Finding land
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By agengo02 - 8/17/2010 2:40:35 PM
Hey guys one of my biggest goals in life is to find some land and plant it/build it up for duck hunting. I am 26 and have been putting money aside for when I find the right place. I have been searching online quite a bit but am becoming a little discouraged. The asking prices for some of these places are downright outrageous! I'm not even looking for anything fancy, just some acreage that can hold water and would give me enough room for a pond or two or flooded field I can plant. I am almost to the point of giving up seeing as I will never have a few million to throw down on some land.

So my question is how did all of you come into the land that yall develop? Any other resources yall used to find it? Thanks for any advice.
By Swamper - 8/17/2010 9:27:13 PM
i assume by all your y'alls that you are from somewhere in the south.  if the part of the south you are in is in a may just have to hope for some good luck.  i am always amazed at the amount of hunters and the amount of money they have to pay to buy good hunting, including leases.

i've never paid more than 350 per acre and in some cases less than 100.

up here, swamp land is ....................just that.  worthless to most everyone except a few like me.   most of the reaction i get is............"you will actually pay me for this piece?!!!"

with few hunters, plenty of birds and lot's of good habitat.............i simply just keep my eyes and ears open, all year round, till i find my next honeyhole.  :)

that would be my advise to looking ALL the time.  good luck.

By brmotorhead - 8/18/2010 9:20:24 AM
swampers got a good point. it all depends where you are. like he said, in northern ny swampland is mostly worthless. you may have to find a place out of state even and make it your little get away in the fall. which isnt a bad idea, ive tossed the idea around myself.
By rtcbob - 8/18/2010 9:51:27 AM
I feel your pain..... in my area land prices, even for property conceived to be worthless swamp land is beyond my checking account.

Another option you may want to consider is leasing land.  It takes the right set of circumstances and the right owner to work with, but it's do-able.  I built a pothole earlier this year on a property I lease.  The details of how it works can be whatever you and the owner can agree on but I would suggest at a minimum you cover what happens if the owner wants to terminate the lease after you've invested a bunch of time & money into building your duck hole.  The way mine is structured, the owner would actually pay me a set value/year for any year less than the originally agreed term of the lease that I didn't get to use it.  The whole key to making this work is covering all the details in the lease agreement.

By agengo02 - 8/18/2010 11:09:18 AM
Thanks very much for the replies guys. I live in Southeast Texas and am looking basically in Texas only. Any land around here is very expensive. All of the rice fields have been leased up for years and some offer $20k+ corporate leases! I have found a few places here and there, but they look like they need lots of trees cut and I am not sure how much more that would set me back in the scheme of things. Also the ones that are adjacent to the highway I am leary about because the end goal is to have a few spots to hunt on this land and they might not take too kindly to me shot gunning right next to the highway. Are there any specific websites or resources that yall have found land on? Thanks again fellas.
By Peter from Portland - 8/29/2010 2:09:16 PM
Don't Loose Heart!

It wasn't but a few years ago that I was in your place out here in Oregon.  Back home in Nebraska, I had the central flyway at my back door and hunting permission was as simple as an introduction, the promise close the gate, and maybe a bottle as a thank you at the end of the season.  In Oregon as it is in much of Texas, California, etc. it's all "Pay to Play!"  For young guys like you (and myself) we need to think outside of the box while we're getting our scratch together for the dream piece of property down the road.

Unlike like the guys that have the green to buy some established water or a seat in a blue ribbon duck club, you're going to have to do some work to make your dollars stretch (and from the sound of it you're ready to do just that!). 

Don't look at the obvious - Start looking at land without existing ponds, streams, wetland etc. but has the potential to hold water.  Is there a windmill, a well, water rights?  What type of soil is on the site (this is a little deeper than most people go, but with a pretty basic online survey, we can judge the potential of the site to hold water - I can help you with that if you need)?  Almost every soil can be made to hold water.  I've helped to turn cow pastures into blue ribbon trout water and make irrigation ditches look like gently braided streams - with the knowledge and right technique you can grow and transform a degraded dusty pasture into a lush pothole that grows mallards and pintails!

