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My experiences with an Idaho hunting club

Discussion in 'Idaho Flyway Forum' started by The Hajj, Feb 2, 2010.

  1. The Hajj

    The Hajj Senior Refuge Member Sponsor

    Messages:
    210
    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
    Location:
    Meridian, ID
    Guys,

    After having a couple of weeks to think about this past season, I decided to share my experiences with an Idaho waterfowling club, and I hope by sharing this information it will help you all. As many of you know, I have always been an outspoken advocating against clubs and guiding. I joined this club as a favor to a good friend of mine, and believe me, it was a difficult decision for me.

    The club told us that we would be able to select dates for hunts in general areas, not specific blind locations, and that we would not be able to hunt the same locations repeatedly. The process was set up so the locations would be scouted the day before your requested date and then you would be told where to go that evening. They also informed us that the best locations would be shared by all hunters as equally as possible. I felt good about the operation and the hunting guidelines, so I accepted my friend?s invitation to join.

    Having a shotgun business keeps me very busy during the season, so I cannot get away as much as I would like to anymore, and this club seemed like a great way to get some quality hunting without a lot of work. It seemed a perfect fit for my schedule. As the season unfolded, it turned out to be more of nightmare than I ever could have imagined.

    I did not start hunting until the day before Thanksgiving. My stepson was home from college and I had a great customer in town. This was a perfect opportunity to get them out for a nice shoot. We were sent to a flooded field that turned out to be frozen and one of the pits was flooded. After breaking ice for the decoys and bailing out the pit, I thought we were going to be all right, but the birds never arrived. We ended out the day with one mallard. Although the hunt was a bust, we all understood that is how waterfowling hunting goes sometimes. It was not a big deal, yet.

    By the time January came around, my friend and I had been on several hunts, but we had yet to shoot more than two birds! Many of our hunts ended without any shots even being fired. This was really beginning to look like a waste of money, so I called a few other hunters in the club. They reported similar results and were not very happy either. After several conversations with other hunters, it seemed that most guys were getting horrible hunting, but a select few were really stomping birds.

    This got me upset enough to complain to the management. Now I was the official ?bad guy?, who was making waves and not going along with the program, but I was given a great spot for my next hunt. My friend and I shot two limits of mallards from a very nice pit blind that had obviously seen plenty of action. It was not to be repeated.

    By the end of the season, my friend and I had shot a grand total of 25 ducks and 2 geese on club hunts. The hunting provided to us was so poor, we resorted to public hunting and more than quadrupled our harvest of both ducks and geese in much few hunt days!

    We both learned an expensive lesson. My friend and I will be hunting public lands and water next season.

    The Hajj
     
  2. ZZROAD

    ZZROAD Refuge Member

    Messages:
    74
    Joined:
    May 9, 2004
    Location:
    Boise, ID
    I am a member of the same club and my hunts were about the same as Jeff's three good hunts all season and the rest were poor. I would have made better use of my time hunting at Fort Boise, there's probably less pressure on the birds there than a club that shoots the same places twice a day everyday. My only thing I can say is buyer beware.
     
  3. seal

    seal Elite Refuge Member

    Messages:
    3,337
    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2002
    Location:
    meridian,id
    2 things I can say. #1- sorry you guys had such a horrible experience. #2 Sure glad I didnt have the cash when I was offered the "buy in".
     
  4. Mikebig1

    Mikebig1 Senior Refuge Member

    Messages:
    711
    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2002
    Location:
    looking for the X in sw idaho
    I get more satisfaction from a hunt I put together with friends than I do with a guided hunt. I have done both, as well. after a self guided hunt. I feel completely satisfied and exhausted from the energy that I put into it.. I don't get that same satifaction from a guided hunt. I can see both sides. when time is an issue and your from another state you don't have the time to invest in scouting so you pay to play. but I would expect some opportunities and hope to bag some game...especially from a local business. not be completely skunked out. that would not meet my expectations of a guided hunt.. this club that you mention... and what you are saying ,,, seem more interested in padding their coffers than providing a quality opportunity.. I don't know the business of whom you are refering too. but seems typical of a greedy opportunistic business... imo..
     
  5. IDBrian

    IDBrian Senior Refuge Member

    Messages:
    859
    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2000
    Location:
    Kuna, Idaho, USA
    I'm fairly certain I know exactly which club you joined in on. I have been approached the last two years to join but haven't. The guys who wanted me to join reported almost indentical stories as yours. Frozen fields, pits filled with water and frozen, very few birds, etc. The few guys that were getting lots of shooting seemed to be the buddies of (insert name of management.) :rolleyes:
     
  6. swampswimmingshrek

    swampswimmingshrek Elite Refuge Member

    Messages:
    5,061
    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2006
    Location:
    Idaho
    You know I think your about the 4th person I have heard this same thing from.

