Guide /Lodge Reviews?

Huntdreamer

New member
I'm new to this "Forum/Board" thing so before identifying a lodge or outfitter I want to ask if its acceptable to do so. I have read the few reviews from Google but always appreciate real and local accounts. Yes I'll admit to being an "out of stator", Traveling 1000 miles+ to get to your great state, so hope to make the most of the time we have. I have a good feeling after talking to the guy but always like confirmation. I could narrow it down to a town, county or area and ask for PM if that's more discreet.

So, again I go to you guys for advice, and do appreciate what the Forum has offered so far. Thanks
 

Nick

Active member
I'm new to this "Forum/Board" thing so before identifying a lodge or outfitter I want to ask if its acceptable to do so. I have read the few reviews from Google but always appreciate real and local accounts. Yes I'll admit to being an "out of stator", Traveling 1000 miles+ to get to your great state, so hope to make the most of the time we have. I have a good feeling after talking to the guy but always like confirmation. I could narrow it down to a town, county or area and ask for PM if that's more discreet.

So, again I go to you guys for advice, and do appreciate what the Forum has offered so far. Thanks
There will always be a debate on the merit of lodges/outfitters, but I can't imagine anyone who goes that route would have a problem giving a recommendation. I can't help, but good luck and happy hunting.
 

haymaker

Well-known member
Do your research, they are not all alike. Here we offer a 3 day hunt and a four night stay. It is unguided, you clean your own birds do your own cooking. I give you a tour and a map and all the advice you want. We are a working mans hunt with no frills. I am sure you can find the other end of this and everything in between. I am not advertising as I am booked up for next year.
 

Wolfchief

Active member
There are several different "levels" of "lodges and outfitters". If you want to spend thousands of dollars and really be pampered, high class food, drink and accommodations there are places like Paul Nelson Farms, Gettysburg, SD. We've not done that.
For years, and a few steps down from Nelson's, we hunted with a guy out of Onida, SD from 2004-about 2013 when there were a LOT of wild pheasants--(and yes, they were wild!) He leased a lot of ground around that town, and we hunted ducks in the morning and roosters in the afternoon. Hell of a lot of fun for $500/day. He provided lodging in a 2 story house and he hired an excellent man/wife cook team--great food! He provided transportation and he had a local woman clean the birds for $3/bird, claiming she needed the money. So we let her do it. There were several guys at a time hunting with him, and he had a colleague who guided with him. FYI, neither of them carried a shotgun.
In 1995, my son and I bunked at a farmer's residence near Oskaloosa Iowa, his wife cooked and he just showed us the fields, we hunted by ourselves.. That was only a marginally satisfying arrangement because there just weren't very many birds in the area and he certainly didn't release any. I think we paid a nominal "trespass fee."
The last 4 years, we've hunted in Illinois on private land where all birds were wild, but pickings comparatively slim. We also hunt in NW Iowa, with a guy who provides lodging, where we can cook our own food; he has a big screen TV and we watch the basketball/football games. He has locations where there are only wild birds, and locations where the birds are released but I honestly can't tell any difference in behavior--they run, sneak, flush wild, etc. We use our own dog and clean our own birds. The charge for this is $300/day. And, as a bonus, in that area there is a lot of public land that holds wild birds, and just this year we hunted some of that and got shooting. I plan to go back out there in mid -December. We'll do more of that next season. I like this because it's a nice mix of public, private and "outfitter" and the house we stay in, though "old", is very comfortable-and we do get shooting so as not to completely waste time and money because we don't know anyone and can't get access to birds.
For those of you who live in the Northern Plains, know landowners and have several places right down the road to hunt all wild birds--more power to you.-hope you know how fortunate you are..
BOTTOM LINE: pick your poison, you can go a basic or high toned as you like. These places--ANY of them--get more expensive every year.
 

