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Discussion Starter #1
Considering the purchase of property that would be strictly for hunting and occasional summer camp. I am curious to hear some opinions, should haves, could haves, and any other lessons learned.

Would you rather have state land bordering it or not etc. I have my own, albeit uneducated, opinion but am curious what others think that have been through it and own property
 

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There are all kinds of old threads on the subject of the perfect hunting property.

Try using the search function.
 

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For me if I was purchasing property I would be looking in the nw13. Bordering state land isnt all that bad if you utilize it yourself. As far as the land goes I would want some tillable, a mix of swamp, conifers, hardwoods, and maybe some prairie land with grasses and shrubs. It's going to be hard to find that exact piece unless you are looking at alot of acreage. Water isnt a must since you can dig your own ponds.
 

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Considering the purchase of property that would be strictly for hunting and occasional summer camp. I am curious to hear some opinions, should haves, could haves, and any other lessons learned.

Would you rather have state land bordering it or not etc. I have my own, albeit uneducated, opinion but am curious what others think that have been through it and own property
Unattended property tends to be a nonowners playground if accessible.
I'd rather live on it ,than travel to visit.

That said , my hunting property was chosen for it's being part of and it's role of the area it's in.
Specifically , a geographical deer funnel in an area deer gravitate to for security ,and more...
Decent neighbors are a benefit too. They check into any suspicious activity.

Soil matters if you are going to grow anything. And it matters in what browse is available ,and what will be available over time if you don't..
As does sunlight reaching the ground. Turnkey good or better hunting property can get pricey. For good reason.
Up to you if you want a project ,or a poor soil area. Combine them both and you might wish you had looked longer. Unless there are other reasons for wildlife being there. But food and security matter...As can few humans tromping in and around it with killing game in mind.

How far you are comfortable traveling in all weather , and how often you'd be making a run factors. With age , comes a slower packing /unpacking and eventually a shorter cruising range.


State land adjacent has had owners not happy with traffic and trespassing.
A very specific isolated piece might get around most conflicts , but would still not be immune.
IF your activities benefit from land adjacent great. State land near by that you can access seems better than at your border , but that's up to you ,and the state land users attitudes regarding your privacy.
I'd lean toward expecting hunters on the border , at the least.

The wrong neighbors can make a private parcel no fun also.
Who and what is around matters. I'll spare you the stories...

Once read an add for an acre or two in the U.P. adjacent to a trail on public land.
That was attractive at the time for it's location . And for what little existed to worry about.
If someone stole all the timber , so be it. The succession might even draw wildlife.
But , as a "jumping off" site , I would have a place to camp , and access to lots and lots of ground.
 

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I like thick thick brush. the fewer amounts of properties that touch yours the better off u r. and find an area with lots of deer. and heck no would I have public land next to me. almost forgot, if u want to bait buy in the UP
 

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Here are a few things that should be priority for you.

Good to great soil. Probably the most important thing to consider. A trip to you local NRCS office will get you all the info you need. You don’t want sandy, saturated or flooded soils.

Limited number of neighbors. Having a bad neighbor will cause you stress. That’s not why you buy recreation land.

Adjoining AG land is a big plus as long as your neighbors don’t have disease control, crop damage or DMAP tags. That info is available from your local DNR biologist.

You want a mix of open, brushy and forested property.

Flowing water is nice to have.

Stay away from dairy operations if you are looking in the bTB zone.

Early successional forest attracts lots of wildlife aside from deer.

No closer than a mile from public land. A quick ride on an ATV will get you there in 5 minutes if that’s what you are looking for.

Limited road frontage is something to consider. Being the drive on the end of a road is best.

Acre Value and county equalization websites will save you a lot of footwork.

Greenstone Farm Credit will provide loans. Unless there is another recession land won’t get any cheaper than now.

NRCS offices are good sources of info. The COs will let you know if you have a poaching problem. The county sheriff will let you know if you are thinking of buying near a problem area. Do your due diligence.

It could take years to find a great property. Don’t settle for anything less than a great piece. Be ready to act if you find the right piece of land. Most good to great ones only come up for sale once in a lifetime. Good luck.
 

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Accessibility, I bought property in the center of the state so that I could use I-75 or 127 to get there. On crowded weekends and holidays, and there are known accidents or construction on the freeways, you have easy access to alternative routes.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
I do greatly appreciate the input. NRCS office is a good suggestion that I would not have thought of.

Any property would be northern lower (Emmett county) or eastern UP, My thought would be to definately manage the habitat, if not already being done, for food, bedding areas, clear cuts, etc. I would not consider anything less than 80ish acres.

I am really interested in hearing "if I had it to do over I would have done ____"



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. . . I am really interested in hearing "if I had it to do over I would have done ____"



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If I had to do it over again I'd get a place that didn't have camp buildings on it to save on maintenance. I don't need to store equipment, and camping would be less work and fuss than keeping up another place. This answer doesn't work for everyone, but it's the way the math adds up for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
If I had to do it over again I'd get a place that didn't have camp buildings on it to save on maintenance. I don't need to store equipment, and camping would be less work and fuss than keeping up another place.
K.I.S.S. - I agree houses are a lot of work. For me a "camp" would definitely need to be something "maintenance free" (pole building) or something I didn't care about (old trailer/fifth wheel) and an outhouse.

