While I prefer to own my own land it's not for everyone. If you can find a lease you can drive up to, get out of your vehicle and go hunting and bring a trophy buck home without having to do any ground work you may be many many dollars ahead.
I my case before I bought the 101 acres behind my home the farmable land was in a government set aside program. The program was set to expire in 2000. For permission to hunt the 101 acres the farmer who owned it said all I had to do was to have it mowed once a year. I hired this done for three years and finally decided to buy my own tractor and mower to mow approximately 21 acres of tillable land besides the 10 acres of land he owned butting up against my back lawn.
In 1994 I bought a 1957 Ford 601 gas powered tractor for $3000. Then I bought a 4' tow behind Brush Hog mower. This was a slow process but I enjoyed doing it. I got into trouble twice with this set up both in about the same spot. Each time I was mowing my side lawn which was just grass and weeds. There is a ditch which runs along the bottom of the slope in the lawn and each time I got into trouble I had backed up to the ditch to mow the edge. The 601 didn't have a live PTO and even pushing the clutch in the mower was spinning and the force from the mower would transfer through the PTO and keep the tractor moving backward. This sucked me into the ditch. The first time I went straight backward, the mower dug into the bank on the other side and everything came to a stop. I got the tractor out of gear with the PTO off and was able to pull the tractor back onto solid ground. The second time I got into trouble I had backed up at more of an angle. I couldn't get the tractor stopped and it started to tip over. I bailed off the seat over the right fender and tire and let it go. The tractor finally did stop and came back down on all four wheels. All that time my wife was watching the whole performance. She ran across the lawn asking me if I was alright.
I told her as far as I know yes. When I told her what had happened and how, she said I was to get a different tractor so that wouldn't happen again.
I traded the little 601 in at the local John Deere dealer and bought my 1987 Ford 4 WD 2110 Diesel. Shortly afterward I sold the Brush Hog and bought a new 6' 3 pt. hitch rotary cutter. This made all my mowing much faster and more comfortable. I used this set up until 2006.
I was down back mowing away in the hot sun and began to feel dizzy and sick to my stomach. I started to head to the house but for a reason I will never figure out I abandoned the tractor under a shade tree and walked the last 1/4 mile back to my house where I collapsed on the back steps. My wife, son and daughter were at the house and between the three of them they pulled and carried me inside and threw me into a cool shower. After a couple minutes I started to come around but I had a headache like I'd never had before. I started looking around for a used cab tractor with AC. Everything I found was either too big or worn out. I looked at new but when I discovered the cab with heat and AC was a $10,000 option I stopped looking. My wife kept insisting I buy a tractor with a cab so I finally ordered a 2007 John Deere 5225 4 WD with a FE loader and the options I needed. This might have been overkill at the time but I have never regretted it. I use the 5225 for mowing in the summer and have an Erskine FM 840 front mount snowblower I use in the wintertime. I had the loader on and off the 5225 a few times the first year I owned it. The following year I bought a JCB 1400 C backhoe. This eliminated having to use the loader on the 5225. The loader hasn't been on this tractor in 11 years. It's stored away in my pole barn and still looks like new.
My Ford still runs and drives like new with just under 2500 hours on it. In 2012 I got the new tractor bug again and started looking for a larger tractor to replace the Ford with. I finally settled on a 2012 John Deere 5065E 4 WD with a FE loader, a sun roof and the hydraulics I wanted, some extra lighting and a horizontal exhaust so I didn't have to breath the exhaust fumes in my face all the while. I had the deal all made and was to pick the 5065E on Saturday and trading in my Ford. On Wednesday of that week I was using my backhoe to do some ditching and I blew a steel hydraulic line in the rear boom. I called the dealer for parts availability and I was told I would have to remove the boom to replace the line. I had no way to handle a boom which is as large and heavy as that one. Trucking it to the dealer would have cost me over $700 each way plus parts and labor to fix it. I called my John Deere dealer and asked my salesman if he was interested in taking the backhoe in trade. I could sell the Ford outright. My salesman said he'd make a call and get back to me. Within 1/2 hour I got a call back and I was offered more than I thought the backhoe was worth in tip top condition. The J D dealership is 3 1/2 miles from my home. I pounded the steel line as flat as I could, overfilled the hydraulic tank and headed to the dealership with my son following me. I told him to bring along an extra 5 gallon pail of oil. I made it without refilling the tank and parked the backhoe in their back yard. My son, the salesman and I were up at their building talking when we heard a loud BOOM! It took a minute to realize the right rear tire on the backhoe had blown almost entirely off the rim. The salesman just looked at me and said, "I guess it's my problem now".
I had intended to write a check for balance of payment between the backhoe and the 5065E. That's when my salesman told me J D had just started a zero % financing incentive. This was for a period of 5 years. You can't buy money any cheaper than that so I agreed to finance and keep the money in my bank account.
Now I have three tractors. The little Ford is my go to tractor for smaller jobs using it's front end loader, I use the Ford and a brush cutter to trim along hedge rows and the Ford runs my broadcast spreader when using pelletized lime and fertilizer. It does get a good pressure washing after each time we use the spreader. My son loves the 5065E and runs it when needed and has used it to level his lawn, move rocks etc.left over from building his house next door to me. It also gets used with the brush cutters, York rake, back blade, discs, pallet forks and cultipacker. My 90" grooming mower is normally attached to my 5225 for the duration of the summer after we are done with the 6' tiller used for spring plots. I also use this tractor to pull my Brillion SS 5 seeder / cultipacker for planting clover, alfalfa and other smaller seeds. I don't like breathing dust on the open tractors. Nothing gets into that cab.
All my machinery gets maintained very well. My 2007 JD 5225 has had 11 oil changes in the twelve years i have owned it and I have roughly 1250 hours on it. The 5065 is on it's third oil change and it hasn't clocked quite 300 hours yet. The Ford gets the oil changed each spring regardless of how many hours it has run between changes. Fuel, air and cab air filters get changed per the schedules recommended in their respective manuals.My son and I spend a whole day or more doing maintenance on the tractors and all the equipment before they see spring's work.
I wouldn't give my land up for anything. I worked long and hard for everything I have and it's comforting to know it will be passed down through generations to people who will have an appreciation of that.
In the meanwhile I could have spent nearly as much on land leases and have nothing left but a memory. Or a cruise with naked ladies on the top deck which would likely result in a divorce. LOL