Hunt Swap

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Since there was some talk about adding a hunt swap feature to Big Game Hunt, I decided I would describe one of the hunt swaps I have done in the past.

It began with a question about whitetail hunting. Initially, I met another guy in a hunting forum who was torn up about the idea of hunting a whitetail. He, being from Oregon never had the opportunity to hunt them. I however, was interested in the idea of hunting something different, so we agreed to try to show each other around and help each other take our desired game species.

At the time, I was fully set up to hunt whitetail, as it was the only species of big game that I was able to hunt in Ohio and we had a great deer herd there. With non-resident tags being only $22.00, it was no major financial undertaking.

When Paul arrived at the Akron Regional Airport, my uncle and I met him and took him to my uncle’s cabin in Leesville, Ohio for the week. The cabin is a great spot situated right above the lake complete with pontoon boat at the dock below the house and everything. The first morning of the hunt, Paul had seen several does at close range, but wan’t prepared to make the shot.

After trying several locations and having several opportunities, Paul hadn’t gotten an arrow flung at a deer  yet.  When Paul’s stars had finally aligned, he shot at a 7 point whitetail. When the arrow flew, it hit far back on the deer, and although I am a very experienced tracker, I found little sign. I was picking up 1 drop of blood every hundred yards and had tracked for nearly a quarter mile. We backed out until the next day.

The next mid-morning, I drove the golf cart to the top of the hill, and I could smell deer nearby. We walked only 30-40 yards and found the buck lying there with his head still up. Oddly, the buck was dead but had somehow managed to keep it’s head propped up on some small undergrowth. Once we rejoiced in that we found the buck, we dragged him back to the golf cart and tied him down.

Later that evening, I had one of my favorite hunts of all time in which I stalked and killed a whitetail with my bow from the ground, and nearly killed 2. I only hesitated on the second because I wasn’t sure if I could get both back to meet my uncle for pickup in the pontoon boat in time.

When it came my turn to hunt with Paul for bear in Oregon,  the hunt didn’t go as well for me, but we still had fun. I am very blessed to have met an individual who, like me, strives to hunt legally and to make good on his word. We have maintained a relationship ever since 2007 when we first hunted together and I will return to Oregon in pursuit of bear yet again next spring. I can’t wait to have the opportunity and to spend time with my friend.

I have been extremely fortunate to have met such fine individuals to swap hunts with and it has worked out well for all of us. I have learned a few thing about swapping hunts and developing lasting relationships with other people from it as well.

If I could give any advice about setting up a hunt swap, it would be to work hard when it’s your turn to host, to forego alcohol during and after the hunt and to be honest about what you can provide and the quality of animals you will see. As long as you stick to that, you should be all right.  


hunter25's picture

Great story and a lot of good

Great story and a lot of good information about making new friends and what should be expected. Although there are many places I would like to go I would have never considered accepting an offer from someone else based on what I have to offer here. As the others said that is really not the biggest part of the situation but the new friendships are. These are not swaps based on just what a person can fill a tag on but sharing good times and building frienships in new places. Just being here on this forum has created many new friends for me that would never been possible anywhere else as I'm not usually the kind of person who just starts talking to people.

Here's to a great forum and the friends we have made here.

groovy mike's picture

swaps or even one way invitations have been great for me


I have never been fortunate enough to have any sort of hunt to offer except just one time to date. Like Arrowflipper I felt that the hunting that I could offer wouldn’t match up with the quality of hunts that others offered. But when I have invited others to hunt with me it has worked out well and resulted in friendships that continue to this day. Whether I have accepted or offered invitations to hunt together, I have never been disappointed. I have developed fantastic friendships which have lead to a lot of good hunting as well as some of the best hunting companionship. Honesty is an absolute must. Some of my hunts that I have been invited on have gone well. Others have not, but I have never felt cheated. Some hunts (like the one that Arrowflipper ended in a filled tag. Others I came hom empty handed but that is the same with every hunt you take. Even high dollar guided hunts can result in empty tags when you come home. But there are things to enjoy in every hunt and when the positive thing that comes out of an experience is a lifelong friendship that you treasure, well then it hardly matters whether a tag was filled on the first hunt you did together or not! Yeah Arrowflipper I don’t know if moose and turkeys fall in the same category, but there is more to enjoy on a hunt than the game chased. Like good cooking for instance!  If any of you guys get to New York State and want to get together for a chance at Candian Geese, or even a white tail doe hunt or even just a coffee - give me a shout!


arrowflipper's picture

Great story

Great story!!  Isn't it fun meeting new friends over a common interest?  So often when you think of exchanging hunts, it seems that we "must" provide a quality hunt for a trophy sized animal.  The trophy is nice and a wonderful goal, but it's not all about the size of animal that you get.  I agree with ndemiter that one needs to be totally clear about what you have to offer BEFORE you make the swap.  If the expectations are set too high, the chance of hard feelings increases.

I used to think that I had nothing to offer when it came to a swap hunt.  Oh yes, we have lots of deer where I hunt, but the chance of harvesting a real wall-hanger are small.  BUT, I could guarantee that you'd see LOTS of deer and you would have a good time.  When you get down to it, what more can anyone offer?  I was fortunate enough to be invited to Alaska on a moose hunt a number of years ago.  How could I ever swap for that???  I found out..... he had never been on a turkey hunt.  Turkeys and moose aren't exactly on the same level, but the enjoyment of the hunt was close to the same.  Well, maybe not??  Pretty hard to beat the 56 inch moose I took.

Let me throw out a different wrinkle..... how about offering a hunt without anything in exchange?  I have offered to have people come hunt with me with no expectation of going back to their place in return.  I just enjoy what I do so much that I love having others come do it with me.  If it turns into an exchange, that's just an added bonus.

ManOfTheFall's picture

Very nice!!!!! Congrats to

Very nice!!!!! Congrats to your hunting buddy there from Oregon in getting his first buck. Being that it came from Ohio is even better yet, and my neighboring county. Awesome job!!!!! I agree with everything you say. I really like the part about being honest about the quality of animals you have to offer. I know how whitetail hunting in my area is. There are a good number of some very big bucks in my area. But, the odds of taking one of those in just one week of hunting are probably pretty slim. Taking out a nice 2-3 year old in the 100"-120" range your odds would be really good at that. I would love to swap a hunt for an elk, or even an antelope someday.