Rader lodge

olyveoil

New member
Trying to cobble together last minute pheasant hunt for November.
Rader Lodge -- Great-Good-Decent-Bad?

Any feedback is appreciated
 

BrownDogsCan2

Well-known member
Radars been around forever. Like said there’s hundreds now, a lot in that area. I’m sure he’s a little bit burnt out.
 

Chestle

Active member
I hunted the Mitchell/Jewell/Osborne area for a long time. I remember when Rader first started; it was a really small operation. I had friends out there that worked for him now and then. I never heard anyone say anything bad about him or his operation.

That said, I've never hunted with Rader Lodge or any other put/take operation out there. He's grown that operation immensely since the mid 80s though, so some people must like what he does.

It's been about 2 decades since I seriously hunted Kansas but that area used to be good enough to do pretty well on your own with the public land around the lake and some walk-in. No doubt it's changed a lot and private access is surely harder to come by.

Good luck to you. Sorry I couldn't be more helpful.
 

olyveoil

New member
Thank yall for the feedback.
If I may ask: why so much dislike of outfitters / guides?
I am from SC for context. will be at Fort Riley/Manhattan once a year for 2-3 years maybe for 5 days per. I am willing to pay for a guide to hunt pheasants, which I have never done. Not interested in spending several days on public lands learning what to do. <--- That is the point of using guides.

Is public land becoming scarce? Is their animosity over landowners leasing to guides? Other political stuff going on?
 

matto

Active member
Yes to all the above.. Outfitters lease land, that's just part of their MO. People believe that leaves less land available for WIHA and for door-knocking access. From a broader perspective, people believe it speeds the transition of hunting from an "everyman" sport to a sport for the wealthy.

I could show you a WIHA atlas from 10 years ago and one from this year. Many properties are no longer enrolled. It's convenient to blame outfitters for outbidding the state. That's definitely true in some cases. Some people who post here have reported being told specifically that by landowners. On the other hand, my family bought a half section that was enrolled. We pulled it out. Across the road was another half section CRP field that was enrolled. The CRP contract expired and it's no longer enrolled. My point is that while outfitters leasing is behind some WIHA losses, that doesn't account for all of it.

With respect to Rader lodge, I've never hunted with them. I fished with them once and that was fine.
 

olyveoil

New member
Yeah. I get the issue.
Similar in SC with duck hunting and deer hunting. Ducks, in particular more crowded public lands and the private lands are expensive because.it's ducks. Deer clubs with bought land is a thing here. It isn't inexpensive, and there is a difference between SC only and out of staters being allowed. The latter is more expensive.
Land is finite. Private property is a fundamental tenant of capitalism. Long term, hunting will be more and more pay to play. If landowners can make money of leasing to outfitters/hunt clubs then that is their right/privilege. But, I get the public land need for hunting too.
No idea to what WIHA or door knocking is. Must be a farmland/midwest thing?
 

gimruis

Active member
No idea to what WIHA or door knocking is. Must be a farmland/midwest thing?
Door knocking is exactly what you would think it is. Look for a productive spot, and ask for permission. I've done it for almost 20 years now. When you develop a good relationship with a private land owner, they often let you come back and hunt every year.

Many hunters are not willing to do this anymore because it takes a fair amount of time and will power to physically get in your truck, drive around, and ask for permission. They'd rather just fork over money instead and pay to "hunt" pen-raised birds or pound public land that everyone else is trying to hunt.

I can't specifically comment on the pheasant hunting situation in Kansas.
 

BrownDogsCan2

Well-known member
Yeah. I get the issue.
Similar in SC with duck hunting and deer hunting. Ducks, in particular more crowded public lands and the private lands are expensive because.it's ducks. Deer clubs with bought land is a thing here. It isn't inexpensive, and there is a difference between SC only and out of staters being allowed. The latter is more expensive.
Land is finite. Private property is a fundamental tenant of capitalism. Long term, hunting will be more and more pay to play. If landowners can make money of leasing to outfitters/hunt clubs then that is their right/privilege. But, I get the public land need for hunting too.
No idea to what WIHA or door knocking is. Must be a farmland/midwest thing?
Kansas has one of the lowest percentages of federal or state owned land , so they lease land for hunting purposes. That’s what wiha is. It’s still privately owned and farmed and open only to hunting and farm operations and is only open during hunting seasons.
They area your hunting has a lot of wiha but also has lost about 30 percent of what it had a few years ago
 

matto

Active member
Door knocking is exactly what you would think it is. Look for a productive spot, and ask for permission. I've done it for almost 20 years now. When you develop a good relationship with a private land owner, they often let you come back and hunt every year.

