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Author Topic: Buying a small chunk of private land to hunt  (Read 8500 times)

Offline jamesfromseattle

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Buying a small chunk of private land to hunt
« on: July 23, 2017, 09:36:49 PM »
I am looking at going in on a chunk of recreational land with the in laws and was hoping to get some input here since I'd like to get something we could do a little hunting on.  All of our families are either hoping to have kids soon or have young kids, so the primary idea is that we'll be able to get a safe place for the cousins to run around in the woods while they are growing up.  The different family members all have slightly different criteria--some negotiable and some non-negotiable. 

Budget:  If at all possible, we'd like the land itself to be somewhere in the $100,000 or lower range.  We'll camp for now and probably add a bare bones cabin in the future.  I know this is pretty cheap, but I am realistic about the fact that this isn't going to get me a thousand acre ranch.   

Non-negotiable criteria:

1.  Within two-ish hours of downtown Seattle (not including traffic).  If we found an absolutely perfect place we could drive up to three hours, but I think we'll use it a lot more if it is closer.  This unfortunately excludes most of eastern Washington.  The Leavenworth and Cle Elum areas are still in the running but they tend to be out of our price range. 
2.  I need to be able to occasionally shoot a deer or elk either on or a short walk from the property.  This could either mean that it is big enough to hunt on (which means different things in different places, of course), or that it is connected to industrial timber or public land.   
3.  There needs to be some sort of water feature to jump in.  A small creek is fine as long as it runs year round.  Would be great to be able to fish in it but fishing is not an absolute requirement.
4.  It needs to be quiet.  I'm under no illusions that I'll be getting a private estate with this budget, but I don't want to be on a highway, be able to hear what the neighbor is watching on tv, etc.
5.  No restrictive covenants that would prevent us from putting a small cabin or parking a trailer.
6.  Must be within a half hour or so of a trail that is at least 5 miles long  The in-laws are big trail runners, so they want to be able to run somewhere nice.  Boot only hiking trails are best, but gated timberland would meet this requirement.

Preferred features that are not required:

1.  We'd like it to be big enough to shoot targets (100 yards with a backstop).
2.  We'd like to be able to fish salmon or trout either on the property or within walking distance.
3.  It would be great if it was within a half hour or so of the mountains.
4.  Minimal yuppies.  We live live in Seattle and rub elbows with plenty of yuppies at home, so we'd prefer a place that is not a traditional Seattle vacation spot (i.e. this is a strike against Leavenworth).
4.  Owner financing.

Things we don't care about at all:

1.  Trophy quality doesn't matter.  It will probably only be the kids hunting on the property, so we just want them to have a realistic chance of filling their tags.
2.  We don't care if we're on the power/water grid.  Part of the idea is that we don't want the kids to be wusses, so we are fine with building fires for heat, hauling water, and foregoing showers.
3.  Doesn't matter if there is a big building lot.  We just need space to to put in a small footprint cabin--10'x20' at the most.
4.  None of us ride ATVs or snowmobiles, so we don't really care if there are motorized trails nearby.

Areas that are in the running:

1.  The upper Chehalis valley.
2.  Somewhere on highway 6 between Pe Ell and the coast.
3.  The Skagit, Skykomish, and Stilliguamish valleys (tough to find a big enough piece of land in our price range)
4.  The Toutle River area.
5.  The Packwood area on the Cowlitz River (a bit further than we'd like).
6.  The upper Nisqually area between Eatonville and Ashford.
7.  The Blewitt pass/Liberty area.

Areas that are probably out:

1.  Any island.  I'd love to get a piece of timberland on Whidbey or Camano to hunt, but the islands don't have enough hiking to keep the in-laws happy.
2.  Most of Eastern Washington.  It is just too far of a drive for what we want.  I totally understand that it would be better from a hunting perspective, but it we're afraid we won't ever use it if it is too far away.

