Double A Farm (NE Ohio) Updates


Well-Known Member
Sorry for the late arrival, I got a little lost after I found my tour on the front lawn of the former forum with a break up letter that made no sense. I wandered for a while, trying to find you all, hoping the old crew would end up all in the same place. Thanks to lakngulf for sending me the coordinates.

Like dogghr, I'm leaving everything behind, they can have it. I even left my username, proudly choosing instead the nickname my father gave me as a baby and what he called me for the rest of his life. Without him, I may have never left the comforts of home and made the forest my refuge. His unselfishness with his time and his generosity with his love of the outdoors had a profound impact on who I have become. He's waiting for me in the promise land now but I am thankful to have you all to continue this journey and partake in the generosity of your knowledge.

So let's start this new journey and fellowship in some of our great freedoms in this country that God has blessed us to be born in.


So glad you made it! We have been trying to get the crew back together with a clean slate forum but it has been difficult but as they say - "better late than never!"

I'll get the particulars out of the way right quick for anyone not familiar with my place then we'll get right back to work. Bought my first piece of land, beyond the subdivided lot my home sits on, in 2007 when I was 32 years old. That 25 acre piece in east central Ohio was where I cut my teeth on habitat improvement. It was all I could afford but boy, you would have thought I hit the lottery. With two daughters, two college tuition savings and probably two weddings to pay for, I never thought I'd be able to afford to get anything bigger. But I was perfectly content with what I had and I made the most of that habitat.

Fast forward to 2011. Marcellus Shale fracking was booming in the area. I already spoke to the only company in that area that was drilling and I was told that my area was not one of the desirable spots for drilling. I began getting letters in the mail from all sorts of businesses and individuals in the gas and oil field. My ownership of the mineral rights put me in a position I didn't ever expect to be in. Unsolicited offers came in, double of what I paid for the property just four years earlier. I decided to put a listing out there with a pie in the sky asking price. Within hours, I had a cash offer that I just couldn't refuse. I talked it over with my wife, my father and my financial advisor. They all agreed that I better strike while the iron was hot. So I did, and I spent the next year and a half looking for another piece of property. Drilling never made it to that valley. I went by the place a year or two later and it had been completely clear cut, obviously in an attempt to salvage some of the initial investment. Pretty sad actually but I had moved on.

I wanted to stay in Ohio. I'm a bowhunter and their archery season runs from September to February with no breaks, including Sunday hunting, which you can't do in my home state of Pennsylvania. A far cry from the six week archery season in Pennsylvania, minus Sundays. Southern and central Ohio are known for big bucks but I wanted to stay in the 100 mile, under 2 hour range. It would be a little more expensive but after knowing a lot of guys who owned deer camps four plus hours away in northern PA my whole life, I didn't want that kind of inconvenience. Besides, most of Ohio's counties hold good deer numbers and have their share of trophy animals.

My old farm was in cattle country. I decided I wanted something in corn & bean country this time. Larger blocks of land and less people usually means fewer hunters and more habitat for deer to grow old on. After walking over a dozen properties, I was starting to get discouraged. By 2013, the bargain basement deals on properties for cash buyers were gone as the market had come back with a vengeance. While I did well on my initial investment, I was still on a budget.

After another disappointing walk of a property, I was tired and wanted to head back home. There was one 40 acre piece in ag country that I ear marked but it was out of the way and I didn't feel like having another disappointment. Something told me to go look at it anyway so I did. I pulled up to the property, surrounded by thousands of acres of farm fields and big woodlots. I thought boy this could be good but I didn't want to get my hopes up. As I walked the farm, it got better and better as I checked things off of my mental wish list. Afterwards I could definitely picture what I could do with the place. So after a little more research, an offer was made and accepted in the summer of 2013. Holy heck, I just bought my second farm and almost doubled the acreage! Not bad for a blue collar worker on a budget.

Sorry to ramble on, let's get back to work.
Few aerials to get you familiar. My 40 is basically a rectangle oriented lengthwise north & south.




Red- basic deer movements. Yellow- property lines. Brown- access trail for habitat work.
Green- hidden plots. Pink- current stand sites.

40 acre rectangle to the west is owned by farmer who leases my south field for corn/bean rotation. He does not live there or have any buildings on it. Nobody hunts it. I have permission to hunt it and improve the timber. I basically stay out of there though. 60 acres to the west of him is a guy who has a few cattle and leases some of his fields to our neighbor. He lives there full time. He doesn't hunt. In three years I think he has had two family members hunt on a few gun opening days. They never kill anything. Couple hundred acre woodlot to the north is broken up into a few pieces. Two of the owners don't hunt, I've yet to meet the third. To the east is a couple smaller ag fields, a large lake/reservoir and a few residences around the lake. For the most part, these deer in this area are pressured very little. I've observed that over three seasons, very comfortable moving at all times of the day and when bumped, they don't high tail it to the next county.
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For Bartylla:

The very bottom contour line is 1090. Each contour line is 2 feet of elevation change. Yup, a whole 18 feet across my farm.


I'm reading Steve's new book, which I highly recommend, and I'm very intrigued by his oval path approach to attempt to keep deer in a perpetual loop on the property. As you can see above, I have an access path that I use for habitat work and hanging stands up until about the end of August. After that, all access is done from the east border/power line to avoid disturbing the center of the property. I have a north/south flow established but I don't know if I have enough width on my property to complete a loop off what I started, or even if I should.
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Brian, so glad to see you here, and I loved the very nice tribute to your father. I look forward to following your great journey on this new forum.
Good to have you on here Weasel/Stick. Cool read thru your history again. You know I likes the sunset pics always. Thanks
Ok, I feel better now that "Double A Farm" is on board. Great start to the new forum and this just makes it better. How are those Christmas trees doing?
Few more pics to give you the lay of the land then I'll just pick up what I've been working on in 2016, finishing up year three of ownership.









I had not read alot of the land tours on the other site, its intimidating seeing 15+ pages that you had not read any of, three weeks ago I decided to sit down and read one front to back, well it happend to by yours. Glad you made it over and I can continue to follow along.
I'm so glad u decided to continue your land thread over here. I always loved your updates.

Really nice bucks also.