Many hunters are not willing to do this anymore because it takes a fair amount of time and will power to physically get in your truck, drive around, and ask for permission. They'd rather just fork over money instead and pay to "hunt" pen-raised birds or pound public land that everyone else is trying to hunt.

I can't specifically comment on the pheasant hunting situation in Kansas.
I learned to hunt in the 80s with my dad door-knocking. Rural Kansas has changed a lot since then. Even in the 80s, the chance that the person behind the door owned or controlled the land you were going ask about was less than 100%. But today, that chance is almost nill. The owner often doesn't even live in the state and the person behind the door you knocked has no idea who farms it. A guy and some equipment show up once in a while. He does his thing, and he's gone.

It's more like phone-ringing than door-knocking these days. Permission can still be had, but it takes research and relationship building. Never forget that we are an intrusion, a distraction, a risk, etc.
 

turtle

Member
Rader lodge is a great bunch. You wouldn’t be disappointed with them in my opinion.
I understand stand what you mean on the learning. Sometimes it comes down to time restraints. Good luck with whatever you decide.
 

KsHusker

Active member
Yeah. I get the issue.
Similar in SC with duck hunting and deer hunting. Ducks, in particular more crowded public lands and the private lands are expensive because.it's ducks. Deer clubs with bought land is a thing here. It isn't inexpensive, and there is a difference between SC only and out of staters being allowed. The latter is more expensive.
Land is finite. Private property is a fundamental tenant of capitalism. Long term, hunting will be more and more pay to play. If landowners can make money of leasing to outfitters/hunt clubs then that is their right/privilege. But, I get the public land need for hunting too.
No idea to what WIHA or door knocking is. Must be a farmland/midwest thing?
OlyveOil - PM me - I can give you some tips about where you'll be.
 

wolfcreeknc

Member
OK here is my take on things (not a native of Kansas:
Olyveoil see you are from Charleston, I am from the NC mountain area. I have been hunting out in Kansas for over 20 years now typically north of Manhattan KS about 1+ hours. Around 2007 through 2012 the area had what I considered great pheasant hunting but some severe weather events and pay to hunt operations have decimated the pheasant opportunities. Quail are still very strong. I have not hunted at Radar lodge but have heard good things. It is my understanding that the further west you go the better the wild pheasant populations get. Each year is different which is typically weather driven. As for the pay to hunt operations, they do pay the land owners better for their land than the state does for Walk-ins (which is public hunting on private land). They pay to hunt places snatch up the very good fields and out-bid the state for their walk-in opportunities. This happened in the area we hunt. Fortunately we know two farmers and have access to several thousand acres to hunt. But the pheasant population is way down. A cattle farmer we met last year shed some light on why the pay to hunt areas may be really hurting the native birds. They raise pheasants, load them up with antibiotics and then release them to be hunted. These super immune birds bring diseases to the native populations that do not hurt the immunized birds. Then the native birds die off. I also believe that when a CRP field is leased by the pay to hunt groups, they shoot roosters and HENS, the hunter can not tell if the hen is a wild bird or not. The wild birds that use the CRP to nest, well they get shot too leading to a much lower breeding population. Hence the animosity toward Pay to Hunt operations.
Just my opinion based on past history.
 

Matt D

Active member
OK here is my take on things (not a native of Kansas:
Olyveoil see you are from Charleston, I am from the NC mountain area. I have been hunting out in Kansas for over 20 years now typically north of Manhattan KS about 1+ hours. Around 2007 through 2012 the area had what I considered great pheasant hunting but some severe weather events and pay to hunt operations have decimated the pheasant opportunities. Quail are still very strong. I have not hunted at Radar lodge but have heard good things. It is my understanding that the further west you go the better the wild pheasant populations get. Each year is different which is typically weather driven. As for the pay to hunt operations, they do pay the land owners better for their land than the state does for Walk-ins (which is public hunting on private land). They pay to hunt places snatch up the very good fields and out-bid the state for their walk-in opportunities. This happened in the area we hunt. Fortunately we know two farmers and have access to several thousand acres to hunt. But the pheasant population is way down. A cattle farmer we met last year shed some light on why the pay to hunt areas may be really hurting the native birds. They raise pheasants, load them up with antibiotics and then release them to be hunted. These super immune birds bring diseases to the native populations that do not hurt the immunized birds. Then the native birds die off. I also believe that when a CRP field is leased by the pay to hunt groups, they shoot roosters and HENS, the hunter can not tell if the hen is a wild bird or not. The wild birds that use the CRP to nest, well they get shot too leading to a much lower breeding population. Hence the animosity toward Pay to Hunt operations.
Just my opinion based on past history.

