Florida Plantation

Discussion in 'Property Tours' started by FL Plotter, Dec 23, 2017.

  1. FL Plotter

    FL Plotter Active Member

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    Location:
    NW Florida
    Hardiness Zone:
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    Well boys, longtime lurker, first time buyer. Last night, my wife and I signed a contract for 20 acres of rolling pine plantation about an hour from our house. We've been looking for a year and nothing came up that suited us until this week. It got listed on Tuesday, we took a day off work on Wednesday to check it out, put in a bid Wednesday night, and after some counter-offers, locked it down Friday night. So damn excited about it.

    I've mapped it out in my mind a bunch of different ways, but first things first, we have to wait for the feasibility study to come back. We know there is a swamp head that takes up an acre or so and there are most likely some gopher tortoise burrows we can't disturb, but mostly it's a rectangular piece of blank canvas for us to do what we want with.

    It has frontage on a nice paved road with low traffic volume. The West neighbor is a newly planted 20 acre hay field and West of that is a 40 acre cow farm. The South neighbor is an out of town owner with 40 acres of hardwood bottom and the East neighbor is a 20 acre horse farm and house that is vacant because it looks like the house caught on fire recently.

    Here's a rudimentary layout of my plan (subject to change weekly), and overhead and some current trail cam pics. Satellite imagery shows it as cleared, but it's planted pines about 16' tall on the property.

    It's going to be our retirement home in 7 years, so got lots of time to make improvements. Stay tuned.

    DF layout.jpg !cid_ii_1607b780b1370d48.jpg !cid_ii_1607b7835a0f860a.jpg DF area.jpg
     
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  2. Chainsaw

    Chainsaw Well-Known Member

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    Location:
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    literally on the line of 4b/5a
    Congratulations Fl Plotter on your new property. I like the "subject to change weekly"; you sure have that right! Good luck with your new property and I look forward to following along on your threads about it.
     
  3. DocHolladay

    DocHolladay Well-Known Member

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    Location:
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    That's awesome!! Can't wait to see how you set it up and the results of your hard work.
     
  4. FL Plotter

    FL Plotter Active Member

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    Location:
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    Thank you. The first change I am considering is moving the entrance to the West border so that we drive along the neighbor's fence and our house won't be seen at all from the road. Then plant some Leland Cypress across the current middle opening for a screen to start growing.
    1 acre food plot near south side border, but not on border on an East/West plot orientation, with a Stand on each end depending on East or West wind. House and activities to the front of the property but enough brush left for privacy along paved road.
    douglas ferry 3D.jpg douglas ferry 3D plan.jpg
     
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  5. FL Plotter

    FL Plotter Active Member

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    Location:
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    Well boys, the wife and I closed yesterday and came home and celebrated. We are so darn excited about this but at the same time cautious about just throwing money at it. This Monday on the holiday, we spent a lot of time on the property before we bought it. Jumped 3 does. Met with land clearing and talked about the 1 acre food plot, the walking trail ringing the property, a 2-5 acre clearing and a 1 acre pond. As some of you might know, none of this stuff is cheap. $2500 an acre for the land clearing. $15K for the pond. $2500 for the walking path. Etc. Etc.

    Neighboring pasture:
    reduced border land.jpg

    Oaks along the fenceline:
    reduced oak border.jpg

    We are honing in on the particulars of the house and the layout. The first priority is getting security (full frontal fence) and the food plot going. Land clearing wants a minimum of $5K to come on site and the fence/gate is $2300. Before I pay a dime, I'm going to spend a day bush-hogging to really get a better feel for the place. Measure twice, cut once.

    Updated layout.jpg
    The biggest revelation of the week was a buddy of mine has been on a big buck producing lease for a couple of years. Come to find out that is just across the road from me!
    reduced bonifay buck.jpg IMG_6183.JPG
     
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  6. lakngulf

    lakngulf Well-Known Member

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    Location:
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    Good luck with your new property. You are right big equipment costs!
     
  7. swat1018

    swat1018 Well-Known Member

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    I would slow down and hunt it a year before deciding where everything "should be." I also think for what you're paying for a walking path to be cleared you could buy some saws and do it yourself, possibly with money to spare.
     
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  8. cutman

    cutman Administrator Staff Member

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    Location:
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    I couldn’t agree more. Learn the land before you alter it for good. There’s nothing worse than spending a bunch of money on something and regretting it almost immediately.
     
  9. THE LLC

    THE LLC Well-Known Member

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    Bushhogging like you said is a great first step. I'd definitely spend the money on the pond though. A swamp head ain't nothing but a mosquito bed.
     
  10. FL Plotter

    FL Plotter Active Member

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    Location:
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    Can't wait to check the trail cam this weekend. Might even have to sit and hunt it Sunday evening.

    I've got 3 Stihls and I can do a lot with my L3800 and FEL. It's just finding the time since it's 1 hour away. There are only so many dry weekends in FL and there's hunting, fishing, hunting club plot work and my primary house and yard!.
     
