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Hunting Leases for Whitetail Deer

Hunting Leases for Whitetail Deer Hunt leases or land leases As interests of hunters across the Nation continue to focus on whitetail deer, it becomes more and more frustrating to hunters that live in States that don’t have a lot of big bucks. Do you realize that according to the Pope and Young Club’s 2nd Editions “Bowhunting Records of North American Whitetail Deer” that 28,354 whitetail deer have been entered into the club. From those 28,354 whitetail deer entered into the Pope and Young Record Books that the Canadian Provinces we have all heard such wonderful deer stories about only have coughed up 307 trophy’s or less than 1% of all entries come from Canada. I have had many hunters begin to realize Canada was merely made famous by Milo Hanson and that Canada doesn’t hold monster deer in great numbers. From the 28,354 whitetail deer entered into the Pope and Young Record Books did you realize 19,516 or 70% of the deer come from the Midwest. The outstanding 29% of the deer in the record books hail from miscellaneous places or a combination of 39 other States. Thus 70% of the trophy bucks recorded in the record books are harvested in the Midwest. The Midwest only comprises 7% of the United States. NOW THAT IS SOME GOLDEN INFORMATION. Thus most whitetail enthusiasts know that to effectively pursue and harvest record book whitetail bucks you need to be hunting for deer in the Midwestern United States. If you don’t then simply know that your missing 70% of the nation’s record book whitetail population. I’d say that percentile is significant if you are serious about getting down to business. BUYING WHITETAIL DEER HUNTING GROUND IN THE MIDWEST IS NOT YOUR ANSWER Many whitetail enthusiast’s attempt to head to the Midwest in many ways as whitetail deer hunting becomes more and more popular. Some hunters simply purchase farms in the Midwest and end up paying out the nose for many years while all the time those land payments could have been used for hunting several States instead of their one farm. The justification for this premise is “Real Estate is a great investment.” Actually for the Midwestern United States that is simply not true in the year 2010. In fact the largest bank in Pike County Illinois was recently shut down due to loans given unto hunters who purchased hunting ground and defaulted. While rich riverbottom crop ground virtually void of trees that is used for farming only is holding its value to some degree, hunting ground is dropping off sharply. I actually know realtors in Illinois who transfer hunt ground back and forth to one another just to make it look like hunting ground is still selling. I’m not trying to be insulting or critical about those that purchase hunt land in the Midwest for whitetail hunting, however recently I visited with a very famous professional athlete who had sunk a ton of money into a tract of ground in Northern Missouri near the Iowa border. While he likes his farm, he indicated he now realizes for what he gave for the farm he could have virtually hunted around the world and back every year for the money he had in it and actually saved money. Thus if your intentions are to buy whitetail hunting ground in the Midwest so you have somewhere to go deer hunting you may want to consider other options, as land values are not holding their value, and to be quite frank it restricts you to only hunting that particular State where you buy the ground, wrapping you into massive debt when your investment could have spent on a variety of hunts across the United States in different locations so you can harvest multiple deer. Think about this for a moment, if I purchased 1000 acres of ground at $2500 per acre my debt non inclusive of interest would be $2.5 million. How many whitetail hunts could you buy with $2.5 million dollars? Are you beginning to understand the scenario yet. It doesn’t take an economist to figure it out. Of course the hunter’s hopes are that he will kill some big deer and then sell the property later at a higher price, however hunting land has reached an all time high and began to decrease in price. Let’s face it, the economic growth of real estate doesn’t appear as if its going to be rebounding anytime soon. Some economists project 10 years of decreased value of real estate or longer. Thus this simply cannot be a good investment. HUNTING LEASES FOR DEER IN THE MIDWEST IS NOT THE ANSWER. Then you have whitetail deer hunters that attempt to obtain hunting leases for whitetail deer on an annual basis for deer hunting in the Midwest. I have several deer hunters that call my business each month looking for a hunting lease for whitetail deer in the Midwest. Most whitetail deer hunters that pursue hunt leases are attempting to do one of two things in their attempts to hunt the Midwestern