I'd love to hear any thoughts or advise that anyone has about this.  I have never had a vacation home before and may have neglected to think about something important.  I don't think our price range is unrealistic, but I know we'll end up having to compromise on some of our criteria. 

The most promising area seems to be in Southwest Washington.  We viewed a couple properties in the 5-10 acre range on smaller rivers down there that I think could work.  I've been able to imagine them with a small cabin and a few fruit trees--and of course a tree stand in bow range of the imaginary fruit trees.

Offline Buckmark

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Re: Buying a small chunk of private land to hunt
« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2017, 09:47:50 PM »
Sorry but keep dreaming.
To hunt and butcher an animal is to recognize that meat is not some abstract form of protein that springs into existence tightly wrapped in cellophane and styrofoam.

Offline jamesfromseattle

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Re: Buying a small chunk of private land to hunt
« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2017, 10:03:20 PM »
Sorry but keep dreaming.

Just a few examples that seem like they could fit what we're looking for:

https://www.redfin.com/WA/Castle-Rock/0-Tara-Ln-98611/home/44584752

https://www.redfin.com/WA/Ashford/31404-558th-Street-Ct-E-98304/home/22758247

https://www.redfin.com/WA/Cathlamet/8-Elochoman-Valley-Rd-98612/home/75110205

https://www.redfin.com/WA/Rosburg/161-Barr-Rd-98643/home/56815623


Again, I'm not expecting to buy a trophy hunting ranch. Just a place in the woods that might have a deer pass through every now and then--or at least is nearby somewhere that they do.

Offline greenhead_killer

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Re: Buying a small chunk of private land to hunt
« Reply #3 on: July 23, 2017, 10:06:36 PM »
Seems like you already have a working plan in progress. I guess my best advice I can give you is be patient. My dad and I looked for two years before we found a piece that fit all our criteria. Just be patient. Something will eventually open up.
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Offline cem3434

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Re: Buying a small chunk of private land to hunt
« Reply #4 on: July 23, 2017, 11:19:42 PM »
Your money would probably go a little further on the eastside and there is plenty of property that meets your criteria between Blewett pass and Yakima or in the Kittitas Valley.
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Offline spin05

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Re: Buying a small chunk of private land to hunt
« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2017, 01:02:42 AM »
Might try around shelton area. Tons of deer there. Not sure on trails thou

Offline Wacenturion

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Re: Buying a small chunk of private land to hunt
« Reply #6 on: July 24, 2017, 08:45:45 AM »
Might want to reconsider the "perfect" one you found that is just one additinal hour away.  If it has everything you listed, the extra hour is nothing compared to looking for a needle in a haystack.  None of it is getting cheaper as you look.  JMO

As a sidenote, I have property 6 hours away.  Yeah, long drive, but makes it that much nicer when I get there.  I tend to stay longer.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2017, 03:45:25 PM by Wacenturion »
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Offline JDHasty

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Re: Buying a small chunk of private land to hunt
« Reply #7 on: July 24, 2017, 08:54:00 AM »
Sorry but keep dreaming.

Just a few examples that seem like they could fit what we're looking for:

https://www.redfin.com/WA/Castle-Rock/0-Tara-Ln-98611/home/44584752

https://www.redfin.com/WA/Ashford/31404-558th-Street-Ct-E-98304/home/22758247

https://www.redfin.com/WA/Cathlamet/8-Elochoman-Valley-Rd-98612/home/75110205

https://www.redfin.com/WA/Rosburg/161-Barr-Rd-98643/home/56815623


Again, I'm not expecting to buy a trophy hunting ranch. Just a place in the woods that might have a deer pass through every now and then--or at least is nearby somewhere that they do.

