Buying Land

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Buying Land

Postby UofAduckman1987 » Wed Jul 31, 2013 8:35 am

So I'm hoping for some input from some of you farmers or others that have experience in this matter. I'm a young guy and don't have decades of savings to put towards a large plot of land but would love to have a small portion that I could start to manage for waterfowl. Here are my thoughts and questions.

Would farmers be willing to sell a portion/s of a field that contain less than desirable farming terrain? Ideally a portion that was more prone to flooding that could be managed to stay flooded through the season. I was thinking 3-15 acres max that could be levied and managed with minimal equipment and water supply. The reason to buy would be to allow more freedom to manage habitat and guarantee a place to hunt if the surrounding farm changes hands. What would sub prime farm land that gets flooded year after year run per acre? Understand that this is Northwest AR and not eastern AR, there aren't 1000's of hunters scrambling for their own slice of flooded paradise. Would a farmer even want to sell this land or do they have some sort of incentive to keep it?

Since there are very few of these scenarios around my parts I think you could have a gold mine if you got it established. Since this would be a small amount of habitat, pressure would have to be managed accordingly and ideally if it proved successful I could start to accumulate multiple small properties to provide even more opportunities.

I live in northwest arkansas and duck hunting opportunities are limited in my close proximity but I think with a properly managed flooded food source one could get a handful of quality hunts throughout the season. With the large bodies of water around me that get heavily pressured during season the waterfowl seem to spread out to the surrounding ponds. Only when these small bodies freeze up do you get solid hunts on the lakes and rivers. Usually once or twice a year.

If this seems plausible where would you recommend one starting? Going door to door, contact a realtor, place advertisements.... I think this could be a great idea and possibly turn into a larger club type operation with the large interest in my area but minimal area to hunt. Let me know what you think.
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Re: Buying Land

Postby AR Dave » Wed Jul 31, 2013 2:47 pm

Our routine has been to buy, like a 500 acre farm, survey the swamp out and sell the 400 acres of farm land for what we paid.
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Re: Buying Land

Postby UofAduckman1987 » Wed Jul 31, 2013 3:29 pm

not a bad plan, I just don't see myself qualifying for a loan of $500,000. If I had the funds that'd work great.
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Re: Buying Land

Postby cannon » Sat Aug 03, 2013 6:31 pm

UofAduckman1987 wrote:not a bad plan, I just don't see myself qualifying for a loan of $500,000. If I had the funds that'd work great.


Ha! More like $1.5M. I dunno how the locals feel about it, but it sounds like a heck of a plan to me.
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Re: Buying Land

Postby greenster » Sun Aug 04, 2013 8:03 am

Dave, We are generally a group of poor hunters that hunt public waters.
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Re: Buying Land

Postby ByersFarm » Sun Aug 04, 2013 12:05 pm

You won't do much duck managing on 15 acres. Or 100 for that matter. Buying land is an expensive game. But then again so is duck hunting.
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Re: Buying Land

Postby AR Dave » Sun Aug 04, 2013 12:12 pm

You might be surprised what you can get, at the right bank, with the right duck hunting president (vice or loan officer), and sought after premium farm land. Anyhow, find the sloughs first, do the title searches, find who, what, how much they paid. Ask! Then keep an eye on them. Things change, especially with farmers.

Dave, We are generally a group of poor hunters that hunt public waters.

I didn't start this thread? :smile:
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Re: Buying Land

Postby UofAduckman1987 » Tue Aug 06, 2013 3:18 pm

Thanks for the input guys. On the managing ducks note, I have a feeling our two definitions may vary drastically in scale. From the few ponds that I have helped out with in the past I would say we have had success in increasing the number of birds harvested and birds using the pond. Now we are talking the difference between at first seeing ducks use the pond by chance once or twice a year to having multiple groups of birds utilize the cover and food for weeks at a time throughout the season. To me that is management. Granted, you hunt that pond, you'll have to let it sit for a few weeks for it to be successful again.

I think the biggest problem these ponds face is that they are not in an area that is frequented by birds. So seeing the success we have had on these small bodies of habitat in less than ideal areas is what leads me to believe that if you put them in an area that sees more birds your success should be increased.

You're still not talking an area that can be hunted every weekend through the season but a handful of easy hunts where I'm not waking up at 2am to beat 20 other boats to a spot is all that I'm looking for. I'll gladly take a few birds sitting by myself in solitude over a 6 man limit that required a 3 hour drive, 45 min boat ride, gun fight, game wardens cruising through my spread, and a cursing from my woman when I get home because I was gone all weekend.
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Re: Buying Land

Postby steve-o » Tue Aug 06, 2013 3:43 pm

UofAduckman1987 wrote:...and a cursing from my woman when I get home because I was gone all weekend.

Find a new one.
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Re: Buying Land

Postby Westtennduckhunter » Tue Aug 06, 2013 4:16 pm

cannon wrote:
UofAduckman1987 wrote:not a bad plan, I just don't see myself qualifying for a loan of $500,000. If I had the funds that'd work great.