RGettman

New member
There are several different "levels" of "lodges and outfitters". If you want to spend thousands of dollars and really be pampered, high class food, drink and accommodations there are places like Paul Nelson Farms, Gettysburg, SD. We've not done that.
For years, and a few steps down from Nelson's, we hunted with a guy out of Onida, SD from 2004-about 2013 when there were a LOT of wild pheasants--(and yes, they were wild!) He leased a lot of ground around that town, and we hunted ducks in the morning and roosters in the afternoon. Hell of a lot of fun for $500/day. He provided lodging in a 2 story house and he hired an excellent man/wife cook team--great food! He provided transportation and he had a local woman clean the birds for $3/bird, claiming she needed the money. So we let her do it. There were several guys at a time hunting with him, and he had a colleague who guided with him. FYI, neither of them carried a shotgun.
In 1995, my son and I bunked at a farmer's residence near Oskaloosa Iowa, his wife cooked and he just showed us the fields, we hunted by ourselves.. That was only a marginally satisfying arrangement because there just weren't very many birds in the area and he certainly didn't release any. I think we paid a nominal "trespass fee."
The last 4 years, we've hunted in Illinois on private land where all birds were wild, but pickings comparatively slim. We also hunt in NW Iowa, with a guy who provides lodging, where we can cook our own food; he has a big screen TV and we watch the basketball/football games. He has locations where there are only wild birds, and locations where the birds are released but I honestly can't tell any difference in behavior--they run, sneak, flush wild, etc. We use our own dog and clean our own birds. The charge for this is $300/day. And, as a bonus, in that area there is a lot of public land that holds wild birds, and just this year we hunted some of that and got shooting. I plan to go back out there in mid -December. We'll do more of that next season. I like this because it's a nice mix of public, private and "outfitter" and the house we stay in, though "old", is very comfortable-and we do get shooting so as not to completely waste time and money because we don't know anyone and can't get access to birds.
For those of you who live in the Northern Plains, know landowners and have several places right down the road to hunt all wild birds--more power to you.-hope you know how fortunate you are..
BOTTOM LINE: pick your poison, you can go a basic or high toned as you like. These places--ANY of them--get more expensive every year.
Would you feel comfortable sharing your contact in NW Iowa? It would be closer than SD for my second trip this year. If not I understand.
 
I’m a fly fishing guide in the summer here in Idaho and rates are $3,500 for three nights two days. Thats per person and it’s double occupancy so $7,000 for two people. That’s $1,750 a day per person to fish. Outdoor activities are getting pretty expensive these days. I would/could never afford these prices that’s for sure but I have to have a $15,000 boat to float the river, a $40,000 truck to haul, flies, and gas for truck so can’t do it for free.
 

Citori16

Active member
I’m a fly fishing guide in the summer here in Idaho and rates are $3,500 for three nights two days. Thats per person and it’s double occupancy so $7,000 for two people. That’s $1,750 a day per person to fish. Outdoor activities are getting pretty expensive these days. I would/could never afford these prices that’s for sure but I have to have a $15,000 boat to float the river, a $40,000 truck to haul, flies, and gas for truck so can’t do it for free.
$500 a day is not enough to babysit these type of over privileged boneheads that most of these guys are.
Sorry in advance for those offended but I did say most not all
 
we stopped going to Snakeden since we now have plenty of private land access for 8 guys and a wknd of hunting. the guys i hunt with this is their only wknd of pheasant hunting. bunch of us college buddies. most go to just get away, watch the football conf championship games and relax. we shoot limits each day which isnt important to 1/2 the guys and the other 1/2 just wants to watch their dogs hunt.

Now if you are the guy who is looking to have it all taken care of for you for the wknd to hunt food plots shelter belts and crp grass, relax, have 3 meals served to you birds cleaned dogs fed comfortable beds, and not worry about a damn thing for a wknd out of the other 51 wknds then I'd say $500 is probably a steal.

to each his own. like i said we hunt all private for that wknd. my other wknds out there im hunting public.
 

haymaker

Well-known member
Thumbs down on these pay places.Thumbs down on that idaho guy.Thumbs down on all this. Don't pay people!!
Really. Goose I had no idea you felt that way. I guess I will have to tell all the people that have booked hunts next year that they can't come because you said so. Also I am sure the rest of the outfits that offer hunts will close their doors because Goose said they should. It must be amazing to be the authority of everything good and bad.
 
