How long to hang on to a property & When to move on

GJS4, your post and this thread have evolved into much more that the original question. That is (occasionally) part of the magic of these types of forums. Your reflections on EHD and the drought are relevant, and the importance of the “change of scenery” adds an apostrophe to the role this property plays for you and the family. It seems the answer is coming into focus and the property has meaning that transcends the negatives.

While I have only harvested one doe so far this year, I found great satisfaction in the harvest, as it was a management decision (with culinary benefits) I would not have made in years past. Will it make a difference? Yes–and that difference is beyond the “one less mouth to feed” argument. As I am getting to know adjacent landowners, they are watching how I manage the property. The same is true for our 40 acres that is 5 hours away. Time has been our friend when it comes to setting goals and establishing relationships. One adjacent landowner has feeders out (which is not legal here) and stands that are 1” from our property line. The irony is that as I patiently am working to establish a positive relationship, he has mentioned “moving his stands.” Time will tell. The good news is that they tend to only hunt rifle season, so I can be out during archery season—is that the case with your neighboring “outfitter?”

Land ownership and QDM have moved me from a “deer hunter” first/land manager second to the inverse. My harvest satisfaction comes from management goals, whether on the 85 acres we live on or the 40 and 13 acre properties we enjoy from afar. For example, this year my goal for the 85 acres is two does…and one buck should the right one appear. I am also allowing my grandkids to harvest a doe and any buck. For me, If the right buck does not appear, I am good with two does. Next year‘s goals will be set in September based on camera and observation surveys. On one property I have a picture of a very nice buck that could be a “Missouri Monster” in one or two years. If I see him on camera next season, I’ll target him. If not, I still will enjoy the hunt based on management goals.

While 75 acres is not much, you have enough to establish a “core area” for deer (especially does). That is what we found on our 85 acres. Even now, I am starting to get pictures of bucks coming on the property during the pre-rut.

Good luck with your project, and enjoy the hunt and management opportunities wherever you hunt.
Sandbur and 356 you both elude to the sweet spot in what a property offers whether literally or figuratively. I dont have a darn clue as to when this place "sings". Heck my folks 360ac farm here went from a property where we would have bucks year round- hardly gaining/losing any, to the last few years its pre-rut before you know what could be there. I honestly dont want to run cams next summer. This 75 in Ohio- I think gets better as the season goes on but (as both of you had mentioned) the reactions to my actions with regard to habitat will keep have a few spectrums sliding at once. I know I need time.....and my mental salvation is if the boys there make it a year or two; I will have what my heart and mind long for.

356- This place has sparked my interest in trees, it (being SE OHio) is bonkers diverse with things I have had no touchpoints with in NY or on midwestern rutcations. Box turtles all over- and i really like them. There are some ancillary aspects that dont get the credit they deserve. In my mind i wanted the mature buck utopia year one because thats how i am wired and work (hard). Our 40 here is great pre-rut and chase phase. I stay form Sept on, wait for the daywalkers to show and then try to pounce. What i love as a bonus is i have made it archery only (in a very gun culture rich area) and taking does in the snow with a bow....its fun as chit. We eat 5-6 deer a year, so that helps with bounty when the boys leave and the remaining girls can be thinned out. My wife daughter and I are all big into cooking so the venison is a binder for us, and my son will hunt a couple times a year so that is a binder for he an I. So there are some longer threads that come from the sweater.

I just want ohio to be the man cave of sorts; my get away for habitat projects, that place i yearn to be, that 6hr ride of dillusional hunting thoughts and that opportunity for a mdiwestern giant more years than not.
Just an update- no trespassers, the nearby outfitter keeps stacking 2yo bucks (most of which i had pics of) so my 2s&3s have disappeared with only a couple of youngins shifting in and the big guys never showed. Forced myself to hunt it once with the premise I was relying too much on cams, and it was just as sad as they've shown. So its pressure free, has food plots, feeders and no deer worth a darn. The two strikes I know that are there was drought and a bunch of habitat work in the spring.

Current goal is looking for the next and trying to be open minded and patient in the meanwhile.