What to Tip the “Tipper”

 

What to Tip the “Tipper”

He or she is your guide into those woods, out on that river, etc. They are the ones who have gone to school and been educated in this particular sport/pleasure you are delving into for your vacation time, and they are the ones with companies that make it easier than ever to plan a guided hunt or trip for you, family and friends. They are also the ones with just the right “tip” that could allow you to have the most successful hunt you’ve ever had.successful hunting, proper, appreciation, long-standing relationship, service, quality, the right 'tip'

Over the internet, a lover of the hunt (or fishing, boating, etc.) can log on and go through a list of outfitter websites that contain everything about their company and their team. They will offer up information that all prospective sportsmen and sportswomen need to know: from accommodations provided to equipment to pictures of the areas being utilized for the sport, animals harvested in the past, as well as various packages and prices.

But, oddly enough (unlike the rest of American business and industry in the 21st-century), you will most likely never find anything about what specific dollar amount or percentage of the hunt cost to give the guide as a tip. And because each package is so completely different, coming up with an average tip can be extremely tough. This is a gray area for many sports people, especially those who have never been on a guided hunt/tour before.

It is understood that a tip is not a requirement. However, it is important to realize that if you “land” a quality service and a guide who truly loves what they do and knows the ins-and-outs of everything they happen to be doing, than offering your guide a tip is the best way to offer thanks to them for their service.

It is important to remember as well that if the guide is not the outfitter, they are usually told what to do by someone higher up in charge. They may not have any say when it comes to choosing the location or what your accommodations will be during your stay. That is the outfitter’s responsibility, and your guide should never be “hung out to dry” if that outfitter has made errors in your trip. The guide’s tip is always based on the job that they did for you and your friends/family. If for the duration of your event they work as your partner – such as, on a hunt, if they help fill your tags, make sure you have a safe hunt, and offer those stellar, helpful ‘tips,’ than they should be rewarded with a “thank you.”

If the outfitter is both the owner and your guide, then it becomes a different story entirely. They are the ones responsible for every detail during your trip – from being the guide to making sure your hunt is set up well and your accommodations and other details promised have been delivered. This becomes another gray area for some because why tip the owner when you have already paid them for everything in full? Most hunters and sportsmen will agree that if the guide does everything in an A+ manner, it doesn’t matter if they own the company or not, they should still get the “thank you.”

When thinking about the prices, start with something easy. At a restaurant the approximate tip for your waiter/waitress is 15% (if the job is done well, of course). When it comes to the guide of your trip, most hunters begin in the neighborhood of 8-12% of the cost of the hunt when it comes to tipping the guide. (Example: For most waterfowl hunts that comes out to approximately $25 per day; for a 5-day big game hunt you are closer to the $250-$350 range. And if we are talking about a guide that has literally shown you and your guests a truly incredible week, then giving a little extra is definitely a good show.

Above all, remember the fact that the guide is not responsible for you shooting correctly, being able to “land that big one” right, and definitely are not responsible for anything that Mother Nature decides to throw in your path. Certain things will always be out of a human’s control, but hard work most definitely matters and should be appreciated. Just think, you may have such a successful expedition that you will want that particular guide the next time around, so saying “thank you” is a great way to start a long-standing relationship.

Source:  Sportsmans Lifestyle

Are You Considering joining a New “Hunting Club or Lease” this year?

 

Are You Considering joining a New “Hunting Club or Lease” this year?

By Darren Shepard

Joining a “hunting club” is not as easy as it sounds. There are so many considerations one must examine before committing the multiple resources, time and money required to have a successful experience.

It has been over five years since I was a member of a hunting club and my last experience was less than a pleasant one.  I have been fortunate to hunt a tract of private land for many years and will continue to do so moving forward. However, with my changing family needs and time constraints, an opportunity to join a new hunting club presented itself with a neighbor’s invitation. I decided after long consideration, to commit to the club and dedicate a 3-year window for the project.

 My goal is to point out a few things I had to consider that may be of benefit to you as well.