United States for whitetail deer. 1. Independent Hunting: A mentality among whitetail hunters is that it would be a great thing to have their own hunt lease for whitetail deer. The intent is have their own place to go hunt trophy bucks. By doing this they can play by their own rules. Hunt whenever they please. Shoot any deer they want without fear of penalty. Roam about the hunt lease in search of the best whitetail hunting locations. Bring as many friends to hunt as they desire. And in short with their own hunt lease “do their own thing the way they wish on their own terms.” While I admire an independent personality most often times grabbing up a hunt lease for whitetail deer often times only results in the gain of independence rather than the consistent harvest of a trophy whitetail buck. The main reason for this is because while many websites are dedicated to promoting hunting leases, the truth is the very farms up for lease are the inferior farms that local deer outfitters would never want. With the expansion of the outfitting industry the best farms in the Midwest for whitetail deer hunting have been snatched by deer outfitters leaving the weaker farms up for lease on the internet. The problem is when a hunter comes from out of State to look at an inferior Midwestern farm it often looks superior because they are not used to seeing what a superior farm in the Midwest looks like. To the hunter that is burdened by living in a State that isn’t holding a high population of big bucks and or deer, an inferior hunt lease in the Midwest can look great to such a person. 2. The second reason why hunters pursue hunting leases is the idea of saving money. The truth is the idea of buying a hunting lease or becoming part of a hunt lease normally results in a myriad of expenditures which we shall discuss that outweighs the costs and effectiveness with which whitetail hunters have associated with hunting leases. I have many groups of hunters who live in States that do not have a large population of big bucks travel half way across the nation in search of hunting leases in the Midwest. They pool their monies together and lease a tract of ground for deerhunting from a farmer thinking to themselves that by doing so they will save money. Let us examine a real example of such an event. In 2008 I watched 10 hunters lease 1700 acres from a farmer in Northern Missouri. This particular group of hunters was from Pennsylvania. As they walked the property out they thought they were standing on one of the best farms in the County when the truth is I knew the farm and it was a farm I wouldn’t have even wanted to hunt for free. It was far below average, however this group of guys who were great fellows, and hunted avidly thought the hunt lease was superior. They paid the farmer about $1500 per hunter to obtain the farm for an entire year. Of course not only did it seem neat at the time for them to have their own farm, they also felt they had saved around $1500 each by not purchasing a quality hunt trip from a hunt outfitter in the Midwest. 3. The second thing the hunters did was purchase deer stands for the hunting lease for whitetail deer. Afterall you have to have treestands of some type to hunt from. By the time they effectively purchased and hung tree stands on the farm they had another $15,000 in the hunt lease bringing the total costs up to $30,000 total. The third expenditure was traveling back and forth to hang tree stands and scout the property running trail cameras, etc. Gasoline costs ran over $2000 bringing the hunt lease up to over $32,000 now. The fourth expenditure was either renting a house to stay in while they were hunting or grabbing motel rooms and food. Afterall when you take on a hunting lease for whitetail deer you have to eat and sleep somewhere. The housing and eating costs exceeded $4000 bringing the hunt lease up to $36,000 now. The fifth expenditure is not monetary but rather simply consequences reaped at the result of pursuing a hunting lease. Only one of the hunters harvested a record book buck. The other 9 came home empty handed after doing a lot of hunting. The group became discouraged enough they began walking around the property walking past each other messing up each others hunt. They had became so frustrated and excited about the lease they couldn’t let it rest but rather ran what deer were on the hunting lease away. Then a couple of the hunters that paid wanted to bring some buddies that hadn’t paid. Hard feelings resulted from the situation. The truth is to successfully harvest monster bucks in the Midwest a hunting lease is probably the worst way to approach the situation for the simply reason of when you don’t live close to the farm you can’t accurately scout the deer on the farm and formulate a strategy. Nobody has the time to drive out 2 to 4 times a week from a great distance to scout the