Live on hunting land vs. drive to land

Discussion in 'Whitetail Deer Habitat' started by MN_DeerHunter, Oct 29, 2020.

  1. MN_DeerHunter

    MN_DeerHunter

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    Recently, my wife mentioned that she would be ok with selling our house and building again in an area with a better school district for our son. She was always on board with me buying land down the road and mentioned that if we could find a piece that was buildable we could maybe get her the new house and me the hunting land that I've always wanted.

    I live in a rural area with lots of ag and a lot of smaller sliced up parcels where there is limited cover for whitetails. This makes things expensive and the hunting not as great. It also makes finding buildable acreage difficult, especially when we would like to be closer to the main town we live by.

    My plan has always been to buy land and drive 1.5-2 hours in an area with known great deer numbers, larger parcels, and bigger bucks. But now that I have this in my mind I'm wondering if its worth it to try to find something locally. Obviously there are pro's and con's to both.

    Living on the land:

    Pros:
    Habitat projects 24-7 right out my back door
    No commuting to a distant property
    Keep tabs on trespassers more easily
    Easier to get kid involved
    Better school district
    Financing is easier when land is attached to home

    Cons:
    Very expensive, can afford less acres close to home
    Deer quality not as great
    Higher hunter density

    What do you guys think?
     
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  2. Martin Looker

    Martin Looker

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    I live on my hunting grounds only because when we wanted to build our house we couldn't get the better chunk of land we wanted. I bought this property while I was in the service in the sixties and it was cheap. I wanted some property that was high and dry but instead we live in the swamp but it is all paid for so we are good.
     
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  3. Bucman

    Bucman

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    Keep mama happy!
     
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  4. pgpn123

    pgpn123

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    Does your wife have a sister?

    Do you work in the nearby town? If you can change school district is a big plus. If you can handle an hour drive to work, that has worked well for me. I've been with them a while and have flexible start/finish time to help with traffic.
    I thought money went further when living on the land? Much better tax wise. Assuming it's not close to town.
    Maybe consider land with limited cover. In a few years you should be able to provide quite a bit, with more every year after.
     
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  5. MN_DeerHunter

    MN_DeerHunter

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    HA! Yes I believe taxes are better if you have a house on it. I do work in the nearby town.
     
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  6. Chessieman

    Chessieman

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    "Build it and they would come". Think of the acreage that way, look at present AG land. Sometimes that 40 is just not big enough for a farmer to invest into it. If you develop with all AG land around you would have no future neighbors. Just is going to be a lot of work but rewarding.
     
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  7. Martin Looker

    Martin Looker

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    You have a different tax on your property when it is homestead rather than recreational. You have to live on the property to be classified homestead.
     
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  8. ohio up hunter

    ohio up hunter

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    Nothing better than heading to hunting camp. Get some extra hunting on home property. Tough to concentrate on hunting at home. Always have something that needs to be completed. 2nd major negative, my home property has noise pollution. Neighboring properties mowing, talking, shooting, airplanes, trains.
     
  9. ckosal

    ckosal Addicted2hunting4 Premium Member

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    Wow. This is a tough one. I have lived this. Grew up hunting with a drive. With my dad. It was very inflexible. Had to plan. Couldn't take advantage of an afternoon free. Because of the drive we went up openers.. tgiving and maybe one other weekend. We never just went up a Saturday. It was an ordeal of packing a vehicle, food, you name it.

    When i was in my early 30s we finally had the financial security to move from our starter home. And my wife wanted to build a home in the country. We built on 15 acres that was wooded surrounded by Ag. Initially I loved it. I could hunt before work some mornings (2 hours in the stand). Could run out for an afternoon... but Ohio has it right. several days i planned to hunt and didn't because i could go the next day or the following one (even though i didn't). It didn't feel like hunting. I was excited for the archery opener every year, but just didn't have the excitement i did driving up north for the rest of the season. Living where i could hunt made it not that special.

    10 years ago my wife got sick of country living and we were ready for an upgrade and we moved into a sub. We have a nice lot but no hunting. So, I convinced her to let me buy a hunting camp/property. 7 years ago i bought a place 90 mins away. I have put a ton of blood sweat and tears in to the place. I love taking my son up. My dad and i still drink too many beers there on some nights... So, it seems ideal... but...LOL. The drive, the packing of the truck, the planning needed can be a drag.

    Tomorrow i was able to get out of work at 130. I can't hunt Sat. UGH. So as i was reading posts tonight i was trying to motivate myself to endure three hours on the road for three hours in the tree I was wishing again I had a place at home. Ha.

    This post may be one where you are thinking i am no help... but i can say... i have thought long and hard on this. Hunting camp is special. My dad/brother/friends staying at my house before going out the hunt would never be the same. My bunk house at the Ritz is a man cave. My mounts are there. A great fire pit. junk food and good beer. And the memories there are probably the thing that seals the choice. When i think about the 10 years of hunting at "home" my vivid clear memories are actually bad ones. I can remember the night i shot a button I thought was a big doe. The night i shot an 8 pt and the neighbor wouldn't let me track it. I do not have memories of great nights... great hunts.. In my years owning a camp the memories are the opposite. Great hunts, fun nights, hard work! And no regrets!!!

    Hunting land... if you can get it...is priceless!!!
     
  10. StevenJ

    StevenJ Inscrutable Mastermind Premium Member

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    Well, not enough details to make an educated recommendation.

    North, Middle or South Michigan rural? Or are you in a different state from Michigan?

