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Best archery only outfitter
Just wondering about archery only outfitters in the Midwest would think they would be better than outfitters that gun hunt. Anyone know any good archery only outfitters?
This hinges greatly on what your goals are and what your budget is. Are you looking to see a large number of mature bucks? Are you only interested in harvesting a 160+? Is hunting over bait acceptable?
Have only hunted OH, IL and KS. Only outfitter that was strictly bow-only was Widerack Outfitters, although other outfitters had some bow-only areas.
Not sure how big of a difference it makes as long as they understand stand placement for archery. Bigger factors are how knowledgeable they are of their properties and level of effort they put into it overall (# of stands, food plots, scouting, historical knowledge).
The outfitter would need some big property to make it "immune" to the effects of gun hunting. Also, take OH for instance. Don't want to rattle the cage, but crossbows are not that far off from shotgun hunting.
Finally also consider the business aspect. They need to make money in a short timeframe of just a month or two. The better outfitters will cap their max hunters per week and not overextend themselves. Take OH again ... they could have maybe 4-6 weeks of archery hunters followed by 1 week of gun hunts and then maybe some late season diehards. So they have just as many or even more archery guys and it would behoove them to keep them bow guys happy.
Hashknife in Kansas is archery only, but very hard to get a spot and north of ten grand for a hunt. I’ve heard good things about Full Draw in Illinois too, but don’t know a lot about them. I don’t think there are a lot of options for archery only in the mid west. I’m looking for the same thing so I’d be interested in what you find. You could look at the Bow Zone in Edmonton Alberta. I’ve hunted with Jim Hole of Classic Outfitters up there many times and highly recommend him for a serious, hard core trophy whitetail bowhunt. But his availability is very limited as well. Archery only for big Whitetails is a tough one to find, believe me, I’ve been searching for 28 years!
Want to stay under $6000 but would like to hunt 150 inch. Deer. Alberta sounds good. Yeah Ohio is tuff the ground is so high they have to run a bunch of hunters. But that being said I think it is some of the best ground in the country. Been there 4 Times I was thinking maybe kansas.
Check out Full Draw, in your price range, make sure you check a pile of references from this year and last. Please let me know what you find.
Jeff from Full Draw is a good guy. He has some good real estate!
6000.00 for a 150 inch buck,,,,, I have shot 2 of those, on diy, hunts,,,,, man I am in the wrong business,,,,, over 10,000 for a Kansas deer hunt,,,,, if I was a younger guy,,, wow
Why not build a few points and hunt Iowa?
I have no idea what they are going to charge, but check out Latitudes Ohio Whitetail Company.
I don't care who you hunt with. It's a tall order to kill a 150" WT or better on a 5-7 day hunt. Go for the experience and expect to not be successful.
Steve, I already have a bunch of points in Iowa. Can you recommend a good archery-only outfitter there? All of the Iowa outfitters I've researched also gun hunt their properties.
Wilbur, the OP said "Hunt" a 150" buck, not "Kill" a 150" buck. Hunt = experience. And I agree with him, everything else being equal, you will most likely have a better chance to experience a quality hunt with more mature bucks on ground that is not getting gun hunted.
"6000.00 for a 150 inch buck,,,,, I have shot 2 of those, on diy, hunts,,,,, man I am in the wrong business,,,,, over 10,000 for a Kansas deer hunt,,,,, if I was a younger guy,,, wow "
No offense ground, but I thought I remember you saying you are in your 70's or something. So you've hunted roughly 50 years and killed 2? The OP is trying to do that in roughly a week. This is why he is paying for help. We all know how difficult a task it is But even with your DIY success it's still only a once-in-25 year experience and it doesn't sound like the OP wants to wait 25 years.
You might try South Dakota. Best counties are along the Jim River.
One thing that is often overlooked and I think is a very important is how do outfitters choose what farms and stands get hunted. Lets face it, a large whitetail can show up in any state. Any good outfitter with private land in good areas should have a couple nice bucks running around. Most good outfitters who are in areas where tags are over the counter or can basically be drawn every year will also have "regular" clients who come back every year. It is just human nature that favorites are some times played, or clients may offer big tips if they are put on bigger bucks. Make sure you ask the right question so you aren't paying money to an outfitter who has shown you trail cam pics of monsters but they aren't on a farm that you will be hunting.