  11. FL Plotter

    FL Plotter Active Member

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    Location:
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    Well boys, I got out there and spent 8 quality hours on the Kubota yesterday. We got a little rain the past few weeks, so now I have a little pond! Spent the bulk of the day working the rear fenceline. Hogged off the thick brush, then backbladed about 60% of it. Wanted to at least hog it all off, but I snapped off the entire fuel filter bowl around 430 and had to bypass the filter and bleed the injectors to get my L3800 out of the woods!

    Here's some pics of the progress and a trail cam pics of a group of does....
    reduced 2018 Mar 3 (6).jpg reduced 2018 Mar 3 (5).jpg reduced 2018 Mar 3 (4).jpg reduced DF Jan Feb 18 deer (1).jpg
     
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  12. lakngulf

    lakngulf Well-Known Member

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    Location:
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    Well, you have some wildlife neighbors enjoying your efforts. That is great. I ride down the East side of Baldwin county, Alabama on the back road to Gulf Shores quite often. Land looks similar to yours, and I always see lots of shooting blinds.
    Tough luck on the Kubota fuel filter. I have had my share of mishaps trying to do too much and go beyond the tractor limits. As I age I have moved JUST A BIT to the motto of "It is better to have 85% of this done and the tractor stay in tact than to let that other 15% put me and the tractor in trouble"
     
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  13. FL Plotter

    FL Plotter Active Member

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    Location:
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    I figure I did $400 to $800 worth of clearing along that fenceline and it cost me a $40 filter assembly, $16 in diesel, and $30 in gas, so I'm money ahead. My goal is to do as much of the perimeter fenceline and in between the pine rows as I can, then maybe have the Bull of the Woods chopper/grinder guy come in and finish. At $200 an hour, he can probably achieve what I want for paths and clearings cheaper than the bulldozer crew at $2500 an acre. I can clean up a lot with my L3800 and also, over a short period of time, the pine and brush mulch will rot.

    That's my plan for now....subject to change as I put more pieces to the puzzle together.

    You can see in this pic how I cleaned the brush between the pine rows.
    reduced 2018 Mar 3 (1).jpg
     
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  14. lakngulf

    lakngulf Well-Known Member

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    Location:
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    Looking good
     
  15. FL Plotter

    FL Plotter Active Member

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    Thanks...would love to have 100 acres like you.

    Stopped by dealer after work...$25 filter assembly and I'm back in business! I told him to give me 2 for a spare, but he only had one in stock.
     
  16. Cedar Ridge

    Cedar Ridge Active Member

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    Location:
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    I know we’re in very different parts of the country but I’ve got a dozer guy here in KY that is top notch with lots of very nice equipment and he runs his smaller dozer (D6) for $85 and hour. He cleared +/- 3 acres and did a ton of road work for me in 3 days. Cost me $2200 total. He literally only stopped the dozer to pee. Even ate lunch while moving. Look long and hard at the options available and consider a dozer over the super expensive tree mulchers. They can leave a ton of mulch that you have to deal with for a long time after they’re gone. Good luck.
     
  17. FL Plotter

    FL Plotter Active Member

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    Location:
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    We've got 2 estimates so far, and both have come in at $2500 an acre for clearing, root raking and burning. Nobody is offering $85 an hour around here that I can find and they want a minimum $5000 job to bring their equipment on-site. Still looking though. Sunbelt rental used to rent bulldozers for $2000 per week (40hrs on meter), but they quit doing that as it was costing them too much money in repairs. They will rent me a 18,000# excavator with thumb for $1750 per week.

    We used the tree mulcher service to clear an acre of ti-ti along a swamp on our hunting land. 4 hrs...$800. It did leave a lot of mulch, but you can backblade that off with a FEL pretty easy. Plus, it doesn't disturb the soil. Time is on my side with this land, so piling up mulch and letting it rot works for me if it saves me $1700!

    I do have a line on a co-worker who has family in the area with a bulldozer. Not sure if it's a borrow or rent deal.

    Gonna head out in the morning and put in another full day working that fenceline. I'll post up some progress pictures. Hoping the back feeder in the newly cleared area has some game on cam!
     
  18. FL Plotter

    FL Plotter Active Member

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    Location:
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    Hardiness Zone:
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    Well boys, some updates. 12hrs front door and back...long day. Got the rear fenceline cleared, and mostly leveled. The East fenceline is not nearly as thick so I got a walkable path cleared out down that side as well. It's needs a lot more dirt work, but it got dark on me.

    Momma came out with a sandwich, so I put her to work pulling out some trees!

    No breakdowns and nothing to fix. You can do a lot with a CUT...Those Kubotas are legit!

    reduced 2018 Mar 11th (2).jpg reduced 2018 Mar 11th (7).jpg reduced 2018 Mar 11th (5).jpg
     
  19. lakngulf

    lakngulf Well-Known Member

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    Location:
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    Looking Good! Does she think your tractors sexy?
     
  20. FL Plotter

    FL Plotter Active Member

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    Location:
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    Another day on the land, this time with my Stihl toys....2 chainsaws and a brush cutter attachment on my straight shaft trimmer. By the end of the day, all were dull, but got a lot done. Most of the back fenceline is now clear of brush and overhanging trees. Tree mulcher scheduled for this coming week to do the 2 really gnarly fencelines.
    reduced 18 Mar 2018 (3).jpg reduced 18 Mar 2018 (5).jpg
     

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