I’ve been seeing Aaron Milliken ads all over the Brown county democrat for the past year or two where I own my farm... Seems he’s desperately trying to establish himself in brown county. I’m glad I read your post about him formaly being an outfitter, so now I know if I have to deal with him in the future that he most likely is not to be trusted
I remember 2010, my buddy and I went with Western Illinois Trophy Outfitters (WITO - now defunct). The owner of the business (and ran all the leases) is now pretty well established in Whitetail Properties, Aaron Milliken. The properties were great, and they had 130" minimum. We had an entire farm to ourselves in Hancock County (just two of us). It was "semi guided" meaning that the guide showed us where all the lock on and ladder stands were, then he came up with a game plan each morning based on wind conditions and sent us on our merry way. It came with bunk beds, and no more than 10 in camp any given week. Each small group had an entire farm in one of 3 counties to themselves. Had a decent living area with TV to hang out, and kitchen to cook for ourselves, and several shower stalls and a few toilets, washer and dryer.
I think it was $1500 for first week in November - not too bad, and the property really "looked" phenomenal. Massive fields of beans and corn and alfalfa, with giant islands and funnels and fingers of white oaks... I never saw so many white acorns in my life mixed in with very thick brushy hardwoods. Never saw so much food for deer in my life, and the hardwoods were in great shape and not over-browsed.
First morning I passed a nice 9pt that would never have gotten passed in NJ - I rattled then grunted him right in. Probably damn close to the 130" mark, possible broken it. First morning, first hunt - pass! It got much tougher rest of week.
I remember they put me in a stand "nobody hunted before"... Already having hunted a few others, and clearly could see the deer already knew there were stands there I was very skeptical of this stand... Well there were several sets of initials carved into the tree with dates! LOL. Everybody got that same story.
The septic was overflowing and we were all getting toxic methane fumes the entire week. It was very uncomfortable to breath, and had to leave doors and windows open to ventilate. My buddy passed a few he regretted, always feeling that "150" buck is gonna show because the land looked that good. I had one all day sit I never saw a deer, and several sits where I had good action and saw plenty and several other sits that sucked. That's hunting. I grunted in another buck that looked very mature but just seemed to have a 120" 8pt rack on massive body, it could have been more...
On the last morning, I went in to the deepest part of the largest wooded section, and planned to sit all day. I rattled in a huge bodied buck - probably as big as I will ever kill. Had to dress 250# easy, they said it was over 300 on the hoof. Goofy rack 9pt, it was clear to me it was under the "Minimum" (most I could ever tape it out to was 128) but I only saw his good side which looked like a 145" 10pt, and shot him broadside at 22 yards through tightest of holes through the brush which fortunately was right in the 10-ring! Nobody else scored that week and the owner was ecstatic I took out a bully buck evidently they wanted out of the herd and he didn't charge me a penalty. He was also an excellent dead-buck photographer and of course made my "under minimum" buck look well over minimum so he could add a fresh kill to his web page to help with marketing. Had I had more time to study the buck, I might have passed on it, but my point is, 10 guys in camp, spread out on over 1,500 acres and 5 farms - nobody else even got a shot. Nobody ever saw a really big buck all week.
Still I felt it was a good experience overall, but some guys said "never again it sucked". That was the last time I hunted with an outfitter. I would never believe any of them when it comes to just how "low pressured" the areas are. None of them would have enough land to have it be as they advertised.
To read that this place charged $4,500 is downright disturbing. Sounds like my $1,500 experience even with the methane gas poisoning was far better overall.
Edited by Bowhunter2004, 12/07/17 - 09:24 PM.