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Opinion - To Lease or to Buy Land

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View Poll Results: What would you do?
Continue to Lease - Larger Land, More Deer & Stands
Buy own land - Smaller track, less stands, but control the land
Buy Now and hunt my own land for now, add Lease later if needed
Voters: 9. You may not vote on this poll

Opinion - To Lease or to Buy Land

Old 10-26-2020, 06:05 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2020
Posts: 2
Default Opinion - To Lease or to Buy Land

I am at a crossroads and need a second set of eyes...

Current situation:
I have been in a hunting club with 9-12 guys for 14+ years now. The make up of the club has changed year over year with who is in and out, so its not like it is a group of friends. At this point it is almost like hunting with random strangers. We typically have at least 2 farms (each 300-400 acres) and each farm has 10-20+ stands that can all be hunted by all, just pin in a board when you arrive to hunt. I have killed 20-30 bucks in those years but my best so far is a single 135" class (lots of 110-120's). These 2 leases are currently only 10-15 miles from my home.
The current cost of this lease is $2500 yearly per person.

Oppt to Own:
A 28 acre partial of thick swamp bottom land has become available directly behind my house that has a large (200-300+ acre) farm fields on either side of it typically with Corn or Soybean planted yearly.
The track of land always holds deer and I have some trail cam pics of a few monsters, but they typically scatter as the fall kicks in and you only get the wandering bucks during the rut. I think there is enough room on that track for 6-7 stands easily. The challenge is it is right behind my house and 4 neighbors so gun hunting may not be an option.
The price on the land is $150k or roughly $5-6k per year.

Now I am a trophy hunter and don't typically hunt for meat so I let a lot of stuff walk, I have also found in recent years that I don't gun hunt as much as I used to because I enjoy bow hunting more.
I typically hunt early Black powder for a day or two and I hunt opening week of shotgun. Other than that 80-90% of my bucks have been taken with Bow or Crossbow.

The question I keep asking myself whether I keep paying a lease to hunt good hunting lands with tons of stands (but with strangers who could at anytime shoot the buck I'm after)...or increase my spend to have a smaller tract with limited stands but be the only hunter and own the land (even though swamp land). I have went back and forth on this and I'm looking for others points of view.

1. Continue to Hunt larger tracks of land with larger herds for less total investment.
2. Buy and Own my own track of land.
3. Opt out of Lease for a few years (3-4), Buy my own land, pay it off, then decide if I need or want to rejoin the lease for additional land

Titan97 is offline  
Old 10-26-2020, 08:34 AM
Nontypical Buck
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 2,742

IMO Nothing beats having your own land, it makes life easier and is a REAL investment , and your not just throwing money away as you do in a lease
BUT, IMO< and no clue where your at, I wouldn;t buy as small tract of land for a 150K when in most places larger amounts can be had, that allow you more options to work on!
leasing just gets you acess to things with ouyt you having to do much work, the better the land and lower the amount of lease members , can many times, just mean BIGGER BUCKS< or just paying mroe?

there are so many factor to consider when looking at this stuff, its hard or impossible for anyone to tell you what to do, with so many un known's

NOW, NO bash here but have to ask, if you consider yourself a trophy hunter and say the last 20-30 o so bucks have been in the 110-120 range
that isn;t really trophy hunting by MOST trophy hunters standards, there NOT that hard to grow that size, they are in most places a 3 yr old buck with decent access to food!
so if your happy with that size, you can make that happen on almost any land you have if you provide reason for deer to LIVE and stay mostly on your land( a lot depends on location too, but a 120 class buck isn;t hard to get on land if you provide what it takes for them to live there YEAR round!, good management of plantings of quality habitat and foods, will grow 120's IF they get a chance to LIVE to 3+ yrs old!
and in some places 120's can happen pretty fast!

You also mention that in the lease your in, you have concerns about another hunter shooting a buck your after
well, if you buy a SMALL acre piece of land that same issue will be happening, if not more so, , all the more so the land your looking at,, as you already stated it looses deer as seasons change and your ONLY getting PASSING BY DEER, after maybe say crops get harvested or what ever!
SO< your NOT gaining any better odds on killing a targeted buck, on this small piece of land, BUT again, buying land, your at least getting something for your money that will most likely increase in vale, as to wasting money on a lease!

personally for me, I am NOT a fan of leasing, I have better things to spend my money on and have always been able to find good hunting on lands I don't have to pay to hunt(well I do give land owners gifts, so I guess I do pay some what, but its NOT near what a lease would cost, and none ever ask me for anything either, they just appreciate it when I do, which gets me access again and again and made me some great friends over the yrs, and that also lead to me gaining access to a LOT more lands to hunt)

People get caught up real easy in having to have PRIME lands to hunt, or get caught up in numbers of stand options and blah blah blah,
to be a good hunter can be done by just working harder, developing better skills and gaining access to lands the old fashion way, by ASKING< being helpful, earning access.
YES some don;t have the time to do so, and just rather PAY.
and so be it
my opinion, is save up, buy your own land, and hunt lands that don't require paying to access
as if your after trophy's and willing to PAY, maybe just go to an outfitter or a high fence and shoot things(yes I get costs can add up, but if a true trophy hunter, your not killing BIG deer on what your doing now so? as they say, some times have to PAY to PLAY LOL)

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Old 10-26-2020, 08:55 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2020
Posts: 2

Thanks mrbb, no offense taken. 15-16 years ago I was hunting public (overhunted) land and any 8pt or bigger was a trophy. So like I've told others a "trophy" is based on what you have taken in the past (eyes of the hunter)...but after years and years of 8, 9, and even 14pts that didn't score high I finally several years ago broke into a better class of bucks with my first two P&Y's and last year my first Booner. So my goal has always been to keep getting bigger. I have finally hit a place where a basket 8-9 pt doesn't excite me as much as it used too.

