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Old 10-19-2020, 09:55 AM   #1
hooligan
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Default lease big property or buy small?

was out at the lease this weekend and started looking at what it would cost to buy our 2 sections. Came to the realization that 1,200ac is out of budget. Would you rather lease a larger chunk of land or buy something under 200 ac, under 100 if within a hour and a half of the house?
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Old 10-19-2020, 10:01 AM   #2
BernieH
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That would depend on the size of the small parcel's neighbors.
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Old 10-19-2020, 10:02 AM   #3
1riot1ranger
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Ha. you're about to get as many opinions as if you asked Ford or Chevy.

I get liking the big acreage and it usually comes with a related number of other hunters. I've opted for buying my own. It works for me, can go when I want, any improvements are mine, and I only hunt with people I know and want to have there

The current place I bought is small acreages but two family members from out of state bought adjoining properties so all total we have about 100 acres. Small by most any standard but hunts very well and works for me. Any when I'm tired of this place hopefully the value has appreciated instead of paying lease fees.
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Old 10-19-2020, 10:02 AM   #4
sideways
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If you want big deer lease big land.


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Old 10-19-2020, 10:05 AM   #5
Mbbriggs05
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Pros and Cons to both. At the end of the day it comes down to personal preference and finances.

I personal would prefer purchasing small tract that borders large tract, but again to each his own.
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Old 10-19-2020, 10:09 AM   #6
jnewberry18
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I would say buy, They are never going to be making any more land!
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Old 10-19-2020, 10:10 AM   #7
Outback
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If you owned your own land, you wouldn't ever have your lease canceled the month before deer season. You wouldn't have the owner's family showing up to hunt your feeders. You wouldn't have the owner allowing folks to run hog dogs on the property and you wouldn't have the owner putting up energy windmills. And, years down the road, you will have invested in something that appreciated.
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Old 10-19-2020, 10:16 AM   #8
Kevin
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9 years ago I purchased 140AC that is 1hr 25min from Coppell. Since that time, its doubled in price and I would have a hard time justifying the cost at this point vs the cost to lease if hunting is the main objective. I think from an investment standpoint, closer to DFW is better. If you are wanting a pure hunting place and your lifestyle won't let you go all the time, I would do something further away with excellent hunting.

It can get a little boring hunting the same place all the time but you have to try and mix it up with plots/new setups/projects/cabin/etc... I have hogs... lots of them... so you can hunt all year. As much as they are annoying, they do make low deer density areas more fun to hunt (I know... I know...)
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Old 10-19-2020, 10:18 AM   #9
Abu_dude
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Give me something that I can call "Mine" any day of the week!
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Old 10-19-2020, 10:18 AM   #10
Chad74
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I would rather buy. I can call it mine and I can make the rules.
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Old 10-19-2020, 10:21 AM   #11
riverbowman
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Been in both scenarios. For me there is no question buy smaller and closer, BUT I'm not too concerned about taking a giant deer and I'm not bothered if my neighbor shoots one I've been passing on.
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Old 10-19-2020, 10:47 AM   #12
Drycreek3189
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Both ? I own eighty acres where I killed a 138” buck last year about 350 yards from my house. I’m also on a lease about 20 minutes away in the adjoining county and hunt another property about 2 hours away by invitation, but I can go anytime I want. I don’t like to overhunt any place so I like to have options. You’re the only one who can make the choice.
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Old 10-19-2020, 11:08 AM   #13
vmont
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I would rather buy. We bought some land around Madisonville. I have plenty of deer and more pigs than we could have ever imagined. Been hunting it for the past 10 years and still get excited for every hunt. However, I really miss having a lease because I enjoyed hunting with my friends and hunting in different places around Texas.
In the end, the trade off is worth it to me.
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Old 10-19-2020, 11:09 AM   #14
Fmjag64
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Buy
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Old 10-19-2020, 11:16 AM   #15
Pineywoods
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sideways View Post
If you want big deer lease big land.


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Hmmm. Not true. Plenty of huge bucks killed on less than 200 acres in my part of Texas. I would rather own 200 acres all day long versus leasing 2000+ acres.
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Old 10-19-2020, 11:27 AM   #16
HighwayHunter
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It would depend on location. If I could buy 200 acres in a prime spot Iíd much rather own 200 acres than lease 2,000.