Call Ryan at 605 210 1440
Njbuck, that was a major difference between my first outfitted hunt in IL in 2001 and my second in 2003 with Bucks Beware in IL (run at the time by Tom Ware).
My first experience with an outfitter was about as bad as it can get in retrospect. I did not do much intel because the guy I worked with at the time was a big hunter (he is on film occasionally with the Drury's) had been going there. I never even saw him there that week because he was off hunting primo properties with other VIP's and my stand was behind the outfitters house.
Tom Ware did it right. He picked stands based on the wind, then put them in a hat and we drew them, so it was totally fair. As I recall, he also rotated farms from week to week to keep pressure off as much as possible.
Have you ever hunted in a deer camp where you or you and your hunting pals were the only ones on the hunt? That seems to be a way better deal.
Ive hunted with Doug for several years in a row now. one of the best hunts and very affordable! Some of the best trophy class animals Kansas has. Great accommodations first class operation!
IVL... they are not archery only.. read OP
jimjones, glad you are the forum police. cause you offered no helpful advice. typical keyboard warrior!
No offense Steed, but a couple guys on here, myself included, are looking for an archery only outfitter in the midwest for a bowhunt this fall. And that's what this thread is about. I know there are plenty of great outfitters out there that offer gun and bow hunts, and from your experience it looks like VVO may very well be one of them. But there are a couple of us that are trying to find an outfit that does not gun hunt their ground. I think that's what the "keyboard warrior" was simply trying to point out to you.
Hmm.. Steed seemed to get pretty upset over a simple statement. Usually that means something. Guessing he has an agenda to putting that Outfitter in the Spotlight.. I thought my post was simple, could have been a dick about it, but simply stated the OP wanted Archery Only. It’s in the Headline and posted in the thread. Even a untrained monkey could deduce that the OP wants an ARCHERY ONLY OUTFITTER.. Guess Colorado doesn’t have any Untrained Monkeys..
Big whitetails tend to make guys a little nuts. I should know. I'm one of them.
You might do an internet search for a guide service or outfitter on the Jim River. They are a hotbed for big whitetails.
I think it would be very difficult to find ground that is not gun hunted at all in the Midwest. You would have to have the rights to a very large parcel of ground locked up and hopefully the neighbors don’t hunt. Might want to look for an outfitter that minimally gun hunts. Just my opinion.
If an outfitter knows of a 150 plus inch buck he's going to put his best clients on it. I hunted iowa archery a few years ago with an outfitter who has multiple good reviews on this website. I saw a buck I I figured went over 170, told outfitter about it and he acted shocked, like there's no way that deer exist on this farm?
If you’re gonna hire an outfitter I think the key is to hunt with a guy that will be hunting only you or maybe you and your partner ONLY while you are there. A camp with 4-6 hunters is certain to get some politicking going on with the best stands and the “best” clients. If it is just you and your partner you don’t have the worry of drawing a poor stand or the tail-ender guide (all outfitter’s will tell you they only hire the best guides) haha bit might cost a bit more but the results are pleasing.
Seems to be quite a bit of politicking going on right here...trying to steer this thread to a certain, as yet, unnamed outfitter....
....actually, a creative way to get people to check out your website. Kind of a good cop/good cop routine. ;)
I noticed that too. “Willie” Dvorak runs an deer outfitting business where he strictly guides all his own clients. Not archery only though, and not a sponsor. Kills some decent bucks, but loves to put his clients five feet behind the deer in the photos to make the deer look bigger. He also has some sort of Alaska connection. Guess where that outfit is located? Jim River. Add up the pieces boys. Too bad, the guy may run an awesome hunt, but trying to steer guys into it like that is unscrupulous.
Apauls pointed out, that after a lot of bowhunting, taking 2 in the 150 class , after a lot of years, is not something most are going to wait for,,,,, you see all the bucks from lets say 120 to 140, mean little to many........
