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The dirty side of whitetail hunting........

Baby-G

Super Moderator
Outfittering in the MidWest is more detrimental to the QDMA and deer hunting than any other thing I can think of........

Read what I just wrote above again.......

I know there might be 1 out of 100 outfitters that may limit the hunting pressure and only sell a couple hunts a year, but they are very few and far between!

I do beleive outfitters have a place in far reaching areas: Yukon, Alaska, western US and outside the US.

If you have outfitters move into your area I will guarantee your hunting will begin getting worse each and every year. The more clients they take the more money they make. Everyone knows they cater to the "Hunting Celebs" and hold out certain farms for them that don't get pounded as hard. Whitetail hunting is the major money maker in the hunting world. More people hunt whitetail deer than any other animal in the US.

I really don't know what the fix is, but Iowa has one major thing going for it and that is guys can't be every year customers for outfitters in Iowa as long as the keep the 6000 tag limit and the draw system.

I have access to over 5000 acres in what used to be a prime trophy area in Illinois and at one time it was as good as anywhere in the world. It didn't have any outfitters in it when I started hunting there, about 7 years ago they starting infesting the area and it went down hill really fast! Now if you saw 1 150" deer on that 5000 acres during hunting season you were lucky. There used to be 5 or 6 big mature bucks every 400 acres. Now maybe 1 big mature buck per 1000 acres. The outfitters would love to come to Iowa and rape and pillage the deer if they could get Iowa opened up to more tags. I recommend keeping up with politics and don't let those no good politicians slide something by you. Keep up the fight and manage the land you have access to and keep you population as high and even as you can, then you will always have good hunting..........
 

Sligh1

Administrator
Staff member
There's a few good outfitters out there, I have a few buddies I think that do it right & I'm friends with some that do it wrong. I'll explain to you what happens at a buddy of mine's camp in another state that he personally gets frustrated about and voices to me.....

He is "FORCED" to run a lot of guys through to "pay the bills" - ok, fine. He knows it's going to hurt the hunting and make the hunting so-so. I think he came to terms with that. BUT - like some outfitters, he puts a penalty in place of, whatever - $500, $1000, whatever, I can't remember? Say it's at 135" - well, a guy goes out and shoots a 120" - happens ALL THE TIME!!!!! If he even starts to press the issue, the guy will say "well, I won't hunt here again and I did pay you $2500 to hunt here in the 1st place" so in the end, most those fines are dropped. What happens OVER AND OVER AND OVER is 8-15 guys go through during the various seasons, blocks of Oct to Nov - then through the different gun seasons, muzzleloader, etc. These guys pick off the best genetic 2 & 3 year olds and on occasion there was a 4 or 5 year old that happened to be on there that gets shot, fairly inconsistent though.
He pays the bills, he takes about 5-8 bucks off a "regular sized farm", most being 3 year olds on average and the area goes down hill. This is ILLINOIS in a nutshell. A few good outfitters, yes. Most, they could be GREAT GUYS but their ground gets destroyed. They could be honest, salt of the earth people but the guys paying them want to claim what they paid for - a buck to take home. most the 125" 2 or 3 year olds is a lot bigger and better than their home state.

That's the recipe and result. I hope and pray our doors are not opened to widespread outfitting. We are screwed if so.
 

Baby-G

Super Moderator
Your correct....

The Guys might be great, but outfitting causes major damage. They end up shooting all the up and comers.... then you don't have hardly any mature deer in 4 or 5 years...... then they milk the reputation of the county for the next 10 to 15 years....

The big question in my mind is, "Will the area ever be as good as it once was?"

Time will tell.........
 

Hardwood11

It is going to be a good fall!
I feel a lot of limitations and NR bashing comes as a result of outfitting. As a landowner we are lumped into this because of the old ... Increase tags and everything will be leased to outfitters.

Therefore I'm just not a fan of outfitting
 

Mike311

Active Member
Your correct....

The Guys might be great, but outfitting causes major damage. They end up shooting all the up and comers.... then you don't have hardly any mature deer in 4 or 5 years...... then they milk the reputation of the county for the next 10 to 15 years....

