How many of you have bought hunting land and ended up disappointed?

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bat man

Guest
A guess would be all your deer head to the surrounding ag fields to feed at night. I would also venture even with a 5 acre destination plot, they will head off your chunk at night for the big fields.

If moved your 4 wheeler trail to the north property line, your pink plots could be effectively hunted with a south wind and north access.

Do the same on the south property line. The whole middle becomes sanctuary. If your deer are like mine, they may not leave the property until after dark, and head to the big field when they are safe. Sloppy neighbors really help the scenario.

It seems trails right through the middle of the property would work better to access stands for deer that bed off the property. If they bed on you and feed on the neighbors its cheaper and they are safer.

Your boots on the ground may suggest a middle trail is better, and I have no clue how your spot hunts. Just thoughts based upon my limited experience with this stuff.
 
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BJE80

Guest
My guess is the dpsm within 300 yards of the ag fields is much higher. QUOTE]

No question. That is why I said in my OP that I can't complete with the properties that are close to the Ag. I just can't. I'm buried so deep in the woods that there is no reason for a buck to want to come by me for my small plots unless it is the rut.


This is why I am considering giving up on it and starting fresh with a property that doesn't have so many handicaps from the get go.
 
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BJE80

Guest
A guess would be all your deer head to the surrounding ag fields to feed at night. I would also venture even with a 5 acre destination plot, they will head off your chunk at night for the big fields.

If moved your 4 wheeler trail to the north property line, your pink plots could be effectively hunted with a south wind and north access.

Do the same on the south property line. The whole middle becomes sanctuary. If your deer are like mine, they may not leave the property until after dark, and head to the big field when they are safe. Sloppy neighbors really help the scenario.

It seems trails right through the middle of the property would work better to access stands for deer that bed off the property. If they bed on you and feed on the neighbors its cheaper and they are safer.

Your boots on the ground may suggest a middle trail is better, and I have no clue how your spot hunts. Just thoughts based upon my limited experience with this stuff.


The trail down the middle (all of those trails are old logging trails are existing) is something i'm not found of either.I was thinking about doing walking trails with my saw blade weed whacker around the permeter to connect the side trails for different access points to keep the deer guessing and allow access for differnt wind directions. Since that main trail is built up I would still want to use that as my atv access for plot work because it would take a lot of money to build up new trails for equipment access.
 
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BJE80

Guest
Makes sense. Can You get what You poured into the place?


No. With the cabin and electrical I had put in I would lose money. I did really well on the purchase price of the land. I went in the red with the cabin and paying to have power brought in.
 

sandbur

5 year old buck +
I have not used cameras for about three years by personal choice. I am not saying that others should not use them-it should be personal choice.

I quit using them as I felt checking cards might be scaring deer, but found as a result that I enjoyed the anticipation much more without the pictures.

I can get a very good feel of the deer population by living on the ground, checking tracks on the gravel roads. What I do miss is the pictures of other animals, grey fox, wolf, bear, bobcat. My neighbors run cameras and usually let me know if they see something nice. I do not want a Hit List of bucks or local bucks to have names-again just by choice.

I want my daughters to enjoy the hunt without the intense antler obsession. Enjoy a good buck when the opportunity comes along, but appreciate any other deer they choose to kill.

I've been through the antler obsession and can understand how others feel. We all go through various phases in our hunting career, and there is nothing wrong with any of the approaches.
 
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BJE80

Guest
So an important aspect of this that needs to be discussed further. This is probably the most important thing.

What are your guys feelings on how much a large plot of 2-4 acres would do for me along with the select cut? Is it something that I will still be at a huge disadvantage? Or will I start competing for those deer and perhaps some bucks to hang around more.
I would really hate to make the commitment to "Build it and they will come". And then I build it and they still don't come.
 
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BJE80

Guest
I have not used cameras for about three years by personal choice. I am not saying that others should not use them-it should be personal choice.

