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Joined: 05/28/2008
Posts: 3
Whitetail Outfitters in Illinois?

I am doing research to find the right outfitter in Illinois for a whitetail hunt. I am planning the trip for the fall of 2009 and really looking for this to be the perfect all around trip. The trip will be for myself, my Dad and brother in law. My Dad has hunted deer for 35 years and I have since I was old enough to walk in the woods. But we have never done a trip to one of the big states to truly get a chance at the deer of a lifetime. We will probably only do this once so I want to go to a place that treats us like this is the only chance we will take to do this. I certainly want the chance at the big deer but all the things that come with the trip are important, too. Such as low number of hunters in camp, nice lodging facilities, well managed deer properties and success rates and a long history of providing quality services. I also want to pay in the price range of $3,500 or so for a gun hunt. Some of the more famous places are in the $5-6K range and that is just to much. I have done a lot of research to this point. I started searching and talking to outfitters that I have seen on TV shows or DVDs. My thought is if the 'pros' are using them then they must be good. I have talked to about 7 different outfitters so far. I have narrowed it down to a couple of places but one of them recently had some very negative things posted about them on this site which concerned me. So I wanted to post this and get some recommendations on outfitters from folks that have done a trip like I have described. Thanks!

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Location: Florida,USA
Joined: 08/21/2003
Posts: 1566
Whitetail Outfitters in Illinois?

Welcome to BGH Taylor06.

I know nothing about Illinois Outfitters but it appears that you are on the right track for finding the information you need.
I am sure someone on this site will be able to help you.

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Location: Antelope, Ore
Joined: 03/24/2005
Posts: 3183
Whitetail Outfitters in Illinois?

Welcome to BGH Taylor06. I've never even heard anyone ask about outfitters in Illinois before.

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Joined: 01/27/2002
Posts: 7916
Whitetail Outfitters in Illinois?

Taylor06, you may want to check the outfitters that are listed here on BGH. The Illinois outfitters can be found here:

http://www.biggamehunt.net/outfitters/United_States/Illinois/

Good luck! And welcome to BGH Big smile

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Joined: 05/28/2008
Posts: 3
Whitetail Outfitters in Illinois?

Everyone -- thanks for the feedback so far! I will definately check out the link on BGH, too!

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Location: fl
Joined: 06/30/2008
Posts: 6
outfitter

http://www.trophydeerhunt.com

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Joined: 07/17/2008
Posts: 30
Whitetail Outfitters in Illinois?

I been hunting illinois all my life and know the counties pretty well. As usually Pike county is where it's at. For the best chance for a once in a life time hunt go there. As a matter of fact call ted at eaglelakesoutfitters. I've personally hunted around the farms that they hunt and its loaded with game. It's limited to 130 and up for a shooter and 130's are everywhere there. You will see plenty of quality game. Ask Ralph from Archers Choice he hunts there he knows. I would recommmed archery hunt in late october and early november. It's easier to stick to the pattern deer, during the rut there is no telling when or where the bruiser are or when they will be by. If i had to spend that kind of money for a once in a lifetime buck that's where i would spend it. You might even see Ralph, Vickie, or even Michael Waddell there thats were they hunt.Good luck!!

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Location: S.E. Wisconsin
Joined: 01/14/2006
Posts: 76
Whitetail Outfitters in Illinois?

I used to be a Guide in Wisconsin for many years, and have worked for outfitters in Illinois.... 1st off, let me say it sounds like you have your expectations a bit high. The average outfitter in Illinois has about a 10% kill success on trophy bucks. I did 30% on my guiding but I only took a few hunters. Most of the time it was 1 on 1... I would shy away from any operation that has "Pro's" hunting there.... The truth of that is that the "Pro's" will hunt anywhere they can hunt free. Its sponsored. The biggest problem with that ( and I have seen it 1st hand ) is that you don't hunt the same farm as the "Pro's". And the Pro's get the best p;ropertys because the guide knows if they shoot something and it goes on TV or in a DVD he will get free advertising and it will attract more cliants... One famous Buffalo county Wisc. Outfitter that I know leases a ton of land. I tried outbidding him on a 400 acre pc that he reserved for his "Free" cliants ( the TV PERSONALITYS ) and I was outbid quickly, the land went for $75 per acre... No one pays to hunt that property... Or even gets the chance if they don't film for a show. So these poor fellas save up there whole life to go on the hunt of a lifetime and see some guy on TV with huge bucks all over the place saying YOU can hunt here to with XXX Outfitters and shoot big bucks too... So he books a hunt and gets to hunt an over crowded property out of a stand that guys have been rotated thru since opening day, cause the outfitter has to run to many hunters thru in order to pay for the "free property" that the Celeb's get to hunt, and to pay for his cooks, food, lodging, total lease's, food plots, etc.. and still make a profit... If I were you, I would look more to a new small outfitter just getting started who is still trying to please EVERYONE. Or better yet, use your $3500 to go on several public land do it your self hunts.
I personally feel that a buck taken out of a stand that someone else did the scouting for, and picked out for you, makes you just a "shooter" .

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Joined: 07/17/2008
Posts: 30
Whitetail Outfitters in Illinois?

I was giving you good advice on some great property in Pike county. Personally your chances are great on this property I've seen from first hand experience. I know I mentioned a lot about the hunting shows being there and filmed, but they go there because they see deer. Yeah they may get to hunt free but their there for one reason to catch big deer on film. It's a business to them and they know where their chances are. Good Luck FYI stay away from public land in this state its a nightmare. It's not regulate well and you will be all over people that could care less about you. If your going to try to hunt public areas do your homework and research or dont waist the money on high dollar out of state tags especially in this state.

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Location: S.E. Wisconsin
Joined: 01/14/2006
Posts: 76
Whitetail Outfitters in Illinois?

I have hunted public land ( archery ) in Illinois and was very impressed with the management, the quantity of mature bucks, and the lack of hunting pressure...
I hunted Jim Edgar Panther creek wildlife area. Here is a link about that public area:
http://www.illinois.com/details/parks.php?id=110

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