Very much appreciate all the thoughts and feedback...I'm seriously starting to think owning my own land and having my own stands set the way I want would be really nice. And as you said if a trophy deer doesn't happen for a few years I could always go on a guided hunt.

Titan97 is offline  
Old 10-26-2020, 10:36 AM
Nontypical Buck
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 2,742

I am glad you didnl;t take anything I said as offensive, as I never meant it that way
and I fully get your view, its about what mine was, I always wanted to try and get bigger and at some point smaller one's just didn;t seem worth shooting(no offence to anyone that wanted them)
I just found finding ANY buck pretty easy and the challenge for me started to be more about finding certain class of bucks, over just hunting for any buck
which is also why I started into food plots a LONG time ago(back in late 80's)
I found you can GROW bucks, if your willing to make the effort and have the land to do so on, and THEN the harder part is keeping others away from them, that is IMO the hardest part, all the more so when MOST hunters want to kill ANY legal buck, and hunting pressure is HIGH in your area!
but it can still be done, my hunting camp for 30+ yrs NO one ever killed a buck over MAYBE 70 inches, then we started managing it for larger, surrounded by public land and HIGH hunting pressure
we slowly started getting 120-140's and even one 170+
things that helped us was working with locals that owned lend near us, club members that were enforced to abide with fines if not, and well, got rid of some that wouldn't, and then to be honest I think one of the bigger helps for us there was when hunting lic sales started to drop LOL
went from a 1 million or so lic sales to almost Half of that now , and of them remaining, many are like you and me, they want larger bucks too!

But again, having land to control is your best bet, it might take time to get them l;larger, but it is possible, and the MORE acres you have the better the odds are of them making it yr to yr!
small acres is never easy to see any buck last long, unless you have something they cannot get else where and are willing to STAY on your land Most of the yr!

this is where again BUILDING G a place is so nice an option, it is also extremely rewarding top, see your work produce things
in the mean time waiting for bigger bucks on many properties I helped manage over the decades, many owners would take ONE or 2 hunts else where to scratch there itch for that big buck, while growing them at home, then at some point them trips stopped, as they really got into developing THERE lands into better places,
making a piece of land into what you want is very addicting and I know of NO one that that regretted buying land

so again, my vote is to BUY land, why spend all that $$ over the yrs and have NOTHING to show

Big bucks can be killed on public lands, and are every YR
I hunted a lots of states(maybe about 20 for deer) and killed many on public lands, and every state I hunted often(yr to yr or for years) I ended up making fiends with locals and getting access to better private lands, NOT so much in better bucks, but in more control over WHO would be there when I was, as that was my biggest issue with public land, you get set up some place nice, and an hour after day light or prime time, some idiot comes walking in your set up and sort of ruins your day,
and nothing you can do but suck it up, as thats PUBLIC lands, and anyone can hunt them

but even so, I still hunt public lands today at times, some are VERY good, and if you learn hunters patterns on them you can dodge them pretty well! and do well yr after yr, all comes down to again, how much work your willing to do and your goals!

we all like easy hunts, show up, climb a stand and wait, most of the work all done already!

if that is all one wants, then, paying tends to be the game they play
which is fine for many guys these days
its why hunting has so many shapes and ways to do it!

another way to look at things some times is, hunting on Public lands, you can view it as an added challenge to your skills, to do better there than most do!
or branch out to new area's and see how well you are in a new place, change of scenery is nice some times too, as its not always about a KILL, many times its about enjoying the day afield too, or is for me!
Killed a LOT of deer over my life time, so, now I enjoy other p[arts of the hunts more at times, still like BIG bucks, don;t get me wrong, but I can enjoy other parts of a hunt just as much now
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Old 10-26-2020, 06:27 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Northern California
Posts: 18,391

I like mrbb's idea of buying the land. More control, less likely to lose game cameras you set up and the ability to walk out your back door and start hunting. How well do you know the owners of the 2 farm fields on either side? Do they hunt or lease their properties to hunt? Are they planning on farming long term? If either or both are thinking about splitting their properties up for residential lots/acreage, that could have an effect upon your decision.
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Old 10-26-2020, 11:45 PM
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Join Date: May 2020
Location: central Wisconsin
Posts: 67

We have a lease for 6 guys on 120 acres of wooded land. Kind of a family deal. Cost is $200 a year for each of us ($1200 total). We are friends with the farmer who leases to us. It's awesome land with at least 3-4 NICE bucks taken each year. I've got 2 eight pointers out of there. We have no reason to buy. Here's one taken from my stand the year before I got in on the lease. And anyone comes on the land they're paying a trespassing fine. Oh did I mention one of the guys has a Polaris dealership and leaves a new 2-seater out there for all to use (hidden key)?

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Last edited by Popgunshooter; 10-26-2020 at 11:51 PM.
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