I quit using them as I felt checking cards might be scaring deer, but found as a result that I enjoyed the anticipation much more without the pictures.

I can get a very good feel of the deer population by living on the ground, checking tracks on the gravel roads. What I do miss is the pictures of other animals, grey fox, wolf, bear, bobcat. My neighbors run cameras and usually let me know if they see something nice. I do not want a Hit List of bucks or local bucks to have names-again just by choice.

I want my daughters to enjoy the hunt without the intense antler obsession. Enjoy a good buck when the opportunity comes along, but appreciate any other deer they choose to kill.

I've been through the antler obsession and can understand how others feel. We all go through various phases in our hunting career, and there is nothing wrong with any of the approaches.


I agree. I don't want my kids to feel that way either. I actually don't even have goals or anything. If a deer trips my trigger at the time I shoot it. I just want some deer to chase around. Right now a have a couple to look at but I have 1 mature doe and her fawns around all the time and a few other deer that stop in once in a while. I guess I could go out there and shoot that doe or her fawns but why? She is my buck bait for later in the season. So therefore, I am at a wait till the rut mode.
 

sandbur

5 year old buck +
BJ-If I were in your position, I would consider which time of year you want to hunt. You might find your property better if not hunted in the early seasons and only hunted later. Then plant food plots for winter survival and hunt late seasons. Or maybe vice versa.

Many properties have a peak tiem for the hunt. It might vary from year to year, since the corn harvest can be extremely variable-at least in central Minnesota.
 

sandbur

5 year old buck +
I agree. I don't want my kids to feel that way either. I actually don't even have goals or anything. If a deer trips my trigger at the time I shoot it. I just want some deer to chase around. Right now a have a couple to look at but I have 1 mature doe and her fawns around all the time and a few other deer that stop in once in a while. I guess I could go out there and shoot that doe or her fawns but why? She is my buck bait for later in the season. So therefore, I am at a wait till the rut mode.


Just exactly how I feel. I hope to get my daughters to fill their tags in an area with more deer and let our home place rest for a few years.
 
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BJE80

Guest
You won't compete with ag fields. My gut tells me to punt and move to a high dpsm county.

Or the other option is to just figure on hunting the rut hard every year and forget about anything prior to Oct 25.
 
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BJE80

Guest
BJ-If I were in your position, I would consider which time of year you want to hunt. You might find your property better if not hunted in the early seasons and only hunted later. Then plant food plots for winter survival and hunt late seasons. Or maybe vice versa.

Many properties have a peak tiem for the hunt. It might vary from year to year, since the corn harvest can be extremely variable-at least in central Minnesota.

Yeah good point. I think I need to make the decision on how important hunting the entire season is for me. If I really want to hunt the entire season then this probably isn't the property. If I can live with hunting the rut and gun season then I might kill a few good bucks.
 

Ben.MN/WI

5 year old buck +
I think if you add a 1-2 acre plot to the center of your property then you will have better early season hunting. I've found that early season bucks are drawn to ag areas, and while a 2 acre plot isn't huge, it would be the largest field in your area. Cutting some wooded areas to create different age classes of trees would also be helpful, but since your aerial photo shows mostly woods I would try to add a field.
 

Steve Bartylla

5 year old buck +
Just a couple quick thoughts. I hope you don't mind me being blunt.

Your center access is a huge problem. It makes it so there is no wind that doesn't blow up a good chunk of your property every time you access. It's fixable, but would cost time and money. Access along the north and south property lines would be a very significant help. right now, you use those roads to access your food plots and 1/4-1/2 your deer likely know you're hunting them before you crawl up the tree.

