As you prepare for your Kentucky trophy deer hunt (8 point minimum 125' no mgt. does to be shot during your trophy hunt), here is a list of basic things to remember.
1) Hunts are to be paid in full 60 days prior. Your hunting date can be sold to someone else, and your deposit would be forfeited. In all honesty, simply call me and say, “I need another week or two,” and I’ll allow that, but just don’t show up with money in hand because someone else will be hunting. Should you need to cancel 60 days prior to your hunt, your deposit will be kept and can be used towards a future hunt of equal value or more close to the same hunting dates the following year.
2) You can arrive the day before your morning hunt. Because we’re limited to 14+- day modern gun hunts, most of the food plot average 1/2 acre in size, up to 3 acres.
3) There is a larger home/cabin on the edge of the property. You will pass it on your right as your heading towards the hunting cabin, turning left at the "Adley's Cabin" sign. No need to approach my year-round resident at the big cabin; they can't help you with anything unless someone was seriously injured. This person keeps away trespassers and poachers year-round.
4) What is a Kentucky outfitter? Kentucky hunting Guides have pros and cons. When nobody is expecting breakfast and to be driven to a hunting spot, that is a do-it-yourself fair-chase hunt. I put in the work 10 months out of the year, and it's up to you to do the rest. I plant summer plots, kill plots, and have around 12-14 food plots I have "fun with." And it's not "work" for the record; I enjoy sitting on a tractor. It's enjoyment. I can recommend full-time outfitters that are great and offer all the services. It's just not what I offer. I fill 4+- corn feeders nearly year-round, fertilize, etc. However, you simply lease the land from me. Feel free to use the stands that are on most of the food plots or any of the 4 elevated box blinds where there will be a corn auto-feeder in view of each of them.
Common sense prevails. Nobody has been granted permission to come on my property to track a deer from their Kentucky hunting lease. If a neighbor had to do this, I’d expect a phone call, but at the very least, they would do it under cover of darkness and a few hours after hunting times so that it doesn’t disturb the deer or me! If you feel you need to track a deer and it was shot late, I’ve never asked permission to trespass before, nor can I give you permission to go onto someone else’s property. Use good judgment!
5) As you come onto my property and cross the bridge, on the right, there is a creek. You’ll find easy access just past the bridge on the right 30 yards. This is where you shall gut your deer. Don’t field dress on the hunting grounds please. Please read my quick Kentucky Hunting season plan. -Hunting Property Description -
6) I have neighbors that don’t come on the property, but they will stop you from entering and exiting the property (as a courtesy to me). It has nothing to do with the fact you are hunting; they just know I don’t allow anyone back there. If you’re stopped, just be nice and tell them your friends with “Jamie” and you have permission to be there. They help keep all poachers away!
7) From my large rock wall entry, you will go down a hill, cross my bridge, then go 100 yards to the first hill. There will be a larger trail to the left for cars/trucks and a trail to the right to the “off-limits” cabin. There should be a sign there to "Adley's Cabin". Here you will see the “off-limits” cabin. Continue up the left trail about 300 yards to the cabin you are free to use. The nearest food plot to this cabin is about 300 yards away (other than the food plot the cabin sits on. Some may decide to leave your vehicles near the bridge and walk or ride 4-wheelers to camp or walk. If there is a storm or a random tree falls down, “life happens”. I won’t be coming out there to clear trails during hunting season - you’ll have to figure it out. I keep hunting ground free of pressure as much as I can.
8) For gas lights & gas heat, open the tank valve, then they will light. You must purge the air out of the lines by HOLDING DOWN THE PILOT BUTTON ON THE HEATER. Hold it down for 2 minutes at least. The cooking stove will use propane bottles. I don’t lock doors or windows, so just leave the place as you left it, please. You can bring a small generator to run the air-conditioning or If you want to watch the flat-screen TV/DVD's.
You can “Telecheck” your deer at 1800-245-4263 or call 1800-858-1549 for Kentucky Dept. of Fish and Wildlife information. Remember to fill out your Harvest Log and attach it to the horns. If you don’t have a harvest log, they have them at the Wal-Mart you bought the license from. License vary depending on your age, residency, etc. They seemingly go up every year, so call Wal-Mart for the latest prices.
9) Take a map with you. I have bulldozed a nice path around the entire property, but there are trails throughout the property sparingly. Some people like branches and limbs around them, others don’t. Take out a saw to trim back what you need to. There is also a pole saw for you to use at the cabin if you need it. Bowhunters can place some of their own stands in planned ambush areas; they know what they need to bring.
10) Gun hunters -if you are in groups of 4, you want to have the 4 tower blinds hunted in at all times. You’ll see a lot of deer here. However, we all know hunting has a lot to do with skill and preparation. Depending on your expectation, you may try to scout out a corridor where you believe you can ambush the big one, timing his appearance to feed just at dark, or simply hunt over auto-feeders (5 in on property) shooting out the corn. The property has plenty of great places to put ladder stands, but there are ladders stands on most food plots. Use the map to plan your strategy. I like to go someplace “thick” and take a chance while letting others cover the obvious spots deer will be. BowHunters - you’ll have to be more strategic. Look at my notes on the different food plots and the surroundings to plan your hunt. Opening morning is the toughest because you simply don’t know your way around…yet.
11) Please remember to disconnect the cooking stove bottle, turn off the gas on the outside.
12) The bad news: All hunts are based on a minimum 2 hunters to book. So, if your buddy backs out last minute, you must pay for the space of 2 hunters otherwise, it is considered a cancelation. The bank wants their money no matter what. I work a full-time teaching job, so I am not there to "stuff" hunters into coming and going with strangers on the same property.
13) If you are the type who wants to hold Kentucky outfitters accountable after they promise you the world, make sure you create a lot of texting and emailing dialogue. We are more than willing to put everything we say in writing, so do not try and go to court with "he said she said" claims. Get it in writing! That is what I would do.