By Penny Stine
It’s big game hunting season in Colorado. Archery season started this weekend and muzzle-loader and rifle season will soon follow. There’s plenty of good hunting in western Colorado, and fortunately for hunters, there’s also plenty of good hunting properties available that make the experience a little more enjoyable.
The market for hunting properties is lively right now for certain types of properties, according to Omar Richardson with United Country Real Colorado Properties.
While every property is unique, with its own amenities, location, and appeal, there are three different categories of hunting properties. Some properties include thousands of acres, with year-round access, water rights, perhaps irrigated hay fields, a home or hunting cabins. They’re also priced in the multi-million dollar range.
The two other types of properties are either 35 or 40-acre parcels adjacent to or near a desired Game Management Unit (GMU) that give hunters a place to set up camp and go hunt on nearby public lands or larger, at least 160-acre parcels that give property owners the opportunity to participate in the Landowners Preference Program (LPP).
“We’re busy showing those properties right now,” Richardson said.
The smaller properties are more affordable and they’re usually very accessible, as well. Many of those types of properties can be found in the Collbran area, where Richardson said there’s lots of real estate activity. There’s also plenty of hunting activity as the season continues. Buyers for those types of property are mostly out-of-area hunters, who are often from somewhere else in Colorado, although they appeal to some locals, as well.
People who are looking for properties that are at least 160 acres, big enough to qualify for the LPP, are split between knowledgeable out-of-state buyers who have educated themselves about the preference program and understand how it works, or equally educated locals.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife has issued a number of rules, regulations, and guidelines for the program, and those who want to know more about it can go to the CPW website, (cpw.state.co.us/thingstodo/Pages/LandownerPreference.aspx) or talk to one of the knowledgeable brokers at United Country, many of whom have chosen that particular real estate office because of its reputation and ability to deliver on both the purchase and sale of hunting and lifestyle properties.
“At least half of the Realtors in our office are ranch and hunting people,” Richardson said. “We’ve become adept at dealing with conservation easements, tax-deferred exchanged and structured sales.”
Sales of the larger, multi-million dollar hunting properties are much slower.
“There is activity, but it seems like people are holding on to their money, especially for the larger properties,” said Brian Mason with Mason Real Estate.
There is a huge difference between a $200,000, a 35-acre piece of vacant land that’s close to a desirable GMU and a $6 million, 3,000-acre property that allows hunters to hunt and fish without ever leaving the property. Those who have the means to purchase the first type of properties continue to do so; those who have the means to purchase the second type of properties are taking a lot more time to think about it and weigh their decisions. Brokers can never be sure if it’s related to politics, worldwide economic conditions or the full moon.
“There’s nice stuff listed, but no takers yet,” Mason said.
One of the nicer properties listed by Mason Real Estate includes 3,350 acres, six hunting cabins, 100 irrigated acres in hay, two year-round streams, several ponds and exceptional wildlife.
“If you look up the definition of Colorado, this property fits,” Mason said. “It’s one of those properties that should sell. It’s drop-dead beautiful.”
It’s also $6.7 million, so it may be beyond the reach of average Real Estate Weekly buyers. Mason is hopeful, however, that the right buyer will find it irresistible.