You might want to reassess that two-hour component.  It took me five and a half hours to go from Tacoma to Cabela's Lacey and back a week ago Friday when some moron on a motorcycle checked himself out on the bumper of a larger vehicle on I-5.  It can take an hour to an hour and a half just to get through Tacoma etc on a fairly average friday evening any more.  Took me four hours to go from Tacoma to Centralia Fur & Hide then through Bucoda, Tenino, Rainier, Yelm and to Bonney Lake and then back to Tacoma yesterday evening between 5:30 & 10:30 and as anyone who knows me can attest, I do not lollygag or screw the pooch when I am behind the wheel.   
« Last Edit: July 24, 2017, 10:23:52 AM by JDHasty »

Offline XJcoug13

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Re: Buying a small chunk of private land to hunt
« Reply #8 on: July 24, 2017, 09:03:07 AM »
If you're driving to your property on say a friday afternoon from downtown Seattle to SW Washington..it will take more then 2 1/2 hours.   Tacoma, JBLM and I-5 through Lacey is a nightmare.  I would look to eastern WA...the North Central counties would be my choice.   :twocents:

Offline trapp01

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Re: Buying a small chunk of private land to hunt
« Reply #9 on: July 24, 2017, 09:29:23 AM »
Yea southwest wa is way more than two hours given traffic. i work on the UW and it says ellensburg is currently 2hrs and 4 mins away. That's where I'd be looking for property.

Offline jackelope

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Re: Buying a small chunk of private land to hunt
« Reply #10 on: July 24, 2017, 09:32:34 AM »
Last weekend of June(non-holiday) it took me a little over 6 hours to get home from Moses Lake. I live in Duvall. It's normally a little over 3 hours I'd say. It would have been a solid 7 hours to get to Seattle. If you're going to have to drive home on Sundays from anywhere, plan on it taking an extremely long time from anywhere. With that said, I agree with what  everyone else is saying. Expand your drive a little bit, go east and come home on Mondays. Without traffic, you can be in Ellensburg in 2.5 hours from Seattle. I think what you're looking for is going to be extremely difficult to find, if not impossible.
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Offline JimmyHoffa

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Re: Buying a small chunk of private land to hunt
« Reply #11 on: July 24, 2017, 09:55:31 AM »
Going west isn't much better now, but some of that traffic is seasonal.  For summer weekends--Friday evening/Saturday leaving Edmonds/Seattle and leaving Bainbridge/Kingston on Sunday evening I've seen traffic waits up to three hours just for the ferry wait.  Holidays are bad too.  I'd assume the Tacoma drive around option is also pretty bad.  But if you miss those peak rush times (most of the hunting seasons), it's not too bad.

Offline jamesfromseattle

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Re: Buying a small chunk of private land to hunt
« Reply #12 on: July 24, 2017, 10:24:27 AM »
All too sympathetic to the Seattle through JBLM traffic after having driven to Portland three times this month on the weekends.

My rational for wanting a two hourish drive and not factoring in traffic is that our typical weekend itinerary will be leaving town at 8:00 or 9:00pm on a Friday (traffic is usually clear by about 7:30). If it is max 3 hours in the car we will still get there at a reasonable hour and get a normal night's sleep. Same thing with coming home Sunday.

My wife has a rigid work schedule and has a tough time getting week days off so long weekends trips and a longer commute east is just not in the cards for us. If it were up to me, I'd be up in the northeast corner, no question.

One additional strike against Eastern WA are pass delays in the winter. Not as bad as the I5 traffic by any means, but worth thinking about. I'd prefer the ability to just drive at night to avoid traffic (if travelling south on I5) over a shorter commute in traffic.

Offline Milkman

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Re: Buying a small chunk of private land to hunt
« Reply #13 on: July 24, 2017, 10:38:34 AM »
I think your on the right track.  Very doable with the 100k price range.  I've been 'looking' and there's alot out there cheaper than some think. (They just may not fit your needs) But good luck man!   :tup:

Offline jamesfromseattle

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Re: Buying a small chunk of private land to hunt
« Reply #14 on: July 24, 2017, 10:39:46 AM »
Might try around shelton area. Tons of deer there. Not sure on trails thou

Thanks for the suggestion. I see a few listings around there that work on paper. Will add that area to the list. Never actually been to Shelton, so I'll need to take a drive down there and look around sometime.