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My Dream...

gonzalezeb

5 year old buck +
So a few years ago, my doctor informed me I may need to consider retiring early (I am 45 now). About the same time, I received a VA Disability settlement and was able to use that money for a down payment of 160 acres or raw land in South Dakota. Though I understand for health reason I may have to retire early, I have developed a 10 year plan to put into place the infrastructure required to build a retirement home (by infrastructure I'm referring to power, well, septic, and other things that really take a big chunk out of your building costs). So last year, I decided to have a small garage with a loft built - goal is, when my family and I are out in SoDak we can stay inside the garage/loft until the retirement home is built. Though this space is unfinished, I did install a radiant barrier to help make it habitable during the heat of the summer. This year, I added power and will be adding propane heat in a few weeks (for future fall hunting trips). I'm hoping to do a well in about 2-3 years - but that alone may be $40-50K due to most wells in the area going down 600+ feet.

Other small projects have included excavation work for tractor/ATV trails, building walking trails, and in general cleaning up this raw land that has been largely untouched since it was homesteaded in the 1930's.
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Overview of of land from the South East Corner
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My trip this past March convinced me I need heat...struggled to keep the non-insulated loft to 35º.IMG_3722.jpeg
A portion of the ~1 mile tractor/ATV trail we had put in a few weeks ago. We weren't quite able to make it on top of this ridge due to the rocks...hoping we can finish this in the near future.
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My daughter, loves riding on the ATV with me...66C0E3CB-885A-4386-B59B-C787947611CC.jpeg Son and I working on a walking trail.
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Sunrise view from the site we hope to build the retirement home on.
 

gonzalezeb

5 year old buck +
I should have included...as I am just starting out on this venture...any advice/suggestion are welcome!
 

Tree Spud

5 year old buck +
Looks like a great property ... enjoy the ride! :emoji_wink:
 

bwoods11

5 year old buck +
You are very lucky to live in a great state of South Dakota, no state taxes, no chaous and a "hot" Governor that is very wise!! Looks like a nice property, enjoy it, and keep us posted!
 

H20fwler

5 year old buck +
Nice! Great project.

And thank you for your service brother! What branch.
 

Dukslayr

5 year old buck +
Congrats on your purchase and thank you for your service! Enjoy the farm!
 

Bszweda

5 year old buck +
Congrats! That planned home site has a beatiful view.
 

gonzalezeb

5 year old buck +
Something I forgot to mention...Last year, the family and I survived off of a 5 gallon bucket and kitty litter for a toilet for 2 weeks. The boys and I, didn't really think much of this. But the wife made it very clear to me we need a better alternative. I did a lot of research on off-grid toilets - everything from composting to renting a sorta-potty etc. One night I stumbled across the Incinolet - an incinerating toilet. Showed the wife...who was a bit skeptical...and decided to go ahead and purchase it for the garage. Well, after spending overly 2 weeks there, the toilet was a hit with the wife. No messing around with cat litter, no smelly pit/porta-potty. So all this to say, if you have an off-grid hunting place and are looking for a toilet solution...I highly recommend you look at incinerating toilets.
 

roymunson

5 year old buck +
Not sure exactly how remote you are, but i have family that runs a porta jon business, if you find a good company, it can be done with minimal smell and it's not too bad.

If you've got a wife who used a bucket for 2 weeks, she's pretty hooked on whatever you're offering. I don't think that'd fly at my place.
 

gonzalezeb

5 year old buck +
If you've got a wife who used a bucket for 2 weeks, she's pretty hooked on whatever you're offering. I don't think that'd fly at my place.

I'm quite blessed to have such a special woman.
 

roymunson

5 year old buck +
I'm quite blessed to have such a special woman.

Some days I forget just how blessed I am too...

Heck, last night mine abandoned me at the dock of a farm pond with my 3 year old. It was my job to take the bluegill off his hook, she couldn't be bothered with it. She had fishing to do. What a gal!

Very nice place you have by the way. I love the character and think you're onto something there. Keep the pictures coming!
 

j-bird

Moderator
Just some suggestions:
#1 - perimeter access - this helps you keep an eye on things. As part of this you may want to look into what your posting laws are as well. Worst part about property ownership is people inviting themselves!