One thing in this I would like to address. I am a pig farmer so very familiar with animals and antibiotics. Our county here in OH hatches out more pheasants with than any county in the country I have been told. I personally know two of the three large hatching operations as they also run hunt clubs. Pheasants being raised are not loaded full of antibiotics. Antibiotics are used if needed for a bacterial problem. It would not make sense economics wise to keep them on antibiotics any longer than needed and since being consumed by people would be against the law. Not saying that at some point in time some person with some birds didn’t find a way to do this prior to release but I can say with confidence that it isn’t happening on a large scale. If it took all those antibiotics to keep the birds alive shortly after release and no longer getting them they would quickly die. Most animal antibiotics are only actively working for 24 hours after stopping the use. Thus why if injectable it takes consecutive days of treatment. They are not vaccines that continue to offer protection.

Just wanted to weigh in on that point.
 

5 stand

Active member
One thing in this I would like to address. I am a pig farmer so very familiar with animals and antibiotics. Our county here in OH hatches out more pheasants with than any county in the country I have been told. I personally know two of the three large hatching operations as they also run hunt clubs. Pheasants being raised are not loaded full of antibiotics. Antibiotics are used if needed for a bacterial problem. It would not make sense economics wise to keep them on antibiotics any longer than needed and since being consumed by people would be against the law. Not saying that at some point in time some person with some birds didn’t find a way to do this prior to release but I can say with confidence that it isn’t happening on a large scale. If it took all those antibiotics to keep the birds alive shortly after release and no longer getting them they would quickly die. Most animal antibiotics are only actively working for 24 hours after stopping the use. Thus why if injectable it takes consecutive days of treatment. They are not vaccines that continue to offer protection.

Just wanted to weigh in on that point.
Good post!
 

westksbowhunter

Well-known member
Thank yall for the feedback.
If I may ask: why so much dislike of outfitters / guides?
I am from SC for context. will be at Fort Riley/Manhattan once a year for 2-3 years maybe for 5 days per. I am willing to pay for a guide to hunt pheasants, which I have never done. Not interested in spending several days on public lands learning what to do. <--- That is the point of using guides.

Is public land becoming scarce? Is their animosity over landowners leasing to guides? Other political stuff going on?
Outfitters and KS Legislature have ruined hunting for KS residents. I wish they would shut down every outfitter in the state. This is a deer hunting issues that trickles down to upland hunters. I just can't say anything good about any outfitters. I hunt other states myself and I will knock doors and hunt public land and never support a greedy outfitter that leases 30,000 acres plus of private land locking out residents.
 

Chestle

Active member
I think at the heart of the outfitter controversy is the question of "owning" game. Supposedly here in the US, the game animals are not "owned" by the landowner. They are "owned" by the general population but the taking of them is regulated by the federal and state governments.

This gets to the question of what are the landowners actually selling, access to their property or the game animals themselves. The people leasing out their land and the outfitters/private parties that lease that land claim they are just selling and buying "access" or a trespass fee to private land. A legitimate capitalistic enterprise.

On the other side are people that point out the only thing being sold is the game on the particular piece of land. Outfitters/private parties don't lease land that holds no game/has no potential for holding game. The game to be taken generates the lease.

It's an argument that will never end.

However, the old saying applies: money talks and the BS walks. So, IMO, it's inevitable that more and more of the better land for hunting will be leased and the "commoners" will be pretty much on the outside looking in as they were in Merry Olde England. Hunting will increasingly become even more of rich man's sport.

So get out there and enjoy what's available now. That's my 2 cents.
 

KsHusker

Active member
Outfitters and KS Legislature have ruined hunting for KS residents. I wish they would shut down every outfitter in the state. This is a deer hunting issues that trickles down to upland hunters. I just can't say anything good about any outfitters. I hunt other states myself and I will knock doors and hunt public land and never support a greedy outfitter that leases 30,000 acres plus of private land locking out residents.
Right there with you - we've all hashed this out a few times here - on various FB ks hunting groups etc -- Deer issues have led to hunting access problems we have now

Couple that with farming and Big ag practices and it doesnt help much.
 
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