  • Set Your Goals and Expectation: Speaking with club members, reviewing the club’s records, understanding the established deer management plan and club rules is a step you must take before committing. You may want to take a 160 Inch whitetail, but if the clubs largest buck harvested in the last five years has been a 120-inch buck, you may be setting yourself up for failure.  Also, what are all of the hunting options at the “club”? Is it just for whitetail deer? Can you hunt spring turkeys, small game or does a dove field exists? You must determine what type of club you want to join and how you may want to use the resources in compliance with the “club rules.”

 

 In addition, if you have a family, can they hunt?   How long is the lease the “club” has with the property owner?  Plus, how do you want to hunt, use the facilities or is there a camp?  What is your overall goal of enjoying the experience and what resources do you have to contribute to the “club”?  These are several key questions and writing a list of your questions is a solid step towards a successful hunting club experience.

 

  • Location, Location, Location: A friend once told me, I’d rather have the right 50 acres to hunt in Northern Illinois than 500 acres in the wrong area of South Georgia. I agree! However, at this point in my life, I don’t have the time to drive to Illinois during deer season often. With my specific goals, as well as those for my family, this particular lease is 50 minutes from my home.  A family that hunts together stays together in my mind, so location for time together is paramount in my decision.

 

I may not take a 160-inch whitetail, but with the location, our family can spend a lot of time there on a year-round basis, keep hunting together and share many experiences.

 

  • Members and Relationships: I was fortunate to have been invited by a neighbor to join this club, and this greatly assists with learning more about the property quickly, enhances introductions to other members and the “management” team for the club.

 

 An important key is understanding the rules and objectives of the club.   If you agree with their objectives, can contribute to the overall plan, and honor the rules, then joining the club may be a great idea.  Over time, you will be able to contribute other thoughts and ideas as a part of being a “team player” within the club. If in the beginning, you have any doubts about their “plan” or members, it is better for you to just politely decline and find another option. Starting off without a clear understanding and agreement will just lead to a disaster for everyone involved.

 

Also, the number of members is key. A club that has 25 members on a leased tract of land that contains 150 acres is going to be a major headache. Frankly, I have used the 100 acres per hunter as a general guide. No real science, but combined with deer population estimates from the state for the area, historical data and club records, this enables me to be comfortable in most cases with this “number.” In this case, our club has 900 acres with eight members with mutually agreed common rules and goals.

 

  • Resources: Set your budget and stick to it. Beyond the annual “dues,” insurance and other items, you will need to create a list of additional things you may need for hear one as well as items to purchase over several seasons.   For example, ladder stands, an ATV if you have limited access to areas, or a camper.  Beyond just “joining” there will be “work” weekends for camp clean up, putting up stands, feeders, and food pl Keep all of these issues in mind when dedicating your time and money. If you become a club member, then be a member that contributes and helps work with the “team.” Time with members working on established common goals will build great relationships and is a big part of the club experience.

 

Just a few points to consider if you are looking at a “hunting club” this coming fall,  but hopefully, these points will provide a little “food for thought.”

 We have joined the club this year with a dedicated limited budget and plan.  The goal is to share additional features about this project moving forward including repairing an old camper and many other projects related to becoming a new hunting club member.   More to come soon, but if you have not found your “club” yet, get busy!  Turkey season is almost here and deer season is closer than you think!

Original Source:  Sportsmans Lifestyle.com

 

Whitetail Hunting in Illinois is About Making Memories in the Heartland

 

Whitetail Hunting in Illinois is About Making Memories in the Heartland

 

Whitetail hunting is the most popular area of the hunting universe in this day and age. When it comes to the great state of Illinois, there is one guide that is all about making your trip not only a success, but one of the most memorable experiences you can possibly have. And seeing that most of the dates sell out quite quickly, now is the time to research, review and then reserve your 2017 incredible whitetail hunt.

www.heartlandlodge.com

If you are looking to have a whitetail deer hunting trip with a premier outfitter,Harpole’s Heartland Lodge is the place for you. Specializing in archery deer hunts, along with gun hunts, Heartland is the original deer hunting outfitter and lodge in Pike County – and they can absolutely boast the fact that trophy whitetail hunts have been their specialty for the last 21 years…and counting.

 

Harpole’s is rated the absolute best in all areas you can think of when it comes to having a hunting trip that is nothing short of spectacular. Even the outfitter staff deserves and receives an A+ across the board, offering you a truly dedicated and full-time whitetail manager, full-time assistant whitetail manager, support staff and guides who work year-round in order to ensure that your hunt is off-the-charts.