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Old 10-19-2020, 11:28 AM   #17
jerp
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All small acreages are not the same. There is a big difference between 160 acres sandwiched between ranches several thousand acres in size, and 1/4 section surrounded by other "weekend places" and leases of that size or less. At this stage of my life and hunting career I opt for close, (1 1/2 hours) comfortable (nice cabin) and no big lease drama. It's a trade-off for sure. There are only so many set-ups you can hunt - which can get boring - and a management program is well-near impossible when the surrounding 2,000 acres is owned by a dozen different people. .
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Old 10-19-2020, 11:35 AM   #18
BrianL
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You can hunt your investment, or pay to hunt someone else's investment. Depends on if you are a big picture kind of guy or just interested in the hunt. Both are ok. For me buy, hunt invest into property, improve property, sell, buy bigger property, ....repeat....repeat...
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Old 10-19-2020, 11:52 AM   #19
ctom87
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Good question. I was on 1400 acres last year. For an eniire year everything felt like an adventure as there was always something new to discover. There were always new deer. It seemed like something that would never feel old. Fast forward to this year and I am on a place under 100. It feels as though I have mastered it and know everything about it in about a month. The adventurer in me wants 1400 but doesnt want to pay for it or be limited to a small section.

Option 3...play the lotto, win millions, spend 2 mil on 1500 acres somewhere.
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Old 10-19-2020, 11:58 AM   #20
labman
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Done both, best land deal I had was 200 acres in Montague county with river frontage and drainage into Lake Nocona. Great waterfowl hunting 1-2 a week, decent deer hunting (best deer was a 150) and solid pig hunting. Surrounded by 1000 acres and 900 acres. Great neighbors and I had varmint and pig hunting access to both. 90 minutes driveway to gate. Problem started when one landowner sold and that place became a war zone, yes we benefitted some as our place became a sanctuary from the pressure, but I could see the long term decline in deer numbers coming. Eleven years later, we sold at 2.5 times the original price-great investment with priceless family time.

Bottom line, you can lose a lease but you can also lose the value of your land depending upon what the neighbors do. There are some incredible small properties out there, you just have to be patient. Some larger leases are all hype. But I don't get emotional looking at land, it's all about the exit strategy for me.
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Old 10-19-2020, 12:03 PM   #21
Darton
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pineywoods View Post
Hmmm. Not true. Plenty of huge bucks killed on less than 200 acres in my part of Texas. I would rather own 200 acres all day long versus leasing 2000+ acres.
Owning is far more rewarding
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Old 10-19-2020, 12:04 PM   #22
Pineywoods
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darton View Post
Owning is far more rewarding
Yes sir. Absolutely
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Old 10-19-2020, 12:14 PM   #23
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As mentioned, there are pros and cons to buying small vs. leasing large but there is nothing like owning your own property. There is just no more rewarding feeling than hunting and killing a good deer on your own property you built and managed with your own blood, sweat, and tears.

Most leases have their share of drama and you may still only get a couple hundred acres +/- to yourself.

The biggest downside is trying to hunt and enjoy a small property without putting too much pressure on the game. On a big ranch, if one stand gets burned out you have the ability to move to another. On a small property it's easy to burn it out. Then it takes a few weeks for game to return to normal patterns.
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Old 10-19-2020, 12:14 PM   #24
PassnItOn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darton View Post
Owning is far more rewarding
This!
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Old 10-19-2020, 12:19 PM   #25
gingib
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chad74 View Post
I would rather buy. I can call it mine and I can make the rules.
x2!
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Old 10-19-2020, 12:40 PM   #26
Matt_C
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Outback View Post
If you owned your own land, you wouldn't ever have your lease canceled the month before deer season. You wouldn't have the owner's family showing up to hunt your feeders. You wouldn't have the owner allowing folks to run hog dogs on the property and you wouldn't have the owner putting up energy windmills. And, years down the road, you will have invested in something that appreciated.
^^^^^^^^Truer words were never spoken...^^^^^^^^
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Old 10-19-2020, 12:46 PM   #27
JMart76
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I’m trying to find ways to eventually buy my own small place to enjoy. It would be awesome to own about 250-500 acres but 50-100 would be good enough.
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Old 10-19-2020, 12:59 PM   #28
ken800
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Buy... I have 70ish in lampasas surrounded by 1000+ acre spots and there are endless opportunities to hunt. I also live on 5 in a neighborhood of 5-20 acre sites for miles. I have a feeder in front and a feeder in back. On any given day, I have 12 or so does I could choose from. What I haven't seen is big bucks. Ever. In the past 3 years. I'm not into trophies, though, and either hunt hogs to eradicate or does for meat. If you are a trophy hunter, you'll have to be very selective if you buy small.
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Old 10-19-2020, 01:00 PM   #29
Farmdog
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U can grow big deer on 20 acres, then go catch a big trout. live happily ever after!
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Old 10-19-2020, 01:04 PM   #30
bbqfan5909
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I'd personally buy with the thought of resale later in life.
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Old 10-19-2020, 02:10 PM   #31
walker1983
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I own a project place that's 1.5hrs from my house, and lease a big ranch S of the border.