The big question in my mind is, "Will the area ever be as good as it once was?"

Time will tell.........

You hit it on the head. When I first started hunting fifteen years ago NE Iowa was the place to be then it it moved to SE Iowa then western/SW Iowa now the "place to be" is south central Iowa. I wouldn't go as far to say it's all because of outfitters but a combination of them, TV and the reputations of those areas being producers of large numbers of big deer. Before Iowa it was Pike County IL then Buffalo County WI. These areas still produce nice deer but not near the amount of the past. Maybe enough people will lose interest in deer hunting and the pressure on the deer drops off, the genetics of these areas hold and the population rebounds.
 

Baby-G

Super Moderator
Maturity is the most important factor for big bucks. Genetics is second to maturity and where outfitters are mature numbers go down. And almost always buck to doe ratio's get really out of wack and makes hunting much more difficult......
 

SaskGuy

Active Member
I've said before that the way outfitting is allowed to be everywhere in most states is utterly ridiculous, in my personal opinion of course.

I won't get into it in much detail but the more time I spend reading the state of things in many states and the more I learn about what hunting is or has become in so very many places, I believe I am living in the glory days of whitetail hunting for the common man, in the best place left on earth to do it for the common man. I hope my kids are lucky enough to live it to before what is happening down there makes it's way to where I hang my hat.
 

bradley

triplebeam
When it comes down to outfiiting it is usually out of state hunters that drive the market so there for they are usually the ones shooting immature deer & ruining the number 1 reason they came to Iowa in the first place.They do not realize this because they can only hunt here 1 out of every 2-3 years in most cases so they think that gives younger deer time to mature but they over look the fact that a different set of non-resident hunters are hunting that same ground every year.I also had hunted a small farm 140 acres or so & an outfitter leased 10,000 acres around the area & I have also seen the deer quality go down.Out of staters think a 130 inch deer is big in most cases so they don't see whats wrong.
 

iowavf

Active Member
Lets not put all the blame on NR and outfitters. Plenty of our own Iowa residents are hard on the deer herd. We have people who shoot 1st then decide what to tag at the end of the day. It's more important to them to be able to have bragging rights at the local watering hole they have shot all bucks today. There are plenty of residents who also think 130 is a huge buck because they kill everything at around 120 inches. I'm not putting anyone down because of what they decide to shoot, but I do get tired of the locals who always complain about never seeing any big bucks, yet each year they shoot a young small buck because they think it makes them a better deer hunter, why because it's a buck.
 

Sligh1

Administrator
Staff member
I'll take this a step further and state this as respectfully and MATURE as I can without coming off like I'm having a tantrum.... I'd absolutely sell my "FAVORITE FARM" if an outfitter took up shop next to me. GONE. My farm would be destroyed.

I don't know about some of the opinions going on the other day but I do have one farm of mine (not for sale) that has some kind of outfitting done on one of the neighboring farms and I don't quite know the details yet. Who ever is doing it, they have a right to do it but I'd absolutely sell a farm if I'm up against an outfitter. It ruins farms, absolutely destroys them and completely counter-productive to what I'm trying to do. Their right to outfit, my right to sell. I'm a GIVER when it comes to management, passing deer, growing mature bucks, not killing young deer. Outfitters are generally, on average - TAKERS. As simple as I can make it.
 

ARbowhtr

New Member
Not that I think y'all are wrong about outfitters, but if you think the 6000 NR tags is the reason that all of your big deer are gone, your barking up the wrong tree. Yes a lot of out of staters do shoot 130 in deer, but I bet most don't. Even if they did, that's just not enough deer to make an impact. What that tells me is that a lot more residents are using outfitters than you realize. JMO.
 

Sligh1

Administrator
Staff member
Not that I think y'all are wrong about outfitters, but if you think the 6000 NR tags is the reason that all of your big deer are gone, your barking up the wrong tree. Yes a lot of out of staters do shoot 130 in deer, but I bet most don't. Even if they did, that's just not enough deer to make an impact. What that tells me is that a lot more residents are using outfitters than you realize. JMO.


