Invest in a Better Habitat

Most land is a sound investment, but the habitat on that land determines its actual value and pays the most tremendous benefits. And the more you invest in that habitat, the greater the return.  

One of the best ways is by putting down roots; even then, there are better ways to go about it. For instance, food plots represent a short-term, high-risk, high-yield investment. They require a lot of input up front and oversight and management. If the climate is favorable and the land doesn’t receive too much or too little water and sunlight, there will be a bountiful annual yield. Then the process begins anew next year.

Mast orchards, on the other hand, are more of a slow-growth, stable, and reliable investment. The rewards will be slow at first, but hard and soft mast-producing trees and shrubs can better withstand even wild fluctuations in weather between one year and the next. Barring a major catastrophe, they’ll keep growing. Even better, the principal keeps growing, producing more significant dividends perennially. 

That sounds like a pretty sound investment, purely from a portfolio perspective. But the dividends go far beyond land value or even fruit on the ground. Those habitat improvements increase available food and cover, attracting and holding more wildlife. The interest on your land and your interest in that land compounds, and the benefits grow exponentially.

In time the land acts as a trust. The short-term returns include more encounters with wildlife and more opportunity to harvest game for the current landowner and land users. The long-term benefits become generational. Once deer learn to find food in the same place each year, they will teach their young, who will, in turn, pass this behavior along to successive generations, so they will still be there for our own children and grandchildren. The same applies to those who care for and use the land. We may start by emphasizing the harvest, but in time we emphasize the total hunting experience more. We appreciate the time spent outdoors, the company of friends and family, and the beauty of nature, an appreciation further enhanced by knowing it is all a direct result of our efforts and our investment. 

Alachua, FL

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