Thumbs down on these pay places.Thumbs down on that idaho guy.Thumbs down on all this. Don't pay people!!
I think Haymaker said it right. Really Goose? I have to be honest with you Goosemaster, if the education profession paid a little better maybe I wouldn't have to work so many side jobs. I remember when I was teaching in South Dakota I had to coach football, guide pheasant hunting on the weekend, referee ice hockey on the weekends, and guide fly fishing in the summer to make ends meet. I had a young family, I was going to college, my wife was going to college, we had student loans, we had medical bills from babies, etc. Now that I am an administrator I don't have to do all the side jobs but I still guide fly fishing in the summer so I can make sure my kids needs are met. For example, my oldest son just broke his arm. That was a nice bill but thank goodness I had a little bit of guide money. So you talk about not paying people but there are people out there that could use a side job and I have a lot of buddies in South Dakota that guide pheasant hunting too to help make a little extra money in November to give their kids something nice for Christmas in December.
 

Birdman2

Well-known member
I’m a fly fishing guide in the summer here in Idaho and rates are $3,500 for three nights two days. Thats per person and it’s double occupancy so $7,000 for two people. That’s $1,750 a day per person to fish. Outdoor activities are getting pretty expensive these days. I would/could never afford these prices that’s for sure but I have to have a $15,000 boat to float the river, a $40,000 truck to haul, flies, and gas for truck so can’t do it for free.
Countryboy, Have you ever guided for the cast and blast floats. That would be a hoot...
 

Wind River

Well-known member
I think Haymaker said it right. Really Goose? I have to be honest with you Goosemaster, if the education profession paid a little better maybe I wouldn't have to work so many side jobs. I remember when I was teaching in South Dakota I had to coach football, guide pheasant hunting on the weekend, referee ice hockey on the weekends, and guide fly fishing in the summer to make ends meet. I had a young family, I was going to college, my wife was going to college, we had student loans, we had medical bills from babies, etc. Now that I am an administrator I don't have to do all the side jobs but I still guide fly fishing in the summer so I can make sure my kids needs are met. For example, my oldest son just broke his arm. That was a nice bill but thank goodness I had a little bit of guide money. So you talk about not paying people but there are people out there that could use a side job and I have a lot of buddies in South Dakota that guide pheasant hunting too to help make a little extra money in November to give their kids something nice for Christmas in December.
Thank you Boy for doing it right. I don't know you directly but would be proud to share a stream with you. God Bless your family.🙏
 

benelli-banger

Well-known member
There’s something for everybody…and that shouldn’t worry anybody. I have hunted MT quite a few times, I have some sense for the BMA’s…I hunt the Dakota’s a lot, especially SD…I’m not worried in the least about my ability to have decent, even good hunting. I will be shut down due to health issues before some transformation resulting from pay hunting crowds out my private land spots or ruins my public land spots. I don’t see many hunters, especially midweek, and after 11/15 or thereabouts. I’m proud to be a pay hunter, I’m giving a farmer incentive to create and maintain habitat. Not a high-end deal, we pay $140/day for decent lodging with great kitchen, big screen tv, living room, heated dog room, bathroom with shower, beds for 12, garage for birds, gas grill. And good private land…enough for 3 days of hunting, maybe more, but we hunt other private land (mine included), as well as public now and again midweek. My host farmer does guided pay to hunt deals for about 3-4 out of state groups early in the season at higher rates…we don’t require any of his time or attention, our arrangement works for all involved. I figure I’m paying about $260 per trip for lodging and $300 for land access…I’m good with that, as are my hunting buddies. In 20+ years I’ve never had a conversation with my farmer buddy about price, we have been upping the amount gradually over time…I have a sense what my guys can live with, and I have a sense the farmer is good with our rates. He could probably market his operation harder looking for mid-to-late season hunters, but they’d need some guiding, and there’s the uncertainty of their character. We’re pretty easy, I come out there many times in the spring and summer, and smoke pork shoulder each time for him, as well as come bearing smoked salmon most of the time. We’re close friends, it’s a terrific situation from my point of view. He just gave us 6 cases of honey, he lets a bee company use his land for their operation and he takes honey for payment. His hunting house is kind of my 2nd home, absolutely love being there. Seems to work for all…🍺🍺
 
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Countryboy, Have you ever guided for the cast and blast floats. That would be a hoot...
The lodge I work for doesn't do cast and blast but the other lodge in the valley does cast and blast. They get up at 5 in the morning and float down to a blind, hunt ducks for a couple of hours and then float out and fish. I have done it on my own and it is a lot of fun but not as a guide.
 
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