 

Beginning in the winter, Harpole’s staff scouts bucks that survived the fall hunting season and are looking for new tree stand locations. The staff then moves on to late winter and early spring which is filled with tasks, from walking the woods looking for whitetail sheds to over-seeding the clover food plots. Early spring is spent planting new food plots, while summer is spent maintaining the plots, glassing and videotaping deer that come into the fields, and checking trail cam photos. When the late summer months arrive, planting the brassica food plots and new clover plots take over the daily work, so that when fall once again appears, every single step of the process has been done. All that’s left is to guide you to the perfect spot so you can have the best hunt imaginable.

 

Harpole’s diehard crew also makes archery hunting available. This is a passion absolutely shared by the entire whitetail staff who shoot their bows year-round, always practicing and always looking forward to when that next archery “party” arrives.

 

Pike County Illinois deer hunting has become legendary, and Harpole’s Heartland Lodge is the reason for the unbridled thrills that whitetail hunters experience when they utilize Heartland as their chosen guides. It doesn’t hurt that you are talking about one of the most stunning areas in the country. Located in the middle of incredible Illinois deer hunting country, centered between the Mississippi and Illinois River drainages, Heartland has always provided large whitetail bucks the perfect habitat. They understand the four key ingredients to having a quality deer herd: genetics, food, habitat, and a good age structure. By understanding this, they have been able to produce huge bucks and quality whitetail deer hunting for over two decades. And with their strict management program in place to preserve growth, Heartland continues to be at the top of the list for hunters who are searching for whitetail bucks not found anywhere else.

 

Harpole’s Heartland Lodge also provides first-class accommodations. Even though hunters may not think this is as important as the hunt itself, having a good night’s sleep and a great meal are just as important as the aim you bring with you. And at Heartland, receiving a comfortable bed after a long day’s hunt is the perfect way to “cap” off the day.

 

Various archery and gun hunting packages are available to one and all, but booking needs to begin as soon as possible, seeing as that Heartland’s customers continue to be repeat customers who will make sure they snag one of the pristine packages. Packages run from the Four-Night, Three-Day November Packages to Five-Night, Four-Day December Packages; Four-Night, Three-Day Muzzleloader Packages to Seven-Night, Six-Day Archery-Muzzleloader Combo Packages; Four-Night, Three-Day Firearm Doe Hunts, and the list goes on!

 

Harpole’s also rolls out the red carpet every year and welcomes both seasoned veterans and those who are just learning how to deer hunt. With deer hunting tips and strategies from Heartland’s professional and talented guides, everyone is sure to have an incredible time.

 

Memories are ready to be made, so head to www.heartlandlodge.com today to view everything from private rooms to luxury suites, and make your reservation. The only difficult part will be waiting for the months to go by so you can get to that beautiful Illinois country and bag that champion whitetail you’ve been dreaming about.

www.heartlandlodge.com

Source:  Sportsmans Lifestyle

Keeping the Treasured Memory of that Successful Turkey Hunt

 

Keeping the Treasured Memory of that Successful Turkey Hunt

by Amy Lignor

 

When the hunt is over and that wild turkey “trophy” has been nabbed, the final step is making the decision on how best to display that memory in your home. For the coming years, being able to stare at that trophy and think back on that awesome day is something everyone wants to do. Therefore, everything from space requirements to budget has to be taken into consideration when heading to the taxidermy stage.

turkey trophy, display ideas, hanging the mount, Tom Poses, work of art, special reminder

The first thing you need to consider is the quality of your specimen. Such as, if the bird is damaged in one specific area, minimizing this problem by choosing the pose that’s best to hide the damage is a must. Say one wing is in bad shape, the option of choosing a side view “pose” would conceal that damage. Or…if the problem resides in the tail of the trophy, a full-fan or strutting pose would be poor choices in order to make that treasured keepsake look its absolute best.

 

There are five categories of basic poses when it comes to turkey mounting; these are divided into strutting, flying, standing/walking, gobbling/roosting, as well as ‘dead’ mounts. And when you are judging the space needed to properly display the trophy bird, it must be taken into consideration that the strutting and standing mounts will need a good deal of table or floor space, whereas the other mounts available are generally considered to be wall hangings.