I agree and disagree with Pope/Nov on the ag fields. Currently, no doubt there is higher DPSM around the ag fields than on your place. I don't see that as an insurmountable issue, but it would take adding 10ish acres of food, a bunch of effort and time to turn that around. Personally, I sure don't look at your property and think anything like "yuck." It has some work that needs to be done, but I'd put my money on being able to turn things around. With the way the property sits relative to the ag and all that timber, I think you could at worst hold your own against the ag fields. That said, adding a 1-2 acre plot will be likely be peeing in the ocean, in an attempt to raise the sea levels. I'm not saying it won't help, but you sure won't be even with what the ag fields are drawing.

If it was me, I'd see this as a crap or get off the pot moment. Either I go all in on improving the thing or I get out now and find somewhere more like Pope/Nov is referring to. I do believe odds are that if you choose to do less than side access, 10ish acres of food and work on further improving cover, while doing some blockading, you'll be disappointed. flip side, do all that and I bet you'd be pleasantly surprised with the quality of hunting...Will it be Buff Co type good? No, but I'd put my $ on you having a 3.5 to hunt far more years than not and being able to have history with a good share of them.

Just my 2 cents, for whatever it's worth.
 

Steve Bartylla

5 year old buck +
I think if you add a 1-2 acre plot to the center of your property then you will have better early season hunting. I've found that early season bucks are drawn to ag areas, and while a 2 acre plot isn't huge, it would be the largest field in your area. Cutting some wooded areas to create different age classes of trees would also be helpful, but since your aerial photo shows mostly woods I would try to add a field.

Just to clarify, I DON'T think that what Ben is suggesting is incorrect. a 1-2 acre plot would help. My peeing in the ocean comment was made before that post AND is relative to getting the same or higher DPSM as around the ag fields. I think it'd take closer to 10 acres to be able to beat those fields. When I look at a property to grow deer, I try to see what's around it and then make each aspect of that property as good or better than anything else they can get...And then use low impact as the cheery on top
 
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BJE80

Guest
Steve and everyone else. This is has been and still is a very helpful discussion. I welcome any more comments and detail. Be blunt. I have thick skin. If the land sucks. Say so. If I'm making a big mistake tell me I am an idiot. :)


FTR, I will be getting a good chunk of change from the logging in two years. I likely won't sell till I get that done. Sure the land is worth less then but I think it will still be more money in my pocket.


Steve, I don't think I have 10 acres of good enough soils to make a plot that big. I would say 4-5 acres would be the max.

The lighter areas are the areas that are drained well enough to plant stuff. The darker areas just hold too much water too long with the heavy clay.


What can I do to help the hunting on this land for the next couple of years without a lot more money being stuck into it and to help resale value?


Do you have good suggestions to tell the logger to try and make the property better by adding pinch points or new natural edges?
 

Jason

5 year old buck +
I ended up disappointed. however, my requirements changed too. when i first got the property i wanted something i could hunt on a weeknight and see deer. i wasn't in it for trophy bucks. my priority was being able to hunt on private land.

over the years, i have new neighbors that are horrible, i'm no longer happy with just hunting on private land, and our group has grown from 2 to 10 (on just 40 acres, obviously we can't all hunt). Time to sell!
 
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BJE80

Guest
Correction. If I do that entire area in red it would be about 9 acres. It would be on the NW edge of the property however. The guys to the top of me are old and only gun hunt two days a year. The property to the left of me is for sale by a timber company and is not hunted right now. I could buy it for ~1,800/acre but sticking more money into this isn't something I real excited about to be honest.


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bueller

Moderator
As already mentioned have the logger create perimeter trails. Also make sure your select cut is heavy enough that you get lots of sunlight onto the ground to avoid creating a park like setting after the cut.
 

Terrific_tom

5 year old buck +
BJE80, Something to think about, would be to keep land and start making the improvements that Steve has suggested and see if you could lease or get permission on some ag land close by. This would give you your early season hunting and also give your rut/late season hunting on your land. Then after you get your improvements done on your land and the deer hunting improves you can make decision to keep or sell. I know the area that you have your land and it is capable of producing 150 class bucks every year.
 
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