New Land

338 Bear Hunter

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I hope this doesn't come off as a gloat, but I just gotta share how pumped I am. After almost a year of searching due to an insane real estate market, wife and I finally closed on some new huntin.... I mean "investment" land.

We got 74 acres of woodland near Plymouth, NH. Previous owner was a hunter, and he even provided a picture of bear scat as one of the sales photos. (They knew their market!) We already have good hunting land, but if nothing else I'm exciting about the years of new exploration that await.

Better still, the older Browning Dark Ops Extreme trail cameras that I love have become available again. For almost two years, I couldn't get them. Had to buy the newer models that cost more, are harder to use, and seem to be failing in the field at an alarming rate. (Just had a new failure where the LEDs no longer work, so all nocturnal videos are simply black).

The previous owner had a hunting stand, so I think I'll start there. I've had a brand-new tree stand that I bought three years ago but never put up. It might be time. Probably won't have meaningful intelligence in time for bear season, but I'm told its a fine place to stalk deer.
 

mowbizz

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Good luck with the new “hunting” parcel!
 

338 Bear Hunter

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Good luck with the new “hunting” parcel!
More land won't make up for my lack of skill, but I appreciate the thought. Still, one of these years I'm going to give the White Mountains a try. Ran into a bunch of bear hunters last fall who plan their own personal "hunting camp" there every year. They do pretty well, judging by the number of bears they were bringing to the butcher.
 

NH Hunter

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Sounds nice. Congrats. Are you planning to build on the land? A garage, camp, camper pad, maybe an igloo in the winter?
 

338 Bear Hunter

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Sounds nice. Congrats. Are you planning to build on the land? A garage, camp, camper pad, maybe an igloo in the winter?
I'm going up there tomorrow to do some more scouting and put up some trail cameras. The previous owner hunted it quite a bit so it must have some game. Not planning to build anytime soon, but I expect that next year it will get a treestand and perhaps a hunting blind. Too late in the year to divert from my upcoming bear hunt prep in Bristol and Groton.

My son has once again gotten into the "Put up a tent in the backyard" thing, so perhaps we'll give it a try up here. Parts of the land are very steep, but one side is fairly flat, and I think that's where the previous owner did a lot of his hunting.
 

338 Bear Hunter

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Congrats! Best of luck with the new land.
Thanks. It is my sincere wish that every hunting junkie gets his own private hunting land, but after this experience, that seems doubtful. Buying this land was an exercise in frustration. It was the sixth, yes SIXTH piece I tried to buy but got outbid by developers. It almost happened on this one, but fortunately I had a signed contract when Mr. Multinational Real Estate Developer Conglomerate outbid me, so he was too late.

In the worst case, a piece was online for three hours and was already bid above the asking price. The seller said "Have a look anyway; I haven't accepted a bid yet". So I trudged through the snow and fell in love, but by the time I got back it had gone under contract for 50% above the asking price.

I hope the market cools down in a few years.
 

mowbizz

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What’s a piece of land that size going for in that area, generally?
Just for shits and giggles I looked up land near Plymouth NH and found 80 acres going for half a million+ 🤪 Of course, this means absolutely nothing in the great scheme of things…😂
I live just south of there and my wife checked our home/land (12 acres) and she said ours was valued at $500k too. 🤔
 

338 Bear Hunter

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What’s a piece of land that size going for in that area, generally?
With all of the usual caveats about access, buildability, etc., bare forest in the central NH area over 20 acres is going from about $2k-$3k per acre. I'll say I got a good, but not great price on the 74 I just bought.

When something comes up under $2k, there is usually something fundamentally wrong with it (inaccessible, under water, etc.) or if not, it gets bid up VERY quickly, like within hours. That happened to me a few times.
 

NH Mountains

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With all of the usual caveats about access, buildability, etc., bare forest in the central NH area over 20 acres is going from about $2k-$3k per acre. I'll say I got a good, but not great price on the 74 I just bought.

When something comes up under $2k, there is usually something fundamentally wrong with it (inaccessible, under water, etc.) or if not, it gets bid up VERY quickly, like within hours. That happened to me a few times.
Congrats on getting your chunk of land. The housing market will come down some but, land won’t come down much. With many building lots going for $50-150k people will pay more for those bigger chunks of land. This has happened in the past with land when the housing market popped.

What’s the age structure of the trees on your land? Does it need to be logged or logged recently? Any oak, beech, apples? Cellar holes or fields? Any browse for deer?
 