 

You must also choose whether or not you wish to keep the gobbler as a ‘lone statue’ or actually place it into a habitat scene. By adding that extra bit of color and texture, you can actually transform your mount into a true ‘tale’ that will captivate any audience that lays eyes on it.

 

Taxidermists will tell you that the “Strutting Tom Pose” is literally the most beautiful and majestic pose available. The feathers puffed out gives the mount optimum visual effect, so if your specimen is undamaged when it comes to feathers, tail and wings, the strutting pose is most definitely the one to choose. Displayed on a base, you can then be as simple with the mount or as artistic as you want to be. Woodland and forest scenes offer a back-drop that will remind you of the day you harvested the bird and can really create a custom work of art. In addition, if room availability is slim, a full strut mount, a three-quarter strut, or a half-strut, can be created in a pre-finished wall base which will save on space and bring the turkey up to eye level, increasing the visual beauty.

 

The “Standing/Walking Tom Pose,” is an excellent choice if space is slim or if there happens to be damage done to the wings or tail. With an earth base and habitat scenery, this is a pose that will most definitely show off your trophy in its best light.

 

If looking for the perfect wall hanging, the “Gobbling/Roosting Tom Pose” most definitely emphasizes a large beard and spurs that are ideal. Mounted on an artificial turkey limb, this creation keeps your successful hunt looking great.

 

If you happen to be lucky enough to have that large wall space and enough ceiling height that you can properly fill with an impressive display, the “Flying Tom Pose” is the way to go. When dealing with a flying pose, the taxidermist can mount the specimen without any panel or use a finished wood panel/artificial bark as a scenic back-drop.

 

And if looking for a work of art that’s reminiscent of a true artistic master, the hanging “Dead Mount” can be created in a barn-wood shadow box, placed beside other artifacts from the hunt, such as shotgun shells or turkey calls. This type of display truly commemorates that special day.

 

One reminder, if your specimen happens to have sustained a great deal of damage, there are still choices to be had. A barn-wood turkey tail panel can be used to display just the fanned tail and beard of your wild turkey, and will also save on cost and space.

 

But whatever decision you make, bringing that piece of Mother Nature into the home and creating that special reminder is the ultimate wrap-up to the turkey hunt!

Source:  Sportsmans Lifestyle

Must Have Gear for Your Spring Gobbler Hunt

 

Must Have Gear for Your Spring Gobbler Hunt

by Amy Lignor

 

Believe it or not, there will be many newbies out there this spring hunting season; not to mention those teaching their ‘young’ how to catch that gobbler for the first time. But even when it comes to the pros, with the excitement that grows from spring hunting season, it’s always a great thing to have a reminder of the “must have” gear that makes the gobbler – America’s toughest game bird – far easier to catch.

spring hunting season, turkey-hunting vest , successful turkey hunts, comfort, binoculars, rangefinders, boots, camo

 

Let’s begin with the right clothing. When it comes to blending in and outsmarting that bird, purchasing a camouflage facemask and gloves is the right start. The best camo clothing will not help a bit if the gobbler can still see your bare face and hands. Remember, this is a sharp-eyed bird, which means head-to-toe camo is the path to a successful hunt.

 

Make sure that turkey-hunting vest is also a part of your attire. Made for being able to carry all the turkey-hunting gear you need for the day, the vest is a must for both convenience and accessibility. Shop around for that vest that will offer season-long storage, allowing you to hold everything from calls to extra cartridges, compasses, and more. Having everything in one easy-to-access place gives you the extra benefit of knowing that all the critical gear is always on hand.

 

Comfort is yet another crucial topic on hunters’ minds. Yes, there are those that want to “be a part of nature,” but the larger percentage is looking for comfort out there in the wilderness. After all, nature was made for the gobbler – not the hunter. So while searching for that turkey-hunting vest, make sure to pick up one that provides extra padding. There are models that give perfect back support while leaning against those trees, as well as keep you warm and dry no matter what the weather throws at you.

 

Successful turkey hunts come even easier when comfort is key. Not only the vests, but there are also turkey-hunting seats and cushions made available by all of the top names. When the weather turns extra warm the vest will be shed by most hunters, so having the special seats and cushions will allow you to retain the comfort of the vest, but give relief when it comes to sitting in the sun.

