add to others’ thoughts, I had our local forester and private lands specialist out to understand their recommendations and found the time helpful. Keep us posted!
 

jkratz5

Super Moderator
Congrats on the purchase and that property looks pretty killer IMO. Looks to have some good pinch points, places for plots, and decent access.

I am a novice on improvements but will say we have been doing some selective timbering and not only has it generated some income it has provided some awesome ways to funnel deer (using the leftover tops) an abdunance of browse for them and some easy access to areas. One thing I would look into for sure.

Enjoy the property and looking forward to harvest photos from you!
 

Wi transplant

PMA Member
Huge congrats to you and family!! Land ownership is awsome ! Be careful "digging in" to improvements!! Great info here ! Take your time ! Plan everything! Jeff sturgis is good but take a listen to don higgins " chasing giants " podcasts very good info also!! Have fun!!

Sent from my SM-G973U using Tapatalk
 

hillrunner

PMA Member
Well, closed on a property yesterday. I've been working my butt off the past 10 years out of school now and dreaming of this for longer. I've pinched pennies and done side hustles that most people I know laugh at and think i am crazy. Well, I have a paid off house and now own a recreational property. I feel I may have bought when the market is at peak and is likely to drop, but it wont be down for long, it always comes back. Feeling a little nervous as I am not very liquid now and equity heavy, but now that the deal has gone through I am happy.

I initially didn't plan to do anything to the property. Was just planning to let it be how it is and enjoy owning my own dirt and hunting it. I may still do that for a couple years, but all of a sudden I'm beginning to think about what I can do to enhance the property..hold more deer, create cover, food, security. Turn it as best I can into a wildlife haven. I started watching some Whitetail Habitat Solutions on youtube and they have me pretty excited. I'm totally new to any sort of property improvements etc. Not sure what I want to do yet, if anything. Kicking around some ideas in my head. I dont have any equipment, anything I do will be all by hand/manual labor. I don't have a tractor or implements, and wont for a bit. Anyone have any other suggestions for ideas like the whitetail habitat soluations on youtube or any other good sources to generate some ideas?
Everything you'll ever need to know about property improvements is right here on this site, Dbltree's stuff is invaluable and Skip is 2nd to none. I'd listen to those guys way more than anything Sturgis says. Honestly, it's all here, just dig in.
 

deerdown

Active Member
Congrats ! It's fun to be on your own ground and improve it as your time and pocketbook allow. It looks like a great property, I like then woods/tillable mix it has on it. Did you look around a long time before finding it?
 

JBAGS

Active Member
Great looking 80 if you ask me. You and the neighbor having the best cover in over a mile will pay divedends without question. Congrats on buying your own farm
 

203ntyp

Well-Known Member
That is an awesome looking 80. Looks like a mature buck paradise that will produce year after year! Congrats on your accomplishment, working hard and making sacrifices pays off.
 

chadw

Active Member
Congratulations! That’s a great looking property! You will have years of enjoyment.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

sep0667

Land of the Whitetail
Congrats ! It's fun to be on your own ground and improve it as your time and pocketbook allow. It looks like a great property, I like then woods/tillable mix it has on it. Did you look around a long time before finding it?
I've been checking the known sites couple times a week for 10 years day dreaming. Just finally got serious about it probably two years ago once I reached the point of be able to actually make it happen. I was a little picky and have seen a few listings that i was interested in, but they were either a little to far, to small, to this or that etc. Stuff is selling so quick right now that if you see something listed you have to pull the trigger on it pretty much instantly. There is not time to think about it, if its something you like you have to jump on it asap right now. Only reason I was able to get this is because I actually found out about it and toured it before it hit the public listings. Had I seen the day or two after it was posted it would have been to late.
 

IowaBowHunter1983

Super Moderator
Staff member
Congrats! This is awesome. I would echo what many others have said regarding chainsaw/TSI. Just make sure to do it "Right". There are alot of resources out there. Your local district forester is FREE. I would probably schedule a walk with them for starters.
 

MN Slick

PMA Member
Congrats and that is a sweet looking property. In my experience hedge and cedars equal the best bedding cover but the cedars can get too thick. I'd probably hunt it at least one year to get a feel for how deer use it before getting serious about plot locations etc. Enjoy! Nothing better than owning your own farm.
 

deerhunter93

Well-Known Member
That's awesome and gets me pumped because I feel like i'm just behind you in the process. Any advice for first time land buyers since you just went through it?

Your farm looks fantastic! That creek should really help with access if you're able to get into it and walk it.
 

sep0667

Land of the Whitetail
That's awesome and gets me pumped because I feel like i'm just behind you in the process. Any advice for first time land buyers since you just went through it?

Your farm looks fantastic! That creek should really help with access if you're able to get into it and walk it.
I'm no expert on land purchases or sure exactly what you are referring to, but these are the things I was looking at and considering:

Know what you can afford, and more importantly are comfortable with as far as payments. Nothing else matters if you don't know this. Early on I wasted to much time searching everything until i learned to just use the features on the sites to sort by what I could afford, and honestly I just quit looking at stuff out of my price range completely. I spent a lot of time running #'s in loan calculators and different scenarios and just getting use to the #'s. For me, what I could 'afford" is not what I was necessarily comfortable with spending, I don't want to feel strapped for cash and feel overwhelmed and totally tied down. Know what you are going to be comfortable with.

Know what you are looking for in a property and then understand you likely are not going to be able to check all the boxes, so know what you are willing to give up in terms of wants and what will or what be a deal breaker. I really wanted a year round creek or pond on the property. (this one has two creeks, the larger one could be used to access into the woods out of sight and should be year round water). I wanted a piece that has some income from it, something to pay the taxes and actually get a return on each year, not just a solid timber piece that wont provide a return each year. Once this is paid off I will still be getting an annual return from the rented tillable or if enrolled into crp. I wanted something that was broken up a little bit. I also did not want something that had a neighbors house or something right up against my timber etc. You can have a lot of wants, but you likely wont get them all. Waiting for that perfect day dream piece in your head probably wont come up, so know what you are willing to sacrifice.

How far are you willing to travel to said property. I saw a lot of great listings that checked my boxes the past couple years, but distance was to far. Now if it had a cabin on it or you have a camper then that could change.

How many acres do you want. Of course a great looking 50 acre piece could be better than an 80 or 100, just depends on the layout etc.

When you go to look at the property is the wildlife sign there? For me I dont want just a deer hunting place, but turkey as well.

This list could go on and on, but my main thing was to really crunch the #'s. Know your monthly and annual expenses and budget...and then throw in buying property on top of that. For me I needed to really understand my finances and understand not only what I can afford, but more importantly be comfortable with. Second, what wants in a property are you willing to give up. 3. Once you know one and two, if you see something come up that catches your eye and the price is right you have to be ready to jump on it ASAP. Theres no waiting and thinking about it for a week etc right now, you have to pull trigger.
 

Sligh1

Administrator
Staff member
Dream farm & scenario!!! You won’t regret it!!! Even if market pulls back - you don’t need to sell & you are improving the farm - making it worth more $!! Congrats on the dream coming to reality!!!!

TSI! My #1. Tsi, diverse food & lowering the pressure & intrusion on farm - that’s my 3 top things to dial in year 1!!!

That farm looks darn near identical to my first Tract. Well done!!!
*Here’s my first farm. 80 acres in like 2002 I think. I like diversity of yours better. You have more edge & more fields. You got about what anyone could ask for in a farm.
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