-By Brandon Wikman
Here we sit stagnant in the early days of February, without anything to chase, hunt or shoot. This is my time for research data collection, which is just fancy for investigating different places to hunt, new properties to scout and filling my calendar with of hunting dates, trips and adventures for 2008. A very hectic, mind-numbing ordeal for someone like me, who can barely plan what to eat for dinner!
I urge hunters to plan ahead of time before venturing on an outfitted or guided hunt. It’s important to research where you are going, the tag situation, the price being charged, how much the total expense will be, etc. Remember, this is your hunt. You must treat it as your vacation. It can be considered like this: Do you want to dish out a few Benjamin’s and experience a family vacation to the nearest town? Or do you want to make a solid investment and make the trip worthwhile? Hunting animals you never pursued, trekking land that you’ve never thought possible - a hunting experience is only as good as you make it.
When shooting footage for our show, I usually keep a solid mix of outfitted hunts, regular ‘backyard’ hunts on my property and on small parcels of land owned by friends. I’ve usually scouted, hung stands and put forth an enduring effort to make a perfect scenario evolve out of that ideal stand setup for hunter and videographer.
The factor that slams the hammer on video hunts is that there’s only so much time to spend at that particular place. A six-day hunt turns into a solid four-day hunt, taking into account two travel days. This makes it awfully tough to kill anything, when at times people hunt the entire season (three-months) just to kill one buck! Take into consideration bad weather, heat, rain, snow, and now you’ve got yourself wrapped in a root! These are just some of the obstacles that play out when hunting. Mother Nature is an uncontrollable variable.
Outfitted hunts are never a ‘gimme.’ As many people happen to believe, outfitted hunts are simply a property that hasn’t been pressured, has a solid management program and most importantly has great stand locations to intercept deer. It’s never a 100% guarantee, which is why we call it ‘hunting.’ Believe it! I went on a few hunts this year where we didn’t even see a shooter, let a lone a buck within 300 yards. I also went to Colorado and hunted, where we did see a lot of monster bucks, but I couldn’t seem to hit the broadside of a barn. Many factors go into the moment of truth blossoming in front of your eyes.
People who are interested in hunting with an outfitter should do their research data collection by making phone calls to references, checking their website, looking at the amount of land held by the outfitter and so much more.
I will continue next week’s blog in the actual research I do before booking a quality hunt. This could spur ideas, plans and possible key questions you may need to ask yourself before booking an outfitted hunt.