Ha! More like $1.5M. I dunno how the locals feel about it, but it sounds like a heck of a plan to me.


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Re: Buying Land

Postby AR Dave » Tue Aug 06, 2013 4:55 pm

Sounds accurate to me UAduckman - like locating next to the Arkansas River, or a 7,000 acre bird watching WMA. We didn't plan it this way but now we are being sandwiched between the River and rice farms. Our farmers are adding thousands of acres of rice fields every year. With this and our Duck Habitat Coop, we've formed, hopefully we can lure some of Cannons birds to this part of the state.
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Re: Buying Land

Postby cannon » Tue Aug 06, 2013 8:34 pm

AR Dave wrote:, hopefully we can lure some of Cannons birds to this part of the state.


Never gonna happen . . .

Cannon's birds are slated for population management measures. It's like the old roach motel commercials . . . They check in, but they don't check out.

Dave, your kill sheets will be running 4 digits in no time. Stay after em.
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Re: Buying Land

Postby AR Dave » Tue Aug 06, 2013 8:48 pm

Ha ha - really I just want another band. :violin:
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Re: Buying Land

Postby UofAduckman1987 » Wed Aug 07, 2013 8:47 am

Yeah I'm thinking AR river or near some of the lakes in Eastern OK. Or I just need to say screw NW AR and hop over to the Jonesboro area, ya'll need any architects over in those parts? Or how about some contract work from late november through the end of January? Haha. I'll be making a few trips over your way this season, just make sure to leave a handful birds around for me. How's your lodge comin Cannon?
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Re: Buying Land

Postby cannon » Wed Aug 07, 2013 9:27 pm

UofAduckman1987 wrote:Yeah I'm thinking AR river or near some of the lakes in Eastern OK. Or I just need to say screw NW AR and hop over to the Jonesboro area, ya'll need any architects over in those parts? Or how about some contract work from late november through the end of January? Haha. I'll be making a few trips over your way this season, just make sure to leave a handful birds around for me. How's your lodge comin Cannon?


Sloooooooooow. I've had plumber issues. I've finally gotten the water lines back up and running, but it'll still be at least 3 days before the showers go in. I'm hoping for a Sept. 1 soft opening.
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Re: Buying Land

Postby UofAduckman1987 » Fri Aug 09, 2013 11:56 am

I here ya, seems like some projects are never ending. You going to have much of a teal shoot on your place? Sept 1st can't come quick enough. Been seeing increasing numbers of doves in our go-to field for the opener. Hope some cooler weather trickles in these next few weeks and we will have an awesome shoot on our hands.
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Re: Buying Land

Postby cannon » Fri Aug 09, 2013 5:37 pm

UofAduckman1987 wrote:I here ya, seems like some projects are never ending. You going to have much of a teal shoot on your place? Sept 1st can't come quick enough. Been seeing increasing numbers of doves in our go-to field for the opener. Hope some cooler weather trickles in these next few weeks and we will have an awesome shoot on our hands.


I don't expect much in terms of teal. Our crops are just way too late, and there's way too much water. I have high hopes for the dove hunt, though. Good luck with em.
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Re: Buying Land

Postby ByersFarm » Tue Aug 13, 2013 10:31 pm

UofAduckman1987 wrote:Thanks for the input guys. On the managing ducks note, I have a feeling our two definitions may vary drastically in scale. From the few ponds that I have helped out with in the past I would say we have had success in increasing the number of birds harvested and birds using the pond. Now we are talking the difference between at first seeing ducks use the pond by chance once or twice a year to having multiple groups of birds utilize the cover and food for weeks at a time throughout the season. To me that is management. Granted, you hunt that pond, you'll have to let it sit for a few weeks for it to be successful again.

I think the biggest problem these ponds face is that they are not in an area that is frequented by birds. So seeing the success we have had on these small bodies of habitat in less than ideal areas is what leads me to believe that if you put them in an area that sees more birds your success should be increased.

You're still not talking an area that can be hunted every weekend through the season but a handful of easy hunts where I'm not waking up at 2am to beat 20 other boats to a spot is all that I'm looking for. I'll gladly take a few birds sitting by myself in solitude over a 6 man limit that required a 3 hour drive, 45 min boat ride, gun fight, game wardens cruising through my spread, and a cursing from my woman when I get home because I was gone all weekend.

I understand where your coming from. I'm certainly no fan of long drives and stiff competition. Then again, I have it easy. My biggest point is that it's an uphill battle to improve habitat where ducks aren't currently using.
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Re: Buying Land

Postby cannon » Wed Aug 14, 2013 5:11 am

ByersFarm wrote:
UofAduckman1987 wrote:Thanks for the input guys. On the managing ducks note, I have a feeling our two definitions may vary drastically in scale. From the few ponds that I have helped out with in the past I would say we have had success in increasing the number of birds harvested and birds using the pond. Now we are talking the difference between at first seeing ducks use the pond by chance once or twice a year to having multiple groups of birds utilize the cover and food for weeks at a time throughout the season. To me that is management. Granted, you hunt that pond, you'll have to let it sit for a few weeks for it to be successful again.