herd which is just what it takes to pattern record book deer. The sixth expense was food plots. You have to have food plots and mineral licks. This expense ran the total lease cost up to over $40,000, and a lot of disappointment and hard feelings. Before you get into a hunting lease remember the money paid out doesn’t simply stop with the farmer. You have equipment, housing, food, food plots, and many other expenses involved we seem to be in denial of. And even if you’re the richest person in the world if you don’t live close how are you to really scout the whitetail deer on the hunting lease so you will be successful? WHAT IS THE ANSWER FOR ACCESSING TROPHY WHITETAIL LEASES IN THE MIDWEST The truth is your best chance for harvesting a trophy buck in the Midwest will not present itself at the hands of a hunting lease. The reason is because there is much preparation and painstaking effort that goes into patterning big whitetail deer and staying atop of the most recent deer traveling changes. The truth is because of the vast distance between the East Coast, the South, and West Coast States to the Midwest is so far no hunter can really spend enough time watching a hunt lease to pattern the biggest bucks. For the whitetail hunter that wants unlimited access to year round to the Midwest for whitetail hunting there is an inexpensive answer. IMB Outfitters located at offers both a “Annual Pass” and a “State Pass” as well as regular 5 day outings. The Annual Pass allows hunters to as many days as he or she wishes for whitetail, and turkey on an unlimited basis. You can take advantage of 5 different archery seasons, 10 different gun seasons, and 5 different muzzleloader seasons in Illinois, Kansas, Iowa, Missouri and Nebraska . This allows the hunter to harvest 7 record book deer and 11 wild turkeys as well as unlimited predator hunting. It’s like having access to nearly 70,000 acres on the finest farms in the Midwest. The annual pass runs somewhere between $12,500 and $15,000 per year. In this scenario guides have hung hang on stands, ladder stands, box blinds, and continuously scout for your success. It’s a great deal, however if the price is too expensive for you, then consider the “Single State Pass” IMB Outfitters offers. The “Single State Pass” only costs $6000 and allows the hunter to pick any one of our States to hunt on an unlimited basis for deer and turkey. While IMB Outfitters plans to enter into a couple more States next year the hunter can choose Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, or Nebraska. This far outweighs the advantages of a hunt lease as you literally have both the freedom of selection and the assistance of guides patterning the biggest bucks for you. Think of a literal example. Would you rather lease a farm in Missouri now knowing all the costs really involved coupled with the low success rates of a hunt lease, or have access to 40,000 acres on an unlimited year round basis for one low price of $6000. Deer outfitters in the Midwest is your best answer to accessing monster bucks. The problem with deer outfitters in the Midwest is that you must be careful in your selection. Let us discuss what you need to know. Last May I did a study utilizing legal documentation to research deer outfitters in the Midwest. My studies showed 88% of all deer outfitters in the Midwest irregardless of what their website says or what they tell you on the phone have been in business less than 4 years. The reason this is significant is because IMB Outiftters has been in business for 13 years. When I think back to when we first started our outfitting service 13 years ago I WILL TELL YOU FOR A FACT IT TOOK SIX solid years to even begin to refine and understand the needs of the hunters that come to the Midwest to pursue whitetail deer. Don’t be fooled by fancy graphics and sales pitches on the telephone. Experience is something you can’t obtain any other way except through study and work. I also discovered IMB Outfitters has won more awards than any other outfitter in the Midwest for deer hunting, and possess’s more Sponsors than any other deer outfitter in the Midwest. The bottomline is you can’t be in business for 13 years, win multiple outdoor awards, be ranked in the top hunts in the nation, and be selling inferior deer hunts. IMB Outfitters is your answer. Believe me I haven’t always been able to state that, but after 13 years of refining our deer outfit service I can promise you IMB Outfitters is THE choice among Midwestern outfitters. A five day hunt with IMB Outfitters runs anywhere from $2350 to $3600 depending upon the hunt with group discounts available as well. Save your money on a hunting lease despite your preconceived ideas surrounding them, and stick with the pros that will work for you to get the shot of a lifetime.

Darrin Bradley

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