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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Need some opinions fellas. I have got a friend who is interested in buying a very large piece of land(900+acres) in Iowa and eventually trying to become an outfitter. This would be a dream to be a part of something like this i would think. Is it possible to actually get something like this going in time? What do you think it would take to intice people to become interested in this due to the fact there are hundrededs of these places? I could be a dreamer, but this is the one major risk I would be willing to take in my life.
 

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Accessibility, plenty of quality deer, clean accomodations, friendly and honest hosts.

Price isn't always the determining factor. Have you ever paid more for something because you received superior service?

That's what people are looking for when they have to spend money AND travel to get there.
 

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woundo said:
Need some opinions fellas. I have got a friend who is interested in buying a very large piece of land(900+acres) in Iowa and eventually trying to become an outfitter. This would be a dream to be a part of something like this i would think. Is it possible to actually get something like this going in time? What do you think it would take to intice people to become interested in this due to the fact there are hundrededs of these places? I could be a dreamer, but this is the one major risk I would be willing to take in my life.

woundo,
There have been several studies over the year where people are interviewed in their senior years and asked what they would have done differently in their lives. The answer given the most was that they would have taken more risks and pursued their dreams more vigorously. I say unless you are puting your family at risk you should go for it!!

Big T
 

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Not many people lay on their deathbed and say "Gee, I really loved my job and all the hours I spent at work"

If you have the opportunity, do it.
 

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Quality bucks and a quality hunting experience is all you really need. Even the most high end guys will stay in $40 a night motels or 16'x16' plywood cabins and eat greasy bar cheeseburgers if there's a reasonable chance of even seeing a quality buck.
All other considerations like food and lodging are far secondary IMHO.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
This is where questions would start to pop up, I would not be worried about hospitality at all, you only get out of things what you put into it. How many quality deer could you have on 900+ acres. Possibly 7-10 150+inch deer? I would think if you are going to pay hard earned money you are going to want the best.
 

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Are these going to be fair chase deer or are you planning on putting a big fence around the 900?

Fenced in areas will hold a heck of alot more that 7-10 dominant bucks of 150+ if managed properly (imo).

People are paying dearly for the chance to shoot something approaching the 200 score even if it means shooting penned up bucks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I would want nothing to do with a fence, would have to be fair chase. But if managed properly, with the proper resources, I would think a fence would not be needed.
 

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Well, imo, the 900 acres would just be a start. Tons of variables...lay of the land....huntable acreage, access routes etc, but my guess is you would want to start leasing other properties as soon as funds permitted. 900 acres of farmland etc is not that much huntable land in the big scheme of things and between all the work setting stands, guides scouting, hunters in and out the pressure would be more than you realize. Now don't get me wrong, it's a great start, but you would have to choose and schedule hunters carefully. This is where having multiple properties becomes important, keep stand and access routes fresh etc for the entire hunting season.

I would suggest that your friend gets as much info on the surrounding properties as well. Are they leased by hunters or outfitters? Managed? Future leasing potential? Check the record books for that county/area? Are the numbers strong enough to attract hunters? Iowa as a whole is great, but some areas are definitely better than others so that will have to be taken into consideration as well.

I say do your homework and get as much info as possible. If you like what you see, go for it!!
 

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I agree- while 900 acres would be heavan for an family or individual- you will need more land to sustain a business. Might offer a nice supplement both would need quite a bit more to keep clients happy- imo.

Marshall
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I would agree with you, more land would need to be obtained to creat an ideal enviornment. Bordering properties would need to be leased out or purchased. But as a starting point to try to become established and create revenue to have further options, would it be enough? I undersatnd there are many variables that will play into the whole plan and it would be a great deal of work and luck to get off the ground. I think it would be worth the risk for the reward.
 

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Swamp Monster said:
Well, imo, the 900 acres would just be a start. Tons of variables...lay of the land....huntable acreage, access routes etc, but my guess is you would want to start leasing other properties as soon as funds permitted. 900 acres of farmland etc is not that much huntable land in the big scheme of things and between all the work setting stands, guides scouting, hunters in and out the pressure would be more than you realize. Now don't get me wrong, it's a great start, but you would have to choose and schedule hunters carefully. This is where having multiple properties becomes important, keep stand and access routes fresh etc for the entire hunting season.

I would suggest that your friend gets as much info on the surrounding properties as well. Are they leased by hunters or outfitters? Managed? Future leasing potential? Check the record books for that county/area? Are the numbers strong enough to attract hunters? Iowa as a whole is great, but some areas are definitely better than others so that will have to be taken into consideration as well.

I say do your homework and get as much info as possible. If you like what you see, go for it!!
That there is some good advise.
 

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I could see in the best of circumstances a property that size yeilding 8-12, 3.5 year olds+ a year..basically 135-140" up. So, with some fairly high success rates you could get 15-20 hunters total for the year in a quality operation over the course of 3-4 weeks at around $2500 a person. Maybe a target of $50,000 a year in gross income...minus expenses. Personally, I'd probably have at a bare minimum, 50 stands on that property, steps, etc. If there was farmland that could be both rented AND planted purely for wildlife the food plot expenses might even out with the ag land rent.

You have your initial tree-stand investment that will be a future re-occuring expense..but by quality with chains and square steal tubing to hold the platforms up (www.blackwatercreek.com) and your stands will last a good decade or more and will cut down on your expenses.

Then you have your costs of owning land..taxes, int., insurance, etc. as well was housing hunters expenses..food, lodging expeses, etc.

I would think your goal would be in that case to break-even on your expenses...basically pay for the land and house/lodge if available, and look at leasing additional land to provide your net income cash flow. Having another source of flexible income or a spouse that works wouldn't be bad either!

Hey, if you do the math, are conservative in your numbers, realistic in your expectations, and truly want to learn how to grow and manage for mature bucks as a professional...GO FOR IT!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
This may be a stupid question but do manufacturers sponser or "back" these type of things? I wouldnt think so but, as far as food plots you could possibly get dicounts in large numbers to seed or would they donate to say the so and so ranch is exclusive with biologic or something?
 

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Based on the immediate replies, I'll probably be in the minority, but IMO there are plenty of game ranches out there already. To differentiate you need to find what draws hunters to YOUR dreamland. And it might be quality deer at lower prices. The majority will never pay a couple of thousand dollars for a chance at a nice whitetail. I'd say treat it as a business first, and a dream second. Homework, homework, and more homework. Homework like this first survey - a great way to start hearing from your potential customers (great job!!) :)
 

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Regardless of the endeavor, I never recommend business partnerships. It is uncommon to find a partnership where both of the owners are satisfied and like minded after the initial 5-10 years in business. It's been my observation that one of the best ways to destroy a friendship or family relationship is to go into business together. Do your own research on this - ask a dozen business owners who've been in partnerships for more than 10 years if they would prefer to have done it on their own, and then listen closely to what you hear.
 

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Just got a holiday call yesterday from my ole Army buddy in Harlan Iowa.....good crop land...and good for cattle as well ( near the crops ) ....he's got 1000 acres...AG land and 130 Angus....Son runs the place now....Many Chicago and big city boys tying up land for hunting Priviliges....Southern Iowa land 200.00 300.00 per acre......good crop land......6500.00--7500.00 per acre....better get in on the act before there is no more space to hunt....what a deal???!!! them prices are purchase prices...not lease prices.....:sad:

HAPPY NEW YEAR
 
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