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Should I use an outfitter? (PLEASE READ)

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Should I use an outfitter? (PLEASE READ)

Old 12-03-2004, 08:57 AM
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Default Should I use an outfitter? (PLEASE READ)

Hey there....

I just want to ask if anyone has ever used an outfitter or guide service or whatever. I'm curious, that's all. I am interested mostly for next season, since this season has only about a month left.

See, {please don't take this like I am whining or b*tching or whatever} I have been hunting for only 3 years and don't have any private land or "farmers permisson", or heck - worse yet, none of my closest friends hunt. So, I have just been going at it alone on public WMA's and state forests.

This year I decided to say, "well, 3rd time's a charm" and went all out, go for broke, hunting every chance I could get. I even documented my hunts in a spreadsheet/html file (uploaded to my website - see my signature and click on it).
Or click here: http://members.aol.com/ammonc/Hunting-log.html

I hunt in Cumberland State Forest here in Virginia and sometimes the nearby WMA's during the week too. I'm sorry, but, I don't mean nothing.... but, the public WMA's on a Saturday during firearms season? They are a $*#&%[email protected] JOKE!!! [:@] I mean they are just downright sad. There is a constant "parade" of blaze orange on every trail! Even if you go in deep and way off the beaten path, you'll still bump into somone with the same idea that you have.

I know.... I know.... It's called HUNTING. It's not called KILLING. I mean, I have put my time in. I have learned from everyone on this board. I have read everything I can get my hands on. I have watched videos and DVD's. SOMETHING HAS JUST GOT TO GO RIGHT FOR ME! I am still kicking myself for missing that 8 pointer during bow season!! [&:][&o]

Anyway, enough ranting, complaining, whining, whatever you call it. I just need that perfect opportunity, that's all. That's why I am considering using an outfitter and shelling out $$$$$ for a few days. But are outfitters and guide services worth it? Are they viewed as "canned hunts" with high fences?

Straight to the point: If you don't have a place of your own or don't have any private land, and are waaaaaaaaay too frustrated, what would you do? Would you consider using an outfitter?

Thanks....

Butch A.
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Old 12-03-2004, 09:29 AM
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Default RE: Should I use an outfitter? (PLEASE READ)

Well,lets see. the conditions you explained is common here in the crowded east. It is frustrating. It Did not use to be that way.I am having the same problem in the past couple years as the building moves in around me. To bad we cant afford a little piece of land.If your young try and start saving for some.It is only going to get worse. I dont know your financial status. If you have to sacrafice family to hunt with a outfitter ,it will bother you in the end. If you can afford a outfitter research them real close to make sure you have a good one and not a theif. Decide what you want to hunt ? trophies,average deer ?? How far do you want tio travel ? How much are you able to spend. If you use a good outfitter on a fairchasee hunt it still is not guaranteed. Most outfitters you can dictate what you expect as far as the experience you want. Some hunters will put you down for using a outfitter,dont let thst bother you. Usually a canned hunt involves a fenced in area with pen raised deer. Dont think thats what you want. Only you can decide what you want to do. I certainly would not put someone down for using a outfitter.
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Old 12-03-2004, 09:29 AM
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Default RE: Should I use an outfitter? (PLEASE READ)

Save your money ... and instead of waiting till hunting season starts to hit the WMA down the street, cruise around in the spring and summer asking for permission from everyone you meet, even offering to do some chores or help out somehow. Ask local farmers, and check local plot books for owners of large private owned land and make phone calls.

If you did all these things I promise you would soon have more land to hunt than you could cover in a season and at least some of it won't be covered in orange. You may even bump into some other hunters who put in the same kind of effort you did and they may offer to help you out with some pointers or tips. May even meet a hunting buddy.

Like anything .. put in the effort and you'll find the land. You'll be told no a bunch of times, but even they sometimes direct you to people who say yes.

Of course if you don't want to put in the effort, and it does require effort, you can always pay someone to take you out and point you to where the deer are. What ever works for you.
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Old 12-03-2004, 10:03 AM
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Default RE: Should I use an outfitter? (PLEASE READ)

Usually a canned hunt involves a fenced in area with pen raised deer. Dont think thats what you want.
Exactly.... That is like shooting fish out of a barrel. No thanks.... [:'(] What do I want? What do I really, really, REALLY want? I want a quiet, peaceful, hunt with just me, my bow, and a monster 14 point buck! I want a one-on-one situation - just me and a deer. Nobody around, no concerns, everything going right... {hey, I can dream, can't I [8D] }

I saw the DVD of Monster Bucks from the RealTree guys. They were in a place called Milk River - something,whatever... in eastern Montana filming the hunt. Huge deer, gigantic spreadout place, and no high fences or any garbage like that. I found the name of the place and their website and man, let me just say, "HOLY %*&# THE PRICES!!!! Lodging, food, license fees, tags, - not including airfare.... whoa...." [&:][]

....cruise around in the spring and summer asking for permission from everyone you meet, even offering to do some chores or help out somehow. Ask local farmers, and check local plot books for owners of large private owned land and make phone calls.
Been there, done that.... [&o] Heck, I went so far as making a permimeter around the Richmond, VA area. I went up almost to Fredericksburg, way out towards Charlottesville, and down towards Farmville, etc... Everyone has already been there too knocking on doors. Private land is a hot commidity and is so hard earned, the hunter will guard it with their life. It was always,
"Nope, sorry".
"No. If I let one of you boys on here, I'll end up with 50".
"Sorry but no".
"No".
"Sorry, I already have two guys here".
"No, not here, but you can check with _________".