If i had to pick one, I would choose to own smaller instead of lease bigger, but it's comparing apples and oranges.

My lease is 8 hours from my house, and I can only make a few trips a year. I stay for 4-5 days, and hunt big low fence whitetails in big brush country. Best place I have ever hunted whitetails, and would be well out of my limited budget to lease something similar on this side of the ditch. To buy similar Webb co acreage would set you back 15MM.

My "ranch" is an easy 1 night trip - and doable for a day trip. Being so close, it's easy for me to break away with the kids, work on endless projects, and still be home for some of the weekend to keep the boss happy. It has great deer hunting - 160+'' potential - but is certainly small and has to be hunted accordingly. When i decided to sell it, someone will be buying an exceptional hunting place.

Owning a small - hunting focused place, more that a couple hours from my house would have some challenges for me. I am too restless to sit at camp all day, but know that if I spend all day driving around & working on things - the human activity is hurting my hunting. Smaller hunting properties are perfect for weekend trips, and quick getaways. If I am driving half a day to get somewhere, I would want enough space to spend some days there, and enough acreage to roam free.
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Old 10-19-2020, 02:56 PM   #32
breederbuck33
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I'd have to hit the lottery to afford enough land to keep me happy. I'll just lease until then. I'm not strapped to one area, I can hunt with my group of friends and family, and I can access a lot more property. Plus IMO your chances at a big deer are far greater leasing a well managed large acerage place. Sure people kill big ones all the time on 200 acres they own, but I feel like you're much more likely to struggle to grow a big one on those small parcels.
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Old 10-19-2020, 03:17 PM   #33
MtnMike
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hooligan View Post
was out at the lease this weekend and started looking at what it would cost to buy our 2 sections. Came to the realization that 1,200ac is out of budget. Would you rather lease a larger chunk of land or buy something under 200 ac, under 100 if within a hour and a half of the house?
I have heard of Hunter's forming a Hunting CO-OP and purchasing their own Hunting Property. You would have to draw up a contract with all the specifics but one group I know did this and it works well. You would have to get a group together with similar goals in mind to make it work but it would allow for you to get a bigger Property than you could afford on your own. Thoughts?
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Old 10-19-2020, 04:45 PM   #34
sbushee
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I’m in same boat. For just another $500. Month added to my hunting budget, I could buy my own place instead of lease. But I’d go from 2700 acres to around 40
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Old 10-19-2020, 05:00 PM   #35
Chance Love
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Buy. Always that is the answer. Buy land. Buy more than you think you need. Just keep buying.
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Old 10-19-2020, 05:07 PM   #36
CaptainDave
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MtnMike View Post
I have heard of Hunter's forming a Hunting CO-OP and purchasing their own Hunting Property. You would have to draw up a contract with all the specifics but one group I know did this and it works well. You would have to get a group together with similar goals in mind to make it work but it would allow for you to get a bigger Property than you could afford on your own. Thoughts?
I've seen people do this. A few actually formed an LLC and each Partner had an equity interest based on the Partnership agreement and the LLC technically would own the property. Essentially, you would figure out the total capital required to purchase a property and that would be how the initial Partner contributions were derived. Then you layer into the agreement how taxes and other expenses are handled; whether it be via future capital calls, etc. There was obviously more to it than that, but it most definitely sounded like a good way to pull in multiple parties to buy a larger tract.

As for owning versus leasing. I think all of that has been covered. I think the main draw-back on owning is you lack flexibility. For example, if a neighboring property sells and you end up with a terrible neighbor, you are kind of stuck. Also, although land does on average appreciate over time, it still is somewhat an illiquid asset. It takes time to sell and your actual return on investment might be lower after you factor in closing cost and actual cost you personally put into the property. Don't get me wrong, I'd rather own and not have lease drama.
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Old 10-19-2020, 05:08 PM   #37
Atfulldraw
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I'd give up a lease in a heartbeat to own my own land.