 

Gobbler chasing also requires the best possible hunting boots. There are hours where sitting patiently is a must, but between these times some hiking is usually involved. Therefore, having good ankle support is in order. And remember, the best boots differ when it comes to the area that you will be gobbler chasing: some hunters will need to get those sturdy boots with deeply lugged soles if hiking those mountainous areas; while the hunter based in the flatwoods or swamp areas should look for a waterproof boot, or even knee-high rubber boots. No matter which is necessary, just make sure that they are well broken-in before heading out on the hunt.

 

Camo colored/dark is best, but also keep in mind that snakes are a matter of concern to many spring turkey hunters. Like that gobbler, snakes become more active as spring sets in. Regular hunting boots offer good snake protection under normal circumstances; however, short or lightweight uppers are less protective. If living and hunting in an environment where snakes are prevalent (AKA: the Rio Grande country) more protection is in order, such as snake chaps or leggings made of tough nylon.

 

Make sure that before that hunt the right decoys are also purchased and stored in that vest. There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that for a successful turkey hunt to occur, decoys are a major necessity. Being able to lure those gobblers into your set-up is a must, and when it comes to bow hunting, decoys cannot be overlooked.

 

Camo is needed, but so is a great blind that screens all movements – such as, when you need to shift position if a gobbler comes from an unexpected angle. Although Mother Nature provides blinds, in some areas they will not be so easy to find. So when shopping for a blind, make sure to get one that’s portable, light, and easy to set up and take down.

 

Last, but definitely not least, we come to the binoculars and rangefinders. You certainly must know whether you’re spotting a hen, a jake, a trophy Tom, or simply a tree stump. Yes, turkey hunting is a short-range sport, but for the professionals who can spot them at longer ranges, these are important tools. Add on to that a rangefinder that can help estimate the correct shotgun range, and success will be had.

 

What do the gobblers need, you ask? If you have these items, that turkey will need good luck.

Source:  Sportsmans Lifestyle

Team Magnum Guides You to Where the Wild Turkeys Are

 

Team Magnum Guides You to Where the Wild Turkeys Are

by Amy Lignor

The eyes and ears of a turkey make it one of the toughest of all Texas game animals. Their vision is the keenest; they can pinpoint movement and hone in on noises from a mile away. So when it comes to hunting these creatures, it is important to be led by a guide service that literally owns the highest skill level and unbelievable talent to give you, your family, and friends the most successful turkey hunt possible.

successful turkey hunt, Magnum Guide Service L.L.C, Field & Stream, Texas Sportsman, Spring Turkey Season, Rio Grande Gobbler Hunters

Magnum Guide Service L.L.C. is a name that all true turkey hunters should be aware of. Publicized in a slew of magazines, from Field & Stream to Texas Sportsman, Magnum Guide Service is known for always achieving its number one goal: Making your trip a memorable and successful experience. Making up “Team Magnum” are the most seasoned guides and the best employees on tap to create a trip that allows you to bag that perfect trophy. Extensive game management programs and dedicated hunters with good marksmanship have ensured that Magnum always maintains a very high success rate on all game pursued.

Behind this service stands Jim and Melony Roche, who are experienced veterans in the game guide and outdoor industry. It was in the spring of 1976 that Jim first began hunting and ‘calling’ turkeys, when the Lone Star State first opened the spring turkey season. Becoming one of the first “Turkey Guides” in Texas, Jim created “Team Magnum” which has hosted over 2,100 turkey hunters, with an average success rate of 1.7 birds per hunter, based upon a 2 bird limit.

When it comes to the Rio Grande Gobbler, you are looking at an average weight of 20 lbs. and a beard length of 9 ½ inches and 1 1/8 spur. With the Magnum guides being among the most professional turkey guides to be found anywhere in the country, the hunter can even bag exceptional gobblers that can push up to 25 lbs. The Magnum hunts cover approximately 65,000 acres of prime turkey habitat, where hunters can hear anywhere from 10-20 different gobblers per day.

And when it comes to the schedule of the hunt, nothing could get better than this….