338 Bear Hunter

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For the first time, the seller included a mapping of tree types on the property. Although the woods are fairly thick, most of the good stuff was logged out. There is a patch (5-10 acres) of the valuable stuff, and you'll also see the occasional oak throughout, but it isn't worth logging today. I think it was select cut about 10 years ago.

As far as deer habitat, I am told that the abutting land (which I have yet to see in person) has open areas that produce good deer opportunities. That the previous owner placed two treestands in the back near this section and nowhere else is telling.

I am VERY HAPPY to have purchased this land when I did. Not only did the interest rates go up a full percent within 2 weeks of closing, but land prices have also shot up. I bought my first piece back in 2009 after the housing crash and land prices have been steadily rising - didn't see any real crash in the bare land market. Besides the hunting thrill, bare land has been a solid investment.
 

338 Bear Hunter

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Very exciting having a new piece of land.
Is the abutting land posted?
No, and that was pointed out to me. Apparently some people do hunt the abutting land andused to cooperate with the previous landowner. I expect we'll come to some sort of gentlemen's agreement on this.

I've already set up two trail cameras and plan to add more tomorrow. I found a trail with abundant moose sign on it, and a clearing that looks like it would make an ideal bear bait site. Its too late for me to try to establish a bear bait there this fall, but I will almost certainly try some deer stalking in the back. (I enjoy still hunting but I suck at it.)
 

mowbizz

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No, and that was pointed out to me. Apparently some people do hunt the abutting land andused to cooperate with the previous landowner. I expect we'll come to some sort of gentlemen's agreement on this.

I've already set up two trail cameras and plan to add more tomorrow. I found a trail with abundant moose sign on it, and a clearing that looks like it would make an ideal bear bait site. Its too late for me to try to establish a bear bait there this fall, but I will almost certainly try some deer stalking in the back. (I enjoy still hunting but I suck at it.)
If I’m correct in my thinking, in NH you can’t begin baiting until opening day anyway…tough to get a head start here…😊
 

NH Mountains

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Correct Mo. No bait placement until September 1.

If it were me I’d be walking the property in search of any those remaining oak trees. Trying to find if they’re all northern reds or any whites. If it was logged 10 years ago then the browse from logging is most likely grown beyond deer reach. I’d be marking the young oaks and clearing around them to open their crowns. In a couple years they’ll start dropping acorns as well. If not it’ll be another 10 years or more. There should be some old log landing areas on the property as well. Those might still have blackberry and raspberries on them that’ll provide browse. Deer will hit those leaves hard after the first frosts. If there’s any old cellar holes there’s a chance there may be a few old apple trees. Put your boots on the ground this weekend and report back.
 

338 Bear Hunter

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If I’m correct in my thinking, in NH you can’t begin baiting until opening day anyway…tough to get a head start here…😊
You are correct. However, in NH an ordinary person (i.e. non-guide) can only establish two bait sites, and I'm already at that limit. I could, in principle, have my daughter apply to bait a third, but its too late this year as applications are due August 1st.

So next year if I find a good place, she can bait it and I can hunt on her site as well as my own. She hunts my baits, so its only fair.
 

338 Bear Hunter

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Correct Mo. No bait placement until September 1.

If it were me I’d be walking the property in search of any those remaining oak trees. Trying to find if they’re all northern reds or any whites. If it was logged 10 years ago then the browse from logging is most likely grown beyond deer reach. I’d be marking the young oaks and clearing around them to open their crowns. In a couple years they’ll start dropping acorns as well. If not it’ll be another 10 years or more. There should be some old log landing areas on the property as well. Those might still have blackberry and raspberries on them that’ll provide browse. Deer will hit those leaves hard after the first frosts. If there’s any old cellar holes there’s a chance there may be a few old apple trees. Put your boots on the ground this weekend and report back.
Yes sir!
 

338 Bear Hunter

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Well, here goes, although not as thorough an investigation as NH Mountains might want owing to time pressure...

Went in today in the morning to check trail cameras. Saw fresh moose scat behind #1, but the camera never caught the perp, so he must have walked behind only. Camera #1 caught several deer, a coyote, and two foxes. I might need to move this camera as its sun exposure causes a lot of false hits. (It took 190 photos in three weeks and ran out of space).

Camera #2 positioned over a cut clearing showed two days of bear visits. This is exciting given that I chose this as a potential bear hunting location. We didn't have much time to scan other areas, as we had to get to other properties and were late getting back as it was.

The good news is, all three have shown adult bears over the last two weeks. One rubbed the tree containing the camera pointing to my bait site.
 




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