The reverse is not true, and I don't care how nice of a lease it is.
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Old 10-19-2020, 05:19 PM   #38
hooligan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chance Love View Post
Buy. Always that is the answer. Buy land. Buy more than you think you need. Just keep buying.
I need you to find me something like unclefish has, that place looks awesome. Would love to find something where my girls can fish and eventually hunt on
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Old 10-19-2020, 05:57 PM   #39
Throwin Darts
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I bought my place three years ago. I wouldnít trade it for any lease any where. Itís very rewarding working your own land whether that pays off in you taking a buck or not. The best part is that you decide who hunts with you. You can also take a very long term approach to everything from deer management to improvements etc. knowing youíre in control of your hunting ground.
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Old 10-19-2020, 08:25 PM   #40
Chance Love
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hooligan View Post
I need you to find me something like unclefish has, that place looks awesome. Would love to find something where my girls can fish and eventually hunt on
I know a place. But it's a little more $$. And NOT in that area.
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Old 10-19-2020, 08:30 PM   #41
Chance Love
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But to answer the original question...I am on a better-than-average hill country lease, and I get to make all of the rules.

And we can't wait until the day when we can afford to buy the right property for us.
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Old 10-19-2020, 08:55 PM   #42
hooligan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chance Love View Post
I know a place. But it's a little more $$. And NOT in that area.
Yeah I think I need to save a little more to be able to find something within hour and a half of home

Buying a place would mean not having to deal with cows anymore too
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Old 10-19-2020, 09:27 PM   #43
Booner Sooner
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Throwin Darts View Post
I bought my place three years ago. I wouldnít trade it for any lease any where. Itís very rewarding working your own land whether that pays off in you taking a buck or not. The best part is that you decide who hunts with you. You can also take a very long term approach to everything from deer management to improvements etc. knowing youíre in control of your hunting ground.

This^^^^^^

To each his own but the satisfaction I get from working on my place is hard to beat.
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Old 10-19-2020, 09:36 PM   #44
Ksbowhunter
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Land ownership hands down.

You could buy 200 acres in kansas for $350k-500k and kill 150+” bucks every season. 5 hours from dfw. Texas rifle season is too long. Neighbors will hammer your herd with small acreage in Texas. I would consider 600 acres small in Texas unless it’s high fence. The reason you see so many high fences in Texas and not mid west states is because of the long rifle season in my opinion.
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Old 10-19-2020, 09:57 PM   #45
sharpstick35
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buying was the best decision i made. i bought 40, and its in a good area with little other owner activity. im already looking into buying some adjoining places as well. i still have access to my dads place in a more rugged part of the country. and have a 1/4 section in ND with access to 2k more.

a lot of smaller places are in sub-divisions and some of those have P.O.A's that have managment minded rules for the owners
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Old 10-19-2020, 10:09 PM   #46
TeamAmerica
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Both! I own my own place. It is a ton of work but very satisfying. I like being in control.

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Old 10-19-2020, 10:35 PM   #47
skeeterboud
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this is a great thread. i have a good friend here in tx that has joined leases with our family, and i've joined some of his family's leased in OK. he has always said, 'love deer hunting, but hate deer leases'. at first i never understood, but within a few years and some truly crazy lease/member ordeals, i started using his quote. a few yrs ago i bought some land (only 150ac) south of alice. i know, i know!! it was to be a dove hunting fish camp. despite the 'brown it's down' neighbors, we now have several deer that hang around between 3-5 yrs old. pros and cons to everything.

pros-it's mine - i make the rules - i get calls periodically from the realtor i purchased it through, telling me he has a buyer for considerably more that i purchased it for - our family loves it, we have it all to ourselves - it's close to baffin, so i sold my floater!!!!(#1 pro) - NO DRAMA - a good place to 'bug out' - if i wanted i could generate $ from it by leasing - you WILL have a huge sense of pride taking any animal off your own property(this is a big pro)

cons- all the work falls on me/wife(fences, etc, translates to many more trips, and less fishing) - my worries ensuring it stays ag exempt - it's paid for, so cash is tied up - small acreage, neighbors make it frustrating by 'brown it's down' s. tex mentality - you WILL get bored hunting small acreage -- no one drinks my beer/whiskey when i'm gone -all the mowing/light bills, etc are mine


one day i'm going to start a thread about some of the crazy stuff that has happened at deer leases/family land, etc ..hhmmmm now that i think about it, these smaller horned deer don't seem all that bad
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Old 10-19-2020, 11:42 PM   #48
DUKFVR
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Buy! Thats what we did. Got tired of lease drama.
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Old 10-19-2020, 11:53 PM   #49
armadillophil
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Buy. I enjoy working on the land just as much as hunting it.
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Old 10-20-2020, 12:32 AM   #50
175gr7.62
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Lease.

I own 40ac and donít hunt it. You can lease way more/better hunting than you can buy. It would cost about $15M to buy the property we hunt.....and it ends up costing me about $3500/yr.

The taxes on my 40ac are almost that much and I donít have room for all my buddies like our lease.


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