August 29, 2014
Serious whitetail fanatics know that you can't count on just "luck" to bag a great buck on your next hunting trip. A successful hunt isn't determined only by what you do while you're hunting; it depends on the work you do before the season even begins. Whether you plan to hunt your own land, or you hope to book a dream trip with an outfitter, it's important to start planning early.
It's never too early to start planning for your deer hunt. In the off-season months, hunters can check, prepare, clean, and repair gear; read instructional books or watch videos; replace or charge batteries; renew or obtain hunting licenses; and get in some target practice. You can even get your gear packed and ready to go, weeks before opening day. Many hunting websites offer helpful deer-hunting checklists so you can be sure you've gotten everything done (and taken care of any glitches) before you set off for the treestand.
Choose Your Location
If you have your sights set on a guided hunting trip, do plenty of research, both online and by phone, so you know your options and so you're sure of what to expect and what you'll get... before you pay for it. Spend some time "scouting" a few websites. Look for updated information and photos; check out policies and services; find out how many acres and how many stands they have; and inspect the quality of the deer that the clients are taking. It's also important to know how the land and the herd are being managed. Outfitters like Hadley Creek, who offer fully guided archery and firearm hunts on thousands of acres in Illinois' Pike County, manage so the age structure and the trophy quality of their herd improve each year. For instance, in their earlier years of operation, with a 130 minimum in place, a 150-class buck was cause for celebration. Now that a 150-class buck is close to their average size, clients often take home 160's and above.
Of course, hunters know that bagging a trophy buck with an outfitter requires more than well-managed land; it takes experienced, knowledgeable guides to put you in the best positions. Guided deer hunts should provide an opportunity to work with someone who is intimately familiar with the land and with the patterns and the preferences of the deer that live there.
Hunters also know that the best outfitters tend to fill their hunting spots quickly, so be sure to book your deer hunt early. The folks at Hadley Creek Outfitters advise booking a hunt as soon as your schedule permits. Much sought-after times, like their prime rut period, can fill up fast.
To find out more About Hadley Creek Outfitters visit hadleycreek.com.