Butch A.
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Old 12-03-2004, 10:32 AM
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Default RE: Should I use an outfitter? (PLEASE READ)

butch--if you go on a out of state hunt, you should first go to the sportmans show in harrisburg pa this feb. i was like you last year, tired of seeing only small deer. i booked a bow hunt to illionis. got a couple of big does but no big bucks. spent 2k for that!! i cant believe that you have not been able to hook up w/ a club in central va. im basically, done hunting for the rest of the year. i hunt on very small parcels in loudoun and fauquier county. good luck.

oh--where has taz been?
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Old 12-03-2004, 10:52 AM
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Default RE: Should I use an outfitter? (PLEASE READ)

ORIGINAL: o2bebowhunting
i cant believe that you have not been able to hook up w/ a club in central va.
I have looked around, asked, begged, etc... and clubs in central virginia are always booked up solid. Some are geared towards family and other related kinfolk (translation: you, me, and anyone else ain't gettin' in). One of the welders out in my company's workshop is in a club, and has been ever since he was able to pick up a firearm.

oh--where has taz been?
Taz is around from what I see. He's probably been off hunting, or very busy at work. But it's good to read his posts....

Butch A.
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Old 12-03-2004, 10:53 AM
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Default RE: Should I use an outfitter? (PLEASE READ)

Butch,

The best advice and cheapest alternative for you is to join a hunt club in one of the surrounding counties. Prince George, Caroline, Brunswick and all of the other rural counties have multiple clubs that give you access to 1,000's of acres for usually no more then $600-$700. Most of them dog hunt but bow season is a month long and mzl season is 2 weeks. Check into these clubs and find one that is taking new members in 05. The club I hunt with is $500 a year and has over 7,000 acres open to deer, duck, turkey, etc...
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Old 12-03-2004, 10:57 AM
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Default RE: Should I use an outfitter? (PLEASE READ)

Well I hunt in NY and all the land I hunt is private, but a couple of years ago me, my bro, my pop, and some of the guys we hunt with all went with a guide service and none of us regretted it. We used Virginia Guide Service. Most of us shot deer, only one guy got a real bruiser, but the atmosphere at the place was great. The lodge was nice, and they feed you like your going to the chair. We chose that guide because they were close enough for everyone to drive which cut down on cost, and they offered a 3 day hunt, this way even the guys with work restrictions could go. I know it is not for everyone, but we absolutley loved it.

A friend of mine has three guys with him that all go a Rainbow Outfitters in Manitoba every year. The deer he comes back with are out of this world, but this is a week long hunt and much more expensive. It is also a fair chase type hunt. Nothing is gauraunteed, and there are years where the group hasn't done so well. Also you stay on stand dark to dark in weather that can go down to -20F. So it is still no easy hunt.

I say try to get permission to hunt on private land anyway, cause you need somewhere near home to hunt, but don't let anybody put you down for using a guide. It was a great experience for me and probably could be for you too.
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Old 12-03-2004, 11:46 AM
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Default RE: Should I use an outfitter? (PLEASE READ)

Hey, you may have to widen your search radius. I find old farms with older couples or widow/ers are more likely to allow people to hunt their land. Go dressed nice, bring an agreement card, a business card, your safety certificate. Keep trying. Also, there's always the National Forests out this way. Lot's of land there and not as many hunters as there used to be.
Seems I saw a post on here last week for a hunting club in Southern VA that was looking for new members. Do a search and see if you can find it.

Here's the link to that thread Hunt club
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Old 12-03-2004, 02:58 PM
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Default RE: Should I use an outfitter? (PLEASE READ)

Thanks Talondale... I will check into it. Looks like it's down on the border near Lake Gaston and NC border area. [8D]

Stumpybarnes: I have written to various county departments off their internet sites, and inquired about hunt clubs within their counties, and got no reponses back. I mean, you can surf the internet on hunt clubs and come up with nothing. You can look up the phone book for hunt clubs and find nothing. I don't have a name or anything else to go by either. I did check a hunt club out in Cumberland and learned that they are very tight knit and have the same members for 4-5 years straight and don't plan on aquiring any new members any time soon either.

Butch A.
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