Best Location for an Upland Paradise

Downtown Bang!

New member
So sometime in the next 5-10 years I could potentially have the opportunity to make a big decision. Buy a warm season only retirement residence in Northern MN with good nearby public access for fishing & Ruffed Grouse hunting opportunities. Or take a more expensive (but maybe more rewarding) road and look at a 1/4 section of property in a pheasant/upland bird state.

Assuming I have the financial flexibility to purchase a decent chunk of marginal agricultural land for recreational purposes what locale has the best options. I would consider pheasant "production" a primary purpose but an area where pheasants & bobwhite quail could coexist would be really appealing too.

The general area would have to have low (relatively speaking anyway) land prices

The general area would need to have at least decent existing upland bird populations with some insulation from the whims of national farm policy

The area would need to have good potential to enroll land in revenue producing conservation programs or have cash rent crop options that compliment/enhances the upland habitat

Other good public upland hunting opportunities within a short drive would be important

The upland habitat type would be such that I could generally handle the maintenance by myself with a small compliment of equipment

I'm guessing the short list will include some combination of South Dakota near the MO river, southwest/south central Nebraska or north central Kansas but curious what other will say. Thank for any feedback.
 

Downtown Bang!

New member
What do you consider "affordable land" per acre?
Kind of relative depending on what kind of income the property could generate. If I had to pick a number it would be $2K an acre give or take depending on the situation. In NC Kansas even that could be tough $$ wise with CRP only $40-$50 an acre.

General off the cuff & not totally researched business plan would be to put 1/4 to 1/3 of purchase price down & then cover 3-5 of the monthly payments each year with income off the property.

For context I would definitely be targeting property with marginally productive cropland with some combination of other less commercially valuable but important characteristics. Wetlands, riparian areas, pasture/grassland etc.
 
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NC IA Tail Chaser

New member
Downtown Bang! I think that before you begin to invest in an upland paradise you should first really think about what it is you really want. If all you want is access to great upland hunting opportunities then I would forget about buying property and think about just finding the best places to hunt for what it is you want to hunt and go do it. If you want to buy land so that you have a place to tinker around and try to establish some prime upland hunting ground then great but understand if you are going to do this right it is a lot of work. It may even be more work than you would be willing to do and then you either let it go or have to hire it done and that is hard people to do that kind of work and when you do find someone it is expensive. By the time you find the property, buy it, and unless it is already in CRP, you will most likely have to wait to enroll it. Then there is the cost of the equipment needed to maintain the property, property tax, fuel, your time maintaining it, and of course you will want to build something to live in so that you can stay on the property during hunting season. If you have the means and the inclination to do this I would be behind you 100%. If you are not sure about it and what you really want is great hunting then I would invest in that retirement residence in Northern MN, and really make it nice, it will appreciate in value, there will be little maintenance and then you can travel to some of the best hunting places in the US. If you squirrel away 1/4 of the money you will sink into the hunting paradise you could afford to take 3-4 hunting vacations a year to some of the best places and then supplement those trips with local hunts. Just my 2 cents..
 

Downtown Bang!

New member
With all due respect NC I grew up on a farm in the Midwest that my family still owns (not an upland mecca option) and do have a pretty good handle on what it takes and what the costs are to have, work & maintain a property. If the financial opportunity to pursue a venture like this does present itself it will be done within my means, well researched and mostly for the satisfaction of building the habitat, conserving the land & sharing the rewards.

Not ungrateful for the feedback but honestly just looking for some creative suggestions on what areas of the country remain that provide the best common sense opportunity for upland based recreational land ownership......
 

NC IA Tail Chaser

New member
Downtown Bang thank you for your response to my reply. All the time I was writing it I was thinking this is going to make him mad and that was never my intent. I didn't know your background and because I am older than many on here & I have seen other people do things and I myself have done done things that I should have thought about with my head and less with my heart I just wanted to have you take a look at other options. I think your idea is a great one and if you decide to pull the trigger don't rule out Iowa especially NC & NW Iowa.
 

Downtown Bang!

New member
Downtown Bang thank you for your response to my reply. All the time I was writing it I was thinking this is going to make him mad and that was never my intent. I didn't know your background and because I am older than many on here & I have seen other people do things and I myself have done done things that I should have thought about with my head and less with my heart I just wanted to have you take a look at other options. I think your idea is a great one and if you decide to pull the trigger don't rule out Iowa especially NC & NW Iowa.
No worries NC and not mad at all. Apologize as my writing style (product of my work) on the interwebz can come across as blunt. By the posts above others also appreciated your comments.
 

sdviking

New member
I Love South Dakota! We have 40 acres next to 160 acres of CRP and a mile from 640 acres of good public hunting land. So it can be done. We are in North East SD which means good fishing, deer hunting, waterfowl migration and decent pheasant hunting. I would think the Chamberlain area would be even better. Have fun dreaming of your future hunting spot. SDviking
 

couliewalker

New member
I read your "dream" and it was as if I wrote it.
I looked and looked for an affordable hunting paradise.My first choice would have been somewhere I could hunt wild pheasant,maybe quail, and also raise my own year round to supplement my property.All in a very affordable package.That in a nutshell is/was my dream for retirement.The more I looked the more concessions I had to make with myself.Where I wanted to go,land prices were to high,where I could afford ,I didn't want to go.After I long time ,here is what I came up with.
No perfect place exists,I settled on the following
I gave up on the idea of a pheasant and quail hunting area for various reasons some already stated.
Upland hunting is upland hunting,my favourite bird is the one I Happen to be shooting at at any given time.(my way of,rationalizing with myself)
So I purchased property in N. ont CHEAP ( especially compared to anything decent I found anywhere else)
The grouse and woodcock hunting is phenomenal.There are millions of acres of crown ( open for hunting public land) around.With the money I saved I purchased a camp in a remote area on a lake (cheap).Between the 2 spots I have also great duck and goose hunting, pike,walleye and trout fishing.I'm close to all amenities,towns,schools,hospitals et al.People are great,my property taxes are low,standard of living high.All very very affordable.I've manicured some of my property and also use it for my own sporting clays course,I built pens and raise my own pheasant and quail for release.Sounds like heaven.It is for me,until end of November.Thats when it ends.It's cold and I mean freezing cold till April,so you either hibernate with the bears or head south with the birds.I do a bit of both. P.S. My property consists of 240 acres with one main cottage,garage and two other smaller camps on it.Plus my camp on a remote lake together cost me 100k cdn dollars.
With the savings I purchased couple boats for,fishing duck hunting,4 wheeler and snow mobile.Compared to other places I found it very affordable.
 

Downtown Bang!

New member
Thanks Couliewalker. You have built quite a life for yourself there.

The up north version of my dream will likely be the route I go. Would be so much more accessible for my kids, extended family etc. but is still hard to ignore what the prairie can do for ones soul.
 

benelli-banger

New member
I co-own a 1/4 in SE SD...bot it in 2000...put it in CRP after a couple of years, then enrolled it in a perpetual conservation easement (WRP) in 2005...much fun, did this before the big run-up in ag land prices...where I am now farm ground goes for around 4k an acre, some more, some less, but that is about the going rate, down from about 6k/acre about 4 years ago. We paid 600/acre in 2000...were paid 1200/acre to put it in the WRP program, which no longer exists. Because it can't be farmed or developed, it has less value, maybe you could look for a piece already in WRP, or a piece that has easements on it already, which diminishes the value. Suspect that West-river land prices are much lower...don't know if bird carrying #'s are different out that way or not...good luck!!
 
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