View Full Version : Buying land in Colorado

July 26, 2009, 03:42 PM
I am a life-long Texan and will be for at least another 20 years. I love to hunt and own 10 acres where I do my hunting. For those who don't know, Texas is 90% private land and is expensive to buy just about anywhere except remote west Texas. I am not wealthy but make a good living. While I could afford to pay $7,000 a year to hunt thophy whitetail for one week, I am too frugal to do so. And while I get many decent sized deer crossing into my property, I am getting kind of tired just sitting in a blind looking over a feeder (which is how you hunt anyway on those trophy whitetail hunts). I started looking into buying land further away from where I am at to get a little more property to hunt on when I stumbled on land for sale in Colorado. I must say I was suprised to see that it is about half as much per acre in remote areas as it is in Texas. I found some really pretty 35 acre tracts that border BLM's in Huerfano County for about $40,000. I have been to southern Colorado once and fell in love with the country side. I have also always wanted to go elk hunitng as well but just haven't made the plunge. My question is, is there any advantage to having property next to a BLM with private access to just entering from a public entrance. I believe the area I am looking at is in unit 85. Anyone have any experince in this area? Should I take the plunge and hunt here one week a year (would put a small cabin in it) or just buy some land here at home and continue hunting over a feeder for 2.5 months while taking a week trip yearly to Colorado and hunt public access areas?

July 26, 2009, 04:14 PM
Some good questions and have gone over this in my mind several times myself but never did get enough answers to my questions to take the plunge. Hope it works out and I will be looking for some of your answers along with you.

July 26, 2009, 07:14 PM
You could look up the number of tags for that area and see if there are a lot available or only a few. You can ayways hunt it for one or two years to see how the hunting is. Isn't CO now on a draw system for elk? (I lived there back in the early 80's when there wasn't). Instead of a cabin, a trailer for a week's use might be easier on the wallet - you wouldn't have to worry about folks breaking in.

Art Eatman
July 27, 2009, 07:17 AM
Owning a piece of dirt next to BLM land gives you a base of operations from which to scout out the surrounding area. The advice, above, about checking the number of permits is wise. If there are few animals to hunt, it might not be that good a deal.

My experience with deals of this sort is that homework is all-important. Take some time to go and explore; more than just a weekend and more than just one trip. Money goes out a lot faster than it comes in.

August 2, 2009, 06:50 PM
Good points brought up by all who already posted. One other thing to consider is are you wanting to buy this land to retire on or are you going to try and move up here and get a job. Good jobs in the area you mentioned are few and far between, plus you have other considerations as well with that property.

The main one you will have is WATER, how will you get it will you be able to drill a well or will you have to haul it in and store it in a cistern. Water wells sometimes have to be drilled several hundred feet to water, and going over a thousand isn't unheard of in some aread plus you might drill a few blanks before you hit water, all of which can be very expensive. Power is another you might be living off the grid for some time as well as last I knew it cost about $1500 a pole to have power brough in to these properties by the REA. So you might want to look into these things before you fall in love with a cheap peice of property.

August 2, 2009, 07:24 PM
At $1500/pole, and a pole every 3-400 feet, that can get expensive. I would also look at the type of road- if there even IS one . If it is just a dirt road, then winter travel (and it snows in Colorado all the time) can be a fun affair. When I lived there, a lot of folks had moved from Houston (Colony Shale Oil Project) - they had to run everyone through classes on how to drive in snow and on mountain roads - most had never done that before. A 4X4 will be necessary.

I would also pull the tax records for the property and when you get close to seriously considering a few, I would also call the tax folks to see what happens when you go from undeveloped property to building something - sometimes the taxes can drastically change. Water in the West, when found, may not also be potable as mentioned above. You would want to make sure you get all of the subsurface mineral rights, water rights, etc.; otherwise someone could conceivably start mining or drilling on your property.

Art Eatman
August 3, 2009, 11:02 AM
IIRC, Colorado has a permit system for water wells. How restricted? I don't know. Around SW Texas, drillers are getting about $10/foot. Windmills are around $4,000, nowadays. Solar pumps will work, but can be expensive if you want more than small flow; cheapest is a small pump into a large cistern and feed the house/camp via gravity. Propane is commonly a best-deal thing for occasional-use refrigerators and heating.

August 3, 2009, 11:31 AM
I have not hunted in 85, but have hunted over a few in 62. Elk is good if the weather is cold. The same will apply to 85. The elevation isn't that high so the weather needs to be cold to drive the elk down. The mule deer hunting is great though, if you get drawn.

Bull Elk is OTC in most game units west of I-25 (which 85 is) for 2nd and 3rd rifle.

One thing to consider is that in order to get land owner preference tags, you have to own a minimum of, IIRC, 160 contiguous acres.

Having land bordering BLM land is especially beneficial when there is limited access to the BLM land from that area. It also gives you a location where you can keep a semi-permanent base camp.

All that being said, because I am from Colorado, I can't advocate flat landers coming in and stealing my trophies!! :D

Good luck on your decision. Please let us know what you decide.

August 3, 2009, 11:51 AM
IIRC, Colorado has a permit system for water wells. How restricted?

Residential well are easy to get permits not much more than showing up with the legal description of the property. $10 a foot with casing sounds about right for this area as well, depnding on how challenging it is getting in with the drill rig. Propane is the gas of choice for heating out here as well in rural areas. Some guys are trying to live off the grid with solar and wind power as well, so it can be done but the costs get to be staggering in the inital investment.

Art Eatman
August 3, 2009, 02:35 PM
The big-ticket part of a solar system is the inverter. You can buy year-old golf cart batteries from a leasing company. A half-dozen of those and maybe three 30" panels will take care of lights and something like a drill motor or power saw with a relatively small inverter. When you get into refrigerator-capability, you're talking $$$$$. But even with a small unit you can do satellite TV and Internet. :) Hey, you can watch the Outdoor Channel!

August 3, 2009, 07:55 PM
That's why I was suggesting using a 5th wheel or similar for the time being - bring your stuff in, take your stuff out.....

Art Eatman
August 4, 2009, 08:22 AM
For just one or two people, the "Casita" 17' travel trailer that's built near Dallas only weighs 2,300 pounds. Easily towed with the smaller trucks.