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Lonewolf76

Whitetail Heaven Outfitters

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Think I specified "whitetail outfitters". I have no issue with those other types of big game, where real "outfitters" exist, and are necessary. 

 

I like when outfitters have planes, boats, and or GOOD horses.

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I did my first outfitter hunt last year and got a buck and had a good time (for whitetails).  I booked another.  But, now I'm not so into it anymore.  Mainly, I don't like all the rules.  Sit in this stand.  Don't leave your stand.  Don't scout.  No tracking.  Don't shoot this or that.  I guess I just don't want a big buck enough to put up with it.  I still get pretty excited when I run into a NJ/PA buck that I found on my own.  I'll do the hunt I booked this year, but that's probably it for me with outfitters.  

Edited by dlist777
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You are paying for the properties they lease, they don't want you shooting their biggest bucks! lol  They put you in marginal spots while they are in the good ones, either while you are there, or before or after. Like someone said if they are hunting while you are there stay away.  Or even if they hunt you have to be careful.  Watch out for outfitters where all the guides are pictured with the biggest bucks. You want to stay on mom and pops farm ranch like Putz said. 

Edited by Nomad

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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 JHbowhunter

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It is amazing how many people "hate" outfitters.  This means that you will never hunt Grizzly bears, Sheep, and Goats in Alaska.  Nor will you hunt in many wilderness areas out west in locations that non residents cannot access without a guide/outfitter.  My largest Elk, Deer, and Bear were killed with outfitters on public land.  All of these hunts were hardcore between the weather, elevations, and logistics.  None of those hunts could have happened legally without a guide.  

 

 

You are not hunting Canada without a guide, period.

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been to a crappy outfitter, been to a very good outfitter.......happy we have leases in illinois, no need to deal with the BS

 

That wouldn't have been the one that served tomato sauce out of a jar and required a helicopter to drop you off in one of their treestands, would it?  lol. 

Edited by Gunsmoke
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I'm no expert but I have been around and have been doing hunts for some time. If any one and I mean any one tells you give me $4500 to $5000 dollars for a 5 day hunt and puts limits on what you can shoot 140-150 class deer and how you can hunt its a scam TRUST ME PLEASE.  I am talking about whitetail hunts not other guided hunts.  I know we are all smarter then the next guy but, if anyone needs advice you can always pic my brain. Yup I was one of those guys once who got scammed.  I learned from others so I always try giving advise from what I have learned and my knowledge.  

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It is amazing how many people "hate" outfitters.  This means that you will never hunt Grizzly bears, Sheep, and Goats in Alaska.  Nor will you hunt in many wilderness areas out west in locations that non residents cannot access without a guide/outfitter.  My largest Elk, Deer, and Bear were killed with outfitters on public land.  All of these hunts were hardcore between the weather, elevations, and logistics.  None of those hunts could have happened legally without a guide.  

your point is very valid but hunting whitetail is like hunting no other animal.  I love outfitters I could of never killed all the animals I have without them because of their knowledge etc.  Its whitetail outfitters that have the biggest issues.  Again its just my experience.

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I agree with so many, that if the passion is really to kill big bucks with any consistency then you need to lease or buy land and do it right!

 

 

Its all part of the adventure (thats what I was told when I got shafted on a $12000 moose hunt in BC by the outfitter)

tcook8296 - If you hunted some new land you got your monies worth according to some on this thread! :lookaround:

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That wouldn't have been the one that served tomato sauce out of a jar and required a helicopter to drop you off in one of their treestands, would it?  lol. 

Helicopter was what my friend said when he climbed into the tree, the stand was from what the outfitter said was 42'

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You are not hunting Canada without a guide, period.

You can hunt Ontario for deer without a guide.

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Not all guided hunts are equal and not all outfitters are bad. Like a few have mentioned, especially in Canada, you will never hunt without an outfitter. Ive hunted Alaska, guided Brown Bears twice, Black bears ,deer ,Africa plains game and had good overall expefiences. My BC moose hunt was a real $hit show. I was in the right area with the wrong outfitter. Good whitetail hunting is very hard to find.

Eventually when you do find it, you go back especially if you hunt NJ.

Whitetail dream hunts are tough especially if you have saved a long time or just barely making ends meet.

You must be prepared to eat tags when you start trophy hunting. If you can not take eating a tag, do not go. Most whitetail hunts, guys will come home empty handed. You are dream chasing. Once you encounter one of these midwest monsters however, your outlook on Nj will change and you are forever ruined.

Edited by tcook8296

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You can hunt Ontario for deer without a guide.

Never hunted Ontario so I’ll take your word for it. Guides in Canada always told me you need a guide in Canada and when crossing back to us I always had to name my guide. Must be different regs

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Out of 41 hunters you would think at least one would of got lucky and accidentally shot a nice buck.   :hmmmer:

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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.

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 Edited by Bowhunter2004

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Besides blowing all that money on the outfitter, transportation and time which includes price gouging on out of state licenses we also burn a week's vacation that could have been spent more wisely like with family.  Personally, I don't plan on making any trips in the foreseeable future. 

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I guess the main point here is that a lot of hunters have "wishful thinking" especially NJ guys.  Play the scenario you optimistically expect to happen in your head and think " is that really possible"  all of us want to believe it will happen but realistically it often does not.  Go into it with your eyes open. 

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Besides blowing all that money on the outfitter, transportation and time which includes price gouging on out of state licenses we also burn a week's vacation that could have been spent more wisely like with family.  Personally, I don't plan on making any trips in the foreseeable future.

 

To each his own. To many getting away on a guided hunting trip, especially with friends, is as good as it gets when it comes to vacations.

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I guess the main point here is that a lot of hunters have "wishful thinking" especially NJ guys.  Play the scenario you optimistically expect to happen in your head and think " is that really possible"  all of us want to believe it will happen but realistically it often does not.  Go into it with your eyes open.

 

If hunting means getting a BIG buck then one should just pick another hobby. There is so much more to enjoy on a hunting trip then harvesting a buck. I do it with a friend every year, not fot deer, and we can’t get enough of it.

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If hunting means getting a BIG buck then one should just pick another hobby. There is so much more to enjoy on a hunting trip then harvesting a buck. I do it with a friend every year, not fot deer, and we can’t get enough of it.

I agree that getting a deer is only a small part of the experience. When we used to go to Vermont every year, our expectations of getting a deer were very low. There simply wasn’t many deer where we hunted but, the time with friends and family made it the highlight of the year. But, when you’re paying that kind of money, loose stands and running out of food is absolutely inexcusable. The outfitters can’t control the deer or the weather or many other variables but, the things they can control, for $4000, should be perfect. Jmo

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