    Age, location, real wife feelings, etc.

    And you really want to make the best decision for schools and social situation for your son. I assume you and him are young. You want to have the son in organized sports. Because that is a proxy for growing up male in social situations. So you want to have decent schools with decent social and sports situation.

    I'm older and came to this situation in older life after my kids got established.

    If you are lucky and have some money, you can get a hunting property in driving distance. But I would have to say a 40 to 60 minute drive is so totally much better than a 1.5 to 2.0 hour drive.

    I've had hour drives to work when I was young. It was fine in the 1990's because talk radio was fantastic, but I wouldn't recommend that for real life these days. The drive to work.

    I've had a wildlife habitat farm with a 40 minute drive for the last 13 years. And that drive was what I consider very fine. Getting out there once or twice a week was easy and it has a functional cabin and I had lots of habitat implements and tractor and such.

    I'd treat hunting as secondary and do the best you can do for the wife and child. Without that being the penultimate. In other words, having a balance.

    And if you are young, don't be in a hurry and get a great group of deer hunting guys--five best friends, that you can develop a tribe to go forward in finding out your best hunting plan.

    I live suburban. My farm is rural, but well populated.

    Oh, and if you are young, feel free to contact me for more personal conversations about life in general. I have a broad breadth of experience in family life and stuff and perspective as well as having home life and getting away with the separate farm and deer habitat and habitat improvements.
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2020
  11. NbyNW

    NbyNW

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    I lived in a private sub and hunted public a lot while living there, also owned 20, didn’t hunt it or go there much even though it was only 20 minutes away. Bought a house with 15 acres and love the privacy, ability to work on a small project when I have a spare hour, and still hunt public a lot. I like living on acreage much better, hands down.
    Not sure of your age or family situation, but my wife and I are raising our first child, and time is at a premium to say the least. Knowing I can sneak out back for a quick sit makes things a lot easier. Checking cams, walking the property, living with privacy is a completely different lifestyle, so make sure your wife is totally on board. Also, convincing my wife to do improvements on land we live on is a much easier sell compared to a separate parcel.
    For comparison, the separate parcel had larger bucks, but I get much more excited to hunt my house, it feels more like it’s ours and a longer term commitment. I sit in the stand and think about all that can be done, whereas the remote property felt more like a lease or public.
    A lot comes down to your personal preferences, both can be great depending on your ideal situation. Personally, spending weekends away from my son and wife isn’t appealing, I also don’t have any family that hunts, whereas many of my friends that do camps, do have that family and camaraderie to enjoy.
    Another factor is weather, you can’t always plan free weekends or days off around cold fronts or rain, etc. Living at a property it is easy to sneak out for a two hour sit when the weather suits.
     
  12. StevenJ

    StevenJ Inscrutable Mastermind Premium Member

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    Well said NbyNW.

    The investment in the family and son is more important. In the short term of 5 to 10 years.

    I had the luxury of getting a side hobby habitat when my kids were college age.

    There are limits to appeasing wife and child's needs. But decisions to have primacy for hunting are also limiting. The thing is: you can't forecast or predict the future.

    Finances also take precedence.

    Once again the OP was too restrained on details. For good advice.
     
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  13. Thirty pointer

    Thirty pointer Premium Member

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    I'm lucky to be able to have both my property downstate and in the UP .The drive to the UP is long but worth it for the peace of mind up there .I do hunt much more out back downstate because the deer numbers and size are higher here .That being said it's not all about just hunting .Many large lakes to fish with few speed boaters personal water craft .Also just going to your property for camping and just getting away is worth the time and investment .
     
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  14. MN_DeerHunter

    MN_DeerHunter

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    StevenJ thanks for the info. Some more about me and our situation:

    -I’m 33 and live in southern Minnesota ag country, so yes, still relatively young still to be pondering these types of things.

    -I work in accounting and have been married 5 years in December.

    -Have 1 year old son, wife and I want to make sure he has access to great school district with good sports programs like you mentioned. Much like NbyNW mentioned, my time is at a serious premium having a young family so flexibility of living on a piece is appealing. Also like NbyNW mentioned, I don't necessarily like to be away from home for too long since we have a young one now. Never thought I would, but when I am away I feel a great deal of guilt.

    -Wife works from home and has a great job, both of us have our college degrees and good paying jobs. We live very comfortably financially, try to pay cash for most everything and avoid unnecessary debt, but are not super wealthy.

    -Built our current house (on 10 acres) in 2015 and have built up a good amount of equity we can roll into a new place. This is the same property in the "My Small Property" thread. We live about 30 minutes from my job. Would like to keep commute about the same if possible, maybe a little longer would be ok.

    -My immediate family is not into hunting, however my Dad (56) is getting into it and my wife is very supportive. This year alone I have gone to Montana and Missouri and am planning on going back to MO in November while my wife watches our son. I am very fortunate.

    -As far as wife's true feelings, I feel she is being honest about buying a place. She has talked about building another house someday for quite some time now.

    -I have a handful of friends who like to hunt as well but none of them live close to me, so I doubt they would ever come to "my place" to hunt unless I started a gun opener tradition or something.

    I'm happy to share more details that could help with offering an opinion - ask away if I am missing anything. Appreciate the feedback so far!
     
  15. jatc

    jatc

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    FWIW. My land is 70 miles from home. It is just over an hour drive. Close enough to go there regularly, but it still feels like “camp” when I’m there.

    I’m not interested in looking at my house while I’m sitting in my tree stand.