TOTALLY AGREE!!!!!! Man, I drove by my farms late season, the one where some sort of outfitting is going on (still learning and finding out)..... There was a Polk County Plate (Iowa), then a Guthrie or Grundy (IOWA), then a GEORGIA plate and then one more county in Iowa. My brother saw several other vehicles there. That's just when we were around and not mentioning vehicles there during bow season, etc. This is NOT a big place like a 500 acre lease this group has, NOT a big farm at all.

I have tons of great NR buddies who do no harm to this state. Tons of buddies that are NR's who grow giant bucks and so many that their neighbors are positively impacted. I absolutely would never blanket statement rip a NR. Many are awesome guys who GIVE to the area. Habitat improvement is another way I give and some NR's GIVE. Heck, most NRLO's I know would sell in a nano-second if an Outfitter popped up against them.
 

DEE DOG

New Member
Sligh1, we live in America and you can choose to be what ever you want to be no one maid them become guides
 

DEE DOG

New Member
One more thing when the tv people shoot a small buck they call it a " cull" buck I remember in the 90's North American white tails collared several small bucks the one that reached maturity where giants to me I say whatever white tail hunting some day will be just for the Richies and they will give me the meat. The great hunters they are
 

Sligh1

Administrator
Staff member
Sligh1, we live in America and you can choose to be what ever you want to be no one maid them become guides

Agree. The outfitters themselves I know complain about how their ground is managed and what the paying customers shoot. The land they lease is usually destroyed. You're absolutely right, they choose that. Just like a person chooses to be a Telemarketer, sell cigarettes, be a ambulance chasing attorney, etc. - Just because you chose it, doesn't mean it's a good thing or makes it right. Outfitting is disastrous for management on many levels in the Midwest. I could easily outfit my ground but I'd never do it. I let a few buddies come out for FREE this season, but, when that happens, I have no guilt at all saying XYZ deer is off limits.
 

Lwadzie

Lwadzie
Score has got nothin to do with the age of a deer. There is such thing as a 130" 8 year old deer.. Not every buck will grow up to be a monster like some guys think! That being said, Im not exactly taking outfitters side because I can see how the wrong one can be damaging to a surrounding area, but im not gonna say I hate them either. I also think that bashing on NRs is wrong. Why shouldnt they be able to hunt here as well? You cant tell me that a good portion of you bashing on them havent hunted out of state before? Just saying to rethink that once.
 

Sligh1

Administrator
Staff member
I'd love to shoot a 130" 8 year old! I have shot bucks like that. mature bucks are a much more rare animal on outfitted land than other regular tracts. Sure, maybe on a super rare occasion the freakish time comes when a buck is able to hit 6, 7 or 8 on outfitted ground and is 130" - pretty rare he even gets that old though even if score restrictions in place. What happens 100x more often is the 130" 2 or 3 year old with impressive longer tines and little kickers or junk starting are the bucks killed. It's very interesting looking at harvest pics on various outfitter sites... Most of which, vast majority are not mature bucks, most are 2-3 year olds and most those are the good genetic ones. most the GIANTS they list 1st on their pictures are usually the rare 4 year olds that somehow slipped by before. Then, it's a rare dot to see 5 year olds among all the pics, masses of hunters and thousands of acres. That's typically what I observe.
 
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Lwadzie

Lwadzie
Sligh,
The point I was trying to make was that not 100% of 6, 7, and 8 year old bucks that walk by you is going to have a 170+ inch rack and the NR issue. I do agree that not every outfitter is bad though. I personally think instead of doing a rack size minimum.. if I were an outfitter, Id do an age minimum. 4.5 and older to be shootable unless told otherwise. And if they cant age a deer on the hoof, then a guide could possibly be there to do so. Thatd be the smart way to do it I belive. It goes back to the rack point, it also stands for young deer. Just because hes got a 140 inch rack doesnt mean its a 4.5-5.5 yr old deer.
 

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