#2 - create a log or the like with pictures. As time passes you will forget details, dates and the like. Cell phones are great tools to quickly capture a few pics of the projects.

#3 - have a plan. Sounds like you are working on that already. Too many people want to get to work right away and they don;t even know what they have or what they are working with. Take time to understand what you have and then how to work WITH what you have....

Very interesting place.....very different from the farm country I am familiar with!
 

Troubles Trees

5 year old buck +
Awesome spot you have there friend, thank you for your service sir!

If it were me, knowing I can't plant much to take care of it while away most of the time, I would be wandering the property burying acorns, wild apple seeds and nuts of different sorts to start the habitat management part early. Even if only a few make it you have started early and succeeded.

When I first started here at the college I was picking up acorns on campus to take home and plant around my house and the tiny 8 acres it sits on. Fellow workers and especially the grounds guys were always picking on me saying things like "don't you know they will take 20 years before you ever see a nut". Well today it's 14 years later and I have 25' tall Oaks that have some producing nuts already. I planted hundreds of nuts and only got 25'ish to grow but I do consider it a success.
Good luck bud, keep us posted on your progress!
 

gonzalezeb

5 year old buck +
Just some suggestions:
#1 - perimeter access - this helps you keep an eye on things. As part of this you may want to look into what your posting laws are as well. Worst part about property ownership is people inviting themselves!

#2 - create a log or the like with pictures. As time passes you will forget details, dates and the like. Cell phones are great tools to quickly capture a few pics of the projects.

#3 - have a plan. Sounds like you are working on that already. Too many people want to get to work right away and they don;t even know what they have or what they are working with. Take time to understand what you have and then how to work WITH what you have....

Very interesting place.....very different from the farm country I am familiar with!

Thank you for the tips...

This past trip I learned I may have a bowhunter...was going to try to confront him but was unable to do so. So today I ordered 100 aluminum signs to start posting. South Dakota No Trepassing laws require posting to prosecute - so hopefully this will start to deter him. Trail Cams have also picked up a trespasser or two, so I will be posting in the area they have been spotted as well.

Thanks again for the tips.
 

gonzalezeb

5 year old buck +
Awesome spot you have there friend, thank you for your service sir!

If it were me, knowing I can't plant much to take care of it while away most of the time, I would be wandering the property burying acorns, wild apple seeds and nuts of different sorts to start the habitat management part early. Even if only a few make it you have started early and succeeded.

When I first started here at the college I was picking up acorns on campus to take home and plant around my house and the tiny 8 acres it sits on. Fellow workers and especially the grounds guys were always picking on me saying things like "don't you know they will take 20 years before you ever see a nut". Well today it's 14 years later and I have 25' tall Oaks that have some producing nuts already. I planted hundreds of nuts and only got 25'ish to grow but I do consider it a success.
Good luck bud, keep us posted on your progress!

Excellent idea on planting seeds now...
 

Ben.MN/WI

5 year old buck +
That's a really cool looking property. I've spent a fair amount of time turkey hunting public land near Pringle SD and your area reminds me a lot of that. We saw mostly whitetails while turkey hunting, but there were some areas that usually held decent mule deer numbers as well. It was cool to see a bonus elk or two as well. I always thought the Black Hills would be a nice place to retire.

Do you have any water on your property? In the drier areas a random pond can be a huge draw.
 

gonzalezeb

5 year old buck +
That's a really cool looking property. I've spent a fair amount of time turkey hunting public land near Pringle SD and your area reminds me a lot of that. We saw mostly whitetails while turkey hunting, but there were some areas that usually held decent mule deer numbers as well. It was cool to see a bonus elk or two as well. I always thought the Black Hills would be a nice place to retire.

Do you have any water on your property? In the drier areas a random pond can be a huge draw.

From what I have learned...the Black Hills are an excellent place to retire (though I am still a few years off) - but let's not tell to many people ;-)

I've come across two small springs that I will be doing some further investigation on down in the canyons (one in each). I will need some water solution on top of each meadow...which likely means hauling water on the back of an ATV into a semi-buried water trough.
 
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