    Sorry to hear it didn't work out but I appreciate you letting the rest of us know so we don't make the same mistake.:tu
     
  7. ZZROAD

    ZZROAD Refuge Member

    Messages:
    74
    Joined:
    May 9, 2004
    Location:
    Boise, ID
    Waterfowl hunters are a tight group of people that stick together, the word is out on this place good luck finding replacements for the members not returning.
     
  8. HaydenHunter

    HaydenHunter Elite Refuge Member

    Messages:
    8,784
    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2000
    Location:
    Hayden Lake, ID USA
    My experience of hunting in California on leases or "clubs" is that it can be done more equitably so that all members get equal opportunity to shoot the hot blinds. A system of rotation can be set up or you can go with a lottery where a drawing is held and the pick of blinds happens by lottery number. This is done every evening prior to the next day's hunt.

    I have been in clubs where each member or team of guys were responsible for a particular blind, i.e. making sure it was bailed and then patched, brushed up properly and that a minimum amount of decoys were placed (we left dekes out). When there was a slacker in this department the appropriate measures were taken by other club members.

    Every property I have ever hunted as a member of a lease or club had it's hot blinds and it's not so hot holes. Sometimes weather affected what blind was hot on what day. The only way to do it fairly is to give all members equal opportunity and access.

    Sounds like the proprietors of this "club" screwed themselves over in the reputation department, favoring short-term gain over building something nice for the long term.
     
  9. jaeger19

    jaeger19 Elite Refuge Member

    Messages:
    8,499
    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2002
    Location:
    Parma idaho
    I am in the same hunt club as the Hajj.. (different group)..

    Here is my experience:

    I got asked into the club by a friend that needed another person. I was interested because I want to hunt with my Dad and some older fellows and I realized last year that hopping in and out of a jetboat was to tough for my Dad. Plus I wanted to take my kids more this year.

    I went with the manager/owner? of the club to check out the properties and we saw about 50 percent of the properties. I checked out the other properties on the internet and all and all it looked like a good deal..

    I was told that each group put in for an area and would get it based on availability and also on hunting pressure. In other words, one group couldn't monopolize one area nor would areas recieve too much pressure.
    Groups would put their request in on a computer deal and then recieve and email on if they could hunt that spot or get choice two or three whatever..

    I was told that historically not more than 6-8 groups of hunters had ever been hunting on one day (there are a lot of properties)...

    Well, here is what happened:

    We couldn't put in for a specific area... we could request a "region" and whether ducks or geese or both. We were then notified THE NIGHT BEFORE THE HUNT... sometimes as late as 10 or 11 o clock... and then though we were supposed to be hunting ducks.. I'd be told.. oh.. its a pit in nampa...

    You never knew when you were going to get notified and half the time I had to contact back to find out to then be told "I'll call you later"...

    I PERSONALLY requested that I be notified earlier.. say Wednesday for a Saturday hunt...
    I was told..."well you won't get the advantage of our "scouting"...

    I told them "I have no problem doing my OWN scouting and if we are wrong so be it, its easier to know and plan our hunts in advance rather than find out at 10 pm that our hunt is in Oregon when our group has all Idaho licenses!"

    This was all to no avail...

    Eventually, I threw up my hands and told them crap on it.. If I can't be notified earlier, then its too stressful to hunt.. I'll just make my own plans..

    When I told that to the person who did the scheduling, this was said ... "Well you NEVER told us you needed to be told earlier"... (I kept the 5 previous emails where I explicitly asked for it!)


    Further things that were irritating:

    I would go out and scout a specific blind.. and when I tried to ask to hunt it on the weekend... I was told.. "theres no birds on it"...

    When I told them... "well, I went out and scouted it today and there were about three dozen mallards sitting on it"... the person got upset that I had gone out and looked at it myself...

    Our group tried to get its moneys worth and hunted it almost 2-3 x week... amazingly.. with all those properties... we ONLY got to hunt the SAME three goose pits... (one time the pit was FILLED with water)... and each property looked like an army had marched out to the pit and back. I went and talked to the neighbors that lived next to one of the pits and was told that there was guys in that PIT EVERY DAY except christmans and new years.
    As far as duck spots.. we hunted the same 4 spots.. and for a short time.. we were told that there were no ducks to be had...
    (Interestingly, since I live in the area where most of these duck spots were.. I saw birds flying and landing there.. and I was actually killing birds right around those areas!)

    . There was some other things that I won't post here.. but I would also state let the buyer beware..
     
  10. The Hajj

    The Hajj Senior Refuge Member Sponsor

    Messages:
    210
    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
    Location:
    Meridian, ID
    Jaeger,

    I had the same situation regarding the notification process. I also requested to be informed of our location a day early so I could make the necessary arrangements, but they only honored my wish ONE time. I told them we did not care about shooting limits, we just wanted a comfortable hunt. Well, I never imagined NOT FIRING A SHOT was going to be the usual outcome.

    We were given the same two goose pits and four duck blinds all season. We never fired a shot from the goose locations and only one of the duck blinds produced a good shoot.

    BTW - Did you leave me a telephone message?

    Jeff
     

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