I think the biggest problem these ponds face is that they are not in an area that is frequented by birds. So seeing the success we have had on these small bodies of habitat in less than ideal areas is what leads me to believe that if you put them in an area that sees more birds your success should be increased.

You're still not talking an area that can be hunted every weekend through the season but a handful of easy hunts where I'm not waking up at 2am to beat 20 other boats to a spot is all that I'm looking for. I'll gladly take a few birds sitting by myself in solitude over a 6 man limit that required a 3 hour drive, 45 min boat ride, gun fight, game wardens cruising through my spread, and a cursing from my woman when I get home because I was gone all weekend.

I understand where your coming from. I'm certainly no fan of long drives and stiff competition. Then again, I have it easy. My biggest point is that it's an uphill battle to improve habitat where ducks aren't currently using.


I feel ya . . . 5-7 years of water, food, and no pressure is a good start. That's hard for me, because the minute I see birds using a place, I want to smoke em.
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Re: Buying Land

Postby ByersFarm » Wed Aug 14, 2013 11:00 am

cannon wrote:
ByersFarm wrote:
UofAduckman1987 wrote:Thanks for the input guys. On the managing ducks note, I have a feeling our two definitions may vary drastically in scale. From the few ponds that I have helped out with in the past I would say we have had success in increasing the number of birds harvested and birds using the pond. Now we are talking the difference between at first seeing ducks use the pond by chance once or twice a year to having multiple groups of birds utilize the cover and food for weeks at a time throughout the season. To me that is management. Granted, you hunt that pond, you'll have to let it sit for a few weeks for it to be successful again.

I think the biggest problem these ponds face is that they are not in an area that is frequented by birds. So seeing the success we have had on these small bodies of habitat in less than ideal areas is what leads me to believe that if you put them in an area that sees more birds your success should be increased.

You're still not talking an area that can be hunted every weekend through the season but a handful of easy hunts where I'm not waking up at 2am to beat 20 other boats to a spot is all that I'm looking for. I'll gladly take a few birds sitting by myself in solitude over a 6 man limit that required a 3 hour drive, 45 min boat ride, gun fight, game wardens cruising through my spread, and a cursing from my woman when I get home because I was gone all weekend.

I understand where your coming from. I'm certainly no fan of long drives and stiff competition. Then again, I have it easy. My biggest point is that it's an uphill battle to improve habitat where ducks aren't currently using.


I feel ya . . . 5-7 years of water, food, and no pressure is a good start. That's hard for me, because the minute I see birds using a place, I want to smoke em.

As you and I know. That last sentence is what gets most people. It would me.
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Re: Buying Land

Postby AR Dave » Wed Aug 14, 2013 5:24 pm

What do y'all think about imprinting? My partner has been fanatic about it, and lets flocks of Mallard cover some holes for weeks without being hunted. We routinely sneak up, peek, verify there are ducks on the pond, and they enjoy life for a few weeks or until the weather changes. If ducks live 20-30 yrs, it makes sense?
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Re: Buying Land

Postby cannon » Wed Aug 14, 2013 6:19 pm

AR Dave wrote:What do y'all think about imprinting? My partner has been fanatic about it, and lets flocks of Mallard cover some holes for weeks without being hunted. We routinely sneak up, peek, verify there are ducks on the pond, and they enjoy life for a few weeks or until the weather changes. If ducks live 20-30 yrs, it makes sense?


If they return there to find water in safety for 5-7 years, they'll pretty much pass the coordinates down the line from generation to generation until and unless they're pressured out of that routine. I can put an "x" on the spot where the first bird will light on our farm every season, and I won't miss by more than 10 feet.


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Re: Buying Land

Postby AR Dave » Wed Aug 14, 2013 7:01 pm

That's good to hear - I'm going to mark an X on our pond too..
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Re: Buying Land

Postby UofAduckman1987 » Fri Aug 16, 2013 2:21 pm

Thankfully there are birds in the areas where I am imagining doing this but rarely do they stick around long due to the habitat and pressure. That imprinting is a crazy concept, I've heard that ducks and geese can be some of the most devout companions of any wild animal. Now if they could only do something for me beyond filling my belly I would look into a couple domesticated ducklings.
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Re: Buying Land

Postby ByersFarm » Fri Aug 16, 2013 4:56 pm

AR Dave wrote:What do y'all think about imprinting? My partner has been fanatic about it, and lets flocks of Mallard cover some holes for weeks without being hunted. We routinely sneak up, peek, verify there are ducks on the pond, and they enjoy life for a few weeks or until the weather changes. If ducks live 20-30 yrs, it makes sense?

Imprinting is the basis for everything we do. It may as well have been the 11th commandment.
You have to look beyond a ducks lifespan. Imagine a hen that find sanctuary on our rest pond. She returns home to nest at the end of the season. Upon teaching her young to fly, she brings them back to our rest pond. Now this cycle repeats, and grows every year. I believe that there are birds that leave Canada every year with the intent of coming here.
It takes a lot of land to imprint birds. You have to be able to rest them. It helps even more if you can rest them in one location for the entire season.
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