My point was, I was amazed at what guys will pay for a deer,,,,, however, even with outfitted hunts, which by the way, I also will go on for other species, is no guarantee that your even going to get a shot,,,,,,, and I hunt Iowa also, long before the Iowa hype and a 150 or better are not behind every tree.......
Good luck, get a quality outfitter, and book as many days as you can
GH, It appeared your point was if you were a younger guy you’d cash in on all the “easy” outfitting dough flying around these days.
BTW, most guys know they ‘ain’t paying all that cash for a deer. We’re laying down our hard-earned money for a great experience and hopefully, if we do our homework properly (like right here on this thread), a solid opportunity at a trophy whitetail.
Busta point taken stay well, but I am not that old,,, ha ha
I live in Iowa. I bow hunt and gun hunt deer every year. Everybody pretty much does around here....BUT you have to realize that not every big/nice deer gets shot every year. We can't obviously use rifles, so you do have to be fairly close to them and a lot of big deer VANISH after the rut is over. I get new trail camera pics every fall of deer that just blow up antler wise between 3.5 and 4.5 years old then throw in the 4.5's that didn't get shot and now you have what dreams are made of. Permission to bow hunt deer in small town Iowa is pretty much a knock on the door away...if they say NO try again somewhere else...It's only a matter of time before you will find a good spot...just pick out an area away from the bigger city's and I'll bet you will get a shot on a 150+ in a weeks stay. FWIW
That’s a great perspective from an Iowa resident hunter, thanks for sharing Chris. Makes me want to move to Iowa even more! As a non resident that only gets a tag once every 3-4 years, it creates a really interesting question. Do you shell out a few grand and hope you picked an honest outfitter that’s not pounding the ground too much, or do you head to Iowa and knock on doors and hope for the best? Problem is, most guys just don’t have the time to make that work though. But if a guy had the time...
Busta.....that's exactly it. I would love to have the time to knock on some doors, do some scouting, hang a few stands.... but time and work constraints make that a tough proposition. 5-6 days on whitetail deer is iffy at best....on the best ground, with a hard working outfitter, who limits pressure... like the man says, you rolls the dice and takes your chances.
It would take more work but another alternative is leasing a piece of ground. But the key to that would be having someone local that you could really trust to keep an eye on it and help manage it while you are not there. I've often thought that this would be a great alternative to conventional "outfitted" hunts and that a guy living in great whitetail country could "manage" several properties for remote hunters every year. The local hunter could make some side money and get access to great hunting ground, and the guy leasing the property could be confidant that his farm was being managed and looked after while he was back home working to pay for it. Win-Win if you could put it together.
Finding a good outfitter is tricky but not impossible. There used to be a lot of guys buying land for hunting purposes. The trend is away from that now due to losses in flexibilty to hunt other stuff. The time and money required to developer a good management program on land that is a huge investment in cash and time exposes how cheap and efficient it is to hire a guide in a good area. The long term benefit is that once you outgrow the whitetail or elk or pheasant fever and want to hunt something bigger/better/different you can quickly pull the trigger on another species like a moose hunt or brown bear hunt. Buying/leasing land is kinda like a time-share...it ties you into “having” to vacation there EVERYtime or it doesn’t pay off. Just my opinion.
Loss inflexibility to hunt other stuff? I hunt all over the country even though I bought my place. If anything, it gives me a great piece of mind and a place to return to if public land doesn't pan out.
There you go Thornton. You’re awesome. I hope my perspective will help out the less awesome.
Speaking of being so awesome T, we never really got an answer from you on whether or not you are connected to “Willie” Dvorak as implied in the above posts. What’s the deal dude?
Nothing awesome about it really. My land payments are only $650 /mo with $200/year in taxes. I buy cheap outfitted hunts but lately I have been DIY on public land. I'm just a blue collar guy working several jobs and I drive used trucks.
I still think the best chance at a great whitetail outfitted is going to be some super small outfit or a brand new outfit in Canada. Some guy who knows his property well and doesn’t have many tags. Or being a guys first clients. Some niche somewhere and would be tough to find. 150” deer are so hard to kill consistently.