Can I hunt with a crossbow during archery season?
Yes, as of 2017 hunters are allowed to hunt with crossbows during the Illinois archery seasons.
How much are permits? How to I apply? What does the permit include?
What is your success/opportunity rate?
70-80% of our hunters have an opportunity at a buck that meets the minimum score. Our typical harvested bucks will score around 140-160". We also have much larger bucks on the properties (170"+). We have 50-80% repeat business most years. Our average score in 2017 was 145".
How many hunters are in camp at one time?
We typically book a maximum of 6 hunters per week. We specialize in highly managed properties and low hunting pressure for a select number of clients. Additionally, we only book hunts for the best 6 weeks of the IL deer season.
What is the minimum score for bucks?
Our primary concern is that you harvest a mature buck. By the time you go afield, you will know exactly what is legal and not legal to harvest on our property. A minimum buck will be 130" class on some properties and a minimum score of 140-150" on some other properties. You will know which property that you are hunting before you get into the stand.
What if I kill a buck under the minimum?
There is really little reason to "accidentally" kill a button buck or smaller buck on our property. We explain what to look for before you start hunting to help you minimize this problem. In an effort to improve our management efforts, any buck scoring below the minimum score (including button bucks) on the property will result in a $1000 personal trophy fee. That fee increases to $1500 on the last day of the hunt.
What about shooting does?
We encourage hunters to kill does on certain properties during certain times of the year. Let us know if you're interested in taking a doe and we'll try to accommodate.
What kind of terrain and habitat will we be hunting?
We hunt a wide variety of habitat. We have creek bottoms, creek bluffs, oak timbers, hickory timbers, brush draws and hollows, agricultural fields, etc. The terrain is rolling. We hunt a lot of funnels and trail intersections. we also have some of the best Whitetail Institute food plots in the world!
What kind of stands do we hunt out of?
We use a variety of hang-on style fixed position tree stands. We hang our stands at 16-20 feet or higher. If you dislike heights, let us know and we will put you in a lower location. We also have many ladder stands at the average of 18 feet. We also have several ground blinds on the property. We have over 250 stands available.
Do we hunt all day, or come in for a break?
It's your hunt and we try to accommodate your preferences. If you want to hunt all day, you are more than encouraged to do so. We will take care of you. We will provide you with a sack lunch and arrange for a meeting place and/or signals if you kill something or decide you want to come in.
Can we still hunt (walk around)?
All of our hunts operate from a fixed position (tree stand or ground blind). No still hunting or walking around. We know how to hunt these big deer, we've been doing it all our lives. If you trust us, sit still, and stay quiet, you will most likely have an opportunity.
Are there any additional/hidden costs that I should know about?
No. License, permit, shipping, taxidermy, and meat processing are your responsibility. Tips are appreciated, but at your discretion. There really are no hidden surprise costs. The license and permit are the only other cost you will have until you kill an animal. Then it's just processing costs. We can also make recommendations for taxidermy.
When is the rut in full swing?
Normally during the first three weeks of November. Of course, it depends on the weather. If we get a nice sharp cold snap that time of year....watch out!!! Thanksgiving week is usually a very good week also.
What airports are you close to? Can you pick me up at the airport?
If you are flying in and need a ride from the airport, please notify us as soon as possible with your flying itinerary. Make sure you include flight numbers and times of arrival and departure. The closest major airport is Evansville, IN. There are smaller airports at Paducah, KY and Marion, IL. We charge $150 round trip, which covers both arrival and departure.
Do we need to bring our own bedding, towels, etc?
Everything is supplied as far as bedding, pillows, towels, and wash cloths. You supply your own toiletries (shampoo, toothbrush, shaving kit, etc). There is a Wal-Mart in town if you forget or need anything else. If necessary, you can also UPS clothing or equipment to the lodge prior to your hunt.
When do we arrive? Depart?
We would like for you to arrive the day prior to your first day, no sooner than 2pm. Typically, folks leave the morning after their final hunting day. Our fee for non-hunters is $150/night.
Are meals included in our hunt price?
For our deer hunts, we provide a quick breakfast (fruit, cereal, etc) and a sack lunch and snacks that you can take to the stand. We provide a hot dinner each evening with a variety of items served. Food is not included for our late season hunts or turkey hunts.