If property is an hour + away I feel like you need something - small pole building with a wood stove could serve all purposes quite well. Storage, sleeping, low/no maintenance. Could easily wire some 12V led lights and a marine battery that would last days.
 

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Any property would be northern lower (Emmett county) or eastern UP, My thought would be to definately manage the habitat, if not already being done, for food, bedding areas, clear cuts, etc. I would not consider anything less than 80ish acres.

I am really interested in hearing "if I had it to do over I would have done ____"

Sent from my SM-N975U using Michigan Sportsman mobile app
People situations around a property can and do change over time, sometimes for the worse, but having enough property can help mitigate those things to a certain extent. IMO, you 80 acre floor is an absolutely wonderful idea. A square 160 would be even better at giving solitude and would open up more management options too.

One more thing. Consider giving some thought to locations of deer yards (I mean winter deer complexes). Sometimes winter comes too early in the snow belt and being somewhere near a yard can save an otherwise dismal firearm/ML season. Having a traditional migration path crossing the property is truly sweet, especially in ML or late archery but sometimes in firearm season too. Unfortunately, those places are few and far between. Hope you find you piece of Heaven sooner rather than later.

Now, "if I had to do it over again".... I don't think I would change much. Simplistically started, I have sandy ground in the north supporting a hardwood/oak ridge grading into aspen/balsam. That borders dense conifer then into a large tag alder swamp. The south is a hardwood/aspen ridge. Somewhere on the property there is just about any type of habitat a person can imagine.

Sandy soil plots might be an issue in very dry years but they are a blessing in years like the last couple. No matter what, rye will grow about anywhere, any time. With a variety of soils and scattered plots there are always places that can be reasonably worked on any given weekend.

As far as public land goes, I do have some state on all sides but only one side is reasonably accessible to the general public but I control the swamps and dense cover bedding areas on that side.

A final opinion: You cannot have too much land if you cherish freedom and solitude as much as I do. FM
 

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Here are a few things that should be priority for you.

Good to great soil. Probably the most important thing to consider. A trip to you local NRCS office will get you all the info you need. You don’t want sandy, saturated or flooded soils.

Limited number of neighbors. Having a bad neighbor will cause you stress. That’s not why you buy recreation land.

Adjoining AG land is a big plus as long as your neighbors don’t have disease control, crop damage or DMAP tags. That info is available from your local DNR biologist.

You want a mix of open, brushy and forested property.

Flowing water is nice to have.

Stay away from dairy operations if you are looking in the bTB zone.

Early successional forest attracts lots of wildlife aside from deer.

No closer than a mile from public land. A quick ride on an ATV will get you there in 5 minutes if that’s what you are looking for.

Limited road frontage is something to consider. Being the drive on the end of a road is best.

Acre Value and county equalization websites will save you a lot of footwork.

Greenstone Farm Credit will provide loans. Unless there is another recession land won’t get any cheaper than now.

NRCS offices are good sources of info. The COs will let you know if you have a poaching problem. The county sheriff will let you know if you are thinking of buying near a problem area. Do your due diligence.

It could take years to find a great property. Don’t settle for anything less than a great piece. Be ready to act if you find the right piece of land. Most good to great ones only come up for sale once in a lifetime. Good luck.
Why not next to ag land with disease tags or damage tags?
 

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If money was no option I'd go for farm country in the south part of the state with no public land in the area.

I'd as well have 20 acres in farm country as 200 up north so the cost might even out. I bought a cabin up north and just hunt public land. Like others have said, even law abiding citizens like me have access to onx maps. My rarely seen deer blind is 60 yards from private. It's a good spot.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I appreciate the additional replies. After starting the thread I settled on being interested in the following from people who have bought and managed property...

"if I had it to do over I would have (or not have) done ____"
 

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I appreciate the additional replies. After starting the thread I settled on being interested in the following from people who have bought and managed property...

"if I had it to do over I would have (or not have) done ____"
Turns out we have all bought and managed property. We call them state and national forests. If I was to do it again, I wouldn't buy anymore than the 7 million acres I already have.
 
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I have land in all-private ag areas, and a 40 surrounded on all sides by state forest. That 40 is well posted, with about 8 cell cams on all the obvious entrance points. We had problems with trespassers in years past, but nothing for the last couple years. Honestly, we have more problems with trespassers on the private land. Both properties hold big bucks for this area (120-130 class).

If I had to do it all over again, I would look at the farm country in Antrim County from Ellsworth to Eastport. Absolute slob bucks routinely come from that area that are never entered in the books.
 

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Turns out we have all bought and managed property. We call them state and national forests. If I was to do it again, I wouldn't buy anymore than the 7 million acres I already have.
But I'm being half facetious. Good luck with what you get! If it's any good you'll make some more friends.
 
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