Additional Information On The Private Whitetailed Deer Hunt
May we acquaint you with some of the aspects of the deer hunt in the Dryden area?
When you book a hunt, we would like a bit of information from you. What type of deer hunt are you used to? Do you still want to hunt that way? Or do you want to try something different? We have a variety of properties, i.e. agriculture, clear cuts, swamps, logging roads, natural openings in the middle of the bush and just straight heavy bush overlooking a game trail, etc.
Our properties range in size from 80 acres to 850 acres. Typically with a party of 4, we would place you on 2 - 160 acre lots or 1 - 320 acre lot. Most properties we can show you on the computer from 'Google earth', even picking out the exact sp0t where your stand will be situated.
Our hunt might have some similarities to the hunt in your area or it might be quite different. Not withstanding, no two hunters will hunt exactly the same.
First of all, you are the hunter. We give you the liberty of hunting a property the way you want to hunt it (within reason and the local hunting regulations). We make a strong effort for you to be the first on the property and the only one to be on a property for that year. Occasionally we will use a property a second time later in the season.
The majority of our hunters sit in strategically positioned tree stands or ground blinds, close to a bait pile or food plot. Some hunters prefer to have the bait pile in sight (50 - 150 yards) or they set up on an active game trail leading to a bait pile/food plot. One of the most difficult aspects of this hunt is staying in the tree stand/ground blind all day. Some days you may see only a few deer. Many of our guests are accustomed to seeing deer throughout the day and several deer at the bait pile at one time. Your state hunting area might have 15 - 30 deer per square mile. We in the Dryden area have 7 or 8 deer per square mile. Your hunt might turn into a bit of an endurance test at times. The temptation after a few hours of the morning hunt is to get down off of your stand and wander around on the property or go back to camp for a beer or two and then return for the evening hunt. This could be a mistake since a substantial part of the buck movement is between 10:00 am & 2:00 pm. So if you can develop your patient skills, you will see bucks and you will have opportunities. If you have done your research, the deer in the Dryden area are much larger than most other areas. So wait them out, and they will come.
As mentioned previously, you are the hunter. We will scout the property and set it up, i.e. bait piles, games trails, swamp openings, perspective trees for stands, trail cameras, etc. You may have another or even a better idea. You are welcome to pursue that. Some of our guests scout the property for themselves, being as discreet as possible. Some prefer to walk & stalk. It is up to you. We will set it up and offer a few suggestions, but the hunt is ultimately up to you, the hunter.
Our private properties have been carefully selected to offer the least amount of outside interference from roads, neighbors, other hunters, etc. In many situations there is very little or no hunting pressure from surrounding properties, so some properties, even though only 80 acres, are drawing deer from 1000 acres or more. We require that our guests stay on the property leased, except where the adjacent property is public land. No one wants issues with the neighboring private property owners. We will acquaint you with your property and surrounding area and inform you of what options you have for moving around.
We are adapting our hunt as circumstances change. Ever since the Dryden buck was taken in 2003, the hunt has become more popular here. So with more pressure we are finding we have to go a bit further back into the bush, which requires cutting foot & quad trails. We are happy to do this for our guests and it provides you with a much more secluded hunt. A quad becomes necessary for several of our sites now but it proves to be a much better hunt. It's not for the faint of heart though. Some of our hunting sites require the traversing of home made bridges over creeks, but rest assured they are safe for you and your quad and your trophy buck. You'll be deep in the bush, initially you may even be a little uncomfortable, but by week's end you will get use to it, especially once you tag one of those monster, bashful, bush bucks.
We are very excited to add one other hunt to our operation. We have coined it 'the boat hunt'. You leave directly from our dock in front of the camp in one of our camp boats. This package has to be booked for the early season because of potential freezing weather. We have done a trial run for 2 years now and it has proved successful so we are going to further develop it. At present, we have 5 baited sites developed, with several other possibilities. Again, it is not for the faint of heart but we guarantee it's exclusive. No one has ever hunted theses areas so the deer die of old age here. The sites are a 10 to 30 minute boat ride from camp. It requires at least a party of 2 (for safety reasons) and at least 1 experienced boat operator (for an extra fee, one of our staff can take you to your site and pick you up at the end of the day). The sites are just a few minutes walk into the bush from the shore line and we have permanent tree stands at most of the sites. Gps's are provided so a charted route is followed down the lake and to your stand. Cell phones work from all sites as well. This may seem a bit intimidating, but really it is not. We have made it as easy as possible. By week's end you will be quite comfortable with this new feature of our hunt. Enjoy the adventure!
We bait with a mixture of 65% rolled corn, 33% oats and 2% molasses. We start the baiting program at least 4 weeks before your hunt. Some guests bring up their own special concoctions for their week of hunting, i.e. sugar beets, carrots, apples, flavored powders, etc.
What if you tag out early? You are here for 7 days & 7 nights. What are you going to do for 6 days if you take the monster the first day? Don't phone home! I've gone fishing! Yes, you can go fishing for the rest of the week. We keep 2 or 3 boats in the water specifically for this reason. It's a bit chilly, but you have already brought the warm clothes so get our there and pull some lip! Maybe we can take you to one of our secluded boat cache lakes for the day…or 2 days…or 3 days!
One other option, if you tag out early, is to do a wolf hunt. We are working with a local trapper who has taken several wolves off several of our hunting areas. He is allowing our guests to hunt over his bait piles. You must inform yourself of the wolf hunting regulations. They are a bit complicated.
Please contact us for more details regarding any of our hunts. We will be happy to answer any of your questions you may have.
Hank & Cindy Smoke
Indian Point Camp