See the potential and share it - Without having to own the land, there is still the opportunity to develop it, hunt it, and potentially profit from it.  I found a ranch in NW Oregon that had 1000 acres backed up against the Columbia river and bordered on the other side by extensive tidal marshes.  I had a relationship with the landowner and had some moderate success hunting it for several seasons.  I then built a duck club proposal that outlined the channel modifications, potential construction and blind costs, and probable price per gun that could be yielded upon the habitat upgrades.  If you word it in such a way that if you put in the footwork and muscle to bring it about while they front the expenses (be it a little at a time for a gradual build) you can get yourself a solid seat or two in the new club as well as a management position keeping it going and caring for the land.  In a scenario like this, the more pros you can present to the landowner with as few costs (be it time or money) to them, them more likely you can make this happen. 

I hope this helped and encouraged you in your search.  Keep us posted with what you find and shoot the forum more questions if you have any!


Peter in Portland

By arkansashogs18 - 9/6/2010 5:29:08 PM
Buy cattle grazing land that borders whatever river you live by. If you're looking for "hunting land" then yeah its gonna be priced ridiculous, because folks know rich guys will pay for it. If you buy farm land that is priced at farm land, you will find much better prices. You should easily be able to find land for $2000 an acre or less. If you're hoping to find good hunting land in the hundreds of dollars, youre gonna have to get a time machine brother!
By TXhuntr - 1/13/2014 7:36:30 PM

I know this is an old thread, but I wanted to share my experience with duck hunting land in southeast Texas (Winnie).  My father and I had been looking for quite some time with no success.  I have found that anything within a 2 hour drive of Houston goes for a high price.  Good leases are also hard to come by.  It seems that outfitters have leased or bought most of the duck hunting land around.  The only cheap land I have come across is timber land with no water anywhere close. 

After some begging for several years, we had relatives decide  to sell us a measly leveed 7 acre impoundment with no access to water (they had plenty but didn't want to share...long story).  It was basically an unused field that had levees around it with an old header at one end.  We had a few good teal hunts where we were pass shooting as they lit in a field of millet down the road but with no water, we couldn't really hunt regular duck season.  This went on for 3 years and we continued looking for other places in the interim.  Everything we came across was overpriced or much more land than we were looking for.  We basically begged for water from our relatives but ultimately were on our own.

Last year, we decided to dig a well.  Unfortunately, there is no electricity anywhere close to this place so we had to come up with a way to pump.  We had a 6 inch well dug to 180 ft. where they hit 20 ft. of coarse sand.  The well guy then set our system up for an airlift pump.  We simply rented a towable compressor from sunbelt and started pumping.  Little did we know, our header was leaking water as we pumped it in.  After several fixes with the well, compressor, and header, we finished pumping in about 14 days.  Our costs were out of sight with diesel and pump rental.  Fortunately, this year we made some improvements to the well and secured water from a different neighbor that we could simply pump with a 4 inch trash pump.  Most of our time and effort had gone into the well and finding access to water so we simply mowed the field before we flooded it.  Most of the grass grew as fast as the water rose.  Mid-season, we had to take a fourwheeler in and rut up the area in front of the blind to get a little open water.  Our season was mediocre at best.  We probably shot 50 teal, and 40 spoonbills.  We never shot any big ducks the whole season.

This season has been better after we planted (and accidentally overflooded and killed) millet.  We probably shot 50 teal, 40 spoonbills, and after another leak drained our water down recently to expose some grass and a giant algae bloom we are shooting big ducks.  The past week  brought 6 gadwalls, a mallard, a snow goose, and more teal.

The biggest thing I have taken away from this whole experience is that securing land is just a small portion of what you have to do to hunt ducks.  For someone with no experience (and too hard headed to seek advice), it is a steep learning curve that is slow to pay off.  If you are still looking, let me know.  We looked at dozens of places around Winnie and Anahuac.  I can also tell you a lot of things NOT to do as you set up your land!
By arkansashogs18 - 1/31/2014 12:00:58 AM
Txhntr- I'm glad y'all's luck has gotten a little better. Sounds like you are starting to figure it out. Might even be able to get into some cranes where you are located, I would guess? I know it's a ways away from where you are, thanks to Texas being so big, but I had one of my most memorable duck hunts of my life outside of Waco.
By jodi - 2/3/2014 12:48:36 AM
Ask Phil Robertson.                                                                                                                                                                   They might have better answers then I would.                                                                                                   Good luck.