After chowing down a delicious breakfast, and well before ‘first light,’ the expert guides of “Team Magnum” escort both semi-guided and fully-guided hunters into the field. Hunters are placed within calling distance of roost, strut zones, and feeding areas where they’re free to either ‘run and gun’ or ‘sit and stick,’ depending on each individual hunter’s preference.

With a hunt lasting 4-5 hours, returning to the Lodge for a big lunch rounds out the morning. Back to the woods for another 4-5 hours of afternoon gobbler action creates a hunt that consists of a fair amount of walking and calling to ‘raise’ a bird, then setting upon him as the distance between hunter and quarry closes.

With expansive landholdings that offer the hunter privacy and even the luxury of having 400-1500 acres exclusively to themselves, success can be found along popular travel corridors between known roosts and both feeding and watering areas, as well as along ridges where hunters are elevated and can better hear distant gobbles.

The turkey hunting packages offered are varied, with several different spring and fall packages available. Food, lodging, guides and 2 ½ days of hunting for 1-3 Rio Grande gobblers—complete with airport transfers as well as full freezer facilities—make up the most popular three-day-hunting package. Guided hunts are one guide per hunter, and semi-guided hunts include a guide to transport hunters into the field. “Do It Yourself” hunts are also available for hunters who wish to furnish their own food and lodging. Hunting duos such as a husband/wife team can be accommodated; and, for larger corporate groups, the entire lodge and hunting areas can be reserved all to themselves.

When it comes to equipment available, the choice is immense: Turkey decoys, Double Bull pop-up blinds, shotguns, ammunition and more may be available for rent. And when the hunt comes to a close, successful “Rio Grande Gobbler Hunters” will receive a Magnum Guide Service, LLC “Certificate of Harvest,” worthy of framing. There is also a “Magnum” Awards Presentation that has become a huge hit for hunters.

Booking that reservation with “Team Magnum” is a must. Dates include: The 2017 Texas Spring Turkey Season South Zone Opener (March 18); North Zone Opener (April 1);

Easter (April 16, 2017); and even booking forward to the 2017Fall Season Hunt.

Rates vary, so after heading to http://www.magnumguide.com/TurkeyHunting.aspx and finding that perfect Magnum hunt you’re interested in, then contact the staff who will be happy to go over all the details with you. Once the trip is booked, a booking contract is forwarded to you, turning the dream into a reality.

Top-of-the-line equipment, tasty meals, seasoned guides, and amazing hunting camps…there’s nothing more you could ask for when it comes to that perfect turkey hunt.

Magnum Guide Service L.L.C.

www.magnumguide.com

Source:  Sportsmans Lifestyle

2017 Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show…. Vegas baby!

 

2017 Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show…. Vegas baby!

By Darren Shepard

The 2017 Shooting, Hunting & Outdoor Trade Show, ( SHOT Show) was recently held in Las Vegas, NV.  The trade show is not open to the public but is an event from the National Shooting Sports Foundation for the industry, manufacturers, distributors and retailers specializing in the outdoor market.

So if the event is not open to the public, why mentioned this show to potential consumers?

If you are a hunter, shooter or collector, the good news is the products you desire to pursue your favorite past times are coming to your favorite retailer soon. This is a great time to start your list of needed and wanted items for the upcoming hunting season or range. The SHOT Show featured all types of firearms, optics, ammunition and accessories to major retailers to sale later in the year.

Manufacturers from Browning, Glock, to hunting scents companies such as Wildlife Research all present new products to buyers in the wholesale and retail ‘chain”. In fact, it has been estimated over 60,000 people including manufacturers, media, sales, retailers and more were in attendance for the show.

Soon you will begin to see some of these products flow to your favorite retailer and firearms dealers. Of course, across the ‘media” outlets from magazines, broadcast and online, product details will be covered, and the advertising will follow.

If there are specialized products or those that are limited in some fashion, the sooner you do a little research, shop and buy the better. No sense in waiting until deer season for example if certain equipment may be harder to come by at that time. Besides, regardless of the product, all of us enjoy a little time practicing with our new “toys” prior to the actual season!

The new gear is coming, and it won’t be long. Start your list and check your favorite retailers.  The 2017 hunting and shooting products are coming soon. Like everyone says in Vegas- Bet on it!

 

Original Source: Sportsmans Lifestyle.com